Pregnancy Update

The little one continues to grow steadily and is VERY active. Today we are at 27 weeks. I began bleeding a little bit on Friday though and the doctor directed me to go to the hospital. There monitoring showed that thankfully there are no contractions. I stayed overnight for continued monitoring as a precaution. I am now home again, but on bedrest. Previously I had been on restricted activity, such as no heavy lifting, because of a marginal placenta previa. I had hoped it had moved by this point, but since I began bleeding that would seem not to be the case. I am now allowed to get up to use the bathroom, but shouldn’t even sit at the table to eat.

Being monitored for contractions.

Being monitored for contractions.

I was on bedrest for a month with Eli’s pregnancy as well until the partial placenta previa migrated to a safer location. It was much earlier in the pregnancy though. I’m finding it much more difficult this time around in that I now have a toddler to take care of, and it is happening right in the thick of all of the Christmas preparations. I had so many projects on my sewing list between gifts I wanted to make and clothes the Eli needs now and the baby will be needing soon enough.

Yesterday I was up more than I should have been. Today, I’ve been doing a bit better, and tomorrow I’m sure I’ll do better still. It is hard to stop your life on a dime, when you weren’t expecting to need to do so just yet. When I have been up it has been to get some things organized so that I can have work to do with my hands as I rest, and to put things Eli needs where he can have more independant access to them, such as the pack of diapers down on the floor instead of up on the shelf. He has been great at fetching things for me that I need and being as helpful as a little boy can be. My husband has taken on the lion’s share of all there is to be done as well as his regular work. I am so glad he works from home these days. My sisters-in-law have also been wonderful: Jacki has been taking Eli back and forth to school, running out to the craft store and produce market for me, and coming to take Eli out to play; and Susan, who is an incredible cook, has sent over yummy food that we have just to heat up. At a time when I am tempted into a funk over this unwelcome development, I find I don’t have to look too far to see how truly blessed I am. Of course the most important blessing of all is that right now this baby inside me is still doing just fine.

Eli slept the entire time I was being admitted and checked out.

Eli slept the entire time I was being admitted and checked out.

I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be getting done over the the duration of Operation Bedbound. On one hand I have more time now, and now that I’m slowly figuring out my husband’s old laptop it looks like I will still have computer access. On the other, I have to see how streamlined I can make the process of photgraphing and downloading pictures, etc. Not that my photography tends to be spectacular anyway, but for now I may have to be content with flash photography with the bedspread as a background. Then there is the issue of all of the projects I had slated to accomplish and share here being mainly things that require the use of the sewing machine. That, of course, remains a big no-no.

My plan thus far is to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but haven’t had the right circumstances… learn to knit and crochet! Using YouTube I’ve already learned to cast on and begin knitting. I’m about 1/3 of the way through my first washcloth! Not exactly blog-worthy eye candy, but I’m very happy about it. I hope to quickly learn other stitches and how to read patterns. Then it’ll be off to the land of all cuteness, knitted baby clothes! I’m also planning to try my hand at crocheting this baby hat. Jacki gave me this lovely crochet hook that is the perfect size for the project this morning.

My first knitting project and new crochet hook.

My first knitting project and new crochet hook.

My other focus will be sewing felt food for Eli. He will be getting a play kitchen for Christmas and will need some food to prepare in it. I think it will be a lot of fun to wade through the many felt food tutorials I’ve pinned and sew away. Maybe I’ll be able to work out and share a few tutorials of my own.

My apologies to the many people who have commented on other posts here at Folk Havenover the past few days for not responding. I read them all, and appreciated them. Now that I can use this laptop I hope to keep on top of these things a bit better again.

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Adding/Replacing Long Sleeves on a T-Shirt

I’m finding as the seasons change (we’re slow about season changing here in Southern CA) that Eli has outgrown most of his existing long sleeved shirts. I’m trying to go the frugal route these days and as he has plenty of short sleeved T-shirts that fit him well I decided to try adding long sleeves to them.

