Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Toys and Diapers

A couple of my friends had or are having babies this summer, so I have been making many gifts and helping out sewing reusable diapers. For baby shower gifts I sewed these two stuffed animals I made patterns for. They were both pretty big, and I hope that the little ones will be able to play with them for a long time. One of them is a spotted doggie and the other a cute elephant with shirt and pants. I am moving towards trying to make patterns from my designs, and after I have enough done, I hope to make a whole book out of it. Kathy Mack from Pink Chalk Studio recommended a helpful book for me to read- Publish Your Own Patterns by Nancy Restuccia. I hope to get some info on how and where to publish the actual pattern since it needs to be the right size and printed hopefully on large sheets of paper. I look forwards to receiving the book in the mail! If you are interested in ordering baby gifts, please convo me through my etsy store.

One of my friends also wanted to make some reusable diapers. Having no kids or any experience babysitting, I had no idea even where to begin with sewing one. The crafty person as I am, I googled it and found a host of websites with more information I could handle. I was drawn to a few websites where the materials and types of diapers were the most clearly explained, so I could figure out what supplies to buy for a diaper making session. As it turns out, many of the the materials are hard to find in the fabric stores around town, so I ended up ordering everything online from Celtic Cloths. I have to recommend them to everyone. Jamie Karutz has put together a great resource explaining the different fabrics available, tips, patterns, and tutorials. Ordering the fabrics also ended up being a last minute thing, and Jamie responded to my emails fast and was able to get my fabric to me before I flew to Finland. I also scoured a gaggle of other websites and tried sewing three different patterns. Here are some of the resources I found most helpful:
Zany Zebra had a great list of tutorials and patterns. There was a link to a visual tutorial and they also sell materials.
Fern and Faerie was nice because it explained different kinds of reusable diapers and how to use them.
The best pattern that worked for us, to make all in one diapers was the Ottobre Design pattern. It was the best size and fit the best around the legs of the baby. It was also closest to the diapers that my friend already had store bought. Ottobre Design is a luscious Finnish sewing and craft magazine with patterns for children and teens. I have flipped through it several times at the store and oo-ed over the beautiful layout and designs in the magazine.
If you are unsure, of how to sew one, I would suggest to sew one out of some scrap fabrics before cutting into the more expensive materials. This is how our first diaper out of the "real" material turned out. I got the foldable elastic from Celtic Cloths that could be sewn on the top of the seam on the outside of the diaper edge. My friend ended up deciding she wanted to have a soaker pad that was just velcroed on top of the diaper instead of putting one inside the diaper.

Here are some other baby inspired gifts and ideas from Etsy:
On the top is a hand screenprinted piece by Strawberry Luna. You can buy a whole set of alphabet prints from her store. The adorable green shoes are from Heather's Hobbies.
In the middle row is a cute baby Mai Tai from My Blessed Baby and a pattern for a cute baby hat from McHat. If you are unsure of your sewing skills, you can convo them through Etsy and have one made for you. I thought the Ouch Pouch from Pillow Sew Cute was an ingenious idea and would make a great baby shower gift. Pair it with a cute sensory toy owl from Cafe Crinkle.
For the green conscious baby, the reusbale Wrap-n-mats now have snack pouches as well. I use one for my lunch sandwiches and am totally in love with it. Etsy also has many stores that sell reusable snack pouches etc.

If you are not familiar with, definitely go check it out. They have great tutorials for just about anything you could ever imagine. Here are just a few picks for our baby themed post: Baby sling by Momma+boys, and a blanket and donkey baby gift set. I posted this one a long time ago for an etsy competition... Hope you enjoyed the article If you are into Jane Austen, I have a super post for you coming up!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Little Bit of a Photo Diary

I have been making crafty things all along this time, but have not had time to post things as so many things were happening in my life at the same time. Over the weekend I will post more crafty things and tips. But for now, I wanted to share my inspiration. I traveled back to Finland for a month this summer to go see my friends and family. Nature is always a big draw. I am familiar with the woods around our house and love to go for walks to see what I happenstance on. Among the hustle and bustle of making sure I get to see all my friends and family- nature offers a place to relax and recharge my batteries. Here are some pictures that inspire me over my trip.

A view from the country road leading to our summer house. If you are unaware of it, most Finish families own a small summer cottage.

The view of our sauna from the other side of the lake. I love the gnarly old pine trees that insist on growing high up on the large rock by the lake.
It was fall, and the harvest has begun.

A lovely little fairytale mushroom. The one below looks like the most average mushroom, so I named him Mr. Smith.
I love the dance of colors on a mossy hillside.
Some fall colors

A little creek we drove over on our road trip.
I think I will use this picture for art one day. I imagine a bird sitting on top of the post.
Pretty lake views from a friend's summer house.

Mr Beetle.
In the woods the young birches can sometimes be seen bent over from the weight of winter snow.
I wish I could have captured it when the puffs of seeds were floating at their fullest. Here is a picture right after.
Don't cross the line neighbor!
This mushroom seemed to sprawl all over.
What did the doggies see?
Well wouldn't you know... We get a lot of deer, rabbits and fox on our front yard.

It was the best blueberry season ever! I picked gallons of them.
Love the pictures of these colorful berries. I am not sure what they are called in english. In finnish they are Puolukka.

The little bee was right behind me working as I was taking pictures of the berries.
On my walks I ran into an addeer, it had just been run over by something and was still very life like.
I saw this little clever guy as I visited one of my friends in the city.

Finnfactor Design

Finnfactor Design