Lucy's Blessing Dress

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In my LONG blog absence I was busy busy laying on the couch in pregnancy exhaustion and then subsequently having a baby. Her name is Lucy and she is sweet as can be, and now two months old! I'm planning to share her birth story (like I did for Charly and Caroline) but today I'm jumping the gun and sharing the blessing dress I made for her special day last weekend (a baby blessing is something we do in the LDS church and is similar to a christening). I made dresses for both of my other girls (here and here) so while I'm still super duper in love with Caroline's dress and contemplated using it again, it only seemed fair to make our little Lucy her own.

I decided to go a totally different direction with this one after doing some searching and pinning. I put together this board and realized I was digging a 60's babydoll vibe.

The only problem was I couldn't find a pattern that suited my vision. And true newborn patterns are hard to find- most start at 3 months- and I just couldn't get past the idea of having it actually fit her tiny shoulders. So I drafted my own! It was great to jump back to drafting a bit as I haven't done much since releasing the Blue Ridge Dress.

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This dress is a baby doll or tunic length, a line, lined and features a bow front detail, hem facings, and front pleat. I used a hook and eye closure at the back neck because I was strapped for time, but I had planned to do a button and loop or ties.

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I used dupioni silk that I had left over from a wedding dress I made for a friend of mine a few years ago, and while I love the look, it definitely wrinkles like the dickens. The bow detail is a sequined lace from Joann Fabrics. I brought the sequined lace in to the bloomers, as well, which are made from the free Blousy Bloomer pattern from Sew Caroline. While I love the details of these bloomers, they aren't well suited for this fabric and ended up too baggy looking. I also sized up, so both those are my own fault. I'll definitely give these a try in another fabric some time- I love the options for trims and contrast fabrics with the front panel.

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My little Lucy looked precious on her blessing day and was given a wonderful blessing by her dad. We were happy to share the day with some family. I'm so happy with the way her dress turned out and that I could make her a special keepsake.

And since I've already drafted it, I'm tweaking a few things and planning to release it in newborn size as a free pattern! I'll have lined and unlined options for a more casual look. I can't wait to make a few more of these for her for summer- keep your eyes peeled for the free pattern in the coming weeks!

Thanks for reading!

Caroline's Blessing Dress

I recently happened upon these pictures of Caroline on her blessing day (similar to a christening) and realized I had never posted about her dress. I made it! I made Charly's (and the pictures of her wearing it are here) so I figured it would be a sweet little thing for each child to have their own handmade by me. Of course, in the three years since Charly's blessing day my tastes have changed some and my skills have improved, so they look very different from each other. It's kind of fun for me to see the difference in difficulty and style after so short a time, not to mention seeing how much this little lady has grown- her blessing was nearly seven months ago!

I made this dress using Made By Rae's Geranium Dress pattern. It's one I know and love- and bonus, the newborn size is available as a free download! I Used the newborn bodice from the download, drafted a flutter sleeve based on the one from the paid pattern (since the free one is sleeveless) and altered the skirt portion to be pleated instead of gathered. Oh, and did I mention it was a refashion? Yep, I made it from this shirt a friend passed on to me. The cut didn't look very good on me but the fabric was too too perfect for the occasion. So ethereal!

It's hard to see in most pictures, but I kept the original hem because I loved that pleat detail. And it saved me the pain of hemming such slippery fabric! This is the best picture showing the entire dress.

Of course, that was before I did the embroidery. I did a self- drafted design (ok, I was winging it) of french knots in a sort of starburst coming from the neckline. In gold embroidery floss, which I previously didn't know existed but I absolutely love the look of. I used it on this dress too. If you are so inspired to use it, be warned; it is tricky. But worth it, I think. Also worth mentioning: embroidering a traced-but-not-cut pattern piece would be infinitely easier than embroidering a sewn garment. Just sayin.

