Tiffany & Tot

Tips and Tricks related to cloth diapering and kids clothes, from an Atlantic Canadian perspective


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How to fold Grow With Me cuffs and bands

In the pattern for the Bunny Bottoms by Apple Tree Sewing, the last page is just a little magical, and shows a very trim way to fold the leg cuffs on the pants.

Now that said, seriously, whatever floats you and/or your kid’s boat. Most days, my son’s cuffs are all the way stretched out and he specifically says “Don’t roll them Mommy!” (Which is why most of these pictures aren’t modeled!)

And on most of the remaining days, I quickly fold them up once, as far as I need to for them to stay above his feet (which is less and less every single day!). Usually I can finish this before he starts squirming because he feels ticklish. Or, if I’ve already had my coffee and actually think before I dress him, I fold them this way BEFORE putting them on him, and they stay in place.

A look at cuffs rolled up the fancy trim way while they're being worn.

Proof my son cooperates from time to time

But on a couple of rare occasions, he has been very patient, and somehow not felt tickled, and let me roll them the fancy trim way! Now unfortunately, the fancy trim way can’t be done in advance – their hands or feet will push out all your hard work.

To fold the fancy trim way (and while it’s not specifically mentioned in the pattern, I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for this fold…), first fold the cuff inside, so that the edge of the cuff is touching their skin, and is at least as far as the cuff seam. Then, roll up the cuff once (the standard way) on the outside, making sure that you don’t roll it up too far. (I’ve wracked my brain for how to describe it, but if you hit it, you’ll know!) Voilà! A trim, fancy cuff! (For argument’s sake, on the left as “normal roll” is what happens when you roll it up once to the seam where the cuffs meet the pants, then up again, which is what is a “normal” roll in my head, whatever that means.)

Rolling Grow With Me cuffs or bands in the fancy trim way (that looks nice and is quite trim).

Rolling cuffs the “fancy trim” way

This is great for cuffs around the wrists or ankles, for any grow with me patterns that feature cuffs. (Truth be told, for me personally, the fancy trim way is reserved just for pictures, because my kid is on the ticklish side of things and likes to do things himself, which I encourage. But I think it looks fantastic.)

Rolling the waistband on grow with me pantsFor the waistband, on grow with me pants they’re often longer to accommodate kids at the upper limit of sizing. So far I always fold my son’s waistband down, even when he’s at the upper sizing, but every kid is different. So if you like leaving it up, or if your kid is super styling and likes to dress themself and pull the waistband all the way up, go for it! Whatever floats your boat and creates the least amount of stress.

And on grow with me shirts, I find the waistband usually tucks itself under the shirt just from putting it on. It can sit hidden up there, or be pulled down, whichever you prefer.

Bottom line, whatever gets the job done! But it doesn’t hurt to have something fancy up your sleeve! (BAHA! I just actually laughed out loud. Yep, I’m pretty much the coolest.)


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So many options! Bunny Bottoms edition

wp-image--374654270.As either shorts or pants, these are adorable AND grow with your kid! The sizing is 3-12 months, 12 months-3 years, and 3 years to 6 years, plus they’re designed by Apple Tree Sewing, a Canadian pattern company! (I’ll try to tame down the exclamation marks – I’m a total Apple Tree Sewing fangirl, and you can find her facebook group here.)

The Bunny Bottoms can be made with or without pockets (and there are 3 different pocket options btw), pants or shorts (and there are 3 different takes on the shorts), and a partridge in a pear tree (aka. an optional faux drawstring).

wp-image--257397578.Side note: This basically means it’s easy to justify owning a gazillion pairs, as if I needed a reason!

They all have lots of room for a cloth diaper, and my son always picks his Bunny Bottoms before he picks any other pants, so I’m pretty sure they’re extra comfy.

While my son wears them just about everyday, my favourite use for them is in the diaper bag – no more worrying about whether he’s outgrown what’s in there! To see how they compare to some other grow with me pants options, take a look at this post, and for help on how to fold the cuffs, check here.

Pockets

We have peek-a-boo pockets, the kangaroo pocket, slit pockets, or no pockets at all. They’re all fully functional, though they do have different strengths. Bottom line, I’d go with whichever you like the look of best.

