You may not have noticed that I’ve been missing, but I have! Was I off dealing with that cute but rather fussy baby? Well, yes and no. My computer died almost a month ago, shortly after my last post, and it’s taken me this long to get the stupid thing replaced. First there is the denial (maybe it’ll come back to life!), then the half-assed attempt to fix it myself (will the vacuum cleaner help?), then the grief, then the period of pretending I know what the little numbers in a computer description mean so I can make a wise choice in a new one, then waiting for the damned sale to start (frustration is mounting!), then realizing that the stupid thing must ship from China (Costco, you’ve never done me wrong like this before!), and finally nearly knocking the poor FedEx guy over when he finally brought it to my door all these weeks later. In retrospect I should have just gone to a store and bought a machine that was more expensive but could have been in my hands immediately following the grief stage. My mental health is worth something, right?
Anyway, I seem to be up and running now (please, go knock on wood), and here I am. In the interim I’ve made matching Christmas outfits for my kids and they are cute. I bought a cotton plaid in Christmas colors at my local fabric store that seemed soft enough to put on a baby and used it for pants for Worth, a skirt for Dorothy, and a dress with bloomers for the baby. I also bought red t-shirts for the big kids from Children’s Place and painted a tree on the front with fabric paint. They have plans to embellish my tree with fabric paint ornaments themselves but we haven’t gotten around to it yet. Which basically means that the day Mommy could handle three kids, no computer, and permanent paint all the same day had not yet arrived, because it is still warm in hell. But I digress. The trees will be embellished in due time, before the outfits get worn on Christmas. That they were not yet embellished at the time of our Christmas-card picture-taking may have secretly been part of my plan all along, because who knows what they’ll look like after the kids go at them with paint. But if I had plans for a perfect Christmas card they went awry anyway, somewhere between not being able to get five people to look at the camera in a pleasant manner at the same time and having hair that mysteriously poofed into the shape of Church Lady hair on the day we took the picture. I promise the shape of it in this photo has nothing to do with my usual hairstyle or my actual theology, and it calmed down later and fell into a more natural-looking, messy, lefty-Presbyterian style. But I’m rambling. Just so glad to be back online.
Worth’s pants are from the book Sewing for Boys, Dorothy’s pleated skirt is McCall’s Easy Stitch N Save M5909, and Daphne’s dress and bloomers are from Making Baby’s Clothes. I need to make some elastic adjustments yet on the skirt and pant waistbands so they don’t fall off and ruin Christmas, but other than that they turned out well. Though I have to admit that after finishing two whole Christmas outfits and still needing to make one whole Christmas outfit it did occur to me that I actually have three whole kids now and that that’s kind of a big deal. Like, a lot of kids. But it’ll be fine–at least I’m online again. Oy!
Here are some pictures of the crib bedding I made for Daphne before she was here. I made a couple fitted sheets, the skirt, the quilt, the nursing pillow cover, the little bag hung from the end to hold sundries, and the mobile. The quilt is just strips sewn together, cut diagonally, then sewn back together in a different direction. I think the nursing pillow pattern was Butterick. The birds are from the book One Yard Wonders, and everything else was measured to fit our mini crib. The birds on the Love & Joy fabrics go with the bird theme in my bedroom but are girly sweet for Miss Daphne.
*Disclaimer: Before you turn me in to child protective services, the blanket and pillow in the crib with the newborn are for demonstration purposes only, blah, blah, blah…
After I took the cute picture of my last post with my three kids in their costumes I realized I needed a way to display favorite Halloween snapshots every year. I made this banner to hang in the pass-through window between my kitchen and dining room. I slipped cardboard into each flag so my photos won’t curl up and sewed a little clear vinyl pocket onto the front of each to slip a photo into. Now I can easily change the photos as our collection of favorites evolves.
I got out our Halloween “spider webs,” which are really my great-grandmother’s crocheted doilies that I have dyed black. starched flat, and populated with plastic spiders. The kids love these and so do I.
The big kids made paper jack-o-lanterns for us to string up over our hearth.
They made a spooky/cozy scene for us on chilly school mornings when we were happy to be staying in and cuddling our new baby and having school at home instead of waiting in carpool lines across town.
I also got out my wee poseable rubber skeletons to haunt my china cabinet. They bend kind of like Gumby and I enjoy arranging them in yoga poses or popping out of tea cups, clinging to candles, etc.
Hope your Halloween was happy!
More baby stuff show and tell! If you thought you were sick of my trailer a couple years ago you’ll really get tired of my relentless baby posts. This picture shows the pretty Boppy pillow cover I made out of the Love & Joy birds fabric.
Here is Daphne showing off her company pride in a onesie I embroidered with her Dad’s business logo.
And of course her little trailer onesie (with pants knitted by a friend).
And decked out in all her fall finery! With the dress and pumpkin hat I posted about this summer. You think I’m enjoying her? I am!
I made this bag earlier in the summer but never posted about it. Now, as I was putting it away in favor of a bigger bag that is more fall-colored and has room for diaper change stuff, I thought to photograph it. I used the Folklore Bag pattern from the book One-Yard Wonders. I’ve made this pattern a couple times before and have probably blogged about it. It’s a great pattern–the bag is a very nice size and shape. I used indoor/outdoor fabric left over from another project.
This project is for the new little one. I was looking through the baby clothes a couple weeks ago, wondering what I would pack to bring her home from the hospital. I chose an adorable little turquoise and red one-piece outfit I’d bought from Sweet Peanut early in my pregnancy. Then I realized that in early October it might be chilly, and–oh no!!–the baby had no hats or booties to precisely match this particular outfit. I could hardly sleep that night, because, you know, when something like that gets into a pregnant woman’s mind there is only one way to get it out. I became completely convinced that she has to wear that outfit home from the hospital, and I had to make a hat and booties to match, immediately. Fortunately I had this revelation on a Friday night, so I had a nice free day the next day to knit (knook) a red baby hat and crochet some red booties to match before I had to try and sleep again. It was also fortunate that I had some red wool on hand. It was only a part-skein, but I finished the job with a few feet left over (close!) and it was just the shade of bright red I needed. I even found a velvet-covered button in my button jar to finish off the flower. Serendipity! I didn’t use any particular pattern, just a basic baby-sized beanie, a crocheted flower I eyeballed, and booties based around the free pattern from Lion Brand I use frequently. These ended up a wee bit itchy for a newborn, so I put a little hair conditioner in with my wool wash when I blocked these. Now they are soft and ready to go. 26 more days, but 3rd babies sometimes let their mamas off the hook a wee bit early, don’t they? I can dream…
This is a knitted sweater for Miss Baby. I used a baby kimono pattern from the Lion Brand website for the body, but didn’t want to fuss with the sleeves their way (they did them separate and then seamed them on) so I just added mine directly to the seamed up sweater then embellished them with a crocheted border. I used Knitpicks’ Gloss DK Yarn in the color peapod. I think it’ll look very cute over the dresses I’ve made recently, and would look cute over a plain red creeper at Christmas. My only irritation with this project is that sometimes my knooking* seems to look different on the sections I’ve done by knitting/purling opposite rows than it does on sections where I knit in stockinette stitch in the round. I finally figured out why that is when I stumbled on this YouTube video recently. You can see what she’s talking about on this project; the stitches on the body make little X shapes, and the stitches in the arm make little Vs. It doesn’t bother me enough to redo the project, but now that I’ve figured it out I’m going to start purl stitches from the left of the stitch instead of from the right. I just implemented this on another project and I’m so pleased to see all the neat little rows of Vs. It’s kind of a simple thing; I’m surprised it wasn’t addressed in any of the knooking stuff I’ve seen before. I think purling from the right, which is the same direction I do the knit stitches, is a bit easier, and if I’m just doing ribbing on a hat when the rest of the project will be knitted in the round I think I’ll continue purling from the right, but for things like this I’ll purl from the left for the neater V look. I feel happy to have that knooking mystery solved.
This weekend I sewed a ring sling to use with the new baby. The fabric is a lightweight but sturdy seersucker. It’s more or less modeled after the Maya Wrap ring sling. My daughter lived in slings like this until she was a year old; my son really only liked being in one for the first few weeks. I figured it would be nice to have a new one whatever this kid’s preferences, and I can always gift it or sell it if it doesn’t get used. My son felt like he needed to tell me, as I was taking this photo, that the IKEA dog modeling the project “isn’t a weal baby. If it was the weal baby we’d have to put clothes on it.” Um, yes, kid. And we’d be a little worried because it looks like a plush dog from IKEA, but whatever!
And we’re back into homeschool around here! This is our third year and we’re off to a good start. With a couple years experience under my belt it was nothing but fun to buy our new books and supplies this year. People keep asking me what I’m going to do about school when the baby comes, but it seems like a funny question to me. We’re managing our calendar such that we’ll have a week’s fall break when she comes, but after that I feel like it’ll be much easier to homeschool with a baby than to schlep my kids to different schools across town with a baby. I sit on the sofa and knit while I homeschool now–after the baby comes I’ll just sit there and nurse instead. Actually sounds like a pretty good life to me.
*What’s she talking about, knooking? It’s real knitting with a crochet hook. Nice for people like me who love yarn crafts but are afraid of pointy sticks. Click here to see other knooking projects I’ve blogged about, or google it to learn how!
