Motherhood

A Baby to Snuggle

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard the news, but I’ve neglected to share it here. Baby five has arrived!dsc_8962-copy

Little Ezra joined us about two months ago, though it feels like he’s always been a part of our family.

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He spends his days being adored by his big brothers. And I spend my days keeping his big brothers from smothering him with their love and affection. ;)

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Now I have an adorable model for my baby pants and baby hat patterns (which are both free, if you haven’t snagged them yet!)

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The hat has gone from wide cuff to narrow cuff as he’s grown, but he’s been wearing it since he came home from the hospital.

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The pants were a little big on him when he was first born, but they fit him perfectly now. He’s on the smaller side for his age, so he’s getting a little extra wear out of his itty bitty sizes, compared to some of his brothers.

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I haven’t been doing quite as much sewing as of late, but I’m squeezing it in when he lets me.

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These baby days will be gone before I know it, though, so I’m going to soak them up a little bit longer.

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Real Mom Confessions: How to End the Toothbrushing Battle

                                  

I think it’s fair to say that parents everywhere have experienced the same struggle at least a time or two: the dreaded tooth brushing battle! Whether it be a toddler who refuses to open her mouth or a preschooler who hates the taste of toothpaste or an older child who just can’t remember to brush, the struggle IS real. With four tooth-bearing kiddos, we’ve gone through our fair share of brushing battles. If you’re nodding your head, saying “Yes! This is me!” I have some toothbrushing tips to make brush time a little easier.

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Some of my kiddos have fought tooth brushing more than others, so I’ve used my fair share of tricks to try to get them to brush. I’m sure you parents can relate to this video:


(Click here if you’re having trouble viewing the video)

Here’s how we ended the tooth brushing battle in our house:

1. Make it silly

When you make a silly face, act like a monkey, or bring out the goofy voices, your toddler will have a hard time holding back his smiles. This relaxes you both and makes it more of a game, less of a battle.

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2. Don’t push it 

It’s important to brush your kiddos’ teeth,  but sometimes we just need to back off for awhile. If your little one is suddenly refusing to brush, take a few days off (her teeth won’t fall out!) and come back to it with a fresh approach.

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3. Give them control 

Kids love to be in control! Let your preschooler squeeze the toothpaste himself. Ask your elementary aged child to be the tooth brush monitor. Give your toddler a choice of toothpaste flavors.

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4. Buy a really yummy toothpaste

This kind of seems like a no-brainer, but honestly? Some kids’ toothpastes don’t taste good! Many have a fake taste that I wouldn’t enjoy using, so why would they?  Some of my boys are really picky about food, and they don’t care for traditional toothpaste flavors. I’ve truly never seen my kids like a toothpaste as much as they like this hello toothpaste. Sometimes they brush their teeth three times a day, without me even asking. What?!

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The unique flavors (watermelon and bubble gum are the kid favorites here) really get them excited to brush. And the toothpaste is naturally friendly, which makes this mama excited! I love when our personal care products say no: no dyes, parabens, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, triclosan, or microbeads. I’m super conscious of what we put in our bodies, so that’s all really important to me.

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Something else I love? These toothpastes have fluoride and fluoride free options. Personally, I love the natural sweet mint flavor (fluoride free!)

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I love anything that can make my mom life a little bit easier (can I get an Amen, mamas??), and eliminating brush time battles with hello toothpaste has made a huge difference in our house.

So time for your own real mom confessions… what crazy things have you done to get your kids to brush their teeth? What tips do you have to share??

Preparing for Baby: Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

We’re preparing for baby number five over here, and while we have most of the big things, there are a few things I’ve had on my to-make list. Somewhere along the line, I lost our portable diaper changing mat, and I really missed it with my fourth baby! And since you spend about thirty trillion hours changing a baby’s diapers, I had to make a new one.
Portable Changing Mat Tutorial

 

I just hit my third trimester, and I’m in full baby prep. I still have a ways to go before baby arrives, but you just never know when he will arrive! So I’m stocking up on everything we might need: clean onesies, pacifiers, nursing pads, and of course, DIAPERS! Walmart Neighborhood Market has everything we need for baby and more.

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When it comes to a portable changing pad, I wanted to have something that I could grab from my diaper bag and have everything I need. I don’t always like to take the diaper bag everywhere, so having a pocket for diapers and wipes was very important to me.

