Monday, 26 January 2009

Baby Sling

This is the sling I made just before new year.

I used a Girasol wrap sling. I measured myself and decided on how long I wanted the tail to get the length, then I cut it. It was a bit scary! The wrap originally cost about £40! I over locked the raw edge, then sort of pleated it to fit it through the rings. I just folded along the different lines of colour. I threaded the end through the sling rings then sewed it down. I found a decorative double zig zag stitch, and decided to sew that between the lines I'd sewn for extra strength. The baby changed the stitch when I was in the middle of sewing, so its a bit wonky at one bit. And that was it done! It hadn't occured to me that the wrong side of the fabric would be showing on the tail though - maybe I should have sewed it the other way round, so I could have the right side showing. I think the rings are a bit low on my shoulder in the picture too. I always seem to have that problem with ring slings. The rings slide down when I'm putting the baby in.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Some more lunch box pictures! (sorry for the coloured text! My blog is refusing to put a space between my paragraphs and its all just a big long mess)

Spaghetti fritata (again) on mixed leaf salad, half a crusty roll and butter, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and strips of red pepper with guacamole dip and a piece of chocolate brownie cake (yum!). Photography by E.

Lentil soup - turned out way more watery than usual, half a tiger roll and butter, mixed grapes, slice of orange and a mini chocolate brownie. Photography by E.

Asian style pasta salad, mini pitta, piece of cheese, cherry tomato, carrot sticks and nacho cheese dip, melon, strawberry, grapes and blueberries. The pasta salad came from the Laptop Lunches recipe book. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but it was extremely delish! It's made with cooked pasta, broccoli, carrot, (any other random veg you feel like!) and bean sprouts. The dressing is made with sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds and some crushed garlic. Really delicious. I think it would be nice with egg noodles too. (photography by me on this one)

My other lunches planned for the week are:

Thursday - vegetable samosas, carrot and raisin salad, wholemeal roll and apricot cookies.

Friday - Pitta bread filled with Quorn meatballs in a tomato sauce (not sure how that's going to work! The idea just came to me.) I'll put some lettuce and maybe onion in them too and maybe a bit of grated cheese. With that we're having carrot sticks and dip, an apple flapjack and some fruit.

Saturday - Chinese noodle soup, roll and butter, apple coleslaw and a slice of carrot cake.

Sunday - A noodle salad - made with whatever veg I have left over. Veg sticks made from whatever I've got left lying around in the fridge, some sort of dip for them, yogurt and a fruit salad made with leftover fruit.

We got new doors put in our house today. I thought they'd be those horrid plastic kind, but they're actually quite nice wooden ones. There was a choice of white, blue, green or red. We picked red, because we'd had a red door before. Everyone else in the street seemed to pick white! So we're the odd ones out.

