Baker's dozen

I managed to sew 13 cloth wipes after stopped working at 4pm today. Also got the other newborn diaper done. Now we have two newborns. Only about 20 -22 to go. :P Then repeat the process for small and medium. I am excited. What a fun project.

All of them have different sizes. Again, I used the remnants, hence uneven/unmatched wipes. I am out of these flannels, finally.

The two newborn diapers and the wipes together.

We run out of wipes so fast that I am glad we now have more.

Moving on.

During lunch, I made another loaf of the American Sandwich Bread. We are almost out of the loaves I made yesterday. The kids and their dad have been eating slices after slices, with honey drizzled on them.

The smaller loaf is all the is left from yesterday's batch. The bigger loaf is the one I made today and the kid's have already making a good start on it.

I need to get more yeast and flour.

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Bright combinations

My daughter picked the sock yarn that I have in my stash for herself. I'll probably need only one skein for her socks so I will still have more to make something else with it.

I've picked the pattern last night and casted a sock. Didn't get far with it yet.

The day feels like it's dragging. Hmmm.....

Anyhow. The two loaves of bread are gone. I made two more loaves today; white bread this time.

The recipe is called American Sandwich Bread. It is for making a loaf of 9"x5" bread for sandwiches. However, I split the dough to two smaller bread pan.

This is after the dough had rose and split into two pans, and set aside for about 10-15 minutes.

They are out of the oven and one loaf is already almost half gone. I guess I'll make more tomorrow. This recipe is a good find.

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The first of newborn diapers

I sew one last night. We're still amazed at how small a newborn diaper is!

The middle snaps are there to accomodate the umbilical cord stump. Just snap it down so the diaper won't rub and irritate the stump.

I have one more of this set to sew. Then I will start cutting the fleece remnants for more newborn diapers.

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Random things

1) Eggs are cooling on the stove for me to make egg salad. We ran out of peanut butter and husband needs some protein for breakfast.

2) 2 loaves of whole wheat bread rising on the stove. Again, we ran out of whole wheat bread. Just realized this while making dinner. Don't feel like going to the store. So, homemade bread it is for husband's breakfasts.

3) Started drawing the patterns for newborn, small and medium sizes pocket diapers. Got them done and cut out. They are all side snap diapers.

4) Cut out the first two sets of newborn pocket diapers. I kept giggling looking at it. Newborn diapers are SO small!

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The last diapers for my son

I think we have enough cloth diapers made for my son to use them full time with washing the dipes every other day.Since October, I have designed, redesigned and sewn roughly 30-40 diapers. We are using 30 of them. The first couple of diapers were prototypes and have gotten a big ragged. A few of them are smaller so I put them away for later use.

I sew the final two diapers today. One with a hidden PUL and one fleece. Both are side snaps diapers.

I love the outer fabric pattern. The blue is so deep. The new snaps came in so I have more color choices to choose from.

The above photos were actually taken a couple of days ago, when I sew one of the two of blue fabric sets.

Now that we have enough diapers for our son, I can go ahead a make patterns for smaller sizers and make other things.

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Upholstered one chair

I would have done the other three but I ran out of tacks. Gotta get more tomorrow.

I went out and the fabric tonight. I was scouring the racks to find a home fabric that was suitable and affordable at the same time. I finally found one and there was only about a yard and a half left. Good thing it was 60" wide so I have enough to cover four chairs. It was at $6.00 per yard but I got the last 0.5 yard at 50% off. So I got it for $7.50. Score!

I got home. The kids were already asleep. I turned on Ghost Hunter on Syfy and dragged two chairs to the living room. I started working. It was really easy. I just took off the seat, cut out old upholstery (which was a messy job because of this funky orange sponge that crumbled all over). I added a flat layer of polyester stuffing material and then proceeded to re-cover it with the new fabric.

This is the final result.

Now, if only the cats wouldn't even think about scratching the new cover.

