DIY zippered wet bag

We cloth diaper around here, which means when we’re out and about, or B is at daycare, the dirty diapers have to go into something to keep the rest of his diaper bag clean.  This is where the wet bag comes in- it’s a fabric bag with a waterproof lining.  Theoretically we could just put them into a plastic bag, but that wouldn’t be nearly as fun!  Hey- when you’re dealing with poop, you have to have a little fun, right?

I purchased a couple of zippered wet bags before B was born.  They’ve held up fabulously (we have this one by PlanetWise) with daily washings- I have zero complaints.  However, one day I showed up at B’s daycare and discovered that another little boy, who had just started there, had the exact same wet bag!!  Uh oh.  We’ve already had a couple of incidents where we’ve ended up with a diaper that wasn’t ours, and having the same wet bags hanging next to each other would not help improve our odds of coming home with only our diapers.

I had a new wet bag all picked out and waiting in my Amazon shopping cart- and then stumbled upon this pin on Pinterest.  I haven’t sewn in almost a year- and decided a DIY zippered wet bag would be the best way to get back into the swing of sewing again.  There are lots of pictures to walk you through it- which is great because I have never installed a zipper before!

So off I went to pick out some fabric- I got a yard of a woven cotton, and then went in search of PUL fabric (polyurethane laminated fabric, what makes the bag waterproof on the inside).  Unfortunately my local fabric store did not have PUL in stock- whop whop.  I had to order it online.  Thank goodness I was able to get a little cashback on that purchase!

I won’t walk you through the steps because the tutorial I followed is very thorough, so please reference that for a walk through.  Want to see how it turned out?  Of course you do…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I picked out a fun fish themed print (a surprising choice for the marine biologist, I know).  I decided to play off the orange fish on there and use an orange zipper and orange PUL:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I really like this pattern- it was fairly easy to sew, even with the zipper installation, and I was able to customize the size for our needs.  I liked our old wet bag, but it was a little on the small side.  This one is 12″ wide and 20″ long and holds an entire days worth of diapers with a little room to spare.  Not to mention it has a carry handle on the side which is great for hanging the bag up (our old bag didn’t have a handle and daycare had to put a little zip tie on the zipper).

The bag has been in use now for almost a month, and has held up extremely well.  We wash it daily and I have yet to see any wear on the bag/zipper/handle.  And no leaks- so it’s serving its purpose well!

As far as cost goes, this bag cost me less than $20 to make- $7 for the woven fabric and zipper (I only used about half of the woven fabric and I had a coupon) and $6 for the PUL (factoring in a coupon, shipping and cash back)- $13 total.  Not bad- plus I like that I have an almost limitless choice in pattern for the outside!!

What do you think?  Have you done any fun sewing/crafty projects lately?

Baby snuggler tutorial

Happy Monday everyone!  I spent most of my weekend hanging out with my sewing machine, and I thought y’all would enjoy seeing the end result.

Awhile back I pinned this pattern– and I just could not get it out of my head.  It’s similar in theory to my knitted sleep sack, except that there’s velcro involved to keep the baby’s arms in.  I’ve been reading a lot about how important swaddling is with a new baby- so this snuggler seemed like something we should have at least one of in our new baby arsenal, right??

Here’s a picture of my first attempt:

Cute right??  And actually pretty easy to make.  Easy enough that I felt comfortable writing up a baby snuggler tutorial for y’all to have.  You can download the pattern and instructions here, but if you’re like me, having some visual instructions are always nice as well.  So here goes!

You’ll need:

1 yard of a cotton fabric
1 yard of something soft- I used flannel, but the instructions recommend micro fleece.  Whatever you’re most comfortable working with.
Scissors
Pattern (downloadable from here, and pieced together)
Sewing machine and thread
Pins
Velcro

Start out by washing and drying your fabric and then ironing out any wrinkles.  This is an important first step- that way your fabric is pre-shrunk and ready to go!

Fold your two fabrics in half and lay them out on your cutting surface (I use our guest bed- probably not a good idea since I’m always afraid I’ll cut the bedspread, but oh well- live dangerously right??):

Pin your pattern pieces to the fabric and then cut them out- do this for both fabrics:

You should end up with this:

The instructions then tell you to pin and sew the darts.  At this point I got nervous- how do you sew a dart?  What the heck is a dart?!?  I almost quit- but lucky for you I didn’t!  The darts are shown on the pattern:

And you can also see them cut out in the fabric above.  Basically what you want to do is fold your fabric down the center line of the dart (like you’re making a paper airplane), pin it in place and then sew down one of the diagonal lines.  The instructions recommend marking the darts on your fabric, but I don’t have the patience anything that writes well on fabric, so I just measured the length of each diagonal and roughly pinned out a diagonal line on the fabric.

