31 Aug. 2008

Cloth menstrual pads

I finally started making the proper cloth pads. I made a lot of liners before but no proper pads. I made a couple of trial ones but that was about it. I downloaded a few patterns and also designed a few of my own. And today I'm doing kind of a combination. I used a pattern downloaded from Jan Andrea I think, and decided to make a snap-on instead of sewing everything together.

1. Whatever cotton. I used some of DD's pants which are too small and have been waiting for recycle, for the snap-on pads. Then a bodysuit which is made of baby soft stretchy cotton, for top side of the base which is going to touch my skin. 2. Microfibre for the filling absorbent layers.
3. Polar fleece for the other side of the base, which doesn't touch the skin, acting as water resistent layer.

I put the pad pattern on the pants and marked the lines for the pattern. I'm gonna sew on the lines. The base pattern on the bodysuit to mark the base lines. Here's what I got: Then I cut out the base, leaving enough seam allowances. I'm gonna trim the seam so I just leave a rough seam.

Then place the base on a piece of scrap polar fleece, right sides together, and pin: I forgot to take photos after this so I'll just describe it:

I then do the same thing with the pad: pint the cut out pad fabric on the microfibre towelling and sew along the lines, NOT leaving any opening. Trim the seam allowance to minimum, Then cut a line in the middle of the towelling and turn inside out through the cut. Topstitch the edges with zigzag. After I finished two I just put them together and stitch the edges with zigzag stitch to put the two pads together. So one snap-on pad has four layers, cotton layers top and bottom, 2 microfibre layers in between. This is thick enough for the job I think, because I heard microfibre is very absorbent.

For the base, I sew the pinned two pieces together LEAVING a 6cm opening. Trim the seam allowance to minimum and turn inside out from the opening. Topstitch using zigzag stitch (this makes it easier to seal the opening).

Then I added snaps and it's done. Here're a few other photos:

Another finished snap-on cloth pad:
The pad only:
The back of the base, made of polar fleece:
The top layer of the base, touching the skin, made of baby soft babysuit stretchy cotton. Actually this bodysuit was passed on to me by V. It was already too small for DD so she never really had a chance to wear it.
The snap-on pad:

DD's first top

I'm sure I have never made a top before for DD, because I never knew how to sew sleeves. DD always had enough tops to wear, or I always extended the smaller ones to ensure she had enough to wear. But DH has been saying DD's wearing the worst clothes in her kindy coz we never really buy any fancy clothes for her and I try to sew her wardrobe as much as possible. Being a beginner sewer I know how terrible she looks at kindy compared to other girls there. Sometimes I feel guilty. But I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on her clothes just for them to be grown out of months later. Plus I really enjoy making her clothes and stuff.

Since I started using patterns I started sewing some decent clothes for her as well. Today is my first try on a size 2 top. And it was very difficult. I hate the neck and the sleeves. I still find it hard to understand some pattern instructions, especially with DD jumping up and down my lap trying to destruct my sewing machine.

Anyway I've made it and I never want to make another one from this same pattern again. I may find another pattern and try to make a different top for her in the future. Below is the pattern I used:

More patterns from Freecycle!

Another lady on Freecycle offered me these patterns, plus fabrics! She said her mom was a seamstress and she learned how to sew from when she was little. She stopped sewing because she's got 3 kids to look after on her own. So she gave me all she had including fabrics and notions! I was so happy!

25 Aug. 2008

My first top

I managed to whip up this top last night. I used this pattern that I bought from Anglicare I think which cost me 50c.
I bought this pattern mainly because of two reasons: 1. Simple. 2. It's got the collar I want. I have to have warm collars in winter and the ones I've got on my existing tops are all synthetic material, which means itchy neck. I've been scratching my neck the whole winter. I so want a cotton collar.

I was very disappointed how this top turned out because it was wayyyyyy too big for me. According to my measurements I made a size 10. I was quite worried that it would be small as from my memory my pre-baby size was 12. Well I know my after-baby size might be slightly different from before but I haven't bought many clothes after I had DD (coz she's never patient enough in the fitting room) so I'm not sure what size I'm now. But....how can it be SO different? Anyway next time I'm gonna try to make a size 8.

Lucky I used a least-favourite piece of fabric which was bought from the remnant warehouse for $2/m, so I don't blame myself too much on wasting fabrics. It's a purple kind of knit, but after prewash with some other stuff it became purple-blue-pinkish everywhere. So it became my 'trial and error' fabric.

Last night after I managed to take the photos I didn't even want to look at it any more. This morning it was still hanging there. I decided to try it on to see how big it was. It WAS too big. But the moment I put it on, I didn't want to take it off! It was sooooo comfy. I knew I couldn't wear it to work like that. But I just couldn't part with it. It was soooo soft and warm. So I picked up a jacket to go over it so the main body was hidden, but the collar was still shown.

I can't wait to make a smaller one!

24 Aug. 2008

Topkids! And children's panties pattern

I've always wanted to have a Topkids magazine. After I picked up the patterns in my last post I went to Vinnies which was closeby and was excited to find this Topkids magazine. It cost me $3. And the panties pattern cost me 50c.

Pattern Harvest

I got these patterns yesterday from a generous lady on Freecycle. They're my treasure. I don't think I'll ever need to have any more patterns in the next 4 years.

Shopping trolley

Since I started my new job, I've been taking the train to work instead of driving. I really enjoy it and find it more cost effective because I can use my weekly ticket to do my weekend shopping too. Well I used to not do the weekend shopping due to my pelvis problems. DH does the shopping. But since I can take the train to town with my weekly tickets, I decide I can share part of the shopping too. Over the last few weekends, I went to town for small amounts of shopping, and found it really really hard to carry the shopping bags. My pelvis and back certainly cannot do the job. So I wanted to have a shopping trolley, like this kind. But I also wanted it to be portable, like to be able to fold into my bag, so I can carry it before I use it. I don't like dragging an empty trolley all the way to town. I've been searching and searching, until yesterday I went to a garage sale in a nearby suburb, and found this trolley:
I paid $2 for it. It was a garage sale like everything was more than 30 years old. But there were gems there. I wanted to buy some craft things but I stopped myself because I knew I already had more than enough.

This morning I cleaned the trolley and left it in the sun for a few hours. Then made the measurements and did a draft for the shopping bag to go with it. Then I spent the second half of the morning making the bag.

Here's how it turned out:If you want to know how much it can hold, here's DH's laptop case in it:

And here's when it's folded and ready to go: