A New Year's Post

Each year, I start by looking back at the previous year and making goals for the year ahead.  This year is no different in that sense. I started by reviewing the work I had made, etc. but, I feel like I am in such a different head-space than I was a year ago.  Everything has changed.  My eyes have a razor-sharp focus on the prize, and the stakes feel so much higher now that I have a baby.

Last January, when I made my list for 2014 I was well into my pregnancy, but I could only imagine my future as a mom in a really vague way.  Here were last year's goals:
1) make some art:  get back into pen and ink, finish digital illustration commissions
2) make some things with yarn: finish hand-knit projects, use machine to stash bust
3) make some things with fabric: continue on the quilting and sewing goodness track
4) blog more efficiently and step away from the internet traps (facebook and cheesy news sites) 
With that nesting energy, I made things like there was no tomorrow.  I hit all of my goals - made some art, knit by hand and by machine, quilted baby F's zig-zag quilt, and blogged more efficiently.  I think I was kind of scared that there wouldn't be time after the baby came.  My fear of having no time to do anything was somewhat justified.  Luckily, I think F is very healthy and pretty independent, so that affords me snippets of time to work here and there when he's playing or napping.

Clockwise from top left: Mitered Detail Cardigan, Ottobre Nursing Top,
Wind & Storm Pullover (now lost at sea!!), Ottobre Kids, Laren Mitts, and the cover of Knit Now

Clockwise from top left: my entry for an artist's book collaboration, Ottobre kids, "playful" hand lettering, quilted zip bags, steeked fairisle vest, knit baby romper from Deramores, and Oktoberfest dirndl skirt & apron
Now I'm looking forward to 2015, and that same innate sense of urgency that came with pregnancy remains in my system.  Maybe it's the hormones? Whatever it is, I feel like I must create right now -- now or never!!  Yes, it's that dramatic a feeling.

Anyway, without further ado... my goals for the coming year:
  • Find my personal illustrative style, and figure out how/where to sell my art work.
  • Sew a few new non-maternity knit tops for myself.
  • Make another quilt.
  • Create another font.
  • Knit a bit.
  • Be a good mom.  (!!!)
Kind of a mixed bag of goals, right?
That last goal is so huge, it threatens to take over my brain. So, in the spirit of getting things done, I break down each goal into action-oriented tasks.  In terms of motherhood, what that means for me, is that I just take it one day at a time.

Happy 2015, everyone!  May it be a great year.

Adventures in AIO's (all-in-ones)

My latest experiments with cloth diapers have been with sewing all-in-ones (AIO's).  The advantage to this style of diaper is that you don't have a separate insert- the cover and insert are actually "all in one".


The disadvantage is that AIO's typically take a long time to dry.  This AIO is based on the TotsBots "BOB" (best of both) Easy Fit model here.  I love their diapers, but the latest version 4.0 only comes with velcro waist adjusters...


Why snaps?  Now that I've been cloth diapering for a few months, I have come to dislike sorting out anything with velcro (hook & loop) in the laundry.  So I went with snaps (poppers).  I've already had two separate incidents where super-strong velcros from baby's bibs snagged onto clothes and diapers. It's very sad to see scuffed and pilled clothing just because of an errant piece of velcro in the wash.  Grr.

After using these for a month I can say they work!  They also dry fairly quickly - not as quick as the TotsBots, but much faster than some of the other AIO's I have.

How these were made...
before sewing the outer/inner together... don't use pins

Pattern:

  • This video from Little Bundas for general techniques.
  • This pattern, 3x3 AIO round tab from Arfy of Prefold2fitted Blog
  • These written instructions from Tutu Mafia/Cloth Revolution's Sewn-In Diaper here.  These instructions plus the video above were crucial for me to get a good end result.  I also had the TotsBots diaper to look at for help.

Improvements for next time...
I need to fold over the edge where the suede cloth and the PUL edge overlap.  I left the PUL edge raw and it's stretching a bit thin.  I also think I'm just gonna do suede cloth and the insert inside (instead of PUL on the inside).  And, lastly, I've got to better reinforce the sizing snaps at the front center with more PUL.


Materials:

  • outer is Eco-PUL from Diaper Sewing Supplies this pack here.
  • Alova suede cloth for the back flap also from Diaper Sewing Supplies
  • the built-in insert is 1 layer velour (closest to the baby butt), 1 layer bamboo terry, 1 layer hemp with PUL at the front

chalk markings for centering snaps