12 Sep. 2010

3 new version night pads

After I modified the panty liner pattern and night pads pattern, this is the first time I make night pads using the new night pads pattern. As you can see from the comparison of the old and new patterns, the new version is a LOT longer than the old one, although the old one is already 34 cm long. I feel safer with the new length. As I won't have menstrual periods for a long time I don't have any chance to test it until I finish breastfeeding, which hasn't started yet as the new baby's due date is still 10 days away. But from memory of the testing of the old version, I believe this new length should be good enough for me.

Below is comparison of real products of new and old version. As I now 'overcast' the edges instead of 'turn-n-topstitch', the new version is even bigger than it should be. But I really like this overcasted version. It's so easy and looks so neat.
Again, as you can see, I used the thrifted baby wrap to make these night pads. I've fallen in love with this fabric. It's not just easy to sew, but also very thick so I don't need to sew a lot of layers. It's also super absorbent. Just two layers can hold up a LOT of liquid without me feeling wet! I love it a lot more than the bamboo fabrics, coz it feels a lot better when in place. The bamboo velour feels plush when using hands to feel it but doesn't do as good when 'doing the job'.

8 Sep. 2010

4 cloth pads

I made 4 cloth pads today, using the same materials as the panty liners I just finished. I really love working with this baby wrap thick cotton fabric. It's so easy to sew. I now just 'overcast' the edges instead of topstitching due to the thickness of the fabric. They look perfect. The farbic is very thick so I only use two layers in the body and two layers in the snap on soaker.

So for each pad, there're two layers of soaker fabric and another layer of soaker fabric sewn on to one layer of body fabric. Then a PUL layer as waterproof layer. They make a very thick pad. I can't wait to try them but I might have to wait for at least months since I'm planning to breastfeed....

But I can still use the body part (without snapping on the soaker) as panty liner if I wish.

Ways to recycle wool blankets

I thrifted a wool blanket from a charity shop long time ago thinking I could recycle it into something but never came up with a good idea. I was thinking maybe I could make a wool nappy cover out of it but since it's a woven not knitted one I didn't think it would work well. Plus DD has eczema so I was advised by our doctor not to use wool on her.

Anyway I found this link helpful. It gives a few very good ideas on recycling a wool blanket. I like the following and maybe try them one day:

1. use as batting in a quilt
2. sleep bag. Why didn't I think of that?
3. as padding in pot holders and hot pads.

7 Sep. 2010

5 more panty liners

My incontinence has been getting worse since my belly is getting bigger and bigger. So making more absorbent panty liners has become an urgent task. I couldn't find the bamboo fabrics so when I came across some very thick cotton baby wraps in Vinnies the other day I bought all of them. It was 50% off store wide so I got 4 of them for $1 each.

Today I got some time to make them. I used less than half of a baby wrap to make the absorbent layers and some PUL to make the waterproof layers. I cut out a body layer and a soaker layer of baby wrap cotton for absorbency, and a body layer of PUL. I really like this baby wrap fabric. It's super thick, doesn't easily fray (does it fray at all?) and very easy to work with.

I turned and topstitched one of them and found the fabric was quite thick for topstitching. So I went with the easy way, using zigzag to finish the edges instead of topstitching. I think the zigzaged ones look much neater than the topstitched ones. I really like how they turned out.

The absorbent side (left 4 are zigzaged ones and right 1 is topstitched one):
The waterproof (PUL) side:

4 Sep. 2010

Cot organizer

I saw this cot organizer and couldn't resist the urge to make one for my soon-to-come baby. Today DH took DD to a birthday party so I got plenty of time to play in my sewing room.

This is what I spent a whole day on (well of course not really a whole day coz I had to take some breaks):
In action:
Of course I used snaps to fix it on.

Some photos in progress:

As you can tell the fabrics came from scraps of the upholstery set that I freecycled from someone who finished almost 95%.

Some measurements:
1. Main body: cut 68x73, finished size 64wx69h (too high so probably should have been 64wx64h)
2. Straps: cut 26hx8wx12pieces. Fold each into 2cm wide 4 layers to sew into straps.
3. I didn't really spend much time with the pocket as that piece of scrap came with the perfect W and H.

3 Sep. 2010


This is a pair of pants that DD's grandma gave her as a gift. It's super comfy, with soft cord outside and very thin and soft knit as lining. And one day DD came back home with a huge whole in one of the legs.

I guess she'll need to wear steel pants in the future...

I can't just throw it out. It's too good to become useless. So I decided to patch it.

It's actually the first time I've ever patched a pair of pants. I picked this canvas fabric scrap and wanted to use the heat n bond but it wasn't working. The heat n bond did 'heat' but wouldn't bond.
So I had to do it all manual: using the pins to fix the patches on and handsewed them using blanket stitch:
I think it's pretty, although the patches do look too 'round':

4 Aug. 2010

Division curtain

My parents are coming from overseas to stay with us for 3 months to help me with our baby No.2. We're running out of bedrooms so we decided to divide the entertainment room downstairs and make an extra bedroom.

