Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I swore I'd never use them... until I realized I could sew them.

Yup, that's right, I started cloth diapering my 6 month old twins after "swearing" I'd never go to cloth. After doing the math over and over again, I felt like it was time to start saving money and the environment. (I admit that saving the environment is just a perk in this new adventure).

Reasons I resisted for so long:

1. Pocket diapers are expensive to buy. Eventhough you can save money in the long run, it's a huge investment up front, especially with twins.

2. I was (past tense) more interested in what would save me money rather than the environment which I thought wasn't reason enough to go through the "inconvenience" of cloth diapering.

3. Time. It does take more time and I probably couldn't have done it in the early months with twins and a 2 year old, but now that the twins are a little older and more independent, the little bit of extra time that it takes is manageable.

4. Gross factor. Cloth diapers...yuck. Don't they stink? That's what I thought. But really, it's not that gross and there is actually less odor with cloth than with disposable. Not a conclusion I would have come to without having tried it.

The big reason for switching to cloth for me, is definitely the moola factor. With a husband just about to graduate from law school and student loans coming due, I had to do something drastic (or what I thought was drastic). After crunching all the numbers, I figured I can save at least $1200 in 18 months. More if the twins wear them longer than that. (I included the costs of hot water, electricity, detergent etc). Not only that, but when the twins are done with them, I can turn around and sell them or pass them along to a friend or family member.

So, not only am I cloth diapering twins, but I also made the pocket diapers myself.

Here's what you need:

PUL (that's the waterproof fabric that comes in a variety of colors)
microfiber terry (the insert to absorb all the wet)
a snap press
a serger (helpful although not necessary)
a sewing machine
3/8 inch elastic (for the back of the diaper)
3/8 inch elastin (for the legs)

I already have a handy, dandy snap press that I've used since last summer to make baby items for my etsy shop, so the investment to make the diapers was minimal compared to what it costs to buy cool pocket diapers.

I bought the supplies at this on-line store. Not the best customer service, but the best stuff for making diapers.

So here's what a cloth diaper looks like. This is 11 of them. I made 25 and sent one to my little brother to try on his 5 1/2 month old.

and the outside finished product:

The inside:

and with two cute babies inside them:

Here's what the insert looks like. It just "inserts" right in the back of the diaper. No folding or fuss. I just cut out three layers and serged around them.

And what do I clean those cute little bums with?? Say good-bye to the baby wipes isle at Target! These are the way to go, baby! Environmentally friendly and friendly on the pocketbook. Sherpa, flannel and a serger make these puppies. Great for cleaning any mess big or small. I also use them on the babies in the bath.What about laundering you ask? How does one clean these things and have them look and smell so good?
1 cold rinse cycle
1 hot wash
a tiny bit of detergent, 1 tablespoon to be exact (I make my own using borax and washing soda).

Sometimes I throw in a downy ball filled with a little vinegar to really rinse out the detergent during the rinse cycle.
Special thanks to my friend, Jodi for her help in showing me how to make the diapers...and for converting me, finally. Also, thanks to my husband for putting all the snaps on and for cleaning the house, so I have more time to sew in the evenings. He's a keeper.
Stay tuned for my next post on sewing for kids with knits. Jodi is showing me how to make baby shirts with knits.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cupcake Apron

Here it is! The cupcake apron. This is about a size 6-8. My daughter is modeling it (it was either her or one of my 6 month olds) and she's a size 4t so it is definately big on her. This lil puppy was made with Michael Miller cupcake fabric (remember, I'm a fabric snob and only use the designer stuff). It is fully trimmed with biased tape (which I made myself) and has an adjustable strap (secured with poly-resin snaps), thus allowing for a wider range of sizes. It has a little pocket to put your baking tools or to hide treats from your mom. A child can grow in to this and use it for quite a few years.
I had to bribe my daughter with even more Easter candy to pose for these pictures and then she didn't want to take it off. Looks like I'll be making another one soon.
Feel free to contact me at my etsy shop if you would like one of your own (adult or kid size).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The best thing I ever made for myself!

Believe it or not, I have made something that's all for me! A nursing cover. My good friend, Reagan, was pregnant with her 2nd baby at the same time I was pregnant with the twins. She asked me to make her a nursing cover. It was so fun to make, I decided to make one for myself. I figured that nursing twins necessitated a cover a little larger (38x26) than the average smaller cover, in case I needed it while I nursed both babies. Turns out, nursing two at the same time is really not for me, but I have loved having a larger cover while I'm nursing one-on-one. I also made it with adjustable straps secured with poly-resin snaps (have I ever mentioned how much I heart my industrial snap press??). Traditional nursing covers made with the d-ring are just too complicated to adjust and can slip.This one is super easy to adjust, stays in place when the baby or your two-year old tug on it and it looks a lot better, too. I also added in the corset boning, so I can peek at baby easily through the top. A nursing cover is definately one of those "baby must haves". Especially when made with some super cute designer fabric. Gotta run... there's always a baby to feed :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wait for it....

On April 10th, my etsy shop is going to be featured on this blog for moms of multiples.

You'll have a chance to win one of these.

Sew Me Some Love

I'm new to blogging. Can you tell?

I love to sew. It's hard to find time with three little ones, a part-time teaching job, a husband who studies day and night, night and day, and a household to take care of. But lucky for me, my super fantastic hubby does a lot of the cleaning and folding of laundry when he takes his study breaks, so I can indulge in my hobby for a few mintues or so in the evening while my children slumber. If I'm really lucky the stars will allign and three naps will occur simultaneously. Rare, but not unheard of.

Projects I am currently working on:

My colleague and good friend Cicely, asked me to make her daughter an apron like the one I gave her for Christmas a couple years ago, but kid size (her daughter is seven). I got it cut out yesterday (with the help of my fabulous friend Jodi) and it's waiting patiently to be sewn.

CLOTH DIAPERS: Yes, after much thought and research I've decided to cloth diaper my 5 1/2 month old to wait for the materials to arrive. I think I'll need at least 24 for my babes.

There are so many other projects dancing around in my head, but will have to wait.

I also have an Etsy shop that keeps me sewing! I love it. I'm flattered that someone would want to buy something I sewed and even more flattered when I get such nice feedback about the things I make for them. I am very meticulous and put a lot of love and TLC into everything I create.