Tag Archives: Sewing

Childproofing – Hide, Block and Lock

Quick update – AM’s middle of the night wake-ups have seemed to gone away for the most part. I appreciate the comments and after much searching online, followed the advice of many parents and stopped picking her up out of the crib. Putting her back down (since she’s usually standing and crying) and just rubbing her belly had her falling back asleep within 10 minutes. Hallelujah (although I’d be happier if she just slept through the night).

And now…

Big news, people – AM is walking!

I realize she isn’t the most graceful creature (and while it isn’t entirely obvious, she seems to really dig doing a side step). I know it’ll take more practice for her but what this means is…

… SHE IS WAY MORE FRICKIN’ MOBILE.

Not only is she walking, she enjoys (and I mean throws a tantrum if you try to stop her) crawling up the stairs.

Ooh what's this?

We have a somewhat open stair case (see picture) so this is really scary.
IMG_20120121_100458.jpg

Due to the setup of the stairs, a typical baby gate won’t work. We’re looking around but so far I’ve had to resort to this:
My temporary baby gate
(please excuse the mess – Hurricane Annmarie terrorized the living room and I quickly had to move the pack & play in front of the stairs)

So between the mobility, desire to risk her short little life on unsecure steps… she also loves to get into drawers and cabinets.

I mentioned that we installed the safety latches (similar to these) and they don’t seem to work on all the drawers.

And then I presented the dilemma with the kitchen cart. Well I took your advice and bought some tension rods and sewed some curtains. Apparently hiding things makes them magically childproofed.
kitchen cart curtain

She couldn’t get enough of trying to pull things off of these shelves but now hasn’t bothered to touch the cart.

I also did this with the wine tower. Before she would always pull the bottles out and now she doesn’t even touch it:
Curtain for wine cabinet

(Did you notice that I used the same fabric from the cart and combined it with the kitchen curtains? I did this because I didn’t have enough of the kitchen cart fabric but I like the look – it makes it fancier.)

And here’s a better view of the kitchen curtains. I’m still not sure how I feel about the bunching.
kitchen curtain

So that’s it. That’s how we’ve childproofed so far. I’m looking for a gate that is only 23″ in height (or at least adjustable to be that short). We have gates at the top of the stairs and the top of the basement stairs since a standard gate would fit (actually – the gate to the basement stairs was installed to keep the dogs out).

Feel free to leave a comment about how AM clearly looks like she’ll be a star athlete (that will be awarded college scholarships and multi-million endorement deals) judging by her wobbly steps or how amazing my curtains look and how I should try out for Project Runway: Housewares.

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New Kitchen Curtains

Baltimore is all in a tizzy today about the local football team playing in some big game this weekend (The Ravens are in the playoffs? I don’t know – I don’t follow football). But I’d like to take a small break from all this “purple pride” to bring you something even MORE exciting… my kitchen curtains!

I was on a roll with sewing and I’ve since slowed down a bit. This is mostly due to the fact that I’m just tired! But I did manage to finish up the kitchen curtains (a project that was started a couple of weeks ago but just finished the other night).

I snapped these pictures with my phone so the quality isn’t great (and strangely the light makes everything look very yellow:


I sewed this door curtain first (around the beginning of December). I screwed up the measurement of the curtain because… well, I don’t know. I just wasn’t paying close attention and thought I was measuring a specific width but actually had measured it too narrow. Luckily, my measurement was just enough to cover the actual window in the door with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I wanted this to be wider and wasn’t pleased with it initially but it has since grown on me.


The window curtain took forever to complete. I had sewn the rectangle to cover the actual window but was up in the air about how I wanted the curtain to hang. I finally decided on sewing the 2 strips of fabric to kind of roll (er… bunch) the curtain up for a decorative effect. I’m on the fence about it but Jeremy said he likes it. Actually he didn’t even notice it when he came home so I’m not sure what that says about it.

My next project is sewing a curtain for this kitchen cart:

The open shelving is very appealing for a mobile baby that likes exploring. I try to block some of the cart with this walkabout activity center thing but AM is smart than me and knows how to move it.

I’m hoping putting a curtain will take away the appeal of this shelf but can’t figure out how I would attach the curtain. Jeremy suggested velco but I can see that falling off easily and annoying me. Any ideas?

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I Made More Stuff*

* I used the word “cry-y” to describe how Annmarie was yesterday so I’m definitely not in the mindset to come up with a clever title.  So this post is about some stuff I made.  No surprises.

The holidays got me in a crafting spirit and Pinterest continually fills me with inspiration (and a false sense that I am capable of creating cute things).

