Diaper Bag Pattern Review

Long time no see/write?!?  I’m still sailing along in this pregnancy with our BABY GIRL!  I am seven and a half months pregnant today and I cannot believe how fast it is now going by.

Adding a baby girl to our mix means that I finally get to make bows, pants with ruffles, and all sorts of things I never had the chance to do with two boys.  First on my list was a diaper bag I actually liked.  I have had the same plain black Jeep diaper bag since my oldest was born four and a half years ago.  While I don’t currently carry a diaper bag, I will need one when our sweet baby Rowyn Scarlett gets here.

I’ve had this pattern in my drawer for FAR longer than I should admit.  I kept meaning to use it and just never got around to it.  After finally making my nursing cover, I decided it might be fun to finally dive into this pattern.  The pattern is very detailed and easy to follow, I love Fishsticks Designs patterns for this reason.  I would NOT say this is a pattern for beginners.  You need to be highly organized and label all your pieces because there are A LOT to keep up with.  You also need to have a couple days or afternoons set aside to work on it.  Between cutting out all the pieces and sewing, I spent about ten hours on this bag.  I’m not really a fast or slow sewer, just kind of average I’d say.  I can make a pair of baby/toddler pants or a diaper cover in half an hour.  Or a pair of kid pants in half an hour to an hour depending on detail.  The bag is MUCH more involved than those, but I do LOVE this bag and pattern.

All in all, I think this bag is going to be GREAT for cloth diapers. It is super roomy and I truly cannot wait to pack it in a few weeks after my baby shower.  The fabrics I ended up choosing were gifted to me and they suit my personality and taste SO well!  They also match the nursing cover I made which is just fun for me.  The bag is super roomy, has TONS of pockets from standard to elasticized, even a zippered pocket.  I’m definitely far more in love with this bag than I ever was with the Jeep one!

*Click on a picture to view it larger and read the description.

Sewing Inspiration: Teacher Gifts

While I’d love to tell you guys that I’ve been busy sewing and have tons of new projects lined up for the blog, I sat down at my sewing machine for the first time in several weeks today.  Instead of sewing or writing, I’ve soaked up this final pregnancy and have been basking in all the glory that is non-stop morning sickness for three months.  Baby Boo is sixteen weeks old (gestational age) today and the morning sickness is improving ever so slowly.  Which means that hopefully sewing will be back in full swing soon with new projects for you!

Today’s sewing adventure was a gift for my son’s speech pathologist.  I haven’t talked about my son’s speech apraxia on the blog before, but he started speech therapy at the beginning of this year and we’ve seen him blossom and improve his speech SO much.  He’ll get a new pathologist when he starts school in the fall, but we wanted to show our appreciation for all that our current pathologist has done for him.

My son loves superheroes and his teacher has been kind enough to include them in his therapy.  He can say almost all their names clearly now which is huge!  I of course included him in the gift for his pathologist and he went the superhero route!  He picked out the super cool Avenger’s cup and we used my sewing machine to make a cozy (complete with superhero cape!) for the cup.

I hope you enjoy our fun little project, what gifts have you given your children’s teachers?

Sewing Inspiration: Valentine’s Skirt

Sew Pretty Valentine SkirtI love a fun cotton print.  Pair that with a piece of clothing that is versatile and I’m sold.  I originally made this skirt last spring as a flowy skirt with an elastic waist band.  It wasn’t very fitted and was one of my first forays into sewing clothing for myself instead of children.  It was cute, but it rarely got worn  because it just wasn’t the most flattering thing in my closet.  The last couple of months I’ve taken an interest in altering and fitting clothing.  I had a closet full of items that were too big and slowly but surely I started working my way through them all.  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this skirt kept calling to me.  I pulled it out, put it on Amelia (my dress form) and got to work.

First I took in a bit on each side and added a zipper.  Then I started draping and pinning.  I tried a few configurations but ended up with the finished skirt you see here.  It was really fun to take this skirt from shapeless to a fitted, fun piece of clothing that will get a lot of rotation in my wardrobe.  The little details like the peek-a-boo blue invisible zipper and the adorable blue heart snap made it all the more fun.  And, I think this print is perfect for Valentine’s Day, don’t you?

Love is in the details

Adorable Cotton Print

Patchwork Hem

Back view

Sewing Tutorial: Valentine’s Garland

Valentine's GarlandI love the look of festive garland for all holidays, Valentine’s Day being no exception.  This colorful, fun garland is easy to create and highly customizable.

For the garland created in this tutorial, we will be using felt and/or vinyl sheets and ribbon.  You could also create the garland with card stock and twine if you’re not a sewer.

Materials Needed

  • Felt, stiffened felt, and/or glitter vinyl sheets. I like to use the 9X12 sheets you can buy at craft stores.  I’ve used four sheets for the garland featured. One piece of stiffened felt, two pieces of regular eco-fi felt, and one piece of glitter vinyl.
  • Valentine's Heart GarlandFusible/sewable stabilizer if you’re using regular felt instead of stiffened
  • Spool of ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • *Optional – Cricut or other paper cutting machine to cut out hearts. You certainly don’t have to use a Cricut, you can easily cut the hearts out by hand.
  • If cutting by hand you can use one of the heart templates provided in the tutorial.
  • The detailed and illustrated tutorial provided here:  Valentine’s Heart Garland.

