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Pregnancy & Sewing Update: Week 37

2 Oct
Brandon snapped a picture of me at the Columbus Zoo.  We were blessed to be able to slip away just the two of us for a few days before we welcome another baby.

Brandon snapped a picture of me at the Columbus Zoo. We were blessed to be able to slip away just the two of us for a few days before we welcome another baby.

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago.  While at the doctor’s office we realized we were a week farther along in our pregnancy than we thought!  Our due date didn’t change we had just been counting down the weeks wrong.  Regardless this little girl is coming soon!  🙂  She will be born for sure sometime in October.

It is so exciting to be nearing the end of this pregnancy.  The changing weather reminds me often that our new baby will be here soon!  We have spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks talking to Eli about having a new baby in our family.  He asked us whose house the baby would sleep at the other day.  I thought it was so funny that he didn’t realize that the baby would live with us all of the time just like he does.

Our baby girl has not been moving as much as she did a few weeks ago which means we have been doing a little extra testing the past few weeks.  Ever since she switched to the head down position she just doesn’t want to move around as much.   We had an ultrasound and more non-stress tests that showed that all is well.   I’m also wondering if she is moving more during the night and I am just sleeping through it?  I guess she is just saving up her energy for labor.  🙂  Currently I have gained 14 pounds with this pregnancy.  My blood pressure looks great which I am so thankful for.  I had my GBS test and passed this time around.  Now that I am going to the doctor twice a week I feel like my time is quickly slipping away from me.  A trip to the doctor is pretty much an all day affair at this point or at least it feels that way.

I have been doing a better job exercising (walking) but haven’t been back to the gym in a while.  At this point I am just done with weight training.  If I manage to get some walking in I feel like that is plenty!  I have been trying to spend more time resting and less time working on the huge list of projects I would like to finish before the baby comes.  Brandon has been doing a great job of reminding me to rest but it is still so hard for me to do.  The biggest project left to complete is cleaning and organizing our basement.  (We were finally able to purchase a guest bed and mattress which are set up in our basement.  Hooray!)  I also have a bunch of sewing for the nursery that I would like to do but honestly I care more about having the basement clean before the baby comes than having everything all pretty in her room.  She will be sleeping in our room when she comes home from the hospital anyway.  🙂  I have yet to make a single freezer meal which isn’t good.  By the time I feel like I have time in the day to tackle something like that I am just ready for a nap.  Since we really could go into labor at anytime I am trying to stay well rested.  I want to be as well rested as I can for when labor begins.

I did attend a LLL meeting last week which was wonderful.  So many sweet little babies.  It was great to be reminded of all of the great benefits of breastfeeding.  It made me reflect about how some of my own personal reasons for breastfeeding have changed since my first baby.  Before Eli I wanted to breastfeed primarily because of the health benefits and the fact that it is free!  Although both of those reasons are still great-I really want to breastfeed this time around because of the bonding.  That is probably one of the things that I am looking forward to the most (once I get past the first couple months of difficulties.  Breastfeeding was very difficult for me at first last time.  I’m hoping it isn’t as hard this time but at least I am mentally prepared for there to be a learning curve for baby and I.)  There was a little boy there who was 3 who had a great time pushing his cars over his 6 month old little sister’s belly over and over.  🙂  I laughed so hard!  I’m sure that will be Elijah for sure.

Sewing Update for the past couple weeks:

The two wet bags I made for our baby girl.

The two wet bags I made for our baby girl.

I sewed two wet bags.  I used PUL material I had on hand and a nice thick fabric that I had purchased for a different project years ago.  I also had the zippers in my stash.  I was really pleased with how the large wet bag turned out.  All of my other wet bags are square sized but I decided to make this one more rectangular.  I hope both bags can stand up to lots of washing and wear.  (That has been my only complaint with homemade bags.  They do not seem to hold up as well as bags you can purchase.)  The small-sized wet bag is really tiny and will probably only hold 2 diapers.

