Burpies & Wipies

Well, as promised, I’m giving you my burp cloth talk. And since it has taken me so long to round up photos and get to it, I’m throwing in wipies.

So, first things first. A “burpie” is a burp cloth. A “wipie” is a cloth wipe/mini burp cloth/cloth Kleenex- you get the point.

Now, how do you make them? Here are the dimensions:

Burpie- 10″ x 18″

Wipie- 10″ x 6″

So, the wipie is about a third of the size of the buttie.

To make a burpie or wipie, simply cut two rectangles of fabric (we’ll discuss fabric selection in a minute) and sew them together with right sides together, leaving a hole to turn the item right side out.

(You can see the hole in the above photo on the upper edge.) Clip the corners so when you turn your item right side out, you’ll have corners rather than rounds.

Flip right side out, pushing the corners out. Sew around the edge again, all the way around. Sew close to the edge to close the hole. Overlap your stitches where you began.

(This entire process is very simply termed “turned and topstitched” or “T&T.” When you see this, you know the whole process is sew, flip, sew.)

Now, let’s discuss the arduous task of choosing fabric! So, you can clearly use whatever you want, but I have tried several things and used them personally, so I really do know what works.

The best option based on absorbency is woven cotton on one side (quilting cotton) and terry cloth on the other side. You can buy the terry cloth by the yard, but the best absorbency is to buy cheap towels from the mega mart which shall remain unnamed. (No joke, I only go to the MegaloMart – name changed- for these cheap towels!) You go to MegaloMart and buy their cheapest towels. (They cost $2.50 a towel and you can make at least 4 burpies out of one towel!) Cut the end strips off (unless you like that line across your burpie) and cut them into appropriate sized rectangles. I have tried both terry by the yard and cheap towels and I can tell you that cheap towels make fluffier, more absorbent burpies. (And you’ll have a broader range of colors.) Burpies made out of cotton and terry are cute and functional. They catch the biggest messes from the biggest spitters! They are awesome! The drawback is the bulk. They are pretty hefty and don’t fold up very small, which makes them boogers to stick a few in your diaper bag. There are also limited colors available. Yes, towels come in many colors, but you may have trouble finding exact matches.

The next best option is flannel. You can use a woven cotton (quilting cotton) on one side and flannel on the other, or you can do both sides in flannel. Flannel is soft, thin, and absorbent. Flannel/flannel make awesome wipies! They are the best wipies in the world. (Well, flannel/bamboo velour make some super awesome wipes- but that can be expensive!) Solid flannel comes in more colors that terry and even more than towels. Cotton/flannel burp cloths are perfect for stashing several in your diaper bag for emergency use. They also work well if you have a frequent spitter that doesn’t spit a lot each time. They fold down so easily. You can also use flannel on one side and terry on the other side, if you are so inclined. Flannel is much softer than the terry.  Flannel is also really cheap! (I buy mine when JoAnn’s has it on sale for $2.49 a yard!)

You can also use a cotton knit in place of woven cotton. I tend to use woven cotton because it comes in so many prints and patterns. I can find so many cute fabrics. Knit on one side and terry on the other do make some awesome wipies, though they can be a little rough (especially on little noses), but can clean poo off little butts like nobody’s business. You can also use knit on both sides, but they are hard to sew and are not my favorite. But if you have some old tees and need wipies, go ahead and use them! (If you have a serger, you can just serge two layers of knits together instead of T&T.)

You can use whatever you like, but there are a few things that I thought might be nice, but really suck when made into something you need to actually function! Don’t use minky. It sounds like a nice idea. A burp cloth with cotton on one side in an adorable pattern and super soft minky on the other. Well, it is gross when a kid pukes on the minky and it isn’t absorbed at all! It just sits there and you touch it and it is cold, then the baby rubs his face in it and he has puke all over his cute little face because minky does not absorb! Yes, the burp cloth is cute as can be. Yes, before the baby is born you run your hand over it and feel the softness and you get all mommy-eyed thinking about your soft, sweet baby cuddling up on your shoulder with this divine burpie. Then you use it once, have puke smeared everywhere on you and adorable baby, and you never pick that burp cloth again. Until your mother-in-law visits. *laughing* (That was a joke. I am not at all responsible for mothers-in-law getting covered in icky baby puke from a non-absorbent burp cloth!)

The next fabric not to use is fleece. It seems like it’d be a nice choice. Many baby things are fleece. Fleece is soft and fluffy. Fleece comes in bazillions of colors. But let me inform you. Fleece repels water. That is not a good feature for a burpie or a wipie. (If you need liners for cloth diapers to keep diaper rash cream, bacitracin, or petroleum jelly off your diapers, fleece makes a good liner. Other than that, keep away from the fleece!)