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I ought to have become a seamstress?

I sew more stuff today. Stuff for the kids.

Daughter's blanket

100% cotton fabric for the front panels and pink fleece for the back.

It is roughly twice as big as my son's blanket. A lot of pink and princess. Shudders. But she loves it. It's big enough to cover her double bed.

I had enough remnants from her blanket material. These were what I whipped up quickly (20 minutes, maybe?)

Daughter's bag

A little bag. I used the pink fleece for the inside of the bag. I didn't have anything to use for the strap. Then I remembered that she has a long pink ribbon that she has been twirling around. I took half of that (with her permission) and used it for the strap.

Her mittens
Again, enough pink fleece leftover to make a pair of mittens. I just traced her hands, cut it slightly bigger, sew the pieces together, added the elastic at the wrists, and sewn on darts on the back of the hands to give it a trimmer look.

Cuddle pillows/Rag dolls pillows

'Nuff said.

Son's bag

The same design as his sister's, with the choo-choo and red fleece remnants that I had. For his bag, I used blue fleece for the strap. I cut the strap in the middle and sewn in velcro. It's a safety feature. In case he had the bag around his neck and the bag got snagged, it's be easy to undo the strap.

They're all fun sewing projects.

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Things to do part II

I added a few things to do on my list:

A blanket for my daughter
She picked out her fabrics last Saturday. I put them in the washer this afternoon. They are ready for me to cut and sew.

Upholstering the dining room chairs.
I turned a chair upside down yesterday and I could take the seats apart. I am going to measure the seats, get some good, strong fabric and re-cover these chairs. They need it badly.

Finish crocheting the wool soaker.
I have 10 rows to finish.

Yesterday, I put up what we gave our kids for the holiday. I didn't have a picture of the second set of jammies for my daughter. Well, here it is:

This one is also in size 7. It fits here fine right now.

I think she's wearing the top backwards.

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Going through the list of things to do

I was working today. So I had a full day but I still have several household things I needed to do. So far I have finished:

Laundry Detergent
I made three batches of the laundry detergent. This time around, I ran two blocks of soap through the shredder in the food processor. It's soap. It'll wash and be extra clean.

I used Fel Naphta blocks this time. One block gave me roughly three cups of soap flakes. I had two blocks. So that gave me 6 cups, which equaled to three batches.

I still have more than a quarter box left of borax and washing soda powder. I probably will get another 3 more batches from my supply. I have made a total of six batches so far and they last quite a while. I haven't had to buy bottled detergent since October. I had one mixed batch left before I made more today.

Giving out cookies to neighbors
My daughter and I made spicy oatmeal raisin cookies last night. I packed up the cookies in tins and bags. I enlisted the husband to distribute them to our neighbors.

Sew more diapers
I made one with PUL today and another with fleece. I am getting better at it. The stitches are tidier and it took me 30 minutes to cut and sew one diaper today. If I can do this regularly and consistently, maybe I could try to sell these for cheap. That'd help other mothers out there because cloth diapers are expensive to buy. Now the question is, where do I find the time?

The one with white PUL is the one with blue dinasour print flannel. I layered the PUL with the flannel to give it a cute look. Sewing the PUL isn't as bad as the reviews I found online. It did have the tendency to slide all over, but I found if I keep a firm grip, it worked just fine.

Using alova suede for inner diaper. It is so soft and wicks away the moisture from the baby's bottom.

This one has two layers of fleece, and one layer of alova suede.

Both of them have side closures. We seldom use the front closure diapers we have anymore. My husband loves the side closure. He said it is a lot easier to put the snap on.

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Gifts for the kids

We had our gifts opening with our kids last night.

They got four gifts each, but totaling about $40 - $50 per person. That's because I made 2 out of 4 gifts that they got.

Gifts for my daughter
She got two sets of jammies and a rag doll. I wasn't about to buy her glamorous dolls and I thought it'd be cool to make one.