Here’s the upper dart pinned:

And the lower darts (be sure to consume some starburst candy at this point…you’ll need it after pinning all those darts!):

Then you simply sew down your diagonal line (starting on the widest part of the diagonal and sewing all the way to the fold), on the wrong side of your fabric:

Remove your pins, press the darts with an iron and you’re left with this:

Still with me??

Next you want to pin your two cotton pieces together, right sides touching.  Do the same with your two soft pieces- lining up the bottom darts is a good way to get them aligned properly.

In the above photo the cotton is NOT pinned to the soft layer- I just laid them on top of each other for the photo.  Basically the only part of the snuggler that’s pinned right now is the bottom U shape.  Go ahead and sew those two pieces together, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and then trim your seams to be 1/4 of an inch.

After you’ve done this, turn your cotton layer right side out and leave your soft layer wrong side out.  Put the cotton layer inside the soft layer and pin everything together.

Now you’re going to sew the two layers together- you want to sew along both arms and back (**make sure to leave a 3 inch gap on the underside of one arm in order to turn the whole thing right side out**) and the top part of the front panel.

Here’s a close of up the 3 inch gap I left on one of the arms:

Turn the whole thing right side out and adjust everything to your liking- you’ll need to use your fingers to poke the corners out and get it looking just right.  At this point the instructions tell you to slipstitch the 3 inch opening closed.  I thought this might look weird, so I chose to top stitch the entire piece- basically everything I’d just sewn, except for the bottom U shaped part of the pocket.

I used a zig-zag stitch in a similar color to the lining, but you could use whatever stitch you wanted to, in whatever color you decided.  Or you could slip stitch the opening closed as the instructions said.

Next you want to place your velcro.  Again the instructions say to transfer the velcro placements from your pattern on to your fabric, but I went ahead and just eyeballed things.

The soft pieces of the velcro (loop) go on the soft layer of your snuggler, and the rough pieces (hook) go on the cotton layer of the snuggler.  I pinned them down and then sewed around each one- I did make sure the snuggler closed properly with the velcro placement before sewing.

And here’s the end result (3 hours later if you’re slow like me…less time if you’re not a sewing sloth):

Oops- hang out, let me get that out of the way for you…

Tada!

I hope this little tutorial was helpful for you- like I mentioned before, you can find the pattern and written instructions here.  I loved making these and can’t wait to make a couple more- relatively quick and easy.  They’d make a great baby shower gift…or go ahead and stockpile a few for your own child (you know that’s what I’m going to do!)

Linking up to the fall Pinterest challenge!!!

Bird mobile

I hope everyone had a great weekend- we sure did!!  We added a new car to our household- a Subaru Outback wagon.  We’d decided awhile ago that we needed to have 2 kid (and dog!) friendly vehicles- when this discussion first took place we had a Honda civic and a Ford ranger truck.  The civic will be just fine for a mommy, daddy and baby…and that’s it (unless baby D wants to ride with a dog in his face).  The ranger?  Ok for a baby and a mommy (or daddy), and some doggies in the back (with a canopy of course), but the thought of having a baby in the front seat of the truck just made me uneasy.  So we sold the truck (which we weren’t driving much anyway) and found the subaru- perfect for baby, mommy, daddy and doggies!  I’m excited.

Anyway.  The subaru is not the “bird mobile” referenced in the title of this post!!  Awhile ago I gave y’all a sneak peek of a project that’s been in the works for an embarrassingly long period of time:

That is the bird mobile I’m talking about.  And I finally got around to hanging it up in baby D’s room.  I put off doing this for a REALLY long period of time because I was worried about getting all the sticks to balance correctly- even though I’m a scientist, physics was never my strong suit.  I finally got my act together this weekend though, and I’m so glad it’s finally done!!  This was definitely not easy to hang, but I love the end result:

I used birch branches from a tree in our backyard, fishing line and a couple of small hooks (that I painted the color of the walls) to hold everything up.  The birds are hot glued onto the sticks.  The bird pattern is from spool sewing, and is pretty simple to do- I could hand sew a bird in a couple of hours and I am NOT a fast sewer.  All the fabric came from Tonic Living– they have a fabulous selection of fabrics and you can order a sample piece for $1 (US) from them, which is how I made these birds- I just picked a bunch of fabric that I liked and ordered samples.  I think in total, it cost me ~$10 to make this entire mobile.  The hardest part was definitely hanging it- I was lucky enough to enlist T’s help to make the process go faster (otherwise I’d still be in there trying to figure out how to hang it).

A few more photos, just for fun:

 Baby D will have a good view of this from his crib and the changing table

This room is getting closer and closer to being done- which is awesome.  I have some art that needs to go on the walls and some shelves to buy/put up and then I think I’m going to be able to call it done!   I’ll give you a full tour after that happens.