Peri Pads- I sewed a bunch of 4.5″ squares of flannel together to make peri pads.  I am planning on soaking these in witch hazel and using them for discomfort “down there” after the baby comes.  Has anyone ever done this?

The flannel sheet I sewed, 2 sets of nursing pads, and a newborn side snap shirt where I sewed on baby rick rack.

The flannel sheet I sewed, 2 sets of nursing pads, and a newborn side snap shirt where I sewed on baby rick rack.

Nursing Pads-I made a few more nursing pads from scrap fabric using the serger.  I think my serger might need a new cutting blade because it is really struggling.  I’m planning on sewing a couple more pads on my mom’s serger this week.

Sheet- I sewed a crib sheet out of a cute flannel fabric that matches the blanket I made for baby girl.

Size Newborn dress

Size Newborn dress

Dress-I used this tutorial to whip up this sweet little newborn peasant dress.  I thought it looked more like a 0-3 months size after it was sewn.  It was fairly quick and easy to sew.

What advice do you have for us as we prepare to meet our little girl any day now?

Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

18 Sep
Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

 

Call me crazy or insane but one of the things I am looking forward to is cloth diapering our new little girl as a newborn.  I have always loved cloth diapers and I cannot wait to see our sweet little girl in a teeny tiny cloth diaper!  🙂  We didn’t start using cloth diapers with Eli until he was 4 weeks old since we moved when he was only 2 weeks old.  Looking back it probably would not have been that crazy to use cloth diapers.  We ended up spending tons of money on diapers the first month because we had to buy expensive diapers for sensitive skin.  If we were going to use disposable diapers for the newborn stage I would definitely want to use chlorine free diapers which cost even more (twice the cost of generic disposables).  I am guessing these would set us back about $148 for the first month.  One option that I looked into was the possibility of using a newborn cloth diaper rental service but that would cost around $220.  We would like to have more children in the future so we opted to purchase a newborn stash that can be used for future children.  Our budget for our entire stash was $100.  I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun watching for sales and purchasing used cloth diapers over the summer.  That said I thought it would be fun to share what our newborn cloth diaper stash looks like.  I plan on doing an update in a few months to share which newborn cloth diapers worked best for us.

Our Stash of Prefolds & Covers

Our Stash of Prefolds & Covers

Many people choose to use either pocket diapers or prefolds with covers.  We are planning on using both systems.  Prefolds and covers are by far the most economical option.  We purchased a dozen orange edged sized newborn (6-10 lbs) Cloth-Eez Prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and a dozen yellow edged sized small (10-15 lbs) Cloth-Eez prefolds.  Our covers include: Imse Vimse Size Newborn, 1 cover I made using the New Conceptions Diaper Cover with leg gusset, 1 handmade cover I made trying to copy the Bummis Super Brite Cover-I doubt this will really work, 1 DIY Cover using the Babyville Boutique size newborn pattern, 2 Thirsties Duo Size 1 covers, and 2 Bummis Super Brite Newborns.  To me most of the covers (except the Bummis Super Brites) look really big.  I wouldn’t be surprised if only the Bummis fit well for the first couple of weeks.

Pocket Diapers & Fitted Diapers I Made

Pocket Diapers & Fitted Diapers I Made

I made two pocket diapers using the Green Pepper Pattern F708 in Size Newborn.  On the second cover I made the elastic in the leg larger.  I also made 5 fitted diapers using the Kwik Sew Pattern 3690.  Thankfully I was able to try these on a friend’s baby and adjusted the elastic around the legs.  I did not sew a large stash of either of these since I am not 100% sure they will be a good fit.

 

The stash of All in One Diapers I made for Eli using Kwik Sew's pattern.

The stash of All in One Diapers I made for Eli using Kwik Sew’s pattern.