Here’s how I went about doing so:

I started with this shirt. Yea, already has long sleeves, but they were at one time in the distant past white and no amount of laundering or stain treatment is returning them to their former glory, so this shirt had been pulled from rotation some time ago. The shirt itself is fine though and one of Eli’s favorites, so we’ll just switch out the sleeve.

Carefully clip it free… so much faster than seam ripping!

Open it up and trace it onto freezer paper to make a pattern. I did seam rip the side seam to preserve the side seam allowances. Add 1/4″ at the top to account for what was left behind when cutting it from the shirt. (I think you could probably make a pattern easily enough by tracing the sleeve of a long sleeved shirt still attached, doubling it mirror image and adding a seam allowance.) Leaving the bottom without allowance for hemming was on purpose as I plan to use the hemmed bottom of another t-shirt for the sleeve.

Iron the pattern to your donor shirt. I loved this yellow stripy shirt that became hideously stained by Colic Calm long ago. (Wonderful product… deadly to fabric.)

Open the side seam of your sleeve a little ways.

Sew the top part of the long sleeve to the bottom part of the short sleeve. This can be done by machine. I did it by hand as I was out of brown thread that would have blended in with the existing serged line of stitching and I thought a contrasting machine stitch would just look tacky, especially if I wavered at all which often happens with me. I also liked that the front of the shirt has an embellishment of brown embroidery, and a printed-to-look-hand-embroidered line around Elmo. On the sleeves the darker red stripes are machine embroidered, so I thought carrying the motif over to the attachment of the sleeve with a little pop of red might be fun.

Pin and sew up the sides of the sleeve. For this I did use the machine. (Use a zigzag stitch).

Turn right side out and enjoy the “new” shirt!

I also used the same pattern piece to make long sleeves to add to a short sleeved t-shirt. This time I sewed up the side seam of the sleeve ahead of time and then attached it to the short sleeve by hand. I did it this way simply because I didn’t feel like ripping open the side seam of the short sleeve and I knew I was needing a little handwork to bring along with me for a time I knew I’d be sitting around waiting for Jeff and Eli. The dark blue on the bottom is just some left over neck ribbing from another old t-shirt that I added for an extra pop of color.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful in extending your little one’s wardrobe through another season.

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities ,

The Cure for the Common Monday, A Round Tuit,

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Crafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWaste Not Want Not Wednesday, The Country Homemaker Hop,

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Easy Linen Shirt

This past week I attacked my second project from the book Sewing for Boys, the Easy Linen Shirt. I would have had to agree with the name of the shirt and the many other bloggers who rave about how simple this shirt really is to construct, until I got to the collar. Maybe it’s my beginner status, or the fact I seem to have trouble following directions (and therefor using other people’s patterns) but it took me a long time, a lot of fiddling, a bit of swallowing back the curse words I was so sorely tempted to emit, and in the end it was a less than perfect execution. Still, I’m happy with the shirt, feel I learned and grew from the experience. And Eli is thrilled with his new threads, so all in all, definitely a worthwhile experience.

Ooops! Forgot to iron it for the picture!

This shirt contains parts of an old linen shirt and skirt of mine, a men’s cotton shirt and the elephants are courtesy of a Banana Republic canvas shopping bag. I made the 4/5 size so the arms are a bit too long for Eli still.

A little touch of embroidery.

Because I did some of the sewing while he played nearby in the living room, I sang to him a little ditty I made up so as to buy myself a little time before he was too impatient to have me playing with him again. It went, “Mama’s making Eli and elephant shirt, elephant shirt, an elephant shirt. Mama’s making Eli an elephant shirt, that he can wear to __(insert a place he likes to go to)__.”  It worked. He’d say “Again, again, again!” after each verse. After we’d run through it a few times, I began to leave the last word out for him to fill in himself. EVERY TIME he’d exclaim “Ikea!” Usually followed by “Eli go to Ikea?! Eli go now! Go in the silver car!!” Yeah, Eli, Mama likes Ikea too. But we can’t go every day.

Large Elephant from a canvas Banana Republic shopping bag someone had passed on to me.

