June 27, 2012

Goodbye Pull-ups!

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I decided I will be using cloth diapers. I remember spending over $200 on organic diapers that I ordered online. However, I never got to use a single one of them when my daughter finally arrived. Too lazy? I admit using disposable diapers is very convenient but the cost... IMPRACTICAL. My daughter has been using disposable diapers since day one. I would like to calculate how much we've spent on diaper alone since the day she's born but it will probably give me a heart attack. We must have spent a lot. Oh yes, we spent a lot.

Summer last year, during our vacation to the Philippines, my first try at potty training my daughter resulted in a failure. She was 17 month old at that time and just started learning to walk on her own. I know! She's a late walker.

April this year was when I gave the training another go. April 9, a Monday, to be exact, was the first day I dropped her off at the day care center without pull-ups. Her teachers, however, make her wear pull-ups during nap time but eventually stopped doing so after three weeks. I have to mention that during her whole training period at the day care center, she's only had two accidents. So, technically, my daughter has been 80% potty-trained. The 20% is due to the fact that at night she still wears pull-ups although for the past month her diaper is always dry in the morning.

Last night, I sat down and talked to my daughter and explained to her that daddy and mommy have decided to stop buying pull-ups and that she will no longer be wearing one to bed. I thought her "YES" and "OKAY" were meant to finish the conversation. To my surprise, she didn't pee in the bed at all. She must have been ready long time ago. I am so proud of her. She, at 2 years and 9 months, is now officially potty-trained.

She doesn't like her pictures taken early in
the morning. Here, with her lovey, Bunny.

By the way, the bubble skirt she is wearing used to be a dress (for myself) that I bought from Macy's. The neckline of the dress was badly sewn and the neck lining came off after a single wash. I tried fixing it but gave up and ended up upcycling it into a skirt for my daughter.

Ooopppssss... before I totally go out of topic, I have to say this...

Goodbye pull-ups!

June 26, 2012

Upcycling: Tablecloth To Unisex Apron

A couple of months ago during a visit to our community's Freecycle Center, I took home a slightly used round tablecloth. Although I did not have anything in mind to make out of it at that time, I kept it because I liked the stripes pattern. It has since been sitting in my "to be upcycled" basket until yesterday.

I do most of the cooking in my household and one of the problems I have, that I should have given attention a long time ago, is I most of the time end up with a stained shirt after cooking. And those oil sprinkles when you fry something? Ugh! It ruins the shirt for real! So, the past weekend I browsed the internet for a tutorial on how to make an apron. I thought it would be an easy peasy task but as it turned out there are hundreds of tutorials out there. To solve this, I came up with two criteria in choosing the best tutorial. First, it has to be relatively easy. Second, the tutorial must be about an apron that my husband and I can both use, unisex as they call it.

After a whole day (or maybe half), I came accross this apron tutorial from Purl Bee. The instructions were very detailed and so easy to follow along. I must have spent about an hour or two sewing my apron. See the pictures below.

This tablecloth is roughly 60 inches in diameter. I don't know what
kind of fabric this is made of but it almost has a waterproof feel to it.

I pinned all around to make sure the stripes are aligned.

And here's the hubby wearing our unisex apron.
Thank you Hon!

By the way, I still have left over fabric and will make a bag out of it. Today is laundry day so I'll probably work on it tomorrow.

Have a great Tuesday!

June 22, 2012

Photography: BabyBlushBoutique

Back in April this year, my daughter and I had the opportunity of working with Baby Blush Boutique. They are a U.S. based business that offers a variety of handmade of items such as shoes, tutu outfits and other accessories for your little ones. You can find their website here and their Facebook page here.

This is my daughter's first official modeling stint and I'm so proud of her!

My beautiful sunshine!

Now this can pass for a Marilyn Monroe pose. Yes? No?

I wonder what got her attention!

This tutu outfit is a must-have for your little girl.

I just love this pose!

I asked for a "cute face" and this is what I got. Priceless!

Please head out to Baby Blush Boutique's website and Facebook page and check out their awesome selection of items. Oh, you can also find them on Etsy.

June 18, 2012

Label Your Craft

A week or two ago, I posted a photo of the chenille fabric that I ordered from Amazon. You can find the post here. It took me longer than usual to work on my burp cloth project because I waited for my labels.

Yes! I ordered my own clothing label. I have been very excited since the day I placed my order through a Hong Kong based company called Fancyweaver. They shipped my order on the 5th of June. Yesterday, I finally got a parcel in the mail.

My husband picked this up for me!
Here they are, my own labels!
I love how my labels came out. These are very good quality labels. They are woven. Yes, there will be no fading. Per my request from the vendor, all sides are finished so that I do not have to fold them before sewing on to my projects. I wish though that I have chosen a different background (and maybe a font) but I love its simplicity. Black and white written in a clear font.

