Monday, March 31, 2014

Reusable Snack Bag Tutorial

Today I am sharing an easy tutorial for making your own reusable sandwich/snack bag.  I started making these when I had leftover PUL from making diapers because I hate throwing away and wasting plastic sandwich baggies.  Unfortunately for my, my dog Molly loved the reusable bags as much as I did and kept tearing them apart to get to the snacks.  I finally made a few more for us to use in our lunches and also took the necessary pictures so that I can share here how to make them.  They are really easy and maybe took me 15 minutes each. 
The most recent bags I have been making are a cotton print outer and white PUL for the inner (top picture, center and right bag), and the first few ones I made were just just PUL (top picture, left bag). I am going to be covering the lined version but to make the PUL only version just skip down to where you sew on the hook and loop and cut it slightly smaller than the lined version.
Start by cutting out your material pieces, one piece of PUL and your selected cotton piece.  For a sandwich bag cut both pieces 16x8 inches, for a snack size bag cut your pieces 12x8 inches. Put right sides together and pin in place (I only pin PUL inside where I will be stitching so that there are not any extra holes in the PUL.   

Next starting in the middle of one side, and back stitching, sewing almost all the way around the rectangle leaving a few inches open.
Clip the corners (as per the picture below) so that you can make the corners sharper and putting your fingers through the opening, turn your fabric right side out.
Once you  have it turned right side out and the corners pushed out, top stitch all the way around the outside, making sure to close up the opening as you stitch (I like to start just before the opening and close that up first, holing it closed with my fingers while I sew).
Next you will want to attach the hook and loop.  I cut my hook and loop about an inch to an inch and a half shorter than the width of my finished rectangle.  I attach the loop (softer of the two sides) on the cotton side about 2 inches from the edge (with the top part of the loop being 2 inches from the edge).  I then attach the hook (rougher side) about a quarter inch from the opposite end on the PUL/inside.
Once you have the hook and loop attached, fold the edge with the loop up to about 3 inches from the edge with the hook.  Check that the placement is correct by folding over the flap with the hook to make sure that it closes nicely.  Once you have the placement right, sew from the bottom fold all the way to where the top meets the bottom.  I like to sew a few stitches over the edge of the cotton and onto the PUL and then back stitch a bit so that it is securely attached.
Attach the hook and loop and wash/dry on hot to seal the sewing holes.  You an use your snack bag for anything that isn't really wet (e.g. I wouldn't put peaches or anything with too much juice).  After using, wash on warm and line dry or tumble dry low.  Enjoy!
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pancakes & Pajamas Birthday Party

Today I am providing the details of my daughters first birthday party: Pancakes & Pajamas over at Tampa Bay Moms Blog.  It was a really fun but easy party idea.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Thirsties One Size Pocket Diaper Trial

I have a few diaper trials that I will be posting over the next few weeks but I wanted to start with the Thirsties One Size Pocket Diaper.  This is a relatively new diaper on the market by Thirsties and I was so excited to win a pair from another blogger.  As soon as I got them I was excited to put them to the test with my diaper trial.

Number times of uses: 18
Number of leaks: 6 (all with only one insert, 0 with both inserts)
Longest wear without a leak: 3 hours, 30 minutes (both inserts)
Big Booty factor – 4 (with both inserts)
Best Use: Around the house

     * Nice colors with contrasting piping
     * Available in snaps or hook & loop
     * Options for insert configuration based on baby's size or needs
    * Hemp insert along did not last very long and leaked frequently
    * Average bulkiness with both inserts

When I got them I was glad to see something different, two inserts: a short microfiber one for the newborn stage and a larger hemp one for when baby is bigger.  The inserts even snap together so that you can double them up.  My daughters are both average size and not considered heavy wetters so I went ahead and prepped the larger hemp cotton insert to use.  After 12 uses I had a 50% lead average and I was very discouraged.  I love Thristies products and I thought that this diaper might be a fail for me...and then I remembered the other insert.  Once I added the second insert, for the next 6 uses, I didn't have another leak and I even had one use that was 3.5 hours. 
Overall I was happy with this diaper once I started using both inserts.  I don't think I would risk it when out of the house with just one insert, but this is a fine diaper for around the house.  I especially love that there are pocket openings in the front and the back so that you don't have to pull out the inserts (it agitates out in the wash). 
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pajama Party Crafts: Pillowcase and Pajama Pants

My "baby" turned 1 last week so of course last weekend we had her first birthday party.  The theme was Pajamas and Pancakes and I had so much fun planning and the party turned out really cute.  I will be detailing out the whole party later on (either here or on Tampa Bay Mom's Blog) but I wanted to share the two main sewing crafts that I did for the party: Pillowcases and Pajama Pants.
Pajama Pants

Since this wasn't just any party, but my sweet Hadley's big first birthday party, of course the girls had to have adorable pajama pants.  I used the pant pattern provided by Dana Made it but only used the back piece (note that the existing pattern is similar to 2T but you can easily cut it down or up, use an existing pair of pants as a guide).  You can follow her tutorial but they are pretty easy to put together.  One thing that I did different is that I used only the back pieces and cut the pattern along a fold in the fabric.  Cutting it this way makes it so that there isn't a seam on the outside of the leg, but two pieces this way but cut one with the pattern flipped over/upside down.  Once you have your two pieces sew from the bottom of the leg up to the point in the crotch for both leg pieces.   Then join the two legs together by matching right sides together and sewing back to front of the crotch.  Once you have the two pieces together you can add a casing at the top for the elastic and hem the bottom.  To give mine a really girly touch I also added a 2.5 inch ruffle on the bottom. 
My older daughter loved her pajama pants and asks to wear them all the time.  Overall they were really easy and turned out really cute.
Pillow Cases

The second craft I did for the party was making pillowcases as favors for each kid in attendance.  Pillowcases were a fun and cute way to tie in the pajama party theme but also give them something personalized.  As friends RSVPed I just asked each parent what the kids room looks like so that I could match up fabric to their room.  Once the pillow cases were done, I sent them to my mom to embroider each child's name on it for a special personalized touch.
Thankfully pillowcases are super easy and each took me less than 15 minutes.  To start you will need a yard of cotton material.  Most cotton material is approximately 44 inches wide but you will only need about 42 inches, so cut off an inch or two.  Once you have done this you should have a rectangle that is 36x42 inches.  Take your rectangle and fold it in half (right sides together) so that you now have a rectangle that is 36x21 inches.  Sew (or I serged so that the seams were nice but a regular straight stitch is fine) along the long side (36 inch side) and along one of the shorter sides (this will be the bottom).  Take the open end and turn under 3-4 inches.  If you are using a serger, you will want to serge the raw edge before turning under.  If you are using a regular stitch you can either turn under 2 inches and then 2 more or just turn it under the 4 inches knowing that the edge will not be as pretty.  Sew close to the raw edge all the way around the opening.  Turn pillow case right side out and press. 
Overall I was really happy with the crafts I did for the party, my girls loved their pajama pants and the guests are hopefully sleeping well on their new personalized pillow cases.
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