Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cropped Top Tutorial



I have seen so many cropped tops lately. I thought it would be so easy and fun to make one, since it is basically a square or rectangle.

I had some of this polka dot fabric which I picked up at the fabric store last year. I just never got around to making anything.

I gotta say, I am really liking it.
I want to make at least one more for myself, perhaps in a solid color.
Next time I will have to cut the fabric a little wider so I can make the sleeves a little longer.




If you want to see how I made this top, stick around


First determine how long and wide you want your top.
I cut my rectangles 29X23


Next I found a shirt where I liked the neckline
I used it to trace the neckline on my fabric

(eek... I am using a permanent marker, hubby stole my fabric marker, his excuse was he loved how smoothly it wrote )


I made sure my front and back lined up at the shoulders



My fabric was kind of silky
In order to hem it, I folded down once and sewed



I used small scissors to cut of any extra fabric


Then I folded the fabric over twice and ironed the neckline/shoulders/and back


I sewed down the edge


After sewing the neckline, I ironed everything down


Here is how the finished neckline looks like


I bought a 7 inch heavy duty jeans zipper at Walmart for under $2
I folded the back portion in half and cut down about 6 inches to fit the zipper


Here is how I finished the zipper hole.
I think it would have looked really pretty with a button to.



Then I sewed on the zipper with matching thread.
Exposed zippers are so easy!



Here is the finished zipper


This is how the inside looks like:


Then I sewed the shoulders together and ironed open the seams



Then I eyeballed how I wanted the "sleeve" to look and marked it with a pencil.
I sewed along the line and then cut off the access fabric:




To make sure both of my sides matched up, I folded the shirt in half and marked where I needed to sew the other side


Once I sewed that side together I cut off the access fabric


I used a small zig zag stitch to finish both of the sides


Then I used an old shirt of mine with a rounded bottom as a template for the hem.
For the front I just flipped the shirt upside down to get the "cropped look"



I cut the "cropped" front and longer back.
Then I just hemmed the bottom using the same method I did with neckline



That's it!

I managed to sew the top and take the pictures all during my little mans nap time.
That should tell you how fast and easy it was!

Here are a few pictures

Back:




Front:



Side:

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 27, 2012

This week in pictures...



This whole month has not been the best month.
It seems that every week someone in our house has been sick.
First my husband, then me, then my son and now my daughter.

Just when I think, whew.. that's over, someone else gets sick.


Anyways, here is how our week looked like


So, I am going to start my week off with last Saturday night
No one was sick anymore, everyone was finally better, I really wanted to get out of the house. So we all went shopping. Got a little something for everyone.

Saturday night we had my favorite vegetarian pizza!
(my hubby thinks its weird that I eat pizza with a fork, is it?
am I weird not to want my hands to get dirty? )

We went to a birthday party on Sunday!

Little Em wanted to hold the present :)

Daddy and the little man.
I made him a dinosaur hoodie after I saw this post



@ the party, we had this chocolate, fudgy birthday cake.
Oh....it was delicious!


I decided to start a vitamin regimen this week
I want to become more healthy. Doesn't everyone?



Then my poor baby got sick :(
running a fever and runny nose


My daughter won't drink medicine, she literally just spits it out on the floor. The only thing she will take are these chewable pills. They help her temperature go down, so that's good.


We went on a walk on Thursday since the rain stopped and the sun came out.
We did a scavenger hunt


Since my daughter is sick, I made two of her favorite things
(which I have been snacking on, which probably wasn't the best idea)

I am planning a little valentines day party for the kidos, so I started working on some things this week
Bought this Raspberry coffee cake this week, it was amazing with my morning cup of tea :)

Well that wraps our week up. What did you do this week?
I pray my little baby feels better soon and this virus is gone for good.

Thanks for visiting.

Zucchini Boats



Oh my goodness! If you love zucchini, cheese and basil, you have to try this!
I saw it here and had to make some.

I am speechless, these are amazing.

I didn't have all the ingredients as the original recipe called for, so I kind of winged it my way, and it turned out amazingly!

