Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Car Seat Crotch Strap Cover: A Tutorial

The frozen tundra is no longer frozen! It's hot and big baby is sportin' her short shorts which means that her car seat straps are coming perilously close to pinching her thighs. And that's just no fun :( So today I whipped up a little cover for her and thought that some other chubby babies out there must be in the same thigh pinching boat. And a tutorial was born.

You'll need to take some measurements before you begin sewing to create your pattern. It's super easy. Measure the crotch strap's length and width (without the latching mechanism). Find a cup that generously covers the entire circumference of the latching mechanism when the cup is placed on top of it. I should have taken a picture of that step, sorry.

To make your pattern, triple the width of the crotch strap. Mine was two inches, so 2*3=6. This is the the length of your rectangle. The height is the length of the car seat strap plus .25. So mine was 1.25+.25=1.5. Alrighty. My rectangle now measures 6 x 1.5. Draw that out and find the middle of the rectangle by folding it in half. See my fold line in the picture below. Set your cup right on top of that line, overlapping by .25" in and trace it. Now cut that out.
Ignore the wavy cutout on the left corner. Do not add a seam allowance.
Cut two out of your chosen fabric. I used a corduroy so that it would be a little stiff,
but that's not really necessary. You can add interfacing if you want, but also not

You'll need some bias tape and a 1" piece of hook and loop.
I used some fusible hook and loop which worked nicely.
Although I ran into a snag when I applied one side to the wrong spot,
but I was able to pull it off. Phew.

This is precisely how you do not put your hook and loop tape on.
You should have the hook tape on one side of one piece of fabric,
flip the TWO pieces over so that you're looking at the other piece and
attach the loop tape on the SAME side.
So, in the picture that we're looking at, the tape piece that's on the left side here,
should be directly underneath where it is in the picture.

Grab your bias tape. One side is wider than the other, this side should be in the
back so that you don't have to worry about whether you're catching the back when you sew.

Start on one side of the circle.

And ease your way around. You can pin it, but I'm really lazy.
In fact, I'm so lazy that I chose white bias tape just because
I already had white thread loaded in my machine.

I sewed two lines because I'm rad.

Cut a little snip in the end of your next section of bias tape
so you can butt it up nice and close to the circle.

Like this. In hindsight, I'd cut mine a little deeper and angle it so that it
matches the curve of the circle.
Sew all the way to the edge of the fabric, back tack, and snip your thread.
Then fold the bias tape around the corner and press it flat with your finger and sew it down.
Sort of a mitered corner, but not very precise.
I have no idea with this is portrait orientation, but no matter what I do
delete, re-upload, swear, it won't show up right.
Anyhoo, this is what it looks like.

Super chub is safe.

And someone's happy!
Again in hindsight I would have used a slightly
larger cup to make my circle bigger, but hindsight's 20/20 and this will work.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I work in a sweat shop

seriously. The conditions are awful. Hot, stuffy. Noisy. All I have to sit on is an old dining room chair. And the boss is a REAL bitch.

This is an old picture because now I have that sweet little Singer
Awhile back I appropriated a corner of the kids' "playroom" for my sewing table. (I use playroom in quotes here because while there were several truckloads of toys in said playroom, my children very rarely played in there) It was just too much to haul all my sewing stuff out every night once the kids were in bed and set it all up on the dining room table only to sew for an hour or sew and clean it all up. Who wants to do that?
So I decided that since the kids weren't using the space, I would. The "playroom" is actually a 3 seasons porch, which in the wonderful of winter that I live in actually is more accurately described as a 2 seasons porch--cold and hot (I'm starting to see why not much playing was being done). Right now I guess we're in hot since I just finished hemming some drapes for a customer (glamorous, no?) and my butt is sweaty. Sexy...
I've got to talk to my superior about the working conditions, but she just doesn't seem to be listening.

Um...get a fan.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sheep Shearing

As a mom of two little boys, I really prefer their hair to be long. Like, in their eyes shagginess ala Ralph Lauren ads. But, literally every other thing out of their mouths at the park today had something to do with how hot they were. Plus, by the time we left Thing 1's hair was completely saturated with sweat.

So, I bit the bullet and got out the ol' hair cutting scissors (and the clippers). I'm super crazy cheap, so the idea of spending $15 bucks on a little boy's haircut just makes me want to die, so I do it myself more often than not. Sometimes the boys go on anti-mom haircut binges and then we go to a local barber, but for the most part they're good about it. It helps to have bribes. Today's was Smarties.



The wool
If you want to cut your own boy's hair, here are some tips:
  • Cut the hair dry the first time. When cutting the hair wet, there is an awful lot of shrinkage. That is to say, you may think that you cut the kid's hair to a decent level, but when it dries it's crazy short. Cutting it dry will help you avoid that. It will also help you see what affect your snipping is having.
  • Cut the back first
  • Don't cut horizontal (like the horizon), your shears should be up and down
  • Use sharp scissors that are intended for haircutting, not paper scissors or fabric scissors
  • Cut small sections of hair at a time, overlapping areas that you've not cut with areas that you have already cut. This way, you can make sure that you're making it even.
  • After cutting the hair straight vertically, cut small Vs into the hair so that it lays more naturally
  • When cutting the front of the hair, resist the urge to cut straight across or it will look like you put a bowl on your kid's head. Instead, Take small sections of hair and cut them vertically, again adding the small V cuts into it.
That's all I can think of. Go nuts.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Covered Pattern Weights: A Tutorial

I was surfing blogs last night and saw some cute covered pattern weights in a photo and I knew I needed some. I asked my manfriend if he had any large washers, and, being the type of guy that he is, he was able to provide me with two ziploc bags of assorted washers. Swoon. I was hoping for a silver dollar size, but the ones that I ended up using are more of a quarter-ish size. How's that for approximate? Anyway, these were super easy and came together in a few minutes. I still think I'd like some bigger and heavier weights eventually, but these are fine for now.
Your ingredients. I also wrapped a weight with twine which worked OK.

Stack some washers up. I added a dab of glue in between layers, but you wouldn't have to.
Glue one end of the ribbon to the hole and start wrapping.
Keep your ribbon smooth by pulling it tight.

Glue your tail down and snip the excess ribbon off.


You could also use strips of fabric, bias tape, decorative paper...lots of flexibility here people.