I used french seams on the arms and side seams. It was only my second time doing so… the first time being over two years ago. I’m loving how finished it looks! If the seam looks wide to you it’s because it is. I misread 3/8″ seams throughout as 5/8″ (I kept hearing the refrain printed in the comment section of just about every elementary report card I ever had (“doesn’t listen and follow instructions”) as I dealt with the consequences of this. Luckily the shirt is a size bigger than Eli currently wears for things made from this book so it will still fit for a while. It may be a bit tight by the time his arms grow into the sleeves though.

Here’s my little guy showing off his new shirt.

He’s always done with the photo session before I am!

Thanks for reading!

Karen

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Tea Rose Home

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blogjembellish clothes

upcycling pageBlissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Tell Me TuesdayCrafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To DoToday’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up WednesdayWaste Not Want Not Wednesday,

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

 

Personalized Knee Patches

Jeans with broken snap replaced with a button.

You may remember these jeans from last January when I posted this tutorial about how to replace a broken snap with a button. (That repair job is still holding quite well, by the way.)

Well these jeans have seen heavy usage over the months. Because they were so long on him initially they fit perfectly now that we no longer cuff them up. Unfortunately the knees were giving out. I could tell at the last washing that with one more wear we’d have some impressive holes unless I acted right away.

I rather like these patches… and more importantly so does Eli. If your kid is going to wear patched clothing, the repair might as well add a fun element, right?

Here are a couple of close up shots of Eli’s new knee-art.

Eli’s not big on greetings. He needs to warm up before talking to people. Perhaps his jeans can go beyond the call of just providing for his warmth, protection and modesty and take on a bit of the pressure of social greeting expectations as well. Most likely though they’ll just give his knees a new degree of cuteness.

I didn’t think to photograph the making of the knee patches because I wasn’t thinking about blogging or tutorials when I made them… I just wanted to save a favorite pair of jeans. But after they were done I thought they’d be fun to share. If you are currently pitching worn jeans or buying those stiff iron on patches you might be interested in this sloppily sketched carefully hand-drawn tutorial.

I like this method because it doesn’t cost anything when I just use left-over scraps of cloth, is a double layer allowing me to use cute cloth that wouldn’t be strong enough to do a patch job on it’s own, and the patches are really soft, unlike the iron on patches used during my childhood (I saw they still sell those things in the fabric store).

Step 1

Cut out two pieces of fabric large enough to cover the hole or weak spot in the knee adding and extra 1/4″ all the way around.

Step 2

Place the fabric right sides together and sew around leaving a gap in the sewing on one side through which you will turn it right side out. When done snip off the corners to reduce bulk.

Step 3

Turn right side out. The strange looking pen marks to the left symbolize the gap where you didn’t sew.

Step 4

Tuck the raw edges of the fabric into the gap, pin and then top stitch all the way around the patch.

Step 5

Hand sew the patch onto the pants using a blind stitch. Be careful not to sew the front of the jeans to the back of the jeans as you do this. This is a good task to do while relaxing in front of the TV at night.

Embellishments

You probably want to do any embellishing at the end of step 4 and before the patch is sewn onto the jeans. I didn’t with these… the idea presented itself after I had completed the repair job. It really wasn’t difficult to do even though I had already sewn on the patches. You can embroider, add an applique or a store-bought embroidered patch (you know, the decorative kind), or you could stencil on a design with fabric paint and freezer paper. Or, if you chose to use some really cute cloth you could just leave well enough alone.

So, go forth and save some holey jeans! (You know there are at least a couple of pair in the bottom of your kid’s drawer.)

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling pageBlissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Tell Me TuesdayCrafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To DoToday’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Handmade Bird Ornament 2012

A bird in the hand…

‘Tis the season to begin making Christmas tree ornaments once again! Long time readers might remember last year’s fiasco with shrinking a favorite woolen blanket and the resulting Christmas stocking I then made from it. Well, for this bird I used some of the scraps left over from that project. I like that it came out rather folksy looking.

