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Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Bassinet fitted sheets

I purchased a bassinet for the baby from craigslist.com and it only came with one fitted sheet.  I have been repeatedly assured by others with babies that we can expect “blow-outs” from diapers and that we should have extra sheets on hand for quick changes.  A quick examination of the sheet that came with the bassinet showed the construction was pretty simple so I decided to make some extra sheets.  I bought some yellow knit fabric and some cute patterned knit fabric from JoAnn’s.  It was my lucky day because the fabric was half price and I only spent $12 for one yard of each fabric and some elastic for the edges.  I priced fitted bassinet sheets at Babies R Us and the cost was $8.99 for one and $15.99 for two.

Making them was very simple. This works for a fairly flat bassinet mattress.   Take the bassinet mattress and trace the outline on a large sheet of paper then cut it out and use it as a pattern to cut out the sheet top.  Do not add any seam allowance, you want to have a tight sheet so the baby can’t wiggle it around and become entangled.  If you are trying to get two sheets out of a yard as I did you may want to experiment with layout a bit before you begin cutting so that you leave as much leftover fabric as possible to cut the strips for the sides.Cut strips of fabric about 4 inches wide from the remainder of the fabric and sew the 4 inch ends together to form one long strip of each.  Keep the right sides together!

If you have a serger, attach the long edge of the fabric to the outer edge of the top of the bassinet sheet, going all the way around the perimeter.  If you do not have a serger you can use a standard sewing machine with a zig zag stitch.  Keep close to the edge of the fabric.  Sew the ends together when they meet.

I did not insert elastic all the way around, as you can see from this picture.

I stitched the elastic down at the starting point.

Then put a safety pin in the other end of the elastic.

After that I sewed a casing around the short end of the bassinet sheet, enclosing the elastic as I went.  Because I stretched the elastic to fit after I reached the other side the elastic was completely enclosed before I was done stitching.  Be sure not to catch the elastic with the stitching as you go and stitch to approximately the same spot on the opposite side as the spot you started from.  Using the safety-pin to help manuever the elastic, pull the elastic through to the stopping point and stitch it down.

Repeat on the other side and then stitch down the sections on the long ends that didn’t get threaded with elastic.  Done!

I also made these sheets out of some cute patterned fabric.

Now all I need is a baby to put in this cute bassinet!


Things I’ve Made for the Baby

I’ve been putting together some things for the baby here and there and I thought I’d clue you in.

When my mom and dad were visiting us mom and I decorated some baby onesies.  I had already dyed a couple of them.

I used a fabric marker called Tee Juice.  It worked very well, no color bleeding and it glided over the fabric pretty well.

Mom decorated this one.

I made some burp cloths using this tutorial on the Happy Together blog:


I made matching stuffed bunnies for our baby and his cousin, my sweet niece Lila Jane, using this pattern from Polka-Dot Umbrella:


Obviously, I did the face a bit differently.  Lila Jane is 2 now and would probably be ok with button eyes on a toy but the baby definitely won’t be so I just embroidered blue eyes on both of them.  The bunnies are spending a lot of time together now but will soon be separated when I visit my family in Tennessee later this month and take Lila her bunny.

Joint project for the baby

For about 7 years I have had the Ikea Apa wooden toy box.  I’ve used it for storage but I’ve been clearing out a lot of stuff lately and don’t have anything in it so I thought, why not use this for the baby’s toy box?  I got some fabric to put on the sides and then Jason said, why don’t we paint it?  So this is what we did.

This is what we started with, $14.99 at Target.This is what we started with, $14.99 at Ikea.

First Jason painted it.  He got the high gloss green from Home Depot.  He only needed a pint and I think it only cost about $15.  On the inside of the short end you may notice a bit of pink paint.  That was leftover from our bedroom and Jason thought the toy chest looked kind of cool with a bit of contrasting color.

I measured each of the 4 sections I planned to add fabric to and cut the fabric to size with about 1/4″ extra on each edge.  Then I pressed down the excess fabric while measuring carefully to make sure I maintained the correct dimensions.


I hot glued the fabric to each section.  I found it worked best if I glued a few inches at a time and ended on a corner.  When I did the long edges I worked on both sides simultaneously, a few inches on one side, then a few on the other.

After the fabric was glued down we attached handles and some purchased feet from Home Depot.  We are already trying to think of the ways in which our kid will try to destroy our home and dragging a toy chest across the wood floor until it scratches the floor seems like a pretty good possibility.  Hence, the feet.  We debated putting casters on the bottom but decided against it.  I think if we had our little one would be tobagganing down the hill in his toy chest as soon as our backs were turned.

This is the kind of project I get really excited about because we repurposed something we already had and it didn’t cost much.  I think the materials cost for the project was under $30.  Since I had been using the chest for 7 years I don’t think the cost figures much into the cost of the project.

