Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cloth diapers

Here is a set of prefold diapers I made the other night. The orange one has a pocket on the flannel stripe, but it's kind of hard to see. I think I'll sew a button on it so you can see it better.

Since I got my sewing machine fixed earlier in the week I've been busy making the baby more diapers. I'd like him to have enough to last for 2.5-3 days. I think we just about have that now.

He's wearing prefolds and flats that I made for him from old flannel shirts and old t-shirts, and a few others that I bought from a few mamas at The ones I bought were all made by mamas as well. I'm proud of the fact that I've made something for him, that we can save a lot of money with them, that I recycled materials to make them, and that the ones I bought were all made by mamas like me who sewed them to save money.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Money-saving setbacks

My attempts to save my family money by sewing diapers and other things for the kids is not really saving us any money right now, at least not yet. It has been COSTING us money, plus my time and frustration.

I found a wonderful tutorial about how to make diapers from old t-shirts at the forum and thought it was something I could do easily. I went to my mom's and collected up some old flannel shirts, old t-shirts, and a sewing machine, which is actually a high end embroidery machine that belonged to my grandmother.

I made all of a half-dozen prefolds and a half dozen flats before the machine shut down after three days. I took it in to the shop and they discovered some nicks in the bobbin case. That's $85 to look at it plus whatever for a new case for a total cost of around $150. Plus the machine would be in the shop for two weeks.

A few days passed by and I was trying not to go crazy without a machine, and my mom didn't have another one to loan me. Plus I wanted a very basic one that I could keep on hand, since I'm giving my grandmother's back to her when it gets out of the shop. I went to Goodwill on Sunday and picked up a very basic old White model for $35. It's just like (or very similar to) the one I used to sew my clothes on in high school.

I got it home and it had no bobbin case!

I can return it within 15 days for an exchange but I WANT THE MACHINE, I WANT TO SEW! (Blast it all.)

My mom thought she had a bobbin case to fit it but she's 30 minutes away. I took it down to the shop and bought a case for $20. So now we're up to $55 on THIS money-saving deal.

I got it back home, put the case on it, and then the needle wouldn't go up and down! I didn't have that problem before I put the bobbin case in there.

I called the shop and told them what was happening, and they said it sounded like something (a belt maybe) could be slipping and to bring it on back so they can take a look at it! She said it didn't have anything to do with the bobbin case although the needle and everything was going up and down just fine before.

I took it back in to the shop, not very hopeful by now that I can ever get anything sewn.

It turned out that I had shoved the bobbin case in too hard and that was what was keeping it from working. The man at the sewing machine shop took it out and took the case workings out and put them back in and didn't charge me for it.

I brought the machine back home, plugged it up, and held my breath.


The tension was a little bit messed up but was working.

I've made several more diapers since I got the last problem fixed. The tension problem seemed to have worked its way out.

I've still got a lot more sewing to do to make up for the $55 I spent on the machine. I know that's not much to spend on a working machine but I was thinking I could sew for free. (Silly me.) I am also going to try to see if I can find a better price on getting my grandmother's machine fixed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New sewing machine

I picked this sewing machine up Sunday for $35 from Goodwill! I got a good deal on it and will use it to help us save money.

Right now I'm still in the process of sewing diapers for the baby.

My daughter and niece want to learn to sew on it and this one is a good one for that. They've already been helping me stitch around flat diapers.

This machine is just like the one I used to make my clothes when I was a teenager.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Recent Goodwill and yard sale finds

My $14 Goodwill/yard sale haul from last week

A few days ago I hit Goodwill and a yard sale in search of mainly things for my diaper-sewing project I last posted about. For around $14 I got all the stuff in this photo plus a few more things:

Flannel sheet, $3

Four large men's T-shirts in very gently used condition, 50 cents each, $2 total

Dress for my daughter, $3

Baggie of sewing essentials like thread, needles, elastics, thimble, etc., $2

Yarn, crochet hook, and a beautiful strip of a crochet something that my daughter loves as a stole, $2

Bible with tabs for all the books, $1

Brand new (of course) Estee Lauder lip gloss and matching (somehow) Avon nail polish, 50 cents each, $1 total

What a haul! I had hoped to find more sewing supplies at Goodwill but they were rather low the other day. I was thrilled with the flannel sheet, though.

I just love Goodwill and all the great yard sales around here. They are held every single weekend here where we live now. You can get a lot of very gently used items for very little money, and that sure helps!