I do my sewing downstairs and the laundry is also downstairs. So we need something to divide the room so my parents can have some privacy. After some discussion and planning with DH we decided to use wire and curtain.

We have a spare pair of curtain. But we found out it's not wide enough. So I pulled out the upholstery fabrics that I freecycled from someone long time ago and cut some pieces to make up the width. The fabric was already 'hemmed' as the original owner was trying to do an upholstery project and she couldn't finish it while it was already like 95% done. So I don't need to hem the fabrics. The only thing I need to do is to attach them to the curtain.

I also used some scraps of the top threading part of the cream curtain (I couldn't use them before but just wouldn't throw them out and now I can use them!) to attach to the top so I can use curtain rings on these fabrics too.

The upholstery fabric and the top part of the cream curtain to thread curtain rings:
The pair of curtain which will make the main body of the division (sorry for the crap photo it seems that only the wrong side is shown):
I sewed the upholstery fabric onto the main curtain wrong sides together and then folded over and sewed right sides together to make something like a french seam so that the raw edges won't show on either sides:
Then I attached the top threading part to the top of the upholstery fabric:
Threaded the curtain rings on (I didn't know which one would work better so I bought both):
Viola a division curtain (sure I'll iron them before my parents arrives...):
When it's open (yeah we'll get rid of the ping pong table and put in bed, TV etc..):
To make it work better I even snapped two snaps onto the edges of the curtain so when they're closed my parents can snap them up so they can't be easily open (by wind for example).

29 Jul. 2010

2 great free patterns a tutorial sites

I've come across this site and found they have large collections of free patterns and tutorials all sorted out in different categories. http://www.freeneedle.com It's a great site as I can easily find many tutorials and patterns if I want to sew a particular thing. They have done the hard work of searching and collecting and sorting in categories.
They also have a sister site dedicated for sewing for baby. It's even better! http://www.makeforbaby.com I was gonna add the URLs on the right hand site of my blog but thought because they're so good I'd better make a post so I can easily find these two links when I need them.

28 Jun. 2010

How to modify normal pants into bell pants

DH loves the bell pants I made for DD so he wouldn’t dress her in the normal pants. To make use of the pants I made I decided to modify them into bell pants. I simply drew lines on the wrong side of the pants to make the middle of the legs skinnier and sewed over the lines.
Now they’re all a little bit more ‘bell-like’.

I was planning to cut the excess fabric but I thought I better try it on DD before I cut anything. If still too 'fat' I can even trim more. If too 'skinny' I can rip the threads and remake it. I'll eventually cut the excess fabrics off once I feel the look and fit is good enough.

Modified (longer) panty liner pattern and night pad pattern

I don’t like the panty liners I made recently because they’re too small, especially at the front which needs the most protection. I decided to modify my panty liner pattern to make the front larger.

What I did was simply tracing the panty liner pattern on a piece of paper, and put a normal pad pattern over it to trace the front onto the pattern so the front of the new pattern is longer, and the total length of the panty liner pattern is the same as the normal pad pattern.

See the photo below. Patterns from left to right: normal pad, panty liner soaker, panty liner body, new panty liner soaker, new panty liner body.

I cut one layer of bamboo velour and one layer of polar fleece or PUL to make the body, and one layer of bamboo fleece to make a soaker. The soaker is a little bit smaller than the body so that there’s less bulk when the body pieces are turned and top stitched.

I sewed the soaker onto the wrong side of the bamboo velour, then sewed the bamboo velour and polar fleece or PUL together right side together, then turned right side out to top stitch.

I like working with polar fleece much more than PUL. I can never get PUL to look nice after sewing. But polar fleece looks so nice and feels so nice.
I’ve tried the new panty liners on and they feel sooo much safer!
When I took out the old patterns I also decided to modify this night pad, although I don’t think I’ll need it in the next 12 months now that I’m 27 weeks pregnant and plan to breastfeed. I did pretty much the same thing, added length at the front and also at the back. I think it’s now about 40 cms long.

14 Jun. 2010

Fourth black pants made!

I guess the bell pants will be the trend so I made a new pattern based on the 4004 pattern. I just copied the pattern onto newspaper and handdrew the curves to make it a little bit 'bell like' and cut out the curves. Voila a bell pants pattern!
I pulled out the stretchy black cord again and cut out the pieces. I also found some colourful scraps to make some decorations.
This is the piece of scraps that I was gonna make into some ruffles.

Ruffles made and pinned onto the front piece to sew before I sewed the pieces together:
I was gonna make the ruffles into a pocket shape but it turned out funny:

Third red pants made!

I'm totally addicted to it.

And I've got so much cord to play with too.

