Make your own clock

Looking at the possibility of doing a Mom’s Night Out for our MOPS group where the mom’s make their own clock.  Basically, we’d need to buy pine boards at 3/4″ thick and cut into squares and a set of clock parts.  Drill a hole in the middle, and then moms can decorate the wood.  Could give them some print outs for people to follow to get images onto their clocks.

Ideas for clocks.


Origami Bird Stamp Nursing Scarf


This year’s MOPS theme is freedom, and three origami birds are the theme’s picture.  I love origami, so was super excited to plan crafts around the origami birds.  I saw others stamp onto jersey knit fabric to make scarves, and thought I’d try it for our MOPS craft project.

I bought white jersey knit fabric from for $2.50 per yard!!  For my trial run, I cut off one yard of this fabric (36″) and it was 60″ wide so that it would be a scarf AND a nursing scarf when I sew the ends together.  Most nursing scarves seem to be around 60″ by 28″, so I will eventually cut mine down to that size.


Our library will do 3D printing for us.  Cost is $0.25 per ounce of plastic used.  Can pick from all the basic crayola pack colors (basically).  Primarily, the program Blender was used to design the stamp, based off the first bird in this year’s MOPS theme.

  • With current dimensions, each 3D stamper costs $2.75+tax (so $2.91).
    • If make stamp thinner, to be $2 per plus tax, then could get 25 stampers for $53.  30 stampers for $63.60.  Then each person can also take a stamper home as an ornament or something.

Bought Lumiere 2.25 oz. Fabric Paint-1PK using a 40% off coupon, so this jar of paint cost $3.17 + tax.  The color paint used here is gold.

Dabbed paint onto stamp using a foam brush.  Spreading it on did not let the paint go on thick enough in my opinion.  Having the open stamp design (instead of mounted to a block) allowed me to go back and line up the stamper to put more paint on any birds that did not get enough paint the first time around.

Seeing that the stamping worked, I plan to get the other two birds as stampers and fill in the blank areas with those birds, so I have a nice flock flying across.  DSC05883.JPG

This initial stamping took 10 minutes to do.  Set up took a few minutes, and clean up using dish soap and a brush took 5 minutes.  After about 40 minutes, the paint is dry to the touch, and I feel ok moving it.

The big concerns with doing this project at a MOPS meeting are drying time till the cloths can be moved without messing them up (Takes 24 hours to totally dry and be set.) and the amount of space needed to spread out all the scarves.

After the scarves are allowed to dry to the touch, we will have fabric glue to glue the ends together to make it an infinity scarf, for those who wish to do so.  In between the paint drying and the glue drying, we are looking to have a speaker or show one of the MOPS videos.

Snow white inspired apron for adults

I had made some princess aprons using It’s Always Autumn‘s awesome tutorial.  My friend saw them and asked if I could make her an adult size one.  I used Sew4Home‘s tutorial for guidance on how big to make the top and the bottom of the apron.

Here’s the dimensions for the top:


And for the bottom piece/skirt I made it 18″ x 32″.  I still used the 7/8″ grosgrain ribbon for the ties.  Neck ties were 28″ long each, and the skirt sash was 72″.



Hot cocoa mix by weight

Alton Brown’s Hot Cocoa Mix done by weight, thanks to “Hismusicnme’s” comment, so you can just set a container on the scale and pour directly into it.  No measuring cups needed this way!  I am saving the equation here, so I don’t lose it again.

“240 g.    Powdered Sugar
86 g.      Dutch Cocoa
163 g.    Powdered Milk (non-fat)
75 g.      Powdered Milk (full-fat)
1 tsp.     Salt
2 tsp.     Cornstarch
1 pinch. Cayenne (or, to taste)
Here it is as close as it comes in ounces:
9 oz.   Powdered Sugar
3 oz.   Dutch Cocoa
6 oz.   Powdered Milk (non-fat)
3 oz.   Powdered Milk (full-fat)
….. You know the rest “
Makes about 5 cups of hot cocoa mix in total.  I used about 3 tbl of this mix per mug of hot water.  The better the quality of ingredients, the better the hot cocoa.

