Blankets, Handmade, Product Stories

The Swaddle Struggles Are Real

I’ve swooned over many floral swaddles since 2016 especially with a matching headband or hat. Something about a sweet little nugget bundled in beautiful colors just melted my heart. The way in which I had viewed swaddles was purely for their aesthetics. I foolishly ignored the articles about how many newborns prefer snuggly swaddles over loose limbs. Even as our wonderful nurse took the time to show us before we left the hospital, I smiled and listened. I didn’t practice while I had the mind and hands of experienced swaddler right there to give all the advice and guidance a new mom could want. I’ll blame hormones and sleep deprivation. That’s reasonable right?

After two weeks of miserable sleeping decisions, my husband resorted to swaddling. Magic. We went from a baby that refused to sleep anywhere but our chest or arms to a knocked out nugget of swaddled cuteness. We had two go to blankets. One was pink flannel hand me down. No idea where it currently is. The second, a handmade cotton and minky floral blanket gifted by my sister. Neither were specifically designed for swaddle but were totally functional.

After realizing the vitality of a swaddle in our home, I wanted to venture into the swaddling world as a maker. During the research process, I found there are quite a few different opinions on the best size for a swaddle. So I’ll be trying a few different sizes and material types. For my first attempt, I wanted to try using a stretchy knit material. When I came across this yellow floral design I couldn’t resist! Most of the complaints regarding swaddles seemed to be that they were too small making it difficult to finagle. I decided to go big or go home! I find that saying funning considering I love being home, going to my original home (mom & dad’s) as well as visiting the in law’s and my sibling’s homes. Back to business – I cut my material to be a solid 48″x48″ square. It was one of the first items I posted on my social media and it was the first item to be spoken for! A beautiful little lady will get wrapped up in this later this summer.
*Yes, that is indeed a bath towel that I swaddled. Ivy was sleeping at the time so I didn’t have access to any cute teddy bears.

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Although there were many learning opportunities that arose during this project, I still love the final result. If one was to look closely at the edges you would see the realness of a first timer. The buyer was made entirely aware of the lack of perfection. Which I think is a great place to start as a new mom.

There are so many blogs and articles we expose ourselves to as expecting mothers. With good intention we read and try to apply someone else’s thinking and values to our own lives because that seems to be what is best. I stopped reading shortly after I started. I felt pressured to believe and do the exact same thigns as these women who live entirely different lives. While other mothers are fantastic resources, be sure to not compare your family to others. Its entirely unfair to yourself.

Just like with the yellow swaddle, learn and made adjustments. For me, the yellow floral material was too challenging so next time I’ll use another material type. In my almost 16 months of parenting, I have already learned it is all about making adjustments!

 

Handmade, Product Stories

Headwraps – I Think I Can…

A good friend asked if I could make her a few headwraps after my initial rejuvenated craft life Instagram post. My friends seem to have more confidence in my skills than I do. Seeing how I had never worn a headwrap myself, I went to good old google to do some research. I needed significant guidance from established crafters. I found there to be a variety of sizes and styles as well as different material types. After exchanging a few messages, we chose a size, roughly 27″ x 48″, and off to the store I go. Just kidding, I was already going because there was a huge three-day sale. I may have gone twice. I will brag on the fact that my total savings listed on the recent doubled my actual total so its fine.

After finishing the edges, I wanted to share the result. Who wants to just look a picture of a rectangle of fabric? What kind of friend am I if that’s the only means of display I can muster?

I had simultaneously been speaking with my sister in law about making a “momma and me” set for her and my niece. I had been thinking about trying to find one for my own daughter but was intimidated by the idea of needing to be able to style the knot. She sent me a few websites to look through for ideas as well as some tutorials. Thank goodness for supportive, understanding family. Having a can-do attitude one evening, I dove into the world of knots I’d never experienced. Quickly fear washed over me as I realized the sizing of the wrap I made was significantly shorter than those in all the tutorials. After a moment of panic, I told myself “wing it!” As long as you have a half decent knot, in the end, its good enough. *Remember, I’m just trying to show my friend how her material turned out.

Here was my result:
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If it were an exam, I think I would have passed.

To continue my winning streak, I dove into the “momma and me” set. What could stop me now? I’ve self-taught (via tutorials) myself into a decent knot with a first round project, just do it again. Totally underestimated the size of a toddler’s head. Toddler wrap estimated length – substantially too short. Again, mini internal meltdown [must avoid adult tantrum in front of my own toddler when possible]. I decided to grab a hair tie and tie it around the ends of the mini wrap. At that point, I had hope and even convinced myself this would be more practical for small girls as they squirm and resist. Maybe that’s just my child, or maybe it is not. In a selfish moment, I held poor Ivy’s noggin and wrapped that tiny cuteness and attempted to fluff up a knot. Fail. She was not having it. So I used my thigh instead as it was a much more willing participant. I will say, I can’t wait to see this set on my sister in law and her munchkin.

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Welcome!

Thanks for visiting Cute Yute, a new handmade baby shop!

My name is Emily. I am a 26-year-old mother living in Des Moines, IA. Married to a solid guy named Ian that I met while attending Iowa State University. I studied athletic training and followed up my undergraduate work with a massage therapy education.

Although I love the world of sports medicine, I have chosen to spend my time at home with my daughter. The life of an athletic trainer typically involves late nights, early mornings and travel just as the life of a parent does. I do plan to continue practicing part-time but for now, I’ll watch Ivy grow and challenge all things, including me.

I’ve developed a few random skills over the years. The essential skill, being the ability to sew. Growing up my mother quilted and embroidered, mostly crazy quilts – very fitting, so she taught me a thing or two along the way. The second skill I’ll be implementing with Cute Yute is my determination to only pay discounted prices for goods. I genuinely enjoy hunting down the best price, fighting through a blowout sale and applying coupon codes at the register.

I love the sentiment that goes into a handmade item but unfortunately, I have often found myself stirring clear of most crafted baby goodies because of the price. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for people making a profit. I just know that there are other moms and friends of soon to be mothers, that think along the same lines as myself – I love that, but I won’t spend that.

In an attempt to create some “me time” while parenting and seeing a need for middle ranged pricing, Cute Yute popped itself up. After asking social media its opinion, I felt there was enough support to start something up.

So for now, I’ll be working on burp cloths, swaddle blankets, headbands, some skirts and anything else I feel drawn to create!