Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fun with needles

It's okay guys, we're just talking about sewing.  Nobody panic.

I did these projects a couple of weeks ago and I've been loving life.  It's one of those tiny things that has changed my life, I'm not even playing.  Wait, let me explain.
But first, pin this shit.
Trust me.

I am super blessed to be able to breastfeed Andrea.  I don't take it for granted for even one second; I know how lucky we are that it's somewhat easy for us.  We had our challenge dealing with her thrush early on, but thank the baby Jesus that shit is long gone and now she's a breastfeeding champ.

All those delicious leg and arm rolls are 
oh so satisfying.
I do so love my baby chunk-a-lunk.

But this is not about the baby.  Nope, this one's about me.  Specifically, how finding clothes when you're nursing is a pain in the ass.  I'm constantly on the lookout for nursing-friendly clothes that don't look matronly or stupid.
I hate these kinds of shirts the most.

Because I could rarely find cute shirts, I defaulted to button-down shirts and v-neck t-shirts and that's all I ever wore.  Ever.  It sucked and I felt frumpy and I wanted something different.  Now, I did luck out and find a couple of shirts that were nursing friendly but I passed on a ton more shirts than I ever bought.  Not to mention that I had a closet full of shirts that I couldn't wear because I couldn't nurse in them and the whole thing just pissed me off.  

I couldn't believe I'd never heard of nursing undershirts.  And while I completely support mom-owned businesses, I support my mom-owned wallet more.  Therefore, I need you to *not* charge me $25 plus tax and shipping for something that I can make for cheap or free.

With that, I dug through my drawers in search of a tank top with a straight back.  That part is important.  Lo and behold, I found seven such tank tops.  I bought them a thousand years ago and stopped wearing them because they were so old-school they only came to my waist, not like the more current longer length shirts they make today.  I bet you've got some of the same tank tops buried in your drawers too, and if you don't I've heard that Forever 21 has them for like three bucks.

This is so super easy but of course I made it harder on myself and pulled out my sewing machine.  Learn from me:  You only need a needle and thread for this.
It has to be a tank top just like this one; spaghetti straps and straight across the back.
First, you cut the straps off at the back.
Then you cut the strap short enough to where you can make a loop
from the remaining material, like this.
I nearly broke my sewing machine *again*
trying to sew this loop closed.
It was way too much for such a little space.
You really only need a needle and thread because you're sewing such a small area.

Once I got wise and put my sewing machine away,
it took me no time at all to transform my shirts.
Then you slip the loop around the clip of your nursing bra and you're in business.
Easy as pie and now I can wear whatever kind of shirt I want!
And as a bonus, since I cut the straps the shirt hangs lower; always 
great for layering!

I used a blanket as a nursing cover with Sofia for about two weeks and then I tossed that shit because it was way too much hassle, and I ended up just pulling my shirt down and nursing from the top.  Unfortunately, even the deepest v-neck t-shirt would eventually get stretched out and after having Andrea, nursing from the bottom was not an option.  Even though the baby weight is gone, I still have a stomach because I have no muscle tone anymore.  Additionally, I still have bruising and discoloration from the shots so it's pretty likely that my belly will never again see the light of day.  My handy-dandy handmade nursing shirts solve both of those problems for me.  I no longer have to stretch out the necks of my shirts, I don't have to subject the world to my flabby belly and I'm pretty much covered from both the top and bottom when I nurse.  Of course, there's a brief nip flash when I'm latching Andrea but if you see that then you're looking for it and those kind of people are the creeps.

Now, I know that there are other sites and blogs with this exact tutorial but I just wanted to add my contribution because I haven't been this pleased since I figured out to put a board over my sink so I could do my makeup.

Moving right along, I did another project about a week later.  That project?  THAT mother-fucking project?  And yes, I dropped an F-bomb as it relates to sewing because that's how frustrating that shit was.  But it's done and it's awesome and now that I know how to do it, I want to make a hundred of them.  Maybe.

Sure, it almost killed me but I made it.

