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I'm feeling a little nesty these days. I have the sudden urge to sew a bunch of little baby kimonos, gowns, slings, pink hakama, what have you.

And a Waldorf doll or 3 for Leif - he was entranced with the star baby dolls he saw at Whole Earth Festival, and they seem like they'd be pretty simple to make.

I wish we had one of those rare tiny sewing machines that actually work decently so that sewing was something I could just do when I felt like it, and not quite such a production. I suppose I could always work on improving my hand sewing...

I suppose I will satisfy myself with looking for patterns and ideas online.
ocelot: (Default)
I want to find a source of cheap Thomas/Brio/etc. compatible trains that don't come with track pieces. We have more track pieces than we know what to do with, but the trains themselves are expensive and get lost too easily.

IKEA apparently has a $5.00 four-piece set, but they're very uniformly painted, just plain ugly, and only available in stores. I'll probably end up stocking up on them as filler-trains anyways when I get the chance.

I should find out what the plain trains at the local toy store cost. They have some other surprisingly cheap train stuff, so perhaps they are affordable. Better yet, I'd like to find out who they order from :)

If I could find a cheap source of basic non-buttugly trains, I'd start working on my evil Christmas money-making scheme. Also, blue and green fabric, like the print you'd find on top of a train table, either with or without pre-printed tracks.
ocelot: (Default)
I finally finished that diaper I started a month or so ago.

It turned out better than I had expected.

Problems:

  • Legholes need to be bigger, or elastic needs to be longer, or both (probably both).
  • Side flaps in back need to be longer. Possibly shorter in front and quite a bit longer in the back.
  • The front sags open a lot. I'm not certain how to fix this beyond just putting more snaps and fixing the problems already mentioned. Perhaps I need to use velcro until I get the sizing worked out.
  • If I do continue to use snaps, I should put them in place before sewing it up, so that the metal is inside the fabric instead of against the skin. This isn't any more difficult, just requires some planning ahead. I also need to find a better brand. These don't stay together very well.
  • It's awfully bulky. Part of this is the pattern, part is because the soaker pad is too thick. It might make a decent nighttime diaper. I'll have to see. So far, he hasn't peed in it at all because having a brand new diaper is motivation to be good about EC :) I don't know how much I'll be able to do about this with the terrycloth we have around the house.
  • Perhaps add an extra layer of flannel on the inside to make it prettier. If I do this, \

I made it following the directions here.
Baby carrier talk... )
ocelot: (Default)
I finally get to go to a fabric store tomorrow! Yay!

I need elastic for the diapers, the fabric and webbing for Carrier v2.0.

I got a chance to briefly try the Packababy a few weeks ago, and really liked it. Leif felt lighter in it, though that could just be because I was only able to try it out for a few minutes. It's basically the same style as mine, but the straps are two long pieces of webbing that cross in the back. Most of the baby's weight is supported on the webbing, rather than the fabric and the seams, so there's less chance it will break. This seems to help distribute the weight better, too.

It also means that the carrier should take less than half the time of the first carrier. The straps took a lot of sewing.

Because the straps carry the weight, I can use a lighter weight fabric than the canvas I used before. This will be nice, both because it will be cooler for the summer and because it will fold up smaller and be more manageable. This is why I tend to carry the mock-up I made out of muslin when we go out with the stroller or backpack carrier. I don't trust it for long-term use, and it isn't the most comfortable thing ever, but it's holding up surprisingly well for something that I never really intended to use at all, so it works well enough as a backup.

The packababy uses hemp/cotton combination on the outside, and cotton canvas on the inside, but it seems to be a lighter weight canvas than the stuff I'm using. Even with most of the weight on the webbing, I'm not sure how lightweight I can go and still have it work well. Hemp is strong, and I doubt I'll find any at the local stores (though it sounds like G Street might have a good selection, if [livejournal.com profile] silkensteel can figure out how to get us there. That would really be the best, since there's a Joanne's right there, too).

Colors... I like the off-white with the purple fishy panel I have now, but it stains awfully easily, and babies stain things frequently. We have some green star patterned flannel that would look great with black, but I have a feeling Leif would boil in that. I want to do something with this froggy print receiving blanket I have, but I don't know if I'd like a carrier made out of that. I guess I'll just see what they have.

I'd like to make the belt buckle instead of tie, to make it easier to adjust tighten. This may not happen right away, though (which is fine. I can just tie it until I get around to putting buckles onto the belt).

I don't feel bad about blatantly copying the packababy, since this is for my own use. If I decide to sell them, I'll improve on the design I currently have rather than making a packacopy.

(Incidentally, seeing the packababy convinced me that my carrier looks good enough to sell, especially if I get the right needle so the fabric stops catching and be a little more careful. It was nowhere near as neatly sewn as mine, though it wouldn't surprise me if the one I saw was one of the earlier ones they sold. I don't have the time right now to make an actual business, though)

We're planning to sell our stroller and baby backpack and get the Kelty combination stroller/backpack. We tried it out at the store today, and it's more bulky than our current backpack, but not bad. Not exactly the best of both worlds, but not the worst either, and probably good for our needs. Plus, it matches my Kelty backpack. Gotta coordinate.

