Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway and Farbenmix upcycle ideas

***Giveaway Complete 8/8/11**

I have a bit of an obsession with up-cycling tee shirts. I think an old worn out tee is the best craft medium of all time. Super soft and comfy, available in abundance, and such a lovely way to immortalize an old loved object that has perhaps passed it's prime. Tees are especially wonderful for upcycling  into children's clothing. A large shirt provides enough fabric for almost limitless kiddo attire options. Maybe down-cycling would be a more fitting term in such cases. I am always on the lookout for patterns that lend themselves to such a use. It's no surprise that Farbenmix patterns comprise a large part of my go-to list. The story goes that designer Sabine Pollhen began sewing for her own child by re-purposing hand-me-downs clothes. Here are a couple of my current faves:

This Brooklyn Tank Top was reclaimed from a tee once belonging to my brother. The skirt is another Farbenmix faveorite, the Insa. The outer skirt is an old pair of my jeans and the inner skirt was cut from the same Itchy & Scratchy tee.
 My hope is that the raw denim edges will fray out with wash and wear, giving this skirt a bit of a punky look. I will let you know how it goes.

Another Brooklyn/Insa combo, this time as a dress. I simply straightened the hem of the tank and omitted the waistband of the skirt, sewing the two together.

It's former life: This green band tee was much loved by it's owner but fell victim to an untimely ink stain. I convinced her to let me take the scissors to it, saying it was for her daughter's greater good. It turned out to be just one Insa panel shy of the full outer skirt so I threw in the bottom half of an old Dallas stars shirt for contrast. (Still saving the top half for that for a hockey season outfit)

 Here we are at the beach in another Brook-Insa dress. (Insa-Brook?) This time I folded over the waist band and encased a loop of elastic. I am not sure it needs it, but it gives a bit of a different style. I also omitted the outer skirt since the top fabric is very lightweight and I'm not sure it would have held up the weight of a double skirt.

It's former life: The skirt and the ties are cut from an old maternity shirt my neighbor asked me to "see what I could do with". She was impressed with how nicely it complimented this zodiac baby tee that I was not quite ready to let go of. It was hard to chop up, but it was doing nothing for my muffintop.




Tee downcycles; economical, easy, and empowering parents to let go of questionable wardrobe choices. It's a win win.

On to the giveaway! In the spirit of upcycling, I am sending out an upcycle "kit" from my very own stash to one lucky winner. This prize includes 10 "Upcycle" tags and an awesome thrift-store score, this Dr. Seuss adult medium tee, just waiting to be turned into an adorable outfit for your little one.





Could I say upcycle one more time? Yes I can, UPCYCLE. It's not even a word. Here's how to enter:

You can enter up to four times, but for each entry you need to post a separate comment below. I am turning on comment numbering and I will use to pick a winning post. Look for the announcement in my post next Monday. 
1. Become a follower of this blog
2. Like us on facebook
3. Share a link to this giveaway on facebook
4. Follow us on twitter

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Faux G's Part 2: Waterproof Snap-In Pouch

In this tutorial we are going to make a g-diaper style waterproof pouch with snap in tabs.

First and foremost, two things:
1. You do not need to have a snap press or snap pliers to do this.
2. You can snap this pouch in to any style of diaper, not just rib-legged.

You will need:
  • 1" X 25"  strip of PUL 
  • 7 1/2" X 15 1/2 " rectangle of PUL
  • 4 snap sets and about 1/2 yard of either twill tape or similar sturdy tab material
  •                  OR snap tape

Cut out your PUL. Direction is not important on the main piece. The long skinny piece however will function as a stretchy binding and must be cut so that the stretch goes horizontally with the legnth.

Round off the corners of the main piece. I do this by folding it in quarters and cutting them at once.


All right, so we need snaps...on tabs. Simple solution, just cut apart snap tape. It's not has hard to come by snap tape as you might think. You can find it it near the elastics at Joann's and Hancocks, as well as at any number of online notions shops. With a quick search  lookie what I found. This place  stocks all sorts of it,even elastic snap tape. (Now that could have some really innovative diaper design applications.) I am pretty sure at least one of those is compatible with the snap tape used on actual G's.

