Monday, November 4, 2013

all-in-one asian-style baby carrier

lookie what i made!

oh, it's not immediately identifiable right off the bat? come now. it's an asian-style baby carrier... any asian-style baby carrier you want it to be. podaegi? right here. onbuhimo? slide a ringed waistband into one of the channels. mei tai? slide a long waistband strap into one of the channels. it can be whatever you want it to be.

not only is it adjustable lengthwise, but it is also adjustable width-wise, in the seat. see those little dots in the center of the body? they're cord locks threaded onto a ribbon that runs through a casing, anchored at the ends. pull up on the ribbon and the body gathers up along it, becoming smaller to accomodate a smaller baby.

want to make one (for personal use only, not for sale please)? here's how i did mine.

assemble your supplies.
you will need:
1 yard of outer fabric (the pretty fabric)
1 yard of soft, lightweight cotton broadcloth or voile
1 yard of sturdy twill, denim, canvas, or duck
3 yards of sturdy twill, denim, canvas, or duck to coordinate with your outer fabric
buckles and webbing and/or sling rings for your waistbands
1/2 yard (or more) fleece or batting
quality thread
1.5 yards of coordinating 3/8" grosgrain ribbon
2 cord locks
2 pony beads

use your favorite mei tai pattern for the body. if you don't have a favorite pattern or would like to try a new one, i really like the hood-to-headrest mei tai from a fuller day blog. i omitted the hood on this carrier. i like the contour in the body for my mei tais, and that contour also makes for a narrower body when used with a newborn.

cut out your pieces.
cut out the body pieces. decide how short you want the body for your newborn. mine is approximately 14" (raw cut, including seam allowances) along the center fold. mark that point on your pattern, and extend the length of the bottom down another 16" (raw cut). after cutting out your body pieces, you ought to have one of pretty outer fabric, two of sturdy support fabric, and one of lining fabric.

cut out the straps. i made wrap straps for my carrier, so my straps are 15" wide by 84" long (raw cut) with a 60' taper at the ends. if you prefer padded straps, the hood-to-headrest mei tai tutorial linked above has good instructions for padded straps.

waistbands. you can cut waistbands at this time, or not. i haven't yet made any waistbands for my carrier, so i don't have pictures for them. to make a padded mei tai waistband, follow the instructions in the hood-to-headrest mei tai tutorial linked above. instead of attaching the waistband to the body of the carrier, topstitch it closed and set it aside.

extra stuff. i made a padded, contoured headrest for my carrier. to create one, cut a gentle curve from the "neckline" of the mei tai body approximately 1.5-2" down from the top edge of the body, blending into the strap extensions. to make the headrest pattern piece, cut a piece of string the same length as the curve you just cut and stretch it out so it is slightly flatter than your curve. your string should now extend about 0.5" longer than the curve you cut. trace the new, flatter curve: this is the bottom edge of your headrest. decide how tall you want your headrest; mine is double the width of the piece i cut off the body (approximately 3.5"). using the original curve (from the piece you cut off the body) as a guide, sketch this curve above the bottom, blending toward the ends. this is the top edge of your headrest. add 5/8" seam allowance all around. cut two headrest pieces from your pretty outer body fabric.

if you want a hood for your carrier, now is the time to cut it out from your pretty outer body fabric.

step 1. prep the body. place two body pieces together, right sides together, and pin. you should be pinning one support fabric to the lining piece, and one support fabric to the pretty outer piece. stitch together along the lower straight side, from your newborn mark to the bottom hem of the body. turn and press.

going forward, these two body pieces will generally each be treated as one piece: a pretty body piece and a lining body piece. consider the support fabric as the wrong side of each body piece (lining and pretty outer fabrics as the right sides).

step 2. assemble the headrest and/or hood. if you're not putting a headrest or a hood onto your carrier, skip this step.

to assemble your hood, follow the instructions in the hood-to-headrest mei tai tutorial linked above, or use your favorite tutorial to create your hood. do not attach the hood to the body just yet.

to assemble the padded headrest, place the two headrest pieces together, right sides together, and pin. stitch together along the top edge only. clip the curve, turn, and press.

open the seam flat, grade the seam allowances, and understitch as far as possible. close the seam and press flat again.

using the headrest as a pattern, cut a piece of batting the same size. open the headrest, insert the batting, close, and pin in place. make sure your fabric is smooth all around. stitch the batting in place; you may want to use a walking foot for this part. i ran straight lines of stitching following the top curve of my headrest, but you could quilt pretty designs into your headrest if you wanted to.

