Showing off (this has nothing to do with cancer) - The Funny Thing About Cancer
OK.  I sewed... and sewed... and sewed.

And everything turned out better than I had hoped. 

Therefore I must take a very brief moment to show off (and by brief, I mean really long).  Yes, I realize this is NOT a sewing/crafting blog.  So hopefully this will be a "one time only" crafting overshare.  But since one of my readers (Julie) wanted details, here they are.

Like I said before, I LOOOOOVE to make baby gifts.  They're relatively cheap.  They're relatively easy.  And it's pretty immediate gratification... meaning I don't spend a week or more on a project (more like 2-5 hours).

And the best part... I can make a "theme" without having to just pick and choose from what stores like Target and Babies R Us have to offer. 

So I found out about 5 weeks ago that a person I love dearly is pregnant.  She was actually about 34-ish weeks at the time.  I had nothing made (obviously since I was not aware prior to this), and I personally LOVE making gifts for people.  So I was all "I HAVE TO GO TO JO-ANN'S!" 

(then I paused for a second to ask "uhhh... what do you need?")

And she was all "WHATEVER YOU WANT TO MAKE ME!" (I love this girl)

At risk of going on a tanget, can I say how much I love Jo-Anns?  Or any fabric store in general?  I love the world of possibilities.  There are all these bolts of fabric just waiting to have their purpose revealed!  What will you turn the fabric into?  Only you know!  I might look at a flannel and think "what a great baby blanket" while someone else might say "I need to make pajama pants out of that NOW!"  I just love to look at fabrics and daydream about what I can create.

Yes.  I'm a dork.  I'm OK with that.

Anywho.  My friend is waiting until the birth to find out if she's having a boy or girl.  I think this is cool, but for someone making a baby gift, it can be limiting.  I mean... all the cool baby fabrics are usually NOT gender neutral.  So when I got to JoAnns, I went to the flannel aisle (b/c everything baby should be flannel... it's so soft and cuddly!) and started to browse to see what my "neutral" fabric options were.

1. Green jungle animals
2. Owls... although even these were kind of gender biased (some fabrics had more blue... some had more pink)
3. Grey, red, black and white music/rock and roll themed fabric.

Hmmm... my pregnant friend is kind of "hip" (yes, I just said hip, I'm old, I'm OK with that).  Which kind of vetoed the green jungle animals.  It was "cute" not "cool".  The owls were a little too gender biased for me.  And the rock 'n roll fabric was... just... AWESOME!  Don't believe me?  Check it out:
So I bought all except that one on the right (b/c it didn't match my color scheme) and went home to make burp cloths and blankets galore.

And I finished that in one night b/c it's EASY!  If you want to know how easy, just let me know and I might actually post a tutorial and risk turning this into a craft blog for a few brief minutes.

I ended up with 7 burp cloths and 3 40x40 inch flannel blankets (flannel was 60% off, so I got alot of it).  Because those flannel blankets they sell in stores that measure like 20x20 inches are WEAK!  You can't use them to swaddle.  It's like trying to use a postage stamp to cover your baby.  I.  HATE.  THEM.  Thus, I only make massively large flannel blankets for my friends.
After just one evening of sewing, I was kind of hooked.  It was fun.  It was easy.  The results were AWESOME.  I had to sew more.

Enter the diaper bag.  I checked in with my buddy and she said "nope, don't have a diaper bag yet."

SWEET!  (I actually said that... which... wow... just demonstrates me sewing geekiness)

My mom makes awesome diaper bags.  They're these back packs that are quilted and adorable b/c they match whatever theme you want.  And she uses her embroidery machine to put the baby's name on it and everything.  I loved mine.  But I don't have the patience to make one b/c quilting and all that takes some serious time (remember, I like things that fit into the 5 hours or less time range).

So I went online to find a tutorial for an easy messenger style diaper bag. 

I found this awesome tutorial for how to make a diaper bag that transforms into a stroller bag.  And it sounded super duper easy.  CHECK IT OUT.

Next night, it was back to JoAnns (no, I don't shop all at once, I shop in spurts b/c I like going to the fabric store as often as possible).