I don’t have a step by step photo tutorial of this one but it is really simple to make. On last year’s Love Birds Wreath Tutorial post I showed briefly how to make a slightly similar bird and there is a link to a bird pattern you can use if you don’t want to sketch out your own.

Just draw out a basic bird body shape on paper and use it for your pattern. Cut out two, sew them almost all the way around, leaving yourself room to turn inside out and fill with stuffing. Finish sewing the body together.

Cut out two wing shapes that go well with the size of the body you just made and blanket stitch around them. (If you are unsure how to blanket stitch I saw a very clear step by step tutorial here.) As this was made from a felted blanket each wing is one layer only… if you are using fabric you will want to use two layers and follow the same process as for the body but don’t stuff them very full at all.

…and one in the bush.

Embellish as your sense of whimsy directs. I added a fabric beak (also blanket stitched), knotted embroidery thread for the tail and for the eyed I used a thin shell bead from a broken necklace with a smaller bead on top.

String some beads together, find the balance point you like the look of best along the back and attach in a loop for hanging. I wanted this bird to look like it was taking off in flight so I hung it so that the head would be higher than the tail.

Hang it up, stand back and enjoy! This little guy will likely be given away for our church women’s ornament exchange (Shhh! But really I don’t think anyone from that group visits my blog 😉 ) but we’ll see what else I happen to create between now and then.

Here are some of the ornaments I posted about last year:

Commemorative Ornaments

Handmade Scrappy Folk Angel

Salt Dough Ornaments

Snowman Ornament From Lightbulb

Handmade Red Angel Christmas Ornament

Related articles

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Christmas Craft Linky Party, Tea Rose Home,

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page, Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, Home Stories A to Z, Tell Me Tuesday, Crafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To Do, Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Shirt Sleeves to Child’s Yoga Pants

It seems like it has been forever and a day since I’ve had a tutorial to offer. But today I’ve got a quick, easy and ever so useful sewing project for you, so let’s get started!

Eli has been needing some new warm pajama pants. He pretty much refuses to sleep with any covers over him at all so with cooler weather around the bend (or at least I dearly hope so, November and tomorrow we’re supposed to hit 91 degrees) I wanted to make him something nice and snuggly. I’ve been doing most of my sewing reusing fabric from old clothing, requiring limited expenditure to support my habit other than thread and elastic. By making yoga pants I don’t need any elastic at all, I can further make a dent in my overwhelming pile of clothing to be repurposed and I can make super comfy clothing at the same time.

Here’s how you can do it too.

1) Find an old knit long sleeved shirt from which you can use the sleeves as pant legs. The bigger your child the larger the shirt required. Eli is 2 1/2 and wears 3T pants and I was able to use men’s size large for these pants. I made one pair from a t-shirt and two from heavy sweat shirt material.

2) Place a pair of pants that fit your child well, folded in half, on a shirt sleeve. Trace around the crotch and across the waistband adding a little extra space for seam allowance. I didn’t measure but it was about 1/2″. I used an existing pair of yoga pants here so I folded down the waistband before tracing. If you are using a pair of pants with an elastic waistband to trace you may want to make the top of these pants 1/2″ shorter as you will be sewing the yoga waistband onto them later.

3) Turn one sleeve inside out and fit the right side out sleeve into it so they are now right sides together. Pin all the way around what will be the center seam. Sew with a zigzag stitch.

4) Turn the pants right side out and set aside. Now it is time to make your yoga waistband. Measure around your child’s waist, subtract 3″ and divide by 2. This is the width of the two pieces of cloth you will need to cut out to form the waistband. The height of the rectangles should be 15″ regardless of the size of the child. (A great source for this complete with diagrams is here at the Sew Mama Sew blog where you will find a tutorial for a yoga waistband skirt.) Using ribbing or a super stretchy t-shirt cut out the two rectangles making sure the stretch goes from side to side.

5) Sew up each side with a zigzag stitch. Press seams open.

6) Fold the tube in half so that the two raw edges are matching up and the seam allowance is sandwiched in the middle.

