Sunday, February 28, 2010

2 Weeks Old

It is hard to believe that this time two weeks ago I was in labour. My world has turned upside down since the birth of our son and I simply can't believe how absolutely delightful he is... or the fact that I am actually, finally a mum!

Here is a picture taken this morning:

This week has been a fairly steep learning curve, during which I learned that:

So called 'professionals' aren't always right - We had a home visit from the midwife on Wednesday this week and she growled at us for using a dummy and for allowing Matty to feed expressed milk from a bottle for one feed of a night time. She believes that it causes 'nipple confusion' and that it would be the reason why the baby feeds fine some times and not other times.

After she left, Matty and I discussed what she'd said and decided that I would do two days worth of feeds myself from the breast and see whether there was any difference. We also decided to limit the dummy use too, again to see if there was any change in his feeding.

I am pleased to report that there was NO change in his feeding. Sometimes he feeds like a dream, other time he just stuffs around a bit before he settles into a rhythm. So, I guess the moral of this story is that while we need to try new things, ultimately we need to do what works best for us as a family!

There is no such thing as breastfeeding 'friendly' clothes - The tops and bra's with the breastfeeding clips are, to say the least, down-right frustrating! I am not sure whether the fact I have tendinitis plays a part or not, but I am simply unable to un-clip or re-clip these things with a single hand. That means I have to put the baby down to un-clip them when I need to change sides during feeding *sigh*. This leads me to my next point.

I am a lot more confident in my body -
After getting frustrated with the breastfeeding bra clips, I decided that I just wouldn't wear a bra at all for a lot of the feeds lol. If you had have told me a couple of weeks ago that I'd be sitting half naked in the nursery feeding our baby I would have laughed given how modest I am!

Sure, I have a little bit of baby weight to get rid of, but overall I am pretty pleased with how I look. It is a nice feeling to actually feel confident in my body rather than worrying that I need to lose weight or work out more. I hope this new-found confidence lasts!

It is important to laugh - Twice this week I have had poo on me, as our son has a 'knack' for projectile pooing at exactly the right time. Yesterday's projectile poo landed right on the leg of my jeans, half an hour into our neice's birthday party! Matty has been pooed on too. So has our couch, our couch cushion and our carpet. Matty's parents bed wasn't spared either!

A while ago Matty and I decided that we were going to try not to stress out as parents. When your kid poo's like ours does, there is only one thing you can do - laugh about it.

This coming week we are going to be attending a baby settling class, so I will be sure to tell you all how that goes at next weeks update. Until then, we're just going to be enjoying our little boy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunshine Award

How exciting! I received not one, but TWO Sunshine Awards for my blog this week.

One was from Vanessa over at Green Ness and the other from Jane over at No Spend in 2010

The Rules:
1. Post the award
2. Pass on to 12 bloggers that brighten your day
3. Link to nominees
4. Link back to givers.

So, the 12 blogs I would like to nominate are:

All of the blogs above are well worth checking out for inspiration. There are some very talented people in this world, that is for sure!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Valentines Day 2010

I was sitting here thinking about Valentine's Day, when I realised that I hadn't actually shown you any pictures of what Matty and I did to celebrate Valentine's Day this year!

Luckily, we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day on the Saturday instead of the Sunday this year (I was in labour for most of Valentine's Day).

Anyway this year I decided that since I wasn't working (and hence we have a need to save money), that I would try to make Valentine's Day special for Matty without spending much money.

So, I firstly headed over to the How About Orange blog and followed the tutorial to make a paper heart garland. Here is a picture of how it turned out:

Next I pulled out my Alice in Wonderland Table cloth and set the table:

Finally, I made Matty a breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes in the shape of love hearts. Awwww, corny but so cute!:

We had a great time at our breakfast, talking about life in general and what things would be like after our baby was born (little did we know that we'd be meeting him within the next 48 hours) and just generally enjoying each others company.

