Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boxy pencil cases

I love simple sewing tutorials. So when I saw this simple boxy pencil case tutorial I simply must try it. Furthermore, it is quite a fast project. I managed to complete each pencil case in less than an hour. Ideal stuff to do when I just have to sew and only have the baby's naptime to do it.

The first one I made was the green pencil case. This I followed exactly the measurements mentioned in the tutorial. The 2nd one was the blue one, I made it wider so I can fill it with more stuff. Both I used striped cotton for the outside fabric and flowery cotton for the inside and the side tabs. I used pink zippers not by choice but that was the only colour that I have in hand. As usual, no project wouldn't be complete without embellishments and these I completed with pointed flowers (also another tutorial discovered on tipnut)

The best part about this case is that there is almost no exposed edges either inside or out. My usually ugly stitching is hidden between the two fabric. So it looks sort of 'professional'. Yeayyy!!!

Inside : no exposed stitches or edges

Embellishment: 6 petal pointed flower

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Baby Rag Quilt

When I saw this tutorial on Do It Yourself Divas ( I just had to try and make this quilt. I had the perfect person to make it for - my colleague's newborn Jessica. However, the choices of flannel fabric in this country is fairly limited. I decided to go ahead with making this 'sandwich' blankie with hopes that Jessica's mommy like it too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week

The first week of August was declared as World Breastfeeding Week. There were many activities planned and executed by many parties and is still going on throughout August. In the hospital I work in, there was a day celebration with some local celebraties participating.

As for me, it is already 4 months and 3 weeks since Azry was born and so far, he is still fully breastfeeding. I hope that will continue till he is more than a year old as I do not fancy putting him on formula milk.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience but it is very challenging. My mother breastfed three out of four of her children hence I thought it was a normal thing. She only managed to breastfeed my elder brother for about a week and she attributed this to being ill-prepared for the journey. Mental preparedness is definitely the most important thing in breastfeeding.

Now, after feeding is established I can sort-of look back and remember the hardship I went through. I am writing it all down today so that I will never forget and would not brush off a mother's reason for failing to breastfeed. As a medical practitioner, we were all taught the goodness of breastfeeding but never in a million years I thought that it will be a hard and challenging journey.

When Azry was born he had to stay in the NICU for about 2 days. I had not opportunity to feed him at the time of birth as he has some sort of respiratory distress. He was whisked off immediately after the caeserian section and I saw him the 2nd time the next day. I could only express the milk and it was given to him using a syringe as he was in the headbox that provided 100% oxygen to meet his requirements. Only on day 2 was he given to me for my first attempt to feed and oh boy, was it difficult. I was definately at a disadvantage as I never had any breastfeeding counselling prior to delivery despite working and followed up in a 'Baby friendly Hospital'. I was a few of those people who fell through the net as some of the counsellors thought that since I was a doctor I would know what there is to know. So, at delivery,all the information I have on breastfeeding was what I read on the internet.

My inital experience was almost traumatic. I struggled to hold the baby and entice him to latch on. It was good that the nurses were helpful and the ward matron and sister whom I knew personally made it a point to help me out, I was at my wits end. I had so many 'strangers' man-handled my boobs throughout my 5 day hospital stay. Being embarrased was definitely not in my books then. And giving up was definitely not an option.

Despite surviving the first week, Week 2 till 8 did not go smoothly. At times when I thought I had it all under control a new problem presents itself. Positioning of the baby was a problem - he seemed so uncomfortable every time I hold him. Initially his latching was poor as the big breasts made it difficult for him to put the whole nipple in his mouth. I really wished that my breasts were smaller then. I was also worried that I might fall asleep and suffocate him to death.

Another issue and a major one was due to the improper latching and strong sucking I kept getting cracks and soreness in the nipples. Someone told me to stop feeding for a few days and express the milk to give lil' Azry which I did for 24 hours. However, after discussion with a lactation expert (my mom's good friend) I resumed feeding and endured all the pain.