I've been anti baby bonnet in the past, but the Storybook Woods Bonnet changed my mind. I love the look of this little cap. I think it is simple enough to be masculine for a boy and easy to doll up for a girl. I loved it enough to make a winter version, even. This one is made from the same lightweight cotton I used for the lining of the dress. I added a simple flower with more gold french knots, and just the tiniest bit of pink for the flower center.

Naturally, I was finishing the buttonholes just hours before her blessing was to take place. I just hate buttonholes so so much. Anyone with me? They shouldn't be that difficult but for some reason they are. I seam ripped right through the stitching, making a tear in the fabric that I could only sort of fix. You know how the Amish intentionally make quilts with imperfections? Something about acknowledging their imperfection before God... does anyone know what I'm talking about? Anyway, we'll say that's why it's there. Keep me humble, haha.

For the sake of documentation, here is our little family of four on Caroline's blessing day (which was July 28, 2013- also for the sake of documentation). It is mind blowing to see these little people change and grow.

We sure love this sweet little lady! She's bigger and crazier but just as sweet today.

Thanks for reading!

KCW Day 4: Cashmere Winter Bonnet

Plugging right along today, I finished up the bonnets I had in the works this afternoon when my kids should have been napping. Just in time to sneak in a quick photo shoot with my gals. Charly played the part of the unwilling assistant by being bribed with the return of toys that had been banished for being left out. It was frigid out today (finally! some fall weather!) so we kept it short and hoped for some good pictures. And surprise- they were great! Lucky day!

These bonnets (I made two- one to donate to the non-profit I used to work for to auction at their upcoming fundraiser and one for little blue eyes over here) were made using the Storybook Woods Bonnet pattern. I used it once before when I made Caroline's blessing dress, which I realize now I never posted about. Hmm. I'll put that on the list. Anyway, I've never been much of a bonnet person, but I got the hankering for one of this style when I made her blessing dress and I love that it looks a little vintage, or maybe Scandinavian... I don't know.

The fabric is a tweed that I either thrifted or managed to acquire from some kind soul. I remember it smelled a little like moth balls when I got it, so it definitely wasn't new. The lining is a cashmere sweater that had a hole in it. I've been hoarding that in my box of misfit clothes as well (anyone sensing a theme here?) so I'm happy to be able to use it up. It makes me feel justified in having such a box when I actually use stuff out of it.

The flower is my own addition to the pattern. It was made by cutting petal shapes from the tweed and machine stitching around it to prevent fray, then hand stitching each petal to the outer fabric. Both were finished off with a vintage button from a local antique store.

I'm taking a detour from my planned projects this week to work on halloween costumes. We've talked for weeks about all dressing up from the movie Tangled, but until now hadn't committed (mostly because I didn't want to make all the costumes) but now I'm on board and we are making it happen. I really only have a few items to make between the four of us, so hopefully I'll get to squeeze in at least one more item of kids clothes before the week is up. I've got Caroline's Pascal the chameleon costume partially done, so fingers crossed I'll be able to finish it up tomorrow and share!

A Tale of Two Boobs

If this blog post were a book the subtitle would be: ...And a breastpump, and a bottle, and some formula, and a ton of herbal supplements, and how they all worked together to nourish my baby.

Gratuitous baby and me shot. This post is heavy on text, so enjoy this now! By BMW Photography

This week is National Breastfeeding week. Prior to last Saturday I had no idea such a thing existed, and certainly didn't know that it was THIS week, but hey! I have a story to tell, and this seems like a great time to tell it.

If you've read our blog a time or two you might remember my Birth Story- you know, the one where I had a baby, tried to breastfeed, had such low supply that she ended up in the emergency room for an IV the day after we brought her home from the hospital, then I pumped and supplemented, and finally after six sleep deprived weeks (and a move!) I gave up and formula fed her? No? Well that happened. And it was pretty heartbreaking to me at the time, but I came to terms with it and she is now a two and a half year old who is healthy as a horse and smart as a whip and I don't regret how things happened. I did what I needed to do under the circumstances.

