Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Goodies

I really love Christmas goodies. I've been baking all week with B and having a blast doing it. We've made peanut butter fudge, buttery spritz, Santa's whiskers, and Oreo truffles. The Oreo truffles are by far my favorite! In case you haven't heard of them yet, I found the recipe on Bakerella and they are so easy to make....and yummy beyond belief.

What are you baking this year? I'm always on the look out for new things to try...the easier the better!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The End of an Era

My time as a breastfeeding mother of twins has come to an end. I knew it was coming as my little self weaners lost more and more interest, but I was really trying to hang on. I know how the majority of people I know feel about extended breastfeeding. I'm on the other side of the fence on this topic with, it seems, most I tend to avoid it. Hi, My name is Jennifer and I'm a closet extended breastfeeding supporter. I suspect that while I avoid the topic, if you really know me, you had your suspicions. I write an eco-friendly/ attachment parenting blog for goodness sake.

I really wanted to make it longer, 18 months...24 months... whatever my boys wanted to do. I just didn't expect them to end at 13 1/2. Technically 12 1/2 for L, he lost interest once we started a high calorie diet for him. I really don't know why it hits me so hard. I should be proud. I nursed twins for over a year. It seems that that is nearly unheard of, and I did it. I fought hard to make it this far. We had setbacks. I've lived on lactation cookies, fenugreek supplements, and EMAB MilkMaid tea.

So, why does this make me so sad? I feel like I'm losing a bond that has tied us together for over a year. I'm saddened that my babies are now toddlers. (Don't get me wrong. I DO NOT have baby fever. My hands are full and my heart is overflowing.) More than that, I just don't know. I don't know why it is such a kick in the gut.

My once snugly little boys now rarely let me cuddle them. There are trucks to push, animal sounds to be made, and things to climb. Mamas "num nums" are no longer needed, they slow them down. Such is life I suppose. Sigh.

Monday, 20 December 2010

A Green Way to Wrap

First of all, I've gotta say that I am a huge fan of Chicobag. Out of all my reusable bags, these are by far my favorite. Their holiday bags are always adorable, as this years holiday bag certainly is! They sent me the blue bag and I love it. I feel so festive doing my grocery and Christmas shopping with it. It's available in three colors, all equally adorable, and retails for 12.99.

The brilliant folks at Chicobag put together a charming Youtube video showcasing how well their bags work as gift wrapping! What an awesome idea. I know that I would love to have a present under the tree wrapped in a cute Chicobag! It's like getting two presents, a new grocery sack and whatever is in it. I love how they make the bows look so cute on the gifts. Check it out. It's not too late to order in time for Christmas! Their website says to order by 12/22, so don't wait too long. ;)

I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own, as always. I was sent a product to sample and review.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

This morning I give myself a little pat on the back for nursing the twins for 13 month and counting. It seems to be going downhill lately as their diet revolves more and more around table foods and we continue to struggle with L's low weight and high calorie diet. I'm not ready to call it quits just yet, and neither is A. L has pretty much lost interest, but A still nurses for one or two mini-sessions daily. I know my supply is very low and I'm just hanging on to breast feeding by a thread.

Earth Mama Angel Baby was kind enough to send me their Organic Milkmaid Tea to help boost my supply. I've tried basically every lactation tea that you can buy and this is by far the best! I definitely notice an increase in supply after I drink a few cups. I've had a few days when I thought it would be our last day of nursing, just because my supply is just so low. On those days I make sure to drink a few cups of Milkmaid Tea, and it has saved me so far. Another thing that I love about EMAB Milkmaid Tea is that the flavor is more mild that other varieties. In all of the other teas that I've tried, I've noticed that the anise is almost overpowering. If your not familiar with anise, it tastes like black licorice and isn't my cup of tea. (bwah ha ha). EMAB is much better than the others and is what I will use for now on.

Earth Mama Angel Baby has so much more to offer. If you are like me, and do not use baby products with nasty toxins on your baby, you will love EMAB. All of their products are organic and toxin free and rate zero in the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Safety Database. By the way, that database is a fabulous resource and you should check it out.