Why RETASO?

Retaso in my native dialect (which is bisayan, a dialect spoken in most regions in Mindanao, Philippines) means scrap, remnant, oddments or cut out pieces of fabric, paper, or sheet of metal. Since I started sewing using scraps of fabric that I got from our freecycle center and those that my mother-in-law had mailed to me, I found RETASO the best suitable name for the projects I have done. REuse. REcycle. REpurpose.

So with my labels in hand, I went into sewing right away. Project - burp cloths for my unborn baby. I was inspired by this tutorial and look how pretty my burp cloths turned out to be!

I used half of my chenille fabrics, in white and pink, for this project.
I made a total of 12 burp cloths, 6 in pink and 6 in white.
And there are my labels!
The flannel fabric I used is a bundle of Carter's 4-piece receiving blanket (size 30" by 40"). I used three pieces each with an 8" by 40" left over which I kept for future projects. I still don't have any idea what to make out of them but I'm sure I'll find some inspiration online.

What project have you done or will do this week?

June 15, 2012

Photography: Maternity Portrait @ 33rd Week

It has been a while since I picked up my camera. A "while" means over a month or so. I was so hooked on sewing that my scissors, rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat ruled my days. My camera, a Nikon D300s, and lenses, a 50mm f1.4 and an 18-200mm f3.5 (both Nikkor), must have felt neglected! My husband has been reminding me to pick up my camera at least once in a while. He keeps telling me not to forget photography that it became so annoying at one point.

Yesterday, I spent most of the morning sleeping and cuddling with my daughter until it was time to go to my doctor's clinic for a routine prenatal check-up. I brought my daughter with me who was so delighted to see her baby sister at the sonogram monitor. It made my day! I cannot wait for the day when our new bundle of cuteness is here!

So anyways, going back to my photography, I finally picked up my camera again (while my daughter was asleep) and took my self-portrait. It was my second attempt and I'm happy with the result.

Maternity self-portrait at 33 weeks.

Close up of my big belly.

Doesn't my belly look like it's ready to pop?

I would like to do an outdoor maternity photos with my husband and daughter next month. I'm so excited about it!

June 7, 2012

Prioritizing

I had two hours of sleep early last night which renders me totally awake right now. I need to stop taking short naps after seven in the evening. I don’t like being up the whole night and end up very tired the next day. Two days ago, I worked on a maternity dress for myself until 4 o’clock in the morning. I would not have gone to bed had my daughter not woken up and told me, “Mommy, let’s take a nap.” As a consequence of staying up late, I overslept and failed to bring my baby girl to school on time. Whew! And here I am again. Talk about prioritizing! I seem to have gone downhill on this one. I'm blaming my hormones.

Earlier this week I received the items I ordered from Amazon. Most of them are sewing accessories. I am still crazy about sewing. I’ve been sewing clothes for my daughter like there’s no tomorrow. I will be making burp cloths and baby blankets out of those Chenille fabrics. They are very soft and absorbent at the same time. By the way, if you ever plan on making something out of this fabric, make sure to machine was and dry them first. They have the worst lints ever.

Chenille fabric in pink and white, bias tapes, 2" and 1" bias tape makers,
quilting/sewing ruler, all-purpose sewing threads in yellow, red and cyan,
cloth diaper fasterners in pink and white and Gingher scissors.
I finally got around to washing, ironing and folding the cloth diapers for our coming baby. If you plan on using cloth diapers, I highly recommend the ones made by OsoCozy. They are way thicker than the Gerber brand. I know because I have checked out the ones that are sold at our local PX.

24 pieces birdseye flat unbleached diapers from OsoCozy.
Sometime last week, since buying my sewing machine in April 2008, I read the accompanying manual for the very first time. One of things, among others, that I learned is that my machine has to be cleaned regularly. So I cleaned it for the first time!

Singer sewing machine model 2932.
Now it's time for me to hit the bed. Good morning!

June 3, 2012

Sleepless

It is 3:43 in the morning now.

I have been laying in bed, with the full intention of slipping into dreamland, since half past eleven last night. I've probably viewed over twenty different craft and sewing blogs. My head is stuffed with ideas for Skye's next dress. Yesterday afternoon I made an Esprit inspired summer dress for her made out of a knit fabric that my mother found at the free cycle center. It's a solid navy blue color. Not the most attractive color, in my opinion. I was not able to take a picture of my daughter wearing it but she likes the dress a lot. She likes all the dresses I made for her!

I'm still fully awake but I really have to sleep right now.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz....

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