Women’s Button-Down Shirt to Cute Tank Top Restyle

women's shirt to cute tank by Beautiful Entropy

I was browsing the racks at my local secondhand store recently, and I found this shirt:


I had to stand on a chair to take a picture of it. See my toes?

It’s a super cute, lightweight cotton fabric and has neat little pockets. It’s not technically a “button-down” (it has snaps), but the idea is the same. Unfortunately, cute though it is, it has two problems:

  1. There isn’t much call for long sleeve shirts in Phoenix
  2. It has mega pit stains

Because of those totally unacceptable pit stains, I decided the best way to work with this shirt would be to find a way to cut out the offending fabric, which is why I restyled it into a tank top. More


The (Dis) Honest Company vs. Honest Toddler

W is done with diapers now, except for Honest Companynighttime (story on this forthcoming), but while she was still in diapers, we moved away from cloth (I got sick of touching poop) and started using diapers from The Honest Company. I really liked their ethos (sustainability, environmentally friendly practices, non-toxic cleaning products, etc). They also have really cute diapers in lots of fun patterns, ship for free (if you subscribe), and send free wipes with every order. What’s not to love?

Turns out, there’s quite a bit that’s unlovable about The “Honest” Company (and yes, I put that in quotes for a reason). I learned today that the company contacted one of my very favorite bloggers/facebook pages/twitterers (is that a word?) — Honest Toddler — and made some thinly veiled threats. You can read the whole story, with updates, here, but long story short, The Honest Company wanted the (longer-standing) Honest Toddler to delete all his (her? its?) accounts, on the grounds that the similar names could “cause confusion,” and if the accounts weren’t deleted, things could “get expensive” for Honest Toddler. More

Ultra-Simple Duvet Cover

Easy duvet cover from flat sheets by Beautiful Entropy

I’m a big fan of duvet covers for toddlers and little kids. Because duvet covers are easy to wash, W doesn’t use a top sheet (and really, top sheets just get tangled up in little kid feet or pushed aside anyway). In the winter, I put a down comforter inside the cover, and she’s super cozy. In the summer, she uses the duvet cover without an insert, and it acts like a very thick sheet/thin coverlet that provides just the right amount of warmth against cool summer breezes. The only — really, the ONLY — thing I don’t like about duvet covers is that they can be expensive to buy and are nearly impossible to make on the cheap, because it’s really hard to find fabric wide enough for even a twin-size cover (about 64″ wide, finished size), and extra-wide fabric is even more expensive than regular fabric. Anyway, W has been dying for a set of owl sheets, and I found this on Pottery Barn Kids and loved it. That is, loved it…except for the price ($69.00 + tax for a twin sheet set)…and the quality (for that price, I really expect more than 200-count sheets). We went to Target, and I found this set, which was $17.99 for a 225-count sheet set, and was just as cute. I bought an additional flat sheet for $10.99.


This is the flat sheet from the owl set, plus an additional flat sheet in a coordinating coral color that will go nicely with her room.

The plan was to use the pillowcase and fitted sheet from the owl set as they were, and to make the two flat sheets (the one from the set plus the extra) into a duvet cover. Why would I cut up perfectly good flat sheets? Because they’re actually cheaper than buying extra-wide fabric in the same yardage.* Two flat sheets (in any size) make a perfect duvet cover for a bed of that same size. Cheap and easy! More

Exercise Your Way to an Easier Pregnancy — Guest Post at What To Expect

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Me, cross country skiing at 8 months pregnant. Super awkward, super fun.

Woohoo! I was asked to guest post for the “Word of Mom” blog at the What To Expect When You’re Expecting website! At the request of a friend, my article was about what the science shows regarding exercise and pregnancy. Here’s a very brief summary of my findings:

  1. Listen your body; it will help you find the right effort level for safe pregnancy exercise.
  2. Women who exercised hard before pregnancy can likely continue to do so during pregnancy without trouble, but competitive athletes should talk to their obstetrician about their pregnancy fitness goals, and may require monitoring.
  3. Even if you weren’t much of an exerciser before pregnancy, there’s no time like the present.
  4. If you’re not a fan of the treadmill or weight room, consider water aerobics or yoga!
  5. It’s a good idea to run your exercise and activity plans by your obstetrician to make sure they’re safe.
  6. If anything unusual or concerning happens during or after a workout, call your OB.

You can read the whole article here on What To Expect.

“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!).


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