(3 wipies made with cotton/terry on left next to 3 wipies made with cotton/flannel. All are folded in thirds- my usual way of folding things- and the terry ones were pushed down so they’d stay for the 2 seconds it took to snap a picture!)

So, go sew! Go ahead! Make burpies and wipies for yourself, your friends, your neighbors, that person across the country that you don’t know but paid you to do so!

Need burpies and/or wipies but don’t have the time/energy/resources to make them? Let me know! I take custom orders! (Visit MooseandWormy or contact me any other way you know how!)

I Love Etsy!

No lie, I love Etsy. Yes, there are other sites out there to buy handmade goods, but Etsy is my favorite! Here are a few items on Etsy that I love right now!

Awesome poncho from The Trendy Tot!

Little Red Riding Hood Pigtail Set by My Little Red Wagon. I love her pigtail sets. My princess has several pairs with more coming soon in the mail!

Refrigerator Magnet Meg by Weirdolls.

Milk and Honey Gnome Soap for Love Lee Soaps. (How awesome is that?!)

Moustache Teether from Little Alouette.

Greek Alphabet Blocks by quercusdesigns.

Clothespin Bag Migo by Mauk.

Head over to Etsy.com and see what super awesome stuff you can find! (And you can check out my shop Moose and Wormy.)

Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a plastic bag holder. Of course, I accepted! I looked online for a tutorial or something. But none of them fit what I wanted it to look like. Most of them were just tubes with elastic at the top and bottom. Very basic. I usually like basic, but I thought it needed a little extra oomph! So, I did what I do. I sat down with my graph paper and sketched out a plan. This is another fat quarter project! Yay! (Fat quarters are 18″ x 22″ pieces of fabric, sold at fabric stores that sell quilting fabric.)

I use reusable bags, but always end up with plastic grocery bags anyway! You could also use this bag to store other things. (I stuffed on with fabric scraps!) And, as always, if you want one of these, but don’t have the skills, time, or desire to make it yourself- you can always contact me! (Check out Moose and Wormy on Etsy!)

To make a plastic bag holder, you’ll need one fat quarter, a 4″ strip of a contrasting fabric, 2 small (4″ or so) pieces of elastic, and one small piece of ribbon (6″ or so). (You can also make a fabric “loop” to hang the bag by. It is up to you!)

Measure your fat quarter. It should be about 18″ x 22″, but sometimes they are slightly larger. You’ll want to cut your 4″ strip of contrast fabric so you have two 4″ strips to go across each 18″ side. If your fat quarter is 19″, then cut your strips 19″ to fit.

With the right sides together, sew the contrast strip to the main fabric along the 18″ edge. Repeat for the other side.

I serge all my edges, since I am usually selling what I make. If you’ve got a serger, go ahead and finish those edges. If you don’t have a serger, you can omit the finishing if you want, or you can pink or zig-zag the edge. Since this is not a wearable object, or an object that will get much washing (if any) it isn’t necessary to finish the edges at all. So, don’t feel bad if you choose to skip that step!

Pin your ribbon loop (or fabric loop) a couple inches from the top of the main fabric along the 22″ side. (Which is not a 30″ side, since you just attached two 4″ strips to the ends!) If you put your loop too high, you’ll be fighting it while you sew the elastic casing or it will end up on the ruffle. So, try to put it low enough it will be out of the way, but still at the top of the bag. (You can turn the top ruffle down and see where it will hit if that helps you. I just eyeball it and hope for the best!)

Fold your fabric in half long ways (with your contrast fabric on the top and bottom) and sew with right sides together. Serge or finish the edge as you did with the other seam!

Serge the top and bottom edge of your contrast fabric (you can see above that the edge of the pink fabric is serged). If you want to skip that step, go right ahead!

Now, press the contrast edge in. (See above!) You want to leave about 1/2″ or so of your contrast fabric showing on the front.

(In the photo above, I am showing you the contrast fabric showing on the front.) Repeat for the opposite end. Press it down, leaving about 1/2″ (maybe a little more) showing on the front.

At this point, you’re bag is looking something like this. It reminds me of the cat tunnel project in In Stitches by Amy Butler. (Don’t know what project I’m referring to? It is a tube, much like this, lined with faux fur for your cat to play in.)

Now, we make our elastic casing! Yay! Sew along about 1/2″ from the edge of the contrast fabric. Sew all the way around, sewing back over your first stitches.

Sew all the way around again, this time sewing as close to the edge as you can. Also, you’ll need to backstitch the ends and leave a small opening (preferably near the back center seam) to guide your elastic through.

Repeat for the other side! Now, you are almost done!

Grab your two pieces of elastic!

Here is how I thread my elastic. I put a large safety pin along the back end. It keeps the elastic from slipping all the way through. (Believe me, that is a pain!) I attach a small safety pin to the front end (the end I’ll be pushing through the casing).  Make sure your safety pins are firmly attached. It really sucks when a pin slips off because you put it too close to the edge.

