Oct 16, 2011

I have learnt 2 things today!

I've had a very rewarding day!

look at that floaty-less golden liquid!
First off I decided to make some more liquid soapnuts, but I needed to strain the mixture to try to stop little bits of soapnut getting into the liquid... being that I need a new sieve, I really had nothing to use - but in a moment of genius, decided to try a couple of disposable diaper liners - and it worked!  I put the two liners on the top of the jar, and kind of poked them inside a little, then with one hand around the neck of the jar, I poured the mixture into the jar with the other..... and it was a great success!  After I'd strained all the liquid, I put the soapnuts inside the liners and then squeezed out the excess saponin into my liquid soapnuts...  it stopped my hands from smelling quite so much like soapnuts, and was also a lot less messy.  Upon further inspection, I was unable to really see any floaties in the liquid - and then patted myself on the back, for a job well done.

my cute little model
Freshly converted prefold-fitted!
Another thing I learnt today, is that I'm quite clever.  Really.  With Emersyn's blister issue, I have been using prefolds - and because of my newfound love of fitteds, I decided to have a look online and see how easy it would be to convert some prefolds into fitteds.  Not too hard, so it seemed.  I armed myself with a prefold, my pattern, my scissors, elastic and my sewing machine, and after not too long (an hour?) I finished and held the completed diaper in my hand.  And it looked pretty good!  The sewing on it was pretty rushed - because I made it while Emersyn was asleep, but it's definitely something that'll be easy to make look tidier, with a little extra time.  I followed this tutorial, and found that making it was actually easier than I had thought it'd be after reading the tutorial, I think anyone who can sew a straight line, would be fine with attempting this particular tutorial - and I can't imagine that others would be overly different.  I used toddler size Real Nappies prefolds, because I find the size down aren't able to be snappi'ed comfortably now, but at the same time the toddler size is ENORMOUS...  I think the size is pretty good for Emersyn - it'll allow for growth, but at the same time the rise is somewhat adjustable, so it fits - as a fitted - perfectly. 

Oct 15, 2011

New problem... blisters

No way to put it nicely - Emersyn has blisters on her vagina and bottom...  This happened awhile ago when I switched to new detergent - I switched back and the issue went away, however over the past few days I've noticed the blisters have come back, and no amount of cream seems to make them go away....

I have come to two possible conclusions - after months of no reaction whatsoever, she is now developing an irritation/reaction to microfleece, OR we are finally getting detergent build up in the staydry layer of the diapers I'm using (most of which are microfleece).  I'm not sure where to start trying to fix the problem - for fixing the build up I just need to strip the diapers, but am a little apprehensive about putting my pockets in a hot wash, because last time I did that all but 1 of the diapers delaminated...  For fixing an irritation to microfleece - well, I just cut out the microfleece!

I think my little plan of attack may be to put her in prefolds for the next couple of days, and during that time strip the diapers I've been using lately (because there seems to be a core group that I reach for at the moment)...  My thinking is that her bum SHOULD clear up in prefolds, and then I am going to introduce microfleece LINERS into the mix - if her bum starts getting horrible again, I can pretty much come to the conclusion that it's the microfleece causing the issue.  If her bum stays normal - I can put her back in the diapers I have been using - and if her bum stays normal still, I can determine that it was build up that was causing her bum to go all nasty.  If it gets rashy again, I guess I strip those diapers again and cross fingers that after 2 strips it's all back to normal.

Beyond that - well, I hope there IS no beyond that.  I love cloth so much & hate when I'm having issues...  If I end up needing to keep her in prefolds, then so be it... I like prefolds... and I like ANY cloth diaper 50,000,000x more than a disposable!

Stay tuned...

Oct 5, 2011

Having SEW much fun!

I got a sewing machine for my birthday and have been giving it a whirl...  I have to say that even though I HATED sewing at high school, I'm having a LOT of fun sewing now!  I've pretty much mastered the art of fleece soakers, and have even made a pair of fleece longies - which were really easy, probably easier than the soakers.  My sister and I are starting a cloth-related business, so I've been practicing making some items we are hoping to sell - and it keeps me occupied for hours on end.