Even though they were all simple things, Matty really appreciated the effort I went to. Sometimes it isn't the value of the gift that is important, but the thought that goes into it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Project #22 - Nappy Covers (finished)

Before the birth of our son, I priced nappy covers and was HORRIFIED that they ranged in price from $15 - $25 for a decent one. Of course, like with everything that costs more than I want to pay, I thought "Well, why don't I have a crack at making some?" So I did just that.

The pattern that appealed to me most was the one for the Chloe's Toes
side snapping nappy (or diaper) cover, for the simple fact that it looked nice and easy (and would provide an excuse to use my snap press).

One of the problems I had when making the cover was that I couldn't find anywhere that sold the Fold Over Elastic (FOE) other than online. As I was just making these for a test I didn't really want to order a metre of the FOE for $1.20 and then pay some ridiculous price for postage, so I talked to the lady at our local sewing shop and she suggested using fitted sheet elastic. At .69 cents a metre, I figured it was worth a shot and so far it appears to have worked!

Here is a picture of the finished cover using PUL as the main material and the fitted sheet elastic as the binding around the edges:

I would have put a baby in them to show you what they looked like, but he was too busy sleeping (how rude!)

This cover does use a lot of snaps but that is only because it is multi-sized, so it should last a lot longer (it uses a total of 20 snaps). My one word of advice when sewing this cover is to make sure you hold the elastic at roughly the same tension the whole way round, particularly around the legs. If you don't, you will end up with lopsided legs which means that you will get leaks - and you don't want that!

Anyway, all up these covers took around 20 - 30 minutes each to make (most of that work is in putting the snaps on) and cost roughly $2 to make, so savings galore to be had!

Monday, February 22, 2010

They are out of control!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I planted some seeds for the raised vegetable garden? Well the last time I showed them to you, they looked like this:

The plan was to plant them on Valentines day but as most of you will know, I went into labour that day and gave birth to a beautiful little boy. As a result, the seeds weren't planted. Imagine my surprise when I came home from hospital and found them looking like this:

Oh my! It's a snowpea jungle! lol

The new plan is to plant them some time this week while Matty is still home with me, so I will be sure to write a post on how and what we filled the raised garden beds with. I am pleased to report that the egg cartons are starting to break down a little, just as we hoped they would.

To mark the birth of our baby boy, we were lucky enough to be given a lemon tree from my dad and a crab apple tree from one of my oldest friends to add to our vegetable garden, so we will need to do something with those too at some point. As we don't plan on staying in this house long term, we are going to plant the trees in half wine barrels so that we can take them with us when we move.

I feel as though we are getting there. It is going to be a slow process, but I can't wait to eat the first harvest of vegetables from our garden!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

1 Week Old - The things I have learned!

I simply cannot believe how fast this first week has gone! My little boy is 1 week old already and has changed so much it is hard to believe.

Here is a picture of him taken this morning:

This week has been full of many more highs than I expected and a lot less lows than I expected. In fact the only lows I've had this week have been with regards to feeding, as we have had a lot of problems in that area. We are almost sorted though I think, which is a great feeling.

The thing I realised this week, is that there is a LOT to learn. Here are some things I have learned so far:

Breastfeeding doesn't come as naturally as they say it does - There are a lot of factors that contribute to whether or not it works. Lucky for me, technique was not a problem so I skipped most of the nipple problems that most new mum's have. I mean, I got sore, but no grazes or pinching or anything. The biggest problem for us, was that my milk didn't come in until day 5 *sigh* - and they say breastfeeding is 'natural'.

I was discussing the fact that breastfeeding doesn't come as naturally as we're all lead to believe with a midwife at the hospital and she agreed saying "It is natural, but it is a
learned art". I wish someone had have said that to me earlier on as it made me realise that my son and I are BOTH trying to learn something simultaneously, with no prior training, so of course it is going to be testing - for both of us!

There is something worse than poo explosions - My word there is... it's called the poo volcano, or projectile poo. Yesterday my delightful little boy managed to squirt poo to about 1/2 a metre over the end of the change table. Luckily I happened to be standing at the side at the time so I avoided getting covered, but the carpet was a mess.

