Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Waterproof Carseat Stroller Blanket

One of the greatest things I bought for Gracie is a waterproof car seat & stroller blanket. One side is nylon, one side is fleece.
The fleece side keeps Gracie warm and cozy. (My little monkey was taking a nap, so sock monkey volunteered to model.)
The nylon side can be flipped up as a temporary rain guard from rain or snow...
There are also ties on each side, so that you can tie it onto the car seat or the stroller so those wiggly little feet don't kick it off.
(Come on, I can't be the only one that has had a blanket go sailing down the side walk because my future soccer player decided she was done with it!)

Although I bought my blanket, I couldn't help but think how easy (and cheaper!) it would be to make your own. So I made one for my dear friend Amanda who is having a new baby boy very soon.
And now I'm going to show you how to make your own!

You will need one piece of nylon, one piece of fleece. I also used a piece of white flannel, since my nylon was kind of see-through and you could see the polka dots through it. For some reason this bugged me, so I used the white flannel to make the nylon not so see through. It made for a thicker blanket, so you can definitely leave this piece out if you want and just use the nylon and the fleece.
 Cut each piece to size of 24" x 36". Lay them on top of each other. You want the nylon and fleece facing each other. (Again, if you want to skip the flannel you definitely can...in which case you'll only have the two bottom layers in this photo.)
 Pin them together all around the edge. Make sure to trim any excess so your fabrics line up exactly.
Next we need to add in the ties. Cut four pieces of ribbon, all equal lengths. I cut mine 14".
Measure down one of the long sides about 1/3 of the way down. It doesn't have to be exact. Take two pieces of ribbon and pin them in between the fleece and nylon layers. You want the ribbon to be inside the blanket at this point. Repeat on the other side. Make sure you put the ribbon on each side the same distance from the top on each side..
 Finish pinning your blanket together so that you have pinned all four sides. Sew around the edge, leaving a few inch opening at the bottom. Make sure your ribbons you pinned are tucked inside and you don't sew them back into the blanket. (You of course sew through the edge of the ribbon that you pinned...just not the loose edge that is dangling inside the blanket.)
 Clip the corners. Turn right side out, using a pin or your seam ripper to pick out the corners so they are as pointy sharp as you can get them.
 You'll see how your ribbons are now coming out the side of the blanket.
Press the edges so they are nice and flat. Fold under your opening a bit and press.
Top stitch all the way around the edge of the blanket, making sure you catch both pieces of the fabric when sewing your opening closing. I stitched 1/4inch from the edge, but you can really do whatever looks best to you.
 Again, be sure to move the ribbons out of the way when you stitch by them...you don't want to stitch them back to the blanket!
 And you're done! Tie that blanket onto your car seat or stroller and your little monkey will stay warm & dry.
 And even the slickest of Houdini's wont kick this blanket off! 

This item is probably on my top 5 favorite baby items list. Yes, I think it's that great! I have used it every single day, rain or shine, since it arrived in the mail months ago. I have also used it as a nursing cover by tying the sides together and just throwing it around my neck. I have thrown it on the ground when we were playing outside, since the nylon keeps the fleece dry from wet grass. I have thought about making a lighter weight one for summer with nylon and interlock too. So really, make one! For yourself, or the new mom on the block. She will thank you!! And you can thank me later. ;) Enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Inspiration

Source: bing.com via Danielle on Pinterest

After a long night with the little one, I woke up this morning with only five hours of sleep. It would have been easy to skip the gym, to stay in my pj's, to wallow in my self misery that my child has not yet learned the glorious joy of sleeping through the night. But instead, I got dressed and dragged my sleep deprived booty to the gym. And 3 miles later, I walked out feeling refreshed & renewed. Of course that might have been the caffeine talking...

But either way, I can proudly say that today I loved myself enough to take an hour for me.
What was your inspiration today?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sweater & pattern refashions

Even though we are approaching spring here in PA, it's still chilly enough for cozy sweaters. Gracie needed a few warmer clothes to get her through till the warm weather shows up, since she of course basically outgrew everything in her closet over night. So I whipped her up this little cutie:
I love a good refashion. I mean, who doesn't? It's free. I like free. So I went "shopping" in my own closet and found a turtleneck sweater that I never wore anymore. It never really fit all that great to begin with so I was happy to chop it up!
Using my "lil blue boo sienna dress" pattern, I took that worn out sweater and turned it into this little sweater.
I think it's sometimes overlooked that you can take a pattern and alter it just slightly to fit what you desire. Here I shortened the dress pattern and cut the sides straight down instead of angled out. It was a super simple adjustment and I didn't have to buy a whole new pattern. I guess you could call it refashioning a pattern to refashion a sweater? A confusing way to say, use whatcha got!
I used the bottom hem of the sweater and sleeves when cutting out the pattern, and used a portion of the neck from the original sweater. This saves so much time and keeps your refashioned sweater looking much more professional.
And to avoid hearing "Oh, how old is your little boy" one more time in the grocery store, I added a little bow with a strip of sweater. 
Since I have used the sienna dress pattern so many times, I was able to whip up this little sweater during Gracie's nap time AND have time leftover to waste with a diet coke and Pinterest. Win! 
Have a great day everyone!