Friday, October 8, 2010

Lessons Learned

We have been so incredibly lucky to have generous friends. We have baby gear coming out our ears and I can't think of any gadget, gizmo, or what not that we still need.

Some friends of the family kindly loaned us a bassinet, which means we didn't have to plop down $300 to $600 on a new bassinet.

It also meant a compromise between Lance and I - he wants the baby in the bed and I say "no way". He is caught up in the moment of having a little person in his arms and I am thinking that I will be with the little person all day and will want my space. I am also not convinced it is entirely safe since my own parents had an incident when they tried keeping me in the bed. Apparently I got stuck between the bed and wall - explains a lot, doesn't it?

Anyhow, the loaner bassinet is old, in great condition, and will allow us to keep the little one in our bedroom. Because it is an older style, I had to special order a mattress, which was surprisingly affordable and fits it well. I was able to find a set of two bassinet sheets at Ross for $2 and they held up in the wash and are pretty soft. I felt I had done everything possible to update and prepare the bassinet for the baby.

Looks great,no? I like that someone stenciled a design on the side - sign of the 80's!

View from above - I think it looks ready for a baby.

Lance was of the opinion that we needed a liner. I think the metal sides worried him. We could order one online for $30, but most of them were frilly and looked odd. So, I decided to test my recently acquired sewing skills to see if I could create a liner.

It was nothing short of disaster.

First, I forgot that I hadn't washed the fabric I was using for the sides. I also had no pattern - I thought I would just use my math skills and "wing it". Above all, I had no idea what I was doing.

It doesn't look too bad from above, but you might notice the oddly shaped corner on the left (along with a bit of my toe and belly!).

It is a bit more apparent in this photo. When I took this photo, I was still working on repairing the odd corner. I had washed the material by this time and it had shrunk and I had to rip out the whole corner, find some scrap fabric because I had already pinked that area, and then piece something together. It was really difficult, especially as I had already added the elastic.

Final product:

I had originally thought to put the material I used for the deck (bottom) as the material for the sides. I am glad I didn't - it is a bit loud!

Unfortuntely, that corner still looked odd, but I didn't have the mattress in yet.

It continued to look weird, but a little better than when it came out of the wash.

To test the stability of the liner, I used two 3-lb weights to serve in place of a baby. As you can see, that corner is still odd. I did have the elastic edge pulled toward the upper frame and not over the handles. Also, a bit of my belly managed to make it into the frame!

When I place the edge over the handles, it looks like this:

It looks more stable and generally better. As the child gets heavier, I am hoping the liner will hold up. I suspect it will or I might make another now that I have a better idea of what I am doing.

In short, the lessons I learned are:

1) Always wash the fabric! I should have known I had not because there was no fraying on the cotton fabric! Geez - what was I thinking!

2) When sewing for three dimensional space, allow more fabric than you think. I should not have pinked the edges until I had washed the whole thing that way the seams had time to adjust. I should have also waited to add the elastic till I was absolutely sure about the sides and given myself plenty of fabric to use.

3) A magnetic assistant is invaluable - it helped pick up stray pins out of the bassinet as well as off the floor. I chose the cheap route and used this little guy a student gave me a while ago.
Yes, it is a magnetic from Senor Frog. Don't dis the frog - he worked just as hard as I did on this liner!