I found this great, sturdy, thick red canvas material, which matched the red hearts on one of the flannels I picked up.  But I didn't want to do all red.  Because that's way boring.  So I got some grey canvas to offset it.  And a fun polkadot cotton for the liner.  I would've done more of the grey and red heart material (from above) as a liner... but they had already sold out. 

Apparently I wasn't the only person who thought it was awesome.

Now the only thing I didn't like about the above tutorial was the lack of pockets in the diaper bag.  Because when your diaper bag has no set locations to put things... you lose stuff in it and spend 5 very frustrating minutes searching for that STUPID toy that your kid loves while they're screaming and you think you might lose your mind.  And then you just dump everything out on the floor like a crazy woman b/c YOU CAN'T FIND THAT STUPID TOY!

Or maybe it's just that I always overpack my diaper bag so I can't find anything.

Either way, I didn't want this to just be an empty messenger back.  I wanted there to be some built in organization.  And more pockets.  Pockets are GOOD.  So I added a large back pocket (to put the changing pad in).  And I reinforced the bottom.  And I added two pockets on each side for little cell phone pockets.  And then I added 2 large pockets on the inside (for diapers and wipes).  And put a long strip of elastic on one side and sewed it down in a few spots to hold whatever else a mom might want to stick in there and keep in place (burp cloths, blankets, bottles... whatever).  So I kind of redesigned the entire bag.  In a good way (I hope).

I think it took me between 5 and 7 hours in total.  Which is pretty awesome considering I was making up alot of this as I went along.

I personally think it turned out AWESOME.  Having made one now... there are definitely things I would do differently, but for a first "prototype" I think I rocked the socks off this diaper bag.

Check it OUT!
See what I mean?  Turned out way awesomer than I thought it would.  And it's still light and easy to carry.  I'm so in love with making these.  I want more friends to have babies so I can make more of them.  Way fun!

Hint Hint: go procreate people!  Just so I can make diaper bags!

So now what?  I mean I made the blankets and the burp cloths and the diaper bag.  BUT I STILL WANT TO SEW!

What else could I add that would really finish off the entire "set". 

I KNOW!  A paci pocket (had one of these with caleb and I LOVED it).  This is basically just a little pouch that you can stick pacifiers in.  But you can hang it off your purse strap.  Or diaper bag strap.  Or anything that the little strap fits around.  Sounds simple... but crying baby + pacifier = sweet, quiet, happy baby (at least that worked with Caleb).  So always knowing where the pacifiers were was VITAL.

Which leads to my OTHER tiny project... a paci/binkie clip.  This was a little tougher to figure out because finding little clips to use that don't destroy clothing (like some mitten/suspender clips) is way harder than it sounds.  I like the clips that have a little plastic or rubber on the teeth so they don't kill that cute outfit.  And the ones with plastic teeth were like $2 per clip!  OUTRAGEOUS! 

So I went to Office Max.  Because I just wanted a stupid plastic clip that didn't cost more than the pacifier itself.  And I found those plastic clips with magnets on the back (to stick to the side of a filing cabinet).  They were the perfect size!  They were the perfect price (about $0.75 apiece).  And they even had cute smiley faces on them :)

I tore off the magnet, drilled a few holes in the plastic (so I could attach the strap for the binkie clip) and voila!  They were perfect.

Two short hours later, and I was done with these little projects. 
And now I'm spent.  I've run out of ideas.  And out of time.  My friend is now 39 weeks pregnant so I should really get this gift delivered (before she delivers!). 

This concludes craft time on The Funny Thing About Cancer blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Next blog will be back to your regularly scheduled programming!
11/11/2011 01:56:01 am

Way to go Cynthia! You could go and sell these on etsy! Super cute!

On a side note: I AM SOOOOO GLAD that you are feeling better and have the energy to do things that you enjoy!!!! Thank you GOD!!!

Mama Wilks
11/11/2011 10:22:48 am

Wow! Am I impressed. Would have loved to see the paci clip and paci packet as well. Keep creating!

11/11/2011 10:46:22 pm

That bag is truly "awesome" I know your hip friend - will love it. Personally I love to see baby things in red and purple and other bold colors. PINK and BLUE is cute but come on people there are way more colors out there. These are truly great

11/17/2011 07:36:58 am

I love that you described a baby blanket as "WEAK."

6/13/2012 12:05:29 am

Great info, thx


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