Three Drunk Monkeys

The Rainbow Wrap May 21, 2014

Filed under: Crafts,Sewing — drunkmunkies @ 12:13 pm

 

This rainbow wrap has been in the works for quite a while.  Abby was outgrowing the Ergo and the Mei Tai I made.  Ring Slings are okay for her still, but not for any length of time.  For the grocery store, I’ve been using a Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch that I got at the consignment shop.  I wasn’t sure if Abby really started liking being carried more often, or she really liked that carrier.  Anywho, the point is, I needed one that actually fit her 2 ½ year old height and weight… plus a little room to grow, and the potential to use when kid #2 rolls around.

I was part of the Babywearing DIY Advice and Support group on Facebook.  I watched as people asked questions and showed off their woven wraps that they had bought or made.  It’s so simple, but looked so complicated.  It follows the same idea as the Moby wrap, but it’s not a stretchy fabric.  It can be made as wide as you need, so there were people showing themselves carrying anywhere from newborns up to toddlers (and sometimes beyond).  I thought… that’s what I want, but I don’t know how to wrap.  So I started doing some homework on wraps… and man… those things are expensive!  Since I sew, I couldn’t in good conscience pay that much for something that I knew I could make.  Over the course of researching what to use, I got an invitation for the Dyed baby carriers Facebook group.  And that’s where I saw my inspiration.

 

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

   The next day, another person in the group posted her low water immersion (LWI) dye job in progress.

Courtesy of Courtenay Seay

Courtesy of Courtenay Seay

I stalked that picture until the she posted the final product.

Courtesy of Courtenay Seay

Courtesy of Courtenay Seay

It was almost exactly what I wanted.  I decided I was going to follow her lead and even used the same colors that she did.

So here we are.  I have experience sewing, but none dying whatsoever.  I jumped in with both feet.  I wanted a rainbow dye job and a glue resist design as my middle marker.  I drew up a picture of what I wanted it to look like.

 

My mock-up

My mock-up

 

Here is a close-up of the design.

 

Coincidentally, I have that as a tattoo on my back as well.

Coincidentally, I have that as a tattoo on my back as well.

 

 

I ordered the most recommended fabric (Osnaburg 100% cotton – 6 yards) and the fiber reactive dye and soda ash from Dharma Trading Company (the go-to place for dyes apparently).  The colors I used are:

  • Chinese Red (10A)
  • Soft Orange (5)
  • Bright Yellow (2)
  • Kelly Green (66)
  • Brilliant Blue (46)
  • Deep Purple (18)

I washed and dried the fabric on hot to shrink it down.  It went from 6 yards of 45” wide to 5 yards, 16” and 45” wide.  Then I scoured the fabric.

Beginning to Scour

Beginning to Scour

Beginning to Scour - getting gross...

Beginning to Scour – getting gross…

Scouring is basically a deep clean with soda ash.  You wouldn’t think that new fabric would be that dirty (especially since I just washed it), but it was disgusting.

Ew, gross.

Ew, gross.

Wow... YUCK.

Wow… YUCK.

After I was done scouring, I washed it again on hot and did a hot dry (just to make sure it wasn’t going to shrink anymore.

I ripped the fabric down the side to make it 31” wide and cleaned up the edges.  Then I did a rolled hem with cotton thread (so it would take the dye too), and did a double hem.  This left my wrap about 29” wide and about 180” long… just under a “size 6”.

Pinned and ready to go!

Pinned and ready to go!

All done!

All done!

Next, I did a soda ash soak.  There is a chemical reaction between the dye and the soda ash, so it somehow sticks better to the fabric.  I wanted nice, vibrant colors, so I needed this step.  After the soak, I let it air dry outside on a drying rack.

Blowing in the breeze...

Blowing in the breeze…

Once that was done, it was time to do the glue resist pattern.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a good place to lay out that much fabric, so I laid down a bunch of trash bags in our living room and then laid out the fabric.

Courtesy of the Hubby.

Courtesy of the Hubby.

Soda ash is very caustic, so I didn’t want it touching anything and I wore gloves while using it.  I measured out where I wanted my designs to go.  I ended up placing one large one in the center (22” in diameter), and two on either side in a smaller size (11” in diameter).

