Wednesday, September 28, 2011

garden lessons

what i have learned in this summer of gardening:

- gardening is supremely frustrating. i have harvested exactly two tiny zucchinis and had to replant my indeterminate tomatoes twice before giving up and buying transplants that (finally) actually grew.
- one square of basil from seed (last year) is too little. four squares from transplants is an overabundance. next year: two squares, from transplants.
- also, four squares of lettuce is an overabundance. this fall: two.
- but there's nothing like fresh arugula.
- peas don't like heat. or something. mine all died.
- strawberries send out a lot of runners and take over. i think i'm going to build this.
- on that note, cucumbers also grow a.ton. next year, this.
- don't forget to label your garden, lest you forget what you planted. what i assumed was broccoli i discovered (too late) was actually cabbage.
- two squares of swiss chard is WAY too much. pulling up the second square was totally worth it.
- no need for two kinds of parsley. definite need for marjoram and tarragon.
- beans need to be trellised like crazy. WOW those suckers can grow. also, "pole" beans is a misnomer.
- corn was pretty much a waste of time.
- onions were totally worth it. so much so that they may get a (new) dedicated bed.
- tomato hornworms are pretty much the.most.vile.bug.ever. like, ever. (fortunately, they can be organically controlled with Btk. ON MY SHOPPING LIST.)
- sage pesto? amazing.
- also amazing: fresh tomatoes macerated in fresh chopped basil, chopped garlic, a spinkle of salt, and a dizzle of olive oil.
- best memories ever: working in the garden with my daughter, teaching her about plants, hunting for strawberries with her, and watching her savor a tomato fresh off the vine while juice and seeds run down her chin.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

how to recover a g waistband

we love gdiapers here at our house. hannah has been in them for well over two years, since she was 3 months old. they're a wonderfully versatile, an amazing company, and ridiculously cute. one of the things i love the most is how well they lend themselves to customization. one fun way to customize a gdiaper is to recover the waistband. this is also a great way to revitalize an otherwise sad, faded little gpant.

disclaimer: there are probably seven different methods to arrive at the same result (a covered waistband), so i apologize if mine is a bit roundabout and tricky. if you know of a faster, easier way to do this please let me know!

you will need one little gpant in whatever size your little one is wearing at the moment. you will also need ¼ to ½ yard of quilter's cotton in your choice of prints to match your little gpant. the amount of fabric you will need depends on the direction of you print (if any) and whether you need to center it or not. prewash your fabric, then cut two strips 3½" wide. one strip will be as long as the front elastic waistband plus ½"; the other will be as long as the back elastic waistband plus ½". using a seam ripper, remove the velcro and snap tabs from the waistband and set them aside. (i didn't keep the hook part of my velcro because it was in bad shape and i was replacing it with new, but normally you would keep the hook side as well.) you will be using ¼" seam allowances.

fold your diaper in half, and fold your fabric strips in half the short way. line up the folds and mark with a pin the point at which the diaper body ends.

fold the fabric strip in half the long way and pin; you will sew the fabric strip together, leaving open between the pins (where the body of the diaper will be).

sew the strip, then clip corners and turn it right-side out and press.

turn it back inside-out and pin in place along the inside of the diaper, with the ¼" seam allowance along the waistband. on the back of the diaper, slip two of the snap tabs between the fabric and the diaper. sew the fabric in place along the bottom of the waistband, stitching over the end of the snap tabs (make sure the snap tabs stay free so you can snap in your gpouch). turn it back right-side out, tucking the waistband elastic into the fabric tube, and press the seam flat.

smooth the fabric flat against the waistband so there is no excess on either side of the elastic, then pin in place along the outside of the diaper.

carefully topstitch the fabric opening closed along the body of the diaper, making sure the edge of the waistband is covered.

you're done! oh wait, you're not. sew the velcro back on, and your other two (front) snap tabs. if you're like me and forgot to sew the back snap tabs on when you did the fabric waistband, sew them on now. the hook side of the velcro goes toward the edge of the waistband, and the loop side goes toward the middle.

NOW you're done!

on this one, i actually wasn't done... i appliqued a monster face (copied from hobbymamma) onto the bum of the diaper also. (please excuse the teeth... i need to make love to my seam ripper and redo them, but i don't have the energy right now.)

happy halloween!