7) Slide the tube over the pants so that all three raw edges match up along the top of the pants, and the folded edge of the tube is hanging down. Because the tube will be more narrow than the top of the pants, stretch the tube so you can pin it around the top of the pants. I find it helps to pin the two sides first at the side seams of the waistband. Then stretch it out from side to side and pin the center points at the center seams of the pants. Then pin twice between each of the first four pins.

8) Sew all the way around with a zigzag stitch.

9) Flip waistband up and top stitch all the way around with a straight stitch.

If the sleeves you chose to use were in good condition you’re done!

If however they were like the sleeves of the two sweatshirts I used the cuffs will be ratty and dirty.

10) Remove the cuff from each sleeve.

11) Use one of the cuffs to cut measure the amount of fabric to use for your new cuffs. I used the same shirt I used to make the waistband. (This shirt gave enough fabric for two waistbands and four cuffs.) Open up the old cuff to find the length of fabric for the height you want enough so that you can double the fabric over as you did the waistband.

12) Sew up the side of the new cuff and attach it to the leg the same way you attached the waistband. (Steps 5-9)

Now you are done… the pants are ready to be worn!

I’ve been featured!

Creating my way to Success

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin,

Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Reversible Bubble Pants

I’ve been doing so much sewing lately to get ready for the little girl we expect next March.   Since a second, very in depth ultrasound (thanks to my “advanced maternal age”, such a lovely phrase, don’t yo think? no? me neither) confirmed that indeed she is a she, I’ve begun sewing girly stuff! (Thankfully all of the important stuff they were looking at in the ultrasound seem just fine!) She does seem to be a modest one though and really made the doctor work to determine her gender, first crossing her legs and later by covering her privates with her hand. But back to the sewing…

I posted that I’d be focusing on cloth diaper accommodating pants, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. These first couple I’m going to show you I just love. They are Reversible Bubble Pants from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated. (This is the same book that gave me the pattern for the baby nightgowns.)If these won’t cover a fluffy bottom and still leave room for mobility I don’t know what would!

On the left are the 6 – 12 month side, 0 – 6 months on the right. Right now they seem huge, but babies grow so quickly. I plan to make at least one more pair in the 12 – 18 month size, and then may make second pairs in each size as well after that.

Both pairs of pants  were made from cast-off knit clothing. This pair is in especially pre-loved fabric. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who made a big difference in my life. My senior year she had a shirt that was made from fabric almost identical to the outer fabric on this pair of pants. A couple of years after graduation I found a dress in a thrift store that reminded me of her and I couldn’t help buying it. I’ve never been one to wear dresses often, but on the fairly rare occasions that I did this was my go to dress for about 6 years after that. When I pulled it out of my closet a week ago I could see it was really hopelessly out of date in style (I’ve worn it perhaps twice in the past 10 years) and had picked up a stain or two along the way. I just had never gotten rid of it due to the sentimental nature of the dress. Cutting it up to make pants for my baby though was easy! I can’t wait to see my daughter in this fabric, and have some more left over that will doubtless become other things for her to wear. (The lining fabric was from a t-shirt. I couldn’t avoid a bit of the printing on the front of the shirt which you may notice at the top of the waist band in the photo. It won’t be visible when worn though, and although these are reversible pants with all seams hidden between the two layers, I’d always want the special fabric on the outside anyway!)

And here is the rear view… Yep, plenty of room for a well padded little tookis!

Thanks for reading!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling page

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Tasteful TuesdayNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin,

Jembellish Clothes Upcycling Project, Tuesday Baby Link Up

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableSomeday CraftsLil’ Luna,

Whimsy Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour ProjectsThreading My Way,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama2805,

Just Winging It

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

E is for Eli!

Due to Eli’s recent growth spurt most of his Mama-mades have been packed away or soon will be. Of course this would be when Eli decides that Mama-made clothing is the BEST.THING.EVER. As in “Don’t even think I will get dressed for pre-school without having a meltdown if there isn’t a handmade shirt to wear today!” Luckily on that morning I was able to dig out one last candidate from the shirt drawer that still fit… but barely.

