Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A use for all those sheet bags (and any of that spare time you're chock full of)

It started here. Katie's bike has a little pouch on the front which also holds a water bottle.

Jorge's did not. War was declared.

Jorge's bike didn't even have a bar where we could screw on a standard water bottle cage without making it impossible to ride it and there's no such thing as a boy's basket for a bike. There are little wedges that ride under the seat to hold keys or small tools, but nothing for carrying a favorite stuffed animal and a water bottle.

Enter: Mama.

Armed with: A clear vinyl zippered bag that once held a full-sized sheet set.

Twenty minutes of careful cutting to size and re-attaching a zipper along the cut side and shaping a water bottle holder and 3 velcro strips and TA-DA!

Peace was restored.

Project number two came about this week. Katie is going to vacation bible school (VBS) at our church and has to be there by 9. We've had to get up and out the door on a deadline before--I think; it sounds familiar--but back then Katie had limited interest in her outfits so whatever I grabbed that morning was the outfit for the day. These days, she spends more time picking out an outfit than most brides spend choosing a wedding dress so that part has to happen the night before.

But...Katie's dresser-top is constantly cluttered with drawings and odd bits and there's really nothing else in the room to serve as a consistent spot for this. We usually just hang the shirt on the door and then are left with the shorts/skirt and the socks and such thrown on the floor underneath. Anything on the floor is fair game for cat bedding so it has to be up. The last few days she's been jamming her shorts through the hanger at the top of her shirt and then looping socks and underwear around the hanger, but it's tricky and annoying and it's hard to see if she's got it all out or if we forgot something.

I've seen plenty of places online that sell a week-long outfit planner with spots marked for each day. In theory you pick out your outfits for the whole week, carefully fold and stack them in their marked bin, and you're set for the week. My issues with this are many:

1. The weather is too unreasonable to plan a full week's outfits on Sunday.
2. Katie is far far far too unreasonable to plan a full week's outfits on Sunday.
3. It hangs in the closet and is mostly unreachable for the kid so it doesn't really help much in the morning.
4. We don't always keep up with laundry enough to even be able to assemble 5 decent matching outfits on Sunday night.
5. We have favorite outfits which would have to rotate through multiple days.

What I wanted was something easy that held one outfit and broke it out by socks/tights, the outfit, and clean undies so we can quickly check that it's all there and ready to go. This, it seems, doesn't exist.

So I made one.

This one required

  • 1 crib sheet bag (the top),
  • 1 full sized sheet set bag, and
  • one bag from a crib bumper
  • half a yard of pretty purple material
  • a large scrap of batting
  • a long strip of green fabric

I folded the purple in 1/2 to make a pillowcase of sorts, put the batting in it, stipple quilted the whole thing on my sewing machine (looks nice, takes 15 minutes). Then I cut off about 6" on one end, flipped it over and folded down both cut edges, and sewed it on an angle to hold the hanger, leaving a 4" gap for the hanger. I turned it right-side out and it was 90% done. I put a bit of velcro in the center of the hanger bit so the hanger casing stays shut, but it's not entirely necessary.

Then I found the pretty green which was already in strips from an old project. I folded it in half and sewed it around the top edge of each bag to make them prettier and a little more sturdy. I sewed the green straight to the purple backing and also tacked the bottom of each bag down to the purple.

Now we're all set for mornings. She can put leave her top on the hanger and hang that and this on the doorknob or put it in the big bag with her "bottom". The medium bag is for socks and/or tights, and the top bag is for undies or the day's headband.

And it's super easy to grab and carry downstairs or to the bathroom if she needs to get dressed elsewhere.

By the way, if you're looking for a cheaper alternative to the hanging rack and your only issue is the hanging bit, check out this under-the-bed idea. I found it while searching for a daily clothing organizer and it's my back-up plan.

1 comment:

  1. I love that outfit organizer!! Nick is usually pretty easy going in the morning, but it is awesome, should the tides turn on us... As they seem to do without any notice!