It just started raining. It sounds so pretty!
ocelot: (Default)
Our old van apparently had an engine fire last night, and is now dead. I'm sad about this, not because I was super emotionally attached to it, but because [livejournal.com profile] mactavish and [livejournal.com profile] deyo didn't get much use out of it at all, and none of us ever had a chance to use it for camping.

I'm glad it didn't happen while we were driving Leif around or something. I doubt it would have been much danger - the fire was burning for half an hour, and didn't do much damage to the interior of the van - but that's an adrenaline rush I don't need.

Tomorrow it's apparently going to San Jose, where a man and his teenage daughter who go everywhere in their Westy will use it for spare parts. I'm glad. That's better than the dump.

Leif may be starting to move to one nap a day. I tried to get him to sleep this morning, and he wasn't having any of it.

It may just be because of Daylight Savings Time. We've been sleeping till 8:00 instead of 7:00, so predictably he doesn't want to take a nap quite as early, but if he takes a nap at 11:00 he isn't going to take an afternoon nap until late, so I just kept him up. We need to move back to waking up at 7:00 though, so perhaps we'll go back to morning naps as well.

Michael's craft supply store sucks. They don't carry elastic. Well, beading elastic, but that doesn't do me any good.

They sell other sewing supplies. Why don't they sell elastic?

I just want to finish this diaper so I can figure out how to improve on it and do more before I lose interest. As far as I can tell, there isn't any fabric store closer than Seven Corners, which is about an hour and a half away on the bus.
ocelot: (leif)
I think I'm going to sew some diapers. Leif hates changes these days - I have to pin him down and wrestle him into the prefolds - so I'd like to move to fitted diapers that I can pull up and down, but they're so expensive to buy premade. Plus, I have a ton of random flannel lying around the house.

Why does the idea of sewing diapers intimidate me after sewing the baby carrier? It's not like it matters if they look good or not.

Speaking of baby carriers, I need to get some more fabric and make another. Adjusting the strap angle slightly should make a big difference in how comfortable and durable it is, and I can adjust the strap length to be a bit more manageable. I might consider doing a thicker waistband, with buckles, to support the weight better and be a bit more manageable.

I've had a lot of people say I should sell them, and I've seriously thought about it, but at this point in time I don't think it would be a good idea. I don't have the time or energy to be serious about something like that on top of everything else.

Leif is currently giving me a dental exam while nursing.
ocelot: (Default)
Today we discovered something wonderful and dangerous - a non-Starbuck's coffee shop a few blocks from our apartment (no offense to the Starbuck's employees reading this, but we haven't had much else since we moved. They virtually have a monopoly around here. It gets old.) They have free wireless and McVity's digestives. Dangerous.

I'm here now, trying to write this on my palm (pilot, not hand). Leif is sitting on the floor flirting with everyone.

I made a baby carrier the other day, based on these directions (which I hesitate to link, as I'm considering selling them at some point, and it's really quite simple to make. I'm not experienced at sewing, and I managed). I love it. It distributes the weight much better than the sling. This is just the beta version, which is too bad, since I really like how it looks. The shoulder straps are at a bad angle though, so they don't distribute the weight across the strap. I might also do the padding differently, though I'm not sure how. We also plan to make the waistband out of cotton webbing, with buckles, so it is easier to tighten and get on and off (right now it ties)

Even though it isn't perfect, I still managed to carry Leif for quite a while yesterday and today. With the sling, my back would have been killing me. Leif seems to like it about as well as the sling - he's either happy, grumpy because he's tired, or asleep.
pictures )
If any of you with babies or toddlers are interested in beta testing, comment or email me.

Leif is so smart. We have a monitor sitting on the floor, waiting to be moved somewhere. It had a magazine sitting on top of it. Being the paper-lover that he is, he reached for it, and knocked it down behind the monitor. He crawled around to the other side to get it!

Oh yeah, he's crawling now :) He has a very funny crawl, putting one foot flat on the ground and pushing off, then repeating with the other foot. We think he really wants to walk more than crawl, and this is the closest compromise. Or it could just be that he hasn't figured out the best way to manage it yet - he's only been really crawling for about 3 days.
ocelot: (ninjaofhappiness)
Here is my valentine to all of you, especially [livejournal.com profile] catsoul and [livejournal.com profile] femakita. :)
ocelot: (Default)
So I'm sewing along on a project, and a seam suddenly appears. I have no memory whatsoever of sewing this seam, and it makes no sense for it to be there.

Shortly afterwards, I realized I was pinning the wrong sides of the fabric together (though thankfully not actually sewing it yet), so I decided I was obviously too tired to continue.

I truly don't have a clue how that seam got there, though. I guess it's good I'm stopping.

I'm trying to get Leif to sleep earlier. Previously, he just went to bed at the same time we did. Tonight I got him to sleep by about 9:30, which is why I've had time to sew. It's a little nerve-wracking, even though I know he'll most likely be out till at least midnight. When he wakes up and discovers himself all alone, he throws a fit, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to get him back to sleep.