Pink poncho:

  • 24″ radius
  • 3″ radius for head hole.  This head hole and hood fit me as an adult, and the hole is just too wide for her little shoulders.
  • Messed this one up a bit.  Next time I will make a paper pattern cause laying the fabrics out on top of each other (in an effort to save time from having to make a pattern) was not good, as the fabrics clung to each other and made it hard to smooth out.

Teal poncho 2T size:

  • Did flannel on outside and fleece on the inside.  This has a nicer, crisper look, but probably not as water resistant as having the fleece on the outside.
  • 2.75″ radius neck hole – I like this neck hole size much better than the 3″ for 2T and bigger kids
  • 21.5″ radius overall, as that’s as big as the flannel allowed to be cut in one piece.  This size seems to work well for my 19 month old and going on 4 year old just as well.  I think this may be the best size combo.
  • Made a new hood pattern, will have to scan it in as I like this better too
  • Need to add a snap or something stronger at the top to hold it all together, and hopefully deter efforts at taking it off.
  • Need to add slits to all ponchos for arms to come through.  img_20161219_120308400Teal poncho shown on going on 4 year old, though I made this for the 19 month old, and it suits him fine as well.

Carseat Poncho

This is the problem with friends finding out you can sew.  You are enlisted to make them the stuff they see on-line.  Though I must say, this was easier than I expected and it is something that would be really useful for my own kids, and even myself.  Ok, and it is fun to learn and make new things.  Poncho making it is.

So many thanks to the Sewing Rabbit for posting the very tutorial I needed for the job!

Notes  on the blue poncho, for my friend’s newly 2 year old son:

  • I used fleece for the outer layer, and flannel for the lining.  It ended up quite heavy, so I am currently glad I did not do double layer fleece.
  • Radius for the main circle: 22.5″     Because that’s as big as the flannel fabric I had allowed to make a full circle in one cut
    • This is smaller than I originally planned, but when I tried it on my 3.5 year old, it still reached her knees.
  • Radius for neck hole: 3″
  • When making the hood pattern, make sure the bottom of the hood ends up being the same measurement as the neck hole.
  • The hood looked MASSIVE when sewing it, but actually turned out not that crazy massive.  I suppose little kids do have big heads (proportionally) anyways?DSC05356.JPG

Now time to make his 7 month old little sister a poncho.  Making this one based on my 18 month old and his clothes.  Red poncho is:

  • 20″ radius for main circle
  • 2.5″ radius for neck hole
  • This ended up fitting my 18 month old perfectly.  Cape hit at the knee, hood was just the right size, though I may make it bigger and neck hole bigger next time to allow for sweatshirts and such to be worn underneath it.  img_20161209_211803576

Now to make one for another friend’s about to turn 4 year old, and one for each of my kids.  It snowed this morning, so no time to waste!

Minnie Mouse Costume

My daughter was set on being Minnie Mouse and her little brother be Mickey Mouse, despite them hardly ever seeing the show.  I tried to convince them to be something more original or to just use a costume we already had, but she was sure.  So I told her, OK, we can do that on the off chance we find a really nice, super cheap Minnie Mouse OR Mickey Mouse costume that fits them.  A few days later, what do I find for next to nothing at a rummage sale?  A like-new Mickey Mouse costume that would perfectly fit my son.  I surrender.  Time to make a Minnie Mouse costume.

