PJ’s for Scotch

I’m going to look at the bright side of my sewing today. I finally (seriously, it’s been like 2 weeks!) managed to finish up a couple of PJ-like things for Scotch. And they did turn out OK, though there’s definitely some flaws–namely that I suck at applying bias binding. That’s OK though, I don’t think he’s going to make any judgements, and his opinion is the only one that really matters. ๐Ÿ˜‰ One is a sleep sack, *very* loosely based on this pattern, and the other is a set of footed pajamas using a pattern that I found on the internet somewhere. Which I actually tested by making a set of footed PJ pants. So that’s three things in three weeks–maybe I’m not doing so bad on time as I thought, LOL!

PJs

Sleep Sack

Just so you know, we’re not actually big football fans.

There isn’t much to say about these. The patterns worked well, my changes were slightly off, but still workable, and my sewing skills are a smidge rusty. But, I overcame those obstacles and Scotch has been using the sleep sack every night for the past week (I’m a bit behind on blogging, big shock!) so I think it passes the test. Not sure how long the footed PJ’s will last though, because the feet are pretty tight on my little sweetie’s (giant) feet. Especially the soccer ball full set, fleece is a HUGE turn of the cloth hog, which is a duh, but I wasn’t thinking about that when I did it. Oh well. I even managed to get the fleece from the remnant bin at the Green J, so I think it only cost like $12 for all three items! That’s cheaper than Wally World, so woot-woot!

Right now I’m working on knockoffs, so wish me luck! I’m a lot pickier than the little guy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Sewing! And a little bit of everything else!

A lot has happened since I last blogged! There’s been a wedding anniversary, a milestone birthday, a sick baby, a fair amount of sewing, stuff from some awesome sewing peeps, and probably some other stuff that I’m forgetting about right now.

Birthday

I’m finally 30. At first I was a bit depressed/stressed/whatever about it, but once it got here and Scotch had an ear infection, it was pretty much just mom business as usual. And honestly, I think that may have helped with the transition. I don’t feel any different than I did the week before, I don’t suddenly have more confidence or more wrinkles, so it’s really NBD. And hubby brought me pizza and the birthday cupcakes in the picture, which we had in picnic form at the city park, so even though Scotch was sick and I had initially been nervous about the “big day”, it turned out OK. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also since I last posted was my hubby and I’s wedding anniversary. We didn’t get to do anything fancy since it was a weeknight, but I guess that’s just how it is sometimes. We used to go on golf outings for our anniversary, and I was sad it didn’t happen this year, but I suppose it would have been a bit much to ask my MIL to watch both boys for a couple of days when Scotch is still so little. Maybe in another month or two when he starts sleeping through the night…..again. (The ear infection screwed us on him sleeping through the night, he was for all of two weeks until that happened. ๐Ÿ˜ก )

And amazing sewing peeps! Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow bought a pattern for me (whom she doesn’t know IRL) and shipped it from Canada. (It got here crazy fast too, I was kind of impressed, given how long other people say stuff takes to go between the two touching countries.) I’ve got an idea of something to send her, but I need to find someone who knows her a bit better before I send it and find out she hates it. The other amazing sewing peep is Miss E from Calico Stretch! She sent me a Burda magazine, and I seriously need to sit down and trace off something from it (or maybe I’ll just hoard it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I’m in dire need of an entire wardrobe these days after all! I feel like I should send her something too, but I haven’t come up with anything just yet…maybe she’ll leave me some hints? ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last but not least! I’ve done some sewing! I made up a bunch of bibs, but I also did some actual clothes sewing for ME!!! And not underwear!!! If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already seen that I’ve been working on fitting/refining the JJ blouse from Burda, and I think it’s pretty close. My boobs are maybe a bit perkier than the space allotted to them would indicate (what a problem to have, LOL!) but I think it’s a really good start, and I hope to make a couple more of these for the summer, though I need to figure out some different sleeve options, because I couldn’t for the life of me fit the sleeve from the pattern into the armhole without some major reworking. Unfortunately, I only tested for size to make sure it would fit my arm, and didn’t think to see if it would fit the hole–because should I really have to? On this one I didn’t bother with pattern matching, I only had 1.5 yards, and I made a 42/44 Burda size. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough, but actually I’ve got a pretty good sized square left, so I could have maybe tried a little harder. But it’s also kind of a strange fabric with a directional print and I’m not sure I could have matched it up anyway. It’s pretty, but I nearly sent it back because I thought that it had a printing error. I’ve since decided that was just the look it was supposed to have and I was just mistaken. It’s still pretty anyway. And even though you can’t really see it, I opted for a lime green to topstitch with. I topstitched every princess seam, the shoulder seams, and of course the collar and button placket. I even made it with real buttons! I borrowed my SIL’s cheapo Brother to sew up the buttonholes for me, and I only had to pick out one buttonhole, which compared to the nightmare that is trying them on my Pfaff, was a breeze. So anyway, if you want all the muslin and WIP shots, check out my twitter feed. There’s a bunch of them, and linking to them on here one at a time is something ain’t nobody got time for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So anyway, here’s some pics of my finished sewing projects since I last posted. ๐Ÿ™‚