when you are finished, your headrest will look like this. set it aside; you will attach it to the body later.

step 3. assemble the straps. if you are making padded straps, complete them using your favorite tutorial. for wrap straps, hem all edges except the narrow, untapered end (that's the end you will insert into the body of the carrier). gather or pleat the straps to the width of the strap extensions on the body of the carrier, leaving a seam allowance on the body.

step 4. attach the straps. mark 6" in from the raw end of the strap; this is the seam line. place one strap onto the pretty outer body piece, right sides together (for wrap straps), matching the strap seam line to the seam line on the body strap extension. the raw strap edge should stick out past the seam allowance and the finished strap should be hidden by the body. pin in place. place the lining body piece on top of the pinned strap/body with the lining (right side) toward the strap.

stitch across the seam line of the body strap extensions, sewing through all layers. turn and press, then turn back.

step 5. reinforce the straps. slide your hand into the outer body panel and flip it over the inner panel and straps, so the carrier is encased inside the pretty panel and support layer.

holding the single layer of pretty body fabric away, lay the support fabric (from the outer panel) against the strap and lining panel and pin in place. still holding the pretty fabric away, stitch through the strap with a reinforced x-box. you should be stitching through the strap and three layers of fabric only: the lining and the two support layers.

to make a reinforced x-box: stitch a square or rectangle slightly smaller than the length and width of the strap you are anchoring inside, so you are stitching through the strap as well. pivot at the corners. when you have returned to your starting point, pivot and stitch diagonally across the inside of the square to the opposite corner. pivot, stitch straight across the bottom of the square to the next corner, then pivot and stitch diagonally across the inside of the square again to the opposite corner, creating an X within the square.

turn the body so the right sides are facing out. you should be able to see your x-boxes on the inside (lining side), but they should be hidden by the outer panel of pretty fabric. press the strap seam and x-boxes.

step 6. attach the hood or headrest. turn the body back, so the right sides are in and the wrong sides are out, the same as you had it for reinforcing the straps. slide the hood or headrest into the body, matching centers, and pin in place with right sides together. baste in place from strap edge to strap edge, along the entire length of the top edge.

pin the remaining three layers to the hood or headrest, matching centers, and stitch in place along the basting line. remove basting stitches, clip corners and curves, turn, and press. turn back, grade seams, open seam, and understitch as far as possible.

turn and press flat.

step 7. complete the upper body. flip the outer panel over the entire carrier, encasing it like in step 5. pin through all four layers of the body. stitch the sides of the body together from the strap corners to the newborn mark, leaving the bottom of the panels free.

clip corners and curves. turn and press. isn't it beautiful? you're almost done!!

step 8. ribbon adjustment for seat. at this point, it is very important that your carrier be exactly even on both sides, otherwise the carrier will be lopsided and/or you will not have enough room for your waistband channels. chalk a straight line from the bottom corner of the side contour across the body to the other corner.

pin the body together to prevent shifting and stitch through all layers along this line. for this line of stitching, i used a three-step straight stitch, a triple-reinforced stitch. when it supports the weight of your baby, any waistband will put stress on this line of stitching so please be sure it is strong.

mark the center and make a small buttonhole through the outer panel only, then stitch through all layers 1/2" down from the top line.

cut a piece of ribbon approximately 6" longer than the width of the body, and thread a pony bead onto it. fold the ribbon in half and thread the cord lock onto it, pulling the cord lock up against the bead. (the bead acts as a stop, so the cord lock doesn't fall off your ribbon and the ribbon doesn't get lost inside the channel.) burn one end of the ribbon to seal.

thread the burned edge of the ribbon into the channel from the center buttonhole with a safety pin or bodkin. pull the burned end to the edge of the carrier, but not beyond (so it remains hidden in the channel). pin in place, then anchor at the end. i used a combination of zigzag stitches, three-step stitches, and simple straight stitches to anchor mine.

adjust the cord lock and bead by pulling on the ribbon, so the cord lock rests against the buttonhole with no slack in the ribbon, but not pulling on the end of the carrier. any extra ribbon hanging off the carrier would be annoying when trying to wear it, if not hazardous to your baby should they play with the cord lock when the carrier is not in use.

thread the remaining end of the ribbon into the other side of the channel with a bodkin or safety pin.

pulling the ribbon to the end, mark the edge of the carrier on the ribbon, then trim the ribbon. burn the edge of the ribbon to seal, then anchor in place.