Before Eli was born I sewed 15 All-in-One diapers using Kwik Sew 3690.  Unfortunately these ran really small and I was hardly able to use them at all after all of that work! 😦  I don’t really know if these will fit baby girl at all unless she has really skinny legs.  I’m not actually planning on these fitting but if they do that would be great!  These diapers also took FOREVER to dry so I’m sure they will be the ones I reach for last.

Pocket Diapers or All in One Diapers are much more expensive than going the prefolds and covers route.  I chose to purchase 1/2 of our stash in AIO diapers because my husband likes them much better.  (I also got a wonderful deal on them used.)  I am also counting on having help from family when the baby comes (Brandon’s mom is coming to stay after the baby is born and I am sure my mom and sisters will help from time to time).  I wanted to make it easier for them to help me change diapers.  🙂

Our Stash of Pocket Diapers

Our Stash of Pocket Diapers

I spent lots of time researching which aio/pocket diapers worked best and I think it just depends on your child.  We have 12 Bumgenius AIO XS diapers (yellow, blue, & teal in the picture on the left and right).  The reason I bought so many of these was simply because I got a great deal by purchasing a lot of them.  In the middle column starting at the top I have 2 Grovia Diapers, 1 XS Fuzzibunz Pocket Diaper, 1 Alva Baby (a China diaper), and 2 Lil’ Joey diapers.  As you can see I tried hard to keep things pretty gender neutral for the most part.  It is so hard though!  🙂

I am also planning on sewing some fleece doublers in case any of these diapers need more absorbency.  We will also be using cloth wipes.  I have some leftover from Eli and am in the process of sewing a dozen more from scrap fabric.

Have you ever cloth diapered a newborn?  Any tips, advice, etc?  

 

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

13 May
The Curling Iron/Flat Iron Case I sewed last week.

The Curling Iron/Flat Iron Case I sewed last week.

 

I sewed a mother’s day gift for my mother-in-law using materials I had on hand.  I made a Flat Iron/Curling Iron Case since she does a lot of traveling.  It is made out of special batting (Insul-Brite) so you can actually put your hair tools inside while it is still hot.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea.  I used this tutorial but I attached the bias tape differently than they did.  It was a little tricky but I was pleased with how it turned out.  I may have to invest in a walking foot if I sew another one.

I cooked!  I’ve been fairly nauseated this pregnancy so this is a big accomplishment for me.  I even cooked ground beef one night which is huge for me!  Along with cooking lunch & dinner most days I made Banana Muffins (to use up old bananas) and homemade CrockPot granola.

I received a book from PaperBack Swap that had been on my wish list.

Elijah & I made homemade Koolaid Playdoh one day when it was rainy.  He played with it for almost an hour!

We picked wildflowers to use as our table centerpiece this week.

I combined all of our errands into one morning to save time and gas.  It was tiring (I ran 8) but it was great to get them all out-of-the-way at once.

I hosted Mother’s Day brunch at our home on Mother’s Day right after church for 10 people.  I served: Fresh Fruit with Dip, Biscuit & Gravy Casserole, French Toast Apple Strata, Sausage Bake, Cinnabon Coffee Cake, and we had a Yogurt Bar with different toppings.  For drinks we had Water with lemons, Milk, Orange Juice, Coffee, & Homemade Starbucks Iced Cappuccino.  I think everyone had a really nice time.  I really enjoyed changing things up and serving brunch instead of lunch or dinner.  🙂

I watched a free newborn photography class from Creative Live.  Realistically I doubt I will feel well enough to take our new baby’s newborn photos but we’ll see.  I learned so much from the class.  I’m half tempted to borrow a baby doll and practice!  In case I’m not feeling well enough I would welcome a recommendation for a photographer in the area who has experience with newborns.

Elijah & I picked up a free small jar of paint from Lowes.  I had a craft project in mind for Eli’s room so I let him choose the color.  The man at Lowe’s was so kind that he let Elijah pick out whatever color he wanted.  Then he let him go behind the counter and watch the paint get mixed.  I think this was the highlight of Eli’s day!