Big swaddle blankets made for donation to charity. Our church has a big box that they collect stuff for babies in to give to new mothers or any parent that is struggling. I think I’ll end up making quite a few of these because they are so stinkin’ useful!! ๐Ÿ™‚

5 of the 8 new bibs I made for the little guy. I’m thinking he’s teething, because we were going through bibs like crazy to catch all the drool. I used a pattern from PurlBee this time, and since I don’t follow directions well, the neck opening is smaller than the pattern intended. It fits fine though, so NBD.

A quick tip I came up with that worked perfectly was to use little pieces of wondertape to hold on my buttons while I stitched them down. It worked great for putting them on by machine, might be harder to do if you put them on by hand.

Try to ignore the fact that my legs are nearly as white as my shirt...

Try to ignore the fact that my legs are nearly as white as my shirt…

Anyway, hope that all of you mothers out there are having (or did/will have) a fantastic Mother’s Day!!

And then there were 4…

And then there were 4...

Made with determination and self-loathing. 2 for Scotch and 2 for charity. I’m calling my Lenten penance done. At least I used every useable piece of this stuff so I don’t have any in my stash mocking me and shedding like a Siberian Husky in the springtime.

Taggy blanket

Yesterday I was in the city to pick up some supplies for bra-making, and on my way home I spotted the new Hobby Lobby. In that instant, I knew I was going there, and I knew I was going to make a taggy blanket. I’d kept eyeing the tiny ones at Target and kept thinking for $9 I could easily make one (or two or three!) and make them in a reasonable size (does anyone else think those things are ridiculously small to be called a “blanket”?) and in whatever colors I wanted.

And by in my own colors, I mean this eye-searing matchup.

And by “whatever colors I wanted”, I meant this eye-searing matchup of orange and lime green.

Cute, no? Still not big enough to be a “blanket”, though it would probably adequately cover Scotch* in the car seat in a pinch (like when I forget a bigger blanket).

So if you are looking to make one of these for some little ones in your life, I discovered a couple of useful tips that I thought I’d share with you.

  • Don’t. Seriously. Leave this maddening fabric to the industrials that get serviced every day and factories with janitors that clean up after it. It’s like banging your head on a brick wall–it’s not fun and people start to doubt your sanity.
  • If I haven’t talked you out of it, pin the tags like this so you can place them and still see them once there sandwiched in. I just eyeballed the placement, and I think this method got me pretty close.
Pin the tags like this for easy positioning and you can see their location even when they're in place.

Can you spot my pinning error? Grrr.

  • Another tip would be to cut it with a rotary blade. And be sure to push down hard on your cutting ruler thingy–otherwise the bumps make it hard to cut straight.
  • My tags were 3″ long, I’d say that’s about the perfect length for the 3/8″ seam allowances I used.

Anyway, have fun. I know that I will be as I make the second one for laundry day backup. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But they’re just so stinkin’ cute!

*P.S. I recently updated my About page if you’re wondering what Scotch is.

Blue February and more baby stuff

See? I’m not dead. Somewhat zombie-like maybe, but not dead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got sucked in. I love this sort of thing, and since I missed Jungle January this year *sob*, I decided to try and do something simple and small for Blue February. And I’m proud to say that in between feedings I managed to scrape together enough time to sew up 5 new blue burp cloths for the little guy.

