Final mama's cloth

I sew the last one of my pads today. I have enough to last me a while. They are very comfortable and work as well as Always pads; more comfortable than that, actually.

So, no more disposable pads, unless I am sitting and driving for a few hours on end.

I also sew another diaper tonight. I call it "Watermelon". The shell is a solid color fleece in lime, and the inner diaper sheet is bright red. The husband said I should embroider tiny brown seeds on the inner sheets and green stripes on the outside. Haha. I don't think so. Maybe when I have that nice sewing machine that can embroider. In my dreams.....





I have four more diapers to sew. I'll do one a day. I need to get back to knitting.

I'll start knitting again tonight after this. The kids are in bed. I can knit and chill while watching the tube. I wonder what's on?

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Froggy

I finished one of the six diaper cut outs. I modified this one for a different pattern.



Instead of having fabric tabs, I cut the tabs short and lengthen the hook and loop tape instead. Hopefully this will make it harder for the son to peel it off. We're having problems with the choo choo diaper for this reason.





As for the other five, I am separating the flannel outer from the fleece. I am reserving those for the PUL I'll be getting later. I don't think I'll use flannel for the inner diaper sheet either, because it is another reason the son does not like having his choo choo diaper on once he is wet. It might be a good incentive for him to potty train, but I am doing these diapers also for future use. So... back to t-shirt material.

I wonder if Salvation Army will sell me a big plastic bagful of unsell-able (is this even a word) t-shirts for $1.00 - $5.00. Gotta check on that.

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Cut outs

We were not going anywhere today. I was up early with the kids. I kept the kids occupied with books, coloring books and crayons. Then I set off cutting out pads and diapers.

I cut out 6 pads; 2 overnights and 4 maxis. I just finished cleaning up from cutting out 6 diapers.







I have sewn 5 pads so far. I'll sew the other ones sometime.

I have used up all the fabrics I bought two days ago. I used up most of the ones I had before, too.

This coming weekend, I am planning on getting PUL and more supplies.

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Building up mama's cloth stock

After dinner, I started sewing my pile to sew for today. I got five pads sewn and one more choo choo diaper.


Heavier days pads. I still need to make overnight sizes.


Lightest days or daily liners. My son was a bit confused as to why I was using his choo choo fabric. Sorry, baby.



And of course, his choo choo diapers. He was so excited about his choo choo diaper. He woke up at 4am this morning and saw the diaper I made yesterday on his bed. His was all "CHOO CHOO", hugged it and made it his cuddle pillow when he went back to bed. It took some convincing to have him keep the diaper on when we put it on him.

He's cute.

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Cute fabrics

Here was my plan for my days off:

Day 1 - Thanksgiving
Day 2 - Sewing and knitting
Day 3 - Sewing and knitting
Day 4 - Sewing and knitting

So far, I managed to get day 1 and day 2 filled with sewing and knitting. Go me!

I sew two more pads this afternoon. They are a few inches longer for night use or on heavier days. I have 4 more cut out. I will get to them tomorrow.

Then I went to JoAnn's and got some material. Got home and tossed the flannels in the washer and dryer.

Then tonight I sew more diapers from these flannels and fleece. I spent an hour and a half to sew up one diaper because I was knit picking on this one. I was actually pinning every single thing down, marking things properly.. etc etc etc.. .(I am probably the laziest seamstress out there because I seldom pin down anything if I don't think it's necessary). So I could say that this is the tidiest of the whole bunch I made.

My son already was taken with the fabric pattern; earlier he ran away with the remnants.

For this diaper, I added a flannel sheet to cover the fleece. This way I get to have cute patterns on the outside and still have the waterproof fabric that I need.




The wrong side of the diaper.


I still have insert opening on the backside. I made one with the front side opening last night but the pattern did not work out for us.







I have another one of this pattern cut out. I'll sew it tomorrow.

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Score!!

The only store I went to today was JoAnn Fabric. And that was at 4:30 in the afternoon. Not many people anymore. The check out line was really fast. There were four cut stations and nobody noticed the one in the home fabric department. That's where I was and I got my fabrics cut immediately. I had 6 flannel panels to cut.

I was in and out of the store in 25 minutes.

So, here's what I got:

6.25 yards of flannel - 6 different colors and patterns @ $1.49/per yard, and $0.75 /yard for that .25 yard
1 roll of lime fleece remnant, 0.7 yard @ $2.75, then add another 50% off
1 roll of tan fleece remnant, 0.59 yard @ $2.62, then add another 50% off
1 roll of periwinkle blue fleece remnant, 0.47 yard @ $1.89, then add another 50% off
1 roll of royal blue anti-pill fleece remnant, 0.7 yard @ $3.47, then add another 50% off
4 spools of threads at 50% off.