To make the dress, you need:

  • instructions and pattern from the Cottage Mama’s Party Dress.
  • 2 yards Keepsake Calico Large Dots on Rose Pink #0110-2060, 100% cotton, 44″ wide
  • 1 yard Country Classics CC Solid Bright Pink #0216-3319, 100% cotton, 44″ wide

I used the pattern and instructions for the main bodice, using the polka dot for the outside of the dress and the plain pink as the lining.  I cut the lining piece 2 inches longer than the outside polka dot piece, so that I would have the extra length under the main skirt to attach tulle to.  dsc05216

Instead of the rectangle pieces for the skirt, I did a circle skirt with the polka dot fabric, following the tutorial from MADE Everyday and the width of the bodice, rather than the waist measurement of my daughter (which I did the first time, and the skirt came out too small since my the bodice is roomy for my daughter).   dsc05217


I wanted really puffy sleeves, so I used the pattern from The Stitching Scientist.  However, I wanted the sleeves even puffier than how my test run came out.  So I elongated the sleeve, and increased the difference in height from the underarm of the sleeve to the top of the sleeve, in hopes that would add more fabric and volume.  (Outer solid line is my pencil line I added)  I don’t know if it actually worked, but the sleeves are decently puffy.  dsc05210

I sewed stiff tulle cut from a friend’s wedding dress, cut the width of the skirt and twice the length of the waist band.  I then sewed a double layer of softer tulle under that for more fullness and so the course tulle would not be itchy on my daughter’s legs.  dsc05245

So dress goes from this (not hemmed yet and no tulle):dsc05220-2

to this (now hemmed with tulle):dsc05247

For the sash, I followed Cottage Mama’s instructions, except I did half the width.

Added in a white pair of bloomers using the Sweet and Simple Bloomers pattern, and made Minnie Mouse ears using scrap black fleece and plastic canvas, using a vase to trace to make the circle.  dsc05249

Finished result!  I had intentions to add a peter pan collar, and make the white gloves, but I ran out of steam and interest.  Did add a tail to her bloomers, though, which she was quite pleased about.  Use nail polish and a spare pair of tap shoes to make the desired pink shoes.  dsc05325-2

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse trio!  I made the shoe covers for Mickey Mouse and my hubby frantically made his Toodles cardboard cut out late last night, just in time for the big event.  All the other kids, and parents, loved it, and we could hear everyone calling after Toodles as we walked around.  img_20161027_165712694-blog

Bible Covers Sewing Plan


Each year our church hands out Bibles to the students graduating kindergarten.  Along with that, each student receives a Bible cover.  I was not aware of this.  All I knew was at the end of the list of needs for volunteers was for someone to sew Bible covers.  I was handed one of the Bibles the youth would get and a cover from a previous year to go off of and asked to avoid fabric with licensed characters.

So here are my notes for how to make more of these covers next year.  All measurements are given to fit this particular book:

DSC05036 (1)

Material needed:

Fabric of choice

Iron on fusible interfacing (if fabric of choice is thin or needs strength)

Cutting mat and cutter and ruler

Pins, sewing machine, iron, your basic sewing supplies


Step 1: Out of fabric of choice, cut one 12″ x 24″ piece, one 6″ x 6″ piece, and two 4″ x 11″ pieces.  If needing interfacing, cut out 10″ x 22″ piece of interfacing.  Thankfully the interfacing happens to be about 20″ wide and so fits our needs.


If no interfacing needed, skip it.  DSC05033.JPG


Step 2: If using, center the interfacing so you have 1″ fabric showing on each side.  Iron on as directed by interfacing.  Interfacing or none, do a 1/2″ hem, to make the whole piece 10″ x 22″


Step 3: Make handles.  Take 4″ x 11″ strips.  Fold short sides 1/4″ and iron down.  Then fold whole piece in half lengthwise and iron.  Then fold in the long sides into the center, so all raw edges are hidden.  Iron it in place, then sew all the way around, as close to the edge as possible.


Step 4:  Make a pattern piece out of paper, using measurements as shown.  Note the word “fold” penciled on there is about where you would fold the end flap up to make the cover.  I added the dashed lines to remind me to put the handle that way.



Step 5:  Attach handles.  Pin down handle as shown using pattern.  Then sew just the ends.  I used the lower pin to show me how far down to sew on the handle.



Step 6: Make strap for the snap. Take 6″ square piece of fabric, iron it in half with wrong side out.  Sew around 3 edges, leaving one short end open.  Cut off corners where it was sewn, turn it inside out (so right side of fabric is now showing), using chopstick to push out the corners. Tuck in the raw end, smooth flat, and sew around.