I originally wanted to make sewn-on tie onesies/t-shirts for all of the little boys I know (friends with baby boys and my nephews). 

But it was difficult to find plain onesies that didn’t come in packs of 3 or 5 (none of the boys are in the same age range for clothing) so I scrapped that idea and decided to try my hand at making 1 or 2 for my favorite little baby boy.

… and those photos are on my old phone that I have yet to upload pictures from.

But because the onesies I found came in a 3-pack, I didn’t want to make 3 sewn-on tie onesies. 

I found a great Etsy shop through Pinterest that had a lot of cute felt appliques and it inspired me to create some other items.  And at that point, I realized I could’ve just picked up inexpensive plain onesies from H&M for all the little boys I know so friends with baby boys – I may still be making something for you in the future.  Act surprised.

I thought it would be cute to make matching sewn-on tie shirts for my nephews.  One is almost 4 years old and the other is only 2 weeks older than AM.

I then sewed this for my friend’s son:

I learned a few lessons with that anchor:
(1) Sewing something with so many curves is f’n difficult
(2) I should have pinned more pieces of the anchor to the t-shirt.  NOtice how the top of it is crooked?  Yeah…

I initially thought I’d sew the anchor onto a onesie but thought it was too big so bought the t-shirt.  But then I had an extra onesie.  So I brainstormed things to make and came up with making a monogram:

I surprised myself with the monogram.  I hadn’t seen this anywhere (well at least not in the forefront of my conscious but maybe I have seen it somewhere so its lying somewhere in my sub-conscious).  But again, those curves were a bitch to sew.

I got a sewing table for Christmas this year and was pretty stoked about it.  I’ve been setting up my sewing machine on one of our dining room chairs while I sat on the sofa (because I liked to be in front of the TV for some entertainment).  Now I have a table.  I’m legit, yo!

Any suggestions for my next novice sewing creation?  Have you created anything lately?  If so – share a photo so inspire me.  Unless of course you’re thinking, “Man – I created this great monster poo…”  I see enough of that in my house, thanks.

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Whoa… I Made More Stuff Wednesday

Guys, I am an unstoppable sewing monster. I’m hooked. I’m constantly thinking of new projects I’d like to start. Sewing really is addicting.

Last week I sewed the Christmas Stocking and mixer cover. Over the last couple of days, I sewed 6 throw pillow covers.

While I’ve been throwing myself a ticker tape parade in my head for my achievements, I realize these things aren’t THAT exciting (nor are they particularly complicated). But I find myself really enjoying the act of sewing and making something.

Onto my latest Project Runway worthy achievements…

We had purchased some throw pillows and pillow covers from Ikea a few years ago. I should have taken a photo of them so show the wear and tear but here’s the best I could do…

Sleepy
You can kind of see that there is a hole in the corner of one of the pillows. A few of the pillows were like that. (and can I get an “aaawww” at my sweet, sweaty sleeping baby?)

I was worried about the idea of trying to sew a zipper but luckily found some tutorials on “envelope pillows”. I ended up loosely following this tutorial.

We went to a small fabric store over the weekend and spent close to an HOUR trying to pick fabrics. I wasn’t crazy about a lot of the fabrics. And just when I was about to settle, I stumbled across some fantastic prints in a duck cloth. I don’t know anything about fabrics but the prints were fantastic and the cloth felt really durable.

I was overwhelmed by the assortment of prints so we ended up selecting 3 prints (1 of the prints is just a basic cotton fabric) that we liked and felt would work in the living room. Actually 1 of the prints doesn’t really work with the other 2 so we just relegated those pillows to the chair while the other 2 prints are on the sofa.

I failed to take any sort of step by step pictures because I’m not a DIY blog by any means. Plus I was still too giddy about sewing. Since I made 6 of these, you can definitely tell which pillow is my first (there are a few mistakes) but I am pleased overall with the outcome. Also – the first pillow took me nearly an hour and a half to sew while the last pillow took about 30 minutes (and that was due to my machine jamming).

So here is a photo of the finished products (taken with my crappy phone… I’ve been a little lazy with taking actual photos with the DSLR):

I did 2 pillows in each of the different fabrics for a total of 6.

And here’s a closer look at the envelope portion of the pillow:

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Next on my agenda:
- a quilt made from a fitted crib sheet that I ripped
- new kitchen curtains
- a curtain for our kitchen cart that is meant to deter AM from trying to pull things from it

Have you made anything lately?  Any suggestions for what else I should try?