So between the many pairs of baby pants, nightgowns, fitted cloth diapers and diaper covers on my baby-prep sewing list it has been imperative that I sew a few new items for Eli as well.

Here is his latest shirt.

E is for Eli Shirt

I got the idea a long time ago from Dana’s Sprinkle Shirt, which she published way back in 2008. I’ve loved this idea for a long time and it was one of the first kids’ clothing tutorials I ever pinned. Now that Eli is getting really enthused about letter learning it was the perfect time to give it a go!

The shirt itself is part of my ongoing process of learning to sew from patterns. This pattern is a simple t-shirt pattern from Kwik Sew’s Sewing for Toddlers by Kerstin Martensson that Kelly at ReStitch Me recommended to me a while back. The photos are very dated (1980’s) but the clothing is so basic it still works with more modern fabric and embellishment choices. Eli is already using the largest size in the book though so I will soon be looking for a new t-shirt pattern. If anyone can recommend a particular Ottobre edition for a very basic gender neutral t-shirt pattern I’d be most interested.

I don’t know why I find it so challenging to use patterns, but I do. It seems that I had to rip out and redo almost every part of this shirt at least once. So many stupid mistakes were made, and perhaps part of that can be blamed on pregnancy brain. (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.) I couldn’t very well just give up and trash the project though because Eli had watched me embroider the E with much delight and was following the construction of the shirt with focused attention. I actually cut the tan pieces so short as a mistake and then didn’t have enough fabric left in that repurposed t-shirt to fix my mistake. Color blocking seems to be in these days though, so we’ll just pretend I did it on purpose!

I also used the making of this shirt as the occasion to finally try out the twin needle I bought, oh, probably about a year ago. I found it such an intimidating idea, but everyone else that has used one and blogged about it always seems to say that is is actually rather simple to use and quite satisfying as well. Now that I’ve finally taken the plunge I’d have to say that I agree.

Wearing his E shirt and playing with his train. Please excuse the bed head. 🙂

Since I’ve made this shirt Eli wears it almost constantly. The first time I put it on him he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck in a big hug and then spent the rest of the evening periodically giving my arm little love pats. It requires prolonged negotiations to get it off of him to be able to wash it. He also tells anyone who comments on his big E shirt “Mama made it!” Nope, it just doesn’t get much better than that! I need to make a few more shirts and pronto though so that he isn’t always wearing the same soon-to-be grungy shirt!

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sundayjembellish clothes upcycling page, A Round Tuit

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsC.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour ProjectsThreading My Way,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

Getting Ready for Baby: Cloth Diapers

This week I decided it was time to take stock of my cloth diaper stash to see what all I will be needing before the new baby comes in a little over 4 months.

Eli wearing a gDiaper.

Initially with Eli I had planned to cloth diaper all the way through until potty training. Then I began to use disposables when we were traveling because keeping a big old musty bag of used diapers in the car for a few days on end just seemed to be a bit much (and the 10 day trip via airplane when he was 5 months old… UNFATHOMABLE!). Once the ‘sposies were in the house I found just how much more convenient they were in certain situations… like being out of the house for more than just a couple of hours. Since we often didn’t use a stroller, and I was already wearing Eli in a carrier I didn’t want to bring along a lot of bulky cloth diapers as unless I was out with my husband I was carrying both baby and diaper bag.

Then Eli hit the crawling stage at 6 months. He was already a very big baby for his age and squeezing the cloth diapers on him under his pants made for a rather mobiley-compromized baby. I was also finding it hard to fit him into his car seat for some reason. Perhaps it was just his personal body shape because I’ve never read anyone else discuss that issue on the cloth diapering blogs. So slowly, but surely cloth was used less and less, really only when we were going to be at home and then only during the day. (With all of the night waking issues we had, as soon as I discovered overnight disposables I was very happy to leave that little bit of early hour baby stimulation behind.) Eventually I found I was not accumulating enough to justify running the washer for a diapers-only load before they would begin to reek on day 3. So (feeling a bit like a crunchy-mama failure) when Eli was about 18 months old I packed all of the cloth diapers away to await our next child.

