March 10, 2014

The [Diaper] Bag

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I never was a purse kind of girl. I had one back in my teenage years, but since it was too small to hold a book, I ditched it. Not a problem because up until last year I almost always had some sort of school bag with me which held everything I needed. In its absence, I used reusable shopping bags, totes, and pockets. Worked for me!

Enter baby stuff.

A few weeks into baby N's life, I realized how tiring and inefficient it is to be running around the apartment, collecting baby paraphernalia and my own wallet/keys/cell phone every time we wanted to go out. I had to face the truth: I needed a bag to keep it all contained. Permanently. I did try throwing the lot into my favourite tote, which resulted in a large tangled mess. I had to come up with something a little more organized, but I wasn't too keen on the generic diaper bag.

Enter Pinterest.

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I found this lovely diaper bag pattern by Amber from Make Baby Stuff.com and instantly knew that this was a diaper bag for me: it looked simple, spacious, and relatively simple to make for the sewing noob that I am. I printed the pattern, gathered supplies... and many days later, after having ripped out the stitches for the twentieth time (no, really), I had myself a bag that I love and enjoy using. Tadaaa!

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I must say this was a good beginner project for me. In the process, I learned how to:

- make an inside pocket
- install a clasp
- make straps and outside pockets
- sew a zipper (I failed, but I get the concept now...)

And I got something useful in the end! Win win! Don't you like beginner projects that actually lead somewhere? I remember looking at all the crocheted washcloths and wondering what ever will I do with these? Of course, if you actually use washcloths, then you probably won't share my puzzlement.

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Here are a couple of things I noticed along the way:

- I should have heeded Amber's advice and added a velcro strip on the back pocket (not pictured here), as it is too flimsy to keep anything heavier than a handkerchief without opening up. Shame, because it is a nice large pocket with lots of potential.

- For a sturdier bag, I would consider adding interfacing to the cotton lining. I did however use a nice sturdy canvas on the outside and am pretty happy with the results. I like that the bag is "baggy".

- I'm thinking of maybe fashioning a divider out of sturdy material (felt or thick interfacing) to better separate the bag's contents. I'll let you know if I try it!

So. If you are in need of a diaper bag (or just a large bag, really), head over to MakeBabyStuff.com and don't forget to share pictures of what you make! Happy sewing!



Materials and resources:
- The Detour Diaper Bag pattern by Amber of MakeBabyStuff.com
- Water repellent cotton duck, cotton fabric for lining, and magnetic snap from fabric.com
- The lovely patterned fabric is called Critter Camp and is from the Fort Firefly collection created by Teagan White for Birch Fabrics. I bought it from fabricworm, but they seem to be out of this particular pattern at the moment.

February 20, 2014

Just when you thought I disappeared forever...



Oh my. I think I'm just going to pretend that I have not ignored this blog for over a year. Nope. Didn't happen.

Not that I had nothing to post about. It has been a very eventful year (more on this in a minute). I just have a horrible track record of... well, record keeping.

And it's not like I've ignored the blog either. It has been there in my thoughts. I must have mentally written a post a week, at least. What? You're saying you didn't get those? Man, when telepathic blogging kicks in, I'll be there at the top of the list, just you wait and see.

While I'm here, I'll just give you a quick overview of my year, shall I? It can be summarized into three main events:

1. I have completed my Master's degree in biochemistry which made me, wait for it... Master of Science. It sounds waaaaay cooler than it actually is, but I'm really glad I got there.

2. We moved to Charleston, SC (yup, crossed the border, and then some), because D, now Master of Engineering, got his first real-life job here. Charleston is a beautiful city and while I sometimes miss Montreal, I am excited about living in The South. Everything is new and different... and flowers bloom in February! The world has gone mad.

3. September has brought a new addition to our tiny family! Little girl N has been a source of great joy for us and we are feeling so very lucky to have her. 

As you can imagine, I am being kept quite busy these days, but I have been itching to share some of my recent crafting adventures. With a bit of luck, I will be more present around here. That's a vague possibility promise! Maybe a post a week to begin with?

See you around!

Above is a photo we took of one of the gorgeous Charleston mansions not long after moving here. Just to clarify... that's not our house.

January 28, 2013

January Happenings


Have I been MIA on this blog for over a month? Yes, I have. Has January been a long and frustrating month? You bet! Am I glad to turn the page on it? Yes, please! But before we fall into February, here's what I've been up to, in no particular order:

- The picture above is of our very own underground. We live in a signature Montreal row house: the house has three floors, each of which is an apartment with its own separate entrance. Our apartment is on the ground floor, so we actually have access to the basement/underground from our entrance hall. We got to explore it last week when, due to butt-freezing temperatures, our hot water pipes froze and refused to yield any water. Down went D to get some sense into the wretched things. He managed to thaw them with the help of an old radiator, using Christmas lights as an extension cord. Festive!

- I have been enrolled to help Lisa with her grandiose crocheting project and can't wait for my hook and thread to arrive! I check the mailbox several times a day, even when I know the mailman hasn't passed yet. If you're interested, drop her a line, she is probably still on the lookout for helpers!

- For Christmas, D gave me Geninne's Making an Impression. I love everything Geninne makes and this book has had me itching to try some stamp-carving of my own. It is such a gorgeous book!


- Meet Totoro, the latest addition to our family! If you have never seen the animated movie by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, it is a must. If you have, you know why we wanted him in our home! I used the pattern written by Lucy Ravenscar who has some of the best amigurumi crochet patterns out there. Pretty soon this grey Totoro will be joined by his blue and white companions. It's a party!