Monthly Archives: July 2012

Latch on, Indy!

What baby item could be more homemade than breastmilk?  Pure and simple, it’s the easiest way to give your bambina something homemade, organic, and cheap!

If you’re a breastfeeding mama, or thinking about becoming one, or you want to show your support to breastfeeding mamas, and you live in the greater Indianapolis area (or will be in the area), please consider joining us for the Big Latch On Indy.

On-site registration, refreshments, and socializing will begin at 9:00 am, as well as the chance to check out some mama- and baby-friendly vendors.  The actual latch will be from 10:30-10:31, and will be followed immediately by a drawing for some fabulous door prizes!  You can pre-register to participate or volunteer at Eventbrite.

You might want more info… Here you go:

Learn more about Big Latch On.

Learn more about Breastfeeding USA.

Learn more about Indy Breastfeeding Moms.

Repurpose! T-shirt into bubble romper


Turn a Goodwill find into a cute little outfit!

Start by harvesting the main part of the shirt.

Shape the crotch/inseam.

We’ll create a solid foundation to attach snaps to later.

Now attach those pieces to the crotch.

Next, use elastic thread to cinch up the legs and create that bubble effect.

This next step will create the stretch around the top.

Now, add some straps to hold it up on her shoulders.

Finally, attach snaps to the crotch.

Tip:  I’d recommend that you switch where the snaps are attached – to the “inside” of the front and the “outside” of the back.  That way, when it’s closed, you don’t see the overlap from the front.  

Aside:  Of course, if I were going to make this again, I’d leave off the snaps entirely and just sew a panel in the crotch.  Why?  Because I HATE snaps.  Actively loathe them.  With my whole heart. Fortunately, with the top being so stretchy, it’s just as easy to pull the romper down from her shoulders for diaper changing.

And now my favorite part!  Put it on your bambina!

New Toy for Kitty

Poor Turkleton.  The bambina keeps getting new stuff… How about something for kitty?

Ok!

Does your favorite feline friend need a new toy?  Here’s how I made this one.

Cut out three of this shape from your favorite medium-weight fabric (I used a heavier quilting cotton).  I’d describe it as saying it’s a peanut shape with slightly pointy ends.

You’ll also need about six inches of rope.  Knot it at both ends.  (Mine was the handle from a shopping bag.  Yay for repurposing!)

You’ll also need a needle and thread, some stuffing, and some catnip.

Go ahead and sew two of the peanuts together, right sides together, from top to bottom with about a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Stitch the third to one of the other two, making sure to overlap the stitching at the top and bottom.

Lay the rope inside the shell with one knotted end slightly sticking out.  Stitch the rope to the edge of the big end of one of the peanut shapes.  Keep the stitching close to the edge, about 1/8″ away.

Stitch the final side seam, leaving an opening that’s a couple inches long.

Turn the toy right side out.  Put some catnip down in the ends and stuff the whole thing.

Slip stitch the opening closed.

Give it to kitty!

I realized after finishing that this would make a great turkey drumstick toy for the bambina to play with.  Just use brown felt and leave off the rope.  Fun toy at Thanksgiving time!

She’ll never learn to walk that way…

She’s finally home!

Chompable Mamma-Jewelry

We recently reached a momentous milestone in the bambina’s short life:  6 months old!  That’s half a year!  How did that happen?

She’s been showing more and more signs of teething lately – drooling through multiple shirts a day, chomping hard on her fingers and my own, putting everything within reach into her gummy little mouth, and responding positively to iced pacifiers and clove oil on her gums.  She’s also been more and more grabby (which is only a problem when I don’t want her grabbing anything that’s actually in reach, like my hair, or breakable and probably germy products on a store shelf), so I decided it was time to find something for her to play with and chomp on while I’m holding her.

I found some beautiful necklaces on Etsy that I absolutely love, like this…

And this…

And this…

But in the spirit of homemade, I headed out to my local craft store and found some supplies to make my own. Boy, was that a mistake.  It turns out I am a terrible jewelry designer, especially when it comes to practical necklaces that are baby-mouth safe.   My first two attempts were not even worthy of photographing – they ended up being disassembled to harvest the beads and then the cord got trashed.

Take two.  I ordered two wooden teething rings from Life Circles Necklaces on Etsy, one of which became a necklace when I strung a silk cord through it (the other went  in the bambina’s toy basket).

Too bad she enjoys sucking on the cord more than anything else.  It’s also slightly uncomfortable to have hanging around my neck when she’s not actively playing with it, so I went back to my original plan of knotting some beads onto cord.  Here are the two necklaces I ended up with.

The first one uses cotton cord knotted in a friendship bracelet style with small red and orange glass beads spaced evenly along the cord.

The second one is made of narrow ribbon and blue glass beads, also assembled via the friendship bracelet style of knotting.

(Thank goodness for all of those years of making bracelets at summer camp!)

“But, Jacelyn,” I hear you exclaiming, “you’re letting her chew on glass beads?!”  Yep, I sure am.  But a) she still has no teeth, so technically she’s just gumming them, and b) I double-check them every time I grab a necklace to make sure they’re all still fully intact, and c) I supervise her when she’s playing with them.  And to be perfectly honest, she pretty much spends all her time sucking on the cord or ribbon; any bead-mouthing is just collateral damage.  When she gets to the point that I’m actually worried about her having those beads in her mouth, I’ll make another necklace that’s just knots, possibly embellished with wooden beads.

So, the bottom line…  In the end, it would have been more cost- and time-efficient to order a finished product.  But I enjoyed challenging myself to create something that I would enjoy wearing and that the bambina would enjoy playing with.  And she does enjoy playing with them.  Mostly I wear them when I’m carrying her in a sling or other carrier – they keep her entertained and busy when we’re just standing around, and they distract her from needing to grab at everything else.  Mission accomplished.

Repurpose! Pants to dress and diaper cover

Hey, bambina, how about a new dress and diaper cover for our trip to the beach?

Apparently I owned the winner of the “Least Flattering Pants in the World” Award.  They looked like this.  Even when they were pressed, these linen pants were pretty gnarly.  I mean that in the negative way.  Yep, these pants were not my friend.  Nor were they my figure’s friend.

But they were so soft and lightweight, and just look at the gorgeous texture of the warp and weave!

I couldn’t possibly toss them!  So what could I do?  Harvest the fabric and use them for something else, of course! Harvesting fabric is always the toughest part of a project.  I’m not sure exactly how long they laid around (first on the “Am I really going to wear this again?” shelf in the closest, then in the project basket, then on the kitchen table), just waiting for me to start.  But I’m sure glad I did…

…because look how it turned out!

And the back view…  (Goodness, it’s tough to get a clear photo when holding a squirmy 6 month old!)

I followed this tutorial for the dress (modified it to suit my tastes, of course) and this one for the diaper cover.  I referred to this tutorial a lot for working with the elastic thread.

The brown fabric is from the linen pants, and the red bows are twill tape.

I left the back open for easier on/off, and added three vintage buttons at the top to close it.  I also made it shorter than the tutorial, since the bambina is still a sitter and I didn’t want it to get tangled up under her bum when we’re scooting her around.

Somebody’s excited about her new outfit!