The last month has been a little busy at our house, that's because on the 4th of July we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world! She's perfectly amazing and as any parent can tell you, totally time-consuming!
We are very blessed to have her in our lives and I'm loving cuddling her, breastfeeding and watching the Olympics.
I hope to be able to get posts on her finished room and some other baby-related projects up soon, but can't make any promises.
Although I haven't been posting, I have been busy. For some reason incubating a new human life inside one's own body is hard work!
Since everyone I know who has seen a photo of our nursery alphabet wall think's it's pretty darn cool and they also can't belive I made it, I thought I'd do a super quick post on it.
Of course, there are about a milllion alphabet walls for inspiration out there & many of them are pinned to my Nursery board on Pinterest, so I'm not going to go into posting more here.
Here's how it turned out:
The wall is "Crayola Gray" by Dutch Boy, which we had mixed in their Zero VOC Paint (AWESOME!) and the colors really pop off of the neautral background.
Here's a run down of where the letters came from & what I did to them:
ROW 1: A- Thrift Store- covered with fabric B-Hobby Lobby- painted & covered with fabric C- Jo-Ann- painted D-Michael’s -(started as a P)- painted and covered with fabric E- Thrift Store- covered with scrapbook paper F- Jo-Ann- painted G- Thrift Store- recovered in new fabric H- Pottery Barn Kids clearance $.99- painted
ROW 2: I- Thrift Store- recovered in velvet J-already owned, originally from Marshal’s- painted K- Jo-Ann- covered with fabric L-Gift from Mom, probably from a Thrift Store- painted M- Michael’s- nothin' N- Michael’s- covered with fabric O- Jo-ann (it’s a button)- painted P- Already owned; originally from Archiver’s- silver leaf Q- Hobby Lobby- covered with fabric
ROW 3: R- Hancock Fabric clearance for 75 cents!- nothin' S- Jo-Ann- painted and covered with scrapbook paper T- Michael’s- covered with fabric U- Hobby Lobby- painted V- Thrift Store- painted & covered with scrapbook paper W- Thrift Store- recovered in new fabric X- Micheal’s? Hobby Lobby? Jo-Ann? I really can't remember!- covered with fabric Y- Pottery Barn Kids clearance $.99- painted &- Thrift Store- recovered in vinyl (big pain!) Z- Hobby Lobby- covered with fabric
Although I started the diaper bag WEEKS ago, I *just* got around to finally finishing it. It was sitting without straps for the longest time (cue Billy Joel's sing here: oh, oh, oh, oh, for the longest time...). Sick of seeing it in it's almost finished state, today I got the straps attached!
After some debate and one failed attempt at a bag I started and decided wasn't the right shape, size or design, I now have a perfectly simple and roomy diaper bag:
As you can see, I went for the grey exterior of my inspiration and a fun interior as planned. I made a nice big zippered pocket on one side & on the inside I went ahead and used fusible vinyl. The vinyl was pretty easy to iron onto the fabric-just follow the directions, but sewing it was a challenge.
It's kinda tough to hold on to and because I used the vinyl to make the bag more water resisitant, I didn't want to put a lot of pins through it. In some places I ended up using blue painters tape to hold things in place until I could stitch them down and then pulled the tape away.
The most difficult part was the elastic pocket, which is on the side of the bag at the bottom of the photo, so it's hard to see it. Because of the vinyl, it was just more challenging than other elastic pockets have been for me in the past.
I also added a couple of heavy duty snaps on the ends of the bag to bring in the sides a little and if we need the extra space, a quick unsnapping will give it. The magnetic snap almost perfectly matches the green of the space invaders fabric- I was really pleased when I found it because I was planning on either black or silver not knowing that lime green was even an option.
I have the fabric to make a matching changing pad w/ green PUL on one side so it will be easy to clean and also a draw-string pouch that will be easy to grab and take to a restroom for when we're out and about and baby needs to be changed. I'm thinking some type of first aid kit would also be a great idea- perhaps a cosmetic bag since it's small, but would stay well organized.
And did I mention that the bag matches the new stroller and carseat? Well, it does! (it's almost like I planned it that way!)
My goodness! There are so many baby things to think about and so many of them are SO EXPENSIVE! I've come to the conclusion that there are some things I'm willing to pay for and other things I can make myself.
A diaper or nappy bag fell into the later category. So, I started looking at ones on etsy. I kinda fell in love with BagEnvy's Montery style bag. Specifically, I love the grey exterior and the colorful interior of this one:
With this specific bag and the fabric in mind, I started to look at tutorials or free patterns for similar bags, which are in abundance. The Gathered Bag Tutorial at BumbleBee Bliss is an especially good set of directions.
It's very easy to follow and has LOTS of photos, making it very easy to follow. (and it's just my luck that the colors caught my eye since it matches the Space Invaders fabric ☺).
So, armed with the directions and with the dimensions of the BagEnvy bag, I set out this morning to make my own pattern. It's pretty simple and I think it's going to yield a nice sized tote that's uniquely ours around $50 with all the supplies.
I've selected a nice grey cotton for the exterior from Jo-Ann and have found some hardware on etsy, but before I proceed further, I'm considering whether I should use Heat n Bond Iron On Vinyl to make the interior more water resistant. It's something to ponder since I'm having trouble finding it locally.
Here's what I've learned about thrifting for maternity clothes:
Most, but not all thrift stores have a maternity section, BUT, (it's a big but) a lot of what's hung in that area may or may not be maternity. This really isn't a problem, if it's workable- who cares if it's really maternity or not?
Every thrift store is going to have maternity clothes mixed in with regular clothes even if they have a maternity section. It's inevitable. Workers, whether paid or volunteer do not know that Liz Lange or even that Modern Maternity are for those of us who are expecting.
Over half of maternity that is available in thrift stores is DISGUSTING. We're talking the bad kind of polyester and not at all flattering shapes. Just move past that stuff and let some other unsuspecting sap buy it.
I'm lucky. I know how to sew. I made an old pair of pants into maternity dress slacks only to discover why exactly it was that I didn't mind cutting them up: they don't fit my thighs! So, now I'm doing to donate them so someone else can wear them and focus on finding a different pair to Frankenstein.
I'm really looking forward to Spring (I mean real Spring, not this February at 40 degrees weirdness that's been happening) so that I can wear more dresses and make more dresses and not have to worry about keeping my legs warm. I have a few vintage maternity patterns and some vintage fabric that is just crying out to be seen.