A money plan for a kid

It may seem to soon to think about this kind of thing but I like to be prepared and I like to think about saving money so Jason and I have already started discussing our plan for teaching our child about money.  My parents were always very careful with money and I think they brought up myself and my sister and brother to be pretty good with money.  My sister is an amazing bargain hunter and my brother can squeeze a nickel til it cries.  Although it is possible that I could be perceived as looser with my money I think I’ve spent it on experiences that are meaningful to me, such as travel.

My parents were always very prepared for any financial situation that arose because of their savings and that passed along to us kids.  I remember when I was about to go off to college my mother was discussing finances with me and she said since I was the oldest they had started saving for my college later than my brother and sister so they didn’t have all the money set aside.  I always remembered that and it was always my intention to start college savings for any child of mine as soon as they were born (or perhaps before).  I have read a number of books about family financial planning and have discussed potential plans with Jason and we have agreed on a plan.

To begin we will open a college savings account and deposit into it every month.  Any money our child receives as gifts for birthdays, holidays, etc for the first couple of years will go into that savings account.  As our child grows older and starts to want money for things there will be an allowance given but divided into three parts, long term savings (which will go into the college account) short term savings (for bigger ticket items they want) and pocket money (popcorn and candy money instant gratification).  Periodically, perhaps once a quarter, we will sit down with our child and show them how much money they have in savings for college.  We want to help our child understand that the savings money is his and will be his responsibility when he reaches adulthood.  As to what they will do with that money, we are not rigid about college.  The child might decide to go to trade school (like my husband) or get an associates degree or they could use it for starting a business.  We have decided to be open to suggestions.  We will help them formulate a plan to take charge of the money and spend it wisely but we plan on this being the only money we give them for college.  We want them to learn to budget and prioritize and to work during college (if that is what they choose).

I think that “great recession mentality” has set in with me already.  On a day to day basis in my current job I am not really using my college degree and I have a lot of friends who are paying off student loan debts and questioning what they got out of the experience.  I was fortunate that my parents paid for me to go to college and I think it has been useful to me in the past and will be useful in the future but I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a recent college graduate right now looking for a job and trying not to think about the student loan payments that are going to start happening in 6 months.

Boys can be cute, too!

Great vintage look. These would look adorable in some leather I've been hanging on to.

I tried not to look too much at baby clothing before we found out whether we are having a girl or a boy but now that we know I’ve been looking around and finding cute stuff for boys is kind of challenging.  Neither Jason nor I give much of a flip about sports and there is so much boy stuff that is sports-themed.  I’ve found some cute stuff I thought I’d share with you that works great for boys.  Since I sew I checked out the patterns available on Etsy and there are a few cool options.

I love this hoodie!

This romper has some great variations.

Jason introduced me to another fun website, threadless.com.  He has bought some t shirts for me from threadless in the past and we plan to buy some onesies for the baby.

One of Jason's favorites, it really cracks me up.

"Survived" onesie

From Twitch tots.

The above romper is from Twitch tots.  I follow the Twitch vintage blog and she did a post about her children’s clothing website.  I will likely be buying some stuff for the baby from her well-currated selection.

A kid came into the shop today wearing some cute shoes from this company:


They make women’s shoes, too.  It might be cute to have matching mommy/son shoes!

Big Deal

I’ve been checking Craigslist.com for good prices on baby stuff and today I bought a huge box of baby boy clothes for only $25.  I sorted through the box and there are 88 pieces which makes them about 28 cents each.  There are clothes for newborn through toddler and everything is in great shape.  It won’t be everything we ever need for the baby, but it’s a good start and I LOVE a deal.  I sorted everything by size and I’m going to store them by size so when the baby’s size changes I can pull out a box and have a bunch of clothes ready to go.  My sister did this when she was expecting and I thought it was a really good idea.

Not for the Faint of Heart

*WARNING* Please gather one paper bag before reading this post.  You will need it to breathe into in a moment.

Jason likes to show me things he finds on the internet.  The other morning he called me to his desk to check out this new children’s clothing collection from Gucci.  I definately like some of the things in the collection and I would dress my precious child in a style similar to this:

But just guess how much that might cost?  Well, I’ll give you a hint, the poncho is over $200.  The “skinny pant” is $265 and the boots are over $300.  The plain white turtleneck?  $195

Here’s an idea, why not buy these items:

Hanna Anderson turtleneck $20

Old Navy skinny cords $20

Emu boots, zappos.com $84

And then make this:

Poncho knitting pattern, ravelry.com

You could probably buy a poncho pretty easily but I like to knit and ponchos aren’t hard.  You would certainly save hundreds of dollars.

Here’s Jason’s favorite look from the Gucci collection:

It’s a real fur jacket and it costs over $2k.  For that kind of money it had better be infused with magical properties that cause it to grow with your kid.