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One side of the changing mat is waterproof PUL (I also used that when making this wet bag), the other is cotton, with a layer of fleece in between.

Supplies:

  • 1 piece of cotton, fleece, and PUL fabric, each cut about 29x12in. (You can change this to suit your needs, of course)
  • 1/2in wide double fold bias tape, approx. 66in.
  • 1 small lingerie bag
  • KAM snaps
  • 1 button
  • 1 small piece of 1/8in. elastic
  • pins or Wonder Clips

1. Cut your three pieces of fabric to about 29x12in. My PUL was not long enough, so I pieced it together to get my desired length.

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2. Stack all three layers together. The fleece should be sandwiched between the cotton and PUL. The wrong sides of the PUL and cotton should be facing the fleece. Fold the fabrics in thirds as shown:

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3. Decide where you want your snaps to go – these will hold your mat closed. Unfold one third and mark where you’ll place your snaps.

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4. Apply your snaps. The snap in the PUL layer should ONLY go through the PUL. The snap on the cotton should ONLY go through cotton and fleece.

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5. Round out the four corners of ALL layers.

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6. Clip or pin the layers together.

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7. Take your lingerie bag and cut a few inches off the bottom (this will depend on how long your bag is and how large you’d like your pocket – you want it to be no bigger than 1/3 of your changing mat)

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8. Lay the lingerie bag down on top of the cotton side of your mat – the end WITHOUT the snap. Cut around the edges to round it to the same shape. You will cut off a small bit of the zipper on each side, so make sure your zipper is open slightly.

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9. Sew a small loop of elastic to the center of your lingerie bag (don’t sew onto your changing mat fabric, though!!)

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10. Hand sew one button onto the cotton/fleece fabrics. Do NOT sew through to the PUL.

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11. Now begin sewing on the bias tape around the edges. The bias tape and the mat should be right sides together. Fold 1/4in of your bias tape back as shown, and begin stitching it down along the first fold.

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12. Sew all the way around, taking care to sew the edges of the lingerie bag too, until the ends of the bias tape overlap 1/4-1/2in.

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13. Now fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the mat, clipping or pinning it together. Stitch it down carefully.

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Now you have a changing mat with two pockets, ready to be stuffed!

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Here it is, folded up and stuffed to the max with Huggies diapers, Huggies wipes, and anything else we might need.

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Over the years, we’ve used just about every type of Huggies diaper there is – we currently have kids wearing Good Nites to bed and one nearly-completely-but-not-entirely potty trained kiddo using the occasional Pull-Ups. And in a few months, we’ll be adding a newborn to the mix. Goodness…. so. many. diapers. I’m so thankful for diaper coupons!!

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Your Walmart Neighborhood Market has coupons for Huggies Diapers and Wipes, because with as many diapers as these babies use, we could all use a few coupons! But Walmart Neighborhood Markets have great prices to begin with, so the coupons are a bonus.

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I forgot how teeny baby diapers are! Eek!!

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Is it weird to be excited about changing diapers again?? Probably. ;)

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I’m so glad I have a portable changing mat again! It will be perfect for throwing in the diaper bag or stroller and giving me a nice clean, soft surface to change baby wherever we are.

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I love that I can stock up on all our baby diapering needs at Walmart Neighborhood Market, grab GoodNites for our bigger boys, and find whatever else we might need for all the kiddos – all at the same spot. One stop shopping is a busy mama’s dream!

Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

Before I know it, there will be a real baby lying on that mat!

Keeping the Kids Busy This Summer

Summer has officially begun, and you may be thinking of ways to keep your kiddos busy. We use screens really sparingly around here, but sometimes I just want something quick to occupy my boys. And if I don’t have something on hand, it’s super easy to fall back on iPads and Netflix. That’s why I’m so glad to have this Boredom Buster Kit from Andrea’s Notebook.

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This post contains affiliate links.

There are SO many different activities in this kit! Some of the activities require some additional craft supplies, but many of them are just print and go. And there’s such a wide variety of choices!boredom-busters-sales-image

After scrolling through the activities, I chose the Fill-in-the-Blank stories from the Creative Kit. I knew that my oldest would love this one, because it’s done MadLibs style.