When I went on a rampage last year, eliminating everything that I considered unsafe from our baby care products, diaper creme was one of my main concerns. I ordered the highly recommended EMAB Bottom Balm and will never go back to the old cremes. A big plus is that it is safe for cloth diapers!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Mini Muffin Tin Advent Calendar

This little project was on my to-do list last year, after seeing numerous tutorials all over the web, but I was a little too busy with having two newborns to find the time to make it. This year it was my first Christmas project and I love how it turned out. I didn't really follow any tutorial. It's pretty simple to figure out. Here is a good tutorial though from Somewhat Simple, that is a little different from how I did it in that she used little magnets rather than magnetic sheets.

I purchased a roll of adhesive back magnetic sheeting from Hobby Lobby for 9.99. I cut some scrapbook paper with my Fiskars paper cutter and actually used it to cut the magnets too. This gummed up the blade, but was worth the saved time and perfect little squares to me. I peeled the backing off of the magnet, and stuck a piece of the scrapbook paper on it. I forgot to pick up some number stickers, so I used my Cricut to cut them with the A Child's Year cartridge on red card stock. I also used my Cricut to cut little circles on green card stock with the New Arrivals cartridge because the numbers didn't really stand out on just the scrapbook paper.

Overall, I love how it turned out. The only problem that I found was that the mini muffin tin that I used had tiny compartments, too small for even a Hershey's Kiss. I did find some little Dove chocolates that fit and are so tasty!

B Bear has really enjoyed opening one slot every day and finding a chocolate. Before he opens it, we count up to what ever number we are on. After he opens it, we count how many days we have left. I look forward to it becoming part of our families Christmas traditions.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Deals to share!

I was introduced to Zulily last night and I'm in love with it! I'm totally the kind of mom that is always looking for great deals and I adore Melissa and Doug toys. Zulily hosts various events for diferent brands that usually only last 72 hours, and they always have a few going on at once. I have heard that shipping time can be a bit long, but if you're looking for a deal, they have them. You do have to be a member to purchase from them, but the good news is, membership is totally free and you can sign up here.
Here are a few of my current favorites:
Melissa and Doug Blocks Rock Toy Bundle 29.99 plus shipping (was 48.00)

See Kai Run Pink Ruffle Mary Janes 18.99 plus shipping (was 32.00)

KidKraft Figure 8 Train Set 22.99 (plus shipping) was 40.00

I'm Back!!!! (and catching up with winners)

Wow...not having a computer for a few weeks was really sucky. I did teach myself to knit in the meantime, so that's something! Now, I'm not saying I'm good at it,(note the twisted stitches and added stitches) but it's a start, right? Now I'm trying to decide on my next project. I'm super in love with the Hudson Hat, but not sure that I can handle it just yet.
In other news, we had mass amounts of snow. Well, mass amounts for our area anyway. B Bear had some fun playing in it, but is very tired of it now and wants it to go away so he can go to the playground.

And, I'm catching up with all of the giveaways that have ended recently, and will be emailing the three lucky winners shortly!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Have you sent your Christmas cards yet?

I'm popping in for a moment and blogging from my in-laws place. Our computer is still not working. I'm having serious Internet withdrawals. It sucks big time. The good news is that the hubs and I finally decided to take the computer to a paid professional for repair! I should have my computer up and running again in a few days.

In the meantime I wanted to share a great company that I've been worked with this year on our photo Christmas cards. I had the opportunity to work with TinyPrints to create my cards and they are fabulous!  am so impressed with their customer service and quality. It seems like these days, there are not too many companies that take the time and put in the effort to build a good relationship with their customers. Tiny prints went above and beyond to make my cards perfect.

When I created our cards I uploaded our photos to their site and picked the style I liked and the wording as well. It was so easy, and they have styles to suit everyone. A couple of days after I finalized our order I received a phone call from tinyprints. A couple of our photos were grainy and they were concerned that it would affect the overall quality of our cards. They helped me change out the photos and sent me a high res proof of them to approve before they started. After I switched out the photos, I received another call to confirm the order. These were real people calling too, not an automated machine. The second employee that I talked to even took the time to trouble shoot my camera settings with me, to help me get better photos on my camera from now on. I was amazed that they took the time to help me, when they would have sent me some slightly grainy cards and I may never have noticed.

As you can see, my cards are beautiful, and just what I wanted. (I blacked out our names, you know...for a little bit of privacy.)I'm so excited to send these out to all of our friends and family this year. I've never actually sent out Christmas cards before and this is the perfect way to start. Thank-you TinyPrints for the beautiful cards. Be sure to check them out, it's not too late to order for this Christmas. They also have several products that would make great gifts!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. It is of my honest opinions and was written only by me. I did receive photo cards to review, free of charge.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Sad broken computer

My trusty computer has a virus and is out of comission. I'll be back asap as soon as it is back in working order. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, 19 November 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama.