BUT, when I got pregnant with baby #2 I was still hoping to be able to breast feed. I kept talking about things I'd need for nursing (clothes with easy nursing access, supplements to help with supply, etc.), but I also realized that my body just might not be capable of producing enough milk and I had to be ok with that. I did a lot of reading to brush up on my mammary knowledge, and I used an essential oil that my sister-in-law gave me to help my milk come in (Clary Sage, for anyone wondering), and then I walked through the hospital doors on May 8 for my scheduled cesarean and hoped for the best.

I'll share more details about the hospital stay in a future post, but for the purposes of my breastfeeding story it is worth noting that the hospital I delivered at was fabulous. Within 45 minutes of my surgery they had my sweet baby in the recovery area with me, with a lactation consultant, helping me to nurse my baby. Lactation consultants stopped by every day to see how things were going and gave me great support and resources, including a hospital grade pump when it became evident that once again my supply wasn't cutting it.

My milk came in before I left the hospital (hooray for second pregnancies and clary sage!) but my little one definitely wasn't getting enough. So began my journey of pumping and supplementing. The next two weeks were a journey of nursing, pumping, and supplementing nearly round the clock. I was nursing on demand hoping to increase my supply, but even that wasn't cutting it. Our pediatricians office has a lactation consultant on staff and we quickly became acquainted, Dawn and I. We had 4 visits with her in the first two weeks of my baby's life, each one with a weight check and often a feeding in office. My baby was latching great, but she'd barely suck and would fall asleep almost instantly. At first I'd nurse, then pump and feed her what I pumped, but by our third visit she had lost weight since she left the hospital and it became clear she needed more. We started adding formula to the mix and she quickly gained the weight back and started looking a lot better. Finally her jaundice was disappearing and her face was filling out.

To put everything that happened in those two weeks into the paragraph above is minimizing the crazy journey it was. At times I felt like I was thisclose to being able to nurse exclusively, then before I knew it she was getting almost all her nutrients from formula and falling asleep the second I brought her to the breast. She'd be naked, I'd put a fan on her, rub her back, tickle her head and feet, and still she'd sleep. I'd nurse, and pump, and bottle feed, and do it all over again and again and again.

Oh, and the supplements! Aside from the painkillers I needed for the post-op pain, I took all the herbal supplements I could stomach. Fenugreek capsules- two to three capsules six times daily! Alfalfa tablets- four times daily! Oatmeal for breakfast every day! I took them all and meticulously tracked my milk supply as I pumped and did it all over again all day every day.

I love this picture. I'm exhausted, but in bliss. A moment to remember.

Her two week check up came around and we saw Dawn before we saw the pediatrician. I nursed in the office and we did a before and after feeding weight check to see how much she'd taken in during nursing. She nursed a long time and Dawn and I put all we could in to keeping her awake, and she took in just under an ounce and a half. It was a vast improvement, but still not where we needed to be. A little defeated, I asked Dawn what else I could do. I almost didn't ask for fear that the answer would be that there was nothing left to try. She told me about a supplement tincture (Motherlove More Milk Special Blend) that would replace my other supplements that could help and I decided to give that a go. Then Dawn started talking about milk banks and donated milk and I realized where the conversation was headed- my milk just may never be enough. I started to tear up at the thought of once again failing at this, but then Dawn said, "Look, you are doing incredible. You are doing all you can to feed your baby, and if it turns out that you just can't get the supply you need, you can know that you did everything possible. Now it is just a matter of how long you can keep pumping and if you can keep it up long enough for your baby to figure it out."

And somehow, that was what I needed to hear.

We walked across the hall to the exam room and waited for the pediatrician. Once she came, we talked about the visit with Dawn and the plan going forward. She shared with me her own struggles with breastfeeding, which were similar to my own. Knowing she'd be going back to work after a few months anyway, she started almost exclusively pumping after a couple of weeks. She said that by two or three months her baby just "figured it out". "By the time she is that age, she'll be a completely different baby", she said. "She'll be more awake and it may just take time to figure it out."

