My blog seems to be experiencing a little seasonal slow down lately. The sun is shining, the days are heating up, and I want to be staring out my open windows or watching my toddler figure out the plastic slide in the yard instead of doing cozy crafts (or blogging about them) on the couch. Everything has a season, right? But I do have a couple things to write about today. First, it’s that time of year again when people are thinking about next year’s educational choices. If you want to read about why my family educates our kids at home, it’s all right here in a post I wrote last year. Next, I feel like it’s also sort of seasonal for people to get tired of everything they’ve been up to all year, now that spring break is almost here and the school year is winding down. All the experiences that seemed fresh and crisp in September feels sort of limp and blah now. It’s fine for some things to go by the wayside in spring. Why not spend more time cloud-gazing and less time on everything that feels less important compared to that view? But don’t take down other mommies on your quest for personal happiness, ok? Letting yourself off the hook doesn’t have anything to do with the girl next door, whether she’s one of the Joneses or Martha Stewart. If someone else’s leprechaun trap made you edgy this week, please read this instead of posting a link to an article about how other people overdo it. XO.
My photos today are of a project from earlier this winter that really didn’t turn out all that well though I liked the concept. I made cute boy pants out of brown corduroy and an adorable camper print cotton I bought last year. The pattern, from Sewing for Boys, is one I’ve made before. The problem with the pants is that they are too short. I made the same size I’d made for him last year, erroneously thinking those pants still fit. Oops. Fine in the waist, but a good two inches too short. He’s worn them constantly anyway and they look goofy. I finally hid them so he’d quit wearing them and have plans to turn them into shorts, even though corduroy isn’t exactly what perfect shorts are made of. The shirt is just a plain white tee with a panel of the fabric appliqued on. Again, my problem was with fit. I was apparently careless when I grabbed the shirt from my stash and it’s the wrong size. It’s too big in every direction and he’s never worn it again after the day I gave it to him. Probably he’ll wear it constantly next winter, with pants that clash. Oh well. Sometimes the point is just that my middle kid (and only boy) needs to know I made something just for him, and there you have it.
Last fall I hit some nice clearance sales and picked up some off-season summer clothes for my kids to grow into. This spring I pulled them out and, all new and with tags and exciting, except that during the intervening six months my son Worth apparently decided he will no longer wear plain pocket t-shirts. They are “plain” and “babyish.” Because, you know, all really big boys go around with gigantic lizards or tractors on their shirts, right? Hmmmm. But instead of just giving up on these perfectly nice shirts I decided to try and liven them up a bit to suit my boy’s taste. I made freezer paper stencils and painted little “friends” coming out of the pockets. Now he likes them and wears them quite happily. I’m a little horrified that I ruined perfectly nice shirts with my bad freehand “art,” but am just going to focus on the positive. I told him this one was a little buddy–but he calls it a pocket monster.
This one is a shark that looks sort of like a blue banana too. But Worth loves it.
And finally…I realize this is probably going to end up on one of those websites where mean women make fun of other people’s blogs, but whatever. In retrospect I should have printed images on the paper to make my stencils, but I felt all self-empowered to do my own bad art, so I did. This one was supposed to be a dog, but Dorothy thinks it is a giraffe, Rob says llama, and Worth calls it a wolf. Really, I don’t care, I’m just glad it is shirt #3 that my son will now quite happily put on and wear.
So after all that energetic blogging I was doing this winter I’ve now taken an almost month-long break. I’ve felt lousy and been laying on the sofa sick, and I’m still not feeling great, but I’m up on the sofa right now, so I guess I’ll give this being upright at the computer thing a try again. Worth has had this third birthday in the interim, and I made him some special pants for his big day. These pants are the birthday pants prototypes–a muslin of sorts to try out this cute pattern before I cut into his very special fabric chosen for the birthday. These pants are made out of brown scraps and some puppy print sheets I found at a thrift store. The fabric is a bit lightweight for this pattern, but still turned out cute.
Here’s a side view of the pants. They have a “treasure pocket” built into the side panel. Of course that is his favorite feature; he feels like it is made to hold matchbox cards, which I guess it sort of is. This pattern came from this book Sewing for Boys. It’s the first pattern I made from the book and I’m excited by how much I like it. The fit is perfect, the pants are comfy, the directions made sense, and my boy loves the final product. Next time I’m up on the sofa I’ll post pics of the final birthday pants themselves!
I’m behind in blogging! Worth tuned two at the end of February. He celebrated in mama-made pants featuring rescue vehicles and a fire truck t-shirt (iron-on transfer paper on an undershirt). I didn’t use a pattern for the pants, just traced around a pair that already fit him well and sliced it in two to make the red contrasting panel on top.
I made a banner out of more fire truck fabric and ironed felt letters on the front to spell the birthday boy’s name. After the party I hung the banner in his bedroom window as a personalized year-round decoration. I used a bright outdoor stripe print on the back of the pennants, picked up as a big bargain at a thrift store. Unfortunately the fabric didn’t seem like so much of a bargain after I ironed it and the whole house started to smell like cigarette smoke. Gross! I’d washed it too, but that smell is so persistent. It doesn’t seem to be giving off smells just hanging there, though. Shew. Fabric thrifting gone wrong! Mildly funny that the firetruck banner smells like smoke though.
My mom made Worth’s birthday cake in the shape of a fire truck, which he identifies by the sound it makes, “awoooooooo!” I made little gift bags for the cousins out of things I thought firemen might need–lip balm, band-aids and kisses. They didn’t get the connection but I felt clever. I think my little aspiring rescue worker had a good birthday.