Posts Tagged ‘how to’

DIY: cloth wipes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

I get lots of compliments from people about 80’s skin, including from her pediatrician.

“What do you do so she has such great skin?”, they ask.

“Neglect.”, I answer. 80 has never been bathed more than once a week. Her critical areas are cleaned multiple times a day, with each diaper change. Once she started eating solids, and she’d end up with avocado in her hair, parsnips ground into her sleeves and tiny bits of everything between her fingers, we’d just do a sponge bath of the necessary bits, or hold her hands under running water.

I’m pretty sure this is the way babies are supposed to be. Giving too many baths (and using too much soap) dries out a baby’s skin. Using disposable wipes with fragrance and cleaners on them (including alcohol) seem to do more to irritate than to help. I’m sure bouts of diaper rash are common, and 80 just happens to have resilient skin. She’s had diaper rash, but not much, and not for long. I attribute this to cloth wipes.

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Basically, I cut up a cotton flannel receiving blanket into 7×7″ squares, put two together, and zig-zag stitched along the sides to keep them from unraveling. I have a spray bottle with water in it, which I spray onto a dry wipe before using. 80 likes to watch me spray the water on the cloth. There’s the cool “chhh chhh” sound, and water droplets. It’s an infant’s equivalent of going to a water park.

If there’s a large mess, or mild diaper rash, I add a spray or two of California Baby Non-Burning & Calming Diaper Area Wash to the cloth with the water. If the diaper rash is more than mild, I don’t use any, because despite the name, it does seem to sting.

What I’d do differently if I were to make wipes again is to only use light-colored fabric, because I can see how much poo has come off onto the wipe, which helps me figure out if there’s any left. (Clean wipe after a swipe, clean baby.) I also wouldn’t double the fabric. I’m sure it’d be harder to stitch the edges, but the fabric is thick enough that doubling is not necessary. Instead, there would be thinner folds of fabric to use to get into the little baby crevices.

How to: make baby pants out of a sweater

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I went to the thrift store looking for soft wool sweaters to turn into longies (wool pants to go over diapers). The great thing about what I was looking for is that often, crappy sweaters from Old Navy end up getting felted when washed, and then donated to a thrift store. Normally, this means sweaters I have to sort through to find the good ones. In this case, it doesn’t matter! In fact, it could be kind of nice, since the fabric would be denser.

I basically winged this pattern, but it turned out great (and took seriously a half hour to make). I found a turtleneck sweater made of wool and mohair. I cut off the turtleneck, and the bottom of the sleeves.1 I guessed at how long to make the legs — I figured extra long isn’t bad for a baby who has long legs to begin with, and who is crawling (and doesn’t need to worry about stepping on her pants). If I had a walking baby, I’d consider tacking up the cuffs, so I could let them down as she grew.

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I sewed the two legs together at the crotch, about 3 inches. I then pinned the legs to the top (using the cut end of the legs and the cut end of the turtleneck), making sure the fabric was even all the way around.2 I sewed all the way around the legs/turtleneck.

Lastly, I folded the top of the turtleneck down 3/4″ and sewed almost all the way around it (with a 1/4″ seam allowance) — leaving a small gap so I could thread elastic through. I adjusted the elastic until it was snug enough to keep the pants up but not to snug as to bother, and sewed the ends of the elastic together, then sewed up the gap in the seam.

Voila.

1 This meant that I was using finished edges at the top and bottom of the pants, and didn’t have to worry about sewing the seams well enough so they didn’t unravel.
2 Since the turtleneck was ribbed and the legs were stockinette stitch, I had to kind of stretch out the top while pinning the legs. It looked a little bunchy and weird, but looked fine once they were sewn up.

Baby arm warmers

Friday, January 7th, 2011

indeed. by sundaykofax, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sundaykofax/5325523129/”>Tiny thumb hole, indeed.Full credit for this pattern and idea go to Eidolons’s blog post and pattern. Her baby chews sleeves, my baby can’t doesn’t have enough sleeve to chew. Either way, baby arm warms save the day.

80 is a long, tall drink of milk. All of the sleeves of her shirts and onesies are too short. She looks like she’s always heading to a clam dig, wearing three quarter sleeves and capris. Since we live in a northern climate, having bare wrists in winter is not something I’m willing to live with. Thus, the baby arm warmers.

Baby arm warmers!Arm warmers are probably the second-most easy thing to knit (outside of a scarf), and BABY arm warmers are even better because they’re small and are quick to knit. It’s like knitting a hat you don’t have to do any decreases on, and you get to use up small amounts of yarn that are curled up in the bottom of your stash.

I used sport-weight yarn, and did 36 stitches in a k2, p2 rib. The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll in Heath Multi.

I added thumb holes, but they turn out not to be necessary for indoors. I think I’d put the thumbhole in effect if I was then going to put mittens on her.

How to: Twitter

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I just explained the basics of Twitter to a friend, and realized there may be other people (ahem, Mom) who might want to know about all this. This is one of those blog posts that was previously an email. Comment below if there’s anything else you’d like to know, or something I left out.

A tweet is one Twitter message.

You have 140 characters to use — no more. I urge you to choose brevity over ur othr choice if possible. There can be a nice haiku-like meditation to making your words count. It’s a throwback to telegrams. Stop.

If you share a link, use a link shortener like bit.ly so you have more characters to play with. Even if you have space left, think about those who may want to retweet and enough characters comment.

If you want to refer to someone who is on twitter, use an @ before their username. Even if they don’t follow you, they’ll see you in their Mentions.

Same goes for you — if someone mentions your username, you’ll see it there (it’s somewhere in the dashboard on Twitter.)

This one is important, and not obvious: if you want to tweet something that will only be seen by you, them, and anyone who subscribes to BOTH of you, start the tweet with their username. That way, everyone who is following you but not following me won’t have to see our back-and-forth out of context.
Example: @sundaykofax thanks!

Inversely, if you want to mention someone in a tweet and want everyone to see it, don’t start with their name. If you do, put a . first.
Example: .@sundaykofax I agree-there’s no need to give money to NASA during a recession.

A hashtag is a way to give your tweet a searchable point, so someone who doesn’t read your tweets can find yours when they’re searching for the same topic.

Memes (a meme is like a catch-phrase, only with anything on the Internet) use hashtags, like #tweetyour16yearoldself. You can see memes that are getting popular on the right side of the Twitter page.
Example: Someday, you’ll wish you would have kept that Barbie in the box #tweetyour16yearoldself

You can make up a hashtag. #ijustdid. It’s #whatthecoolkidsdo It’s often used as a punchline. (Note that any punctuation will break up the tag.)

People who you follow/who follow you are called tweeps — Twittter+peeps.

Find a good Twitter app for your phone — either Twitter’s or a third party. Reading tweets with your phone saves a lot of time.

Don’t follow too many people, especially those who who tweet a lot, lest you get overwhelmed and stop using it at all.

Occasionally go through and weed out those tweeps whose tweets you end up ignoring anyway.

You can add a Twitter widget to a website (I do, see Microblogging), or hook it to Facebook so your tweets double as status updates.