Total spent including tax $20.77
Total savings $54.10

Yeah.... very sweet. I can make lots of diapers and pads with these.

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I got bored

I was going to do the other pattern of the pad tomorrow. But the little man went to bed early, husband was reading and I wasn't in the mood to watch the tube.

So I fiddled with the other pattern. This is what I got



It is a lot quicker to sew than the other pattern. These pads have a layer of fleece for waterproof liner, two sheets of birdseye weave fabric, and terry knit for the liner.

I like this pattern better. I will adjust the wings to be a bit wider, and the pad longer. I can add the more inserts for heavy days and put in less inserts for lighter days.

Well, I feel like I've accomplished something today.

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Instead of enjoying a turkey dinner

We were at hubby's parents today to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family. After a few hours, my eyes started to swell from the cats. Hooray!! (Insert sarcastic tone).

Husband took me and the little man home before the feast. Sob sob... oh well.

So.... to compensate for missing the delicious food, after taking an hour nap, I finished sewing the stuff I had cut out a few days ago.


A diaper, a pad and a wool diaper wrap/soaker.



I have three more off work days. I am thinking of knitting and sewing to fill my days. I am going to fiddle with the other pad pattern tonight while watching TV. And maybe tweak the diaper pattern some more.

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My first pad!

Haha.

No, really. Cloth pad. I sew my first one today. I was looking online for patterns and I found a couple that I like. I made only one tonight. I have another one from this pattern cut. I will sew it later.



I use 2 sheets of flannel, 1 sheet of terry towel, and a 1/3 sheet of crib waterproof pad. I bought a pack of two waterproof changing pad the other day. One is for bedtime use for my son, and one is for this purpose. I pretty much just sandwiched the terry towel between the flannel, and the waterproof piece on the left edge. So when I put it on, the waterproof side will be on the bottom.

Here's the source: Instructions for Cloth Menstrual Pads

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One more to go tomorrow

I sewn two out of three diaper cut outs tonight.





The blue one is from the modified pattern. It is longer and wider so we can stuff it thick for nighttime use. Hubby and I both look at it and we decided to add two more hook and loop tabs to make the waist more snug for daytime use.



For nighttime use


For daytime use


As you can see, both the red and blue diapers have appliques stitched on them. Again, I cut out the cute animals from other fleece that we have and used them to decorate the solid fleece.

I'll sew the other one tomorrow.

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I did things to this website

I spent about 30 minutes last night tweaking the skin style. The result is this new look to my blog. I like it. It's green. Green is refreshing to the eyes.

Anyway.

I cut two more pocket diapers this evening. I'll be sewing them soon. I made a new pattern and cut another original on a flannel sheet. It should last for a while. This new pattern is a couple of inches longer lengthwise and around the belly. This should work better for nighttime diapers since I usually pack night diapers very thick that it kind of shorten the pocket. Tomorrow, I'll be cutting a newborn, small and medium pattern on the flannel. I like this pattern and it work well before I made it longer. It is just a matter of shortening the length and make it narrower for smaller size. Not a big deal.

On another diaper project, I am almost done with the second wool diaper wrap. I have received the address of the recipients from the organizer. I'll mail the two wraps when I am done.

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Hemp does the trick

On Friday, I was off work. The kids and I made a trip to the local cloth diaper store. I left the kids at the playstation and went to talk to the proprietor. She gave advices on what I would need for nighttime diapering. I got what I needed; 4 hemp liners, 3 medium wetbags and a water proof diaper cover. All of these for $62.

Yeah.

It makes me more determined to make my own pockets. I can't fathom buying them. Even if I buy them used from Diaper Swapper or some other diapering swaps, each diaper would still be a minimum of $8 on average.

Shudder.

Well, in any case, the hemp liner does the trick for nighttime diapers for my son. We put in cloth diapers Friday night and Saturday night. He did not leak! During the past days, we've used one disposable, and that was because we took him to the mall to play.

Anyway.

I haven't updated what I have been doing on knitting. Here are the things I have on needles:
Merry's Cardigan
A newborn wool soaker
Log cabin baby blanket
A holiday gift

I also have a couple of things on sewing list:
Pocket diapers
Mother's cloth - yes. I am planning on making the plunge to go for cloth.

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While waiting for the husband to get home

I had some time after work today. I didn't have to make dinner since there was leftovers from last night.

I sew two more diapers. Got them done. I changed the way I sew on the gusset elastic. I am not sure if I like this way or the old way I do it. It certainly was easier to sew the elastics in rather than leaving it hanging loose before I sew the gusset.







Sewing on the appliques work well to make the diapers look cuter than just plain solid color.

