DIY Nursing Pads & WIP’s

As Willow’s birth gets closer and closer (only about 9 1/2 weeks left), I find myself fretting that I don’t have everything I need in terms of nursing and diapers. Before Harrison was born, I purchased some MegARoo’s cloth nursing pads (the disposable ones are AWFUL) at a steep discount since she was going out of business. I absolutely love them but found myself having to wash them so often because I didn’t have enough. I don’t want to deal with that this time around and after looking at the prices of purchasing more, I decided to make some.

Nursing Pads

It’s really helpful that I have all the supplies I need as well. The first thing I had to decide was what materials to use and what size I wanted when finished. I was really happy with MegARoo’s size so I knew I didn’t want to change that. The materials I decided on are PUL outer (waterproof), flannel inner, and cotton velour outer (gives the pad the stay-dry feel). I couldn’t find any information on how many layers of flannel to include inside so my first set had 4. The first one definitely didn’t turn out as great as I hoped. I initially cut the pattern to size since my plan was to use my machine’s overlock foot but the layers are too thick to get it into the foot properly. Needless to say, I scrapped it and started over. I added a 1/2″ seam allowance to the next one, straight stitched to hold the layers together, trimmed the seam allowance, and used a close (#1) and wide set zig-zag to overlock the edges to prevent any fraying. It came out okay but you can see some of the flannel through the sides and the edges have a somewhat lettuce effect (the pink pair in the picture above). It took me playing around with my setting to get the lettuce effect to go away and by the 4th of 5 pairs, I finally had a product I liked! The second pair I did was with the pirate PUL. I decided to change the inner layers from flannel to bath towel material since I was using the same thing in Willow’s NB AIO’s. I really thought this was a genius idea because I wouldn’t need as many layers but they would be incredibly absorbent. Um… what I didn’t compensate for is how THICK bath towel is. Even with only 2 layers inside, the pads are so bulky they would definitely be noticeable through a nursing bra. So I guess that’s my night time pair! My third set (the zebra print) I decided to use only 2 layers of flannel and think that will be perfect. At this point, I was still annoyed that my edges still had the lettuce resemblance so I tried moving my width a tad farther apart–to #1 1/2 instead of #1 and that did the trick on the last two sets (the green ones). I’m just so happy to have finally figured it out! Here’s the best of all of them:

Nursing Pads (Single)

Side note: I totally love this PUL pattern. It’s actually an older Thirty-One pattern! I’m still not really happy with how unclean the edges look though. I think I’ll try all flannel (no cotton velour) and see how that turns out and maybe turning and topstitching or turning and overlocking.

I’m still working on knitting items for Willow and am making progress on her layette set. I finished the front left panel and started the front right panel of the cardigan. I’m hoping to complete that today if I have time (thankfully it’s only 25 stitches per row). After that’s finished, I have to knit the 2 sleeves which I’m planning to do 2AAT to save time and ensure they are the exact same length. I’m thinking I should have done that for the left and right front panels too. Once that’s complete, then I’ll start the booties and hat which shouldn’t take more than a day or two and then can finally start her blanket! I’ve been dying to cast on since the yarn arrived a few weeks ago. It’s even prettier in person and incredibly soft.

Switching gears to general crafting–you may have noticed a new layout and tab on the homepage. I’m so happy that I finally got a layout and background I’m happy with! As far as the new tab, I created a bunch of free printables for a project I’m working on and blogged about over on The Kramer Menagerie. You can read more about it by clicking the link. I really love creating things and sharing them so enjoy!

Well that’s what I have for today so until next time, much love and many crafty blessings!

♥Courtney♥

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Baby Shower Gifts & Current Projects

I know I’ve said this before but I seriously am in love with Pinterest! Talk about inspiration when you need it! One of my best friends is due in July so I wanted to make her & her new squish something really special. Initially, I was going to make a hooded towel and washcloth set with her name embroidered but after looking at material, I couldn’t find just what I wanted. In comes Pinterest–after scouring for what seemed like hours (not really–more like 15 minutes), I found some great ideas including burp cloths, a pacifier clip, and bibs. I knew burp cloths were a must as they have been total lifesavers with my kiddos but one thing I didn’t like about the commercial kind was a. the price and b. the weren’t big or absorbent enough. I did see many different options for creating burp cloths and eventually decided on using Gerber’s 6-ply “cloth diapers” (I use that term very loosely). The first couple I made had a strip of fabric down the center, over the most absorbent part. I wasn’t overly happy with the way they looked because after washing and drying them, I noticed the center sections weren’t straight. Even still, they came out cute. I made the rest full-size piece of fabric on one side. And the most special one had a full piece of beautiful purple flannel with a strip of pretty patterned flannel down the center. I also hand embroidered her name in the lower right corner (I have never done that before and have no clue how to do it on my sewing machine). It was incredibly happy with how they turned out! I made 2 sets of burp cloths and packaged them with another home made item, one being a matching pacifier clip and the other a matching bib. Here’s the finished, packaged projects:

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After getting them together, I knew I needed something else and really wanted something knitted. I remembered a pattern that I started for Trinity over 2 years ago that included a cardigan, hat, & booties with beautiful lace around the leg and knew it was the perfect choice, especially since I was incredibly limited on time to finish my gift. The booties knit up in just a few hours and turned out absolutely adorable! I used Baby Bee Sweet Delight Baby in Pink A Boo which is a very light pink. The yarn is very easy to work with and incredibly soft (plus machine washable–always a must with baby items). I have to be honest and say I can’t wait to see these on her!