A HappyBelly is just one bite away...

While exploring options for organic baby food, I came across Happy Baby and am so excited to share their awesome products with you. They carry a huge line with a lot of variety. From baby snacks like puffs and melts to toddler meals, they are sure to have just what you need.

What caught my attention right away is that their baby foods come in pouches rather than jars. The reason for this is that it allows them to preserve them without additives and at a lower temperature. This is important because preserving at a lower temperature yields a higher nutritional value. Another great thing about the pouches is that they are BPA and Phalate free! Woot Woot!

HappyBaby pouches come in three stages. Stage 1, Starting solids includes classic starters like pears and mangos. Stage 2, Simple Combos has some really fun combos like “banana, beet, and blueberry”. Stage 3, Balanced meals, are geared toward the more practiced eaters with a bit more texture and options like “amaranth ratatouille”.
We were lucky enough to review HappyBellies organic baby cereals. They come in three varieties: organic brown rice, organic oatmeal, and organic multi-grain cereals. They are the first baby cereals to incorporate DHA and probiotics (good bacteria that strengthen the digestive system and help to prevent allergies).

My babies are past the point of eating just cereal mixed with breast milk, although it can be prepared that way. We have had some food aversions and setbacks in the eating development area, that had to do with the fact that they were born 5 weeks early. So, I have been working with them on texture by adding cereal to their purees. A is doing great with it and will pretty much eat anything you put in front of him. L however, is back on a non-gaining streak again. Ugh.

He refuses anything with texture, with the exception of cheerios. Who knows why. The “big brand” infant cereals tend to clump up when mixed with purees, but I have not found this to be the case with HappyBellies cereals. It seems to me that it is more powdery and mixes more nicely into the food. I started by mixing it with sweet potatoes. L didn’t have a problem with it at all, and he normally spits out anything that I mix with cereal. Also I love that the mixed grain cereal is a combo of whole oats, amaranth, and quinoa. It's a much more interesting combo than the other available options out there.

HappyBaby has many other baby and toddler foods that you should check out, and they are kind enough to be giving one reader a set of coupons for free products!

To enter, head over to HappyBaby and comment on this post, telling me about one other product that you like, other than what I mentioned in my review.

Want extra Entries???

Leave a separate comment for each entry.
Follow my blog :)
Follow Once Upon a Baby on twitter.
Follow HappyBabyFood on twitter.
Like Once Upon a Baby on Facebook.
Like HappyFamily on Facebook.
Grab my button and post it to your blog, leave a link.
Tweet this giveaway and leave a link to the tweet (can do once per day)

Open to US residents only. Ends on 12/13/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review other than being sent coupons for free samples of the product to review.

Monday, 15 November 2010

A new hat for baby!

I made this new hat for A this week and I'm head over heels in love with it. I can't help but show it off here, so forgive me while I do just that. The best thing is that it was super easy and took less than two hours.  The pattern is the Brr Baby Beanie. You can find it for free on Ravelry. The awesome yarn is from my friend Tina, hand dyed by Mrs. Fuzzy Wuzzy herself! Check out her shop here and here for beautiful yarns and the worlds best dryer balls.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Another great product from Thirsties

Cloth diapering folks, you've got to try this detergent from Thirsties! We started having some diaper issues about a month ago. It seems that baby A has very sensitive skin and something in my favorite powdered detergents was really bothering him. I'm not sure what it was, but it was just rash after rash, and only on A. L didn't show any signs of irritation. So, I switched diaper detergents. I now use Thirsties Prewash and Superwash. His skin is clearing up and we pretty much rash free.

I've loved Thirsties products since we started using cloth, and I've talked about their duo diapers before here. When I started looking for another wash solution, Thirsties was the first thing on my radar. Not only did it clear up the rash, but it really simplified our wash routine. All you have to do is pre-clean the diapers with 1/2 ounce of Thirsties Prewash on cold. Follow that with a 1/2 ounce of Thirsties Superwash on hot, with one extra rinse. That sure is an improvement from the complicated laundry routine we were doing. Also, with my old laundry routine we had terrible ammonia build-up and were regularly stripping diapers once a month. There is no need for that anymore, as we haven't had ammonia issues since the switch.