When we went to the hospital yesterday to have him weighed, I mentioned what happened to the midwife. Her eyes lit up and she clapped her hands together claiming that it was great news. Maybe for her! She didn't have to clean it up!

Apparently there is no etiquette that people stay away on the day after a baby is born - We had SO many visitors on the first day that it was ridiculous! As a result, Matty put a message up on facebook asking for everyone to give us some space. I mean, we love the fact that everyone wanted to meet our little man but seriously... on the first day?

The thing that you tend to forget too, is that even when there are no visitors you have nurses, physio's, obstetricians and the tea lady coming in and out too. It felt like it was an endless stream of people. By the time we got through the first two days I felt as though I wasn't as close to my son as I wanted to be, so we spent a lot of time on the third day having skin to skin contact and just enjoying each other. I will certainly be putting some visiting restrictions in place the next time we have a child!

It is important to keep on cuddling - You think I'm talking about cuddling the baby, don't you? Well nope... After the first day being full of visitors and the second day being full of trying to get the breastfeeding happening, I realised I felt like I hadn't had a decent cuddle with Matty since the birth. Sure, we'd kissed and cuddled and stuff, but only in passing.

At the end of the day, doing the dishes instead of having a cuddle isn't going to make your marriage great, so I've made it my motto to remember to keep on cuddling the husband.

I am sure I will continue learning as the weeks go by, but I am really looking forward to it as it has been a long time since I've been challenged!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Week 41!

Well, at least we would be up to Week 41 if I hadn't already given birth to our beautiful baby boy on Valentine's Day. Isn't he simply adorable, sitting there pondering the world?!? (although I think it is possible I am a bit biased!):

The labour was no where near as horrendous as I had been expecting. My Sunday started like any other day, lying in bed wrestling with the idea of whether to get up and exercise or whether to leave it until later in the day. I had a bit of lower back pain but not enough to stop me from exercising and I just figured that it was an extension of me putting my middle back out earlier in the week, not anything at all attributed to labour.

Anyway, I got up and went to the toilet and the first sign that something could possibly be going on was that as I went to sit down I had a trickle of clear fluid come out when I least expected it. The same thing happened when I hopped back into bed. I said to Matty that maybe my waters had broken and the baby's head was stopping it from all coming out at once, but on the other hand, maybe it was just another one of those unspoken 'pregnancy joys' where your body fails you just a little.

It wasn't until I went to the toilet almost an hour later that I noticed there was a bit of blood in my cervical mucous. I thought that it must be about time to call the hospital and see what they thought we should do. They said to come in just so they could check me out. I had expected to go into the hospital, get checked out and then be sent home until the labour progressed, but that wasn't the way it was to work!

We got to the hospital at about 11.30am and I was hooked up to the CTG machine to check that all was ok with the baby and to monitor the 'contractions'. Matty and I were a bit surprised that they offered us some lunch, but we weren't going to turn down a meal.

We waited to see the oncall obstetrician so that she could assess whether to send us home or not. When she came at 1.00pm she advised us that I was already 4cm's dilated, so I wouldn't be going anywhere.

They hooked me up to the TENS machine and things were going good. Matty sat around watching the Winter Olympics while I walked around the room working on my redwork, much to the midwife's delight (I am pretty sure she thought I was insane!):

Contractions didn't actually start feeling like contractions until about 2.15pm and even then they were mild, but it was time for us to start getting serious about this whole labour business! As you can see we did just that!

At about 4.30pm things started to get a bit tougher as the TENS machine started cutting in and out during the contractions (much to my delight). After it cut out in the middle of five consecutive contractions I decided to move onto the gas, a decision I initially regretted.

I remember telling Matty after two contractions that the gas was making my eyes go all 'googly', I felt horrendously tired all of a sudden and for some reason I kept thinking there was a cat on the bed. Luckily, after a couple more contractions I got used to it and found it quite a good source for pain relief. It wasn't until about 6pm that things started to go a little askew.....

