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Awesome! Infant Romper Refashion

This is my first attempt at making a baby romper out of a child’s t-shirt. My method was based on this wikihow tutorial  with some changes made as I went along.

This romper started as a long sleeved 5T from Old Navy that I got in a bag o’ shirts from Thrift Town. I used a 6 month romper as a pattern to narrow the sides and sleeves. The length was perfect, so I was able to leave the existing hem alone except for a small half circle cut out for the crotch.

Missed thread and lumpy couch awesomeness. 

For the crotch part, I cut two 5″ x 3″ sections from the sleeve scraps and folded them in half to 5″ by 1.5″. I then hemmed both short sides, turned them and sewed them in to make room for the closures. I had planned to use snaps, but all I had were either huge or too tiny, so I went with velcro.

What happened to my neck!!!?!?!?!?!?

I left the neck and shoulders as-is, so that part is a bit huge. I may try to take it in a little with a dart in the back, but there’s a fine line between getting the neck to fit nicely and OMG-why-are-babies’-heads-so-big! So I may just let Mr. B go for the baggy comfy casual look. Any adjustments will have to wait anyway. As you can see from his modeling debut, Mr. B was DONE, so he’s still wearing it, baggy shoulders and all while he naps.

Ooooh! and today is Beckett’s 10 week birthday! and I actually got a pic posted!

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What I think every mother needs

Aside from a live-in maid or a clothes dryer that folds and puts away laundry or a self-cleaning kitchen, the most useful thing for a mom that actually exists is a comfy baby carrier. My preference, hands-down, is for a good quality baby ring sling. They are so versatile you can use them to carry your baby from the time they’re a newborn all the way up to a big toddler. You can carry them lying down, upright, facing in or out, legs tucked in or out, semi-sitting, on mom’s front, back or hip depending on the baby’s age, all with the same sling.

For mom, the sling supports your back and distributes baby’s weight evenly when worn properly. Ring slings are adjustable to any body shape and size. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a good one if you have the slightest sewing ability. All you need is a length of sturdy material, a pair of solid rings and a sewing machine. There are so many good tutorials online for making your own, I’m not going to do my own here. One that I found very helpful for making slings, complete with info on choosing fabric and where to buy rings can be found here: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/index.html.

Without my first sling, I don’t think I could have done much of anything when Finn was little. I loved my original sling so much I’ve made two more for myself. One stays in the car, one I use around the house and the third is back up for when the others need washed. I can grocery shop, clean, do some cooking, even feed Beckett, all almost hands-free while. They are much more portable than a bulky stroller. The constant movement and closeness of being carried in the sling also seems to be comforting to my babies. Finn frequently fell asleep in the sling, and he was normally very hard to get to sleep.

My slings are so indispensable to me that I always tell new mom’s about them. Slings have gotten some bad press lately due to some popular but poorly designed “bag” styles and improper usage. When used properly, though, a well constructed ring sling is perfectly safe. This link gives safety guidelines and tips for how to use them: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/wearing/bwsling_booklet.pdf

And, of course, a baby Beckett sling picture:

My newest sling with Beckett in a tummy to tummy position. He prefers to have his legs sticking out while he sits on the bottom “rail” of the sling. Please ignore the lovely bathroom backdrop.

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New Apron


As I was browsing the net earlier, I came across this cute apron tutorial: http://stilldottie.blogspot.com/2007/08/apron-for-divya.html

Now, the only apron I own for cooking is a standard styled apron from my days working at Burger King ten years ago. I decided to finally retire the old BK apron and give the tutorial a shot.

Here’s a few pics of the final product. Please excuse the currently-under-construction bathroom. Other than Finn, there’s no one around to take photos now, and it’s the only room with a full mirror.

I double layered it for added protection and used bias tape so all seams are neatly hidden.

All the materials were things I already had lying around. If I had white bias tape, I probably would have used it, but now that it’s done I’m glad I used the red.

I may go back and add a couple of patch pockets on the front. I haven’t decided if I would like the look better with or without pockets yet.

The whole project, including drawing the pattern out full scale took about three hours, with the help of Finnian. (That translates to 1.5 hours to 2 hours without “assistance”.) There’s a few areas that I think could be improved on, but for my first attempt at something like this I’m pretty happy with it. If I make others, I do think I’ll make the neckline a little deeper. It’s not tight, but I think it would lay a little smoother if it was bigger.

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Plastic bags

I just saw this slideshow (http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080506/MULTIMEDIA02/80505016) on what happens to plastic bags after they carry home groceries. If it’s all true, it’s very disturbing.

I do use reusable bags when I have them with me and refuse a bag if I can carry my purchase. Aside from the environmental impact, I love that I can fit at least twice as much in my cloth bags as I can in a plastic bag. With a two year old to manage while carrying the groceries, that alone makes reusable bags great.

I do still get plastic bags on occasion. There are some great ways to reuse plastic bags. You can iron them together to make a durable sheet of plastic material that can then be sewn into bags, wallets, or just about anything else.

Here’s a few tutorials on how to fuse bags. Googling “fusing plastic bags” will get you many other tutorials as well.
http://etsylabs.blogspot.com/2007/05/long-overdue-fusing-plastic-bag.html
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/06/diy_plastic_bag.php

You can also cut the bag into strips and link them together to make plastic yarn and knit or crochet with the yarn. Here’s a few tutorials for knitting with plastic bags:
http://www.pieandcoffee.org/2005/11/17/how-to-knit-a-plastic-bag/
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_needle_arts/article/0,,DIY_13768_3059465,00.html
http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2007/08/plastic_bag_crafts.html

Reusing the bags in this manner keeps them out of the landfills without the high cost of recycling.

I’d love to hear your ideas on how you reuse plastic bags when you get them.

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