Here's a bit of info on Thirsties Prewash:
•Completely non-toxic solution

•100% biodegradable
•Custom formulated by a chemist specifically for use in pre-washing diapers
 •Designed to help loosen and rinse away waste and bacteria
•Antimicrobial ingredient purifies naturally
•Washes completely clean; will not leave residue
•Highly concentrated to reduce costs and carbon output
•HE Safe
•Made in the USA

And a bit of info on Thirsties Superwash:
•Completely non-toxic solution

•100% biodegradable
•Odorless & colorless
•Custom formulated by a chemist specifically for use in washing cloth diapers
•Probiotic solution introduces good bacteria
•Reduces odor
•Helps prevent diaper rash
•Effectively brightens and whitens without harmful additives
•Washes completely clean; will not leave residue
•Highly concentrated to reduce costs and carbon output
•HE Safe
•Made in the USA

You can purchase Thirsties Prewash and Superwash at various online retailers, and be sure to request one of their catalogs here.

Thanks to the fabulous folks over at Thirsties, you have a chance to win a set of Thirsties Prewash and Superwash!
Here's how to enter:
This comment is mandatory and if not included, all other entries will be void.
Visit Thirsties and comment here telling me about one other product that you'd love to try.
(make sure to leave an email address to contact you with)

Want extra Entries??? 
Leave a separate comment for each entry.
{Ended} The winner is: # 12, Chelsea! Congrats, I've just contacted you!
Giveaway open to US residents only. Ends at noon pacific time on 11/28/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving this product to review. Thank-you Thirsties.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

There's a Party in my City!

This last week was a light blogging week for me, because we went out of town to take B and the twinners to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live, in Spokane, WA. Spokane is only a couple of hours away for us, but we decided to make a little mini-vacation of it, and went up Thursday, caught the 3:00 show on Friday and came back home afterwards.
If your family has a Gabba fan, you don't want to miss this show. I heard comedian Paul Scheer describe it as Mardi Gras for kids. He couldn't have described it better. Confetti was shooting from the stage. Thousands of balloons were falling from above. The excited squeals of hundreds of preschoolers was unreal. When Biz Markie came out to do Biz's Beat of the Day, I thought B might pee his pants. He was that excited. There was not a dull moment. B never looked away from the stage.

 I was a bit worried beforehand at how the babies would handle it. We've never taken them anywhere with so many people, or such loud noises and bright lights. L freaked out initially, but it only lasted a split second and then he was completely consumed by the show. A loved it, and swayed back and forth in the Baby Bjorn that my husband was wearing him in. He "danced" through the entire show. I love baby "dancing". I'll be so sad when he grows out of it, and like B refuses to dance if anyone might be watching. Maybe he won't.

Monday, 8 November 2010

So, about that book...

Remember how I was sent Jenny McCarthy's new book, Love, Lust & Faking It: The Naked Truth About Sex, Lies, and True Romance? Well, I read it about a month ago and have actually decided not to post an in depth review on my blog, because, being a family friendly blog, a review may not be entirely appropriate for my younger viewers. I did read it from cover to cover and it was pretty funny, with a little bit of serious here and there. There is a chapter on Brad Pitt that will leave you laughing for sure.

That is all I have to say about that right now, but I do have another copy, signed by Jenny McCarthy, to give away to one lucky reader.
Here's how to enter:
Follow my blog and comment here telling me why you want this book.That's all you have to do! Easy Peasy!
The winner is:
#1 Mommy Minded! Congrats, I've just sent you an email :)

Open to US residents only. Ends on 11/22/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review other than being sent a book. Prize will be shipped from me to the winner, via usps media mail, so delivery may be a tad on the slow side.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Miracle Blanket Giveaway!

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to give away a Miracle Blanket! When the twins were little this was a lifesaver! You might remember my review of them Here. If you weren't with me then, go back and read the review. It's a fabulous product.

Miracle Blanket is running an awesome Miracle Fall Festival and is giving away 30 miracle blankets with 30 different blogs. I'm lucky enough to be one of those blogs!!! Enter here and be sure to check out some of the other participating blogs on Miracle Blankets Facebook page.

Here's how it is going to work:
Head over to facebook and "like" Miracle Blanket and then head to Twitter and follow Miracle Blanket. You must do both of those things to be eligible to win. Then, enter here by leaving a comment telling me your craziest/funniest/most desperate getting baby to sleep story. That's it!