Peek-a-boo Pockets

wp-image--272635283.These are super cute and can be a way to use up a very small amount of fabric (just in case there is hardly any of your favourite print left). The pocket fabric peeks out the sides a bit, so you do see it (or at least you would if my business card wasn’t in the way in this picture!).

This pocket style shows stitching where the pocket attaches to the pants, so if you don’t like seeing stitching, the slit pocket may be a better option for you.

I think this style is my personal favourite, but I like them all. They’re sewn in similar to how I’ve seen pockets sewn on yoga pants.

Kangaroo Pocket

wp-image--1756115713.This has a very similar look to the peek-a-boo pockets, the difference being it’s connected through the middle like a kangaroo pocket on a hoodie. If the same fabric is used for the pants and the pockets, the only visual difference would be the stitching. In the peek-a-boo pockets, there is stitching following where the pocket attaches to the pants up through almost the middle. With the kangaroo pocket, the stitching is across the bottom of the pocket.

The kangaroo pocket is a great way to show off two different fabrics, or to show contrasting fabrics as shown above. And if the item is for an older baby or toddler, they may have fun sneaking there hand in one side and out through the other – at least this is a game my son likes to play!

Slit Pockets

wp-image--733087453.These pockets are inset in a different way, with less stitching to the pants. They are slightly bulkier than the other two options (because there are two layers of fabric making up the pocket rather than just one), but there’s lots of room in the Bunny Bottoms anyway, so they don’t look bulky when they’re worn.

There is still a little peeking going on with the pocket fabric (if you use a contrasting fabric), but not quite as much as the other two. These are sewn in like most jeans front pockets are attached.

Shorts vs. Shorts vs. Shorts vs. Pants

The shorts have two different band options (they can be snugger or looser), and the legs can also be hemmed if you prefer that over bands. The pants have long cuffs on the legs that can be folded up or down to accommodate the kid’s height.

Shorts – Cuffed (Looser or Tighter)

from-the-back-altered-e1496356224570.jpg

The cuffed shorts are super cute. The looser ones allow the shorts to hang a bit, but it depends on how chunky the legs are. The tighter cuffs would be more snug to the legs.

Shown to the side is the looser cuff, size 3 years to 6 years, on a 3T or 4T sized kid with legs that are pretty much average, maybe slightly skinny, and you can see that there’s some room between the cuffs and his legs. Also, the difference in length between the looser and tighter cuff is about an inch.

Shorts – Hemmed

SONY DSC Hemmed is pretty cute too, where the shorts fall straight down the legs. They also work out to be a little shorter than a pair with bands (because they don’t have the extra length of the cuffs). Shown here is size 3 years to 6 years, on my 3-4T sized kid.

Personally, I feel hemmed is better suited to stiffer fabrics than fabrics that have lots of drape (and would float around a bit more), but it depends on the look you’re going for. If you’re unsure or have any questions, please let me know – I’d love to talk with you about it.

Pants

wp-image--2106052176Ahhh, the pants (my favourite). Shown to the side is size 3-6 years on both my 3 or 4T sized little monster, and my friend’s 6 or 7 sized kid. On the left you can see the cuffs are almost all the way rolled up on my son, but they’re still long enough on the right for the 6 or 7 sized kid too.

Even though my son is at the lower end of sizing, the bottom cuffs are just snug enough that they will pretty much stay above his feet when my son refuses to let me roll up the cuffs *cough cough* I mean, when he likes to do things himself and insert his independence… so they don’t quickly slide over his heels. (It will slowly happen over time, but not quickly, and that’s with him at the lower end of the size.) And you can see from the picture that they’re still comfortable for kids at the larger end of sizing.

For help with how to roll up the cuffs, check here.

Faux Drawstring

wp-image--570524834.

This is a little detail that looks great, and has won me over (even though I was a little hesitant at first for some reason I can’t remember anymore). Since trying a drawstring now I need a drawstring on everything, which is why there’s a drawstring in just about all my pictures! It’s a faux drawstring, so just for show, but I’ve found my son likes trying to to tie it up, so it might buy you a couple minutes to make a coffee too! 🙂


So what are your favourite options for the Bunny Bottoms? I think mine are the peek-a-boo pockets on pants, but my son seems to like the slit pockets on shorts the best. I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments below, or you can tell me here!