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There are several stories to choose from, and the instructions are clear enough that your kids can do them on their own. One page is just for the words, so they fill it out without looking at the story. Adjectives, people, emotions, etc.

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Then they transfer the words over to the corresponding spot in the story. Sidenote: I love how bold and colorful these pages are! Fun and bright, just like summer!

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The giggles have begun!

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Have your kiddos read the story aloud to you, and watch as they laugh at their silly story!! Seriously, we had SO much fun with these!

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And share it with siblings, of course. These two would not.stop.laughing! I remember how much I loved these things as a kid, and they haven’t lost their appeal even now! Each story also has an additional activity that goes along with it – this one has your kiddo draw the silly robot they wrote about in the story.

Check out all the different activities that come in the Boredom Buster Kit:

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Use code BUSTERS10 for 10% off through July 31st

Buy Now!

You can buy the entire Boredom Buster Kit
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or you can purchase only the Adventure Kit

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Or you can purchase just the Creative Kit.

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Personally, I’m glad to have both kits, because the Adventure Kit is more outdoor activities and the Creative is more indoor – so some are great for getting outside in the summer sun, others are perfect for some downtime inside when it’s hot or rainy. Plus, there’s a bonus Reading Kit you can add on. This is full of printable book review pages, reading logs, library lists, bookmarks to color, and more. My boys love to read, so we are definitely going to use these!

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Once he had completed the first fill-in-the-blank story, my son asked for another and wouldn’t stop until we had gone through them all! It will be super fun to print these out again to do another version of these silly stories. After we do some of the other activities in the kit, of course. I’ve already printed out the story cubes from the Creative Kit, and they’re ready to go when the boredom strikes!

Use code BUSTERS10 for 10% off through July 31st
Buy Now!
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Buy Now!

Something New is Coming….

Or rather, someone. ;)

Blog Baby Announcement

This October we will be welcoming baby number five into our home! We are so excited to bring this new little miracle into the world. We’ll be finding out the baby’s gender later this month, but I’ll refer you to this post if you’re wondering my thoughts on possibly having a fifth boy. ;)

So get ready for more teeny tiny baby sewing!

Finding the Lovely in the Chaos

Motherhood is a chaotic business. Each day is filled with noise, lots of messes, and countless challenges. The days can be monotonous and exhausting. When faced with all the chaos, sometimes it can feel anything but lovely.

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Some days it’s easier just to focus on the challenges. To simply clean up the messes, change the diapers, and do the same things over again the next day.

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But every day has something lovely. Every moment. Even in the midst of a tantrum-throwing toddler, there is something lovely. The tear-stained hug when the crying stops, the laughter during the tickling that diffused the moment, the triumphant moment of standing your ground and not giving in to the kicking and screaming.

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“There is a correlation, I’m finding, between beauty and perseverance. It feels like beauty might be knots in the rope you are climbing, gas stations along the cross-country journey, the water stations strategically set up on a racecourse. Beauty is what makes it possible to keep going. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? It’s not just in the things everyone sees, but it is what YOU see, what sticks out to you, the unique moments God gives you to collect up and hold and draw strength from.”
-Annie F. Downs, Looking for Lovely
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Motherhood is a long-distance marathon. A test in endurance. An uphill climb. When you’re in the middle of the race, you feel tired. Your feet hurt. You can’t breathe. But as you keep going, you see the beauty in the persevering. You find your stride, you get your second wind, you drink some water and feel refreshed.

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Annie F. Downs recently released her latest book, Looking for Lovely. It is, in every sense of the word, lovely. I read it in two sittings, absolutely unable to put it down. This book reads a little like a memoir, as Annie shares her struggles and the loveliness she fought to find in the midst of them. Because sometimes you need to actively pursue the lovely. You have to ask the Father to show you all the good gifts He has put in your life, to open your eyes to what’s around you that you maybe haven’t noticed yet.DSC_6251-2 copy

That doesn’t mean that the chaos disappears or that suddenly life and motherhood become a walk in the park. Or that the messes are magically cleaned and the kids will never fight with each other. But looking for lovely can give you – give me – the change in perspective you need to embrace the chaos.

