Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sew much fun!

Okay, so the last two days I've been at it with the sewing machine and managed to get three projects finished. I went to Joann's on Monday and picked up a bunch of supplies and fabrics. I was so excited that I decided to started right away. Now, I am by no means good at sewing. All of this was trial and error. I didn't really do any real measuring and most of my sewing is crooked and not centered. But overall, I did a decent job of putting something together.

Monday's project:

A replacement bag for my friend Dani. She and I got these cheap drawstring bags at a benefit walk for Multiple Sclerosis earlier in the year. She and I love using them as a replacement for the standard over the shoulder diaper bag. They are light and, honestly, with a toddler, you don't need much on short trips. So, I've been want to try and make one myself, since the ones we got are quite plain (solid purple, black drawstring) with white lettering on it, spelling out the name of some drug to help MS patients.

Dani is really into Oriental decor. I am, too, but she's into it more than I. So, I set out for a fabric that would appeal to her style. I found this simple black and red (with some gold) fabric that had kanji written all over it.

So, here's the final result:
There are two pockets on the front. The solid red panel is one large pocket (about half the size of the bag itself) and on that is a smaller pocket. I put one large flap just above the pockets to keep things from falling out. I used iron on velcro but will have to go over it with hand stitching because the adhesive didn't want to stick. I reused the cord from my bag (even though I bought cord at the store), since it was already cut to the perfect length. I had a picture of it flatten out so you could see the pockets better, but it keeps loading in sideways into blogger.

Things I would do differently:
I don't have a serger, so I have to finish the edges myself. Unfortunately I didn't get all of the edges.
The flap that goes over the pockets is unfinished on the inside. So, when you open the flap you can see the "wrong" side of the fabric. Next time, I will sew a lining to it, so there are right sides on the inside, too.
Speaking of lining, I might do that to the inside of the bag itself, too. I used interfacing to make the bag a bit more rigid, but didn't think of putting in lining, too..

Tuesday's projects:
Crayon roll-up for Tristan and Dani's daughter. I don't remember where I first saw this idea, but it was on a blog. A cute little pouch with slots for crayons rolled up for traveling. The best idea I saw was to use triangle-shaped crayons. They are perfect for restaurant outings where regular crayons are bound to roll onto the floor. So, with that in mind, I picked out fabrics appropriate for both kids (would you be surprised if I told you that Tristan's fabric has elephants?), bought two eight packs of triangular washable crayons, and set off to work. I initially want a flap to cover over the top of the crayons to prevent them from falling out. I started with Tristan's and tried out the flap to find out that it wasn't absolutely necessary (at least with triangle crayons).

Anyway, here is Tristan's:
I found out that with the flap, it was pretty bulky. I made eight slots, but since they fit triangle crayons, two normal size crayons will fit just fine. Although, here is where I should have measured: the crayon slots are a bit too deep - with regular crayons, you might not be able to see the tip since the triangle crayons are longer and fatter than the regular ones.


Okay, so lesson learned. Here's my second attempt:This was faster to make and so much more basic than Tristan's. I liked using a solid fabric to coordinate with the printed fabric. I didn't have any coordinating fabric for Tristan's. All edges on this are "finished", meaning most of it is layered on the inside. I really like this one much better than Tristan's. It'll take up less space in the diaper bag and it holds the crayons just fine.

Anyway, that's about it. I forgot to buy some elastic for the baby booties, but I might make a run for that tomorrow. I should buy some thicker fabric, too, but I think I'll just double up on the flannel fabric I bought. The blue fabric in the crayon roll-up above also coordinates well with this cute girly print fabric I found on sale. I still have tons of left over fabric, so I'll be trying to come up with other cutsie projects. Maybe a coordinating hat or shirt to go with the booties? This is where I'd really like a serger. Making clothes would be much better if I could finish the edges. I am only saddened by the fact that my time at home is running short (only two weeks left!) and I won't have as much time later on to do things like this.

On a side note, we've been trying out cloth diapers on Melayna for the past few days and its actually been pretty cool. We bought a trial package (we pay for shipping and a refundable deposit) to try out several different types of diapers available. So far, I'm not sure if I like the two piece method (cloth diaper with a cover), but that's because I had some leakage. I might be doing something wrong?? Anyway, I really like how soft they are. Because the trial package doesn't come with a large amount of dipes, I'm still alternating with disposables. So, I missed the chance to experience a poopy cloth diaper so far. Maybe tomorrow?? I think that'll be part of the factor in deciding to go completely cloth (with disposables for care provider and maybe outings). I mentioned in an earlier posts trying gDiapers. It is a hybrid, so to speak, of cloth and disposable. The inserts are disposable (better yet, flusable) while the diaper itself is cloth. Only problem is that they are really expensive (you're buying liners like you would disposables and the cost per liner is much more than the cost per disposable - especially if you go with a brand like Luvs or genericc). And Melayna grew out of the small size too quickly. So, we went back to disposables. After seriously talking with Scott, I told him that we should at least try it. So, he agreed to it. :) We've got the trial package for two weeks. Just in time for me to go back to work. Scott have to try this out first hand, too, before I go back since he'll have her for half the day before Dani watches her (at which point we'll put her in a disposable - don't want to put poor Dani through having to wash off a poopy diaper - she can barely stand disposables with poop).

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About This Blog

My name is Mary and I'm a working mom with two beautiful children. I've worked for over seven years at a credit union, currently as an administrative assistant. Last fall, I went back to school and started on a Bachelors in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Elementary Education.

My hobbies, when I have time, include photography, sewing, photo processing, digital scrapbook, online gaming, reading, role playing games like DnD, and board games. But what I really love doing is just being a mom to my two children, Tristan and Melayna.

Tristan, whois four, is an awesome big brother and such an intelligent little boy. He loves Transformers, animals, Dr. Seuss books, and eating.

Melayna, who is one and a half, has definitely taught her momma patience. Unlike her easy going brother, she is curious and persistent. And if something stands in her way, she will definitely let you know her displeasure. Regardless, she is a sweetheart and daddy's little girl.
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