My aunt came over and worked on our landscaping.  She gave us some perennials to fill in some of the bare spots and even planted them!  I can’t wait until they bloom.

I still haven’t been able to get my garden planted because it will not stop raining!  Does anyone have any advice for speeding up plant growth?  

 

 

 

Elijah’s Christmas PJ’s: Kwik Sew 854 Review

23 Jan
Eli was so pleased with his Christmas pajamas!

Eli was so pleased with his Christmas pajamas!

 

I’ve always wanted to make Elijah Christmas pajamas.  This past Christmas was Elijah’s fourth Christmas and I finally made them!  🙂  I’m pretty sure making Christmas pajamas is going to be a Christmas tradition at our home.  

The pajamas even have the little grippy fabric on the bottom of the feet.

The pajamas even have the little grippy fabric on the bottom of the feet.

I used Kwik Sew 854 for this project.  I’m pretty sure this qualifies as my first sewing project using a “vintage” pattern.  My mom actually gave me the pattern and had made it in numerous sizes.  I”m guessing that she might have even made pajamas for me from this pattern.  Isn’t that cool?  I contacted Kwik Sew trying to find out what year the pattern was made and they wouldn’t tell me.  😦

 

My boy showing some serious attitude.

My boy showing some serious attitude.

I used a Christmas mittens fabric purchased from JoAnn fabrics.  I also purchased the hunter green ribbing there.  (Hancock Fabrics no longer carries ribbing.) I made a size 3 with no adjustments that was a perfect fit for my little man!  He should have enough room to wear these throughout the winter.  The instructions were pretty straightforward and I changed only two things.   I did not add the applique or the tab (piece 7).  I thought it was really interesting that there was a specific piece for the Crotch.  (I’m not sure if that is unique or if most sleepers have them.)

I was a little unhappy with how the zipper turned out but I am still fairly inexperienced when it comes to zippers.

I was a little unhappy with how the zipper turned out but I am still fairly inexperienced when it comes to zippers.

 

The only adjustment I would make next time would be to lengthen the sleeve and shorten the amount of ribbing.  (I think it looks slightly dated with the large ribbing.)

Elijah thinks the pjs are perfect for sliding around on the hardwood floors.

Elijah thinks the pjs are perfect for sliding around on the hardwood floors.

This was such a fun project and I am pleased with how it turned out.  I may end up making another one in some camo fleece that I have on hand.  I just wish the pattern also included size 4.  I might just have to enlarge this pattern next year.

 

 

Elijah’s New Robe: Take Two on Simplicity 3584

17 Jan
Elijah was so pleased with his new robe.

Elijah was so pleased with his new robe.

My little boy has been busy growing taller and taller.  All of a sudden none of his clothes fit including his flannel bath robe I made last year.  Time to break out the sewing machine and get to work!  Not really sure if I would call it work or not since Elijah is just about my favorite person to sew for.  😉

I made my own loops and added them to the robe.

I made my own loops and added them to the robe.

I used Simplicity 3584 and made a straight size 3 with no alterations.  I considered adding a 3″ hem that could be let down like I did last year but I figured that by the time Elijah was that much taller he would really need a bigger size.  I used an adorable blue farmyard print for the outside and the same farmyard print in green for the inside.  The flannel fabric has to be some of my favorite I have ever seen for a little boy!  I made almost the same changes to the pattern that I made last year.  I lined the entire robe by cutting out all of the pattern pieces again (except the pocket) out of the inside fabric.  Then I laid the lining pieces wrong sides together against the outside fabric.

I sewed the belt onto the back of the robe at the center back.

I sewed the belt onto the back of the robe at the center back.

The pattern called for the belt and loops to be made out of bias tape.  Unless you are really a beginner when it comes to sewing I would advise against this.  I really think that would look tacky.   To make the ties I cut 2 pieces of fabric 3X30″.  I sewed the two pieces together to make one large strip.  Sew a tube, inside it out and press.  (If you follow my notes and make the ties you will only need 1 package of bias tape.)  I also skipped using bias tape to finish the sleeves.  I also made Loops which measured 2 1/4 X 3/4 when finished.  Unlike the instructions I sewed them on very last and placed them right along the finished side seam.