OR if you have a clinical obsession with sewing cloth diapers, as I clearly do, you own your own snap press. So in that case, make your own snap tape, you craft snob. 


You want these tabs to stick out about an inch, so space them out a little more than that, better safe than srry. You can see how ravely these tabs get very quickly so either singe the ends or use fray check or clear nail polish or whatever. If you want to get fancy, make the tabs long enough to fold back over the cap side of the snap and sew both ends in to the seam on the pouch. That will also prevent the snap from touching the baby.


Sew the snap tabs onto the PUL. Remember you want the shiny side facing up, so if you want your snaps facing down pay attention to the direction you face them.

The point of using PUL as the binding here rather than FOE, is that PUL is waterproof. SO, to get the best results you want to fold the binding shiny side out. Doing it the other way around will work, and it will still be more waterproof than anything else you might use for binding but the fabric has the potential to transfer moisture to the outer part of the dipaer, thus leak. Plus, if you use shiny side out, you can wipe it clean. 

If you are an overacheiver, you can iron your PUL binding strip in half legnthwise to make a tape but its really not necessairy. The stuff is going to curl up when you stretch it anyway. If you do iron, place a thin piece of fabric over the pul so it doesn't get all stretched out and wonky.

I do not double fold the binding because like I said, it curls in when stretched. It is tricky, but with a little practice and patience you can get the raw edges to curl in as you sew. If not, it's ok to leave the edges exposed. Its not scratchy and it doesn't fray.

Just fold the binding over and stretch as you sew. Be careful not to stretch the main fabric too. It is tricky. Just go ahead and expect to screw up the first one (I did), that way you will be proud if you get it right on the first try. Just sew a few inches at a time, stop with your needle down and adjust your grip. Go slow on the corners.


Reeeeealy stretch. If you don't stretch hard enough you wont have enough of a "pouch" to hold anything in. It could get ugly.

Be sure to fold your snap tabs down in the correct direction.


And there we have it. When you make it back around to the start you can fold under the end or just overlap the start of the binding and leave the edge raw.


If you are making a g-style diaper to go along with the pouch, sew the other set of tabs into the waistband. If you are using another style diaper (or even if not), it may be easier to snap directly into the diaper. Here is the pouch in a Fattycakes fitted. Since it had no attached insert it works great with the pouch, just be sure to get the wings in front of the pouch if you are using a front snapping diaper.



Sorry about the white on white snaps. Can you see them?



Happy sewing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Faux G’s Part One: Sewing diapers with knit ribbing

Originally posted May 14th, 2009 at Cloth Revolution 

Make your own G Diaper style fluff! In my next post I will show you how to create the snap in waterproof "holster" to go with these, using FOE and PUL. But for today, lets start with step one, the rib legged diaper. These save a TON of fabric as opposed to a traditional contour shaped diaper and the fit is great. They can be used as a fitted diaper with a snap-in, hidden layer or lay-in soaker or even as pull up training pants.
(modeling courtesy of our life size newborn doll, a retired baby care class model)
You will need:

