Monday, December 30, 2013

Nursing Cover and Burp Pad

Breastfeeding your child in public in the beginning can be very intimidating especially with an inadequate nursing cover.  For my first daughter I purchased a nursing cover and I was just not happy with it so I set out to make my own.  What I love about the ones I have made is that they are wider so cover more easily and also that the stiff part along the top is longer so that it is easier to see my baby.
My sister in law is due with her third boy (!) in about a month and I really wanted to make her something she could use.  I had previously found a yard of University of North Carolina material that I wanted to use for her since she has not only a Bachelors degree but also a Masters and Doctorate from UNC.  I can't believe that she has made it through 2 kids without a nursing cover, so hopefully she finds this one very useful.

Materials Needed:
Cotton Fabric of choice - If you would like just the nursing cover then you need 3/4 yard of 44 inch wide cotton fabric (make sure it isn't see through).  I like to buy a yard of the fabric and then I have enough to make a corresponding burp cloth so that you can coordinate while nursing in public ;).
Set of D- Rings
1/2 yard of boning

To make the Nursing Cover cut your fabric at the 3/4 yard mark if it isn't already cut to this length.  Along the length of the fabric cut off two - 4 inch strips.  If you fabric is 44 inches wide this will leave you with the body of the cover that measures 36x27 and two 4 inch wide strips.

Start with the strips that will be come your straps.  One of the strips you will leave 27 inches long and the other strip you can cut off a 6 inch long piece (so your piece will be 6x4). Fold both pieces lengthwise, right sides together and pin in place.  For the longer (27 inch) piece you will sew along one short side, and then down the length of the strap.  Leave the bottom end open and turn it right side out (this is a tedious process). For the shorter strap you only need to sew along the long side and can leave both ends open, turn right side out.  Once you have both right side out, I like to sew along both sides, this gives it a little bit more body and is a nice decorative feature.  Place to the side for later.

The body of your nursing cover will be 36 inches wide by 27 inches long.  I have a serger, so I like to just serge the edges and then fold over once to create a half inch seam.  If you do not have a serger, you can easily just turn your raw edges under twice creating a half inch seam.  Once you have all edges pinned (you can press them at this point if you want to) determine which end is the top of the cover so that you can place your straps and boning.  
You will want to insert your boning under the seam so that it is centered in the cover, and so that it curves up towards you, pin underneath the boning to keep it in place.  You will then insert the raw edge of the long strap to the left of the boning (with the wrong side of the fabric up) and pin it in place.  

Take your two D rings and thread the short strap piece through the rings, matching up the two raw edges.  Place both raw edges underneath the pinned seam to the right of the boning.  
At this point I like to go ahead and sew my seam all the way around the cover making sure to capture both straps.  Once you have sewn all the way around, turn both straps up so that they stick out of the top of the cover.  You don't want to pull so that the edge of the seam pulls up, just turn it up and pin in place.  Once you have it pinned, sew a square around the pin to keep the strap turned up and in place. You may also want to sew along the top of the boning with a zipper foot so that you casing for the boning is night and tight, this will depend on how wide your boning is but you just don't want it to flip around on you.

 Finally to secure the D-rings in place, use your zipper foot and add a seam right under the D-rings, this will keep them from slipping around and the straps coming undone.

 Your nursing cover is now ready to be used in public!!!  I like to use the scrap from my yard of material to make a burp pad.  I use the cotton on one side and I really like to use terry cloth on the other side as it is very absorbent.  I also make my slightly 8 shaped so that it curves in by your neck, but you can make it however works best for you.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix in Santa Jars

Today I am blogging over at Tampa Bay Moms Blog and sharing my homemade hot chocolate mix as well as a fun Santa jar to put it in.  If you need a last minute gift, this is delicious and is quick and easy (no sewing required)!!!

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review and Giveaway: GlowBug Cloth Diapers

I am very excited to finally post my review and giveaway for GlowBug Cloth Diapers.  I received a diaper from GlowBug Cloth Diapers for my trial and review and I have spent the past month putting it to the test. 
When I first started cloth diapering I did a trial of all of the different diapers I bought and I conducted this trial in a very similar fashion.  The only differences are that this time I used the diaper on both girls (Claire is about 23 pounds and 2 years old and Hadley is 8 months and about 18 pounds).  I also really pushed the diaper to see how long it could really be worn before it leaked.  This means that the overall leak count was higher than before but that's because I had my daughters wear it until it leaked.