Step 7: Center snap strap between the two ends of one handle and sew in place.  Add male snap to lose end of snap strap.


Step 8: Fold up the short end by 3 and 1/8″ and pin down.  Do the same on the other end.  Sew 1/8″ along top and bottom edge to hold down flaps.

Step 9: Put case on Bible to check fit, and mark where the female snap should be.  Take case off and add female snap.


Step 10: Put back on Bible and admire your work.


Registering for Baby Shower

For my friends who are having their first babies.  This list originated from what I wrote for a friend of mine.  I am now trying to tailor it to help out another friend, who suggested it would be easier to have it written out in a blog post.  What is written here is just some of my recommendations.  Really, anything beyond the one outfit and one carseat the hospital requires you to have to take baby home with is, in my mind, optional.  These items are just to make your life easier.
On picking who to register with:
  • Easy returns?  Is my first question about Amazon, as I heard they can be annoying, and you’ll probably be exchanging a lot of stuff as you find out what you do and don’t need.
  • Easy access to an actual store? Again, for easy returns, quick pick ups of what you want that moment, and sometimes coupons and deals are only good in-store, so it’s good to have at least one registry at a place you can go on-line or in-store to.
  • Plenty of options?  While I got a great deal on my stroller and some other stuff at, they don’t have everything you need or a variety of it like Babies R Us and Amazon have.
Bathing and Skin Care
  • Mustela lotion, shampoo, etc: This product was great at getting rid of cradle cap, and the no rinse cleansing fluid was very handy.  Also known to be helpful for baby acne and babies who have allergies to many products.  When reading through all the many many reviews on these products before I used them, the only reason people don’t like these products is the differing opinions on how strong the smell is, which I think smells nice.
  • Cloth wipes: Cloth wipes are good to have even if you mainly use disposable wipes.  Sometimes disposable wipes just smear an infant wet poo around, whereas cloth wipes will actually pick up the slime and get it off the baby.  They also save a butt load (pun!) of money, cause you just wash them and use them again.  Seriously.  I think I saved a couple hundred dollars over the past year from not having to buy more disposable wipes.  Grovia wipes are my favorite cloth wipes (which I use at home instead of disposable wipes.  I kept the squeeze bottle they gave at the hospital and it works great to quickly get water onto the wipe and clean up baby.) or to use as a regular washcloth for bathtime.
  • Disposable wipes: Buy the bulk packages to save money. Often the bulk packs will come with the plastic tubs and/ or travel containers for the wipes, so don’t go out and by the wipes that come in the tubs.   I have also heard the recommendation to buy/register for several different kinds of wipes, since sometimes babies’ sensitive skin will react to one brand/line of wipes and not another.  We did not have this issue, so we just bought bulk.
  • “Flushable” wipes: Please note, while many wipes call themselves “flushable,” they are not sewer friendly.  They may go down the pipe, but will clog up the sewer system and cost your city a lot of money.
  • Clothes detergent: Unscented.  We prefer Charlie’s Soap.  It works for cloth diapers as well as any clothing, no allergy problems.  My neighbor is always impressed with the fresh cleanliness of our clothes (that we lend to her.  In a bag.)
  • Baby bath tub: You have one, hand me downs are awesome cause the kid will only use it the first so many months of his life.  As soon as baby can sit up independently, the sink or the bathtub work just fine.
If you are interested in doing cloth diapers (saves lots of money! and our environment too), I can help you with that, and Kelly’s is nice to use cause you can get free diapers with your order.
Babies R’ Us has a useful list of other baby health care items you may need. Baby tylenol and allergy medicine are also good to have on hand, saves you a panicked trip to the store in the middle of the night.  Of course, only administer if your pediatrician says too.
  • Crib: Get one.  We have Graco Lauren, in case you wanted to know.
  • Mesh crib liner: Honestly, I’ve never even opened the package of mine.  In case you weren’t aware, crib bumpers are illegal to be sold in Maryland, as they are linked to crib suffocation and death.  So if you want protection from crib slats, get the mesh crib liner.