The contractions changed significantly and just felt wrong. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to push or not and the gas was starting to fail. I hopped into the shower for a bit but the only thing that did was make me wet. My lower back was hurting beyond belief so Matty rubbed it to try and give me a bit of relief but it wasn't working. I said that I thought we might need to consider an epidural.

The oncall Obstetrician came to assess me and said that I could have an epidural if I was less than 7cms dilated. When she had a look, the head was right there - I should have been pushing by this stage, but my body failed to let me know. After about 5 pushes, it was decided that we needed to get the baby out as soon as possible as I was going into distress with the lower back pain, so vacuum extraction would be used.

I realise that lower back pain sounds like it should be tolerable, but let me tell you that when I
look back on the labour, I can't even remember any pain associated with the crowning or the baby's shoulders coming out - all I can remember is the back pain, the horrendous, horrendous back pain.

Anyway, after about 10 random pushes (my body still wasn't telling me to push) and a small cut, our baby was born at 7.20pm, weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces, 54.5cms long and with a head circumference of 34.5cms.

At some point during the last phase of the labour I told Matty that we wouldn't be having any more kids, but once I was showered and dressed and sitting in the chair cuddling our son I whispered to Matty that I thought his son would need a little sister. How quickly we forget the pain!

Here is a photo of us around 12 hours after the birth:

While our baby is absolutely adorable, the unsung hero in this story is my beautiful husband. He didn't lose his cool once during labour and provided me with so much support during the whole experience. I didn't think that I could love him any more than I already did, but I feel as though labour moved our relationship to a whole new stratosphere.

My heart just swells with pride when I look at him holding our son and I am eternally grateful that I have such an adorable husband.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Buttercup Bag

I don't usually post on the weekends, but since all of the days are merging into one I figured I might as well! Plus, I was too excited about the bag I made to wait until Monday to share it with you.

I found a pattern for the bag quite a while back on the Made By Rae blog and thought that it looked like an ideal place to start my adventure into the art of bag making (which I'd been wanting to try for a while).

The tutorial put together by Rae is superb. It is easy to follow and takes the stress out of trying to work out what exactly you need to do, by including accompanying pictures for the parts of the instructions that are difficult to understand.

The thing I like most about the bag is that it can be made with less material than you'll find in two fat quarters, so it is really quite cost effective. I used one fat quarter for the outside of the bag and for the lining, I just used some scraps I had left over from another project. All up, I estimate that the bag cost around $7 to make (which includes the cost of the magnetic clasp).

Here is a picture of the bag completed:

I was surprised at how easy the bag was to make and simply can't believe that I had it fully completed in under an hour. This bag is a gift for Matty's cousin Julia who lives in Adelaide, so I am hoping that she will like it.

I am thinking that I might make one for my sisters birthday using funky Japanese prints (she is going to Japan this year!), so I will post a picture of that one too once it's done!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Week 40 (Can you believe it!)

Our due date is finally here and I simply can't believe it! In some ways it feels like it has taken forever to get here, but really it has gone so quick it's hard to believe.

The question on everyone's lips now though, is will I still be here at 41 weeks? And more importantly, will I be a mother by the time I am 30? (Which is on the 18th of February!)

Here is a picture of us from this morning:

This week I am finally feeling like I am starting to get in the swing of this whole 'maternity leave' thing. I don't feel nearly as frustrated with doing 'nothing' as I had been in the previous two weeks and I feel happier in general.

I have managed to get a lot of stuff done this week that has been on the 'to do' pile for quite some time, which means that when this baby comes along I will have more time to create things for him or her rather than trying to get old projects done.

Fingers crossed that this is the last pregnancy update and that next week I will be introducing you to our little baby!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Redwork Christmas Quilt Design - Block 1

As I said in my 100th post yesterday, I have big plans for this year as I am going to start designing my own stuff. So to kick off this year of 'design' I am going to share something I have started to design for our baby for Christmas (yes, I am thinking about Christmas 2010 already!).

