Monday, May 5, 2014

Giveaway: Mahogany Tablecloth Shorty {$30 ARV, US/Canada, Ends 5/11/14}

I've been the recipient of some truly amazing "Babywearing Karma" and here is one way for me to pay it forward! This Giveaway is for one Mahogany Tablecloth "Shorty", valued at approximately $30 and open to the United States and Canada.

This shorty is made from the Mahogany Botanical Jacquard Woven Beige Tablecloth 60x120", which was cut in half lengthwise and hemmed by me.

For more information on how I made it (or to make your own!) and a list of carries that most wearers can do with a Tablecloth Shorty, Click here for my Tablecloth Shorty 101 post!

This tablecloth shorty was gently used by me in making the video tutorials for the carries in the post linked above. It will be shipping from my smoke-free, incense burning, pet friendly home. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 2, 2014

#365feministselfie April

Here are my #365feministselfie photos from April, in collage form!

Highlights include the first bike ride of the year, hula hooping, Easter egg dying, getting gussied up for a fundraising event, tree-hugging, studying for a credentialing exam, and of course, plenty of babywearing and breastfeeding. :)

Tablecloth Shorty 101

In the DIY (Do it Yourself) and Budget Babywearing worlds, the table cloth shorty (or shortie) is a wrapping staple.

A "shorty" is a short woven wrap, used for quicker carries that don't require as much length as "base" size woven wraps. Typically made by splitting a 60x120" table cloth in two lengthwise, the tablecloth shorty can be used by most wearers for a variety of carries. It makes for a great "beater" wrap for housework or an extra carrier to leave in the car, but is equally appropriate for every-day use!

Not all tablecloths are created equal, and the tablecloth you choose can make the difference between a diggy, too-thin wrap, a slippery and hot wrap, or a nice and cushy breathable wrap. When selecting a table cloth, look for natural fibers like cotton or linen. Polyester can be too slippery and doesn't breathe well. Some DIYers have used table cloths with low polyester contents, but my preference is for natural fibers only. Choose a table cloth that is woven and strong; nothing too flimsy. Mahogany Brand table cloths are the gold standard, but Kohl's, Target, and discount stores like TJMaxx often have good options as well. Thrift stores can also be a goldmine!

Make your own Tablecloth Shortie!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Half of a sturdy, high quality, woven cotton table cloth that is at least 120" long.
  • Coordinating thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Very basic sewing skills (It's just a hem! You can do it!)
  • Iron and/or pins
  • Scissors
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 2-3 inches of ribbon for a middle marker (optional)
Here's what you'll do:

Prep: Wash, dry, and iron your table cloth. 

Thread your sewing machine.

If you're starting with a whole 60" wide table cloth, cut it in half lengthwise so you have two 120"x30" halves. If you've got a mat and rotary cutter, use them! I don't, so I fold the table cloth in half and press the fold with my iron, then cut along the fold. 


Your half-tablecloth should have 3 hemmed sides and one raw edge. You will be doing a rolled hem, which means you will fold the raw edge, then fold again so that the raw edge is buried for a clean finish. I prefer to make my hem width match the existing hems on the table cloth, about 1/2 inch wide. 

Depending on your skill level and personal preference, you can either get right to work hemming, rolling the hem as you go, or you can pin or press the hem first. I prefer to press, but if you prefer to pin, be my guest!

Optional: Place your middle marker! Fold the wrap in half to find the center and secure a loop of ribbon into the folded hem with a pin. 

Get sewing! Using a basic straight stitch, hem your shorty! Be sure to back-tack at the beginning and end of the hem to secure the ends of the thread so your hem won't unravel. If you're including a middle marker, take care to ensure the ribbon is secured into the hem as you sew across it. People sometimes ask about adding tapers to a tablecloth shorty, but I don't recommend doing so unless you are extremely petite, as cutting tapers removes usable length that most average to plus size wearers need in order to pull of the carries listed below.


That's it! Your table cloth shorty is ready to wear!

Here are some of my favorite carries to do with table cloth shorties:

Ruck TUB (Tied under Bum): Click Here for Video Tutorial

Ruck TAS (Tied at Shoulder) or with CCCB (candycane chest belt): Click Here for Video Tutorial

RRRR (Rear Reinforced Rebozo Ruck): Click Here for Video Tutorial

Double Hammock w/Double Ring Finish (DHDR): Click Here for Video Tutorial

Double Hammock Rebozo: Click Here for Video Tutorial

Torso Carry: Click Here for Video Tutorial

No-sew Ring Sling:

Kangaroo TUB (Petite wearers only): 

Not feeling crafty? Enter to win the tablecloth shorty made in this tutorial and used in the videos linked above: CLICK HERE!
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