The cut outs.

The doll, "Red", semi done. I hadn't drawn her eyebrows and tweaked her eyes yet at that point.

Yeah, she loved it. Red slept with her last night.

One of her jammies. I didn't take a picture of the other one. The other set of jammies is light blue with frogs wearing santa hats on. They are a set of a tank top and pants.

The night gown is size 7. It barely reaches her ankles. So is the other jammies.

Gifts for my son:
The same ideas; rag doll and jammies.

I came up with this doll pattern myself. It's easy. This boy is half the size of Red.

I used my pencil colors to draw his face. I just dipped the pencils in water before I painted the face. I am pleased at how this doll turned out. I especially loved the sparkle in his eyes. It matches the sparkles in my son's eyes.

His jammies bottoms. I have a lot of fleece so that was not a big hassle. I have enough to make a few more actually. I bought two long sleeve plain t-shirts that he can wear with these pants at night.

These items didn't take me long to make. Maybe 1-2 hours each for the dolls and 2-3 hours for the jammies. That's because I pressed every single thing for the jammies.

What's important was they loved their stuff. The looks on their faces were worth the time spent and more.

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Bigger bag and another side closure diaper

The PUL and alova suede fabric came in the mail today. We needed a bigger wet bag so I cut the PUL and made one.

It has a little loop for hanging if needed, and hook and loop closure. it is at least twice as large as the ones we have.

While I have the sewing machine out, I whipped up another side closure diaper. The same as the side snap ones except I used the hook and loop tapes. And used the alova suede fabric for the inner diaper. The advantage to using the hook and loop is that it is easy to adjust the waist and later on when my son is going through potty training, it would be easier for him to undo the diaper (which will be converted to a training pants then).

(Don't mind my daughter. She loves taking pictures, too.)

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Energy efficient

We had the gas company come over and do gas usage analysis for our house. DTE Energy has a program where they will come in, change the thermostat to a newer model, check the house and give suggestions on what a homeowner could do to make the house energy efficient. It's usually $50 for the service, including the thermostat and energy kit, but this month they're doing it for free.

Anyhow, the service man just left. He inspected the whole house, changed the thermostat and set it for me, and left a box of goodies.

The outcome from his analysis was he couldn't really give me any suggestions on what to improve on the house. He said the house is in good shape; good insulation, good windows, etc. Good to know. At least we won't have to deal with fixing the house to keep the warm air in.

In the box of goodies he left, there were 5 energy efficient light bulbs, 1 LED night light (cost $0.03 a YEAR to leave it on night and day all year round), a low flow shower head (which we've been meaning to get but never get around to do it), a couple of faucet aerators for the kitchen sink faucet and one for the bathroom, a few outlet covers that could stop drafts coming through, a pipe insulation and a weather strip. All the things that we've talked about getting but never did. We don't have to buy it now, except for replament light bulbs.

I wish I had known about this program a couple of years ago. But at least we got it done now. Our gas and electric bills have never passed $150 during the coldest months so I guess we aren't doing too badly.

If you live in Southeast Michigan and have DTE Energy as your gas company, call 1-866-796-0512. Go to DTE Home Energy Survey and read about this program.

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More productive than the weekend

I cut 6 diapers yesterday. They are all side snaps diapers.

I sew three of them last night and one this morning before I clocked in at work.

So far, we have six of the side snaps. Love them because of the fit and the trim look. The two openings for inserts work well if we need to fix the snaps or elastics.

I think this is the pattern we are going to use for smaller sizes diapers.

The bread starter circle is complete today. After my daughter left for school this morning, I took out a cup and made a batch of cinnamon bread. They are ready for eating. I had a slice and so had my son. Tasty.

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Favoring the side snaps

I've made only two of the side snaps diapers but I like them a lot better than the front snaps. For one, it looks a lot trimmer on my boy. Second, it's easier for his daddy to put on the snaps. Third, we like having the insert openings on the front and the back of the diaper.