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Whimsy Wednesday (That’s Right – I Actually MADE Something)

Hold on to your seats, folks… I actually have something craft related to blog about today.  Not only is it craft related, but it is SEWING related.  Are you choking? 

I actually called one of my friends and told her that I had HUGE news for her and that she needed to sit down to hear it.  And then I told her that I sewed something.  I think she thought I was calling to tell her I was dying.  Although I was sort of dying… dying of amazement.

For those of you that don’t know – I’ve been seriously procrastinating on starting this hobby.

I received the sewing machine for my birthday… IN JULY.  I promptly took the sewing machine out of the box because I knew if I didn’t, I would NEVER touch it.

I bought fabric, thread and other small sewing accessories in August to start my “make a KitchenAid Stand Mixer cover” project.

I sewed something on Sunday night… in November.  Yeah.

I did a lot of oohing and aahing at everyone else’s projects.  I joined Pinterest and started pinning “sewing inspirations”.  I looked up sewing classes.  I messaged friends that had sewn something and asked HOW… HOW did they get started? 

Honestly, I have no idea what triggered me to actually pull the sewing machine out and start using it on Sunday but once I started, I was on a roll.

And that basically means I didn’t take any pictures.  (cue sad trombone)

I spent the majority of the time going, “Oh my god, I’m sewing!  I’m seeeewwwwwiiiiinnng!

Project 1 – Christmas stocking for Annmarie. 

I don’t remember if this was my idea or Jeremy’s suggestion.  But Jeremy suggested that I make AM’s stocking from her baby blankets.

Side note – people will tell you various things that you MUST HAVE when you’re expecting a child.  Everyone’s opinions are different.  I apparently am friends with a lot of people that felt blankets were a must.  I have so many blankets.  You could even say that I have a plethora of blankets.  So even though I hate the idea of cutting up baby clothing to sew something, blankets were something we could spare.

I looked up some DIY Christmas stockings and came across this tutorial.

I liked the idea of having a liner fabric that is displayed when you cuff the stocking down.  But I’ll admit it took me a few reads to grasp the concept of how to attach the liner correctly.  Even Jeremy didn’t get it (and he’s usually the one that “gets it” for everything… except for when I expect presents. Like a push present.  I’m still waiting. And I don’t think push presents are like wedding presents where you have a year to give said present.)

So here’s the end product:

There are a ton of mistakes (and the most obvious one being that I sewed the liner in the wrong direction.  And to be honest, I wasn’t paying attention to direction when I cut the pattern but if I had, I would have made sure the butterflies appeared right side up when cuffed over).

Project 2 – KitchenAid Stand Mixer Cover

I’ve been wanting to cover our mixer for quite some time since it goes mostly unused and its placement in the kitchen leaves it open to splatter from food and whatnot.

I found this tutorial.

I sort of winged it though.  I didn’t have piping and I didn’t think I needed to mess with bias tape since I didn’t even understand what it was in the first place.

Also – that pattern?  I totally winged it.  I mean, I drew something out on a sheet of newspaper based on some loose measurements I took of the mixer and then cut.  But I didn’t really ensure the lines of the fabric were straight and this was something that would bite me in the ass later.

And because I was still SO pumped that I was sewing, I didn’t take any step by step photos.  So here’s the end product:

Now this is riddled with mistakes but the biggest mistake is that it is lop-sided.  You can’t tell in this picture but if you lay the cover flat, it is quite apparent that it is crooked.  Actually, if you look at it on the mixer, you can see that it is crooked.  But for winging it and for it being my 2nd sewing project since 6th grade – I’m still pretty happy with it.

Now I’ve caught the sewing bug!  Pillow covers are next!

And just because…

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Whimsy Wednesday (I still have yet to make anything)

I have good intentions… I really do. But for some reason, I can’t seem to get motivated to sew anything. Here is my sewing machine right now:
image

Hooray for taking it out of the box but all I’ve done is put it another box of sorts (a basket). I put all my sewing related things in this basket like a sewing book (I’ve read 2 pages of the intro), a sewing DVD (it came with the machine), some sewing supplies (pins, pin cushion, thread and some fabric).

But now I have started throwing other things into the basket… Some photos, a checkbook, a stroller fan… And this means things are looking grim for my new hobby.

Help me, friends… Help motivate me.

Another hobby I have let fall by the wayside is photography (I still don’t really know how to use my DSLR).

I wish I could claim that having a baby has diverted my attention but I know several women who can sew and take amazing photos… All learned/honed while caring for a baby.

Someone teach me. Motivate me. Help me!

What hobbies do you have?

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