Friday, September 12, 2014


There's this kid that keeps coming over to my house when I'm nursing the baby or taking a shower or am otherwise occupied with something other than silently looking my four children directly in the eye.  He seems to go by the name "Nobody."

Somebody needs to find this Nobody kid and give him a swift kick in the arse.

Yesterday, I discovered the crumbles and salt from a nearly empty bag of corn chips in a basket  clean laundry. (Who am I kidding?  It was a giant pile of clean laundry on the floor in the laundry room.  The baskets are all full of dirty clothes) Minus the bag, of course. Now, this was confusing for me, as my laundry room is a full set of stairs plus a good ten child paces from any place where my naturally obedient angels know they are allowed to eat.  So I rounded them up and asked my children who was eating corn chips in the laundry room.  They all looked at me with wide, bewildered eyes.

"Nobody did that, Mom."

Nobody.  Who keeps letting that kid in here?  Nobody keeps drinking my coffee when I answer the phone.  Nobody leaves toys in the yard.  Nobody has even taken my children's shoes out of the closet, where they always put them away, and hidden them, one in the car and the other under the recliner in the living room.

I know that all too soon, my children will tire of Nobody's company.  While they are out with friends and off to school, Nobody will be sitting on my sofa watching America's Funniest Videos laughing riotously.  Nobody will get lonely or sad and come snuggle with me long after bedtime.  Nobody will be so adorably proud when he makes his own sandwich, despite getting more peanut butter on the counter than on the bread.

Nevermind the arse-kicking.  Nobody can stay a while longer.

He just needs to quit eating corn chips in the laundry room.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Regulations

This post is a bummer...but I have to push through.
As of 9/29, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission will be enforcing new rules about soft baby carrier safety.  Some of these are good: all materials used are required to have lead and chemicals testing, and safety labeling is more standardized. Some are, in my opinion, less than ideal.  These are the ones that apply to small artisan makers.  There really won't be any room for variation in stock carriers or "made from scratch" i.e., canvas or linen carriers.  The design will have to be tested by an independent lab, which will drive up the cost of all structured carriers, industry wide.
The rules governing wrap conversions are extremely vague, and I haven't been able to get any kind of really clear instruction from the CPSC, so I'm going to proceed as follows.  After 9/29, Bambino Dolce will only be accepting brand new, with tags, unwashed and in the package wraps for conversion.  It's even better if you have it shipped directly from the retailer.  Conversions will be classified as aftermarket alterations to an existing carrier, and will have appropriate warning labels attached.  Rest assured that all of the materials I purchase for use in a carrier are safe and compliant with regulations.
This also may be a temporary arrangement.  The CPSC is going to begin considering testing rules about unstructured carriers, which includes wraps, ring slings, and Asian style carriers.  If mandatory testing passes, it will be devastating to small businesses that produce these products, and will all but end the production and sale of unique, handwoven wraps in the United States.  If this is something of importance to you, write the CPSC and let them know that you, the consumer, do not want increased regulation on these products!
I am, as always, committed to keeping my handmade carriers safe for their very precious cargo.  Thank you for understanding the new changes.  I love my customers.  You all are a pretty amazing bunch :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Carrier Conversions

We're nearing the end of preloved wraps being converted... Here are some pics of the beauties that I've finished up lately.
This one is a Girasol Harvest with charcoal weft.  It's converted to a full buckle soft structured carrier with a sweatshirt hood featuring dino spikes.  It's actually mine.  It gets lots and lots of love from my nine month old and my three year old.  

This is a Girasol Zig Zag herringbone weave with creme weft. It's converted to a full buckle soft structured carrier with a hidden hood, zipped waist pocket, and suck pads.  It turned out so pretty!  The mama this belongs to loves the colors of one side more than the other, so I cut it in such a way as to feature those colors more than the rest.

Here it is with the hood opened and the suck pads attached.  So colorful!

Hood is snapped up.  See?  All blues/purples/pinks!

This is a KoKaDi Ahoi converted to a half buckle hybrid carrier with no hood.  The waist buckles like a structured carrier, but the top straps are wide like a wrap or mei tai.  I love the nautical theme.  
If you want a conversion like one of these, you have to hurry!  I only have two conversion slots left, and I don't know if there will be time to add any more!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baby Carrier Launch

I'm very excited to announce that Bambino Dolce will be making custom and stock baby carriers available in the Etsy shop beginning August 1!  Here's a little peek at what we will offer.  This carrier is a custom soft structured carrier wrap conversion made from a Storchenweige Leo Grun wrap.  It turned out so comfy and beautiful!  It will safely carry babies from fifteen to forty five pounds.  It has leg and neck cushions and a darted seat for a comfortable ride, adjustable padded shoulder straps, and an adjustable structured waist.  Best of all, the fabric from the woven wrap is uniquely supportive.  I tried this carrier on with my thirty five pound three year old and my seventeen pound eight month old.  My daughter said she liked it.  My son laid his head on my chest immediately.  They both felt almost weightless.

