Saturday, August 16, 2014

Knittin' for Baby: Striped Coverall

And, another project completed just fast enough to wear once.  Ah well.  At the very least, it made for some nice photos.

Can I also recommend a little something to knitters who follow in my footsteps and think that open-ring snaps are the way to go?  Here's my advice... reinforce the knitted fabric with some kind of backing.  Either a thin strip of jersey or something.  The prongs are kind of ripping into the button bands.  Argh.  What was I thinking?!  Oh... I wasn't.  I just wanted to "get 'er done."  And so it goes...

Project: Striped Coveralls for the little dude
Pattern:  All-In-One in Deramores Baby DK (1009) by Deramores Retail Ltd
Yarn: Debbie Bliss, Baby Cashmerino in Dark Green and Grey (1.5 skeins of both colors)


  • Solid color sleeves
  • Shortened sleeves to prevent the LD from eating the cuffs.
  • Added a crotch gusset as seen below... because there was no way they would fit over cloth diapers or at 3 months... and the LD is kind of an average sized 3 month old.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quickie Illustrations

From mid-July to this past Friday, there was a draw-along challenge kind of thing leading up to an art opening with the local Munich Artist's Group.  I dedicated a meager 15 to 20 minutes of time to these illustrations and I sadly couldn't keep up with the full 30 days.  But, I was happy to be illustrating again, and I did have a few really nice ones at the end of it.

Here is my favorite...

illustrate a place

And these were alright, too...

self portrait

favorite animal - chameleon 
a word - lackadaisical

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Two-Part Nappies Revisited: Part 2

A quick tutorial on how to make your own diaper inserts using my pattern (or your own drafted pattern).
These diaper inserts require an outer waterproof cover of some kind, and will fit from newborn to 6kg+ (at least they're still working for us!).

the absorbent inserts inner flannel / outer terry cloth
  • Absorbent fabric (German term in parentheses) such as flannel (Flanell/Molton), terry cloth (Frottier), hemp fleece (Henf), or jersey, etc...  Feel free to recycle materials you already have; like an old flannel blanket, an old sweatshirt, or a towel.  I use terry-cloth on one side because I like to use Snappis and avoid hook & loop closures, but feel free to use whatever closure method you want.
  • Elastic (I used 1/4" wide elastic that is resistant to high heat)
1- Place the paper pattern on the fold, and cut your materials for the diaper insert.  Don't forget to transfer all markings to your fabric.

2- Cut fabric for center pad (it's that center rectangle with the dotted line in the pattern).  I cut 2 layers of bamboo terry-cloth.
3- Layer the 3 elements as follows: absorbent material #1, pad rectangle(s), absorbent material #2.

Center the pad, and secure all three layers with pins.

4- With the smoothest fabric facing up, sew 1/8" to 1/4" within the four edges and across the center of the pad to secure it in place.

5- Measure the elastic band for the sides and top, then cut elastic 2-3” shorter than the measured length.
6- Tack both ends of the elastic where indicated and pin at the center.  Make sure to leave a little space on the outer edge for finishing the fabric.
7- Use a zig-zag stitch to attach the elastic on the back of the insert and the leg openings, stretching the elastic between the two outer layers as you go.

8- Use a zig zag stitch or overlock around all the outer edges to finish.  I stretch out the back and sides while feeding it through the overlocker.  I do not serge over the crinkled/gathered edges.

Wash a few times, and then let baby poo all over your work! Hahah!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Two-Part Nappies Revisited: Part 1

This post covers lessons learned in making diaper covers at home.  In cloth diapering, the outer cover is a waterproof barrier that prevents leakage.  These can also be used over regular disposables to prevent leaks, or just because they're really cute.

After a few mishaps and lots of leaks, re-purposing PUL, and studying more cloth diapers, I think I've found a few types of cloth diaper systems that work for the little dude.  This particular diaper cover is a homemade version of Motherease's diaper cover the Air Flow.  It works really well with the diaper inserts I make at home (more on that later).  These are not easy to come by here in Germany, so to me it's worth the effort of making more of them.

What I've learned so far:
FOE - fold over elastic goes on a LOT easier if you use a triple zig-zag stitch.  This video was key.
detailed photo of the inner wing of the diaper cover

KAM snaps - these snaps make a better seal with the Eco-PUL I bought from Diaper Sewing Supplies when there are 3 layers, and it's been exposed to warmth (i.e. it's been through a 60* wash and tumble dry).  That's it!  That is what was missing last time.  I didn't wash/dry the cover before trying out the snaps, and it was too thin.  Now I'm kind of sad I chopped up the grey & yellow cover before washing/drying.  It may have been salvageable.  Oh well.

With my latest effort, I went with a retro color combination!  Aesthetics aside, they work really well.  No leaks or poo-splosions yet!

As for the diaper inserts (the absorbing inner part of these two-part systems), I've drafted a pattern for anyone who wanted to try it on their own!  You can download it from the Google-Drive link here.

Come back this weekend to see the photo-tutorial on making your own diaper inserts!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just in time!

"Indian Elephant" from Ottobre 06/2014

Yikes!  This baby really is growing fast!  I finished the all-in-one pattern "Indian Elephant" from Ottobre 06/2014 just in time for the little dude to wear it.  It only took me two weeks to make it, but now I know that may be too slow!  Whoah!

This baby is making me a much faster sewist.  Even a week can be too slow in the world of baby growth.  I'm going to have to plan projects for the far future to keep up!  The pattern "Indian Elephant" is pretty straightforward.  It's actually a lot easier than the onesie pattern "Warmly Wrapped" that I finished last week.

The toughest part is applying the binding and, once again, the snaps!!  What in the world is up with these ring snaps and why don't they install correctly!?  This is with the special pliers, too.  The prongs often don't align with the center of the snap and then stick out... possibly with the end result of scratching baby. Not nice.

If he's in hefty stuff-in cloth diapers like today, the crotch gusset is a bit revealing shall we say, but if he's in a trimmer model diaper, it'll fit just fine.  I may still add two more snaps.  Maybe.

Pattern: Indian Elephant, Ottobre 06/2014
Fabric: organic cotton jersey from Lillestoff in "Pirates" print
Notions: fine ribbing in red, a bunch of snaps, stretchy interfacing G785 from Vlieseline/Vilene, and Vliesofix (two-sided fusible interfacing)
Special Tools: twin needle, snap pliers, walking foot, stretch needle