step 9. finishing the bottom edge. mark 14" down from the lower row of stitching (for the ribbon channel), then chalk this line across the bottom edge of the carrier. this edge will be finished with a french seam. with wrong sides together, pin in place to prevent shifting, then stitch along this line. trim the raw edge to 1/8", press open, then press the right sides together to create an edge. turn, putting right sides together, and mark a line 3/8" in from the edge, then stitch along this line.

press open, then press flat toward the lining panel. holding the seam open with the outer panel away, stitch the seam allowance to the lining panel to create a flat-felled seam.

step 10. create the waistband channels. chalk a line 4.25" down from the lower line for the ribbon channel, and stitch along that line with a reinforced stitch (like a three-step straight stitch) to create the upper waistband channel (for a newborn body). make a buttonhole in the center, the stitch with a reinforced stitch 1/2" away to create a second ribbon channel. insert a ribbon with cord lock and bead in the same manner as in step 8, then chalk another line 4.25" down from the lower ribbon channel line. stitch along that line with a reinforced stitch to create the two lower waistband channels (standard and toddler bodies).


Thursday, October 13, 2011

three good reasons to have a fluffy bum

yesterday i talked about how we're potty-training and why my friends object to cloth diapering. if you're still not convinced to make the big switch, here's a couple more reasons:

1. cloth diapers are better for the environment. the cost example i used yesterday assumes 7,280 disposable diapers used over 2.5 years, the diapering life of MY child. that's a lot of diapers. according to the epa, it takes 450 years for a conventional disposable diaper to decompose... but that's just a guess, because disposable diapers have only been around for about 80 years. those 80-year-old diapers are still around, unfortunately. cloth diapers don't fill up landfills.

cloth diapers also don't leach contaminants into the ground. in addition to unflushed (and untreated) feces, disposable diapers are full of synthetic chemicals and materials. if/when those disposable diapers ever do decompose, those chemicals will be in our ground. the same ground that your water comes from, the same ground used to grow your food. ewwww.

2. cloth diapering supports responsible consumer practices. when you purchase cloth diapers, you are choosing to support a company committed to environmentally friendly practices. additionally, the choices for cloth diapers are pactically endless... whereas the choices for disposable diapers are largely limited to big corporations. you can support work-at-home mothers like myself, small businesses, or purchase your diapers from a local creator.

3. cloth diapering is cute. how can you resist this little bottom?

(see more cuteness at!)

*please note, this is not an advertisement for gdiapers, nor am i affiliated with them in any way other than as an exceptionally satisfied customer. i haven't been compensated in any way by gdiapers... i just love them. there are tons of adorable cloth diapers on the market - choose your own cuteness!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

four misconceptions about cloth diapering

we're potty-training at my house, which strangely has me thinking about diapers and how i'm (oddly) going to miss them. probably because hannah's are so ridiculously cute, because we cloth diaper (CD). we're only one of a very few of our local friends who have CD'd "hardcore" for almost all of hannah's life - since she was 3 months old. our friends have many objections to cloth diapering, but they pretty much all boil down to these four.

1. i don't want to have to deal with poop. i don't either, but it's pretty much part of parenting. if you have a baby you are practically guaranteed to get pooped on and/or peed on at least once. it's pretty much a given that your baby will poop in the bathwater, and you'll have to fish it out. dealing with poop is part of parenting.

yes, i know that what parents are really saying is, i don't want to have to deal with poopy diapers. what they don't realize is, they still have to deal with poopy diapers. feces should not be disposed of into a landfill - it contaminates groundwater that way. a baby's poop should be disposed of in the toilet just like an adult's. and it's not like i'm grabbing poop off of my daughter's diapers with my bare hands. i have a diaper sprayer with which to spray off poop, so i don't ever have to "deal" with it. those poor disposable diaper parents, they don't have that tool.

2. cloth diapering is too much work. i've never understood this. when a disposable mama changes her baby, she takes off the old diaper, wipes the baby, puts on a fresh diaper, and drops the soiled diaper in the pail. my changing routine is exactly the same. the only difference is that my diapers get washed and re-used.

3. i don't want to do extra laundry. i don't want poop in my washing machine. cloth diapering is dirty. yes, cloth diapering does create additional laundry. at my house it's one additional load per week. and as i mentioned above, poop gets sprayed off the diapers and into the toilet... so i don't have any poop in my washing machine.

and by the way, because of all the rinse cycles and enzyme detergents and hothothot water, hannah's diapers are probably the cleanest things in our house. underwear doesn't get thrown away every time it's worn, but i guarantee your panties are not as clean as my daughter's diapers.