  • Crib mattress:  Just make sure it is firm and fits tight in the crib.  Too soft is a suffocation hazard.  I forget which one we have.
  • Flat flannel protector pad for crib, stays in place cause of fitted bedsheet on top of it.  Easier to replace than a whole fitted mattress pad.
    • So I layer the crib bedding: mattress pad, bedsheet, flannel protector, then another bedsheet on top.  In case baby barfs on the thing, I can just peel off the top layer, and a clean layer is already on the mattress, ready for baby to sleep on.  It’s nice especially at night when you don’t want to deal with things.  Barfing/wetting through everything doesn’t happen that often, but I’m ready when it does!
  • Crib rail protector: Here’s where you can add that cute color to the crib, since now crib bumpers are a no-no.  My sister made mine, just sewed rectangles of fabric together with a plastic liner in between, added some ribbons to tie to the railings, and boom: no teeth marks on the railing.  Which is good, especially since most cribs convert into full beds, and teeth marks wouldn’t look good on a grown up bed.
  • Graco Pack n Play:  We liked the reversible napper changer feature. Pick your favorite color.  Good to use when baby sleeps in your room or for travel.  We ued ours on the first floor so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs for baby’s naps or diaper changes, but you don’t have to worry about that.
  • Halo Sleepsacks: You may want to get 2+ microfleece newborn size ones, as they go up to 12 lbs, and your baby is due in November.  Unless you are predicted to give birth to a 10+ lb baby.  Then skip ahead to size small.  I liked the sleep sacks with the flaps, as it gave the option of swaddling the arms in, or just wrapping them around the tummy for extra snuggly feeling and warmth.  We used sleep sacks until like 2 years old? since Little K rolled around so much, she’d wouldn’t stay under a blanket till then.
  • Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: Most popular swaddling blankets, and for good reason.  Nice size, right amount of stretch.  Also a nice weight and breathable for draping over the carseat or stroller when baby wants to sleep.  Or big enough for nursing under.
  • Go ahead and register for an infant carseat and a regular or convertible carseat.  Since baby might/will probably transition out of the infant carseat before their first birthday arrives.  Let the relatives buy it for you!  We like the brand Diono, as it is highly rated and you can fit 3 carseats across the backseat of a car, not all carseats can do that.  Even if you plan on just 2 kids, it’s nice for grandma or whoever to be able to fit in the back seat with them.
    • Make sure you get a carseat that is compatible with your stroller.  So, if you’re bent on a certain stroller, for instance, see which carseat matches up/has the right attachments for it.
  • Seat protector: I’m sure all brands are similar, so it doesn’t really matter which one you get.  But, your kid will someday be eating in the car or potty training and you’ll want one.
  • Car mirror: One kind we bought was too heavy, so the mirror would slide down and we’d lose sight of baby.  With mirrors, just don’t gaze at baby too much, keep your eyes on the road!  It’s nice to know what they are doing, but that cute little one can be very distracting. 🙂
  • Diaper bag: This is really personal preference.  I just use my purse now, that has pockets to hold their water bottles.  I often find diaper bags at TJ Maxx for good prices.  Get something that zips closed, as babies love to empty contents from open bags.
  • We use random hand towels on top of our changing cover, as they are easier to swap out than the fitted sheets when the baby decides to pee when the diaper is off or move creating a mess.  Which, they do often.
  • Did you know your insurance should cover your breastpump?
  • No spill snack cups
  • Placemat for eating out, very helpful
  • Placemat and plate in one! is pretty neat.  Though, at some point, your child WILL figure out how to peel the whole thing up and toss it.
  • Toddler Spoons: Get them now, as baby likes to hold the spoon too, even if you are still feeding him.  So give him his own, and these are a nice size for little hands to grip.
  • Forks: Might as well get those too.
  • Pocket bib for eating out, catches falling food.  Nice wide pocket, as high chairs at restaurants don’t always push in all the way, leaving big gap between table and baby.
