Monday, January 3, 2011

Sleep Sack for a Toddler

I have a monkey for a 21 month old. She is all arms and legs and climbs everything, including her crib.

She also FREEZES at night. I've never met anyone quite so cold blooded, and I have a hard time believing she is related to me, who likes the thermostat set to about ice box or below. (In the below pic she's helping me create a pattern for her new sack.  We were using her old sleep sack as a template to create the new one.)

Now, I'm not quite ready to move her to a big girl bed, because, well, she's also uber-curious, and I can only imagine what she'll get into if left to her own devices in her room.  (just look at those deceptively quiet deep brown eyes.)

So we solved the climbing problem AND the freezing problem by putting her in a sleep sack. Can't get a leg up when they're tucked inside a sack. But Little Miss Long Legs is too long for her sack. And apparently the baby clothes making companies don't think anyone over the age of 9 months need these.

To solve the problem, I made her a big(ger) kid sleep sack.  This is the last of the material from these covers which used to be stocked in my shop.  I had just enough material to make sure the fabric pattern centered nicely on the front and the back, but not enough material to allow extra room in the fabric pattern to meet perfectly across the zipper.

Because I had limited amounts of material, I couldn't get as much of an a-line cut on the front pieces.  That meant I needed to put a little box pleat in the back piece when I sewed them together.  Had I been thinking (instead of trying to sew this in time for her nap while she and her brother jumped around the room like wild monkeys, tossing new Christmas toys willy nilly and in general causing mayhem of one type and another), I would have not made it an inverted box pleat, as it would look prettier on the outside.  But this job was rushed so that it could be used at nap time.

Also, I didn't get the light pink bias tape cut for the right armhole.  But maybe before bedtime :)

I did take pictures along the way, so I'm thinking I can put this up as an easy peasy tutorial, too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pile o' Leg Warmers

In exciting news, Josie has been initiating using the potty!

In significantly less exciting news, she has serious issues getting pants or tights down in any sort of timely fashion. 

Enter the legwarmer.

Now, she uses these a lot anyway, because it made diaper changes easier for me.  But now they serve an even better purpose:

Keeping little legs warm in a cold house while a little girl learns to grow out of her diapers.

With out having to wear pants or tights which make it darn near impossible to get to the potty in time.

 I love these with the pretty ruffled edge.  

Years ago, I found this online tutorial on flicker.

They are incredibly easy to make.  All you need are a pair of women's knee or over the knee socks, and sewing supplies.

This entire batch was sewed up during nap time.  Including breaks because sometimes sewing the same item over and over gets boring.  And the football game was on, so I had to watch a couple of key plays, too :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Something for the boy

Poor Ben.  He does get short shrift in the sewing department.

And he gets SO excited when I do make something for him.  

I told him about a dinosaur winter hat that I could make for him, courtesy of From an Igloo.

So during his nap, I stitched it up.

He loved it.  But then said he wouldn't wear it till I added eyes.

So here is his sister modeling the hat.

It's a bit big on her.  It's a bit big for him, too.  Now that I've made it once, I think in the future, I'll make the triangles (for the crown, not the dino spikes) smaller.  

Guess I need to add eyes during his next nap.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sewing Attention Deficit

Feeling like projects are always started and never finished. (er, this IS a universal problem, right?  Please tell me I'm not the only seamstress who suffers from Sewing Attention Deficit?)
Either the idea never makes it to fabric.
Or the fabric never makes it from cut to sewn.
Or the finishing of the garment.  Ugh, how I do not relish finishing. 

So to prove to myself that yes. I. can. do it...  (in other words, "Marie, get up from that comfy couch and start sewing all the ideas you have for Christmas gifts.")

I pulled together a bunch of pictures to show myself what I have done.  I CAN finish a garment or project.  See, self?  Now go finish the rest :)

Motivation to keep on keepin' on. 
And definitely what I'm going to do whenever I feel like I am just. not. doing. Or getting done.

Now I suppose I should get back to work.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

15 Minutes of Sewing Fame

As if it were not officially in the record books before, I am certifiably a geek.