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I did the shark ones first, and then one evening I snuck down while hubby was home and did the 3 monkey ones. Not terribly original, but it’s the best I can do with a 1 month old! They’re so fast and are perfect for getting familiar with your machine again, because it’s sort of like riding a bike–you may not forget, but you definitely still need a bit of a refresh-your-memory session before trying the bike equivalent of motocross. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_0672

Last week I also whipped up Kwik Sew 2997, since I didn’t get to make the car seat cover before the baby got here I had to make up for lost time. It turned out pretty good, I didn’t have any ribbing and didn’t reallyย  have a way to get any, so I just used the same fleece I used for the rest of the cover. I can’t decide if the ribbing would have prevented the distortion of the opening, or if it’s just because my car seat has a slightly different shape than the pattern is designed for. Overall though, the pattern was easy to make and went together without a hitch. I may add a flap to cover the opening, even though there isn’t one included in the pattern. The cold is probably nearing it’s end for the year, but the prairie wind is a killer.

Currently I’m working on a pair of undies (boring, I know!) to replace the stretched out “ungrown” ones that I currently wear, but I’m out of scraps to make more with, so I guess I’ll be having to make up a couple of tees (tragic, I know ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I’ve got a couple of nice pieces of rayon jersey and no ideas of what to make with such a soft drapey fabric. I’ll have to paw through my stash to see what I even have for patterns, but feel free to suggest your favorite pattern that would be suitable for a lightweight drapey jersey, because any excuse to buy more patterns….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

More baby stuff

I made bibs! I used the tutorial found here. I can’t remember exactly how big/small bibs are supposed to be for a newborn, but these look like they’ll be fine, and I put in an extra snap to make it adjustable (and it’s easy to add another snap if I need to). And I’m stashbusting all over the place lately, because these bibs were made using some fabric from either my eldest or from making burp rags for other people. ๐Ÿ™‚

Found the perfect use for the last little bit of the adorable caterpillar fabric. :-)

Found the perfect use for the last little bit of the adorable caterpillar fabric. ๐Ÿ™‚

How cute are these? I’ve never had a side opening bib before, so I’ll be curious to see how it stacks up against the typical back closing kind; though it seems like it should be easier–especially for little heads that can’t support themselves yet.

I also made a couple of fleece backed burp rags. I’m not sure how well the fleece will work, but it’s suggested as an insert for menstrual pads and such, so I figured it would be worth a try. Plus, I already had it leftover from a Halloween costume for the eldest a year or two ago, so I figured I’m not out anything but time if it doesn’t work. I decided to try a new shape, I’m not really sure if it’ll make any difference or not, but I like the way it kind of “hugs” my neck, so I think that it should work fine.

Not the best pic, but it'll do.

Not the best pic, but it’ll do.

Now my biggest problem is knowing how many I need! It’s been a lot of years since I had to care for a baby. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ The current count is 4 bibs, 5 burp rags.

Necessities for the tiny new overlord

I know I said I’d be making curtains, and I actually did start on them, but then I ran out of thread and decided to make some burp rags. It’s only getting closer to the deadline, and I’ve been really anxious about having everything ready as it is, so I thought today was a perfectly cool, rainy day for making baby supplies. I was out of the prefold diapers, so my normal burp cloth pattern was out, but I remembered that my neighbor had sewed up a couple for her son that were like this, so I made up a template (using the scraps of posterboard that came between the floor planks for our spare bath–I am finding all kind of uses for those!) and started cutting. About 15 minutes later, I had 3 new burp cloths! Aren’t they cute?

So cute!

So cute!

Best of all? These were made using scraps from PJ’s for my eldest. I was kind of excited about using the black monster fabric, it’s just so cute and makes me ridiculously happy whenever I see it. Is that silly? I almost wish I had bought more of it, but for these little projects the odd-shaped yard-ish that I have left will probably go quite a ways, and that will have to be good enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

Any bib tutorials ya’ll recommend? What are you working on?

Things that tick me off Thursday

Thank you all so much for the kind words about our big news! ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t respond to everyone individually, especially those with blogger since I know that it’s nearly impossible to remember to come back and read feedback on each post you’ve commented on…but I wanted you to know that I appreciate the kind words. ๐Ÿ™‚

Still no sewing here. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The spare bath facelift continues apace though, so hopefully by next week I’ll have a nicer, fully functioning, spare bath. I’d share some pics, but honestly the current state is too terrifying for small children and normal adults.

