Triple Clicks

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cloth Nursing Pads-Time for baby sewing!

I'm sewing for baby again.  I had to use my mom's sewing machine for this project as I haven't figured out how to make it work on my old one yet.  

I found this pattern 5 years ago when I was expecting Eva and have made some for every baby since-they keep getting lost. Like socks.  On the plus side, these are easy to make.  Actually, I think it was a different blog, but same idea.  I usually still buy a box of disposable pads for when we are gone from the house (especially for those first few weeks of my body trying to regulate my milk supply), but these work pretty awesome.  

For my project, I used an old sweatshirt and an old sheet. The sweatshirt provided the fleece (1 layer-the outer layer) and the sheet provided the flannel (3 layers).  Like I said, these are VERY simple make, but the cutting out can be trying.  My mom and I were still overrunning the kitchen table after 3 hours of cutting when dad come home. :) Good thing he's used to our projects.  I used the back half of the sweatshirt, which got me 15 pads.  For the pattern, you need a saucer, a marker and a piece of paper.  Trace around the saucer and cutout. There's your pattern.    

Everything together, after I cut them all out, I grouped together one fleece piece and three flannel pieces. 

To make them contoured, you have to cut a wedge out... I'd say that's about 1/8 of the circle (rough guesstimate).  The pieces you cut out make great stuffing for homemade stuffed animals!!  

This step is really the only tricky part-and I can tell you, my mom's sewing machine and I had many words about who was in charge!  You need to sew the edges of your wedge together... You will want to overlap a little-but not much or it will be uncomfortable when you wear it.  Most of them I had sew this part 3-4 times to make sure I was catching all the pieces. 

Once you have that done, you sew around the outside edge, trim off any excess fabric and you're done. 

 The inside edge (love the hot pink thread?! lol) 

The outside edge.

As much as I LOVE my old sewing machine, it does not do the zig zags... I don't have that attachment.  So I needed to recruit my mom's machine.  If I had been able to do all the sewing in one sitting, I would have been done in a few hours... As it was, baby was protesting that chair that day, so I was back and forth taking breaks from the chair.   I also used whatever thread I grabbed, mom didn't care as long as it wasn't white or blue (that's the colors she uses most), she just grabs an assortment at a local thrift store when she needs some unless she cares about color.  

The trimmings were used to make a stuffed animal for baby that I started crocheting last week-but that's a different blog post. :D 

On a side note-if there are any Kmarts closing near you, might want to go check out the sales! 

~  Tabitha 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tablet Cover Tutorial

My mother in law got a tablet for Christmas and needed a cover.  So I scoured Pinterest and found a great tutorial from Sew So Easy  that I was able to convert to fit her tablet. 

Now.. Two very important things I learned...

1) Machine quilting is a pain in the butt-as you can see, my lines are very crooked.  

2) I HATE BINDING. Hate it. Absolutely and completely HATE IT.  But unfortunately, I have a ton of it to use so I'm finding projects to use it for... Perfect. :D Minus my sanity lol. 

The tutorial called for quilted material... Well... That's funny... No money, small town.. So I made my own. WHY OH WHY DIDN'T I JUST USE COTTON!??!  But it was a learning experience.  Yes, let's call it that. 

So I went through my fabric stash and found fabric, cotton for the inside (old t-shirt), cotton for the outside (old t-shirt) and padding (old sweatshirt-and I mean OLD-this sucker was new in '90s). 

And I started measuring and cutting... With the help of my goons, of course.  Oh...another thing I failed to realize.. The pretty fabric was part lycra.. grrrr... 

So, mom's tablet measures 10.5 x 7 inches.. So I followed the instructions on the tutorial and added for seam allowance.  I cut (roughly, because I had no idea how much the quilting part would scrunch it up, so I wanted extra, then planned to trim when I got it quilted).  8.5 inches wide by 26 inches long.  All three pieces, pinned together then quilted.  

As you can see, it's pieced together a bit, since I was using scraps-and my old clothes, they simply weren't long enough for one continuous piece. 

After my quilting adventure, I trimmed so all the sides were even and added the bias tape-picked by the kids, of course! Then about three inches down on one end, I cut the curve-which didn't turn out even, but that's ok! 

Then added the bias tape... Really, REALLY wish I knew how to work the foot on my sewing machine to make the bias tape go on, but I don't... So I pinned the inside, sewed, then folded over and sewed the outside part.  

You put the tape on the curve end first.. Then on the straight edge that's at the bottom.. Fold it up in half so that the top of the pocket is even with the bottom of the curve (the flap).  Pin on your bias tape and sew..  

After adding a button, snap or your choice of enclosure, you are done.   Mom brought it back for a snap... Because snaps are easy, and Eva picked out a bright yellow snap-despite protests that it should be purple-but grandma didn't care.  

Even with the quilting, it was an easy project.. and if I had had the prequilted material, it would have easily been done within an hour.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Transformers Birthday Cake

At our house, I usually make the birthday cakes.  The kids get to choose the color of icing and the character they want on it.

Our middle girl turned 4 this past Sunday, she picked Transformers.  I knew that cartoon would come back to bite me in the butt. 

So I scoured and looked and tried to figure out HOW I was going to a Transformers cake... I couldn't find anything so I figured we would just get a cake topper from Amazon when we ordered her present... We forgot-which ended up fine because her present was late anyway.. 

So I scoured and looked on Pinterest. I'm not an artist.... Then, two days before I made the cake, a light bulb turned on.  So I started looking some more for how to transfer an image.  I found a few great links (here and here), after discovering I did not have the right ingredients to make the decorating gel, I went with the second link as I had everything to make butter cream icing.  

