Tutorial: Homemade Threading Board

Posted 10-22-2014 at 02:53 PM by Banana Cat

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So I like to sew. I have a cheap plastic sewing machine, and what feels like a 5000 lb vintage cast iron sewing machine, and between the two of them I can usually sew whatever I need to, unless it’s something like a king size quilt, because we don’t have room for a quilting machine in our apartment because dumb things like the stove and refrigerator are in the way. But, sometimes I need to hand sew something a little more delicate, or I’m just way too lazy to clear off the dining table and yank out the sewing machine and all the STUFF that goes along with it. One day, I was repairing a small hole on the seam of a sweater by hand, squinting and remembering that once long ago I wore glasses and whatever happened to them anyway?, when my 2 year old came over and asked what I was doing.

“Sewing up a hole in Mommy’s sweater,” I explained.

She stood up tall and declared in the way of two year olds, “Ok. I sew too.”

Now what? I had some large, dull embroidery needles and some yarn. Sewing/threading boards are all over the place—wooden or plastic boards with large holes in them that kids can practice sewing on—but we didn’t have one. So, I put my sewing aside and declared that it was now time for an art project.

Supplies

Diaper Swapers

All in One Soakers: To Detach or Not?

Posted 06-2-2014 at 11:17 AM by Banana Cat

When searching for “the best” all-in-one type diaper, you will probably come across an alphabet soup of: OBGE. As much as I’d love a diaper pronounced “Aw-buh-guh,” because that’s pretty much the sound that constantly comes out of my kids’ butts, “OBGE” stands for Original BumGenius Elemental.  Really, it should probably be “obGE” as the official name of the diaper is the original “bumGenius Elemental,” but let’s not get too picky here.

The original aw-buh-guh diaper is beloved by many, many parents. The colors are fun and bright and it’s very absorbent. However, the inner lining is made of organic cotton, and then to boost the absorbency there is a strip of folded over cotton going down the center of the diaper. This isn’t the only all-in-one diaper constructed this way, but it’s the most well-known, which is why I am using it as my example. The issue is that the inner strip of cotton is attached to the diaper at both ends. When the diaper is fully unsnapped, this isn’t a problem. But since the Elemental is a one-size diaper with snaps to adjust the fit, when you snap the diaper down to a small size, that inner cotton strip often bunches up. You can kind of fold it down to lay a bit flat, but sometimes your child wiggles around and then it looks like he or she has a lumpy butt under his or her clothing. And it’s probably not too comfortable for the kid to be sitting on, either. What’s the solution to diapers like these?

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Cloth diaper manufacturers are super creative and have figured out many, many ways to have a partially detached soaker on an all-in-one diaper.

Prefolds as Fitteds

Posted 02-4-2014 at 08:07 AM by Banana Cat

So you’ve fallen in love with prefolds. They’re cheap and absorbent and wash up wonderfully since they’re all cotton. You love the prints and colors of your covers, so you’re not tempted to buy more to increase your stash…but one night your kid is wiggly and wailing and in the dim light you just can’t get the prefold fastened and accidentally stab your child with the sharp bit—ugh! “I love my prefolds,” you think, “but man, it would be nice if they came in a style that was easier to get on.”

They do. They come in a fitted style.

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Prefolds? Or fitteds? Or both! Bonus e-cookie prize to anyone who can name the brand and size of prefolds above off the top of their heads, based only the color of the serging.

Tutorial: Reversible Children’s Apron

Posted 09-30-2013 at 03:35 PM by Banana Cat

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My 20 month old has been showing a ton of interest in what we do in the kitchen. She likes playing with her own toy pots and pans and felt food, but when we are cooking something she NEEDS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW what Mama and Dada are doing waaaaay up on the counter she can’t reach. As an anniversary present for both of us (and to save our arms from the constant barrage of “Up, up up!” demands) I bought a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper and now little Lainey can stand at counter height and cook along with us.

Tutorial: Easy Reversible Burp Cloths

Posted 09-11-2013 at 09:38 AM by Banana Cat

It’s Use Up The Scraps In The Fabric Bin Week! I have a large amount of virgin, uncut flannel and minky half-yards boxed up in a corner of the apartment. You see, months ago I had some grand plan to make the most amazing…um…sewing…project…thing…yeah. I’ve completely forgotten what it was. But since I have a baby on the way—it’s time to make burp cloths! This is a really easy, quick project you can whip up at the last minute for a neat little baby shower gift.

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A pile of fabric: A happy sight. The credit card bill: Not so much.

 

Step 1

Download the pattern here, or trace an existing burp cloth you have.