samantha liz

Complete and Utterly Blatant Spam

The lovely ladies over at the Inspired Congo asked me if I would do a guest stocking so I decided to do it right and offer up a lottery for 2 patterns completely free and sell 4 others at the lovely price of $10 each free shipping :)

http://hyenacart.com/Inspired/

They go live today and the lottery lasts till Tuesday! Sign up over on hyenacart.com is easy and free, so be sure to enter!!

Stellar Sprightlys, or is it Sprightly Stellars?

Well, whatever it is, it’s Molly ASKING to go on the potty!

That’s right πŸ˜‰ our 23 month old started asking to go on the potty herself about a month ago (when she was 22 months, lol). A neighbor of mine asked if we could have a sewing session and we made up some training pants for her son using the Sprightly Soaker & Underwear Pattern and the free add-on.
The Sprightly Soakers we made.

Add on soaker pads sewn to inners!

I WAS totally set to sew Molly up some cloth diapers using the Little Half Moon pattern for outings (I even cut them all out), but she had her own ideas! Molly started asking to go on the potty out of nowhere and wanting to wear Thomas’ underwear. She needed her own and fast! Never being able to leave well enough alone, I decided to make her some Stellar Transitions
but I wanted to make them without waterproofness and without FOE.

I grabbed my Sprightly Soaker and Underwear pattern and used the bands for the size medium using the same length, but cutting the width down to about 4″ for the waist and about 3″ for the legbands (She’s tiny, lol… She’s in 18-24 month ST).
Sprightly Stellars

They fit PERFECT! I have since made her 5 more pairs of Sprightly Underwear with the extra layer, and she is doing great! I foresee some regular Sprightly Underwear in her very near future! Note to self: must get cracking on child #3 so I can keep on sewing cloth diapers! Totally kidding, of course, I think… lol!

Little One Size Pocket Diaper Tutorial

My ever lovely licensee Jessica from Utopian Dreams is an expert Little One Size
maker, and she was so kind to write up this tutorial on how she makes the cloth diaper pattern into a pocket diaper. She’s very clever in her snap pocket, I admire her ingenuity πŸ˜‰ Go try it!

-Samantha

——————-

With this being the first in-depth tutorial I have written, I tried to be as detailed as possible but if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask. This was done with the side snapping version, but is pretty easily translated over to the front snapping.

1. Gather your supplies. I did also use a hole punch that wasn’t pictured.

2. Mark your pattern. You can decide if you want them on your master pattern or if you want to trace a new one specifically for pockets. Personally, I am lazy and put it on my master pattern. You can determine how much of an overlap you prefer for you sham openings. The way this is written there is an inch overlap initially but it gets decreased down to about 3/4″ when the hemming is complete.
Lay your pattern down and measure 5″ from the front panel. Make a dot at each corner of the ruler.

Turn your ruler sideways and draw a line through those two points. (You have got to love algebra coming into play in diaper making!)

Lay your pattern down and measure 4″ from the front panel. Make a dot at each corner. Repeat the line process.

Now, I often sew way too late or way too early and get confused easily. Therefore, I label my lines with which correlates to the back versus the front. It saves a lot of swearing in the long run!

3. Making a pattern piece. You need a special pattern piece for the rise snaps of the pocket. This pattern piece will serve two purposes: It will make something for you to trace and apply rise snaps too and it will also help with placement of that piece on your inner.

Measure the distance between the rise snaps (shhh it is 2.5″)

Knowing this, cut a piece of paper or poster board to 2″ x 4″ in order to provide enough room to comfortably sew around. Now, you need to find the center point of the piece. Two lines will take care of that!

Next, measure 1.25″ out from that center point in each direction and make a mark. (Don’t worry, you cannot measure the wrong way because the other direction is only an inch wide from the center!) Punch holes through those markings.
Place the pattern piece on top of your full pattern and bask in amazement at the accuracy of your measurements! Wow, you are awesome!!

4. Time to put your new pattern piece to work! Now, since this piece will be on the inside of your pocket. You can use pretty much whatever material you see fit. I used the same suedecloth as the inner but even absorbent material would work!
Trace the pattern piece and cut out two layers of fabric. Leave a bit around the outside of the traced line.