Lets just start by saying that I have always had a 'thing' for redwork, but I believe that it is only as beautiful and timeless as the design. That is where I feel a lot of redwork patterns fall down. The ones that are free are terrible in most cases and the ones that are great cost more than I am willing to pay - like Rosalie Quinlan's Redwork Christmas. It is absolutely adorable, but I just can't justify the $130 for the pattern (especially when I'm not working).

My aim is to give our baby three gifts at Christmas time, with at least one of the gifts having been handmade by me. I thought a redwork 'Christmas' quilt would be ideal as it would tie my love of redwork in with a gift that will hopefully be used for many years to come. Since I can't justify the money to buy a pattern for each of the redwork blocks, I decided I would need to design my own. So I did just that!

First I thought up an idea in my head and drew it into my 'design journal'. Let me just say here, that while I can draw 'ok' I am by no means an artist. Therefore I would appreciate if you would not judge me on my drawing ability (or lack thereof) lol!

Here is the design for the first redwork block, which surprisingly turned out exactly like what I was imagining in my head:

Next I transferred the design out of the journal and onto tracing paper, tidying it up a bit as I went. I then stuck the tracing paper onto a window and used the light from outside to trace the design onto a piece of calico with a marker that will erase when washed. Here is a picture of the design on the calico:

Finally, it is time to start stitching. I am trying not to do too much of the stitching as I think it will make a good 'pre-labour' task when the time comes (if it ever comes!), but here is what I have done so far:

I am imagining this quilt will have either 9 or 12 blocks, but I am undecided whether they will be uniform in appearance or if they will be different shapes and sizes that eventually tie in together to form a rectangle. I guess that is the beauty of designing your own stuff - you never know what you're going to end up with!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

100 Posts!

Today is quite a significant day for my blog as I have made it to my 100th post!

To mark this occasion, I spent the afternoon making a 'banner' for my blog with a couple of photos of some of the things that I've made since starting this blog (the rocking chair cushion, the pebble table runner and Mrs Perkins.)

Here is a copy of it below. I hope that you like it!

The fact that I have reached 100 posts got me thinking about the direction I'd like to take not only with this blog, but also with my crafting endeavors. I have decided that 2010 will be the year that I start designing my own things, which is both a scary thought (I'm sure it's going to be harder than it sounds) yet strangely empowering.

I will still continue to work through the existing project list (it currently only has 12 unfinished items on it!) and keep you updated on the progress of my vegetable garden, but hope to be able to bring you more tutorials and some patterns I've created so that you too can make some (hopefully) cute things!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Project #17 - Tablecloth and Runner (Finished)

The other day I thought I needed to do something that was a little bit of fun, so I decided to work on the tablecloth and runner project I had sitting in the back of the cupboard.

While it might not sound like this project would be 'fun' as such, let me assure you it was. I put the Willy Wonka DVD in the player (the old version of course) and set to work creating.

This is what I started with - a boring, rectangular, plain white tablecloth:

I bought this tablecloth a couple of years ago to cover over our pool table (which has a wooden top), but when I got it home it wasn't really big enough. I mean, it fitted ok but not great. So I popped it on the kitchen table to take back, but somehow it ended up in the linen cupboard and so it was never returned.

Fast forward a couple of years and I thought that maybe I could cut the tablecloth down to fit our every day kitchen table, rather than just have it sitting around gathering dust. The problem with that though, was that the tablecloth was only 155cms wide and our table is 150cms wide, so the overhang wasn't long enough to look any good.

This is when I put my thinking cap on and came up with a brilliant idea! I could add some fabric to the sides of the old tablecloth and make it a dedicated 'afternoon tea' tablecloth for when I invite my friends over.

I knew I wanted to make a matching table runner, so I did that also, then found I actually had enough material left over to make matching napkins. Imagine my delight!

Here is a picture of how it all turned out:

Oooh I just love red and white so much!

We are calling this our 'Alice in Wonderland' tablecloth, since it looks like something that the Mad Hatter would have in his house lol!

I love how it turned out so much, that I'm wondering if I could get away with using it as an 'every day' tablecloth!?!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bibs and Burp Cloths

A couple of weeks back I was sitting in the nursery, looking around, when I realised that my bib stash was looking pretty poor indeed:

So there was only one thing to do - Make some more!