6 small zucchinis (will make 12 boats)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmessan cheese
2 cloves of minced garlic
olive oil
salt/pepper
Mini tomatoes (sliced)
Basil (chopped)

Preheat your oven to 350
wash and slice your zucchini in half
scoop out the center where the seeds are
brush the surface with a mixture of : olive oil, garlic, salt/pepper
bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes
remove from the oven and sprinkle the cheeses and layer the tomatoes on
broil on high for 5 minutes

sprinkle with chopped basil when done.

Then enjoy..



Monday, January 23, 2012

Ruffle Skirt out of old t shirts!

I am a girly girl who loves ruffles.

I have always wanted a ruffly skirt/petticoat which I could wear on its own and under too short skirts/dresses. My sister has a ruffly skirt which I borrowed while visiting her last summer, I loved that skirt (I even offered to buy it from her :D, she said no off course)

Anyways, I had some time on my hands last week, so I decided to make my own ruffly skirt out of old t-shirts. This skirt did not cost me anything. I already had everything on hand.


Here is the finished product



For the base of the skirt I started out with this flowy top which I got from Target a few years ago. It has seen better days.




I carefully cut off the sleeves and the top portion off.

I ended up with a skirt base

Then I dug up some old t shirts, most of them were my hubby's old work t shirts which he put in the donate pile. Some were mine
Completely off the topic, but every summer I buy myself at least two plain white t shirts and they always end up shrunken, augh!


I cut three inch wide strips


I do not show you how to ruffle fabric since there are so many tutorials out there.

But I ruffled all of the strips

I sewed on the top ruffle and then I sewed on this trim I had on hand




Then I marked where I wanted the strips to go and went to work sewing them on.


Whew. All done


LOVE it!

Total cost: $0.00!



Thanks for visiting!


Valentines Wreath

I took off my evergreen wreath since the holidays are over, but it is too early to put up my spring wreath. So I decided to make my first ever valentines day wreath

Here is what I created with an old sweater and some felt




Thanks for visiting. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lets Talk Cloth Diapers!





WARNING! This post is VERY LONG, It is EVERYTHING I know about cloth diapering.


Last week I talked about how I cloth diaper on the go, I got a few responses from my readers who wanted me to go more in depth on how I cloth diaper. I am more then happy to share this with you.

First I want to tell you that I used disposable diapers on my daughter 4 years ago. I hated every minute of it! I hated spending so much money on diapers and wipes. I also hated that at the end of the week our trash can was overflowing up with dirty diapers. I started potty training my daughter when she was 2. At that point I realized that the pull ups were even more expensive then diapers.
Soon my daughter was potty trained during the day, but still needed pull ups for naps and nighttime.
Some times she woke up dry, sometimes not. There was no way to predict if she would pee in her pull up's or not. So what do you do with a dry pull up? I reused them once, then tossed them since they started to smell.
I then started doing some research online on some sort of night time training underwear. That is where I found out about cloth diapers.

I ordered 3 one size bum genius diapers and she used those for naps and nighttime.
At that time she was about 28 pounds and they still fit her.
I was so happy!
Shortly, I got pregnant with my son, and I was so excited to try out cloth diapering!

I watched a lot of YouTube videos on cloth diapers (especially the cloth diaper channel)
There are so MANY cloth diapers, I was getting over whelmed.

After watching many videos and reading lots of reviews, I was torn between the fuzzi bunz and the bum genius one sized diapers.

So I ordered two fuzzi bunz diapers to test them out. Needless to say I was not happy with the fuzzi bunz. They were much smaller then the Bum Genius (They claim to fit up to 30 lbs, but my daughter could not fit into them and she was less then 30 lbs at that time)

I also didn't like that you had to size them with the elastic, it just takes longer then the Bum Genius Diapers whereas you would just snap the front snaps.


The other issue about the fuzzi bunz is that the back part does not have a flap to tuck in the lining, so it is sticking out and you have to make sure you tuck it into the diaper, otherwise you will get a leak:



So, after my little "test" I decided that bum genius were the diapers for me.
I bought a few diapers a month throughout my whole pregnancy.
I ended up with 25 bum genius diapers at the end.

At that time, I did not have any cloth diaper stores near me. So I had to do all my purchases online, But since then, we had a Cotton Babies open near us! So exciting!!

I would recommend going to a store and trying out the diapers before buying (they have diapers and dolls you can test them out on!)

I ordered all of my diapers on Kellys closet. Because they have great deals like a free diaper after you spend $39 or more. So since I bought a few diapers at a time, I ended up with a couple of Kawaii one size diapers, which I am actually very happy with.