I have 6 more cut outs that I need to sew. I need to unravel the first couple of diapers I made because I used Velcro(TM) and they didn't work as well. Also, since they were my first ones, I was still learning and adjusting the size of the diapers. They don't fit as well.

I also could have sworn that the boy has grown a lot these past 2 weeks because the later ones I made are now snug. They fit just fine before. They could have shrunk in the wash but I don't think so. I guess I just need to adjust the tabs/snaps.

Yesterday, I finished sewing one diaper and six cloth wipes. I got a pile of wipes now. We've been using them regularly so it is good to have more on hand.

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Side snap

I chased my son down yesterday afternoon to get accurate measurements for his new diapers. I drew another pattern for the diapers. This one has side snaps, inserts opening on the front and the back.

I found the terry cotton robe material for $2 a yard at Walmart and there was only about 2.25 yards left. I took it all. It's stretchy and soft. I used it last night for the inner diaper.

The side snaps diaper seems to work better for my husband to put on my son. It's easier for him to do the snaps comparing to the other pocket diapers. I wonder if it had to do with having big hands and fingers?

This one fits him like a charm. :)

Other than the diaper, I worked on a couple of things yesterday. We have one old towel that is fraying around the edges. I cut it and got 5 inserts for the diapers. I cut out more cloth wipes yesterday. I haven't sew them though. A project for later. I also worked on the wool soaker. There's only 33 rows to the soaker and I've crocheted only 6 rows. I got busy with everything else. :)

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Finishing up

I finally got the holiday gifts done. I am not done shopping for the kids but at least the handmade stuff are done. Phew...

I have a couple of things I started today; a hat for downstairs neighbor and a crocheted wool soaker. I seldom crochet and I forget how much faster it goes comparing to knitting.

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Guess what did I do today?

Sewing! ;) The strong wind put a hold on my plan to venture out to do my exercises. Excuses, excuses.

1) I shortened a pair of jeans for our neighbors.

2) I made a cover for the crock pot. I've been wanting to do this one since spring but never got to it. That's one thing I can cross off my list.
Next, make a cover for the mixer.

3) I sew one diaper tonight. Again, I used the microfleece for the inner diaper. Love the fabric and what it can do.

4) Finishing up one holiday project.

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Are you bored yet?

I sew 5 out of 7 diapers I had cut the past two days. Am I bored yet? No. I think I have gotten a good hang on sewing the diapers that I can do it quicker.

I sew three of these yesterday.
The black inner diaper is of microfleece material that I found at walmart for $4 per yard. It's soooooo soft and it absorbs like a dream. And it stretches. A requirement for my diapers from now on.
The white inner diaper is a type of really soft fleece with long pill. It's so soft, but it doesn't stretch. And a pain to cut because you'll have the pill all over.
The green froggy is a flannel. One advantage of flannel; cute prints. One disadvantage; it really doesn't have any give to it. Makes it a lot harder to stuff the diaper, even if the diaper is a toddler size diaper.

Look at how thick the blue one is. We stuffed it for night use last night. It works great. My favorite so far.

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Maybe 5 minutes spent on sewing today?

That's all the time time I spent on the sewing machine today. Way less than the past few days. I have to admit it is a nice break.

This is what I made today:

A hat for each child, and a set of mittens for my son. It wouldn't hurt to have extra sets of hats and mittens for these kids, or for any kids for that matter. We know how they always misplace them.

This is the pattern that I used: Easy Fleece Hat

For the mitten, I just traced my son's hands on a paper and cut it larger on the fleece. It's a very basic one layer fleece mitten, with elastics sewn at the wrists.

After finishing these, I put away the sewing machine.

I was thinking about sewing more, but I didn't have the time to after work. Had to make dinner and then hung out with the kids.