Going home I formulated a plan. I knew with my first breastfeeding experience the pumping and nursing was extremely time consuming and really took an emotional toll on me, and I knew this go around I had the added responsibility of not only a baby, but a toddler to watch after. I thought about what Dawn said, about it being a matter of how long I could keep it up, and what my pediatrician said about her baby just "getting it" at 2 or 3 months after being mostly bottle fed. I also thought about the fact that I really had two problems: a sleepy baby who wouldn't suck, and low supply. Even if she suddenly "got it", I was going to have to supplement until my supply increased. My supply wasn't going to increase without a machine. Priority #1 became supply. I'd nurse once or twice a day, take my supplements, and pump my little heart out. I'd keep close tabs on what my supply was doing and compare pumping after nursing to times when I just pumped to keep tabs on how much she got when we nursed. I'd do this as long as I could and hope for the best.

Fast forward two weeks to her one month check up. I met with Dawn and told her all about my plan and my meticulous milk tracking. Between the pumping and the new herbal I was taking my supply had increased from about 10oz per day to 17oz. In two weeks! She was eating about 21oz per day on days that I didn't nurse her at all, so I knew I was really only a few ounces per day away from what she needed. BUT, she wasn't nursing much better. She usually got between 1 and 2 ounces when she nursed- and bottle fed another 1 or 2 after that. Dawn was encouraged though and the plan was to keep on keepin on.

Over the next month I did just that- kept on. The first time I pumped 3 ounces in one sitting I nearly jumped for joy- I even sent this celebratory picture to my husband at work.

We had a two week vacation to visit family for my brother's wedding during that month. I was nervous about finding time to pump whilst on vacation, but I'm proud to report that I did it. I managed to maintain my supply through a wedding, lake trip, lots of day trips, and staying at two different houses. I pumped as we drove down the freeway, I pumped with a cover while reminiscining with my siblings, and I pumped in a locked office during the wedding reception. I nursed maybe a dozen times (maybe) over the course of that vacation, but I maintained my supply, and I'm really proud of that. It helped to have a ton of willing hands to hold my baby and read stories to my toddler and in general just be super helpful so I could duck out for a moment to pump when I needed to. During this time my baby also had a crazy huge growth spurt. She started eating 5 or 6 or 7 ounces in a single feeding- and not being satisfied until we gave that to her. All of the sudden the gap between my production and her consumption was growing, and that upset me. I felt like I'd never be able to catch up.

Shortly after we got home we had her two month check up. I hoped I'd have great news about how things were going when we met with Dawn, but really things seemed the same. As I settled in to her office, arranging the nursing pillow and getting situated to nurse, I explained what the last month had been like, how I felt pretty pro at pumping and felt like I could probably sustain that long term even if I couldn't nurse her, and how I didn't think she was nursing much better. Dawn commented on how she couldn't believe she was keeping her eyes open the whole time she was feeding and that everything looked really great, and then came the moment of truth. We put her on the scale and I silently chanted "big numbers, big numbers" as the digits changed on the display. She calculated the difference- nearly THREE AND A HALF OUNCES! I couldn't believe it. No really, I couldn't. Dawn was ecstatic- "That's awsome mom! I think she's at least as efficient as your pump now- I bet you could stop pumping, even if you still have to supplement with formula for a while.I think you are a success story!" And I really just didn't believe her. It was probably a fluke. She was still eating more than I was making (although the gap had closed some as she came off of her growth spurt) and I didn't see how I could increase any more than I already had. I humored her in her optimism but in my mind was still resolved that I would probably be pumping for a long time.

And then, a few days later, I nursed her in the morning like I often did, and she was satisfied. I didn't pump. I didn't make a bottle. I just waited. And three hours later, I nursed her again, and she was satisfied- even happy. No bottle, no formula, no pump. Just me and my two boobs and my baby. All day, every few hours, I nursed my baby. And she was happy!