4. cloth diapering is too expensive. yes, cloth diapering is expensive... but disposables are more so. consider a sample diapering outlay over the past two and a half years, assuming 8 diaper changes per day:

- 6 small gdiapers at $17 each (new) - $102
- 10 medium gdiapers at $17 each (new) - $170
- 10 large gdiapers at $17 each (new) - $170
- 40 homemade soakers at $1.79 each - $72
- 30 cloth wipes at $12 per set of 10 - $36
- 2 diaper pail liners at $12 each - $24
- 2 wet bags at $12 per set of 2 - $12
- detergent, electricity, gas, and water usage for one additional load per week for 2.5 years - $75
total diapering cost - $661

this can be greatly reduced even by buying diapers used, if you're so inclined. for example, if you purchased all your gdiapers used at $10 each (instead of $17), your total diapering cost would drop to $479.

compare that to disposable diapers for 2.5 years, averaging 32 diapers per package (smaller size diapers have up to 40 per package, larger sizes around 27) and 70 wipes per package:

- 91 packages of diapers per year (8 changes per day = one package used every 4 days) at $9 per package (times 2.5 years) - $2,050
- 45 packages of wipes per year (one package used every 8 days) at $4.49 per package (times 2.5 years) - $505
- 10 boxes of diaper pail refill liners at $14.99 per box - $150
- waste disposal service increase at $5 per month for 2.5 years - $150
total diapering cost - $2,855

when we have a second child, our total diapering cost for that second child will be... $75. all we will have to pay to diaper our second child will be to run our washer and dryer, because we don't have to buy diapers, wipes, or diaper pail liners. if we had a second child in disposables, we would have to pay $2,855 again over the diapering life of the child.

additionally, i can resell my cloth diapers when we are finished with them. if i resold them all for only $8 each (half of the cost new), i'd make back $260. my total diapering cost for two children would have been my $661 initial outlay + $75 for my second child - $208 resale value recouped = $528.

you can't resell a used disposable diaper.

is all this enough to convince you to use cloth diapers? if cleanliness, ease of use, sanitary-ness, and cost savings aren't enough to convince you, i'll give you a few more reasons tomorrow.

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!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

project roundup, or where in the world have i been?

...which is kind of like playing where in the world is carmen sandiego?, only not nearly as fun.

i have a toddler now [holy moly, she is a toddler!] which means i'm basically working 24/7 and just not getting paid for it - except in kisses and cuddles, which makes up for it emotionally but does not buy groceries. my etsy shop is also not really buying groceries, because i'm not getting nearly that many sales - but i'm getting enough to keep me busy in the meantime. i've also become addicted to pinterest, which is becoming my new source of inspiration. one of my favorite pins is a blurb that says MORE IDEAS THAN TIME which has always been my life but is even more so now that i have pinterest. i built a second garden bed and planted it all up and now my kiddo steals strawberries whenever she has a chance. i'm also an occasional guest blogger over at public service beauty.

i made a quilt last fall for a friend's wedding, another log cabin quilt. this time i set it in a chevron pattern that i thought *i* would not really like (but hey, it's not about me) but surprisingly, i loved it.

then we came into a king-size box spring for free, so i found a bedframe on freecycle and rebuilt our bed. we had always had a slat-frame bed from ikea (no box spring needed), but i realized a year or so ago that ikea only sells eastern king-size beds... and we have a cal king mattress. no wonder the mattress was always tight and didn't quite fit perfectly. we didn't want to ditch the footboard and the mattress was 14 inches higher than it had been thanks to the extra-deep box spring... so i took it apart and "salvaged" what i could. i needed to mount the footboard onto the mounting brackets on the bedframe, which meant the headboard had to stand alone somehow - so i mounted it to the wall, with a couple 2x4s behind it so it wouldn't be set right up against the wall and look hotel-y. then, because we no longer had siderails on the bed, the comforter didn't come down far enough to conceal the sheets, so i made a new quilt.

hannah's gotten some new clothes, although i haven't done much sewing for myself lately. it's just so fun to sew kiddo things. i did make my dress for my sister's wedding last fall - i was the maid of honor and we wore dresses in the same color but all got to choose our own style. i couldn't find a dress i liked, so i designed one myself, drafted the pattern, and sewed it up... only to be told that it was slightly the wrong color (natural/ecru instead of champagne/blush). i was set to make another dress in fabric the correct color (i could have sworn i had the right color the first time, but i guess not) but thought i'd make a last-ditch effort and dye it. i'd never dyed anything before - but thank the good Lord, it worked beautifully and perfectly.