Apply one socket and one stud on the snap placement markings.

Take it to the machine and sew ON the line that you traced

Trim the excess fabric to even up your seam allowance.

OK, set this piece aside for now.

5. Inner cutting time! Trace around your pattern on the wrong side of your fabric and stop your tracing lines when they are at the appropriate “pocket” line on your pattern. (side note: remember which line is which or you will wind up with pattern pieces that don’t overlap) Also, make sure to mark the snap placement for the rise snaps as well. Feel free to leave off the soaker snap placement though…you will not be using them.
Use your wonderful algebraic skills to draw a line between these two points.

Repeat for the front panel piece as well.

6. Placing the rise snaps! OK, at this point you have what looks like standard inner layers for a sham pocket diaper and a funky little piece of fabric with two snaps attached. Those snaps need to be part of this diaper!
Pull out your little pattern piece and place it over the markings on the wrong side of your inner. Once you have the piece lined up so that you can see the markings through the holes, trace around it.

This will leave you with a layer that looks like this:

Pin your snapped piece with cap sides down to the WRONG side of the inner (If you pin it to the right side… you will kick yourself later).

Sew around the piece on the same line as before (I change my bobbin thread to coordinate with the inner, but that is not necessary).

Flip the inner over and look at the right side! YAY! Just a 2″x4″ square and no snaps against the baby!

7. Hemming and assembly! I do not hem the part of the inner that will be hidden when the diaper is complete. I find that by leaving it without a hem it cuts down on bulk, strain on the machine and it lays flatter to boot. If you are using a fabric that will fray, you will want to at least serge the bottom of that piece. For the front panel piece you will need a hem.
Measure 1/4″ from the bottom of the piece and mark two dots.

Draw a line at that 1/4″ level.

Fold the fabric along that line and pin with wrong sides facing each other. (Yes, for those of you who know me, I am now a reformed pinner. LOL)

Sew hem down. I again left the bobbin thread the color as the inner.

Grab your outer fabric and place the front panel piece right sides together on top of it.

Lay the back panel piece right side down on top of both of your other layers.

Pin everything together.

Sew All the way around. Remember, you don’t have to leave an opening because you can turn through the pocket! Seriously, that is my favorite part! Apply the elastic, topstitching, snaps, etc. according to the t&t version of the pattern.

8. YOU ARE DONE! You now have a one sized pocket diaper. The weight and size range will vary a bit depending on what type of fabrics you used, but it is nice to have the ease of use of a pocket combined with the convenience of a one sized diaper!
The rise is so simple to adjust. You can either do it with the diaper right side out simply by feeling around and snapping the snaps together, or you can turn it inside out and snap them together that way.

**Disclaimer: designs used on this diaper were hand digitized for personal use only by a member of a message board I frequent. This diaper was a shower gift for a friend and was not sold for profit!**

Now, get out there and make some LOS pocket diapers! You know you want to πŸ˜‰

Making your own cloth diapers

So you have a sewing machine that your Great Aunt Elda gave to you when you got married (or you stumbled on a great deal on craigslist). You could be just starting out; only ever using it to fix some seams on some old shirts, or maybe you have lots of sewing hours in, making dresses for your daughter or even yourself. You find yourself saying; “It doesn’t look that hard.” when you look at a cloth diaper. Well, the truth is, it’s not… If you know the right terminology, that is.

Being a pattern designer, my email is filled with questions daily: “How do I T&T?”; “Does this come with an insert pattern, as well as the pattern for a cover?”; “What’s the difference between inner fabric, outer fabric, hidden inner fabric, soaker fabric? How many of each do I need and where do they all go?” All of those are questions I actually just replied to from my inbox, and I will address them here along with a few others.

How do I T&T?
Simply put the first T stands for turning and the second T is topstitching. Basically you sew the diaper right sides together, leaving an opening somewhere described in the pattern; turn it right side out, pin together the opening so it matches the rest of the edge and topstitch around. A turning tool (I use a bone folder, but a plain old chopstick works great) will really help the wings stay even when turning, so I highly recommend that.