I have a couple more to sew. However, I don't have anymore old t-shirts to use. Maybe I'll weed through my t-shirts.

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Got them cut

I did get three sets of pocket diapers cut, ready to be sewn. They'll be red. I cut out some prints from another fabric, and I think I'll sew them on these diapers.



I have also cut out more of the terry towel for more inserts. I think I have four that needs to be sewn. I'll sew it together with these diapers.

I received suggestions from other moms to use hemp, double the inserts and then put on either wool or fleece soakers for night use. Maybe I'll try it this weekend.

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Nothing

No knitting or sewing going on yesterday. I am hit with this persistent headache. No mood to do anything at all.

It drives me nuts not being able to do something. Maybe I'll cut more for diapers. I can sew them later.

I am liking it more and more. Actually, the fact that I am saving money and not having to buy more diapers is what making me like it. I am going to try putting the son in cloth diaper to bed, but the man is hesitant on that one. I can't blame him since the son leaks through 2 disposable diapers regularly at night.

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The outcome is very positive

I made 2 more batches of the laundry soap today. There was still more of the last batch but since we've used half of it, I decided to make more.

What I found out with this soap:
1) The result is no different from commercial detergent. I actually believe that the clothes seem to be cleaner (whiter, brighter).
2) Very minimal scent of Ivory soap on the clothes, if any. Otherwise, no perfumes left on the clothes at all.
3) I have sensitive skin. It breaks out easily from most commercial detergent. This mix seems to work great. No allergic reaction so far.
4) Small amount of suds. Most of the time, there wasn't any suds in the washer.
5) Very cheap to make. That is always a plus.
6) A batch will yield about 15-20 large loads. A batch is made from 2 cups of grated soap, 1 cup each of borax and washing soda.

I have read comments from other laundry soap makers that this kind of soaps works great for HE machines. I don't have one, so I don't know. I imagine the fact that it almost doesn't have suds will make it work better with these machines.

If you have time on your hand, or very interested in saving some money and saving the earth, for what it's worth, I'd recommend making the laundry soap.

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Diapers stack

I made two more pocket diapers for my son this afternoon. So far, I have sewn eight diapers. We love them. They're easy to use, don't leak and it is fun to sew them. My son's skin seems to look better since he started using cloth diapers.

I'd like to make more. In his size and in smaller sizes.





While I have the sewing machine out, I went ahead and put on the aplix on the newborn diaper cover that I finished yesterday.


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Knitting for a newborn

I've finished knitting the first item to give to a family in need of things for a newborn baby.



I have not put on the velcro on it yet. Still waiting for that Aplix to get here.

Another quick knitting. There's not much in way of gussets however. So I don't know how well it would work on containing leaks from the diapers.I thought about putting in gussets. I'll have to play around with the pattern later.

I will knit her another newborn size and a couple of baby socks.

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Homemade Pasta

I was racking my brain trying to come up with dinner tonight. I thought of making chicken chili but the ground chicken was still frozen. I don't like nuking meat in the microwace so that idea was set aside.

Then I saw this lady's recipe to make her own pasta.

So.... I tossed

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup and 2 tbs water (drizzle little by little to the mix)

into the food processor. I ran the processor with just the flour at first to completely mix them. Then, I started drizzling the water in and ran the processor until I got a dough.

I took it out and kneaded it for a few times. I cut the dough into several smaller chunks and began rolling out a chunk at a time. I rolled it out as thin as I could and cut it into small strips using a pizza cutter.





This is how much a batch yields:




While I rolled the dough, I had a pot of water boiling on the stove. Once I got done cutting the pasta, I immediately put it in the water. It cooked really fast. Then I tossed the cooked pasta with marinara sauce, peas and carrots.

That's what we had for dinner tonight. Total cost = $1.00 for the whole meal for four.

From the start to finish, it took 15 minutes to make the pasta from scratch. Thanks to the food processor. I don't think I could do it that fast if I were to mix the dough by hand!

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Woolies

I've finished my wool socks. They are warming my feet at the moment. Unlike regular socks, I am slipping and sliding all over the hardwood floors with these socks. It's good for my balance exercise. I don't have good balance whatsoever.



It's not especially a pair of socks knitted for looking pretty. It is a basic pair of socks. I made it because for one, it's using worsted weight. It was a fast knit. Second, I made it because I need something warm for my feet. This pair does the trick. I am happy with it.

I will be knitting another pair but this time, I'll be making the leg sections longer.

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Whole Wheat Calzone/Hot Pocket

I found this recipe at Under $1000 Per Month and tweaked it a bit. I am more inclined to think of it as hot pocket since it's made with tortilla wrap rather than pizza crust.

