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Monday, June 10, 2013

Mannequin vs. Model

I recently posted this photo of this pretty lightweight, newborn sweater on my Facebook page.  Five colors in all, in an easy wrap style.  Shortly after I posted, I received a message from one of my brothers.   He didn't think the mannequin did justice to my products and looked "pudgy".  Well, the measurements are accurate for an "average" newborn (mine is actually an old babyGap mannequin).  Ironically, my oldest daughter had been watching me take and post photos of other products and commented that I should use more real models.  OK.  So where do I get real models?  My kids are too old to model baby products, I have no family close by and none of my friends have babies!  I also like to take my photos using natural light, if possible.  It's hard to try and schedule a photo shoot, not knowing whether it will rain or not, if the baby is "up" for picture taking, etc.  Thus, I use mannequins-- they are usually quite agreeable.

On the flip-side, I do agree, most products look better being worn by an actual person.  So, in crawls Baby P.  By way of background, my kids school holds a nice service every year for all the newborn babies of families that attend the school.  It's called Baby Chapel.  I was asked several years ago to make something special for the newborns and have been doing it ever since.  This year the school gifted all the newborns with beautiful, double-gauze receiving blankets.  At a different event at the school, I had spotted a really adorable baby, sitting across the aisle from us and a soon-to-be-recipient of a receiving blanket.  Cute, very well natured-- the perfect baby!  I inquired after the family and to make a long story short, the family agreed to being photographed!  Even more incredible, the dad is a photographer in his spare time and offered to take the pictures.   A gift from heaven.  The pictures were much better than I could have hoped for, and 100x better than I could have done myself.  So, without further ado, here is baby P., modeling not only my new generation bib and burp cloth (see last blog post), but her double-gauze receiving blanket as well.  I can't thank the family enough for giving me the chance to have a real model showcasing my products!!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Baby P with quilted bib and burp cloth, double-gauze receiving blanket.

Mom, Baby P and quilted bib and burp cloth set

Burp Cloths - 3rd Generation

I started making burp cloths many years ago, after my second child was born.  I actually began thinking about it while my first was still a baby, lamenting about how the diaper/burp cloth just looked like more laundry for me to do in my exhausted state.  I first used cloth diapers that I had purchased, embellishing the rough ends with nice fabrics and trim (Generation 1). 

These evolved to wider fabric edges and more exciting colors and fabrics.  Still, I wasn't satisfied with the store bought diaper.  After several washings, it would start to pill, never really folded well, etc.  So, along came Generation 2.  I started from scratch, making my own diaper from absorbent Birdseye diaper cloth, lined it with diaper flannel and I was off to the races.  It was very time consuming, but the product quality was much better and more versatile.  I used them extensively after my third baby was born, as a burp cloth, quick car seat blanket, or rolled as a head support in the motorized swing or bouncy seat.  I still make these burp cloths and they are as functional and pretty as ever!  

Given my desire to make something new, I started out making a wrapped voile burp cloth, quilted in a diamond pattern.  The fabrics I use are printed by Spoonflower, a wonderful company that prints any design you want on a variety of fabric options, with thousands of prints submitted by very talented individuals.  Really, quite impressive!  Again, this version is very time consuming, but quite lovely and very functional!  You can find them here on my website!  I currently sell them only in a bib and burp cloth set, but may sell them individually in the future.   Will there be a Gen 4?  Only time will tell!