I will chose a random winner with and the winner will be announced on Tuesday afternoon on Miracle Blankets Twitter and Facebook pages only. So keep your eye out there!

Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way for this post. I received a sample for my review months ago, but nothing for this post. The prize will be shipped by Miracle Blanket and the winner will only be announced on their facebook and twitter pages. Ends 11/8/10 and is open to US and Canada residents only.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Teething? Inspired by Finn Review and Giveaway {ended}

I hate teething! My babies sure are not a fan of it either. I thought it was tough when we went through it with B, but that was nothing compared to teething twins. We've had two very fussy little guys around here lately and this mama is trying everything! That restless nights, followed by fussy days is getting old, and fast!

My favorite pain reliever for my teething babes is their amber necklaces. Hold up for one second. I know how this is going to go. I'm going to tell you about a magical necklace made of magical little amber stones with healing properties. Then you will stop reading and tell me that I'm a crazy crack head and probably never return to my little blog. Eh, off with you then, and that includes you too my darling husband. For those who stuck around and want to know how amber really really does work for us, here we go. Oh, and for those who are a bit o.c.d. like myself, amber isn't a's fossilized tree resin.
When I first heard about amber teething necklaces, I thought they were meant to be chewed on my the teething baby. In my mind, it was something that the mama wore and her little AP baby, always in a carrier could grab at it and chew on it to soothe those sore little gums. Nope. These necklaces are for baby to wear.

So, my next thought was, how is this safe? I ordered a relatively small one, so that it would not hang down for my little ones to grab at it or to get caught on anything. You can also chose to have a magnetic clasp if the thought of it being caught up on something worries you. I did not chose that option, because frankly the thought of losing the amber necklace worries me more. Besides, my kiddos are always supervised when wearing their amber and I take it off when they sleep. The genius part of the necklace is that it is knotted between each bead. If a amber tug of war breaks out between your little angels and it snaps, you are not going to have a bunch of beads spilling all over the floor for the little ones to pick up.

Now I'm not saying that Amber jewelry is the miracle cure, but it seems to help. When my boys wear their necklaces, they are less fussy and happier all day. You can read more about why Amber works on Inspired by Finn's website. I started using these with B quite a while ago, and now all of the boys have one. When my wisdom teeth started to poke through and bother me this spring, I ordered myself an adult sized one. I wear it all the time and I do notice that I reach for the tylenol bottle far less often on days when I am wearing it.

To purchase your own Inspired by Finn baltic amber jewelry visit their shop here. To save 20% go over and like them on Facebook and use code FB20. To save even more 25%, go over to facebook, click like and suggest their page to your friends. Of course you should try to win one as well! Inspired by Finn is giving one lucky reader their choice of in stock amber jewelry 16" or smaller.

Here's How to Enter:
Visit Inspired by Finn and comment here, telling me one benefit of Baltic amber.
(This comment is mandatory, and if not included all other entries will be void.)
{Ended} The lucky winner is #2 Josephine! I'm sorry about the delay in drawing a winner. Congrats Josephine!

Extra Entries:
leave one comment for each entry
Open to US residents only. Ends on 11/20/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated for this review other than being sent a necklace to review.

Sew-Along Day 7

This is the last day of the sew-along, and is far behind schedule. This little project is the "Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket" from the book, Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. I was a bit distracted by my two smallest ones turning one year old today, and let myself fall behind. Today I'm supposed to be attaching the buttons, but what do ya know....I forgot to buy buttons for this one. Oops! So, I'm going to briefly walk you through sewing on the plackets, and then show you my buttonless near-finished product.

Take your placket pieces and fold one of the long edges in 1/2 inch. Press this well. Place your strip of fusible interfacing on the placket piece and make sure that it is at least 1/2 inch from the other edges. Fuse it in place.
Take your 1x16" strip of fabric and press it in half, right sides together. Unfold it and fold each long edge in towards the crease. Press it. You should end up with a 16" long, very skinny strip, with all of the raw edges hidden on the inside. Cut this into 4 equal pieces. Pin those pieces onto the outer part of the jacket front and tack down with your machine.