That day was nearly two and a half weeks ago. I'm happy and relieved and proud to report that I feed my baby with my own two boobs now. We aren't perfect at it. I'm clumsily navigating nursing in public with an almost three month old who is much more wiggly than a newborn. I still pack a bottle for emergencies when we go out for the day, thinking there will come a time when my milk won't be enough. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I no longer have the sense of control that I had when I could quantify the milk I made and the milk she drank. Nearly every day I wonder "Is she getting enough? Should I give her a bottle?"

But you guys, I'm doing it. I am a breast feeding success story.

Recovered Car Seat

I've got a project to share today that I finished just before I jetted off to Utah. 
Remember back in October how my talented friend Brinn took our family photos? And they turned out fantastic (as usual)? Well she's having a baby. A little girl. And since she takes pictures and I sew, we worked out a little trade. She wanted her old car seat re-covered and girl-ified.

I used this tutorial and basically just de-constructed it, used the old fabric as a pattern, then put it back together with cuter fabric. There was a lot of unpicking involved. But, I finished it just in the knick of time, got it sent off before I left on my trip, and Brinn was kind enough to take a picture of the finished product:

The button on the right was a last minute touch that I added to the infant head rest thingy- it is a buffalo button, which I thought only fitting since baby girl will be named Wyoming!

This project was really fun- I LOVE the fabrics, and it kinda made me want to re-cover Charly's big girl car seat.

So whaddya think? Anyone else itching to cover their car seat now?

Charly's Quilt

I love the idea of quilts... problem is, I think a lot of them look outdated or pioneer-y. That in itself is not a problem. There is definitely a place for pioneer decor in this world. But I'm more into mid-century vintageness, rather than handcart pioneer type stuff, and quilts don't scream mid-century modern to me. When I saw this quilt from The Crafty Traveler on Pinterest, I fell in love. So modern. Fresh. Unexpected- other than the fact that chevron is totally overdone in blogland right now. I haven't jumped on the chevron bandwagon until now. But c'mon, can you blame me? This made me realize quilts don't have to be granny. (and on that note, Emily Henderson did a blog post about it just as I was coming to this conclusion)

I've never made a legit quilt before. I made a t-shirt quilt in high school... wonder where that thing ended up. Anyway, like I said, this was my first REAL quilt, and it was a great beginner project. The squares were really easy to create using her tutorial (seriously, check it out... I wouldn't have thought to do it that way!) and it was easy to assemble. I made mine larger than the original. I realized that what I really wanted was a quilt that could be used as a bedspread for her toddler bed (when she gets to that point) so I needed to expand. I added two rows of width and four rows of length to make it just about the size of the crib size quilt batting I bought at JoAnns. I showed you all this progress picture a few weeks ago... remember this stage?
Since then I've sewn the squares together, quilted and bound, and this is the final product:

I decided to machine quilt it myself. It made me really nervous, but I went for it anyway. It certainly isn't flawless, but I'm happy with it. For a perfectionist like me, that is all you can ask for! The process for assembling it once the squares were made went something like this:
1- Sew squares together to form rows. Press seams out.
2-Sew rows together. Press seams out. 
3-Lay backing fabric wrong side up with batting on top, then cover with quilt top. Backing fabric should be larger than quilt top to allow for binding later (unless you do a separate binding strip... but that's too fancy for me.)
4-Safety pin like crazy! The more pins you use, the less your quilt will shift in the quilting process.
5-Using a straight stitch, sew all three layers together in the pattern you choose to quilt (more on why I chose lines rather than free motion or following the zig zag in a minute)
6-Once all quilting is done, trim batting and press backing over to create a binding. 
7-Hand stitch binding in place. Voila!
Here is the back view:
My backing fabric had a natural pattern of stripes that I sewed along to quilt. This made it so I had a pattern to follow as I quilted. The fact that it was really just sewing straight lines gave me the courage to machine quilt it myself. I love how it looks from the back and the front!
My perfectionist self  LOVES that the lines from the binding line up with the stitch lines on the front of the quilt.
I really debated on whether to hand stitch the binding or machine stitch it. In the end, I decided hand stitching would give it more of the heirloom look, which is what I hope this quilt will be!
Total cost breakdown for this project:
Fabric: $6 (I used a lot of fabric I already had, and the white fabric is from a salvaged white sheet)
Batting: $7- I used a 50% off coupon at JoAnns
Thread: $2
Total: $15
Although I'm positive Charly won't show an ounce of excitement when she opens this on Christmas, I'm delighted to have this great gift for her to treasure in future years. I kinda like the idea of doing something handmade for my kids each year. Maybe this will be the start of a new tradition!