Taping everything together.

Taping everything together.

Done!

Done!

The next day (when I had adequate light), I hung the wrap in the window with the design taped to the glass.  Then I traced the design onto the wrap using a washable marker.

Hanging in the window.

Hanging in the window.

Man, my arms got tired from being in the “up” position.  It took probably 2 hours or so to do it.  Then I drew inside the lines with the glue – plain old white Elmer’s school glue.  I went through about a bottle and a half… and my right thumb was numb for about ten days (I’m not kidding… I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but it was weird).

The setup.

The setup.

Glue design.

Glue design.

Glue design almost dry!

Glue design almost dry!

Once the glue resist was done drying, it was dye time!  I accordion folded the wrap and tied it off with yarn that I had laying around.  In washable marker, I wrote the letters R, O, Y, G, B, and P where I wanted to place the dye.

Sort of nicely folded...

Sort of nicely folded…

Tied off!

Tied off!

I laid out the trussed fabric on some baking racks in a Tupperware container (one of the flat ones that is meant to go under the bed).  I got the dyes mixed per the instructions, and then put the dye on where I’d placed my markers.  I think that next time I would wear 2 pairs of gloves… apparently I had a hole in one!

See the letters?

See the letters?

Laid out on the kitchen island.

Laid out on the kitchen island.

Prep area

Prep area

The dyes.

The dyes.

Forgot I needed more stuff...

Forgot I needed more stuff…

Bottles filled.

Bottles filled.

Halfway done.

Halfway done.

Halfway done closeup.

Halfway done closeup.

All done!

All done!

Oh no!

Oh no!

D'oh!  Luckily it wore off in a few days.

D’oh! Luckily it wore off in a few days.

A vision of what's to come.

A vision of what’s to come.

 

I underestimated how long it was going to take to actually get the fabric dyed.  I started about 7:30 thinking it would take an hour or two to mix the dye and put it on.  I ended up going to bed at 10:30 (which is way passed my bedtime)!  Once the dye was on the fabric, I placed it on some trash bags that I’d set out, wrapped it up, and taped it shut.

Trash bag at the ready.

Trash bag at the ready.

All rolled up and ready to party... or marinade.

All rolled up and ready to party… or marinade.

Then I put it on the table in my sewing room.  You’re supposed to keep it someplace warm, but April in Seattle isn’t really warm… the light coming in through the window and the heat rising to the second floor was the best I could do.

I let it sit like this for about 2 days.  I unrolled it outside and did a few rinses in the backyard with the hose.

First rinse.  First of many...

First rinse. First of many…

First rinse.  First of many...

First rinse. First of many…

Then I took it back inside (using the under bed container to transport it), and threw it in the washing machine.  I rinsed it on cold.  And I rinsed, and I rinsed, and I rinsed.

Exciting, I know.

Exciting, I know.

And then the next day while I was at work, my husband ran the washer a couple times on cold.  When I got home, I ran it again on cold and threw a diaper pre-fold in there (a trick I’d picked up in the dye group).  It came out clean, so I rinsed it one more time in cold, and then did a few washes on hot with regular laundry detergent (I used Kirkland brand Free & Clear).

Oooo. Soap!

Oooo. Soap!

So *that's* what it looks like without the glue!

So *that’s* what it looks like without the glue!

Then I dried it and added the outlines to the design (without the lines, the design just looks like a Super Jew design rather than the Jewish/Celtic knot that it’s intended to be).

Outlines.

Outlines.

Clear outlines.

Clear outlines.

Better lighting.

Better lighting.

Braided.

Braided.

I stepped back to look at my handiwork.  I’m very proud of myself.  I wasn’t real happy with the way the glue resist came out, but it’s growing on me.  It has character – character that I know no one else has on their carrier.

I still have to learn a lot about how to use the darn thing.  The first trial went okay (my daughter is so patient with me).  I tried a bastardized version of Robin’s hip carry.

Just ignore my confused look.  Really... I had no idea what I was doing.

Just ignore my confused look. Really… I had no idea what I was doing.

Again, ignore me... and how badly the shoulder is done.

Again, ignore me… and how badly the shoulder is done.