The listing for custom wrap conversion slots will go live on August first at noon.  Click the Etsy link on the side bar to snag yours first- we'll only be offering a limited number per month.  Happy babywearing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Umbrella Stroller Makeover

We recently had our trusty old umbrella stroller...let's say decommissioned.  And by decommissioned, I mean a toddler spewed so violently and disgustingly upon it that I nearly left it in the random driveway where it happened so I wouldn't have to carry it in my car later. The tag clearly stated not to machine wash the fabric portion of it.  Our stroller days are coming to a close, so buying a new one at this point seemed wasteful.  Why not try to redo it?  Honestly, it was that or burn the thing, so I gave it a shot.  It was a one-nap project that was surprisingly easy. I would not suggest that this be anyone's first sewing project, but if you're an intermediate sewer, this may be for you.  So here's how it's done:

What you need:
*1 1/2 yards of heavy fabric, like duck or canvas.
*3 yards-ish edge binding.  You can use bias tape, twill tape, foldover elastic, or whatever.  I used foldover elastic because it's what I had laying around.
*Strapping and buckles (you can reuse the old ones from the stroller) OR plastic snaps.
*A screwdriver
*Patience and a seam ripper.
*About six inches of 3/8 inch elastic.
*Good polyester thread, like Gutermann or Mettler.  Don't cheap out on this one.

1. Unscrew all the little screws and brackets.  Set them aside for later.
2. Rip out all the seams and strapping, making careful note of where they are.  Mark them with a marker if you need to.  My stroller was so old that the creases were faded and ground in, and I didn't need to mark the seams.
3. Use the old fabric piece as a template for the new one.  I would advise that you cut it a little too big, so you don't have to do it twice (like I may or may not have done...)
4. (optional.  If you're not adding pockets, skip to the next step) cut out pockets.  They can be any size that is smaller than the back of the stroller piece.  I made two- one huge one and one pleated sippy (or travel mug) sized one. The pleated one I cut about 12" x 8."
5. (also optional.  If you're not making new straps, skip to step ten), cut out straps in the same general shape as the one you removed.  I would have used the old straps, but I couldn't wash the smell out.  Plus, I seem to have trouble with pinching chubby little baby thighs in the buckles, so I went the snap route instead.  Cut two of the center piece and four of the straps.
6. Sew the straps together, right sides together, leaving a hole for turning.  Trim seam allowance, turn, and topstitch.
7.  Mark snap placement on the center strap piece.  I did mine every 3/4 inch in two rows one inch apart. The reason for putting them so low on this piece is that the top is going to fold over the snaps to minimize a toddler's access to them.  Don't want little hands unsnapping now, do we?  Install snaps with pliers or a press.  Use either all studs or all sockets on this part.  I used all studs, because I frequently have more of those than any other part laying around.
8. Add a snap stud to the top corners of the foldover as shown.  Add the snap sockets on the bottom so that the top forms a flap that snaps down over the double row of snaps you added earlier.
9.  Put snaps on the side straps as shown.  I used sockets except for the crossover snaps, since the ones for the belly strap are studs.
10. Sew edging all the way around the edge of the large stroller piece.
11. Find your markings on the old stroller where the straps were and pin the new straps on to the new stroller piece in the same place.  Sew the straps on the same way they were on the old stroller.  Make sure you backstitch when you do this.  Remember- these straps are all that's  between a squirmy toddler and a display of crystal barware in a department store!  They need to be on there tightly!
12.  (Optional- if you're not adding pockets, skip this step) For the pockets- these are up to you.  What I did was hem the edges of the larger one.  On the smaller one, fold the pocket lengthwise and sew a casing on the folded edge for 3/8" elastic.  Then add a large pleat to the side with the raw edge and baste it down.  Thread a piece of elastic slightly shorter than the length of the pocket into the casing and sew the edges down.  Next, hem the two sides under about 1/4 inch.  Sew the small pocket on to the large one as shown here.  Pin it to the large one with right sides together and upside down. Stitch the bottom edge of the small pocket.  Turn it right side up and stitch the sides, making sure you backstitch at the top.  Now pin the large pocket to the back of the stroller piece in your desired location.  Sew around the sides and bottom of it twice, backstitching at the top.

13. Now the fun part.  Remember all those stitches and seams you marked?  Copy them on the new stroller.  Don't be surprised or upset if you accidentally sew one of them on backwards or just wrong.  Take a deep breath or a coffee break, tear it out, and try again.
14. Mark all the little screw holes from the old stroller on to the new one.  Poke holes with the awl through the new stroller in the marked spots, and insert the screws with brackets.  Screw the new stroller on to the frame just like the old one.
15. Ta da!  You're done!  Throw away the nasty old stroller parts and take a walk with your spiffy new stroller!