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Dress Me Up: Organic, understated cool

04/15/2008 at 07:00 AM ET

Dress_me_up_organic_teething_bonbon Seriously, people, if you’re not shopping on Etsy at this point I question your sanity!  But then again, I’m on Etsy so often, I’m beginning to question my own.  I recently had another zen Etsy moment when I stumbled across Dress Me Up, an adorable line of organic and upcycled baby products by designer and creator Tressa Brotsky.  The Little Seed, Soleil Moon Frye’s eco-friendly baby boutique in LA, likes Dress Me Up so much that they recently agreed to carry the line in-store.  We were lucky enough to test Dress Me Up’s receiving blanket and burpcloth set, teething bonbons and rainbow soft block set and all I can say is — Wow! — what a find. 

Click ‘continue reading’ for the full review.

After becoming a mom, herself, in 2006 Tressa says she was frustrated by the lack of affordable organic products available for her baby.  Putting her extensive knowledge of textiles to good use, she created Dress Me Up to provide a healthy, safe, simple and inspired line of sustainable baby and toddler products. 

Organic_blanket_cherry_set1 The certified organic cotton flannel receiving blanket and burp cloth set ($42; see both at left) in the ‘robin’s nest’ style is soft but still so light, its exactly what you’d want to snuggle in if you were a baby.  Each blanket measures approximately 26×29", giving you more than enough blanket to work with to do a traditional swaddle, and it also makes a nice stroller blanket for a cool morning walk, while the burp cloths measure approximately 8×15".  The whimsical brown and blue stitching are subtle, and are created via freestyle machine embroidery — so no two blankets or burp cloths are quite the same. 

Best of all, the organic cotton flannel is machine washable and commercial dryer safe.  We’ve washed our blanket and burp cloths several times now, and they actually become softer each time they emerge from the laundry room.  At 17-months, Sam is too old to be swaddled — but he sleeps with this blanket in his crib every night.  I can tell by the way he rubs it against his face that he loves the feel of the blanket, and the 8 oz. certified organic cotton flannel is all natural — so there are no worries on our end that the fabric will irritate his sensitive skin. 

Dress_me_up_organic_teething_bonb_2 My best friend is a self-proclaimed, unabashed "tree hugger" and although she’s finished having kids, how I wish I could go back in time and buy Dress Me Up’s teething bonbons ($10; see right) for her babies.  So much about traditional teething rings has always kind of skeeved me out, and since she aimed to do everything as organically as possible with her children, I know that these would have been right up her alley.  Made of organic cotton stuffed with naturally anti-bacterial clean, carded wool, the teething bonbons are unlike anything you’ve ever seen being chewed on at Mommy and Me, I assure you.  Simply soak the knots in cooled boiled water, making sure to keep the center area dry, and then toss the entire bonbon in the freezer until its needed. 

Because the center was never wet it doesn’t freeze, and because it is wool, it warms quickly to the touch.  Your baby’s hand won’t be cold as she holds the bonbon but she’ll have access to two frozen knots at either end to gnaw on, which must feel great against swollen, painful, teething gums.  We loved this product and Sam — who still only has four teeth — used the bonbons exactly as they were designed.  He chews on them happily and when we’re done with them, we simply toss them in the wash machine’s cold/delicate cycle.  Just make sure to line dry!

Dress_me_up_organic_heirloom_rainbo Last, but certainly not least, are Dress Me Up’s organic soft blocks ($33; see left).  What a gorgeous eco-friendly baby shower gift they would make! Like the teething bonbons, they’re stuffed with anti-bacterial clean, carded wool — and I love the ‘rainbow’ pattern chosen by Tressa for the exterior of our blocks.  A fun free form embroidered pattern reminiscent of a star or a flower is on two sides of each cube, in varying shades of red, blue, green, yellow, etc. etc.  They’re soft but totally stackable, so you get the educational element of a stacking toy without the sharp corners of a traditional block set.  Many people like to give a ‘side’ gift of a toy at a baby shower, and most opt for a plush doll, but Dress me Up’s organic soft blocks present a great alternative.  They’re baby-ish while employing an understated cool that will appeal to mom, as well. 

And if you’d rather your blocks or your bonbons were stuffed with organic cotton due to a wool sensitivity, it is available upon request — just ask Tressa! To purchase the gift set, the teething bonbons, the soft blocks or any of Tressa’s other great products, click here.      

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