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Category Archives: DIY

Bib giveaway results are in! And the winners are…

random number 1

Winner 1

random number 2

Winner 2

Random number 3

Winner 3

The 3 bibs!

 

Knox nap

So excited to be sending these off! For all those who commented but didn’t win, I’m giving you guys 10% off the original price! Check out my Etsy listing or my Ruten listing and write to me using the e-mail you commented with for the discount! I will refund directly through the purchase.

有留言但沒有中獎的朋友,我特別給九折優惠。直接在我的網拍下訂單,再用你留言的e-mail告知我你已下單,我就會從購買中退折扣給你。 數量不限,售完為止。

All the love~

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Sew-along: Baby backpack (with harness) – 3: Making the harness

I guess when I say “see you tomorrow” I really mean “As soon as I have the time and attention to write the next post!” . In other words, yikes! Organizing time and activities (things I want to make, skills to master, Knox to feed and clean up and entertain…etc) is really hectic. As Mike had mentioned, I seem to have workstations all over the place with partially finished projects. Probably the reason why he wants me to have craft room/library/office (control your spillage, woman). I can totally understand that. Someone else’s clutter is always more annoying.

I am truly wondering if I’ll be more productive if I can stick to working on one thing at a time. I seem to have the same issue when I’m studying. If I’m really concentrating, I get into all these different tangents – coming up with questions, looking up stuff to see if my theory is correct/whether research has already been done into the area. It takes me much longer than my classmates to finish studying one chapter. Frequently I have to scramble and cram at the end in an un-fulfilling fashion in order to deal with the exams. I think that’s why I’m content at the notion of taking longer than average to finish my undergrad degree… because I feel like I haven’t really gotten as clear a picture of the course as I would like, in the probing, questioning, meandering manner that I find truly satisfying.

But that aside. Today we are doing The Harness! In between this time and the last, I have already taken the Knoxter out for a few strolls in it. Let me tell you.It works: In keeping me within arms reach of him! The child does not feel restrained. He chooses not to feel restrained. He walks where he likes and makes me follow. It doesn’t make my work easier at all, but it makes me less paranoid of him disappearing from my sight!

Come along mommy!

What you need:

  • Removable clip thingy 1 set harness clips
  • Canvas material for harness

1. Take a small scrap of canvas from the previous bag composition (trimmings from the part-of-lid), fold over to cover raw edges and sew to create a tough little band.

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2. String this tough little band through the triangle and sew it onto the bottom of the backpack. I think why all commercial harnesses are attached to the bottom of the bag rather than the top is due to weight distribution – if you accidentally yank the kid from the top of the bag they fall more easily.

3. Estimate the width of the harness based on the removable clip. It should be 2 times + about an inch wider than the clip, so you can fold under and sew. The length should be about the length of your wrist to the floor + your kid’s wrist to the floor.  If it is much longer it becomes a trip hazard.

estimate width of harness

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4. Fold under the raw edges and sew along the length, giving you a long ribbon.

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5. Next sew the wristlet. Estimate a width that is comfortable for you, double it and + 1 inch. (If you’re a good seamstress you can use less. Am going for generous allowances here as I’m not.) It should be slightly longer than the circumference of your wrist so we can sew on the snaps.

estimating wristlet

6. Like with the strap, fold over and fold under raw edges, sew over them. Leave a gap for the the strap.

pinned up wristlet

7. Insert one end of the strap into the gap of the wristlet and sew over.

attaching strap to wristlet

8. Sew on snaps for wristlet. Then sew other end of strap to removable clip.

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Et voila, there you have it!

In Addition: Add front clip to backpack straps so you kid can’t wiggle out (or be easily relieved of by some nefarious character) willy-nilly. Hand sew it onto the top part of the strap where it is sewn onto the adjuster, so it doesn’t effect adjusting for length.

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I caught you!

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Happy strolling!

Sew-along: Baby backpack (with harness) – 2: Bag Body Composition

Today we compose the body of the bag.

So keeping in mind the previous portions allotted to various parts of the canvas, like here…

composition of short straps

1. Fold the canvas over so that the right sides of the bag are together, leaving the part-of-lid portion exposed, and sew up the sides.

