Friday, June 26, 2015

Finish it up Friday: Clothes for Me

I feel like I need to begin with a disclaimer to this post: all sewing done since the arrival of my baby has been accomplished in intermittent little bursts here and there; mostly when my husband was home from work for "paternity leave."  If I ever have the privilege of choosing between a nap or sewing, I always choose sleep.  I am obsessed with sewing, but not that crazy.  Sewing has been a big emotional boost for me lately, I am glad I've still been able to do it occasionally.

While my regular machine was in the shop, I finally opened the box to the Hello Kitty Janome I bought several months ago.  I am pleased with how well the machine has been working, but I don't have the patience to figure out how to achieve a perfect 1/4" seam.  So I decided to work on a few clothing items for myself instead of quilting WIPs.

I made a pair of pajama pants, a wardobe staple these days:

The "Lolita Skirt" made out of some Tammis Keefe crocodiles: 

I've spent a fair amount of time on IG and Bloglovin via my phone while nursing the baby.  I came across a few whole cloth quilts sewn by IG user sevenpretty, and it inspired me to make one for Owen.  I love this Moon Phase print by Lizzy House so much, and this gave me an excuse to use and see it frequently.  The reverse side has another fabric favorite: tiny elephants by Diawabo. It measures 36 x 42.

Now that my regular machine is better and working well (fingers crossed it stays that way!), I've been chugging away at a mini quilt destined for decorating my sewing room:

It was tempting to stop there, but I decided to add one more border.  It will look something like this:

On one of my first kid-less outings, I made a trip to a local yard sale of a woman who had run a home quilting supply business.  Most of the materials were not my taste and the prices were kind of high, but I was quite excited to treat myself to several new publications from Stash Books, discounted to at least a third of the list price.  I buy very few quilt/sewing books, so this was a real treat.  I am really enjoying "Sew Organized for the Busy Girl" and it's inspired me to clean out and organize my sewing supplies.

While organizing, I pulled out several stash selections to make a baby girl quilt that's due to be finished in two weeks (!).  Friends of ours had a baby just after I had Owen.  It's pretty exciting because they had tried to have a child for over five years and got pregnant with no special intervention.  They didn't find out the gender beforehand, so they have a fair amount of gray and yellow nursery decor.  The mom didn't have many requests pertaining to the baby quilt I'd like to make: just that I include some "girl colors" and she did mention she has a thing for giraffes.

I want to stay committed to using my stash but I am finding these choices a bit uninspiring.  Most of them are small/odd measurements and I have a tight deadline.  I may go ahead and order this, Stand Tall in Grass, by Tamara Kate.  I blame my friend Heather for bringing that fun fabric to my knowledge.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Total stash fabric used in this post: 6.25 yards
Total stash fabric used since 1/1/15: 59 yards
Total stash fabric used to date:  65.25 yards

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Baby in the Hood Jacket

Hello friends.  Thank you for all of the kind words, congratulations, and comments recently.  I apologize for my lack of response and engagement.  Recovery from the birth of Owen has been difficult for me in the extreme but I think the worst of it is finally over.  I had a scheduled c-section and anticipated the recovery to be similar to the last two, but it ended up being a lot more than I bargained for.  Nothing life threatening, thank goodness, but difficult nonetheless.  Thankfully Owen has been healthy overall but my health problems resulted in some feeding issues for him, so life has been pretty crazy lately.  

My husband still has this week and next off of work and has been an amazing help with everything.  The kids were hyper and a bit unruly following our hospital discharge, but have soon calmed down and even have been very helpful on occasion.

Thanks for letting me share.  I am trying to be a little more personal in this space but will always be focusing on sewing here.  I have one last pre-baby project to share:

I was incredibly nervous before the scheduled c-section and spent the day before the procedure making Charlotte a coat to keep myself distracted.  I ordered the Anne Kelle kitty corduroy off of Etsy on a Monday and it came on Wednesday from Ohio.  Thankfully, the purple lilac pearl bracelets from my stash was a fun match for the project.  This pattern is called "All Set Kid Pattern Set" by Anna Maria Horner, also found in smaller sizes from her book Handmade Beginnings.   I made the jacket is size 4T, Charlotte fits perfectly in most 3T's, so I think it's safe to say that the sizes run a little small.

Unfortunately, this jacket gave me a lot of trouble.  The most aggravating part was getting the sleeves to line up with the arm holes of the jackets- there was way too much extra fabric to get it to all connect neatly.  I finally gave up following the directions and gathered the sleeves to make it work, luckily they didn't come out puffy at all.  I also had issues with one jacket placket being longer than the other!  Really not sure how that happened but I did manage to fix it.

I also had lots of trouble with my machine doing button holes correctly: the machine would stitch them incompletely, too long, and inconsistent in size.

I made this pattern two years ago in sizes 18-24 months with a different Ann Kelle corduroy print.  The sleeves didn't give me trouble then and I did the loop button method instead of traditional buttonholes.

Despite some frustrations, I love this pattern and the look of the jacket.  Charlotte wore the whale version quite often and I am sure the kitty one will be just as favored.  

Currently, my machine is being looked at by a local Janome Dealer due to all the problems I have been having with it.  A few different people have told me the computer may be dying in the machine: which is not good news, especially after owning it for less than two years.  A postpartum mom in the throes of illness and breastfeeding problems does not take that kind of news too well!!!  Let's just say that there have been a few tears shed and a few prayers given that it is a more minor problem causing issues.  Having it looked out now is good timing, I have not had time or energy for sewing although I do miss it!  

Posting will be sporadic but I hope to sneak in some sewing now and then, if only for my own sanity and enjoyment.  Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts at Finish it up Friday.

Total stash fabric used in this post: 1.25 yards
Total stash fabric used since 1/1/15: 57.75 yards
Total stash fabric used to date:  59 yards

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Random Pre-Baby Projects

Another scheduled post-baby blog post:

A while ago, I finished the new diaper bag and later finally got around to making the matching changing pad/wipes holder.  This pattern/free tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew is one of my most favorite items to use with a baby.  It comes together in about an hour, which honestly seems long but working with stretchy/soft fabric definitely slows me down.

 I don't love the orange fabric I chose but made the hasty decision when I only had 20 minutes to spend at Joann's and didn't want to hesitate too long when there was miraculously no lines at the cutting table.

Another project that felt like it had a definite deadline was teacher's gifts for my son's preschool teachers.  I can't believe he's going to kindergarten this fall and I am going to miss his preschool program and teachers so much!  I made the Noodlehead divided basket pattern with no divider.  Homemade bags of caramel popcorn filled the baskets.  I love those Floressence fabrics for this project!

Finally, I wanted to share some new fabrics that joined my collection for Mother's Day.  Lizzy House's Natural History is to die for, she really is one of my most favorite designers.  Here are some of my favorite prints from the collection:

A while ago, I couldn't resist the Japanese import sale at Pink Castle.  Fairy tale and text motifs are some of my favorites!

Here are some nice vintage fabrics I bought at a yard sale.  I especially love the floral on the far right:

I also picked up these lovely scarves at another yard sale for .25 cents each.

My mom totally scored some awesome fabric for me at a yard sale recently.  Solids, some of my favorite AMH voiles (1/2 yd each!), Riley Blake, and Amy Butler.  She probably paid about $1 for all of it because the lady just had her make a pile and charged her .50 cents per inch (how tall the pile was!).

Thanks for reading!  Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.

Total stash fabric used in this post: 1.75 yards
Total stash fabric used since 1/1/15: 56 yards
Total stash fabric used to date:  57.75 yards