Saturday, August 14, 2010


Giving up chemicals and such doesn't just mean in our food. Since our boy is showing no hope of being potty trained any time soon, we've also have to switch brands on pull-ups to those more expensive, chlorine free ones that cost 0.57 per pull-up. And there's no night time version. Time to make some changes. It was time to make this boy some cloth pull-ups.

Now, i know--you'd think i'd already be doing this. Lemme 'splain our choices. First off--having done the research when he was a baby, we decided to use disposables because it really was a trade off between land waste and water waste. Since we are in drought conditions here in So Cal, i opted for land waste. I didn't think we'd still be using these things so deep into the third year. Secondly--my husband has a real problem with diapers in general--or rather the contents of them. Like, i know most guys can barely handle the whole excrement party that is a baby, but he's really got a problem. And god help us if any of that matter should decide to escape or leak! I waited around for this to change, and it never did, so we stuck with the plastic because it was that or i would never get a break from changing diapers/pull-ups. Selfish on my part? no doubt. But with selfishness comes sanity. But now that ben is no longer using tons of diapers per day, it was time to break out my pattern for diapers and pull-ups, buy some PUL (a vinyl coated material now available at my local JoAnn's) and start cutting.

I started with two large diapers. I made an All in One--with the absorbent padding already in the diaper, and a pocket diaper, where i can remove or add padding. Both worked "ok" but leakage and fit were an issue. So i moved on the training pants pattern.

I made the pattern according to his weight, which was the large. For these, having learned a lesson on the diapers, i lined the ENTIRE pant with the PUL (waterproof). But sizing was an issue on this pattern. Ben was walking around with the largest bubble butt I've ever seen, AND they still leaked (at the leg). I can't sew a seam around the leg elastic or it "pokes holes" in the PUL, which would defeat the purpose. But without the seam, the lining fabric will "roll out"and thus, the leak. A catch-22 really.

So back to my studio. I created six more the next size down and these seem to be working well. I still can't solve the leg problem--but the better fit seems to be helping. They aren't as "tight" as the plastic ones, but Ben doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he really likes these cloth ones. It helps that a few of them have items like planets and rockets to help.

I also tried a new fabric (for me) for the lining on three of these: hemp fleece. Alot of the diaper making mavens use it. I think it has anti microbial properties or some such--but it also wicks away moisture, leading to less diaper rash and such. It was a little tough on my needles--fleece & PUL made for a diffcult sewing barrier--but i managed to get through.

I've developed a washing schedule, and have the advantage of this fine weather to hang them out on the line. And since we're not dealing with "baby poop" i don't have to wash as many times as suggested for diapers (once in hot, once in cold) to keep the stink away. We still use the plastic pull-ups for going out and he'll use them for school. But at least here at home he can be comfortable with his bubble butt.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

sweets for the sweet

As many of you may know, my family and i have started a new diet--not for weight loss, but to help both my husband and son deal with their sensory issues. It's called the Feingold diet, and i discuss it a bit more here, on my other blog. Basically it's an elimination diet that gets rid of a bunch of chemicals as well as salicylates, which can then be re-introduced later after a baseline is reached. (@6 weeks if we're lucky). We're already starting to notice some subtle results, and i've already targeted some other items that my son, at least, may be sensitive to.

In the end, though, it means a bit more work for me in the kitchen as i begin to make A LOT of things from scratch. So I'll be interspersing my crafty entries with some foodie ones as i begin to experiment with new items.

This weekend, i dove into a granola bars project. My son likes them, and my husband will eat them from time to time. The ones in the store are usually full of high fructose corn syrup, as well as a bunch of other stuff i can't pronounce, so when i saw this recipe on the Feingold bulletin board, i decided to give it a shot.

The recipe itself is pretty simple:

Chewy Granola Bars

1 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 t. EACH baking soda & baking powder

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. vanilla

1/4 c. honey

(I usually have to add a little bit of water 'cause they're a bit dry)

Combine all but vanilla & honey. Mix & then add vanilla & honey & water

if needed, mix well again. Press into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake at 325

for 18 -20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.

They baked up pretty easy, and my husband cut them up for me to cool on the rack. As they are here, they are @150calories--but i cut them in half again later so i could put them in the cookie jar. And because i find them to be SUPER sweet. My husband loves them--but he likes sweet stuff. I like sweets too--but only in that opiate combination of fat & sweet. I haven't given any to Benji yet, but I don't see myself snacking on them much. I may try another recipe i found that had a little more substance and a little less sweet.

Monday, August 2, 2010

the Bustline of reality

So a while back, I made myself a cute sundress out of some aloha material i had on hand. I loves me a long sundress, so i based my design on a pattern i had that was super cute--extending the hem and adding a ruffle along the bottom. It was a cute dress--one i failed to photograph--but it never felt right.

This is the pattern i based it on. I wanted something empire waisted and with pleats to "mix it
up." But take a good look at that model. What's she sporting? An A cup? B tops? Sure it looks cute on her--ANYTHING looks cute on those little girls!

This bodice, while cute, is NOT meant for anyone above a B cup. Especially if you extend into the doubly delightful DD range. This is for someone who rarely wears a bra and whoose boobs are in the state of constant perk. For the rest of us, the bottom hem of the bodice cuts right across the top of your breasts--creating this weird edge, strange pouf, and general uncomfortableness. This cute sundress hung in my closet, worn once, gathering dust. (i seem to have a problem closing my closet door...)

So a few months ago (projects for myself tend to range into the months long arena) i decided it was time to remake that dress or give it away. Since i have the love affair with long dresses, i was loathe to give it away (as well crafted as it may have been). So i ripped it apart, got rid of the old bodice, and created a new one.

This bodice is based in reality. The classic surplice neck line--forgiving, and downright sexy with the right bra! As i was out of the original material, I used the same black as the original bottom ruffle, but used some of the scrap material to create a "ribbon" for the neckline to tie it together.

I also used one of my patterns to create this bodice, and i find the sleeves a bit...grabby. Reminder to those who sew--patterns are created in general for a B cup--and even if the size is larger, the ratio of shoulder to bust isn't always as exact. I may fix this one with a shoulder dart to pull the sleeve in a touch. Or i might not. This is just a sundress after all--suitable for a trip to farmer's market or the grocery.