IKEA

Baby Prep: DIY Diaper Clutch & Diaper Changing Pad

I keep going back and forth: to cloth diaper or not to cloth diaper? That is the question. With the cost of disposable diapers and the number of kids we want to have I always thought it would be a good investment to be a “cloth diapering family”. My husband, on the other hand, needed some convincing. The “saving money” aspect was attractive but the fact that our other kids would wear their older siblings diapers was not. I told him that you wash them and that they’re clean but his argument was that his brother washes his underwear too – that doesn’t mean they’re going to share!

We have a long road ahead of us before he warms up to the idea! For the first three months of newborn diapers we’ll use disposables just to help as we get into a new-baby routine. After that we’ll evaluate but I’m pretty sure between the money-saving factor and the convenience factor I’ll be able to show him how easy cloth diapering really can be. That’s my hope anyways.

Either way, whether our son sports Pampers or BumGenius, I wanted a cute and organized way to take my diapers, wipes and changing pad on the go.

This will be the last time I do my cutting, piecing and ironing on the floor. I don’t know why I thought this would be a convenient choice but my back clearly thought it to be a bad idea.

I used some black and white striped canvas fabric that I got from IKEA a couple of months ago and some bleached muslin. I cut a rectangular piece of each fabric that was about 12″ wide and 20″ long, pinned the two fabrics, right sides together, and used a plate to guide my rotary cutter around the two top corners to give me even rounded edges.




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I sewed around the whole clutch except for a 3″ opening on the lower right side. This allowed me to turn my fabric inside out and press the seams properly. Then I used some yellow knit fabric from an old shirt I cut up to sew a pocket onto what would later be the front of the clutch. I wish I would’ve sewn a pocket on the white muslin first before I sewed it to my canvas that way the inside of the clutch could have a little pocket too.

 
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After you’ve added all of the pockets that your little heart desires, you fold the long rectangle up about 8″ or more and pin in place. You can play around with how deep you want your clutch to be compared to how long you want your front flap. When it looks how you like make sure all of your sides are lined up and that the 3″ opening’s seam is ironed in place. Then sew up the right and left side of your clutch.

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That’s it! You’re done! Cute little clutch to hold your diaper changing pad, about 4  diapers (cloth or disposable!), pack of travel wipes and a change of little people clothes. Now all I need to do is find a cute button for the front and add a little velcro on the front flap to make sure it stays closed.

 

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I also made this travel diaper changing pad to take along with me. One side is a waterproof fabric and the other side is cotton. I used the fabric I got for 99 cents/yard at IKEA which seems to make it’s way in almost all of my sewing projects. I cut out the fabric to be about 15″ x 24″, faced the right sides together and pinned in place.

 
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I sewed around all of the edges except for the bottom. I turned the fabric inside out, pressed the seams and then folded the fabric of the opening under so I could iron it flat. Then I sewed the opening shut and sewed random lines across the fabric to hold it together. Next time I should send my fabric pieces to Minnesota to have my mom make a quilted diaper changing pad with her fancy quilting machine!

 

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There you have it! A quick and easy diaper changing pad to take with you on the go! My husband thinks that I should’ve put some batting on the inside to make it a little cushy for baby’s bum which is a good point but I love that this isn’t bulky and folds up really thin, taking up hardly any space.

One more project down…many more to go!

 

 

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Baby Prep: Baby Quilts & Sewing Projects

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My Mom is an amazing quilter. She made me this (my favorite!) shabby chic quilt that was originally for my living room but I love it so much that I lay it out across our all white bedding now. It’s also my way of clinging to just something shabby chic since it was all kicked out of the bedroom as soon as I got married!

With all of these craft projects for baby running through my mind and my Mom across the country in Minnesota, I’m thankful for all the years that I grew up around a sewing machine. I used to help my mom design patterns for quilts (she can sew but she can’t draw a stick figure to save her life) and finished my first quilt in high school. While I worked on a bunch of little projects throughout the years that was my first and last quilt…until now!

I ambitiously (too ambitiously) thought I’d try my hand at quilting again and start with a chevron design made out of tiny squares.
Easy right?
This tiny play-mat-sized quilt took me over 16 hours. I underestimated the need to measure and cut the squares accurately. I should’ve pressed the seams better. I should’ve made the squares bigger. I broke 4 needles in the process. I should’ve sewn with a polyester blend thread. Oh, and I finished the quilt once, ripped it apart the next morning and then finished it again.
Yeah, easy.

But in the end, I look back on it as a labor of love where a lot of lessons were learned.

My second quilt I ever made was for my baby boy.

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I used fabric from Ikea that was on sale for $0.99! It’s normally $7.99/yard but they must’ve had a bunch of it so it was discounted like crazy. I went back a few weeks later and they still have it. We bought several yards to be used as cheap tablecloths and they’re perfect! If I would’ve made the squares bigger you would be able to see more of the script print but this way is…unique!