Josephine's Beach Combing Wardrobe

else could you explain my geeking out over One Pretty Thing featuring Josephine's Beach Combing Wardrobe on one of their posts?

I check that site every day.  
Multiple times a day.  
Because they update it regularly with A.Mazing DIY projects.

And yesterday they had me on there!

Woot :)

Guess I ought to do a post on Josephine's beach combing wardrobe!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ma Petite Chou (or What to Do With All of these Brussels Sprouts?)

Brussels Sprout Overload

When I was a little girl, my mom used that term of endearment with me a lot.

"Ma petite chou?" I would ask.

Final Fall Harvest

"My little cabbage head," she would reply.

"Really?" I thought, "that's supposed to be sweet?"

Today Ben and I picked the last of our garden harvest.  These were the only things that have survived the fast freeze that we had.  The freeze that I didn't pay any attention to, and so I missed getting the bell jars over the plants that could have been saved.

ma petite chou

So all that was left alive after the freeze were the hardy brussels sprouts.

We picked a bunch. 

Ben eats them raw. 

I wouldn't recommend it, but he says they're good that way.

Just picked

Seeing them all sitting together in a pile reminded me of my mother's french term of endearment.  

The pile of adorable little green cabbages actually was endearingly adorable. 

(hmm, maybe the reason I took so many pictures of a rather unpopular vegetable?)

Sweet Grass and Brussels Sprouts

I personally love them if they are sauteed with some balsamic vinegar and orange zest. 

But no one else in my family will eat them. 

Well, obviously Ben will chomp on them raw out of the garden, but even my gardening buddy turns his nose up at a cooked brussels sprout.

So perhaps I should make one of these?

Crazy cool, right?  Reminds me of the wreaths in Williamsburg, VA, all made from winter foodstuffs.  The how to is located here at the lovely blog, Blomsterverkstad.

I'm guessing the general consensus in this household is that I make them into the wreath instead of try and serve the brussels sprouts to them for dinner.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Billy Cardigan

I think, when I'm not at work, cardigans are probably what I wear 90% of the time.  (well, cardigans layered over PJs.  Am I the only person who changes into pajamas the minute I get home?)

I've been seeing a bunch of pretty draped cardigans around, but I haven't found any that I love.  

Until I saw Katy  (who has this incredibly understated and elegant aesthetic) from No Big Dill's  tutorial for luvinthemommyhood.  I knew I had to give it a try.  Love the finished product :)

I love the neckline crossed over and pinned.  Sophisticated, but still incredibly comfy. Or...

Open and breezy.
Last night I wore it open with a skinny belt. 
But I left the belt at my sister's house. 
Also, those skinny belts aren't the most comfortable.  At least when I sat down I didn't think so... maybe it's time to buy a bigger belt :) 

(also, what in the world kind of pose is that that I'm making??  I think I may have to start cropping my head out of every picture.)

Some How-To Advice for this Project
I am a bit of a completely hasty sewer.  I tend to skim directions and almost always jump right in and then regret it after I screw up something major. 

So a few things to be wary of if you decide to make one of your own...

1. The shoulder seams are sewn wrong sides together, then top-stitched down against the garment.  It makes a beautiful finish.  Here's the part I missed:  Top stitch down first, then trim the seams down to 3/8 inches.  One of my shoulder seams has some really wonky stitching because I trimmed then top stitched.

2. The decorative thread for top-stitching is a bear to work with.  I have a sewing machine that is incredibly temperamental with cheap and/or fancy thread.  It kept breaking and fraying and clogging up the works.

3. The entire garment is NOT sewn with all seams on the outside.  Only the shoulder.  I did the whole thing minus the sleeves with the outside seams, then decided that was far too much decorative stitching.  I ripped the entire thing apart and re-sewed. 

4. This is really an easy project!  Knits really are forgiving, and even with my seam snafu, it probably took me about 2 hours to draft the pattern, cut, and sew.  Then rip apart (sigh.) and re-sew.


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