Nursery progress

Last time we visited the nursery, I’d sewn some pillow covers for the rocking chair.  I ordered some more of the chair cushion fabric to finish making new curtains for in there, and was surprised to find myself over this past weekend bitten by the sewing bug again.  One of baby D’s grandmas and an aunt are really good sewers/quilters and I’m just blaming the sewing frenzy on his genes.  He’ll probably sew his first quilt by the time he’s 2 (which leaves me more knitting time!)

I did the same simple pattern as the last time I made them– just some easy roll up and tie curtains.  Here’s what they looked like before, to refresh your memory:

They may never actually roll up/down- actually who am I kidding- they definitely won’t move because I will be too lazy to roll them back up again, so I installed some 2″ dark vinyl blinds behind them (I have successfully removed every. single. off-white. metal. blind. from our house now) and then there’s the actual white curtains as well.  This room does not get a lot of natural light, so I’m hoping with the 3 layers it’ll be nice and dark in there (because if he’s anything like his mommy it has to be as dark as a cave in order to sleep).  Here’s the finished product:

My apologies for the poor lighting- like I said, very little natural light, plus I’d installed everything by the time I took the photo and it darkened the room significantly.

But I wasn’t done sewing!!  We also got the crib last week and T couldn’t keep himself from putting it together the same day (seriously- absolutely no prodding from me about it- it was assembled within 2 hours from getting it home).  So I took advantage of the crib being assembled and my new found sewing energy and made a crib skirt.  I got the idea for an adjustable one from Kim.  I love the idea of an adjustable skirt because then as we lower the mattress, the crib skirt won’t puddle on the floor.  Here’s what I ended up with:

Each piece is separate (3 pieces total) and ties to the mattress frame:

I got the fabric from fabric.com.  I purchased 2 yards (at $6.99 a yard on sale, making this a $14 project) and I still have enough left over to make a pillow cover…or something?  The ribbon is left over from our wedding- I used turquoise blue as an accent color, and DIY’d our flower arrangements/bouquets/boutonnieres, so I have a ton of this color ribbon lying around (good thing I’m a pack rat and have kept it all this time).  Not that you can see the ribbons once the mattress is on there…but I KNOW they’re there, which totally counts, right??

Here’s the crib/skirt in all it’s glory (I think it looks pretty decent if I do say so myself…)

It’s coming together, bit by bit!!  What do you think??  Did you do any fun sewing projects over the weekend?

Adding some color

Happy Monday everyone!!

So I know I promised pics of the office, but that was a big fail on my part this weekend.  I had every intention of getting it organized and photos hung up again, but I didn’t get there.  Saturday, T took me on a date (his idea!!).  We went and saw Ted which was hilarious (crude, for sure, but hilarious none the less) and then went out for Cuban food at our fav restaurant in town.  Date night trumps office organizing every time.  Sunday I got the sewing bug (this is very, very rare for me) and spent most of the day sewing.  A friend of mine in WA is having a baby shower this coming weekend, and I needed to get her presents out in the mail this week, so sewing won over office organizing.  Sigh.

Do you want to see what I made over the weekend though??  Of course you do…

First up- a sleep sack (this has been knit for several months now).  Whenever a friend has a baby, I make one of these.  They’re pretty simple and don’t take a lot of time, plus they’re so cute.  Because I use 2 colors of yarn, I like to line the sleep sack with flannel to keep little baby fingers from getting stuck in the yarn strands- the liner of this sleep sack is the whole reason her baby presents haven’t gone out in the mail yet (she’s due Aug 4th!)- I’ve been putting off sewing in the liner for quite awhile now- something about using my machine to sew fabric to knitting freaks me out every. single. time. 

Here’s the inside- I used Michael Miller zoology flannel in “sea” which I love- I just started on a sleep sack for myself (well, for baby D), and I’m thinking I’ll line it with this same fabric.

Now that I’m halfway through my own pregnancy- I decided it’s about time to get started on some projects for our own child!  We have a rocking chair in the nursery that was T’s grandparents.  It’s had a dingy pillow on the seat forever, and I finally decided to cover it with something more fitting to the nursery theme.  I also had a small travel pillow that I covered with some fabric as well.  Both are “simple” envelope pillow covers that took me a lot longer to make than they should have.  But I think they turned out pretty well- what do you think?

I used this fabric for the small pillow, and this fabric for the seat cushion.  Here’s a closer look:

The fabric that is on the seat cushion will also be made into window shades.  If you remember (maybe?) the fabric that is currently on the windows is this, which I like, but thought it was a little too girly, so I’m changing it up.  I made one shade but ran short on fabric, so I need to order some more, whip up one more (haha) and then I’ll post some photos of that. 

The crib should be showing up later this week (yay!) and I’d like to make a crib skirt similar to the one that Kim made, using this fabric:

And don’t forget, I also have to finish up my project with the birds on the branches- I will be doing that soon!  Lots more projects to do- but hopefully some fun things to share with y’all in the next few weeks!!