I made this dress from the “Pretty as a Picture” pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. I made the 6-9 month size. I used an old blue sheet to provide the fabric for the “picture” panel, then embroidered flowers and the REM song reference, because of course my baby will be such an REM fan, right?
This is the dress from the back; I left the panel empty. I liked this pattern; it was simple to follow and the front panel idea is fun and holds lots of possibilities. I was thinking it would be a cute way to showcase older sibling art made for the baby, either scanned in and printed on printable fabric, or done in permanent marker on a light fabric. I didn’t do the French seams called for inside the skirt because I was serging the skirt seams anyway, but otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully. I’m not sure what season it will be when my little one wears this size, but I felt like this dress could be worn as a layer in chilly weather or on it’s own in spring or summer.
This project was the only one I managed to photograph of a whole stack of tote bags I made a couple months ago. I bought several yards of a lightweight canvas and used the dimensions of a purchased tote bag that was hanging around here to guide me. I made totes for all the employees who work for my husband at his law firm, embroidering the firm logo on one side (thank you to Hanni at the Sweet as Lemon and Honey shop on Etsy for making the embroidery file!) and the employee’s name on the other. Then I made a couple child birthday gifts, one of which is shown, by doing the same tote bag but adding a child-appropriate embroidery bit and the birthday girl’s name. These were such nice, quick thank-you and birthday gifts that I’m sure I’m going to be reusing this idea again. The totes go together quickly and are always useful, no matter the recipient’s age.
This week I’m making baby dresses. I got this book “Making Baby’s Clothes: 25 Fun and Practical Projects for 0 – 3 Year Olds” by Merrett from Amazon.com recently and was so happy when it came. The reviews had been pretty good, but I would never have purchased a sewing book without being able to see the list of patterns or at least a nice sampling of them if the book hadn’t cost less than $8.00. At that price I decided to buy it based on its 4.5 stars and hope for the best. It truly is such a great bargain; the patterns are very cute, the pattern pieces are reasonably easy to trace (they are full-sized, and although they overlap they are easier to see through the tracing paper than the patterns from other much more expensive sewing books on my shelf), and the instructions are clear. This little dress was my first project from this book. It’s 0-3 month size and it looks like it will actually fit a newborn, unlike many commercial patterns I have sewn that look like they’ll actually fit a nine-month-old. I made it for the new baby to wear with a sweet pair of blue longies knitted for newborn Worth by a friend of mine. I don’t have any problem putting girl babies in blue, but I thought that making a dress specifically to go with the longies would make them special all over again and thwart annoying people at the supermarket from calling my girl baby a “he” at the same time.
This close-up shows how the neckline is constructed. The overlapping panels are the same on both sides, and will be cute and (I think) easy to get on and off over baby’s head. I stuck to the pattern instructions pretty faithfully, except I turned under satin ribbon to make the sleeve hem so they’d be soft on baby’s wrist and just a nice little detail.
This dress is from the same book. It’s intended as a summer dress, but I’m thinking my newbie will wear it over a plain white footie or maybe a long-sleeve onesie. The fabric is extras from her crib bedding, which I have yet to show-and-tell because I still need to finish the matching mobile, but it’s this along with some coordinating prints and it’s so sweet. I’m thinking this little dress will be cute around Christmastime (it’s 0-3 month also) without being overtly holiday-themed.
Here’s a better photo of the fabric and the front placket. Can’t wait to see these in action!
My weekend project was a whimsical new baby carrier. I don’t technically need a baby carrier this time around (ahem) but they aren’t hard to make, and I couldn’t resist a new one that was just for fun. This is a me tai-style carrier similar to the ones sold at BabyHawk.com. They were my favorite type of carrier with each of my previous kids. I bought a neutral-colored one from that site with Dorothy, then my sister-in-law made me an extra for the car, and then when Worth was born I made a cute red one with an owl applique on the front. I still have all of them and plan on using them all one more time; I’ll keep one upstairs, one down, and one in each car. Baby carrier bliss!
This is the the reverse side of the new carrier. I used the quirky vintage dog print on one side, and this novelty “glamping” print by Moda on the other. It’ll be my “mama’s in a fun mood” carrier.
Next I made a little bag to carry the carrier when it’s not in use. This one will probably go in my car, so it’ll be my on-the-go carrier. I made the drawstring ribbon long enough to sling over my shoulder and sewed a little pocket to the front just in case my baby carrier and my keys are all I need for a little dash in somewhere. Right now, with my big old belly stuck firmly to the front of me, and approximately 68 days left to drag it around (but who’s counting?) I’m fantasizing about the sweetness of a little head poking out the top of this for me to sniff and snuggle and kiss, and then…the amazing feeling of lightness and freedom of being able to take the baby off and put her down. Wow.