Tortilla wrap:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup to 1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt

I used the food processor to mix all the ingredients above, adding water 1/2 cup first, then gradually increasing it until it mix formed a dough.

For tonight's dinner, I used a bit of chopped up turkey sausage and broccoli for filling, with marinara sauce and grated colby cheese. I made one big hot pocket for the husband, a smaller one for me, and three cheese hot pockets for the kids. They'll have steamed broccoli on the side to go with theirs.

I actually got two more cheese hot pockets out of this dough batch. I made them and put them in the freezer for later use. I got one big hot pocket, one medium and 5 small hot pockets. The small one is a good size for snacking.

It is a cheap, quick and healthy meal.

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Colorful log

I am slowly making progress with the log cabin blanket. My daughter and I have been sick for the past week and a half so I wasn't in any mood to knit for longer than a minute at a time. This is how far I have gotten with it:



Before I got sick, I finished knitting another wool soaker for my son. I also managed to finish two more pocket diapers. I really love those because they don't leak! I am waiting for a wider Aplix to come in the mail before I make more.

I am almost done with my wool worsted weight socks. I have been wearing the one that is done, alternating foot because it warms up my cold feet. I have a couple of inches of the foot and decreasing the toe before I am completely done with this pair of socks. After that, I will make another one, longer socks, with Wool Ease in blue. It is 100% wool, but I think it will still keep my feet warmer.

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It works!

The detergent works well. No perfume in it so the clothes come come smelling fresh and clean. No suds at all because it was just a little less than a bar of soap in the whole mix. I even washed a full size comforter and a couple of blankets using the detergent and they came out clean.

I was really curious about the cost per load yesterday so I recalculated and came up with $0.03 per load. That's some savings!

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Doing the best we can

Almost everyone I know is going green on most things. Recycle this and that, reusable this and that, growing your own food without using chemicals, composting, so on and so forth.

We try to recycle things when we can. I admit, I am not always diligent about this. We reuse plastic bags, ziplocs as much as we can. We compost.
Recently, we went back to using cloth diapers for my toddler boy about 80% of the time. The only times he uses disposables are at bedtime and if we were on an outing for an extended period of time. It's not full time, but hey, at least we're avoiding putting about six to eight diapers a day in the landfill.

MULCHING
Today, we spent the morning and afternoon doing more to make sure we won't need to use chemical fertilizers for our garden. Last weekend, hubby and our neighbor worked in their yard, transferring their leaves to our garden patch. They had enough leaves to cover our whole garden with about a foot high. This morning, the kids and us raked our yard and driveway. We transferred what we could rake to the garden patch. By the time we were done, we had almost 3 foot high by 18' x 25' of leaves! The kids enjoyed being tossed in the leaves and jumped around.









Our other neighbor is offering to let us use his mulcher to mulch up the leaves. He also has a yard full of maple leaves that we can have.

GREENER DETERGENT
I have been reading all these living frugal blogs and am very intrigued about making my own detergent. It is supposed to be cheap (about $0.10 to $0.20 per large load) and it reduces nasty refuse going down the sewer line.

I finally bought the ingredients today when I was out grocery shopping.

I found the powder detergent recipe here:

Planet Green - Making your own laundry soap

Got home. Put the grocery and sundries away. Grated a bar of ivory soap. Found an air tight plastic old ice cream container. Mixed the grated soap, a cup of washing soda and a cup of borax powder and I got laundry soap! Now, I am supposed to use about 2 tablespoon per large load. I haven't try it yet, but I think I will tonight. I still have two more bars of soap, an almost full box of washing soda and a full box of borax left. If this concoction worked wonders, and one batch yielded 20 loads, at least, then it would be very cheap indeed.

We shall see. What's more important though, we are making an effort to reduce nasty waste to the planet.

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Back to microspun

The yarns came in today. I now have red, orange and yellow colors Microspun yarns. I am turning on my Ghost Hunter episodes on the DVR and will be sitting, watching and knitting. I foresee.... a lot of rows completed by the end of tonight. :D

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It doesn't leak!

I am feeling very accomplished this weekend. I finished sewing 4 pocket diapers for Adam. One is in the washer at the moment. He had them on for 2-4 hours stretch at a time and only one leaked. And that is the one that he had on for the longest time.


I also made 5 inserts from a terry towel fabric. They are nice, soft and thick. These also seem to be working great; they absorb, and absorb.

I am planning on making more diapers and inserts over the weekends when I have the time to. If it takes me an hour from cutting to finish sewing a large or x-large diaper, I should be able to make at least two per weekend. I should start gathering patterns for newborn size, small and medium diapers. Anybody has a newborn disposable diapers that I can have?

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