Sunday, January 26, 2014

Padded Waist and Legs Out Padding for Table Cloth Mei Tai

Mahogany Orange Peacock Tablecloth available HERE
This mini-tutorial is a supplement to my Tablecloth Mei Tai with Wrap Style Straps tutorial. If you're feeling lost, start at that link! If you've come from that link, welcome! This tutorial will demonstrate a few pretty simple additional steps to add padding to your TCMT. This tutorial assumes that you have gotten to the point of attaching the straps to the internal layer in the previous tutorial.

For the padding, you will need 3 pieces of fleece. The piece for the waist padding should be about 15" high and about an inch shorter than the width of the waist band on your inner (canvas/twill/etc.) layer. The pieces for the legs-out padding should be about 6" X 6". These are the approximate measurements that I use, but do what works!

Adding the Padding

Fold each piece in half, then in half again, so that they are 4-layers thick. Pin these to the inner panel on the side your straps are attached to, then zig-zag stitch around the edge of each piece to attach it to the panel.

At this point, I am copying and pasting the instructions for sewing the panels all together, with a few small changes:

Pin the Body Panel pieces together.

Lay down your inner panel piece with the attached straps on a flat surface, 
with the strap attachments and padding facing up. 

Lay the panel that will be the "back" of your MT on top of the inner panel, right side facing UP.
Lay the "front" panel of your MT on top of that, right side facing DOWN.

Line everything up and

Sew the Panels Together.

Sew around the top and sides of the body panels, but DO NOT sew across the straps/strap openings!
Sew up each side, again, starting/stopping within an inch of the straps.
Sew across the top, you guessed it, starting/stopping within an inch of the straps.
Leave the bottom open.


Once you have sewn the 3 panels together along the top, bottom, and sides, 
you are ready to turn your MT right side out through the bottom and strap openings.

Fold under the bottom edges and press with an iron, then pin.
Fold under the all strap openings, press and pin.

Top stitch!

Top stitch around the edge of the entire carrier, starting at the bottom and going all the way around, ensuring that you are sewing through all layers. Top stitch straight across the top of the waist band. If you'd like, you can top stitch a few straight lines across the middle of the padded waist band, or top stitch a rectangle (or any other shape/top-stitching your little heart desires! This is personal preference!) Top stitch about 1/4" in from your top-stitched edge all the way around carrier, but when you come to the legs-out padding, top stitch around the edges of it. 

You're done! Please don't hesitate to visit my facebook page and leave a comment if you have questions or need clarification on any of the steps. I also LOVE to see your creations! :) 

Happy Sewing, and Happy Babywearing! :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dear Son, You're One!

Dear Canon,

Happy Birthday! This past year (also known as "your infancy") has flown by in the blink of an eye. It seems impossible that it's been a year since my marathon labor and your birth. The first year of your life has been as quick and easy as your entrance to the world was slow and challenging. You are what I believe is oft referred to as an "easy baby". Or some might say "good" baby, but I argue that all babies are good babies.

At one year old, you are an easy going, laid back, social butterfly who dazzles everyone who meets you with your smile and sparkling eyes. Your favorite things to play with are balls, a toy microphone, puzzle pieces your sister is looking for, and my hair. Your favorite foods are yogurt, pizza, and apple slices, though you still nurse more than you eat. You are a walking, climbing, dancing machine, and for all intents and purposes, a "toddler" but as every mother who ever existed has said, you will always be my baby.

You adore your sister and delight in keeping up with her, dancing along while she sings or plays an instrument, and getting into whatever she's trying to keep away from you. She returns your affections and not a day goes by that she doesn't hug you, kiss you, and tell you that she loves you. Of course, every now and again, she knocks you over in frustration, but she always follows it up with a heartfelt apology.

Lucky for me, you are a very snuggly baby and still love to observe the world snuggled up to my back in a wrap or carrier. Your vocabulary is limited to a few choice words like Dada, Mama, and Yum, but that doesn't stop you from using your voice loudly and proudly. You love to babble on a play phone and hum and shout into the microphone. You are what your father and I affectionately refer to as "fancy," always presenting yourself with flair and a flick of wrist and an implied "TA-DA!"

As much as I wish that you would stay a baby, I look forward to seeing you continue to grow and change into the unique and beautiful individual that you are destined to be. Just one fleeting year into this journey, I can't imagine our family without you in it. Mothering you is a joy and an honor; my world is brighter and my heart more full with you in it.

Happy Birthday, Bubba.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#365feministselfie Glimpses of Beauty

On New Year's Eve, I started seeing photos of some of my favorite feminists with the hashtag #365feministselfie. I read Viva la Feminista's Post about the project and immediately jumped on board. A few days later, I was invited to a facebook group based on the project. (If you're doing it, consider joining the 365 Feminest Selfies facebook group!)

Just two weeks into the project, I'm starting to notice something. I'm seeing something in myself that others have long said is there, but that I sometimes have a hard time seeing.


And not just in myself, but in all of the women participating. The diversity of lives and experiences, and of faces and bodies, is something to behold. We are mothers and not. We are young and old. We are fresh-faced and heavily made up. We work and we stay at home. We are every shape and size. We are beautiful, and we are all sharing a glimpse of our lives, every day (or every week, or every month, or as often as we remember). We are showing that the label "feminist" is not limited to a certain demographic or set of beliefs.

We are bravely sharing ourselves with each other. We showcase our bedhead, our perceived flaws, our favorite parts of ourselves and our lives, and our not-so-favorite parts.

I am looking forward to completing this project throughout the year, not just to see the ups and downs and ins and outs of my own daily life, but those of the lives of the beautiful community I have found in this project.

Every week or show, I'll be sharing collages of my 365feministselfies here. If you are participating, drop me a line and let me know where you are sharing yours, so I can follow along with your beautiful self!

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