Kitchen Art Printables

Need something fresh and different to brighten up your kitchen?  Try this week’s, “Eat, Drink, Laugh,” or “When life hands you lemons…” printables! Just click on the images to make them full size.  You can download them and print them out to frame.

When Life Hands You Lemons

Eat Drink Laugh

10 Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

  1. Ten Ways To Keep Your Kitchen CleanGet rid of clutter.  No one needs fifty plastic cups!  If there are cups dishes, bake ware, or appliances that you never really use, donate them.
  2. Nest objects when possible.  There’s a reason that plates, cups, bowls, bake ware, flat ware, and virtually every other item in your kitchen is made to nest inside of each other.  It keeps them all neat and tidy and saves you space.
  3. Use baskets.  If you’re short on space, there’s no reason to keep all those bulky cardboard boxes that so many foods come in.  Get a basket and dump those fruit snacks, cereal bars, and snack size snack bags in it.  You’ll save cabinet space and all your snacks will be in one place which makes snack time or lunch prep easier.  You can also do this with measuring cups and spoons.
  4. Get vertical.  If you’re short on space, don’t forget that you can go vertical!  Ceiling racks for pots and pans can give you more cabinet space.  Installing wood or wire shelves in the kitchen can give you more space for canned or boxed goods.
  5. Always keep your sink clean.  I know, you’re thinking I’m nuts, but once you start doing it you won’t go back.  Dirty dishes in the sink make the room look cluttered and dirty even when it isn’t.  By keeping dishes in the dishwasher or washed as they’re used you don’t have to go back and do it later.
  6. Keep like objects together.  It seems like common sense, but sometimes we just get in the habit of slinging things into drawers or cabinets when we’re pressed for time.  If you keep all your like items together, you always know where they are and it’s quicker to both get them out and put them up.
  7. Ditch the table linens.  If you have kids you know why I say this.  It’s just easier to keep the table wiped off and cleaned up if you don’t have to worry about shaking out crumbs every time you serve a meal or snack.
  8. Do a bi-weekly fridge clean out.  Clean out the fridge on grocery day and trash day.  If those are close together, pick one and then another day earlier/later in the week.  It’ll keep you from buying things you don’t need at the store as well as give you more space for fresh foods.
  9. Wipe down counters and sweep floors after each meal.  It takes just a few minutes and this way cereal and other crumbs don’t get tracked into other rooms.
  10. Do a deep cleaning a few times a year.  Three or four times a year, do a deep clean. Reorganize your cabinets and give the kitchen a good scrub down.  You can throw out or donate items that you are no longer using during this time.

Sewing Tutorial: Felt Pumpkin Pie

Felt Pumpkin Pie TutorialWelcome!  Today we’re going to finish off our Thanksgiving Dinner Set with a big slice of pumpkin pie! Play food is a great beginner’s sewing project and can be altered to make food as simple or as fancy as you’d like.

This tutorial will focus on creating the set with a sewing machine, but you could also hand sew the items.  If you don’t sew, you could use felt fabric glue to glue the pieces together.  When making felt foods please keep the age of the child you’re making the project for in mind.  Children who still put things in their mouth should never be given small objects as these would pose a choking hazard.

When making felt food you can use whatever type of felt you desire.  Craft felt is easy to work with, cheap and easily obtainable but it will not wear as well as wool felt.  Craft felt may get pilly over time, but you can wash it with warm soapy water and use a lint shaver to get rid of pills.  If the item doesn’t contain a pipe cleaner or glue, you could even run it through the washing machine.

Wool felt will wear better and last longer.  If you’re creating something that you’d like to pass down from child to child, wool felt is best.  If you plan to use wool felt, you may want to first practice on craft felt so you don’t waste money on the more expensive stuff.  I typically use eco-fi felt which is made of recycled plastic bottles.

Let’s get started!  You will need the following to create your Felt Pumpkin Pie:

  • Felt in orange, tan, and white
  • Polyfil to stuff the slice of pie
  • Scissors
  • Monofilament thread or coordinating thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle
  • The fully illustrated and detailed pumpkin pie slice tutorial which can be downloaded here. Do not scale the file to fit, print as actual size:  Pumpkin Pie Tutorial.

Grab the turkey leg tutorial here, and the sides here.

 

Sewing Inspiration: On The Go Toddler Pants

Can you guys tell my sewing machine is officially out of storage?!? Haha, haven’t got around to any new sewing tutorials yet, but I am certainly getting my machine back up to speed.

Little brother had to have new pants after big bro’s new birthday outfit was created yesterday.  This Moda print fit the bill for a busy little guy who’s always on the go and loves any kind of car.  The best part, I was able to whip these up in about an hour, while watching two toddlers.  Nothing better than cute and easy!

Sewing Inspiration: Halloween Felt Crafts

A little sewing inspiration for today.  Each of the pieces for these Halloween felt crafts can easily be free-form cut or you can cut the pieces on a piece of paper then trace them onto your felt.  The witch’s hat pattern can be found here.  I stuff my little candy corns, pumpkins, witch hats, and Frankensteins with some polyfil and often attach a craft stick so they can be easily slid into wreaths or Halloween baskets for decor.  My children also like to play with them.  You can use craft glue or your sewing machine to attach the pieces.  Even throw in a bit of fabric paint for more detail and fun!

Halloween Felt Crafts

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