As the bibs in my stash were primarily newborn size, I drafted up a pattern for a bigger bib. Once our baby is here, I plan on putting some additional snaps onto the neck of all of the bibs so that they can be multi-sized. Once I have the snap placement correct, I will post the pattern for all of you lovely readers!

Since I am now on maternity leave (and therefore on a reduced income) I decided that I would just use scraps of fabric out of my stash rather than buy new fabric. Imaging my surprise when I found I also had enough fabric left over to make some matching burp cloths as well!

In total I made 15 new bibs and 6 burp cloths, so my stash looks a little more complete now:

Here are some close up pictures of the bibs with the coordinating burp cloths, all washed and ready for use (probably could have ironed them a bit better though!).

Of course there are some with owls:

A cute little unisex spot that has a coordinating stripe to go with it:

A zoo theme:

And some spotty ones as well:

All bibs and burp cloths are backed with a microfleece which I have unfortunately now run out of. Spotlight assure me they will be getting more in sometime soon but because it is a 'winter fabric' they don't stock it all year around - silly really!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 39!

It's hard to believe that this could be the last week that I have my photo taken with my lovely belly (although I honestly think we might get another week or two before this baby decides to make it's move)!

Here is the (somewhat terrible) photo of us taken this morning - I think I need to sack my photographer!

Everyone is asking how I'm sleeping, whether I'm over it and if I want the baby to hurry up and come out? The answers to those questions are that I'm sleeping like a log (only waking once a night to go to the toilet), I'm definitely not over being pregnant and no, I don't want him or her to hurry up and come out. I mean, sure I want to meet our baby, but I'm going to meet it whether it be tomorrow or a couple of weeks from now. I'm not in any hurry!

Apart from my ongoing hand problem, I feel great. I am attributing that to the fact that I have maintained a healthy exercise program for the entire time, have been eating *relatively* well and have an amazingly supportive husband that helps me do the things I can't, so I don't get stressed out that things aren't getting done.

Earlier this week I found that I wanted to spend a lot of time in the nursery, so I decided to start reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton to the baby and boy are we enjoying it. Well, I am anyway. I'm not sure the fact that Darth goes a little crazy and starts kicking madly when I start reading is a sign that he/she loves the story or wants me to shut up! Either way, we're reading it.

Unless this baby makes an appearance before next Friday, we'll be back next week with our 40 week belly shot!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A most delightful surprise!

Imagine my surprise when I went to water my vegetable seeds this morning and found that some had sprouted!

So far the iceberg lettuce, snow peas and beetroot have began to come up. I am so excited!

You may remember that my original plan had been to keep the seeds in the shed and bring them out daily for some sunlight before putting them away again at night. Well, unfortunately that plan didn't work so well.

For starters, it was getting close to 10am before I remembered I even needed to bring them out of the shed each day. On top of that, the harsh weather we have been having lately meant they were drying out very fast when sitting in the sun. Because of this, I decided to bring them inside and just leave them under the window in an unused part of the house. Three days later, I have sprouts!

As a person who really does not have a 'green thumb', the fact that my seeds are sprouting at all is a monumental achievement and enough to deem this project a success lol! I can't wait to see if any of the others sprout over the coming week.

Best get Matty onto filling up our
vegetable planter boxes with suitable materials on the weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Muslin Wrap Revamp (Tutorial)

Whenever Target has a baby sale, they usually drop the prices of their 4 pack muslin wraps so that they work out to around $2 each. Given that you probably couldn't purchase the material for that, this makes them a pretty good buy. The only problem with them is that the colour range available is a tad on the boring side - White, Pink, Blue, Yellow.... the standard 'baby colours'.

Below is a tutorial on how you can (very easily) spice them up a little. The best bit is, it only takes about 15 minutes!