Crib Mobile (Finally!)

Back in December I made these cute little birds (pattern found here) for a mobile I had planned for the nursery. Do you guys remember how cute that mobile turned out? No? Oh yeah. I never finished it. I made all those birds and then never got around to assembling the mobile. To be honest, I knew the balancing act that would be, well, balancing the mobile, would be difficult. I thought about it every so often as I transferred it from one to-do list to the next and tried to think of ways I might make it easier. Finally, yesterday, I buckled down and bought the supplies to try and tackle this adorable mobile, with my own twist.

I worked on it last night and this morning (in between feedings and multiple failed naps) and finally have a finished product to share! I even got it hung up.

It was a little precarious getting the hook installed (ok, very precarious) but I got er done. It *may* have involved standing on the edge of the crib, while holding power tools, and I *may* have lost my balance and gotten a big bump/bruise on my shin. Maybe. 

Anyhow, my version includes dowels instead of tree branches (cause I couldn't find branches I was happy with. I'm a perfectionist) and an embroidery hoop . I also staggered my "branches" so that they aren't all linked- two "branches" connect directly to the hoop, and one hangs off of each of those, rather than each hanging off of the one above it. 
Each is secured with two strings because I thought it would make balancing easier. I'm not sure it did, but I kind of like the intermingling of the strings. I also ended up weighing one of the birds (I'm not telling which one) with beans, three pennies, one nickel and two batteries. Its a little surprise for whoever opens these up some day.
I love how different it looks from every angle. I don't love the lighting in these pictures, but it was already hung  when I realized the light available would not be the best, and at that point I was not crawling back up on that crib. I mean, if that even happened :)
I'm pretty happy to finally be done with this project and have something hung up in Charly's room. Hopefully we'll have more progress to report soon!

The Swaddle Debacle

Sometimes, projects fail. It usually makes me really angry when they do. This is one of those times.

Despite the fact that Charly is 5 months old, we still swaddle her. It is high time to wean her of that habit, I know, but that means interrupted sleep patterns, and I just don't think I'm ready for that. Since it has warmed up here (aka the heat outside is unbearable) Charly needed something lighter than her flannel swaddling blanket. She had a pesky rash that I thought was heat rash (turns out it was eczema- Aveeno baby cream is clearing it right up!) so the pressure was on to try to find her one of those nifty swaddlers that wrap around her and velcro- making it less likely she would wriggle out and wake herself up by flailing her arms, which she totally does.

Source

We searched Target high and low, and all they had were gauzy swaddling blankets for $40 or a swaddler in a size too small for Charly. And it was a boy swaddler. I'm totally OK with my child wearing blue, but this thing was just ugly. I wouldn't have bought it for a boy either. I know that's silly- its for sleeping for goodness sakes! It was too small anyway, so we checked a few other stores (with no luck) and headed home. I devised a plan to create my own from old t shirts. The next day I got to work, creating a pattern based on the swaddler design above. I'm not a person that just whips up my own patterns for things normally, so I was pretty proud of myself. I sewed most of the day in an effort to have it ready for bedtime. When I was finished, it looked awesome.

Ok, maybe it looked a little like a baby straight jacket, but I thought it was awesome. I sewed the velcro strips perpendicular to each other on the two flaps for maximum adjust-ability.

We eagerly shimmied our squirmy baby inside, pulled the flaps tightly around her, fastened it up, and bam. Hands out. Instantly. I handed her to Matt and walked away and threw a silent temper tantrum. Out came the flannel, and she was back to her regular swaddle.

