“Onesie Hacks”: Part 3 — The Ultra-Simple Ruffle Dress

Onesie to dress conversion by Beautiful Entropy

This is the third (and likely final) post in my “Onesie Hacks” series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to also check out Part 1 (“The Punky Little Pixie Dress”) and Part 2 (“The Soft and Sweet Dress”). This is definitely the simplest of the hacks, requiring only a onesie and a strip of fabric, a few seams, and (maybe the best part) no measuring!!

I started with this cute little “Aloha” onesie that I hacked the bottom off to make a raw-edged shirt.


Because of the Hawaiian vibe, I used some coordinating batik fabric with a sort of palm frond look to it. My daughter likes her dresses to hit about half-way between the knee and hip; this way, they can be worn alone without being indecent, or worn over capris or tight-fitting shorts for a cute layered look. I didn’t measure the strip of batik fabric, I just kind of eyeballed it. The strip I cut was about 5 inches wide and somewhat longer than the hem of the shirt. The longer you make the strip, the more gathered and ruffly the skirt will be. More


Converting Winter PJs to Summer PJs

Winter to summer PJ conversion tutorial by Beautiful Entropy

Here in AZ, spring comes early, so we’re already changing over from long pant/long sleeve pajamas to shorties. Many of my toddler’s (W, age 2) winter PJs were a little on the big side this year, so I’m keeping them in the hopes that they’ll still fit in the fall. Some, however, were getting a little short in the legs and/or sleeves. Normally when W outgrows clothes, provided they’re in good shape, I take them down to the local resale store so I can get trade-in credit. Two pairs of winter PJs, though, were ratty enough that I knew they wouldn’t have any resale value. They were still wearable, though, so rather than donate them, I decided to convert them into shorts/short sleeve pajamas for summer, given that they still fit around the waist. There are two ways to do this; I went with one of each for the purposes of “sew and tell.” More

If You’re Crafty And You Know It…

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Those of you who’ve been SquintMom followers since the beginning (and thank you!) may have noticed that over the last year and a half, the site has undergone several transformations. SquintMom started as pure science-writing-for-parents (“Resources for Evidence-Based Parenting”), but has grown to include my personal reflections (“SquintMom’s Blog”). Even more recently, I’ve begun blogging about crafts, posting DIY tutorials, and so forth. While I think having my personal blog incorporated into the SquintMom site definitely adds something for my readers, I’m not convinced that the crafts necessarily belong. For this reason, I have started a brand new blog called Beautiful Entropy, which will be the new home for anything that would previously have been published in the “Crafty Mama” category on SquintMom’s Blog. Preexisting posts in this category will still be accessible through SquintMom, but they’ll redirect. Future craft and DIY posts will be published only to Beautiful Entropy.

I hope that any of you who are creatively inclined will consider checking out the new site (though bear in mind that it’s currently new and doesn’t have much content, so check back frequently!).


Weaning My Toddler

It’s 4 am. I can’t sleep because my brain (and my right breast) are full. It’s been 54 hours since my daughter — the one I wryly imagined someday calling me from grade school to come nurse her — had “ne” (our word for nurse) for the last time. Weaning didn’t happen quite the way I’d anticipated it would. It was neither traumatic nor was it completely “child-led” (sorry, LLL). Still, it was, without a doubt, gentle and, in the end, mutual. This is our story.

I’ve been nudging W toward weaning for Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 5.47.56 AMa long time now, because (truth be told) I’m getting a little tired of it. I have little enough milk that the sensation of nursing is, if not unpleasant, at least annoying. I’d rather interact with W in other ways. Still, I’ve had no desire to make the experience completely one-sided or traumatic for her, so my intention in nudging her was largely to assess her feelings about it. I thought I was getting nowhere with all that nudging, but as I look back, I was building a foundation, laying the extensive groundwork. At this early and dark hour, the analogy that comes to mind is that of the Hawaiian islands; eons of volcanic eruption produce underwater mountains that go unnoticed until they eventually break the surface, and when they do, they do so suddenly. W loves stories — both from books and those imagined by my husband and me — and we’ve invented a fictional character “Erin,” who is just a bit older than W. We use Erin stories to help W work through coming changes, prepare for vacations, and so forth. For instance, we’re in Oregon this week staying with family, and W will be learning to ski. She’s excited, and she knows all about skiing, because she’s been listening to stories about Erin skiing for 3 months now. She knows that skiing will feel like sliding on her toboggan, only she’ll be standing up. She knows Mommy will be by her side the whole time. She knows she’ll fall down sometimes, but it won’t hurt the way it does if she falls on the wood floor. She knows (and it’s entirely possible that this is the greater part of why she’s so excited) that we’ll have a thermos of hot chocolate when the lesson is done. Toddlers aren’t great with theoreticals, so telling W “what Erin did” works better for her, in terms of allowing her to form a concrete image in her mind, than telling her what she will soon be doing. More

“Onesie Hacks”: Part 2 – the Soft and Sweet Dress

Onesie to sweet dress conversion by Beautiful Entropy As I mentioned in the first post in my “Onesie Hacks” series, there are lots of good reasons to transform a onesie into something else. Some babies and toddlers don’t fit into onesies well, onesies and cloth diapers don’t generally mix, and most kids outgrow onesies in length before they outgrow them in girth. Still, since onesies are baby and toddler clothing staples and are inexpensive (especially from the secondhand store!), it’s cost effective to be able to get non-onesie use out of the ubiquitous union suit.

My second onesie hack was designed for a very strange onesie that I bought my daughter from a local bookstore. It was very wide relative to its length, so with the bottom removed, it made a fairly roomy (but strangely short) shirt. Consequently, I needed a much longer skirt on it than I put on the pixie dress to make up for the missing length, and also so that it would fit for a nice long time and cover underwear, in the likely event that it still fit after potty training.

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 9.32.24 AM As with previous onesie hacks, I started by removing the lower portion with a rotary cutter (though as always, scissors will work too). I went through my fabric stash looking for something coordinating and fun. Since the shirt was funky and casual (envelope neck, goofy slogan, bookstore logo on the back), I decided to make a dress that had a definitively playful look. Some soft jersey that I’d gotten from the bargain barrel at JoAnn Crafts fit the bill nicely. As an aside, I always check the clearance fabric when I’m at JoAnn; even if I don’t have a project in mind when I buy it, as long as it’s attractive fabric, I know I’ll find a use for it eventually! More