Now, Lay the placket piece down right sides together on the front of the jacket. It will hang off the top and bottom by 1/2". Stitch the seam and press it open. Like so....
Fold the placket in half, right sides together, The creased edge will meet the seam that you just made.
Sew along the top and bottom edges of the placket, using 1/2" seam allowance. Turn it right side out, and press. I clip my corners before I press because I find that it has a crisper look to it. Position the placket fabric so that the edge that is in the inside of the jacket covers the seam that is there and top stitch it together.
 And, that is it! Well...except for those pesky little buttons. :) What do you think of it? It's a birthday present for one of my twins. What's better than a handmade item that will be saved and hopefully become an heirloom.

 Thank-you Pocketful of Roses for sewing along with me. I can't wait to see your finished jacket!

If anyone else was sewing with us, hit the contact me button on the top...yep way up there... and shoot me an email with a photo of your jacket. Although, I think it was just the two of us sewing. ;o)

Friday, 29 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 5 and 6

Holy Moly! This week has gotten away from me. I didn't get to post day 5 yesterday, so here it is today. For the day 6 sew along, visit my buddy at Pocketful of Roses.

Day 5 is attatching the hood to the jacket. Start by basting the hood to the outer material, right sides together.
Then, lay the lining material on top of this , right side down. The hood will be between the outer and inner layers.
Next, sew the bottom edges of the jacket lining and outer fabric together, being careful not to catch the sleeves of hood in your stitches. Turn it right side out, pulling through the side. Adjust the fabric so that the arm lining fits nicely inside the outer arm piece and stitch topstitch along the edges.
My last little tip for the evening is to press just as often as the instructions say. I used to skip these steps, but it really makes for a more polished finished garment.

Goodnight, my littlest boys are turning one in just a couple of days and I have a party to prepare for. I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 4: Construct the Lining

My jacket is coming together! I love seeing fabric turn into something wonderful. Today is day four, where we are constructing the jacket lining. I realized, as I was photographing my progress, that these are the exact same steps that Pocketful of Roses went over yesterday. So, rather than spend an hour typing roughly the same thing, I'll direct you back to Pocketful of Roses. Check back tomorrow for day 5, where we will attach the hood to the jacket, which is not as difficult as it sounds. See you soon, and I promise to have some nice photos of my jacket up with tomorrows post. Goodnight for now.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 3: Sew the Main Jacket

Thanks for stopping by for day 3 of the sew-along. Today we are focusing on constructing the main jacket. If you're new to our sew-along we are working on the Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket from Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Scroll down through this weeks posts for more info.

Pocketful of Roses is going to walk you through today's steps (24-31) on her blog. So head on over to Pocketful of Roses and check it out. (While your there, hit that little button on the side that says "follow". It's always appreciated.)

:) See you tomorrow, when I'll construct the jacket lining.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sew-Along Day 2: Construct the Hood

Welcome to day two of our little Sew-Along! In case you missed it, we are busy making Baby-in-the-Hood Jackets from Anna Maria Horner's newest book, Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Yesterday we transferred our pattern to paper and cut the fabric. You can catch up on that with my Sew-Along partner, Pocketful of Roses

Today we are constructing the hood and will cover steps 15-23. For this portion we need the hood pieces and the hood stripes. You should have four hood pieces, two in your outer fabric and two of the lining. There should be two hood stripe pieces, one in the lining and one in your contrasting fabric.
The first step is super simple. Sew the hood pieces to the hood stripes. Make sure that you have right sides together. I'm working with a brown corduroy, and some cotton quilters fabric. I find that since the cord has a bit of a stretch to it, a walking foot is helpful in keeping the fabrics from stretching and slipping all over the place. I'm not by any means a professional sewer. I'm mainly self taught, so take my advice with a grain of salt. It works for me, so maybe it will work for you too.

Once that is done, clip your curves (careful not to clip into the seam!), and press your seams. Fit the outer hood into the inner hood, making sure that right sides are together, like so:
Pin along the front of the hood, and sew along the front opening with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then, turn it right side out and press it very well along the front seam. Now we will sew 5/8 in from the same edge to create a casing for the elastic.
Thread the elastic into the casing. I have this awesome handy hi-tech elastic threading tool. I call it a safety pin. Meet my friend.
Tack that elastic down at both ends and you are golden baby! All that is left to do is baste along the bottom of the hood. I just use the longest stitch length on my machine to baste it. And voi-la! Gorgeous finished hood!
Make sure to come back tomorrow for day three, when we are doing steps 24-31: constructing the main jacket. It's not too late to join in, pick up the book and some fabric and play a teensy bit of catch up!

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