Tuesday 25 November 2014

Christmas is Coming!

Yes, I know it's only November, but today we woke up to a thick frost, and icy fog, and it suddenly feels like winter.  Christmas decorations are going up all around town, and if you open a door suddenly, there's a chance someone in the room will giggle guiltily and hurriedly hide something present-shaped.

It also means that I can get out all the gorgeous Christmas and winter fabrics that I love so much, and make a few insulin pump belts.  This blue snowflake one is a favourite.

I've also uploaded one or two more to my Etsy shop, and I have other Christmas fabrics available for custom orders. 

Now, off to put the fire on, make a big cup of tea, listen to some Christmas carols and plan new festive items for the shop!

Thursday 31 July 2014

Not just for kids!

I don't just make insulin pump belts for children.  Here are a few of the larger size pump belts that I've made recently, to fit adults, including a double belt (the green Amy Butler print) which was made for someone to hold an insulin pump in one side and a Dexcom receiver in the other.  Contact me if you'd like a custom pump belt made for you, or take a look at my Etsy shop!

Monday 12 May 2014

DIY Pumpers' Pyjamas

I have, in the past, made special pyjamas for my insulin-pumping children. They love their insulin pump belts and wear them 24 hours a day normally.  However, when they're poorly, they can't stand a band around their waist, so I make them pyjama tops with built-in pockets for their pumps.

People have asked me to make and sell these, but there are SO many regulations about making and selling children's nightwear that it's not so simple. 

However, I can show you how to make your own "pumpers' pyjamas" very quickly and easily.  If your child already has some pyjamas, and you still have some socks he/she has grown out of, you already have all the ingredients to make your own!

This will be fastest with a sewing machine, but should still only take you about half an hour if you sew them by hand.  (You may even be faster because you won't have to set up and put away a sewing machine!)

You will need:

One pyjama top
One small sock (or two if you want to put in two pockets).
Sewing machine (or sewing needle to hand-sew it)

Take your sock and see how the size of it compares with the insulin pump.  If it's a baby sock, you won't need to cut anything off, so you can skip step 1!  If it's an adult sock you'll need to cut off a lot more than I do in this demonstration.  I've used a sock that's about a size 9 junior, which works quite well for a Medtronic Veo pump.

1 - Cut off the bottom of the sock.

2 -Set your sewing machine stitch to a zigzag if you can.  A 3-step-zigzag (like the one shown on my sewing machine) is even better.

3 - Turn the sock inside out.

4 - Sew across the bottom, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end to stop the seam unravelling afterwards.

5 - Turn the sock the right way out.

6 - Turn the pyjama top inside out and find the side seam.

7 - Place the sewn-up sock on the side seam, with the bottom of the sock at least 1.5 inches up from the bottom edge.

8 - Stitch closely along the edge of the sock, sewing it to the seam of the pyjama top.  Try not to sew past the edge of the pyjama top's stitching.  Keep it in the existing seam.  That way it won't show on the front of the shirt afterwards.

9 - Turn the shirt the right way out and pop your pump in the pocket! 

All done!

My children are at school as I type this, so I have no real insulin pump to demonstrate the pocket with.  However, I have my fabulous stand-in pump here.  Wait for this; you'll love it!


Ta-daaaaaah!  Don't you wish you had one too?

Mandy the mannequin is happy to model the inside-out pyjama top for you. 

You can't see the "pump" from the outside.

If you feel the pocket isn't secure enough, or if you have a very lightweight pyjama top material, you can fold the pocket towards the front of the pyjama top and sew down the other side of the sock (just sewing through the front fabric of the shirt).  This makes a slightly unsightly line down the front of the top, but it doesn't really matter so much as they're pyjamas and not many people are going to see them!  However, I have found this step unneccessary with both of my children's pyjamas.  The side seam holds surprisingly well.
Let me know if you make a pair or two of these!

Sunday 2 March 2014

Meet Mandy

Here she is!  Mandy the mannequin (named by my children), modelling an almost-finished dress for my eldest daughter.  As you can see if you look closely, there is a zip at the front, and that will be where she accesses her insulin pump belt.  When the dress is finished, it will have a sash across the zip, so it won't be visible. 

I love this dress.  The dress pattern is the Lazy Susan by Brownie Goose and the fabric is Girls World Vibe Carrie in tangerine, by Jennifer Paganelli.

I bought Mandy this week, to help me create a few insulin-pump-friendly outfits and dresses for my Etsy shop.  I think we're going to have fun!

Thursday 16 January 2014

New Year, New Fabrics!

Now I'd better get the sewing machine out and make these into some cute pump belts!

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Memory Pump Belts

This is an old post from a blog I used to write, but I thought you might find it interesting, and sending me a piece of old cotton clothing to make a pump belt for your child is an option I can offer.  Send me a message at if you're interested.  I can't use stretch fabrics for this, and silky/shiny fabrics aren't suitable as they slide around and make the skin sweat, but old cotton shirts, skirts or dresses are perfect.


Everyone has a certain piece of clothing that they love, and can't bear to throw out when their child outgrows it. 

My son had a gorgeous red and white checked shirt that he loved, and was sad when it didn't fit any more.

My daughters had matching cotton pyjamas with roses on them, which they adored, but the little pair don't fit either of them now.

I don't want to keep piles of old clothes hanging around, so often I make bunting from the favourite old clothes, or cut out a square or two to save for a memory quilt.  This time, I decided to make each child a pump belt, so they can still wear those favourite clothes.

The only question was which elastic to use.

I decided on the pink eventually.  I liked the colour of the green better, but didn't think little green monsters would go down well with big girl.

This one was easier.  The spotty elastic was far too bright for the checked fabric.

The children like the finished belts.  Big girl put hers on immediately, and likes the fact that it incorporates a bit of everything from the pyjama top, including a line of the pink ribbon along one edge.