 

Tiffany and Tot assorted cloth pads


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Cloth Pad General Information

A Variety Cloth Pad Set sewn by Tiffany and Tot

I seriously feel like I could go on for days and days about how amazing cloth pads are, but I won’t. If you’d like to hear me ramble some more, please contact me – I’d love to chat about them! The short version, though…

Benefits and Downsides

I honestly feel the downsides are minimal and are virtually insignificant compared to the benefits, but everyone is different. Cloth pads do cost more up front than disposables, but they save TONS of money over time. My smaller (but workable) stash paid for itself in less than 4 months, and I am factoring in full price.

Another consideration is laundry, as they will be something else that needs to be washed, however they can be easily washed with other laundry (and there are details in the washing section below).

For benefits, they’re cheaper, can be customized to suit you perfectly, can be washed with other clothes (so very little extra work cleaning), they’re really comfy and adorable or trendy or whatever look you’re going for. And these are just the superficial benefits off the top of my head. I didn’t even go into environmental benefits, or how some people (myself included) are actually allergic to disposable menstrual products, but don’t even realize it because it’s the only method they’ve ever known.

Prepping new pads

A Variety Pack of cloth pads sewn by Tiffany and Tot

If they’re made with bamboo (and all mine are), they should be washed approx. 5 times before they will reach max. absorbency. If they’re used before they’re fully prepped then they won’t absorb as quickly or effectively, but they will still function (you’ll just need to change them a bit sooner). For prepping, they can be washed with normal loads you’re already doing.

If you’re impatient (like I am) and want to use them right away, I would definitely recommend washing once as this will partially prep them, then just keep an extra close eye on when they need to be changed.

Washing

This depends on your washer, detergent, water, and personal biology. I’d start by washing normally with regular laundry and see how it goes. If this isn’t quite enough, you could try a heavier wash cycle, or a quick prewash with a small amount of detergent before adding your other laundry. Staining can be avoided by rinsing immediately, and/or washing frequently (within 48 hours), but they will come clean even if you don’t rinse and wait a few days. Hot water is a toss up. Some people find it cleans more effectively, but it also tends to set stains. Definitely avoid fabric softeners like the plague though as they can negatively affect absorbency.


Various Cloth Pad patterns sewn by Tiffany and TotIf you have any questions at all, whether about my pads or reusable menstrual products in general, please don’t hesitate to let me know because I’m happy to answer what I can, whether in the comments below, or more privately – you can find all my contact info here. This isn’t a topic we tend to talk about easily, so if you’d rather not talk publicly, believe me, I completely understand.

All four Apple Tree Drool Bib Styles, sewn by Tiffany and Tot


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So many options! Drool bibs edition

Options can be overwhelming, both for you as a customer of items, and for me as a sewist trying to decide what to offer! The next few posts will continue to break down the different options within patterns or pattern types.

I’ve already looked at the pros and cons of different diaper styles and insert options, as well as some different grow with me pants patterns. Today we’re on to bibs!

The Apple Tree Drool Bib Set is my go-to for bibs. 4 options, good sizing range, love the pattern, and the designer is Canadian. Win win win all around! Here are my specific thoughts on the different options.

Full disclosure – I *might* have tried on all 4 bib types myself while my toddler model was sleeping. So when I talk about sizing in each I’ll mention the sizing according to the pattern, how they fit on my 3T sized model, and how they would *cough* hypothetically fit an adult. And there are 3 different snap settings on the bibs, so there is some wiggle room in there.

I sew all except the double bandana bib with a water resistant heavy fleece back, so it will take a LOT more drool (or whatever) before the baby’s clothes will actually get wet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sewing when my son was going through his terrifyingly-acidic-teething-drool stage, so he constantly had an unhappy rash down his chin and onto his chest whenever he was teething no matter how often I changed his bibs. So I’ve made what I know would have helped him, just in case it helps you too. 🙂

Side Snap Bandana Bib

Side Snap Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Side Snap Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one is awesome for babies/tots with long hair because the snaps are on the side. However, the sizing for this pattern is the smallest of all four, otherwise it would be my personal favourite.