After I came back from the gym tonight, I lugged all the fleece and flannel to the living room. I cut five diapers and set the snaps on the front side of the diapers. Sewing hook and loop tape makes making the diaper a lot quicker. However, I ran out of Aplix and the Kam snaps came in today. So I might as well use them.

Now, I have six diapers to sew.

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Weekend projects

I did some knitting. I really do not have any mood for knitting at the moment.

I did a lot of sewing:

1) Front windows curtain
2) One diaper
3) 2 gifts for my daughter
4) Wipes

I will sew another gift for my daughter tonight after she goes to bed.

I found another night time leaks solver. I was reading this lady's blog and she introduced the fleece pillowcase pocket . I made three of these since I have three diaper covers. At night, I usually stuff a fleece pillowcase with 2 prefolds or flat sheet diapers. If he wore this at night, I would find him dry the next morning. That is until I pull out the prefolds out of the casing. I could probably get about 6 cups of urine if I ever bother to squeeze these prefolds. These casings are amazing. He hasn't leak since I started using this method. The best thing is I don't have to stock up on hemp. Regular prefolds would serve very well.

A few weeks ago, the front huge window's blind broke. All four cords snapped. We weren't really fond of the blind anyways, so we had our landlord take it off.

The window is 111" long. I found a set of bars that could extend to 126" for $8.00. These are plain white curtain bars. Nothing fancy. While I was out at the store with Adam, I found fleece blanket on clearance. I found two dark chocolate solid blankets for $4 each. They measured 51" wide each. I needed more length. I happen to have solid beige fleece on hand so I cut two panels of that, about 20" each.

We like it. We love the colors. They make the room warmer. Best of all, they're cheap!

Bread starter
I was reading another lady's blog. She wrote about her sourdough starter bread and the pictures she put up were just mouth watering.

I googled bread starter and found Amish Friendship bread starter on

I made a batch. It's simple and easy. It's resting for the time being. I guess I better stock up on flour and sugar. I am looking forward to homemade bread loaves in 10 days.

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"Things that move" obsession

I had a half day off yesterday. I took my son with me to fabric shopping. We had fun! Who knew Walmart had more choice in certain types of fabric than Joann. Of course while we were browsing through the fabrics, the boy saw a LOT of his favorite things; Thomas the tank engine, cars, and more cars, and tractors. So he picked two Thomas fabric and one Lightning McQueen. I got a half a yard of each.

I washed the all the cottons and flannels last night. I put them back in the bags but this morning he dug them out and ran away with them. I didn't want them soiled or torn, so.... I made a blanket using these fabrics and an orange fleece for the back of the blanket.

I cut them into 10"x8" panels. Sew them up.

It became a family project when I tried to arrange the panels so no two of the same panels lay next to each other.

As you can see, on the right side of the blanket, I screwed up. I lost track on the pattern and I got two panels of the same pattern next to each other. Oh well, not that the boy minds.

Of course, now his sister wants one, too. We'll go to the store sometime later and her pick out her fabrics.

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Change direction

Since I can't sew diapers for the time being because I run out of supplies, I change my focus to something else.

I rummaged through the fabric box, pulled out all the remnants and sew diaper wipes.

In the pile on the left, I used the dinosaur pattern fabric on one side, and solid orange on the other. I have one solid orange wipe, froggy with red and another dinasour with red. Notice the sizes don't match. I cut what I could when the remnants, hence the odd sizes.

I am running out of commercial wipes. I thought I'd give these a try. Just use tap water to wet them for now. I might consider investing in wipes warmer sometime later if this works well.

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Something hot

I dragged the sewing machine out really early this morning. My sock rice pack was falling apart and that was the only rice pack I had.

It was time to make more hot pads. I made three; two long ones and one square-ish.

I had one around my neck when I took the picture. Ahhh... it's warm and soothing.

Next, I need to make casings for them so if they get dirty, I can just take of the casings and wash them.

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