DH said the pants I made recently don't have 'curves'. I asked him exactly what he likes and he showed me one of DD's bell pants. Ok I don't think that's difficult. So I modified the pattern I've been using. BTW this is really a very well used pattern. I bought it from spotlight and have made almost every item in the pattern, hooded vest, pants, jumper, tops etc. It is a basic pattern but I can add my own imagination and design to make it more interesting and make many more varieties.

Here's the final product:

I love how it turned out. It fits DD perfectly, even with thermo underneath:The back has even more decorations:
Because I got distracted when sewing and sewed all the decorations on the back pieces. Lucky I still had plenty of scraps to make more decorations to add onto the front pieces so now she ended up with a pair of pants with decorations everywhere!

The pants are made of a bright red cord and the decorations were cut from some canvas type of fabric from a never finished project. I used bands of that fabric to make the big pieces and cut out the small Tshirt patterned pieces to applique here and there.

I cut out the back and front pieces a few days ago from the 4004 pattern and after DH requested 'curves', I simply drawed some curves on the pieces and cut to make it a 'bell' shape.

9 Jun. 2010

Another pair of pants made!!

I was so encouraged by DD and DH after making the last pair of pants for DD, I'm addicted to it!
I like the oriental kind of look of the flowery patch on the one leg.

If you look closely, you'll see the two pink bows were made differently. I decided to add a bow in the seam so the end bit won't show, when I was sewing the first leg. It was successful. See, there're only two 'loops' shown outside, so I don't need to worry about fraying.
Then when I sewed the second leg, I forgot....After I sewed the side seam, I realized I couldn't sew the bow in the seam any more. Then I just added the bow on the outside of the seam. I don't know what'll happen after wearing and washing. If it frays, I'll find ways to mend....
The fabric is a very fine cord that I brought from my mom's place tens of thousands of kilometres away. It's a big piece of fabric and I love it. I was imagining all types of decorations on it to make it into interesting items. And this is the first one! And I do like it!

8 Jun. 2010

New pants made for DD!

Finally I've made something I like. There's been so many frustrations on sewing recently that I've lost a lot of confidence.

Anyway since winter is officially here (17 degrees for the whole week) I need more warm toddler pants. So I pulled out my cord stash and cut out this pair of pants over the weekend. I had a very busy weekend so I forgot about it. Then last night when I went down stairs I saw this UFO and decided to give it a go.

It turned out quite well. I straight stitched the seams and zigzaged the raw edges to avoid fraying.

I recycled a piece of scrap from the nursing cover to make the pants not so plain. And I got some straps from my colleague who rescued them from filing and decided to make a couple of bows on the pants.

DD loved the pants. She couldn't wait to try them on. It's just the right length but it looks very wide on her. I hope it's warm enough....

I can't remember which pattern I used. I'll have to come back to update on this.

Update 100614: pattern is Get creatibe 4004

Modern panty liners - I don't like it

My pregnancy has made my incontinence worse. Recently my old lovely panty liners are not good enough. I have about 2 dozens of them but they're mainly made by 3-4 layers of flannelette and at most one layer of polar fleece. A sneeze can wet all the layers and a wet panty liner makes me uncomfortable for the rest of the day. (I’m just too lazy to carry around spare ones coz one was almost always good enough before.)

So I decided it’s time to use my ‘modern’ fabrics: PUL and bamboo, to make more absorbent and waterproof panty liners.

I pulled out my PUL, bamboo velour and bamboo fleece, and decided to use two layers of bamboo fleece as inner soaker because of its great absorbency, one layer of bamboo velour as inner layer that touches skin because of it’s lush softness, and one layer of PUL as the outer waterproof layer. I believe three layers of bamboo should be enough for a whole day, and even if there’s a big accident, the PUL should be able to prevent any awkwardness.

I used this pattern, which has always been my favourite. (When I'm checking the tute when writing this blog entry I realized that I did the wrong thing by cutting out the fabric using the pattern and turned and topstitched. It should be like sewing ON the pattern lines not cutting on the pattern lines. No wonder I feel these 'modern' panty liners are slightly smaller!)

So I put them on to the sewing machine and started sewing. Then I got more and more disappointed. I heard that PUL is hard to sew. It’s not really that hard to sew to me but the look after it’s sewn onto the bamboo velour is terrible. Why do I always have these waves? I want it FLAT!
To be honest I like fleece better. I never had this big ‘waving’ problem with polar fleece before. I believe bamboo fleece will be good as well, since when I sew bamboo fleece onto the bamboo velour it didn’t feel so wavy. After I finished my first ‘modern’ panty liner I hated the look. But I believe it should still have the functions that I need: absorbency and waterproof, so I am still glad that I have a ‘modern’ panty liner.

Then I decided to try handsewing the rest 7 panty liners that I cut out . Yesterday I finished two on the train. They still look terrible but well again, all I need is their functions at the moment so I’ll just bear with them.
I’ll have to do some research on how to deal with these ‘wavy’ issues with these terrible knits.