I don’t know about you, but I can always use more lovely in my life. Looking for Lovely is all about collecting the moments in your life that matter. In these days when I’m knee-deep in motherhood, I would much rather set my mind on what matters – the lovely, not the chaos. The snuggling on the couch, the basketball in the driveway, the “I love you” scrawled across the heart-shaped paper.

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Will you look for the lovely with me? Check out Annie F. Downs and her new book Looking for Lovely. I promise, you won’t regret it.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

An Ordinary Day in the Life

Last week, I woke with a long day ahead of me. My husband was out of town and the dangerously cold temperatures were going to keep us cooped up inside all day. I was faced with a choice: I could watch the hours drag on or I could capture the moments of the day, monotonous and messy though they may be. Into my head popped my dear sister-in-law and how she captured her own family’s season of life.

Brooke is an incredibly talented photographer in Michigan (we’re not blood related, so I’m not biased, I swear ;). She prefers to shoot in a photojournalism style, where no one is posed and she’s more a fly on the wall in the midst of whatever it is that’s going on. Looking at her photos is like getting a peek into someone’s life. I love that they capture a moment in time, and she inspired me to capture the ordinary.

I chose to make this a day worth remembering. I carried my camera around throughout the morning and early afternoon, only intervening as I normally would. Nothing was staged or posed. We went about our day, and I watched through my lens, finding the beauty in the everyday. There will never be another today, and I want to remember it. My floors weren’t swept and there are boxes piled up for our impending move, and most of the boys stayed in their jammies longer than necessary. There were tantrums and frustrations and cuddles and silliness. But oh, the sweetness of these boys. Their little toes and their eyes and their Star Wars obsession… these are the things dreams are made of. The way my family is right now won’t be how it is in six months, six years, sixteen years. I want to remember this moment, this season, in all its messiness and beauty.

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15 Gifts for Crafty Kids

If your kids are anything like mine, gifts that encourage creativity are always a safe bet. They love anything that allows them to express themselves. And I never have a problem buying them sewing and crafting supplies, because we are all about raising creative kids over here. Here are 15 gifts for crafty kids, that you still have time to get!

15 Gifts for Crafty Kids

15 Gifts for Crafty Kids:

(this post contains affiliate links – purchases through these links cost you nothing extra, but I receive a small commission, helping me to run this site!)

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Crafty Chloe – this book is ADORABLE. My boys absolutely love how Chloe makes gifts and clothes and all sorts of fun things!41cRbnczNrL._SX450_

Janome Mini – I highly recommend this sewing machine for kids! It works really well (I’ve used it in a pinch ;) and it’s built for even young kids to use safely.

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My First Sewing Kit – this kit has all your kiddos need to hand sew crafts!71fIRkDbHPL._SL1500_

Self-healing Cutting Mat – protect your kitchen table from scissors and scratches

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Sewing Kit – a must for any kiddo learning how to machine or hand sew

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Yarn Craft Kit – your kiddo can learn to knit, crochet, and make super fun accessories!

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Easel Accessory Set – this art set is perfect for many ages. I love sets like this where everything comes all together. These paint cups are so great too and prevent a lot of messes!

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Double-sided Easel – every artist needs an easel!

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Drawing Set – I like how this set has different mediums for drawing, giving your littles the opportunity to use many drawing methods. Perfect for all ages!

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Sketchbook – this is the sketch book that I use to plan out new designs and ideas, and I get them for my boys as well. They like having their drawings all in one spot, and I like not having a thousand different papers lying all over the place. ;)

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Craft-A-Day – this book is FULL of ideas for your crafting kiddos!51+2PgDb4TL

Felt – this is a must for crafting! There are so many things you can do with felt: sewing, crafting, gluing, cutting…

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Stained Fabric Markers – my favorite fabric markers! Pair these with some plain t-shirts or aprons for hours of entertainment.

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Assorted Craft Supplies – pretty self-explanatory ;)

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Embroidery Floss paired with Embroidery Hoops for hours of stitching fun!