  • Pocket bib for eating at home in regular high chair, as the one with the stick out pocket often doesn’t fit well with where the tray on the high chair sits.  Sometimes the velcro in the past is not strong enough, so we add snaps to ours, and I can add snaps to yours too if you wish.  Other brands are just as good, just don’t get bibs with two layers of plastic, as water will get trapped between the layers and mold.  EWWW.
  • Pick plates and bowls of your liking.  I do wish I had considered more of what could be used in the microwave, or was more enviromentally friendly.
  • Sippy cups: I try to avoid straws or ones with lots of parts that could be hard to clean.
  • You may have heard this already, but note that babies can prefer different bottles, and something I didn’t realize was there are different levels of “flow” for the nipples, so you have to size appropriately for the age of the baby.
  • We have the Space Saver High Chair: That Abbie Beyond Wood high chair looks nice, I kinda want one!
  • Boppy nursing pillow: At first, baby will be so small, this may not be enough to lift up baby to a comfortable height to nurse.  But do not despair or get rid of this, as it will work great soon.  This is also my favorite neck pillow, I use it in the car and as my night pillow when we travel.  Have at least two pillow covers for it.
  • Washable nursing pads: I like these, much softer and more comfortable than disposable ones. Overnight ones for when your milk production is still high or wacky in the beginning or for at night, and then regular ones when your milk production has regulated some and your not hosing down the pads or the baby.  Downside is these can slide around in your bra, mainly after baby drinks and you don’t fill the bra so much anymore.
  • Disposable nursing pads: cause you will leak a lot in the beginning.
  • Nipple cream: Did you know breastmilk can also be used on your nipples to sooth them?  And that breastmilk can be used on sunburn?
  • Stroller: The City Mini Stroller is a great pick and that was the stroller most recommended to us.  The only downside is, if you are planning on having another kid and having them somewhat close in age, (like Little K and Little J), then you will have to buy a new stroller that accommodates two kids.    For two kids, we got Phil and Ted Vibe, which is similar to the award winning Phil and Ted Verve.  It is very compact, so it easily goes through clothing racks at stores and other crowded areas.  These strollers are cheaper at Kohls, where you can buy the stroller, then use the Kohls cash you get for it to cover the cost of the “double kit second seat” which makes it into a double stroller.
  • Cup holder for the stroller.  Since the City Mini doesn’t come with a cupholder, this is our favorite, as it easy attaches at any angle around any pole.
  • A cool mist humidifier is a must, especially for when baby catches a cold.  I haven’t found one I loved yet to wholeheartedly recommend.  This one is small but very recommended.  The cute animal Crane ones are popular, but we found ours super hard to clean and would not buy it again.  This is a product you could use your Bed Bath and Beyond gift card and coupons on.
  • Mommy hook
Baby carriers:  People have their preferences, so you’ll get a lot of different opinions on these.  My favorites:
  • Baby K’tan: I found easy to use and just what I wanted in a newborn carrier.  This is how I was able to take care of Little K while carrying around Little J.
  • Boba Air is what I keep in my car now that Little J outgrew the Baby K’tan in case we need it for using on shopping trips, taking big sister to the park, etc. as it is light, easy to use and folds up small.
  • We do have the Ergo Baby carrier, which I also like and is super sturdy.  However, it is too bulky to fit in a diaper bag like the K’tan can, and it got sweaty during the summer months.  It is nicely padded for comfort.  There is a similar carrier out there that comes with foot stirrups/straps, which is very nice for older babies/little kids so their legs are not just dangling.
Little J recommends:
  • Banana toothbrush/teether
  • Mesh feeder: put frozen cube of breastmilk or frozen fruit in it for baby to chew on to relieve teething pains.  You can get one of these at any drug store or supermarket.
  • Some kind of storage for all those bath tub toys.  One with very good drainage.

Things you will probably get easily or too much of without asking:

  • Clothes
  • Blankets
  • Hooded towels
  • Stuffed animals

Wow, that list got long.