The next day, once my silent tantrum was over, I went to the fabric store to see if I could find any gauzy fabric to mimic the $40 blankets we had seen. Matt didn't want me to, because he didn't want a repeat of the day before, but I insisted I'd keep my cool, and that this project would be super easy and require much less of a time commitment, so the emotional stakes would be lower. Lo and behold, my fabric was half off, bringing the price of a 44" square swaddling blanket to just over $4. Woohoo! All I had to do was serge the edges (and in reality it would even work without serging) and then put it to use! Here is my little dear after waking up from a gauzy swaddled nap:

Yes, she does wake up that happy. The kid is crazy. The lesson? Sometimes the simple solutions are the best ones.

Wet Bag

Ever since we got our cloth diapers I have had 'sew a wet bag' on my to-do list. We've been putting the soiled diapers in a grocery bag on the closet door handle in the interim. I'm happy to say that last week I finally tackled the project, and our days of grocery wet bags are no more!

I usually like to find a tutorial to follow for my projects, but for this one I couldn't find what I wanted. Most wet bag tutorials have a drawstring, and I wanted something that zipped and would be nice and flat against the side of the dresser/changing table. So I dreamed this one up, drew some rough sketches, and got to work. I did use this tutorial to figure out how to sew the lining and outer fabric to the zipper without having seams showing inside. Its a great tutorial, and a really cute boxy bag too!

Since this bag needs some sort of moisture barrier, I used an iron-on vinyl from the craft store. I applied the vinyl to plain white fabric (an old sheet, actually) for the lining and then cut and began sewing. The vinyl is thin, so it was really easy to work with. Oilcloth would be another great option, I just wanted a cheaper solution. PUL would work too, which is the fabric they use on our cloth diapers. I've seen it at JoAnn's before.

Vinyl covered interior

The advantage of a bag rather than a pail is that I can throw the bag in the wash with my diapers and avoid having another thing to wash. Having now washed this one once, I must say the vinyl wrinkled a lot in the wash. Not a huge deal, but I think oilcloth or PUL would hold shape better.

Already getting lots of use.

I used a zipper that is made for athletic jackets because it zipped and unzipped the easiest. The last thing I wanted was something that was difficult to maneuver while I'm handling a dirty diaper and a squirmy baby. This one, with the addition of a long zipper pull, has worked great so far. By attaching the hanging loops at each end of the zipper the bag is kept steady while I zip and unzip.

Basically, I'm really happy with this little wet bag project. Now we just need to get the rest of Charly's room in order. It's looking a little drab, dontcha think?

I think some paint and artwork is in order.

An evening project

This weekend we are having family pictures taken by the ever fabulous Brinn Willis. It's our Mother's day gift to Matt's mom (don't worry, she already knows), since they haven't had pictures done in a long time, and the family has grown. We are working off of a coordinating color scheme, so I'm trying to figure out mine and Charly's outfits. I haven't made much progress on mine (I know, I'm running out of time!) but I whipped out the ole' sewing machine to make a little something for Charly last night (after our chill out day). What I ended up with is these little cuties:

Aren't they just fun!? The tutorial is found here on Fleeting Thing. It was a three-ish hour project. I still need to pick up some thin elastic and attach it across the top to keep these little flats on her wiggly feet. 
The hardest part was getting those ruffles right. It took a little patience, but I think they turned out great! 
If I had a serger I would have serged around the inside seam so it looked a little cleaner. I'm not too worried about it though, despite my perfectionist tendencies.
My main complaint about the pattern/tutorial is that she doesn't specify the seam allowance except for on one part. Perhaps she has a standard seam allowance that I just don't know about, but for the ruffles I found they only worked with the tiniest little seam allowance- as in, the needle was dancing on the edge of the fabric. When sewing the sole to the top portion I kept the edge of my fabric at the edge of my presser foot and it ended up fitting Charly perfectly. You might be able to adjust that seam allowance to make the finished product a touch bigger/smaller. All in all, a fun evening project. Now I just need something for me to wear... and a haircut. It's been waaaaaay too long.