Seriously... keep ignoring me.  Hey... check out that cute little girl!

Seriously… keep ignoring me. Hey… check out that cute little girl!

Close-up of how NOT to do a Robin's Hip Carry.

Close-up of how NOT to do a Robin’s Hip Carry.

Little better.  I got lucky that the smaller design actually lined up like that.  Yay!

Little better. I got lucky that the smaller design actually lined up like that. Yay!

The second time was a better trial.  I think I did a bastardized version of a rucksack with a knotless Tibetan tie (and actually, I just watched a video on YouTube, and I think I actually did it right!  Except I reversed the non-ties… whoops).  I really want to learn how to do a Giselle’s Back Carry… that’s my goal.

First time with a back ruck... The top rail needs to be *way* tighter.

First time with a back ruck… The top rail needs to be *way* tighter.

The back - it came out great!

The back – it came out great!

Kinda Tibetan Tie.

Kinda Tibetan Tie. Sorry about the scary face… I wasn’t going to use it, but it was the best one of the front.

Hello!

Hello!

Abby did really well.  I started to take her out and she said she didn’t want to get down.  Then she said that she was comfortable.  Comfortable!  From a 2 ½ year old!  So I undid the straps and tightened them a bit.  I was getting a little warm (and I still wasn’t comfortable with the wrap job), so I decided to take Abby out.  She threw a little mini tantrum because she didn’t want to get down (babywearing WIN), and then pointed to the Kangaroo Korner pouch… she still wanted to be worn.  I have never been so excited for her to be throwing a tantrum!  Well, we did the Robin’s hip carry again and then when Daddy got home with dinner, then she wanted to down.  I consider this all a win.

Anywho, there you go.  I’m really proud of it!

 

 

 

No More Etsy; I Got Side-Tracked! February 6, 2014

Filed under: Crafts,Knitting Loom,Pinterest,Sewing — drunkmunkies @ 1:47 pm

So I decided that I probably won’t open an Etsy shop.  Through the course of doing research, I learned that it wasn’t as simple as I thought…. in order to sell children’s items (cloth diapers, clothes, blankets, etc), you actually have to have a license and you need to make sure that you’re compliant with any rules and regulations regarding fabric that is fire retardant and a whole host of other things to make sure they’re safe for your little one (and I’m not even including the whole thing about creating a new bank account and the fact that I’d need to file taxes….).  I’ll still continue making things for me (and maybe friends as I learn more), but there is just more involved than I originally thought.  Maybe when child #2 rolls around I’ll start looking into it again.  As of now, not so much.

 

So what have I been doing?  Well, still sewing (although I took a break… Christmas was non-stop sewing gifts for people and I needed a break).  I made a New Year’s resolution to learn how to crochet well.  Shouldn’t be that hard… I have no desire to knit, so I’m not worrying about that.  HOWEVER, I did discover something that I really enjoy.  While my mom and sister were out visiting, we went to JoAnn’s to look around and get some yarn and such to get me started.  In with the crochet hooks and knitting needles, I found something that’s called a knitting loom.  This thing is awesome.  The up side is that it’s ridiculously easy to use.  The down side is that for the life of me, I haven’t been able to find a comprehensive tutorial on the different stitches you can make to create a pattern.  I’ve found a few on Pinterest that are drawn and then scanned in, but I have no notion of what they actually look like when they are woven.  So I’ve charged myself with the task of bringing those sketches to life and posting them here.  Luckily there is at least just the basic outline of what it should be.  Any notes on the images are actually in Spanish or Portuguese.  I can translate them roughly, but are people really going to be interested in doing that?  Probably not… except me because I’m completely confused why there isn’t something like that out there in English.  It’s the internet for goodness sake!  So turns out this will probably turn into a mom/craft/crunchy blog.

 

Shocking.  Come to the dark side and join me on Pinterest.  I’ve already sold my soul for food and homemade lotion.

 

New Purse for Me!

New Purse for Me!

 

 

The tutorial for the wings is on my Pinterest feed somewhere.  It's cut out plastic and glitter nail polish.

The tutorial for the wings is on my Pinterest feed somewhere. It’s cut out plastic and glitter nail polish.