I had read often enough about the laborious process of stripping diapers when the ammonia smell begins to remain even after washing, but I had never actually done it. My diapers never got smelly. Maybe that’s due to the Charlie’s Soap Powder I use, the fact we have a top loading washer, or because I rarely used the clothes drier for them but let the Southern California sun work it’s wonders instead. What ever the case may be it wasn’t something I wanted to take on if it didn’t seem necessary. But seeing as the diapers had now spent a year in boxes in the garage, and they would be used by a different person it seemed like maybe now was the time.

So I waited until Eli was at preschool, cranked up the temperature on the water heater,

We usually keep this set around 120 degrees, but for diaper-stripping purposes I turned it up as high as it would go.

began filling the tub with diapers,

and as the water filled the tub went online to double check the amount of Dawn dishwashing detergent that I should use. That’s when I found that, unlike the sites I had read before describing boiling diapers on the stove or soaking them in near-boiling water in the tub, I could just do the stripping in my washing machine!

The dreaded day of drudgery turned out to be ever-so-easy as far as the diapers were concerned, allowing me time to sew another baby nightgown before Eli returned from preschool.

For anyone needing to know how to strip cloth diapers here’s a link to the site that saved my day. You’re welcome. 🙂

Now with all of the diapers super clean, I’ve been sorting them by size and trying to figure out if I have all that we will need. Even though these diapers were used by Eli first, I do have a fair amount of girly diapers as when I made these I didn’t know who would be coming our way to use them yet. (Actually for a good portion of my pregnancy we thought that Eli was going to be Elianna 😉 )Between prefolds and the homemade fitted diapers I have about 30 in the smallest size. Figuring about 10 diapers a day and no more than 3 days between washes I should just have enough, but I will probably make a couple more to have on hand just in case.

My complete stash of small handmade fitted cloth diapers.

So little and so cute!

These represent one of my very first sewing ventures away from the realm of quilting. I remember Eli outgrew them so quickly as I made the majority of them with woven flannel receiving blankets repurposed for the outer fabrics. Fuzzy and adorable but they don’t stretch at all!

As for sticking with the whole cloth diapering thing this time around, I have a few ideas that will make things go a bit more smoothly. I will still use disposable (Earth’s Best or Seventh Generation) when traveling and probably for the first couple of weeks home from the hospital, especially if I end up needing another C-section. I am laying in a store of Mama-made pants created specifically for the fluffy-bummed baby. (Posts on those will follow!) Perhaps a better designed diaper bag would help with the schlepping of cloth diapers when we are out and about as once again I plan on wearing this baby.

(I am also becoming interested in Elimination Communication, but haven’t made any decisions about that either way at this point. Who knows? Perhaps in the end we might go diaper-free all together?! Not too sure about that one… But intrigued. Definitely intrigued.)

Easy Fix for Toddler Pants That Won’t Stay Up

I’ve been doing a lot of mending lately, most of it makes for pretty dull blog fodder, but it has to be done. I’ll share this particular fix though, because for how very simple and seemingly uninspired it is I actually spent a couple of days trying to figure out how to attack the problem of toddler pants that constantly migrate south.Eli received this pair of pants as a gift over a year ago and I have been awaiting the day when he would finally grow into them. Lengthwise they are now perfect, but they are just a smidge too wide to actually stay up. Even the best looking pair of pants fail to look their best when slipping below the derriere in public.

I had found this excellent and easy tutorial for fixing this problem, but since these pants unbutton I couldn’t run a complete circle of elastic all the way around the inside of the  waist.

Instead I just attached a small length of elastic to each side. It is whipstitched on each end by hand and will be super easy to remove when Eli grows a bit wider.

Simple, huh? So why did it take me a few days to figure it out?? Sigh… But now he’s wearing the pants, and actually objects to removing them, so it’s all good.

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