If you are looking for a baby bath robe up to size 18-24 months I would recommend Simplicity 3711.)

Sweet boy & another sweet memory for this mama.

Sweet boy & another sweet memory for this mama.

I made lots of changes to this pattern but was very pleased with the final result.  Sewing robes for Elijah might just be a lasting tradition in our home.  🙂  I have a feeling I will be sewing another one next winter.

 

Sew a Pocket Apron: Simplicity 2272 Review

11 Jan
I love the fun look of View C.

I love the fun look of View C.

While I have been cleaning and organizing my sewing room, I ran across a box of fabric with some fun winter prints.  I love snowflakes, snowmen, and aprons so I thought I would combine all three into a lovely project!  I found Simplicity 2272 in my stash and knew at once I was going to try my hand at view C.  It was very simple.

The one major mistake I made was getting confused about whether the contrast would be on the outside or the inside (it is on the outside).  I ended up switching the fabrics from where I wanted them to be but it still turned out nice I think.  Piece 7 is the Inside of the Apron and Piece 8 is actually the overlay contrast piece.

I only made one change to this pattern.  I skipped the outside rick rack for step four because I ran out!  I never just run out to the store when I run out of something I just make do.  😉  Instead of trimming seams I serged them.  I also serged the top of the waistband in step 7 and then folded it down 1.5″.  I did not slip stitch the waistband in step 13.  (I dislike slip-stitching by hand.)

Now I'm already to whip up some homemade hot chocolate and a plate of cookies after sledding!

Now I’m already to whip up some homemade hot chocolate and a plate of cookies after sledding!

My only complaint about this project was the sizing of the apron.  I made a size Large (18-20) but in my opinion this size would be more like a (12-14).  If you are looking for a nice plus size pattern I would recommend McCall 5720.  It has been my go-to pattern for years.

Overall this was a great pattern that was a cinch to whip up.  It would be great for a last-minute housewarming or bridal shower gift.

Sew a Knitting Needle Case: McCalls 4728

2 Jan
My sister's knitting needle case.

My sister’s knitting needle case.

There are so many wonderful sewing projects out there that would be perfect to sew for my younger sister.  I mean have you seen pintrest lately?  It was very hard to determine exactly what to make her for Christmas.  I finally settled on sewing her a knitting needle case.  She has really gotten into knitting in the past couple of months.  It would be easy to come up with your own pattern for this but if you can catch McCall patterns for 1.00 why bother?  The concept is very similar to a number of projects I have made in the past: a crayon rolls, a drum stick holder, colored pencil roll, and a crochet hook case.

I did use a pattern MCalls 4728 for this project that I would highly recommend!  I had made it in the past for a good friend of mine so this pattern was a cinch to whip up!  I had all of the materials on hand so I’m not sure where they came from.  😉

I did add the following notes to my instructions for sewing Case A or B.

  • At Step 12 you are sewing back sections right sides together.
  • At Step 13 I would recommend first trimming the corners before turning right sides out.  This will reduce bulk in the corners and make a nicer finished project.
  • You could trace the stitching lines onto the material.  I don’t though!  Instead I mark the first one and then sew a total of 10 lines each 1″ apart.  Then I sew 4 more lines each 1.5″ apart.  I just try to keep my material straight and sew along. You could also measure it at the bottom.  I have found that when sewing the pockets if you begin at the bottom the finished project looks much better than if you sew from top to bottom.
The knitting needle case has pockets perfect for storing all of your knitting needles!

The knitting needle case has pockets perfect for storing all of your knitting needles!

Overall this was a wonderful project that I highly recommend!  If you can’t sew and would be interested in purchasing one please let me know.  I would love to make one for you.