So instead, I’ve got a peeve for you! This one goes out to all my pregnant sisters and those who have been pregnant. It’s the jeans. Or well, all of the pants for maternity really. Gah! Even those of you who haven’t had a bun in the oven have surely seen those terrible contraptions. There seem to be 2 types: the first has a tall tube that is lightweight, and the second has a short waistband that is rather thick. Both suck.

The lightweight tube is hard (and let’s be real; annoying) to pull up, and it kind of squeezes in at an uncomfortable spot once you get to a certain level of pregnant. And then there’s the short waistband version….I’m not sure what woman those work for, but either she carries a lot higher than I do or she’s simply got a lot more patience to deal with them. They flip/roll and are kind of tight over your bladder (not good when you’ve already got a little bladder dancer!).

And lastly we come to the “capri length”. There’s several things about these that just piss me off, even without the waistband issues mentioned above. The first is that it might as well be a flashing neon sign that says “I’m knocked up”–ya know, assuming the belly doesn’t give it away. ๐Ÿ˜‰ No one else wears this particular length and cut–only pregnant women. It’s like they took a pair of flares that had some sort of flaw on the bottom of the leg, said “hey, just cut it off for the pregnant gals”, threw one of those crappy waistbands on, and charged an extra $15 a pair. The other main thing that pisses me off is; WHO IN THEIR RIGHT $%^&#%! MIND DECIDED THAT CUTTING THE JEANS OFF AT THE EXACT SPOT WHERE THE ANKLES AND LOWER CALVES START TO SWELL WAS A GOOD IDEA?!?!?! REALLY?! Nothing like making those areas look even more unattractive than they already do, because there’s nothing a pregnant woman wants more than an unflattering capri-like thing when she already feels like a hormonal beached whale. Way to boost the ‘ol confidence there. ๐Ÿ™„

Oh, and here’s a little bonus peeve that relates to the above. Why is it that once you tack the word “maternity” onto something it suddenly becomesย at least 2x more expensive? As though babies aren’t expensive enough they gotta charge double for a glorified tee shirt?! I’m not even convinced they add extra space for the belly as tight as they seem to be on some (actually, I’d probably say most) women, so why the premium?

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got, so hope ya’ll have a great weekend!! ๐Ÿ™‚

My first FO of 2013

…Is not my coat. It’s a set of burp cloths that were ordered about 2 months ago. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

A dozen burp rags ready for duty

A dozen burp rags ready for duty.

I kept telling myself to only do one project at a time, and I was already started on my coat, so…..this project languished. I finally decided that I just needed to break down and do it before the gal changed her mind about wanting them. And if I’m being completely honest it was a nice break from ripping out understitching on my coat hem. I’m probably the only one, but if I have to rip back very far not only do my hands/forearms start to hurt, but I just start to feel a little bit depressed about the work that went in to the stitching to start with. Silly, I know, especially when it’s more of a “cosmetic” fix than one that actually “needed” doing, but I’ve always been that way to a degree.

The Alpha & Omega of my quilting career

It’s finished. Praise the Lord! It only took like 2 or 3 years, but I finally completed my first and last quilt. I even took some pictures of it, as proof to you non-believers out there.

If you decide to make your own quilt, I do have a couple of pointers for you. 1) Don’t even think about making mitered corners on your first quilt. Learn from my mistake. 2) Binding is a bitch. I ended up wrapping the back border around to the front to make the binding, and it was a royal pain in the ass to get the corners to match up perfectly, because–natch–I did miters on the back too. 3) Don’t do the alternating corners thing, because then if your miters aren’t perfect it REALLY stands out. Unless you do perfect miters on the first try, in which case I hate you. Oh yeah, 4) test your blanket stitch to see where it goes width-wise, and also that it’s going the direction you need it to…you’ll see what I mean.

So, on to more happy subjects. I made some more burp rags today, and it occured to me that I’d never taken any pictures of the ones I’ve made previously. So, on my 5th batch or so, I’m finally getting around to it. Aren’t they cute? If only the diapers weren’t so hard to find locally, or expensive to purchase online. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

That’s all I’ve got for now, except a couple of extremely dirty machines that I promised to give the spa treatment tomorrow if they held out through the diaper project. I could tell Persephone wasn’t happy about it, but she trudged through. Every time I changed thread colors I cringed at the lint…