This is the front door (with a wee boy testing out the letter box!) Its only the outside thats painted red.
And this is the back door. The kitchen seems so much brighter!
This is my naughty wee boy doing his favorite thing! Rummaging through the potatoes. He likes to get the onions and garlic out and peel them. Or take all the spices out the spice basket. He's got two bashes on his head. (Only two this week! He usually has much more. Sometimes he headbutts the floor if he gets annoyed!)
Some very big children (and a cat!). Can't believe how grown up they look! Someone is missing from the picture - he was playing the computer. His favourite hobby at the moment.
Because we were getting new door fitted I spent the last couple of days tidying up the kitchen. The washing was VERY out of control. Its all sorted now, and the kitchen is neat and tidy (well, by my standards!) I hope I can maintain that. I recently decluttered my sewing area too, so that's pretty tidy and its easy to start a project because everything is to hand. I'm hoping to work my way through the rest of the house and then set up some sort of a tidying/cleaning routine to keep everything in order. Of course, I've said this many times before.... we'll just have to see how long it lasts this time!
I'm waiting on some books arriving from Amazon. My children were wanting to do some more structured work, and I found a great (and FREE!!!) curriculum online. Its called Myths, Maps and Marvels. There are quite a few books that you need, most of them Usbourne books, and classic children's stories, but my library barely has any of them!!! It's not so free when you have to buy about £100 worth of books! I'm going to substitute some of the books and use what I have or what I can get from the library.
I can't wait to get started with this though! It looks great. I don't think I've ever really learned about history in a linear way. At school we just did the odd random project about the Victorians, WW2, ancient Egypt etc. The curriculum covers history, geography, literature and introduces children to the major world religions. They're all interconnected, so you are never just studying a random topic. It also uses the internet a lot too. I always knew there was a lot of good stuff on the internet, but I was never really sure how to use it for learning. When you are learning about dinosaurs for example there are links to watch videos, play games, see reconstructions etc. The Usbourne Internet Linked Encyclopedia is awesome!
We usually do some work in the afternoon - when R has a nap (which doesn't seem to happen very often these days!) so my plan is:
  • History
  • Geography
  • Maths or language arts block work (from the Waldorf curriculums we usually use)
  • Chapter of our read aloud book
  • Crafts
With the read alouds I'm going to get the children to make a page about the book, with the title, author and maybe some bits about what they liked or didn't like about it and some drawings. I'll make them their own personal reading logs too. Its nice to look back and see how many books you've read. I used to keep track of my reading, but I never have time to read these days!
Sewing-wise - since this is supposed to be a sewing blog after all! I just got the most BEAUTIFUL embroidered nappy cuts. They are too nice to make into nappies that are going to be poo'd in! I was planning to make them into "luxury" nappies, made with bamboo and natural fabrics. I will get to cutting all the inners and soakers as soon as I have a minute. It's kind of given me the embroidery bug. I DO have an embroidery machine. Its a very basic model, and has built in Disney designs. I also have two cards I got free with it, but again they're Disney, and I really don't like Disney. Also the truth is, I don't even know how to use it properly! It CAN connect to the internet and download designs, but its so vintage. It uses one of those old style printer cables, with all the pins in the plug. Its so vintage my computer wasn't even able to detect it, even with software updates. BUT... all is not lost! I'm going to see if my brother can do anything with it. If not, I think I might just embroider a few Disney designs anyway to make some pockets or covers. I hope he can fix it though. There are so many ADORABLE designs on the internet. I've seen this lovely under the sea set, and I can just imagine a whole sea creature set of nappies! Or some Christmas ones with snowmen and snowflakes (though he might even be potty trained by then).
Also, I was going to make some overalls/dungarees for R, but my mum has just bought a couple of pairs, so I probably won't bother now. I still want to make some wipes, and haven't got round to it yet.
So the plans are:
  • Embroidered nappies first
  • Wipes
  • Mothers Day gift
  • Embroider some PUL fabric to make some covers/xl sized pockets

Then... I was thinking maybe a fancy Easter/spring time outfit for E and for R, a few tops for myself and some pyjamas for me and E.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A KCK Rainbow!

I just finished sewing the last one! These are made with the Kayla's Cloth Kits sized pattern. I made the large size. They're all pocket nappies that I plan on stuffing with small sized prefolds. The pattern recommends stuffing with a microfibre cloth, but I've never been able to find any good sized ones around here. I seem to have quite a few in shades of blue. I'd really like to get some green PUL to even up my rainbow a bit!

All the inners are made from suedecloth fabric (except the orange, which has a black microfleece inner). I've never used suedecloth before. I'm not sure if I like it or not. It's nice that it doesn't stretch while you are sewing, but it feels kind of synthetic. Thanks to M's help I managed to squeeze 7 inners out of 1 yard of the tan coloured suedecloth. They say men have a better spatial awareness, so I asked him to help me fit as much as possible onto the fabric. I got the suedecloth in a swap. The penguin one I bought a small piece of a while ago, and the ivory or lemon one was very kindly gifted to me. Nothing really matched the orange PUL, and I'd ran out of suedecloth, so I ended up using black microfleece. I wish I'd used black touchtape on the front too, because it would have looked better, but I'd already sewn white on.