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: A little snugger than I’m comfortable with personally, but still mostly fit. (My recommendation is to keep this one for newborns and babies rather than toddler as well, but it of course depends on the kid.)

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Didn’t fit.

Slouchy Bandana Bib

Slouchy Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Slouchy Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one is a fairly popular style right now, and while the pattern has it as up to 2 years, I found it fit my 3T sized model comfortably. This pattern isn’t quite as slouchy as some other patterns I’ve tried, but it’s also much less bulky, and lays flat – this mean it can be packed easily, mails well, and you’re not forever trying to figure out how to get creases out of a slouchy item you can’t really iron.

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit.

Double Bandana Bib

Double Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Double Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one isn’t backed with water resistant fleece, but there are 4 layers between the drool and the clothing, so it’s pretty generous for absorbency as far as bibs go. It’s also reversible, so if you can’t choose between two prints, this is the way to go! It also seemed the largest for sizing of all four.

Fit according to the pattern: 6 months – 3 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit, seemed the largest of the 4 styles.

Scarf Bib

Scarf Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Scarf Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

I think this is my personal favourite, though I’m not entirely sure why I like it over the other styles. (Just personal preference I guess.) The sizing is somewhere in the middle, so it would fit early and was still a very comfortable fit for my 3T sized model. It also fits very nicely under coats without being bulky, so I used this style for an actual scarf under a winter coat for my son. The fleece back kept him nice and warm for playing out in the snow. (That said, the Slouchy Bandana Bib and Side Snapped Bandana Bib would likely work just as well, I just didn’t make any of that style for my son.)

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit.


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My Grow With Me Pants Options

Did I have you sold from my last post about how grow with me options are awesome? You can find it here if you missed out.

Today I’ll be explaining the 3  different grow with me pants options that I sell, and like everything, there are pros and cons flying around everywhere! 🙂

Personally I prefer the Apple Tree Bunny Bottoms pattern (looked at in this post). Super cute, biggest size range, a gusset for easier movement, can also be shorts, lots of decorative options, and Apple Tree Sewing Patterns is a Canadian small business! Plus, if you go with the smallest size, even though they would be large at birth, they would last much longer (12 months) than the other pants (6 months).

Everyone is different however, and the other patterns do have their benefits. All are cloth diaper friendly except for a single option of the Monster Bunz pattern (because that one technically has 4 fit options). Pros and cons of each design below, and check here for help on rolling up the cuffs.

Bunny Bottoms (pattern by Apple Tree Sewing)

Slim(ish) harem pants, fit similar to jogging pants.

Pros:

  • biggest size range, up to size 6 (3-12 months, 9 months – 3T, and 3T-6)
  • added gusset for extra movement (so less stress on the seams, and it drapes nicely)
  • pants or shorts (shorts can be cuffed or be hemmed)
  • 3 pocket options (slit, peek-a-boo or kangaroo)
  • faux drawstring option

Cons:

  • more expensive – the gusset, pockets and drawstring take more time and increase the price appropriately

For an in-depth look at all the options, and lots of pictures, check out this post.

Monster Bunz (pattern by Opulent Monsters)

These fit more similar to leggings, though depending on the option chosen they may be snug or slightly looser as shown above. The options mostly decide themselves depending on if you want a “bum circle” (which acts like a gusset and creates more room for a cloth diaper), and if you want them to be more on the snug side or on the  slightly looser side.

Pros:

  • 4 fit options, from leggings to fairly fitted jogging pants
  • can be sewn with or without a “bum circle” (with it creates a better fit over cloth diapers, without it reduces the cost of the pants)
  • smaller sizes available (preemie, tiny newborn, and newborn)
  • sizes up to 4 years (0-6 months, 3-18 months, 1-4 years)
  • there is a size starting at birth

Cons:

  • slimmer through the hips, so while possible, pockets wouldn’t be recommended (and are not possible with 3 of the 4 styles)

P is for Pirate Harem Pants (pattern by Hatchlings Patterns)

These are a very quick sew, so less expensive, and they do have a fair bit of room for a cloth diaper. Good for a newborn, especially if they’re a slow gainer.  You’ll see in the “cons”, that I have limited sizing in there, though there is a larger size available that’s 6 months-4T. I debated getting it, but I’m so in love with the Bunny Bottoms that I didn’t want to buy another harem pants pattern needlessly. While I haven’t compared them personally (since I don’t have the larger size of this one), I worry that there might be too much stress on the crotch seam too with this one, since there isn’t a gusset to allow for more movement (like the Bunny Bottoms). But I do still think this would be my pick if looking for pants for a preemie or newborn (keeping in mind that they likely would grow out of them very quickly).