Thread your elastic through the casing.

Sew your elastic together by overlapping it and sewing it with an “elastic” stitch. (The awkward looking zig-zag stitch on your machine that is more “lighting bolty” than “zig-zaggy.” If you don’t have that stitch, a small zig-zag will work. (You may have to reset the width of the zig-zag so it fits on the elastic.)

Repeat for the other side!

Flip it right side out an you’re done! I know, you’re wondering why I didn’t finish closing off those elastic casings! Well, to be honest, it is a pain in the butt and it serves no real purpose. You can fight through it and close them up if you’d like, but I see no reason to. I backstitched the ends, so I made sure it was nice and secure. The elastic is so tight, You’ll find great difficulty stretching it out to sew that little bitty hole closed. And I see no point in closing it. You can if you’d like, I don’t.

See the lovely loop on the back! You can hang it in your pantry or, if you’re like me, you can hang it on your kitchen wall! (Use some snazzy fabrics and you’ll liven your kitchen up!)

This is my favorite aspect of the design! The top and bottom “mouth” of your bag holder have a nice little flirty splash of contrast! I love it!

Go! Make some as gifts, for yourself, or sell some! (Yep. You can feel free to sell anything you make from any of my free designs.) As always, I just ask that you not take credit for the design and that you’d share the free tutorial with others! (No hoarding freeness!) Have fun!

Courtesy of Moose and Wormy! (visit my shop at mooseandwormy.etsy.com)

New Tutorials Coming Soon!

**Note: Photos in this post are completely unrelated to content. I just hate posting without pictures.**

Oy! Life has been so busy lately! I haven’t had a chance to share with you some of my newest designs! I’ve recently created a half-yard apron pattern (per my Mother’s request) and a plastic bag holder pattern. I will get around to posting them asap! (Have to take all the pictures first!) I will also attempt to post a tutorial for my hoarding apron. Not sure how well that will translate, since I had to draft the pattern for it, not just measuring squares and such. We’ll see. I’ll try. You see if you can manage!

We have had two illnesses fly through the parsonage this month. Yuck. Everyone but the Pastor got the flu earlier this month. Then the big littles got a stomach virus this week. No fun!

This weekend, a crew of volunteers will be giving our church (the building, not the people) a make over. Everyone needs a little “spruce” now and then. (And no, that was not a hint to the wall color.)

I have made 3 Etsy sales in my one month (almost) of being open. I consider that a success (though I would have liked to have sold out) considering it is a new shop. (And since many other sellers are complaining about low sales right now.) Maybe my giving the patterns away for free won’t bite me in the butt. One can hope! I’ve got a few skirts that will be in the shop soon! (Just have to take some pictures of them!) Believe me, these skirts are gorgeous! I’m very tempted to keep them for my own princess!

Moose and Wormy: For Free!

After much deliberation, I have decided that I will offer my patterns and tutorials for free! Yep, you heard me. I thought about it for a long time! I thought about all the money I could make by selling you my patterns in e-book style. In the end, however, I came back to my usual place. You should be able to have (and sell) anything you can make.  Patterns and ideas should be free- after all, they are nothing new. And there is no need for everyone to have to reinvent the wheel (or the crayon wallet) every single time they go to make something! So, anything for sale in my shop will have free (FREE!) tutorials and instructions here on my blog unless the pattern is not mine to share. So, while I would like for you to buy from me, if you’ve got more skills than cash (like me) then you can make your own Moose and Wormy creations yourself! You can look forward to those tutorials in the future. I’ll be photographing them as I’m making them, but who knows when I’ll get around to putting them up! Be patient, after all, it is free! I hope you enjoy and appreciate it. (I also hope my store doesn’t completely flop since I’m giving the world my patterns and tutorials I’ve worked so hard on. If it does, I guess the pastor will just have to keep working two jobs.)

Me and Etsy

After many, many requests, I have decided to open an Etsy store. I love shopping on Etsy, and hopefully I will love selling there, too.

Moose and Wormy: A Boutique of Play

I’m currently working on getting a graphic designer to design the shop banner and such. I will also be sewing hard, trying to create beautiful, fun pieces for kids to enjoy. I decided to stick with what I know: children’s play things. I’ll be making clothes and play things for children. I plan to sell twirly skirts to make any girl a princess or a fairy. I also plan to design and make some superhero capes! I’ve already got some crayon wallets coming. I’m planning on making aprons (cooking, crafting, and gardening varieties for kids). Smocks will probably find their way to the shop.

I would love your support! (Yes, you!) I plan on opening shop March 1st. I would like a decent stock before I open, but will get to listing as soon as I can.

Any suggestions for items you’d like to see? Or awesome superhero ideas?