Sew up sides of canvas

2. Next, fold up the bottom edges to make a small triangle, and sew over it.

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3. Do this to both corners, then fold the triangle in, like wrapping a gift. This should create a ‘boxy’ effect for  the bag. Stitch the corners in place.

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4. Compose the lining the same way (1. ~ 3.)

5. Turn the canvas bag inside out (raw stitches facing in), and the lining bag with the raw stitches facing the outside. Place lining inside canvas bag, align and trim lid portion to match, fold the top raw edges  in, pin together, and top-stitch.

top-stitch canvas and liner together.

top-stitch canvas and liner together.

6. Take flat animal you’ve created and stitch to lid portion to create lid. In this case I made a Blue whale to reflect the hidden majesty of the seas, hand-drawing and then stitching it’s mouth and using a gold acrylic pen to create some skin spots. Sew on the magnetic buttons to their corresponding places, one on the canvas and one on the animal.

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And Voila! Your backpack is complete! Tomorrow we will put together the harness. For those who only wanted to make the backpack, the journey ends here. If you have joined this sew-along, I would so love to see what you made of it! Please do e-mail me at oddlyaware@gmail.com with the title ‘Baby Backpack’ and share a pic. Or comment with a link to your blog post!

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Sew-along: Baby backpack (with harness) – 1: Making the adjustable shoulder strap

So Knox is turning out into one of those kids who glances at you when you call him, giggles, and walks away even faster. I believe a harness is in order. Or, as I like to call it, a ‘Mom Leash’ that will make him feel safer to explore.

If you don’t have kids, don’t judge.

I had to figure out a few things in making this bag. and I’d like to share this journey! I hope you can make one too!

You will need:

  • 19′ x 12′ canvas (or other material you like) for outer shell of the bag
  • 19′ x 12′ fabric for the inside liner of the bag
  • Two 9′ and 11′ Ribbons for the shoulder strap
  • Same as above for the shoulder strap liner, and slightly smaller sized batting (if you want)
  • 2 sets of backpack strap adjusters (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for these!)
  • I got metal ones because they look classy. But realized after I'd made the bag that plastic ones would have been lighter, especially for baby's first backpack!

    I got metal ones because they look classy. But realized after I’d made the bag that plastic ones would have been lighter, especially for baby’s first backpack!

  • A cute fabric or pattern of a flat animal (I made a whale), and sew on magnetic buttons – for the closure.

Note: materials above do not include those for the harness.

1. Compose straps by sewing the ribbon and liner together. You can sew some extra padding in between. If there are raw edges, fold them in. The end strap result should be just as wide as the holes in the adjusters.

You can also put some light cotton padding on the inside. Since the blue ribbon edges required no serging, I cut the white strap material wider so it could fold under.

You can also put some light cotton batting on the inside. Since the blue ribbon edges required no serging, I cut the white strap material wider so it could fold under.

2. Now you should have two longer straps and two shorter straps. Loop the shorter strap through the adjuster with one hole, and sew it onto the canvas at about this location, parallel to each other.

composition of short straps

After being looped through the bottom piece of the the adjusters, the short straps are sewn onto the canvas.

After being looped through the bottom piece of the the adjusters, the short straps are sewn onto the canvas.

3. Take the longer strap and loop through the adjuster with two holes. Fold over and sew on raw end onto itself, the liner facing itself.

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4. Now loop the raw end of the long strap through the bottom adjuster that is already attached to the canvas via the shorter strap.

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5. Pull the raw end up and over, looping it through the top adjuster on the way.

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6. Repeat with other strap. Now, with chalk, draw a middle line on the canvas between the straps. Have the straps almost touch/converge in more or less a V shape where that line is.

DSC05915DSC05914Sew the raw end onto the canvas at an angle, right side facing the canvas. This creates a loop for the shoulders. It should look more or less like this when you’re done:

This is a pic of the composed backpack, but just so you have an idea of the angle.

This is a pic of the composed backpack, but just so you have an idea of the angle.

Tomorrow we will work on composing the bag! Never fear! It’s cheesecake!

Happy sewing! See you tomorrow!

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Play dough!

Play dough!

The Knoxter has always been a bit handsy. And recently, even more so. Just the other day my dinner was served, and just as I was thinking “I need to move that away from his range” his hand was already tilting the bowl from the table.