Pros:

  • less expensive
  • there is a size starting at birth
  • a baggy harem means room for a cloth diaper

Cons:

  • only one size, 0-6 months

 

And that’s that! My pick is definitely the Bunny Bottoms. What do you think? Did I miss any pros or cons?


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You’re not “good enough”. You’re fricken awesome.

If I’m perfectly honest, this is for me just as much as it’s for you.

And I know it’s a little off topic in some ways for me, but it’s also essential to all of us in ways that actually matter.

As far as I can tell, it seems like most people feel inadequate a whole lot of the time. If this doesn’t apply to you, that’s amazing! But most people I’ve even surface spoken with seem to feel like they’re not good enough in one way or another.

On my good days, if I can get myself to believe I’m “good enough”, whether for my family, friends, work, whatever, I’m doing pretty well. And that seems to be the goal of others I’ve known too.

But seriously? That’s crap. You’re not “good enough”. You’re SO much more!

I know I don’t know your situation. And even if you know me, you probably don’t know all of mine. But I really believe that you’re fricken awesome. Whatever that dumbass in your head is telling you, (you know, the one you let convince you that you’re not good enough), he’s a jerk and needs to go. Because you’re so, SO much more than good enough.

And please believe me when I say that I know that’s WAY easier said than done. But it doesn’t make it any less true.

You’re not good enough. You’re fricken awesome. And it’s high time we all start believing it.

Northern Rose Fabric preorder


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Northern Rose Fabrics Review – (Short version, it’s amazing!)

Northern Rose Fabrics Under the Sea strikeoff

Northern Rose Fabrics is a new Canadian small business offering custom prints on 95% cotton 5% lycra fabric. Owned and run by Samantha Gowanlock in Alberta, she’s currently running a pre-order of 10 gorgeous prints. Pre-order specifics and the nitty gritty will be at the end, but her prints are fantastic – you’ve been warned. Almost as soon as I posted her pre-order options to my facebook page I had an order for multiple items using her prints! She also has a monthly giveaway in her Facebook group, so make sure to check it out, and the current giveaway information is below with the preorder details.

Northern Rose FabricsI was selected to be a strikeoff seamstress for her, meaning I got to test out some of her fabric. The short version is that it’s amazing! No word of a lie, when I first showed it to my son, his eyes got really big, he gasped and excitedly exclaimed “Oooooh! THIS fabric!!!! Here’s what I’ve noticed with the strikeoff I sewed up, “Under the Sea”:

  • really soft to the touch
  • great colours, as vibrant as the pictures appear on my screen
  • no fading after a prewash with detergent (I cut off a sample to compare)Northern Rose Fabrics Strikeoff
  • the colours in the “Under the Sea” print didn’t seem to run at all – I tossed a white sock in the washer with it and the sock didn’t change colour even slightly
  • sewed up nicely

I’m honestly really happy with the fabric quality, and I can’t wait to buy more!

Preorder Details

Northern Rose Fabric preorder

The current pre-order closes on May 21st, so make sure your orders are in before then. Pre-order price is $25.50CAD and retail price will be $29.50CAD, invoiced in Canadian dollars and cut by the metre. The fabric has 4 way stretch, is digitally printed, is approximately 59″ wide and is a nice medium weight at 250gsm. There is a layaway option, shipping within Canada is a flat rate of $15CAD, and prices for shipping elsewhere are available on her Facebook page. Finally, everyone who preorders will be automatically entered for a giveaway bundle of 5 free fat halves!! What’s not to love??

Update May 12, 2017 – I’ve now washed one of the items I made at least 10 times. I’m happy to report it still looks great!!!