Monday, February 20, 2012

Sewing For Baby

     I've been busy sewing for baby these last few months. She should be here so soon now and I've started several small projects, thinking each time that I probably won't get it finished in time, but each has taken less than a day and I've been able to not only finish, but to go searching for something else to do. This evening I gave into temptation and finally made a elf hat so that I can try and take my own newborn pictures.

      The tutorial is from Oodles 4 Noodles which I found via Pinterest. Thanks to Pinterest, I now spend way too much time search for new crafting ideas than actually crafting. (I just realized that the first project listed on my Sewing for Baby post, is not in fact a sewing project, I hope the plethora of other projects will make up for it)

     One of my favorite projects so far are the Big Butt Baby Pants. Made by Rae has given me so many ideas! I spent a lot of my birthday money on her patterns (the rest went to Oliver and S.) But she also has some great free patterns (all of which I have downloaded and am in the process of trying out.)

     I have made six or seven of these pants in all of the smaller sizes so that Baby S will have lots of pants to fit over the giant bubble-butt caused by cloth diapers. These two are my favorites. (Other than the cherry print and red linen ones, but I didn't think before doing laundry and forgot to add a color catcher (so helpful when working with new fabric) and the red linen bled all over my white cherry print so that pair is in the re-do box for now.)

     Time to bring out my lovely assistant, the charming pink elephant that my sister-in-law gave Baby S at my shower! She is nameless at the moment, but very eager to help model. This is the Baby Jane Sunbonnet from My Sparkle. I'm really nervous about the sometimes rather harsh sun here in Florida, so I have made two of these and will probably make more. I mean, what cuter way to use two fat quarters while also protecting baby's skin?

This afternoon I finally sat down with my copy of Little Things to Sew by Oliver and S. I was worried that everything would be too big or mature for another few years, but I very quickly found a project. Another hat! The husbandman is very proud of me for making something not pink. (It's a big deal, almost everything for this baby is pink. The nursery looks like the weird Pepto Bismol's shabby chic cousin.) I couldn't believe how quickly this one came together. I think I finished it before the husbandman knew I had started it.

      The one project I'm really not quite so sure about is the Swaddle Blanket from Prudent Baby. It is not the project fault, it turned out wonderfully, I just think I made mine too big. My elephant assistant is wrapped in almost a yard of fabric.

     I made one out of a pretty heavy duty flannel (also, not pink, so it can be used again, or heaven forbid, if the ultrasound tech was wrong.) The second is from a very light-weight cotton gingham. We will see which one works better. Maybe one for nights and one for days? I'm still a little clueless about swaddling, as my experience is strictly limited to baby dolls and pink elephants, and my last how-to lesson was from my mom when I was in kindergarten. What do you think? Flannel? Cotton? Plain old square of fabric?

And of course, I made another of Dana's (who just had her own beautiful baby girl!) faux chenille baby blanket. I bought a chenille cutter for this time around, and it made a world of difference. I was able to cut it all in about three hours, which is a huge improvement on the two days my last one took (Alright, I begged, and begged, and the husbandman was kind enough to cut it for me after laughing at my sad lack of strength. (He may have also taken it to keep me from stabbing myself again, which I did manage to do twice.) I found out later that you're supposed to cut out one layer at a time, and not five, which explains a whole lot.)

I love how the rows look up-close!

      I also have several sheets, receiving blankets, burp cloths, and a moby-style wrap sewn, but they just aren't very exciting to photograph, and honestly, they all look the same. I will try and post a nursery post tomorrow though, so I can show off all the work I've done there! Now I just need to figure out some new way to keep busy while I wait for baby to decide to come.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Changes of Fall

     A retelling of all the small changes brought by fall:

     The sky was the blue that is only seen on the crispest of Autumn days, easily seen through the leafless veils,

     All the grass stalks had grown tall and airy, and waved to the clouds that slowly drifted by.

     The purplest of flowers had transformed into strange alien beauties.

     Some fairy had painted the lowliest brambles with the colors of warmth they barely remembered.

     The fresh cut smell had faded from aging wood

     As it dryed and became light in the sun.

     Berries, though shriveled, shined with bright skins,

     As they gave their colors to quiet corners.

      Orange was found everywhere as leaves clung tight,

     And the wisps of new seeds waited for their turn to dance in the wind.

      Old dogs grew young and rolled in the leaves

      Watched by the cat who paused in his prowl

     To take a walk just to watch as time strolled by and changed all these little things.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Pink Nursery

     If you look for just a few moments at the next pictures, I'm sure you will be able to guess that we just found out that we are having a girl! We are both thrilled; everyone was convinced that it was going to be a boy. My parents-in-law even bet their youngest son dinner on it, I’m not sure where they are going yet, but I’m sure he was almost as excited as we were to get the news.

    One of the many reasons I’m so excited is because I finally get to use this fabric I fell in love with this summer (bought with many, many coupons to bring the price down to a very reasonable $35.) I started this afternoon with 9 yards of it,

      Now I have 2 crib sheets, made from Dana’s pattern, (I would love to show you all this arranged delicately over the crib, but we don’t have one yet)

     Two receiving blankets, made from My Longest Year’s pattern

     And a clean-up-cloth (really just a drool rag, but that’s not a very ladylike name.) I went a little crazy with my color-changing thread on this one, but oh well.

     I now have a little over 3 ½ yards left to scrape out curtains,(I’m looking at making something like these) a cover for a changing pad cover, a portable changing pad, and maybe even a diaper bag if I can stretch it that far (unlikely, I know.)