Happy crafting, friends! :)

Momiform MAKEover – elevating the handmade mom uniform

If you come to my house on any given day, most likely you’ll find me in jeans and a T-shirt, with a cardigan thrown over top in cold weather. I spend most of my days chasing after my four ever-moving boys, plus homeschooling, so I need to be comfy. Back in my teaching days, I used to dress up nearly everyday, so my wardrobe has taken a distinct turn. When Lauren at Baste + Gather invited me to be part of her Momiform MAKEover series, I wanted to maintain the jeans and t-shirt comfort, but elevate the look a little bit.Momiform MAKEover - updating the mom uniform I came across all three of these fabrics on the same visit to JoAnn Fabrics, and the outfit together in my head immediately. Making over the mom uniform The cardigan is self-drafted. I’ve made another version, though I never blogged it. It’s a little drapey and super comfortable. Gwen Top and Real Deal Jeans 5 I am absolutely in love with this floral! This cardi is going to be a wardrobe staple from now on! Gwen Top and Real Deal Jeans 6 Awhile back, I adopted a pair of pink jeans at a clothing swap, and I was super excited about them. But after wearing them once, I realized they were a little too big. So when I ran across this pink denim, I knew I wanted to recreate them. Gwen Top and Real Deal Jeans 10 Using the Real Deal Jeans pattern from Winter Wear Designs that I used here, I successfully made my second pair of jeans (holla!!). I modified them a bit from the pattern again, but I’m getting close to the fit I’d like. Real Deal Jeans I love love love this pink! Gwen top and Real Deal Jeans 2The fabric is pretty nice, though it doesn’t have quite the recovery that I’d like. When I made them, the fit was fantastic, but they stretched a little and didn’t keep their shape as much as I’d have hoped. All jeans will stretch a little as you wear them, but I may end up taking them in just a little bit to account for that. But I’m still so happy with how they turned out!  Gwen top and Real Deal jeansThe shirt is the top version of the Gwen, from the new Pattern Anthology bundle, which is on sale through 10/2. I absolutely love the fit, and the functional button placket is such a neat detail. Gwen Top and Real Deal Jeans 3 I made the elbow length sleeves, so that the top could easily transition between multiple seasons. The combo of the polka dots and the pink jeans makes me swoon a little bit. Mommy Wardrobe Makeover The button placket is a little wider than most, and I love the interest it brings to the top. My machine hates buttonholes, so I fought with it until giving in to manual buttonholes (there may or may not have been tears involved…) Even though the placket is functional, it slips over my head easily and wouldn’t need to be. But nursing mamas, this is a pattern for you! Even the dress could be made with the placket – a nursing friendly dress!!Gwen Top and Real Deal Jeans 11 Honestly, this outfit is one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. It’s comfy and relaxed, but I feel a little more put-together than usual. I could easily go straight from taking care of the kids to out with my man in this outfit, just by throwing on a pair of heels. Assuming, of course, that I don’t have some sort of food or bodily fluid wiped on me somewhere. ;) Momiform MAKEover - making over the mom wardrobe

 I’m glad for this push to elevate my mom uniform a little bit!! Ever since I committed to sewing more for myself, I’ve tripled the amount of handmade clothes in my closet, and I’ve stepped way out of my comfort zone. If you haven’t started sewing for yourself yet, now is your chance: Lauren has put together a phenomenal giveaway and discounts, and I’ve seen some of the amazing outfits that are part of this series for your sewing inspiration, and you need to check them out!Momiform MAKEover

REMEMBER: Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the two separate Rafflecopters! 50+ winners will be selected! Get 10% off your fabric order from now through October 1 at Michael Levine/LowPriceFabric.com with code: Makeover10

Get 20% off your pattern order now through October 1 at UpCraft Club with code: MOMIFORM Are you MAKE-ing over your Momiform? Join the fun on Instagram with hashtag #momiformmakeover

 


 

Be sure to check out all the awesome series participants to get lots of momiform inspiration!

Reyna Lay Designs | Call Ajaire | Golden Rippy | Love Notions Sew Not Perfect | Scientific Seamstress | Rebel & Malice Creative Counselor | Mabey She Made It | If Only They Would Nap | Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts Shaffer Sisters | FABulous Home Sewn | Fa Sew La | Baste + Gather Lulu & Celeste | Swoodson Says | Phat Quarters | Hey June | Stitch Upon a Time Climbing the Willow | Everything Your Mama Made & More | Näh-Connection | 110 Creations A Jennuine Life | Straight Stitch Designs | Sew Straight & Gather | KZJO’STUDIO Wild & Wanderful | Mae & K | Handmade Frenzy | HattieLu Handmade

 


Sponsors

 

momiform major sponsors

Special thanks to these major sponsors who generously donated the following items for the giveaway:

(There will a different winner for each line item so we can spread the love around!)