i used a polyester shantung, which i was concerned about being too sticky and hot so i lined it with unbleached muslin. i love muslin for just about everything, especially lining - it just washes up so soft and light and comfortable and is so inexpensive. [if i had known in the first place that i was getting the wrong color fabric, i would have gone with a silk duipioni, but oh well.] the muslin gave the shantung some needed body - without it, it would have just hung unflatteringly and shown every little lump and bump, and even two years post-baby there are still quite a few, unfortunately. the muslin provided a little bit of structure, and the empire waist and a-line skirt camoflaged other imperfections. i ended up making my own piping for under the bodice as well - ridiculously simple and such a nice touch. the neckline came out a bit low for my taste, but ohh well - i didn't feel like redoing it and it wasn't scandalous, SO.

i promise to be better about blogging from here on out! i have a fun tutorial up my sleeve too, courtesy of clothkeeper fabrics - you should definitely check out her shop! (rachel happens to be married to a high school friend, but still - gorgeous designer fabrics!) i'm pretty excited because i don't know that i've actually ever sewn with designer fabric, and what i'll be making will be SUPER cute, easy, and perfect for summer. AND, it's a big-girl thing - not for kiddos (unless your kiddos are big, of course) - so i can be a little selfish! yay!

Friday, May 28, 2010

sewing for kiddos!

hannah has no shortage of clothes, and certainly no shortage of cute clothes. she probably has more clothes than i do. so of course, i needed to make her some more. because what if she ripped all those up and then had to go naked?? (maybe not such a bad thing... naked babies are awfully cute!)

kiddo clothes are FABULOUS. this might be my favorite sewing ever! they are fast and easy and there is virtually no fitting involved because kiddos don't have curves, and the curves they do have are generally fit with elastic. NICE. if you make something too big - OOPS - well, she'll grow into it. and you get to use all sorts of fun prints and do fun things that you'd never do for an adult.

i was not going to sew for her until she was bigger and everyone stopped by massive quantities of clothes for her... and then i found this beautiful paisley cotton. it's actually the same paisey as this dress, only in a different color scheme. besides the fabric, this was largely a free project as i had all the notions and the patterns came from my stash. my idea was light clothing that she could wear during the hot summer that would be easy mix-and-match.

most of the ensemble came from mccall's 5304 - that pattern gave me the hat, pink collared top, paisley top, paisley "capri" pants, denim cuffed shorts, and the bloomers for the dress. (the shorts are the capris just cut shorter with a contrasting cuff added.) the romper is an old discontinued mccall's pattern 8294, which i'm not 100% thrilled with - there's a lot of fullness at the sides and it looks kind of blousy and funny on her. it should be an easy fix except that i flat-felled all the seams with pink topstitching, so i have to pick out all that topstitching just to take in the seam and then re-topstitch it all.

the sundress and tunic came from another old discontinued pattern, butterick 4020. (the tunic was supposed to be a second sundress, but i cut it too short by accident.) the smallest size in that pattern is a 1 which is WAY too huge for her. i took in an inch on the front and back at the center fold - four inches total - and redrew the neckline to compensate. i also had to insert a keyhole placket in the back so it would fit over her head. i closed it with a small button and a loop of elastic.

remember how i had never done any applique-ing before? turns out kids' clothes look super cute with appliques. OF COURSE THEY DO. one of those patches on the romper is an actual pocket, but the rest are appliques, as is the heart on the tunic. and while my vintage elna doesn't do embroidery per se, it does have some fun stitches that look really cute on kiddo clothes.

speaking of embroidery and appliques, check this out!

that's the leg of a set of overall shorts that i made for a girlfriend's son's first birthday. they'll be too big for him now but he can grow into them. here's the overalls in their entirety (along with the little tee shirt i made to go with them).

i found a local embroidery shop that was willing to do my small little order, so i had the back of them embroidered as well. i wanted to do the words curling out of the back of the car like exhaust, but that would have taken more time and money and effort than i was willing to put in. this was really reasonable ($6!) especially given that everything else in this project except for the green buttons came from my stash, so it was free. the pattern was butterick 3961 (old, discontinued) though the car applique i harvested from the mccall's romper pattern.

i love these so much that i almost wish hannah were a boy, so she could wear them. who says boy clothes aren't fun?!