  • 3/4" velcro or other hook and looptape
  • 1' waistband or non roll elastic
  • knit ribbed fabric for leg cuffs
  • knit fabric for 2 body layers
  • knit fabric for waistband
  • if desired for a fitted style diaper: asorbant soaker fabric and extra knit fabric for hidden layer
Now that you have an idea of what were looking at, let's talk about sizing. Since this is just a bunch of rectangles, getting a custom fit is simple to do. First, measure the rise and waist of your baby. Basically, for the body, you can just use the baby's rise for the length and half of the baby's waist measurement for the width, subtracting the waistband thickness. For the waist band length, one end will be flush with the body layers, and the other end will extend 2 inches past the body layers on each side. In case that's clear as mud, here's a breakdown: (measurements in black are standard, red measurements are dependent on size)
short waistband: width: 2.5" , legnth: divide baby's waist measurement by 2
long waistband:width: 2.5" , legnth: add 4" to short waistband measurement
leg cuff ribbing: width: 2.5" , legnth: body layer legnth divided by 2 (this will vary depending on the amount of stretch in your fabric and how snuggly you want the legs to fit)
body layers: width: baby's waist measurement divided by 2, legnth: baby's rise measurement minus 2"
hook tape (scratchy side):
loop tape (fuzzy side)
*be sure to position your velcro so that the grain is going the same direction on the hook and loop pieces, or else it will not fasten as securely*
Fold the leg band ribbing in half legnthwise. Position it on top of the good side of one body layer. Leave enough ribbing extending above the top to grab from behind the presser foot, just as you would when working with elastic.
Position the other body layer, good side down, on top of the ribbing.
If you want to add a hidden soaker layer, it would go on top now. I reccomend using a stretch layer the same size as the other body layers, with a smaller soaker pad sewn to the middle. This way, you will maintain the stretch and not add too many layers to be sewn through.
With the needle down, stretch the folded ribbing tight and line it up in between the unstretched body layers. Zig-zag stitch through all four layers, all the way down the side. Since the body layers stretch only in the other direction, this is not as difficult as it sounds. Go slow and stop only with the needle down. Be careful not to let the any layers shift out of line. I like to stretch the ribbing all the way down and then take hold of it just a few inches from the top, sliding my grip down as I sew.
Here' s what one attatched leg band looks like from the inside...
And from the outside
Now repeat with the leg ribbing for the opposite side. It should be a mirror image of the other side. Folded side inward of the ribbing, all four cut selvages lined up on the edge.
Inside out with both leg bands attatched
Right side out with both leg bands attached

  • Go ahead and slice off any extra seam unevenness on each end, since the end seams will not be hidden like those pretty leg cuffs are.

  • Now for the waistband...

  • Fold the waistband peice in half legnthwise, good side out. You will position it on the good side of the body peice.

  • line up all cut edges. For the short side leave just a teeny bit of waistband (like 1/8') extending past each side. You can always trim it up after sewing if it turns out to be more than you need.

  • Use a zig zag stitch to sew on the waistband
attatched waist band folded up properly

  • For the longer waist band peice, you will want to match up the middle of the banf with the middle of the body to ensure an equal amount of overhang is left on each end. I'm not a big pinner but I reccomend using at least one pin to secure the middles together here.

  • You will then need to close up the open edge on each side. Tuck in the cut edge and sew it shut as close as possible to the edge using a straight stitch (dont worry, these little ends will not need to stretch since the velcro will be attatched here anyway)
  • Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and insert it into the waist band. Use the pin to pull the elastic through to the other side. Reapeat this for the other waistband as well. Be sure to use the right length of elastic for each side.

  • fold over the end and stitch down on top of the elastic with a straight stitch

  • Before sewing on the velcro, round off all the sharp corners so there is no risk of scratching the baby.

  • sew the two hook tabs to the inside ends of the long waistband piece, using a straight stitch
  • in the same way, sew the (longer) two loop tabs to the outside of the shorter waistband piece

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hey there, it's been a while. I sure have been busy. You know, kids, work, school, my family lived in rural Mexico for a while. No seriously. I took pics.

Anywho, we are all settled now and I'm jumpin' back on the blog train. So to get things started I am dragging some old post over here to consolidate from Cloth Revolution. Don't my cloth diaper musings deserve their own blog? Arguably yes, but I like this one better. ; ) I also have a new format in the works that is, well, less pink. Stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free stuff from Fishsticks!

Fishsticks Designs is giving away all kinds of great stuff this week with their photo contest, but the best part is you don't even have to submit a photo to win! 
Goodies include MINKY diapers, mamma made tags and patterns.
Check it out on the Fishsticks and Fries blog
They've got a load of great free tutorials and some of the best indie knit clothing patterns available.
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