I tried all remedies: applied milk and lanolin to the nipple; expressed some of the milk first before feeding; used cold cotton to numb the nipple prior to feeding etc. They only work partly and oh boy feeding was a dreaded session. At times I would cry prior and during feeding as the pain was so intense. Post feeding the nipple was so sensitive that I would feel the same pain when it rubs against my shirt/bra. My only consolation was that it seems that others have also gone through the same thing and I am not alone. I googled for all sorts of advice, devices that can help me through this bump. Thank god I found a wonderful aid but it took 10 days to come vis post from Australia. After that I still had some sores and cracks but it healed so fast that it was bearable. I wished I knew about it earlier.

Anyway, right now for me the challenge is to express enough milk at work to keep up with Azry's day to day feeding. I was so stressed listening that some people who can express minimum of 4oz per breast each time but after a talk with my mom I gather that these people are the abnormal ones. I can only managed 2-3 oz per breast per pumping session and the current strategy is to pump enough for the next day from Sundays to Thursdays; and pump more to replace the frozen used milk on Fridays and Saturdays. So far, I have been back at work for 3 weeks and looks like it might work.

And to keep me going I keep tabs on the things I have so far achieve by breastfeeding Azry.
1. Azry's weight : birth weight was 2.75kg; 1 month 3.9kg; 2 months 5kg; 3 months 6.2kg and now i reckon he is 7kg plus
2. Azry's health : so far he has not needed to see the doctor for any illness, alhamdullilah
3. My weight : I have lost all my weight gained during pregnancy and even went to the weight before I got married
4. My clothes : I can wear my old working clothes..yeayyy no need to shop for new working attires
5. Bonding : my son knows and loves my smell. Yup, I smell like old milk most of the time and he loves to cuddle up to me. Though some people is telling me he is getting to be to 'manja' or a Mama's Boy

I do hope I can keep this up. To all those working mothers who manage to exclusively breastfeed their children till the age of two years you are my inspiration. And thank you for making me believe it is possible.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yellow Flowery Clutch/Wristlet

Made this wristlet/clutch/mini handbag today. By removing the strap it becomes a clutch; If the strap is attached to one side it becomes a wristlet. The bag is sized 9 inches x 5 inches and the inside is lined with plain yellow cotton.

This time I put a thin batting (which i got in Daiso)in between the fabrics and it gave the nicest effect of the bag having a bit of body but not too stiff like my first clutch.

Cons for this project: the attachment of the D rings for the strap was too near the opening. So when the bag is filled the opening appears collapsed. However, I am still pleased with the outcome. I hope the person I made this for likes it (fingers crossed)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simple pillow covers (UPDATED)

Dinosaur themed. I think the sillouhette of the dinosaur turned out ok.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Simple Baby Pillows

Made these pillow covers for my 6 week old baby as he keeps regurgitating milk unto his pillow. I used striped materials that I have kept for a while, thought that they would go well for boys. At the front,I made simple applique designs to make it more 'creative'. Thinking of making a few more as a gift to my medical officer whose baby is due in two months time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Learning to knit

When I was in primary school, my mom taught me how knit. I managed to make a belt and something else (can't remember what) but that was it. Never knitted anything after that and I totally forgot how to do it.

Lately I saw lovely knit blogs and was itching to learn again. Initially wanted to enroll in Rozi's needle work classes but knowing myself it will be hard for me to go somewhere to learn.

So when I saw Make it and Love It having a learn to knit series I got excited, immediately went to buy some knitting needles and yarn.

However, I needed more help and I turned to Youtube. This video is super duper easy to follow.

I hope by next week I will have something to show :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More Flowery Stuff

I made more cotton flower this week. I made a hairband with the blue and pink flower. Whereas the grey one I attached it to a barette.

Some one gave me 4 IKEA bottles to decorate and this is the result. The fabric is not glued on and is held with elastic. Hence, the bottles are washable. Thinking of making my cookie jars using the same method.