Number times of uses: 12
Number of leaks: 5
Longest wear without a leak (one insert): 3 hours, 15 minutes
Big Booty factor – One Insert: 3.5
Big Booty factor – Two Inserts: 5
Best Use: Exclusively breastfed babies, Travel, Naps and Night time
Favorite Features: 360 degree gussets, inserts that snap into the diaper and to each other, openings at the front and back of pocket

Inexpensive (A pack of 12 diapers and 18 inserts is $150)
360 degree gussets work great
Snap in inserts and double openings make changing a breeze
Can only be bought in packs of 12, no individual diapers
Two inserts are very bulky

When I was looking at GlowBug Cloth Diapers I was really excited to try one, the 360 degree gussets had me very intrigued as I have never seen this feature before.  Upon receiving the diaper I was also pleasantly surprised that the microfiber inserts snap not only into the diaper but also to each other so that you can snap in multiple inserts.  I immediately prepped the diaper but realized that when I was playing with the rise snaps that I had inadvertently pulled one of the snaps through the fabric.  Although I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to put it on my baby immediately I did recognize this as a great opportunity to comment on GlowBug's customer service.  I contacted Customer Service immediately and in no time they had provided me instructions on returning the diaper (they reimburse for shipping) and getting it fixed.  Within a weeks time the diaper was back in my possession and on my oldest daughter, so overall I was very impressed with their Customer Service.

Claire - One Insert
Hadley - One Insert

I don't like my diaper to be bulky, so I started with just one insert and would change my girls around the 2-2.5 hour mark, never with any leaks.  Then I started really putting the diaper to the test and would leave it on them until I noticed a leak.  With this approach the average time until a leak was approximately 3 hours.  On the last day of my trial I put my older daughter in the diaper with both inserts and let her go.  She actually went 6 hours without a leak and I only had to change her because she pooped in the diaper, pretty impressive!!!

Claire - Two Inserts

Hadley - Two Inserts
Other than the lack of leaks, I really enjoyed the other features of the diaper as well.  I love the 360 degree gussets.  I "got lucky" that my younger daughter got a cold, and so for about 5 days I didn't feed her any solids but only breastfed her.  Since I essentially had a exclusively breastfed baby again, I really got to appreciate the 360 degree gussets and never had a leak (and I had some serious dirty diapers!).  I also really like that there are openings in the front and back of the diaper.  Not nearly enough pocket diapers have this feature, but I love that I can just unsnap the insert and throw it in the wash.  I don't have to worry about pulling out the insert as it will just agitate out in the wash. 
After a month of trials, the only potential downside for me would be that they can not be bought individually and that you don't get to pick your colors.  I really like to sample all sorts of diapers and a huge reason I cloth diaper is the cuteness factor so this would be a big concession for me.  Thankfully all of the diapers I have seen that they make are really cute and I appreciate that they use coordinating snaps (some diaper companies just throw white snaps on everything) so I would probably take a chance and order a dozen or split a pack with a friend.

Overall this is a very solid diaper.  It has a lot of unique features that make it feel very well thought out, and it seems to be really well made. 

Win a GlowBug Cloth Diaper ($12.50 value) of your own!!  Give away is open to US and Canadian Residents and the winner will have a choice of boy, girl or a gender neutral color.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: GlowBug Cloth Diapers provided a diaper for me to try free of charge.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Accessories

My daughter is 2 years old now, so I figured that she is now old enough that we can have a little fun with the Elf on the Shelf.  She still doesn't completely understand how it works but she has fun finding the elf each morning and showing other people and I had fun dressing our elf up.

To start with, I followed the instructions laid out at Dirty Diaper Laundry to make you elf bendable and grippy.  The instructions are very easy to follow and it maybe took me 30 minutes total to do.

Next because I have a girl elf, and I didn't want to buy a skirt, I decided to make her a skirt.  I made her a circle skirt similar to how I did it for my girls for Halloween.  I cut a piece of white felt 9 inches square so that when it was folded down it was 4.5 inches square.  The cut for the waist I did 1 inch from the center point and then rounded the bottom of the square to get my doughnut.   Measure your elf's waist to determine how long of a piece of elastic you need for the waist and then stretch the elastic to fit the skirt opening and sew it on.  I decorated my skirt with red snowflakes, but you can decorate however you want (super glue is your friend). 

I used braided yarn for the scarf, a friend braided it for another purpose last year and I thought it was perfect for my elf this year.  Lastly I attached a piece of Velcro on the white band of her hat so that I could make changeable bows and head pieces.  Next I will be working on accessories for a boy elf, stay tuned!

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