I had to stop at “play-mat-sized” because I couldn’t handle 16 more hours of more squares and obsessing over fixing (or not fixing) my mistakes. Turns out it’ll be the perfect little quilt for “tummy time” once the baby gets here!

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After the headache-quilt I couldn’t let that be the way I packed up my sewing machine so I thought I’d try and redeem the experience with something a little easier: the baby’s crib quilt!

I wanted something white (easily bleach-able), something timeless and something snuggly so I decided to piece together different sized strips of textured white cotton fabric. This type of quilt would be so fun to make for a baby girl! I found all different kinds of crocheted lace and little eyelet flowers decorating plain white fabric. It was a little more challenging to find something not so frilly for a boy. I thought I could always use strips of bleached muslin if I ran out of options but I found enough for the size I was going for.

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I made thin strips and fat strips out of each fabric and then lined them up, alternating in a way to get the look I wanted. This time I paid special attention to the length and width of my strips as I cut and measured the fabric. I also made sure to press my seams properly which saved me a lot of work later. I figured out with this quilt that if you pay special attention to the details at the beginning it makes finishing the quilt that much (so much!) easier.

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If you can sew a straight line then you can make this quilt in just a couple of hours. I finished it off with a super soft ribbed minky fabric which was pretty pricey at $14.99/yard (thank God for Jo-Ann’s coupons) but worth every penny. The quilt is so soft and cuddly – perfect for a little baby’s crib!

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I can’t wait until our baby gets here to be wrapped up in this! My husband still has his quilt from when he was a baby and it makes me so excited to think that I made our baby something that he can hopefully give to his baby someday (mildly freaking out at that thought, actually…weird). My sewing experience has been redeemed! 

Many more projects up my sleeve for the near future! I’ve been taking a crafting break to focus on finishing a video project but as soon as that’s done it’s game on: nesting in full swing!

California: Introductions & Delights

I can’t believe I’ve lived my whole life not in California!

It feels like I was made to live here. I’m loving the fresh fruit, the gorgeous hills, the winding roads, the SUNSHINE and the change of pace.

The other day I went to Trader Joe’s and it felt like a whole new experience! I forgot that the alcohol doesn’t have to be separate from the groceries in this state and I found produce with the stems and leaves still connected to the fruit! Freshly picked clementines, straight from the grove and sold at Trader Joe’s. I was in heaven!

I’ve been eating my fair share of cheap, fresh, tropical fruits: pineapple and papaya with lemon juice was for breakfast. With the price of the fruit out here I’ve been able to snack on blackberries and mandarins all day. I can’t wait until we go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Eric’s mom has been telling me about fruits I’ve never even heard of that I should try!

The guys come back from their cross-country trip this afternoon. I can’t wait until Eric gets home! After so many months of winter and packing it’ll be so much fun to actually get some time together.

While I’ve been waiting for him to come home I’ve had people “capturing” me and taking me on fun adventures. The other day Faye and I went to the OC and had lunch at this all vegan restaurant called The Veggie Grill.

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We had the “Bali Bliss” which is a Tempeh burger with red onion, tomato, lettuce and a (all vegan, of course!) chipotle ranch sauce. I ordered the “All Hail Kale” salad which was this amazing creation we tried to reproduce last night. It was kale, red cabbage, quinoa, corn salsa, agave-roasted walnuts, with a ginger-papaya vinaigrette. The burger and the salad were the best things we ordered! The mac-n-cheese was a disaster (but what did I really expect?) and the chili was an incredibly fresh texture but not a lot of flavor.

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All in all, it was a great experience and such a joy to find easily accessible and affordable healthy food. Welcome to California!

The next day Ruby picked me up and we went to Uncle Tim’s for a little Thai date with the girls and an IKEA run. It was so good to catch up a little, get out of the house and start doing “normal” things. I’m still adjusting to the fact that I live here now because every other time I see these people I’m visiting. That’s a pretty good lightbulb-moment feeling: I live here now.

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I, thankfully, was able to grab a few things at IKEA to style up my new digs. There’s still a lot of unpacking (and then more packing) that needs to be done but it feels nice to have some clean white light coming in through open windows and a freshly made bed. Waking up to birds chirping outside my windows has been another one of my favorite things. What a delight! (I feel like a visitor to a foreign country) 

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This does look like a foreign Target though. It’s like I’m taking pictures of Starbucks in different countries or something. The last Target I left was a freezing walk from the car to the store through salty parking lots with downtown’s skyscrapers in the background. What a difference!  Now I’m seeing palm trees, hills, snow covered mountains (this time of year) and blue skies.

I’m thankful to the Lord for all these little blessings sewn throughout my day. This is exactly what I needed.