Janome – One Skyline S5 Sewing Machine* Indiesew – Four $50 gift certificates (four separate winners) Michael Levine / Low Price Fabric – Four $25 gift certificates (four separate winners) and 10% discount for readers through October 1 – code: Makeover10 UpCraft Club – Two $25 gift certificates (two separate winners) and 20% discount on patterns through October 1 – code: MOMIFORM

And the following pattern designers who graciously provided patterns for the series participants and/or contributed the following items for the giveaway:

Grainline Studio – Two patterns of your choice True Bias – Hudson Pants & Southport Dress patterns Colette -Two patterns of your choice Closet Case Files -Two patterns of your choice Sew Much Ado -Two patterns of your choice Sew Straight & Gather – Three patterns of your choice Golden Rippy – Two patterns of your choice 110 Creations: A Sewist’s Notebook Patterns for Pirates – Two patterns of your choice Itch to Stitch – Two patterns of your choice Mouse House Creations – Two patterns of your choice Hey June Handmade -Two patterns of your choice Peekaboo Pattern Shop – Three patterns of your choice Go-to Patterns – One women’s pattern of your choice GreenStyleCreations -Two patterns of your choice Puperita – One pattern of your choice Sofilantjes – Two patterns of your choice Charlotte Kan – One pattern of your choice So Sew Easy – Two patterns or one bundle of your choice OUSM Designs – Women’s Thumbs-Up Tee pattern E-Beth Designs – Two patterns of your choice Muffin Head Patterns – Any pattern of your choice up to $10 GrayDay Patterns – Sandpoint Top or Athena Top pattern (your choice) Scientific Seamstress – One pattern of your choice Stitch Upon a Time – $20 gift card 5 out of 4 – Two patterns of your choice Frianki Patterns – Two patterns of your choice KZ Jo Studio – Two patterns of your choice Straight Stitch Designs – Full collection of patterns Sewing Patterns by Aivilo Charlotte – Two patterns of your choice Striped Swallow Designs – Two patterns of your choice Rose and Lee Designs – Two patterns of your choice Sewing Geek Patterns – One pattern of your choice Filles a Maman – One pattern of your choice Bella Sunshine Designs – One pattern of your choice Liola Designs – One pattern of your choice Cali Faye Collection – One pattern of your choice Tinman Patterns – Orbit Skirt pattern Felicity Sewing Patterns – Two patterns of your choice Winter Wear Designs – Two patterns of your choice Ellie Inspired – Three patterns of your choice Love Notions – One pattern of your choice a Sparkly Baby – Two patterns of your choice Terra’s Treasures Designs – Two patterns of your choice

*Janome giveaway winner must be located in U.S.A. and is therefore on a separate Rafflecopter below. Machine must be picked up at a local dealer; it cannot be shipped.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

This second Rafflecopter includes all the other sponsor items since they can be awarded internationally! You must enter both Rafflecopters in order to be entered to win both the sewing machine and the rest of the giveaway items. All patterns awarded will be in PDF format. Enjoy!

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Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial and tips for potty training

We’re about to enter a stage of life that I have to admit, is not my favorite. The potty training stage. Potty training seems to go one of two ways in my house: complete and total disaster or epic triumph. I have yet to have an in between experience. Having been through this three times already, I have a few tips, as well a tutorial for my number one must-have for potty training: a wet bag! With this in hand, I have all that I need to survive with hopefully as few disasters as possible.Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial

Tips for Potty Training

  1. Follow your child’s leading. If he or she is not ready, you can’t force them to potty train. If they are showing signs that they are interested or ready (telling you when they go in their diaper, asking to use the potty, etc.) give it a try!
  2. Relax. Seriously, don’t freak out. Barring a medical issue, your child will not go to high school in diapers. You will get through this.
  3. Set a timer. Put your child on the potty every thirty minutes during the first few days of potty training. Even if they have accidents, you’ll probably get lucky and some of those times he or she will have to go, and they’ll start to get the hang of it.
  4. Be consistent. Come up with a mantra, potty routine, reward, a song you sing, whatever works for your family. Say it often and be consistent about it. Kids love routine!
  5. Remember that accidents happen. Your child could be one of those kiddos that gets it from the first try, but more than likely, accidents will happen. Keep calm and positive, and remind your child what to do next time.
  6. Use Pull-Ups when you’re out-and-about and for naptime. Since they pull up and down, they give your kiddo the independence of underwear, but they’ll help prevent a major disaster in aisle five. (see below for a coupon!)
  7. Carry a Wet Bag. Once you’ve started potty training, and for awhile after you think your little one has it down, you’ll want to carry a wet bag. This will give you a waterproof bag to carry soiled clothing, so that your diaper bag or purse stay dry. Much nicer than carrying plastic grocery bags everywhere. Wet bags have saved the day on numerous occasions!

Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial

Supplies:

  • 4 pieces of your chosen non-stretchy fabric 10×13 inches (for the outside of the bag)
  • 2 pieces of PUL 10×13
  • Ribbon or twill tape (optional)
  • 7in. zipper for pocket (or longer – you will shorten it)
  • 9in. zipper for top (or longer – you will shorten it)

1. Take two of the main fabric pieces and put them right side together. Draw a narrow rectangle approximately 6 3/4in. long by 3/8in. high on the wrong side of one piece. I did this about 4.5 inches down from the top.

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2. Stitch around the rectangle (through both pieces of fabric). Then cut down the center of the rectangle, making two small cuts toward the corners on both ends, as you can see in the photo. Make sure you don’t cut your stitches.
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3. Flip the top piece to the other side and press. You will now have an opening for your zipper pocket.

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4. Pin the zipper behind the opening and sew it to the fabric. Stitch close to the ends of the fabric.

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5. Now place another fabric piece down right side up. Place the zippered piece on top (zipper pull on top). Then stay stitch these two pieces together all around. (In my photo, I accidentally put my bottom piece wrong side up. If you do this, you will see the wrong side of your fabric when you open the zipper.)

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6. Sandwich your zipper in between your PUL and your outside fabric. The right sides of the fabric should be facing each other, and the outer fabric should be against the zipper pull. The right side of the PUL is the waterproof side – it’s shinier. Sew along this side, next to the zipper.

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7. Flip those fabrics back and top-stitch them onto the zipper. (The picture below isn’t the best and it shows both sides sewn on, but it shows you the final product after top-stitching)

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8. Now repeat with the second piece of PUL and the last piece of outer fabric. Again you will sandwich the zipper between your outer fabric and PUL with the right sides against the zipper (and the outer fabric against the zipper pull). The fabrics you just sewed will also be in between.

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9. Now repeat the top-stitching on the zipper as you did in step 7. Now it really will look like this picture.

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10. If you would like a handle, choose a ribbon or a piece of twill tape and fold in half. Place it in between the two zippers, with the raw (not folded) edge toward the outside. Pin the ribbon in place.

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11. Open the zipper 3/4 of the way. Now lay the fabrics flat, right sides together. You will have your PUL on one side and the outer fabrics on the other. Pin/clip the sides together.

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11. Sew around all four edges, leaving an opening to turn the bag right side out. Clip the corners and extra seam allowance.

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Then turn it right side out, hand stitch the PUL lining closed, and you’re officially prepared for potty training accidents on-the-go! Or anything else you might need a wet bag for: swimming, road trips, canoe rides, etc.DSC_0788

Pull-Ups and Family Dollar have teamed up to ease the pain of potty training a little bit by giving you a deal on Pull-Ups. I do love a good deal. ;)

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This being the fourth time we’ve potty trained, this really is a product we use at our house. And diapers are expensive, so I take a good deal whenever I can find one!

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The wet bag is nice and roomy, and you can easily alter the dimensions to make a larger wet bag for traveling or even at-home use, especially if you’re a full-time or part-time cloth diapering family.

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You can use the inside PUL-lined pocket for wet items, and then use the outer pocket for extra diapers, wipes, underwear, etc.

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And you can carry this bag around without everyone knowing you’re hauling diapers and wet undies around with you. And then when your kids are out of diapers, use the bag to carry your phone and keys to the pool!
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You can click here to locate a Family Dollar store near you.DSC_0810

Happy sewing, friends!