TWH
The Tighty Whitey Hipster pattern is a freebie T&T pattern, you can see some pictures of how to here: http://makingitlittlebylittle.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/oldies-are-goodies-but-freebies-are-oh-so-sweet/

Does this come with an insert pattern, as well as the pattern for a cover?
Mostly these questions come from folks that aren’t familiar with cloth diapering in general. Most of my diaper patterns include instructions for making All-in-One diapers (like a disposable), Fitteds (absorbent only, requires a cover of some sort), Covers (waterproof only, needs an absorbent inside. Can be a fitted, or even prefolds). For greater detail in descriptions of types of cloth diapers and add-ons (like inserts) check out http://www.zany-zebra.com/types-of-cloth-diapers.shtml.

What’s the difference between inner fabric, outer fabric, hidden inner fabric, soaker fabric? How many of each do I need and where do they all go?
Wow, slow down there! That’s actually a bunch of questions! LOL Okay, so from the outside of the diaper towards baby: outer fabric, hidden inner fabric, soaker fabric, then inner fabric. Some recommendations for the ladder are as follows;
All-in-One(AIO)/Pocket outer fabric: PUL or Polyester fleece works great. You can use Alpine, Blizzard or Anti-pill fleece from Joann’s for an inexpensive route (find coupons!) all the way up to Malden Mills 200-300wt Polartec works well. You can’t use wool as the waterproofing fabric, because it requires different care then the absorbant materials.
Fitted outer fabric, AIO & Fitted inner fabric: Cotton, Hemp, Bamboo knits work well here. Fun prints for the outers of the fitteds are always a big hit with the kids. If you are going for the “I can’t feel wet” idea, which works wonders for overnight and outings, get some microfleece. Knits, such as interlock, jersey, velour, etc, will give you the largest range of fit. For frugality, it’s totally fine to go with wovens such as flannels and birdseye for full body layers (if you are using wovens and want the “I can’t feel wet” effect, try suedecloth), and pretty cotton quilting wovens for outers. Heck, while we are on the topic of cheap, search through old clothes, t-shirts work WONDERFULLY, and are found a plenty, look for natural fabrics and make sure you are using fabric with no more the 20% polyester content.
Hidden inner fabric: Remember those cotton t-shirts you found? Use the discolored and stained ones here πŸ˜‰ No, really, you won’t see them and they are just added to stabilize the soaker fabric. I won’t tell. (or you could use similar fabric to your inner, you know, whatever you are comfortable with. LOL)
Soaker fabric: This is where you get most of your absorbency from. Some folks like microfiber (towels in the car section) and zorb, others like french terrys and fleeces(cotton, bamboo or hemp here, not poly fleece!), and others still like birdseye and warm and natural cotton batting. Try a few out and see what you like best!

As far as numbers of fabric for each layer; there is a balance that you need to find between bulk and absorbency, for a “general average wetter” you should be fine with 3 body layers (outer, hidden inner, and inner) and a 3 layer soaker (microfiber, zorb, french terrys, old towels, lol, you get the idea) for the thicker fabrics or 6 layer for the thinner (birdseye, flannel, jersey) ones. Sew one up and see if you need more or less. For example, french terry is very absorbent and thicker then birdseye, but thinner then terry toweling. Birdseye is absorbent and about similar thickness flannel.

Just a couple last things to remember when sewing your own.
1.) Ballpoint needles are your friend. They don’t pierce the fabric they “push” the fibers away to go through, not causing runs (think those pesky stockings).
2.) When sewing on knits, a stitch length of 4 or greater for a straight stitch is where you want to keep your settings. It will provide enough stretch so that when you pull the fabric, the stitches will move with it and not break.
3.) Remember to relax! Sit down when the kids are in bed with a cup of tea and read the instructions. Reread them. Read them one last time for good measure. Pattern designers sometimes take weeks upon weeks to write these up making sure they are both informative and easy to follow. Don’t ask me how I know. πŸ˜‰

