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!
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!
I can’t believe I’m blogging about sewing instead of camping, because we did go camping and it was not a disaster! Yeah! The curse has been broken! I’ll put up photos later, but right now I’m going to share some of the sweet baby crafting I’ve been doing. This fall seems to be a very busy time for babies among my friends and cousins. I’ve been churning out cute little bibs left and right and have finished a couple little projects in too much haste to photograph them, but I did manage to snap these before they were out the door. This is a flannel-lined cotton jacket and booties based on patterns in the One Yard Wonders book. I’ve blogged about patterns from this book before; it’s so great. It’s become my go-to for quick and cute gift ideas. This jacket came together really quickly and could easily be made in fabrics for a boy or a girl. It’s not grouped with the booties in the book but I thought they made natural companions for a gift. These are for the baby girl expected by one of my cousins.
This little diaper kit was inspired by a Pinterest pin. I have always kept little drawstring bags with diaper change supplies tucked in various spots I might need them, and have even given new mothers drawstring bags before with a suggestion to use them as such, but I had not thought of packaging them as “kit” to make a gift. I bought a pack of newborn diapers (and am now, creepily, being sent baby coupons by Target), some individual wipes packs, a box of disposable changing pads and some individually-wrapped hand-sanitizing wipes. To make up the kits I just stick one or two of each item in a handmade drawstring bag and stick on a little printed label. I’ve now used these bags as add-ons to several baby gifts recently. I feel like they’d make a particularly nice gift to a second-time mother who may be over the hassle of a big diaper bag but who still needs to have all the diaper-change goods at the ready.