I had a MAC brush roll for years and years but I left it in the hotel in Charlotte a while back.  To this day, I don't know how it happened because I'm meticulous when it comes to making sure I have all my stuff when I leave a hotel but that fateful time I left behind my brush roll and all my brushes.  It killed me.  Eventually, I replaced most of my brushes and they were living in a jar in my medicine cabinet.

Last week, I took the girls to Kansas with me for my high school reunion.  Obviously, I'd need my makeup brushes but I didn't want to spend the money on a roll when I could just as "easily" make one.  I consulted the almighty oracle Pinterest and found a tutorial that said it would take "about an hour."  My friends, this mother-effing makeup roll took me THREE mother-effing hours.  I made it the night before we left and this became a battle between me and my sewing machine.  I was going to finish this damn roll, even if I missed my flight.
Of course, neither child wanted to sleep that night
and instead of battle them, I strapped one in the baby carrier 
and set the other up with the iPad so I could finish that damn roll.
After all, it was just going to be an hour right? Ha.

I got all my brushes, some scrap fabric and laid everything out.
Every couple of minutes I'd stop and try to get Sofia to bed,
which added to the entire project time, as well
as the multiple times I locked up my sewing machine with all the tangled thread.
Then I cut another piece, folded it in half and laid it on top.
Pretty straightforward; so far so good.
Then, using my brushes as a guide, I pinned the pocket to the outside.
But this is as far as I got.
Pinning stuff is a pain in the ass.

Skinny pencils and brushes like these need a one-inch pocket.
Fat brushes need an inch and a half.
Once I figured that out, I didn't bother with pinning and just measured my spacing.
The tutorial was decent but it did not cover how to make the ties to keep
the roll closed.  It took me a solid hour to figure that out.  I was PISSED.
Then I googled it and found this and made the other tie in like five minutes.
No seriously, I was PISSED.

But holy balls, I did it!
I even have room for more brushes or pencils if necessary.

I love the way my makeup brush roll turned out and now that I know how to do it, I'm sure I could do it in less time and I seriously want to make more of them.  The actual sewing part probably did take just an hour, it's just that I had to rethread the needle a billion times, untangle the bobbin, reload the bobbin, cut away all the tangled thread.... BUT!  I did it!

There you have it, how to be less frumpy while nursing and have a cute holder for your makeup brushes!  

I will not ever say I'm good with a sewing machine because I nearly break it just about every time I sew.  However, I'm pretty proud of my little sewing projects and if I can do it, then seriously anybody can do it!  I'm thinking I might make some more brush rolls as Christmas gifts.

If I start now, I *might* have them done in time...



  1. O M G, what a wonderful idea!!!! Finding nursing clothes IS such a pain. I shopped for dresses the other week and came out with nothing.

    You did a great job on the makeup brush roll too!

  2. That tank idea is awesome! :) I just ended up using the Mossimo tanks from Target, and pulling them down when I'd nurse, but this is even smarter!

    As for the makeup roll... SO CUTE! :)

  3. Allow me to start by stating that I cheer up when I randomly check your blog - so not ashamed to admit that - and see a new post [translation: yipeeee!].

    The tanks are a great idea and they turned out even greater! I would take inspiration, but I'm too deep in my 9 months of post-partum frumpiness...and so all low-cut and strechy shirts in my wardrobe reign supreme for now. Whatever Crafty Juice your sippin', I'm about to get some myself with baby dress and curtain projects...hopefully, emphases on the "hope."

    Hope your High School reunion went well and Andrea's baby chunks - so friggin cute!!!!

  4. I love that nursing cover! I bought two nursing tank tops and yea, $25 each! Highway robbery! I wear them under my shirts but I always have to then unbuckl two tops. My boy gets very frustrated waiting. So thank you for that. I'm going to make some cover ups soon. I have been sewing a lot lately. Made pj pants out of an old sheet and working on a big wool cape for my hubby. Love the brush roll too. I keep meaning to make one for my paint brushes.

  5. Three cheers for "nursing-friendly clothes that don't look matronly or stupid". Laughed out loud on that one!

  6. I'm just catching up on blog reading...and I love, love, LOVE your make-up brush roll. I'm putting this on my To Do List. It's adorable! Nicely done.....


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