They all have welt pockets on the front. I did have some trouble with that though. Because the pocket is so close to the edge and there are a lot of layers of fabric there its really difficult to topstitch. Some of them look kind of horrible. At least no one will see when the nappy is closed though. I figured out - after sewing most of them - that if you trim the excess off the welt pocket before you sew the PUL and suedecloth together then it makes less bulk and its easier to topstitch.
I estimate that these took about 6 hours - from cutting to finish. I sewed them in assembly line style, 5 at a time. Doing too many at once gets boring. I used a whole 3m pack of elastic, and some extra elastic! I used polybraid elastic, because I don't really like lastin in pocket nappies. The legs just never seem to gather nicely.
You know what the awful thing is? I think these are going to be too small!!!! They're large - which says they fit approximately 20 to 30lbs. I always thought my boy was about 10kg - about 22-ish lbs, but I weighed him at my mums the other week and the little lardy thing is 28lb! The nappies just look a bit small on the rise too. I will have to try them on him when he wakes up from his nap.
***Update*** We tried one and it JUST fits! They're so much smaller than the KCK One. I thought they'd be quite similar in size. Even my prefolds that fit prefectly in the KCK Ones needed extra folding to fit in the sized nappy. I'm sure I'll get a couple of months use from them though. It is nice sometimes to have a smaller trimmer fitting nappy.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Lunch Boxes

The children got a laptop lunchbox each for their Christmas this year, and I got a book about healthy lunches. Here's what we've come up with so far.

A spaghetti frittata (good way to use up left over spaghetti), lettuce and cherry tomatoes, tortilla chips (i made them myself) and tomato salsa to dip them in and a fruit salad.

BBQ tofu baguette, carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes (underneath the carrot sticks), apple wedges and toffee to dip them in and a fruit salad with blueberries, strawberries and kiwi.

Sausage & barley salad (made with veggie sausage, barley, garlic, tinned tomatoes and oregano), a boiled egg (made star shaped with my egg mold), grapes and a clemintine and some strawberry yoghurt.

Pizza calzone - bit too big for the lunch box! (made with veggie mince, carrots, red peppers, onion, garlic and mozzarella cheese), a carrot and raisin salad, chopped apricot and cherries and a mini packet of sweets (not at all healthy!).

This one has been partially scoffed! This was for the baby - who decided he'd rather have a nap than some lunch so he ended up leaving most of it. It was a mini piperade pitta (scrambled egg with tomatoes, pepper and spring onion, a pesto pasta salad (made with pasta, pesto, broccoli and cheddar), spicy popcorn (i popped some corn and sprinkled cajun spice mix on it) and a selection of melon. The little turtle pick thing was for picking up the melon.
These lunches have taken quite a long time to prepare. If I was more organised I could make some of it the night before. Everyone seems to have enjoyed them though. I'd been making different foods at a lot of meals for my picky eater - age 4, but I decided just to make him a lunchbox the same as everyone else. He's been doing quite well with it. I try to encourage him to try a bit of everything. So far he has discovered that he actually likes boiled eggs and he likes cherry tomatoes and cheese - but only cheese cut into chunks! If he doesn't like part of it then there are other parts that he can eat.
The baby is enjoying the different selection too. He can get bored quite quickly at meal times, but the lunchboxes seem to hold his attention quite a lot longer. He tends to go for the fruit first then any of the sweet sort of stuff, but he'll usually come back and eat bits of the rest.
I need to make a shopping list and plan what we are going to eat next week. I've also got a very exciting sewing project to do!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

2008 Totals

Just totalling up what I've sewn over 2008...

x37 nappies
x15 pocket nappies
x12 nappy covers
x10 mini diapers
x3 sets of washable wipes
x5 wool soakers
x5 pairs of EC pants
x1 bag
x1 nightdress
x4 breastfeeding tops
x1 camisole top
x2 pairs of pj trousers
x2 baby dresses
x1 SCC style sling
x1 pair of baby overalls
x3 felted balls (but they don't count since they're not really sewing)
x1 smocked shepherd suit
x1 pair of yoga pants
and, just before new year x1 ring sling - but no photos of that yet.

I don't think I've bought too much fabric this year. What I have bought has been needed to finish off some projects.

My goals for 2009 are probably pretty much the same as last year! To sew more! I'd like to make a bit of a dent in my fabric stash. And I'm going to try and be more organised, like starting my mothers day gifts pretty much now! Maybe an Easter dress for E and an outfit for R. And I plan on starting my Christmas sewing some time around August. Some gifts, some decorations and maybe some outfits.

I've been tidying up my sewing area over the last few days, so that'll give me a good start. I'd like to finish up some of my UFOs and I have about 12 pocket nappies cut out for R. I'd like to make some washable wipes and some other reuseable bits and bobs, so I think that will be my goal for this month - the nappies and wipes. Then next month I'll do my mothers day gift.