Friday, January 27, 2012

Pimp My Stroller

#3 in the Pimp My... Series - a dolly stroller!
I may come back and edit this pic later, but at 10:30pm last night when I finished this, I took a couple of snaps, put them together on PicFrame iPhone app, and crawled home to bed.

Inspired long, long ago by this post, and having a kick up the pants by my very clever friend to actually DO the project rather than just talk and dream about it, I finally got around to the Pimp My Stroller project.  (Anyone who visited me in November, December and this month will have seen my list of projects on a cupboard wall in the kitchen - the only thing that really changed was the month at the top!)

I've made it with a bit of padding so it may not be as easy to squish up when folding, but it makes it feel a bit more luxurious for our LaFawnduh (resident dolly - because my boys are allowed, and love to play with dolls).

So here's how it all happened:
1. Take one very loved stroller purchased on Trade Me for all of $10 which needs a bit of TLC.
2. Realise that the mould spots on the material are far too gross for my liking and cut the cover off for a good hot wash.
3. Leave the material and stroller frame sitting in their little possies for months and months.
4. Get an email from a friend with her daughter's Pimped Stroller and feel ridiculous for taking so long to do NOTHING.
5. Resume dreaming and thinking about how to make it, which material/s, how to make it nicely padded...

Actually let's start again.
1. Take one stroller purchased for $10 from Trade Me.
2. Remove material cover and use this as a pattern for all the 'bits.  Also cut off straps and front clip to use on the new cover.
3. Cut pattern sized pieces of main material (a fat quarter from the wonderful Sew Pretty), backing material, and wadding.  (I 'upcycled' our old mattress protector which still had plenty of thickness in the corners.)  Also cut an extra folded piece of backing material with sewn channel bits for the bottom frame poles to go into.
4. Sandwich all materials together, sew around the outside in a long stitch and trim excess material from the edges.
5. Attach straps and clip to the cover and sew in place using a tight zig-zag for kid-proofing.  Join the two pattern pieces together (right sides facing) and sew in long stitch, ensure no stitching is seen on the main material.
6. Make two small loops (I made them open with resin snaps to loop around the frame for ease of removal for washing) at the top of the back piece out of bias binding.  (The bias binding is from my late grandmother's stash which I use almost exclusively just for my children, 'cause I'm sentimental like that!)  Sew bias binding around the seams to secure and close.
7. Attach to frame, add LaFawnduh the dolly, and leave it to surprise the 3 year old in the morning!

And it was a hit - Mr T made a little gasp and said "Wow, that's pitty cool Mummy!" and went off to show Daddy, and proceeded to tell him it had animals on it, and "Mummy made for lou [you, meaning himself]".  Yay!  Great way to finish the week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


image from here

I am mad.  And it feels fabulous!

Now that my body is no longer required for breastfeeds at stupid-o'clock, and I needed to do something about my growing mid-section (and growing dissatisfaction for bits of life), I have taken up running.

The big thing about this for me is that I am not a runner.  I ran most of a 5km run in secondary school, I've run/walked Relay for Life a few times, and I do plenty of chasing around kidlets, but I am not a runner!  It's kind of a big deal for me.

The other mad part about this is that I'm not learning the art of running on beginner tracks.  I live on a hill that Peter Jackson toootally could've used for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies, but there are too many houses on it.  I'm warming up by getting out of the house at 6am, walking downhill to the end of my street, then running up as far as I can until I am about to bust a lung, and stagger up to the crest of the hill where I can run the last few houses home.  The current goal is to be able to run all the way up the hill before my next birthday in April.  I'm getting a little further every day, but like I said, Mount Doom.  It feels so fabulous doing it though - my circulation is better, I'm warmer, I don't feel super-tired until at least 3pm (instead of midday!) and best of all, I feel better in general.  And I have some space to think (and pray) about some of the crazier bits in life without being interrupted, and with 2012 off to a shaky start for some very dear friends of ours, it has certainly given me the perspective I need. 

Yesterday I had the glory of a beautiful pink sunrise when I hit the crest. 
Today I learnt the value of running with a baseball cap when it rains.  I made it up the hill in gale-force winds going the wrong way (well for me anyway!) with one eye squinting through a very wet face mixed with yesterday's eye makeup (oops) and it was harrrrd! 
Tomorrow I'll get up and do it all again.