 

 

Apparently it's a Lalaloopsie knock-off.  I still don't know what Lalaloopsie is.

Apparently it’s a Lalaloopsie knock-off. I still don’t know what Lalaloopsie is.

 

 

Twin size dragonfly quilt for Abby.  She'll move to a twin this summer and then we'll redecorate her room (yay rainbows)!

Twin size dragonfly quilt for Abby. She’ll move to a twin this summer and then we’ll redecorate her room (yay rainbows)!

 

the etsy shop November 6, 2013

Filed under: Crafts,Sewing — drunkmunkies @ 7:51 pm

 

Apparently I didn’t publish the draft I wrote last week, so I just posted that…. AND you get a bonus one now too.  Yay!!

 

 

So, I’ll be opening an Etsy shop. I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. I’ve started taking a class that a friend of mine is teaching so that maybe I can get a grasp I what I need to do. I really just need to sit down and write out my business plan and all that good stuff. The whos, the whats. I know the whys already. Here is my original list of things that I can sell:

 

  • Diapers
  • Diaper covers
  • Wet bags
  • Nursing covers (light weight)
  • Mai Tei carriers
  • Sling carriers (learn to make double sided)
  • Boppy covers
  • Aprons
  • Easy blankets
  • Taggie blanket
  • Stuffed animals/critters
  • Felt story board critters
  • Baby K’Tan type carrier (learn to make)
  • Mama Cloth
  • Training pants
  • Some clothes?
  • Bibs
  • Reusable sandwich bags
  • Reusable lunch bags

 

Pretty broad, right? So here’s the deal… I can sew pretty well. Better than pretty well when I’ve had practice… but I don’t have time. So here’s the conundrum: I have time and like to, but if I make it a business, I *have* to make time… but then is it fun anymore?

 

My focus is non-traditional (mostly) gender-neutral baby gear. Here’s another rub: roughly 6% of products sold on Etsy are baby/child related, so if I want to make any money, I NEED to stand out somehow. I need to narrow down what I want to sell… or start small at least. Diapers, carriers, blankets. As the business grows (hopefully), I’ll add in some new product lines.

 

On top of the whole financial aspect of this business, there’s also legal and ethical ones. I’m learning about basic USA compliance pertaining to children’s clothing… I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it pertains to (anything with fabric? Toys?). I have no idea… Also… what’s Hyena Cart? Kinda like Etsy apparently…

 

I’m kicking around the idea of maybe doing a “$1 from every purchase goes to ____ charity”… I’m not sure how to prove that the money is actually going there. I have a stuffed animal (more like stuffed monster) pattern that is rainbow (it’s really cute)… portion of the proceeds go to miscellaneous LBGTQ group? I dunno…. I like it, I’m just not sure how to do that.

 

How do you Etsy?

Filed under: Crafts,Sewing — drunkmunkies @ 7:46 pm

Returning back to the last post, I’ve started to figure out what to do about money. I think I previously said that based on my current salary, I wouldn’t be able to return to work full time (or part time) after I have another kid. Since I’m not pregnant (nor are we trying), now would be a good time to figure out what to do about that.

 

Either I need a new job, my husband needs a new job, or we need to find an option three. I’ve started thinking about opening an Etsy shop.

 

I know zero about running a business. Even if it’s a part-time thing, there would still be more to it than make stuff, sell stuff. There are invoices to create, shipping and costs to figure out, taxes to work in, branding a product, making a product, *marketing* a product. There’s a lot to it. Something simple that I like to do… I would need to make about $500 a month (more would be a huge bonus). I’m just trying to figure out if it would be worth it. I’ve found myself stocking up on inexpensive fabrics (yay sales!), and thinking about what I could make. What I’m NOT thinking about is how to price those items or the details that go with it. I like sewing, but I’m worried that if I turn it into a “job” then I won’t find it enjoyable anymore. I’ve decided I’ll make what I think is cute, what *I* would like to buy… no custom orders. This way I can sell what I have in stock, so all I have to deal with is getting it shipping in a timely manner (which shouldn’t be too hard since I live near a UPS store).

So I’ve more or less made my decision, I just need to come up with a plan. And some sewing labels.