My latest fleece soaker.... I call this 'watermelon'!
There is something so... rewarding... about sewing - because within a matter of minutes you have a product developing right in front of your eyes, and with items like soakers it is literally minutes until you've got a finished product RIGHT there, ready to use.  I enjoy knitting, but hate that it takes so long to see major results - well, when it comes to me it does anyway.  Sewing hasn't really cost me a lot to date - most of the fabric I've been using has been fabric I've already had at home - old fleece blankets, tops etc...  Can't complain when you have a store quality item, that hasn't cost you anything - or has cost you verrrry little.

I have to give big ups to 'Katrina' who has put her soaker pattern on her blog for anyone to use - it's the soaker pattern that I use (and LOVE), she has various sizes, and also patterns for making larger soakers (up to XXXL I believe), and for longies/shorties.  You can find the blog & pattern here Katrina's Free Soaker Pattern, the patterns themselves are on the right hand tool bar, if you scroll down a bit (in line with the 'Just a Soaker' blog post).  What I really really love is that she has given permission for the pattern to be used for commercial use - so long as you donate to particular organisations, or make one to give away for the price of postage.

I am attempting to make breastpads and mama cloth at the moment too, and while nothing I've made is FABULOUS, it's all very functional, and I am learning as I go.  It's nice to experiment with fabric and with various stitches...  After almost 5 years of feeling like I'm 'just a Mum', it is nice to be doing something that makes me feel like I'm contributing in some way - I'm doing something that is completely seperate from 'just being a Mum'.. and it makes me feel really good about myself.

I wish I could share more about our business plans - but that will all come out soon!

Until then, I'm armed with my sewing machine, PUL, bamboo, hemp, microfleece, suede cloth, flanelette, aplix, FOE... and many glorious sewing related bits and pieces...

Oct 3, 2011

Creativity has its price...

My first ever PUL cover...
I got a fancy new sewing machine for my birthday, so have been getting a bit out of my comfort zone and attempting to sew all manner of cloth diaper related items.  I have generally had success - which is a lovely feeling, and I'm feeling quite proud of myself.  I made my hardest thing yet on Saturday night - a PUL diaper cover/wrap... I used velcro/aplix for the first time, and FOE (fold over elastic), and was amazed when the wrap was finished and actually looked half decent.

Action shot...
I was confident enough that it was functional enough to use, so put it on Emersyn on Sunday morning - we did a little photo shop, and I assessed my work, noticed a few areas that needed some tweaking etc.  Generally I just looked at the wrap and felt rather pleased with myself.  A functional PUL cover, made by ME - who would have thunk it?

Nap time rolled around and Emersyn was in the wrap, with a trifolded prefold underneath.  I noticed a little of the cotton that was holding one of the velcro tabs on had come a bit loose, but made the executive decision that it was still able to be used.  I'd just sew it on a bit better after her nap.

Lesson one - NEVER send a product out (even if it's just to your daughter) if you aren't 100% happy with the workmanship.

Emersyn went to sleep - and ended up having a rather hefty nap.  I decided  after 2 hours that I should go in and check on her, just incase she was awake and was up to mischief.  Not that she could get up to a lot of mischief in her cot.  Right?

Upon opening the door I was met with a wall of STENCH...  "Oh my - she must have done a might big poo", I thought to myself - suddenly wishing that I had actually Snappi'ed the prefold...  Oh well - she had a cover on - the mess would be limited to that.  Right?


Uh oh.
Looking at my daughter the first thing that struck me was that she had a bare bum.  The second thing that struck me?  Poos.  Everywhere.  Sheets, blankets, quilt, blankie, arms, legs, tummy, face, in between toes, on bottoms of feet, dummy/pacifier...  She was SOUND asleep - and all I could do was look at the scene in front of me in dismay, while compiling a 'to do' list in my head.  Run bath, bath child, strip cot, wash ALL bedding, wash the cot down, make bed....  I rang my Mum to share the news with her, and it was then that Emersyn woke up - in a rather festive mood...

I knew that I had to either see the funny side in the situation, or cry cry cry.. being that I was in a good mood, I saw the funny side.  Being upset about it wasn't going to clean the mess up!

I ran a bath, then put Emersyn in it.. and after two changes of bath water she was sufficiently clean.  Got her dried and dressed, then attacked the bedding - which I threw outside, because my washing machine had recently finished a hot wash, and after a hot wash it takes a couple of hours to work again.  Yea, perfect timing for THAT to happen!

Eventually the bedding got washed, and the cot got re-made... and we all lived happily ever after - and I learnt a few little lessons along the way, one of the most important?? REINFORCE REINFORCE REINFORCE TABS!