You will need:
A muslin wrap
A piece of colourful muslin that measures 5 inches wide x 1.5 inches longer than your muslin wrap is (ie. if your muslin wrap measures 38 inches from one side to the other, you will need a 5 inch x 39.5 inch piece of colourful muslin)

A piece of coordinating bias binding that measures 1 inch longer than your muslin wrap
A suitable coloured cotton
A sewing machine

Take your piece of colourful muslin and press a 1/4 inch seam around 3 sides of the material with an iron (leave one of the 5 inch sides unpressed). As there is a fair amount of stretch in muslin fabric you need to ensure that the fabric is taut at all times, so leaving one side unpressed gives you a little bit of extra length to play with when you come to pinning that side down:

Next, pin the WRONG side of your colourful muslin to the top of the WRONG side of your muslin wrap, leaving the bottom seam unpinned.
At this point you may need to trim a bit off the side of the colourful muslin strip that we didn't press down, so that you can fold a 1/4 inch under and pin.

Pin your piece of bias binding along the bottom edge of the long side of the colourful muslin. Once done, it will look like this:

Sew around the colourful muslin strip (including the bottom edge of the bias binding) at approximately 1/8 of an inch. Remember that you need to hold the fabrics taut at all times! Once done, it will look like this:

Finally, sew a line across the top of the bias binding to secure it. I usually run this seam a little under 1/8 of an inch. You will end up with this:

Next, trim the loose threads off and you're done! I told you it was super easy.

To use the wrap, fold the band that we made down towards the right side of the wrap, like in the picture below:

I also made another wrap where I sewed the bias binding across the top edge, rather than at the bottom of the colourful muslin strip. I think I may actually prefer it this way:

This is a perfect project for a beginner sewer and if you're lucky (like I was) you can pick up enough muslin to do the whole four wraps from a remnant bin for under $1!

If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please let me know. Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Project #30 - Breastfeeding Cover (finished)

I would consider myself quite a modest person. In fact, I can't even recall a time where I've gone out in public showing even the tiniest bit of cleavage or wearing a skirt that fell above my knees. So when I found out we were going to have a baby, my first thought was about breastfeeding and how I could ensure that my 'hooters' weren't on parade for everyone to see.

It didn't take long to stumble across the tutorial for a breastfeeding cover on the Freshly Picked blog and let me tell you it is much easier to make than you might think!

I opted to exclude both the pocket and the piece of terry cloth from the version I made, as I didn't think I had a need to store anything in my breastfeeding cover and I didn't want to use the terry cloth once and then have to wash the cover.

The hardest part of this project was selecting the fabric! I was originally going to go for something unisex since we don't know if we are having a boy or girl, but then I thought "Hey! This is for ME, so I should choose a fabric that I like!", so I did.

I chose a nice watermelon Moda fabric that I picked up on special for $6 a metre while shopping with my Mother in Law in Geelong. Here is a picture of the finished cover:

The cover is quite simple in the way it's design works. You simply slip the cover over your head, use the D-Rings to tighten or loosen the neck (which affects the height of the cover) and the corset boning used along the top edge of the cover forms a semi-circle, which enables you to be able to see your baby while it's feeding.

These would make an ideal gift for new breastfeeding mothers as they take roughly 20 minutes to make and cost under $10 (depending on your fabric choice of course).

Simple, yet effective!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mrs Perkins

Have you ever seen the range of patterns created by designers 'Melly & Me'? If not, you simply MUST check out their site - so much delightful goodness!

Last week my sister Lauren and I had a crack at making Mrs Perkins and the results were quite impressive really. Lauren's sewing skills were pretty much non-existent so it took us waaaaay longer than it should have, but I really enjoyed spending time with her.

Unfortunately Lauren still needs to put her mane and tail on so I don't have a picture of her Mrs Perkins, but here is the one that I made:

The pattern was very easy enough to follow, however we obviously did something a little wrong as we had to alter her legs a little to make them more in proportion to her body. Other than that, and a small problem with the horns and ears being so small they were difficult to work with (not helped at all by my current hand problem), making Mrs Perkins has inspired me to want to buy another Melly & Me pattern. Now just to choose which one!