Hopefully he won't decide that this is reason to wake up godawful early in the morning.

For some reason "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" is his favorite song. It calms him down like nothing else.

Now I must go to sleep myself.
ocelot: (spacerobots)

Teeth!

I put up more pictures here.

In addition to posting the pictures, I made Thai coconut ice cream today because I was bored and happened to have coconut milk laying around. I even used rose water.

It turned out well. The texture was off (half melted, half frozen) because our ice cream maker isn't the best. It needs sweetener, unless you're into non-sweet ice cream, but you don't need much for it to taste good.

It's good on its own (well, with a bit of added sweetener), but absolutely wonderful with chocolate syrup drizzled over it. The chocolate sauce might even be enough sweetener in itself. Part of the reason it was so yummy was the contrast between sweet and non-sweet. 6fcv <---that's what Leif adds.

I also edited my homepage (whoo, big change) for the first time in forever.

Yesterday I cleaned because I was bored (and because the apartment was a mess).

It is quite boring when it's too rainy and icy to go out.

Next week is supposed to be a bit nicer. Highs above freezing on a regular basis, and no precipitation. This is sort of too bad. If it continued to be yucky, I'd probably get around to making diaper covers. I have some wool I'd like to try out, and I'd like to make some non-waterproof covers to hold a prefold in place once Leif gets too big/mobile for just a snappi. We have some interesting fish-print purple flannel that would be good for that.

I need snaps or something, though. Most cloth diapers and covers I've seen use plastic snaps. I have some metal snaps. I'm not sure if there is a skin sensitivity or other reason not to use them.

I don't think I have elastic, either, which might or might not be useful.
ocelot: (Default)
I posted more pictures at http://www.ansible.org/~jess/leif/! (And an updated posted at [livejournal.com profile] lemurbaby)

Here's the finished lemurbaby costume :)



I know he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. I'll get better pictures on Halloween. I think I'm still going to make some sort of foot covering, too.
ocelot: (broccoli)
I finished the [livejournal.com profile] lemurbaby costume. Not sure how it'll look - I'll try it on him tomorrow.

The hat is adorable, according to our cleaning lady (though she didn't know what a lemur was. Oh well). I'm still working on the ears - I'm not sure how well they'll stand up.

The tail is longer than the baby.

The white patches on the body look like they were designed by a drunken lemur. I never said I was an artist. Hopefully it'll look better when he's wearing it.

After I finished, I decided to make another hat, since I had the fabric remaining, and didn't want it to go to waste. It was part of an old shirt, one that [livejournal.com profile] koyote had gave me to use as a maternity shirt. I hope he's not mad I cut it up. It was one of two gray shirts I had, and the other used to belong to my aunt, who died. And it was stained (the shirt I cut up, that is).

The hats are pretty simple to make. You make a tube of stretchy fabric as wide as you want the hat to be, and about twice as long. Turn it inside out. If necessary, hem at least one of the edges. Make a twist in the fabric, like this, somewhat off center, closer to the less nicely hemmed edge (I can't believe I just linked to a site on how to fold diapers for purposes completely unrelated to folding diapers). Tie a thread tightly around the center of the twist - I wrapped the thread around several times to make sure it was tight, and then tied it in a bow so I could easily fix it if I screwed up the length (which I did the first try).

Now turn the longer of the two sides right side out, folding it down over the other side. You now have a hat.

If the outside layer is long enough and you'd like it to feel slightly more finished, fold the outside edge up over the inner layer and hem. Decorate if you feel like it.

I learned how to do this from the hat they gave Leif at the hospital.

Me and my hats:


Can you tell I'm bored?

Oops, bedtime if I want to be up in time for yoga tomorrow!
ocelot: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] koyote left for England yesterday afternoon, so it's just me and the baby till Friday.

I decided to try going to La Leche League, but it turns out it meets on the second Thursday of the month, not the second Tuesday, so we hung out at Starbucks instead.

This wouldn't have really been a problem, except that it started pouring rain shortly after we left home, so we got a little wet and broke an umbrella. Oh well.

I swear, I'm either dyslexic or going psychotic and seeing what I want to see, rather than what is actually there. I could have sworn the website said the second Tuesday.

I'm working on Leif's lemur costume. It ain't going to look professional, but hopefully it'll at least look cute and a little lemur-like. I'm gluing white felt on the front of a grey sweatsuit, and I made a gray hat that I'll attach black and white ears to. And then I have to make a tail to safety in on the back.

I'm having fun with the sewing machine, anyways.

Today I put in a resume for a job at a local new age shop. They had a sign on their door advertising for a part time web site maintainer, 5-10 hours a week. It sounds like they just want someone to take pictures and stick them on the site. If so, it should be pretty much perfect for me, as long as they don't need anything significantly more artistic than adjusting contrast.

I'm writing an article about elimination communication for kuro5hin.org, though I kind of wonder if it's a pointless effort. Is a geek oriented site going to care one bit about baby pee? Even if it's subversive, questioning authority baby pee?

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