I found a black and white coloring page of the Transformers symbol, printed it off.  Put it on a plate, put wax paper over and proceeded to outline with my buttercream.  Froze it for 15-20 minutes while i decorated the rest of the cake, minus the top.  Then came the interesting part... While it didn't flip great, enough went onto the cake for me to able to freehand, then I did the rest of the top. 

The biggest part-she recognized it.  :D Better than other character cakes I've attempted.   

Sorry I didn't get any pictures during the process, I was trying to hurry as Eva refused to nap and hubby was trying to keep her occupied in the other room so it was a surprise.  

On other notes... Kmarts are being closed, so watch the news and maybe you can get some good bargains! 


Friday, January 8, 2016

Baby Shoes

I'm starting my baby sewing-other than the quilt which I have half done... 

I moved my sewing list around a little, so the first thing I made is this cute little pair of baby shoes, with more to come.  I found this pattern on Pinterest when Grace was a baby and we LOVED them. It took a few tries to get them just right and the first couple pairs fell apart quickly because I didn't leave enough seam allowance for my mey=diocre sewing skills.  Also remember, the heavier material you have, you do need to add 1/4 inch or so, because they will be thicker once they are done. 

Yeah.. I forgot to turn part of it right side out before I sewed.. :D that's what happens when I sew at 6AM. :D 

Since this baby is coming in the spring, I am making 2 pairs out of fleece and cotton and 2 pairs out of flannel.  They will keep those cute little toes warm and are a lot harder for baby to kick off. A bonus for my budget-it's all made from material I have sitting around the house. 

The actual pattern is definitely newborn/0-3 month size, of course, depending on your baby they could fit for longer-but my little ones grow fast.  When they start walking (if they haven't started pulling socks off their feet first), put some craft paint on the bottom in a pattern for grip-also works great for socks.  

Here's the original pattern with tutorial and print out from Family Centered Blog.  My sister has been buying these type of shoes off Ebay for years, but my baby's feet just don't fit those-and I can make them warmer than what you can buy them by changing up the material.  The last pair I made for Grace, I used jeans and sweatshirt material-kept it soft against her foot, but firm against the hard, outside ground (and gravel and wood chips at parks and grandma's house).  I love this pattern and have enlarged it myself by simply adding a few inches to everything, about 1/2 inch at a time as she grew. 

The pair of newborns took me about and hour to make-with help from the girls of course...And Eva's constant 'when are we gonna make my dolly stuff mommy!'. :D  But I know their learning, so God is working on my patience in that aspect.  

All my pieces cut out.

The heel 

The toe covering-you sew the part that goes on top first, with right sides together, cut slits-or make button holes, I've done both-for the elastic then turn it so the seam is on the inside when you sew it all together. 

Now little bundle of material? That's the baby shoe!! When you sew it all together, you are sewing it inside out.  The first couple pairs of shoes I made, I forgot that and had to take them apart and redo them.... twice..each... Yeah.... Like I said, mediocre skills lol.  When you have it all sewed together,  you turn it right side out and insert your elastic through your hole in the toe and the top of the heel; pull it as tight as you need, sew the end together, tuck the ends in and done.  

This is an easy pattern, and can really be made with any material-the original tutorial I had saved she used cotton and leather for the soles, but from the picture on the website she has updated that some. It takes maybe 1/2 yard of material-I'm not really sure since I always use scraps, and these are a great scrap user-upper as they don't take much.  I do have to admit that the hardest part is pinning all the pieces together.. It's just SO LITTLE.  LOVE IT! Lol 

Enjoy making these cute shoes! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Copy Cat Taco Bell Crunch Wraps

I admit it, we eat out more than we should-but we're working on that.  One of my husband's favorites is the crunch wrap at Taco Bell. So last year I went in hunt of a recipe. 

Sorry about the shadow, the lights just weren't cooperative

Not to hard to do with Pinterest. While it doesn't taste the same, it IS thicker-and cheaper than Taco Bell-and more customizable.

So Here you go.

Copy Cat Crunch Wraps
1 package burrito size flour shells (make sure they are the burrito size!!)
1 package regular size flour shells
1 package tostada shells
Nacho cheese sauce 
Shredded cheddar
Sour Cream
1 recipe taco meat (1 pound browned, ground beef with taco seasoning)

After your meat is browned and seasoned, take another pan and heat up some oil in it-have an extra lid (just a small one will work) handy. Take a burrito shell (for my little girls I just use a regular shell) and spread your nacho cheese sauce about the diameter of your tostada shell-make it thick, you want to taste it.

 Then the taco meat. 

 Then the tostada shell-we're at the end of the package.  If you use regular size flour shells, there isn't enough room for a whole tostada, so the broken pieces work great for the girls, but they will tear through the outside shell. 

 Then the rest of your toppings. Sour cream and salsa first. Shredded cheese last-it will melt when you cook it.

 Now take one of your regular size shells and tear it in half, put half aside. Tear one half in about a 2/3 section, then put on top off all that yummy filling, use the rest to make sure it's all covered.  Fold up the bottom tortilla around the top,  mine always comes out as a hexagon-but hey, it works. 

 Plop it in your hot pan with the oil folded side down and put a lid on top, you are basically making a sandwich press here to keep it all together. 

 Flip it over and cook the other side a bit. 

Repeat until you have enough for everybody.  Usually we only use about a half pound of meat, but it makes for a great quick lunch.  The kids love it, though the girls usually end up unwrapping theirs and eating it like a salad-but hey, they eat it.  
For us, it's cheaper than just tacos-because of the amount of ingredients used.. While it's more of a variety, it's less per each one.  A package of tostada shells (about 20 I believe) lasted us two months.. A package of burritos shells will do about a meal and a half since Andrew eats a big one (little pig lol).  And I get the regular size at Dollar Tree.. I did attempt to make the cheese sauce homemade...but we agreed the $2 for a month of meals was just worth buying it premade.