The Little One Size Diaper Pattern and gDiaper Inserts, Perfect fit :)

When I go on vacation, people always ask if I bring my cloth diapers with me. Well, the short answer is yes… and no. πŸ˜‰ While I flat out refuse to buy disposables, mostly because of their lack of biodegradability, while out in uncharted laundromat territory, I do crave the convenience. Lucky, I found gDiapers.
gDiaper and Little One Size Covers

While I must admit I have never purchased a ‘little g’ pant, I have completely fallen for the plastic-free flushable diaper refills that gDiaper makes. They fit PERFECTLY in the covers I’ve made with the Little One Size Diaper Pattern.

Insides

The size Small fits great in a snapped down LOS and the Medium/Large is nice and cosy in the full rise. No folding, no stuffing in, no leaks, just pure bliss. :)

Diva Weekend Pants and a top to match :)

So I’ve been in the process of refining my Diva Weekend Pants pattern to release to testers for phase #2 and I sewed up Molly a pair out of cotton lycra and a polar fleece pair for a friend’s daughter. I am in love with my new top pattern (this is top #2 that I have sewn from this self drafted pattern, so look out for more variations and a final release in the future) so I paired them together.

Within minutes of dressing her, Molly decided that she needed to “create” as well. Adding lovely grape juice spots all over the front of her newly sewn shirt πŸ˜‰ Oh well, at least I got a couple pictures of it first.

On the upside, I found that it looks totally cute with this RTW dress/top combo too πŸ˜‰ lol…

As always you can see the whole set (along with the green fleece ones!) on my flickr set πŸ˜‰
HERE

Oldies are Goodies, But Freebies are Oh So Sweet!

If you’ve been watching me for awhile (stalker) you’ve seen the tighty whitey hipsters before πŸ˜‰

Debuting here in March of ’06:

It’s been a bit tweaked since then, but the overall look is the same πŸ˜‰ (BTW, the star goes on the booty) Well, if you have seen them and thought; “Wow, I really want to make my own!” then here’s your chance.

There is just one size on here, just set your printer to the % associated with the size you’d like and tape printed edge to edge πŸ˜‰ (if you are a hook and loop gal, use 2″ on the larger sizes and 1.5″ on sizes small down, just cut to the width, not the height) Should work out just peachy.
http://www.samanthaliz.com/tightywhiteyhipsters.pdf

And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is your 23,000 word professional guide πŸ˜‰
Tighty Whitey Hipsters Instructions

Getting ready for winter… by baking blueberry muffins!




I’m always cold when winter comes, and the heat just doesn’t cut it for me. The only thing that works is baking, or at least that’s what I tell everyone else. I’ll post all my favorite recipes so your house can be warm and smell good too!

πŸ˜‰

Without further ado;

Brown Sugar Blueberry Muffins



Preheat oven to 375Β° F.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting blueberries
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons half & half
3/4 cup frozen blueberries

1. Cream the butter & sugar. Mix in on medium speed vanilla, milk, half & half, baking powder. Make sure you scrape the sides down. Slowly add flour on lowest speed.

2. Coat frozen blueberries in flour (put them in a bowl together and stir). Add the blueberries to the batter don’t over mix or you’ll crush the berries and it’ll get too “blue”.

3. I like to use baking cups, I don’t even own a muffin pan. Spoon out so that they are all even with the tops of 12 regular size muffin cups.

Bake at 375 for 35 mins, should be golden with blue swirls :)



Enjoy!


I may *gasp* actually like Aplix?

After selling off all my touchtape months(maybe even over a yr) ago… I decided to get some Aplix…

Ummm I like it… shhh….

Here is a Little Half Moon Diaper I made with it today. Oh and can I just say I am LOVING that Molly is getting older and I can sew while the kids are awake and PLAY??!!??

As per my pattern instructions, lol…

Side Aplix Little Half Moon

I have a place to put myΒ fancy folded tags:

And Laundry neatness:

So easy to put on, but Molly doesn’t try taking them off!

She’s eating her shirt instead:

Look how trim;

And just cuz she’s too cute: