Friday, November 19, 2004

Gay and Straight PJ Pants

It's getting cold around here. This means I need PJ pants. So I pulled out my Simplicity pattern which promised me it would yield my size of drawstring pant, and whipped one up.

Here it is from the front:

Here's the back:

Perfect fit!

Unfortunately, that's TAC modeling it. This is what it looks like on me:

Yeah, I could take up the hem, but the crotch would still fit me like a balloon, and then no one in this house would be able to wear them!

The girl on the cover reassured me they would look like this:

Feeling betrayed, I decided the pattern was only a rough guide and not to be taken literally. I was determined to reduce the size of the crotch substantially, so I folded about an inch or two off the pattern top and shaved off another size down on all the sides. I then sewed with a generous 1/2" seam allowance for good measure.

I'd run out of pink flannel 'cause I'd used it all on making the first pair of PJ pants. Grrr. So I had to dip into my pink and white striped flannel stash.

Here are the new ones:

The crotch is well under control, though now a bit on the smallish side 'cause my panties have a tendency to stick out in back. The length is perfect, and this version (PJ Pants 2.0) has pockets! They are a bit low, but perfectly functional.

As for PJ Pants 1.0, they serve TAC well when he's kicking Half Life 2 alien butt.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Green Eggs and Ann

We visited Ann recently. By "we" I mean TAC (my Talented Adjunct Crafter) and I. While we were there, we gave her the pillowcase skirt I made her. She obliged us by modeling it with TAC.

Then, her daughter Rachel modeled it, too.

I think it looks terrific on both of them.

While we were there, we relaxed quite a bit. Ann and I picked herbs from her garden and I made us some green eggs with them.

Okay, so they're really not that green, but I felt they were "earthy" enough to call them so 'cause they were made with homegrown garden herbs.

We later relaxed on the deck.

Ann's place is surrounded by ancient oak trees. To get from the house to the stream nearby, you need to go down the deck stairs,

cross the bridge,

and walk through those old trees.

The stream is just on the other side.

Nothing but utter peace.

Friday, November 05, 2004

¡Ay, Chihuahua! (Parte II)

(La continuación...)

Saqué el suéter de la secadora.

Después, lo puse al revés y extendí una manga. La corté del cuerpo del suéter.

Le puse la manga al cuello de Trinket para ver si le quedaba bien.

¡Perfecto! Me entusiasmé mucho al descubrir esto, asi que seguí sin pena.

Medí la distancia entre sus patitas con la misma manga para determinar dónde cortar los hoyos.

Marqué sus posiciones con dos alfileres de seguridad.

Medí la circunferencia de sus patas en dos partes, arriba:

y abajo:

La medida de arriba la usé para dos propósitos. Primero, la usé para determinar la circunferencia del hoyo que iba a cortar en la manga.

Segundo, la usé, junto con la medida de abajo, para diseñar las micromanguitas a la talla de Trinket.

Medida de arriba de la pata:

Medida de abajo de la pata:

Después de cortar los hoyos en la manga, tuve que coser la micromanguitas en forma seudo-conica para poder sujetarlas a la manga. Antes de hacer esto, cosi con puntada de zigzag al borde del lado más angosto de la micromanguita para que no se desboronara. Doblé el borde y cosí con puntada recta para sujetarlo.

Luego, doblé la micromanguita con los lados derechos para adentro y con mi máquina tipo overlock, lo cosí junto.

Hice lo mismo para la otra manga.

Para estar segura de que los hoyos de la manga estaban en el lugar apropiado, se lo puse a Trinket de nuevo. Se estaba aburriendo ya del flash y de tanta pruebadera, la pobre.

Entonces se lo quité a Trinket y nuevamente con la máquina tipo overlock, le sujeté las micromanguitas a la manga (que precisamente ahora servía como cuerpo de suéter y no manga). Tomó varios intentos sujetarlo bien porque no había calculado adecuadamente que al formar la micromanguita, la circunferencia del mismo al sujetarlo al cuerpecito del suéter iba a ser más pequeño que la circunferencia del hoyo. O sea, si vas a hacerle un suéter a tu perro, corta el ancho de la parte de arriba de la micromanguita un poco más largo que la circunferencia del hoyo. De esa manera, cuando la vayas a sujetar al hoyo, la micromanguita y el hoyo serán de la misma circunferencia y no una más grande que la otra.

Posicioné cada micromanguita tal como lo ves aquí:

La costura de la micromanguita estaba para adentro y el cuerpecito del suéter estaba al revés. Así se sujetaron.

Ya cuando las dos mangas se cosieron con la máquina tipo overlock, ¡estaba listo el suéter!

Se lo probé a Trinket. O, mejor dicho, Trinket se lo probó. Con mi ayuda.

Con orejas para atrás:


Noté que se le veía por delante el hilo blanco que usé para coser. Para disimularlo más, decidí usar un marcador, marca "Sharpie" del color más parecido al suéter.

Simplemente pinté el hilo con el marcador.

A ver como luce...

¡Mucho mejor!

Me encantó este proyecto. Fue espontáneo y creativo y efectivo a la vez. Lo haría de nuevo.
Pero no sé si Trinket se siente igual...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

¡Ay, Chihuahua! (Primera Parte)

Esta es Trinket.

Donde vivimos, está empezando a hacer frío. Ella no lo tolera muy bien.

Traté de ponerle un abrigo...

...pero le quedó demasiado grande.

Así que no tuve más remedio. Iba a tener que hacerle uno.

Empezé con el mismo suéter de pura lana que intenté ponerle hace poco:

Lo metí a la lavadora en el agua más caliente y con la agitación más fuerte posible. El jabón que usé, sin embargo, fue suave. Tenemos un excedente de espuma de baño, así que tomo cualquier oportunidad para usarlo sin sentir que lo he malgastado. Eso fue lo que usé (y lo que uso habitualmente para ropa delicada, especialmente lana) para lavar el suéter.

Se estarán preguntando, ¿porqué lo lavó usando el agua más caliente y la agitación más fuerte? Buenísima pregunta. Lo hice para encoger el material y hacer que las fibras fueran lo más condensadas posible. Esto hace que cuando corte el material no se me desborone. También hace que el producto final se pueda lavar y secar a máquina porque ya se ha pre-encogido y no se podrá encoger más.

Mientras se lavaba y encogía el suéter, decidí que lo mejor sería que Trinket se bañara. ¿De qué sirve tener un suéter limpio y nuevo si uno mismo está hediondo?

Así que la bañé...

...y la enjuagué...

...y finalmente, la sequé.

Aproveché y le corté las uñas también. (Créeme que el bozal es necesario.)

Ya cuando salió el suéter de la secadora, empezó de veras la diversión.

(Será continuado...)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

My First AIO

Since the recipient of my first AIO has already received it, I can finally report on how I made it.

First off, some background... An AIO is an "All-in-One" diaper. When cloth diapering traditionally, it's advisable to use a diaper cover so that the baby doesn't leak all over everything. This can be an inconvenience and turns a lot of people off to cloth diapering. An AIO resolves that issue. It has the cover built-in, so it's essentially as easy to use as a disposable diaper. The only caveat being, of course, that with a disposable you throw it away and never think about it again, and with an AIO, you need to deal with it, clean up the mess, but -- BONUS -- you get to use the diaper indefinitely.

So, to make this AIO, I used really nice pink flannel sheets bought at a thrift store for next to nothing, a shower curtain liner generously donated to my cause by the benevolent Samwise, new 2" wide Velcro, and new 1/2" elastic.

The way I made the pattern for the diaper is that I laid down a disposable diaper in the size I wanted on a folded piece of scrap fabric. The disposable diaper, btw, was generously donated by my friend Cat in her efforts at supporting my crafting habit. So anyway, I positioned the diaper so that the fold of the fabric was sitting on half of the diaper lengthwise, and then I traced the outline with a pencil. Maybe the pictures will make this more clear:

I then cut on the line while it was still folded so that I'd end up with a symmetrical pattern like this:

Once I had that pattern, I cut out three flannel pieces and one shower curtain liner piece in the same shape.

I wanted to create a pocket diaper, meaning that the user can remove and add as many soaker pads as needed. I wanted to place the pocket in the middle so as to be as hassle-free as possible for whoever is changing the baby. This style is also reminiscent of menstrual pads, with the exception that in menstrual pads, the opening is not facing the wearer. Hopefully the end result of this diaper will be a useful and comfortable compromise for everyone involved.

Remember that I made three flannel cut-outs and one shower curtain liner one. I took two flannel cut-outs and serged a side on each.

I did this so that when you put one on top of the other, the edges overlap by quite a bit.

Next, I placed the layers in the appropriate order. First, the shower curtain liner, then the unserged whole flannel shape right side up, next the two overlapped pieces right sides down.

Here are all the layers, one on top of the other:

Then I serged all around:

I attached the elastic directly on the curves next by using a 3-step zigzag stitch and an elastic wizard. It was nerve-racking, but it came out okay.

Then I turned it inside-out and attached the velcro:

Definitely need to improve that. More later.

I then made the soaker pads. Basically I just eyeballed what would fit within the width of the diaper, made sure they were each at least four layers thick, and then serged the appropriate sides.

Here's what the diaper looks like without soakers.

You can see the shower curtain liner when you open it up, but otherwise you wouldn't know it was there.

Front view:

Back view:

3/4 view:

I'm hoping that it is leakproof and comfortable. Will hopefully get feedback on it soon.

Would I do this project again? I would like to say definitely yes because it was fun, but if it turns out that the result was useless and impractical, then I'd have to reconsider and modify a lot before proceeding on another one. I need to work on Velcro placement. Had I thought it through more carefully, I would have sewn tabs and layered them with the whole diaper prior to sewing anything else. Plus, I would have pre-sewn the tummy Velcro instead of waiting until after I'd sewn the liner in.

If the diaper turns out to be comfortable and leakproof...

Advantages: It's cheap, cheap, cheap. Shower curtain liners and thrift store sheets are practically given away, and you can make several AIOs out of one of each. Really, the most expensive thing you'll be paying for is the Velcro and elastic, and they're pretty cheap too. Besides, if you're really desperate, you can always recycle elastic from other clothes (like underwear) and just Snappi the diaper shut. Pinning is probably not a good idea since you'd create irreparable holes in the liner.

Also, it's machine-washable. I know this because I wash my shower curtain and liner in the washing machine all the time, neither of which has ever disintegrated or even torn, despite being the cheapest of the cheap.

Disadvantages: Not machine-dryable. I've never stuck a shower curtain or liner in the dryer, but I don't think I need to to know that it would melt and render both itself and the dryer useless. If you make an AIO like this one, please please please line dry it. It'll dry faster than you think. The soakers are machine washable and dryable, and they're the ones that will be absorbing the bulk of the diaper contents anyway.