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 Design F

One of the current projects on my needles is the cardigan from the above mentioned layette set. I actually started this cardigan 2 years ago for Trinity but never got it finished. It sat in my stash bin since the following baby was a boy and the yarn I was using is a deep magenta pink (I don’t think daddy would have been okay with him wearing that. LoL!). After finding out our newest squish is a girl, I decided to revive it. The cardigan is knitting up super quick! One thing I really like about this pattern is that even though it features a lace motif, the pattern stitch is incredibly easy to memorize and the pattern itself is only a 4 row repeat. My only issue so far is that each piece is knit individually, i.e. the back, the front left, the front right, etc. and then seamed together–definitely not a fan of seaming (side note: I’m wondering if this could be knit bottom up and maybe just seam the arms?).  The other project, the Ocean Spray Misti, is still coming along at about the same pace. Since starting on the other projects, I haven’t picked this one up since the last post. Here’s an early shot of the shawl (during the increase phase):

Ocean Spray Shawl

It’s definitely bigger than that now but I don’t have a more recent picture.

Design F

Now onto my DIY adventures… I recently bought some all natural diaper rash cream from Naturally Herbal Soap that is cloth diaper safe and I’m totally in love with it! What I’m not in love with is the price, even though it is on the cheaper side for something all natural and cloth diaper safe. My issue is the rate at which we go through it, it’s not economical for our budget. So I set off to find a recipe to make my own. I was so anxious to get started and waiting the week for the supplies to arrive was killing me! Anyway… I used the recipe over at Little House Living blog. It was very straightforward (lots of pictures), easy to make, and smells really good. My only alteration to the recipe is adding lavender essential oil. I started with 10 drops during the melting phase and the scent was amazing but ended up too faint after all said and done. I’ll definitely add more next time. I’ve been using it for roughly 2 weeks and have had no issues with buildup on our diapers and it’s working wonders on my kiddos skin! So well in fact that one of Harry’s rashes starting clearing in just a few hours! This is definitely something I’ll continue making and want to experiment with different blends of essential oils.

Well that’s all I have time for today so until next time, much love and many crafty blessings!

♥Courtney♥

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Kid Projects

Crafting have been pretty scarce since Harry’s birth and I have a feeling it’ll be even less so once Willow makes her entrance. BUT, I have had a little time recently, so I’m working on projects for the kids.

I made teething pads for our Ergo since Harry is teething and chewing on them like crazy. They are made from one of Harry’s burp cloths and a receiving blanket. I cut the burp cloth so that each pad would have a height of 5 1/2 inches with no seam allowance. I sewed a strip of the receiving blanket to just the center, most absorbent part of the burp cloth using a small zig zag stitch to prevent any frays (and it’s a little more decorative than a straight stitch). I then used my overlock foot and sewed around the whole outside of the pad. I added 3 sets of snaps for easy attachment (but hard for little hands to get off). And that’s it! Super cute, functional, and no more chewing on the Ergo straps! The finished pads measure 5 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. I may make a second pair so that we have a spare set if these are being washed.

Ergo Teething Pads

Next up is Willow’s NB diapers. After a lot of discussion and thought, we decided to use only AIO’s with her instead of covers and prefolds. Trin isn’t showing any interest in potty training so having 3 in cloth is going to be a challenge. AIO’s will be easier for not only us but also other caregivers because there’s no worrying about all the different parts or forgetting the closures (which I tend to do)! I’m using a combination of Darling Diapers Free Fitted Pattern and Rocket Bottoms NB Fitted Pattern. They are both comparable in size, but the Rocket Bottoms pattern seems to sew up a little larger. They’ve turned out great so far! The 5th one (green with blue circles) definitely turned out the best and I’m so happy I figured out the easiest way to do the elastic–casing while topstitching. It’s definitely giving cleaner lines in the legs and back. Here’s 4 of the 5 I’ve completed so far:

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The next diaper I want to make is will have a Steelers emblem on black PUL and the gold cotton velour. I haven’t found the emblem yet but am hoping to soon! I’m planning to make at least half her stash (12-15). I may also try a different pattern just to have some variety. I was looking into Arfy’s Square NB pattern. My thinking is sewing will be faster because I won’t have to go so slow around curves, which I’m not as good at yet. Plus, I like having options. For all the diapers, I’m using a PUL outer, cotton velour inner, and each sewn-in insert has 2 layers of upcycled bath towels sandwhich between 2 layers of flannel. I’m hoping they are absorbent enough but just in case, I’m going to make some NB sized inserts to lay in.

I want to sew at least one non-diaper item for Willow so I scoured Pinterest and found an adorable baby dress upcycled from a men’s button-down shirt. Andy has a million of them so I may commandeer one of his to do it.

Upcycled baby dress

Moving on to knitting… I started knitting a shawl a few months back from Knitty called Oceanspray. I fell in love with the simplicity of the center triangle and border of this pattern. The knitting is coming along slowly as the increases are only 4 per RS row and it’s knit on 2’s. I’m using Misty Alpaca Lace in Mauve Melange. I finally got that part finished and finally got to start on the lace section! It’s turning out beautifully so far. I’d really like to use it as a nursing cover (I’m not sure how feasible that is but we’ll see) so I’d really like to have this finished by the time Willow’s born.

Well that’s about all I have for today so until next time, much love and many blessings!

 

♥Courtney♥

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