The speed seems to indicate an instinctive action rather than something planned. Like one of those alligator attacks you see on National Geographic. It boggles the mind what this kid is capable of.
Anyway, I figured that it would be a good idea to have him play with some playdough, maybe preoccupy him for a good half hour, please hopefully mommy dreams. So I looked up edible playdough and found several recipes on line.

I decided to make Jell-O playdough, but skipped on the Jell-o (having none). This was the recipe:


Jell-O Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 (3-1/2 oz.) package “unsweetened” Jell-O

Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until consistency of mashed potatoes. Let cool and knead with floured hands until dry. Store in fridge.

Et voila!

I love the texture… slightly grainy (from the salt) and easy to clean up. The cool thing is that it smells like the playdough from my childhood! Suppose it was the cream of tar tar? I can totally envision adding food coloring to this~ Although it is supposedly ‘edible’, I’m pretty sure no sane kid would be eating it, not even Knox! It tastes horrifically salty!

I guess he’s a bit too young to get the concept of imaginative play with playdough. Knox prefers crinkly stuff, like this really cool Japanese fake newspaper toy that has a crinkly sheet inside. Though even more than that… he prefers mommy on the floor, playing with him =.=”

 

Perhaps I should bring out the playdough another time… or better yet, have HIM make it!

Btw, does anyone notice how kids aren’t really interested in toys? Like the really colorful multifunction multimaterial fabulous dazzling EXPENSIVE toys that are much coveted? Yes Knox may be preoccupied for a while but when it comes down to it, he prefers watching me, seeing what I’m doing, and getting all handsy in my business.

Which is normal. Which should be normal. I’ve always believed children have this strong desire to be helpful. Unfortunately, I cannot think of what sort of task that may need doing that can involve the deep incoordination of child who has yet to walk (and who sticks everything in his mouth). So for now, toys are his practice material. And if you’re a new parent, don’t believe the hype about all the multi-function toys that will baby sit your kid. They Will Not. You’re much better off with an empty soda bottle – they much prefer handling something that you’ve ‘played’ with.

Or something you’ve made, such as: a ball with bells inside, a rattle with beans, a hedgehog, or another sibling ; )

 

 

More interested in other toys

DIY baby Bedrail with swimming noodle

For the sanity of us all, Knox nurses to sleep with us. This means bedrails. I read somewhere that swimming noodles are suitable for stuffing under the bedsheet, so got one from Toys ‘R Us. Unfortunately, it kept rolling out of position, and when Knox rolled over, it didn’t save him. Thank goodness we had a pillow on the floor, just in case.

So Mike had this absolutely brilliant idea – and it didn’t cost us anything more! He just bent some hangers and used them as guard rails for the swimming noodle. Now it doesn’t roll off the edge at all!

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Slope the noodle creates

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Where there is a will (to be cheap), there is a way!

UPDATE 2012/9/6: DOES NOT WORK FOR CRAWLERS!

I made a Hedgehog! (Raggedy Hedgehog)

such a happy, bumbling creature.

So I’ve been wanting to make a few animals for a while. Animals that not many other babies have, so Knox can have a few creatures in his vocab that are somewhat unique.

And then I saw this post by LollyChops.

Now I knew I NEEDED to make a Hedgehog!

I wanted to go for a more raggedy, realistic look. So instead of leave shapes I cut double-ended wedges. Making sure they were long on one end and short on the other. That way, they would stick out and create a ‘fluffed up’ effect.

The wedges are folded so the longer wedge is on the bottom close to the hedgehog body. They are sewn away from the head of the hedgehog to create directionality.

All the furs were sewn by hand. (I know hedgehogs normally have prickles, but oh well). It wasn’t too hard though as I basically sew them in a row. Then reinforced the longer wedge so there wouldn’t be too much bare hedgehog skin exposed when you ruffle him.

And then we had to add the smile.

Now I just need to add a tail and some short stubby limbs to make him more anatomically correct.

A baby seems to be the best excuse for making fun, frivolous little things that are somehow deeply fulfilling.

We don’t know what to name the little fella yet. Any ideas? Otherwise we might just call him HEDGEHOG because we’re boring people like that. Oh, and because we try to use complete sentences around our son. : p