     But the really big new for me is that I think I have already saved us almost $30 (Prices on average from Amazon)

$30 for 2 printed crib-sheets
$30 for 2 receiving blankets
$5 for a drool bib 

-$35 for fabric bought this summer

     Then if you add in the curtains, changing pad cover, and the portable changing pad it makes a huge difference and comes to almost $100. So maybe that’s not a huge difference, but I have yet to find anything pre-made that I love as much as what I have just made. And I cannot stress how easy it all was. Ironing and then sewing straight lines. Anyone, and I truly mean anyone, can do this!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Apple Pie

     I am a fall and winter enthusiast. I love spring, but there is just something special when the leaves start turning, and the weather turns. However, here in Florida there doesn't seem to be any relief from the 90 degree days. So in order to make it feel more like fall, and to fool myself into believing that I can pull out my boots and sweaters soon, I made an apple pie. At least it smells like fall.

      It took me three different grocery trips to find the right apple though. I guess living in Virginia has spoiled me for more than just beautiful crisp fall days. I am also used to beautiful crisp apples. Right around this time of year at home bags of hand picked apples magic start appearing at the house. I never even thought about buying store-bought apple in September. And store-bought apples just don't compare. But at 8 o'clock last night, the husbandman found me the nicest store-bought apples I had ever seen. Yes, they were rather over-priced, and no we probably shouldn't have splurged.

      But when the results are this nice, maybe buying splurging on organic apples isn't such a bad thing. I used The Farm Chicks' recipe for both the pie and the crust. I don't know why they are rated so poorly on Country Living, I have never had any problems with the recipes, or any of The Farm Chicks' recipes.

      I didn't let it cook quite long enough, and so it has a little more juice than I would like, but there still isn't anything like a fresh apple pie to start of the fall season right!

      What food do you associate with fall? Or is that just me?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby Kimono

     The other day the husbandman pointed out that I hadn't posted my latest project. In all honesty, I wasn't sure if I was going to post it at all, its not very "me". But it is one of the husbandman's favorites, so here it is, just for you.

     Yes, those are Florida State colors. I really wanted to keep using the butter yellow that I mentioned in my last post. It really is lovely. And when I saw that I had maroon, (I've just been informed that it is really garnet, sorry) I decided to go for and see if I couldn't pull if off and support the husbandman's team. (I'm a Virginia Tech fan myself, and yes, this causes occasional conflict, but we won last time and that's all that matters)

     The pattern is from on of my favorite books, Weekend Sewing, (which I reviewed here.) This is one of the best sewing books I have ever used, and still wildly recommend it. This pattern came together in a little over an hour, and would have been done much sooner if I had not insisted on using french seams. (I hate exposed seams) I would not recommend using french seams on this pattern though, although all the seams are straight lines, it makes the shoulder seams a little wonky.

     I'm super excited to show you my next project though, and will post pictures as soon as I finish it. I found maroon suede in my hope chest, and have gone to town with it! But then, who can resist suede?

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blue Bird

     When I was sorting through the fabric in my hope chest I found this wonderful butter yellow cotton, that I knew I just had to use. Not only is it light weight and soft as anything, it is also gender neutral! (I'm going at little crazy with not knowing as my crafting time creeps by.)

     I wasn't entirely sure what to make with it though, so I put it aside for a few days to think bout it. I was cleaning out the bookmarks on my computer (they tend to go a little crazy if I don't prune them) I re-found this project.
Photo From Spool Sewing
     And I knew exactly what to do with my yellow fabric! Spool Sewing has a wonderful tutorial to make this bird mobile, and I thought that even if I don't use the birds for a Mobile (though I probably will) they would make cute decorations, and even fun toys for an older baby.


     This is my version. This honestly only took me about fifteen minutes, and it only took me that long because I didn't red the directions, and I'm really, really bad at turning things right-side-out with ripping through the seam. I have found that a small zig-zag stitch does help with that though, if anyone else in the same boat.

     I still can't get the head exactly right, but I am working on it, and I will post more pictures as I increase and grow my flock. I would really recommend this project if you only get a few minutes o work at a time, once you get the hang of it, I'm sure you can churn these out in no time. I think this would also be great weighted with a little rice or beans. Or as it just occurred to me, they may also work great as a booboo buddy if made out of flannel and filled with rice or birdseed and then put in the freezer or slightly warmed in the microwave. What do you think?

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Hope Chest

     I wanted to show you one of my greatest treasures today. As a wedding present, my dad made me a hope chest. I, being the odd one that I am, have wanted one for a long, long time. I expected a skillfully made cedar box. I got a treasure chest, far beyond my wildest expectations.

     See how amazing it is? I used to creep out to my dad's wood shop, and peek in it, but even seeing it being created was nothing at all like seeing it finished. I love this flourish in particular, because it reminds me of a similar flourish above my parent's old bed. It just makes me feel safe and happy whenever I see it.

     The details alone make it stunning, the chest in it's entirety make it an heirloom. It even has a secret to go with it (but I can't tell here, or else it wouldn't be much of a secret!)

     One of my favorite things about is that it is lined with cedar, which is not only very practical at keeping out bugs and such, but it makes anything that is kept in it smell heavenly! I don't think it will come as much of a surprise to anyone that this is where I keep my fabric. Not only does it keep everything neat, organized, and smelling wonderful, it allows me to set a limit of how much fabric I horde keep. Right now it is almost full, so I am limiting myself to what I already have for my next several projects.

     Do you have a special gift that will last generations? Or one that is not only a gift, but a act of love?

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