At this time I have:

10 Bum Genius 4.0 Snap diapers
15 Bum Genius 4.0 Velcro Close diapers
5 Kawaii one size diapers
2 fuzzi bunz

(I have WAY to much, I am sure I could cloth diaper two babies at once with my stash)

Here is a picture of some of the diapers:

from the top left to right:
Bum Genius 4.0 velcro (noodle color)
Kawaii Velcro (yellow)
Bum Genius 4.0 snaps (white
Kawaii Snaps (light blue)
Fuzzi bunz one size (orange)


The reason I chose to go with the Bum Genius one size, is because the same diaper fits from birth to potty training, it adjusts in the front with the snaps:


I store the diapers on the two top shelves of my awesome changing table which I got from IKEA. I got this one 4 years ago when my daughter was born, so I am not sure if they have this same one.

Today is laundry day, so this is not all of the diapers.


When you purchase your bum genius diaper, it come with the diaper and two inserts.
When I had the diaper in the smallest setting, I only used the small newborn insert.
Now I only use the large insert. I also stuff a few "night time" diapers with both of the inserts to be more absorbent since I do not change the diaper till around 10am the next morning.


Lets Talks DIRTY diapers!:

This is where people are grossed out. They think you actually touch the poop with your hands. Ahm. Now why would I do that?

Moving on..

We will start with the simple. The wet diaper.

You unhook the diaper and wipe your babies bum using your cloth wipes
(more about the wipes below)
Put your diaper aside as you put a new diaper back on the baby.
Once baby is taken care of and safely in his/her crib or the floor take care of the diaper.

Here is our "pretend" wet diaper and used wipe:



Take out the insert


And lay it over your diaper like so:


If you are using a Velcro diaper then attach the velcro to the laundry tabs:


Then fold your diaper with the insert and wipes like so and toss into the diaper pail:


Ok, now lets talk about our "pretend" poopy diaper.

If you breastfeed your baby, then your babies poopies will be very watery.
They do not require any special treatment. Just treat it like a wet diaper.
Toss it into the diaper pail with the insert and wipes

Once you start introducing solids to your baby, the poopies will change (become a peanut buttery consistency)
Same as before, remove the insert.

Toss the insert and wipes into the diaper pail.



Spray off the diaper into the toilet with a diaper sprayer
I use the bum genius diaper sprayer

Then toss the diaper into the diaper pail.


When we are traveling and there is no diaper sprayer, I use diaper liners, this way when we have a poopy diaper on our hands, we just flush the liner with poo down the toilet.

These are the Bummis diaper liners
I have also used the kushies. I like them both equally



Just pick up the ends of your liner and discard:


Then remove your insert and throw everything into the diaper pail:



Next, we have our "pretend" SOLID poopy diaper

(My son is one and he has only had a few of these, he is on solids and still nursing every 3-4 hours, so he still has pretty runny or peanut butter consistency poopies. Too much info, I know... But hey, you are reading a diaper post :)


The SOLID poop should be able to plop right out into the toilet.

So before I go into the bathroom, I remove the insert and toss that and the wipes into the diaper pail.


Then I plop the "poopies" into the toilet:


If I need to, I use the diaper sprayer:


Again, if traveling, we use the diaper liners:


Just flush the liner down the toilet:


OK, I think that is all about actually changing the diapers.


Lets talk WIPES!

Since I am using cloth diapers, it only makes sense to use cloth wipes. That way I can just toss everything into the diaper pail together.

While I was still pregnant, I ordered some wipes from Kellys closet, I ordered the baby kicks.
I did NOT like them. (they are to small, to stiff, to expensive)
I chose to use plain cheap terry wash cloths, like these are target



I love using my wipes warmer, this way I can have wet/warm wipes ready to go whenever I need to change a diaper:


You can use plain water to wet the wipes, But I make a wipes solution with tea tree oil to keep the wipes from going all icky

You need:
a spray bottle or a water bottle (to mix your solution in)
baby wash soap
tea tree oil



First put some soap into your bottle (since my baby soap has a pump, I pump out about 4 pumps) then add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil.

Then just fill up with warm water and shake around.


Now, if you do not have a wipe warmer, you can use the spray bottle to wet the wipes as you need them, like so:


But I choose to use the wipe warmer because it is more convienant for me.

I put some dry wipes folded in half into the container


Then I dump the entire bottle of solution over the wipes:



If you use the wipes right away, the first few wipes will be very wet, so squeeze them out before you use them.






Lets Talk Diaper Pail!

OK, so we all know how a dirty cloth diaper looks like, now what do we do with it?
This is where the diaper pail comes in. I bought mine at walmart. You need to make sure it has a lid to keep the smell inside.


You also need atleast two pail liners.

Make sure the "shiny coated" side is inside the bucket, then just toss your stinky diapers in there.




Lets Talk Washing Machines!

I have the regular top loading washer. I have never had "stinky diaper" issue. I heard people talk about stinky diapers, I was always curious on why that would happen. Unfortunately, I was "lucky" enough to experience this myself last summer :(

When I went to visit my family in MO last summer, I used their washer for the cloth diapers. They have one of those front loading, fancy energy efficient washers.
I started noticing that my diapers came out of the wash still stinking! I was horrified, thinking I ruined my diapers. There was no way on their machine to select a LARGE load so the diapers could agitate. Which meant the diapers were not getting clean enough. So the whole time I was there, I had to live with the stinky diapers :(
I came home and after one wash cycle in my own washer, the diapers were back to normal. WHEW!

So I guess "my washing routine" is only for top loading machines. I am sure that there are a lot of people who use energy machines and cloth diaper. They probably just have a different washing cycle. If you are one of those people, please leave a comment bellow telling me how you do it ( I am planning on visiting my family again this year and would love to see how I could avoid the stinky diaper issue)


LETS TALK about "WASHING THE DIAPERS":

OK, how do we wash the diapers? First we need the detergent. I choose to use Charlies. It is one of the detergents recommended for cloth diapers. Here is a chart that can help you choose a detergent.


This detergent is $15 and I buy it at whole foods. My son is now one year old and this is only my 2nd tub of Charlies! It lasts a long time. As you can tell I am only about 1/4 in to the new tub.
You should only use half a TB for a large load of diapers:


WASHING CYCLE:

I wash my diapers every other day (I could go every two days since I have enough diapers, but the diapers start to stink by then)

Dump all the diapers and the pail liner into the washing machine.
Set the machine on the LARGEST load setting you have
set the water to COLD
and the cycle on RINSE

After the rinse cycle, put in 1/2 TB of Charlies soap and put the machine on a
LARGE cycle with HOT/COLD water with an extra rinse.

After the diapers have been washed, it is suggested that you hang them to dry.
I have not been doing that. (I am lazy like that) I have been tossing everything into the dryer on medium heat.
DO NOT use a dryer sheet!!

After the diapers are dry, I "stuff" them:.


I just fold the wipes in half:


After I fold everything and stuff all the diapers, I just put everything away!
Diaper laundry is done!


Lets Talk Wet Bags:


When you are traveling, you will need someplace to store your dirty diapers.
See this post more on what is in my diaper bag.

You will need wet bags. These are a few bags I have

I have two of these Kushies wet bags, they are great for a short day trip.


This photo is to show you that it will hold 3 diapers:


This is a medium Planet Wise bag
(it is for a full day trip)


This one will hold 7 diapers:


And this is my very large Planet Wise bag,
I used these bags when I was staying at the parents house last summer. You can hang it on the door and use it as your diaper pail.
It holds about 13-15 diapers



Lets Talk Diaper Rash Creme:

My son did not have any major diaper rash issues.

However, occasionally when my hubby was "watching" the kids. I would come home to a baby with a poopie diaper. I don't know how you can miss a baby with a poopie diaper, (he always swears he didn't know he pooped, but come on, I can smell it as soon as I walk through the door)

Anyways, that being said, sometimes my son would get a light rash.
So I use a cloth diaper safe creme which is by california baby. I am still using this one tube I bought before my son was born. I think I have about 1/2 a tube left.
Like I said, we don't have diaper rash issues.

You can buy this diaper creme at target or whole foods.

You don't have to use a liner, but I always do.
Here is a list of cloth diaper safe cremes


OK, I think this is everything on cloth diapering.

Sorry this post is so long.

If you have any more questions, please let me know :)