Monday, June 30, 2008

sewing spree part three: curtains, a problematic dress, and the baby loves yellow

These curtains are for my mother's house. It's nothing more than a hemmed piece of fabric the exact size of the window and then drawn up with tabs which close with velcro. The buttons are decorative. At first it looked awful because the bottoms were too floppy but my mother came up with the solution of sticking a dowel through the bottom hem and that gave it the support it needed. You can't tell there's a dowel in there because we arranged the folds of the curtain over the hem. The fabric is, I think, a linen-cotton blend.

This dress started out with a pattern and then I redid the entire thing twice. The pattern had an empire waist and loads of pleats under the bust line, which made me look huge. Pregnant, actually. So I got rid of that and added a wrap (surplice?) bodice and now I have a dress that I'm fantasizing about wearing over a bathing suit all summer.

And in non-sewing related news, Joseph is going through a phase where he really likes yellow. He has a rubber duckie that he likes to sleep with and he's always grabbing grapefruit off the table. Here he is trying to feed Scott a lemon. He also likes to play with my yellow tape measure and the shopping lists I write on yellow legal paper. I hope this doesn't mean he's color blind or something. I clearly need to make him a yellow lovey of some kind.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sewing spree, part two: skirt for me & pants for the baby

I think I'm happier about this skirt than I am about anything I've made in a long time. The scalloped hem is from this tutorial. The skirt itself is made of cotton (twill maybe? I don't know) cut on the bias, with an elastic waist. I copied the shape from another similar skirt I had. The front and back pieces are literally the same, that's how simple it is. No darts or anything. Making the skirt took twenty minutes, making the hem took much longer.

Do you like how there's rubbish on the floor? Awesome photo styling.

These pants for the baby are linen and have little pockets. The inspiration for the pockets (which you can't see because the pants have a wriggly baby in them) came from something I saw on this website but now I can't find the right post. They have a drawstring waist because I ran out of elastic. I made them much too long (again, problems fitting clothes to squirming baby) but I think they look very cute rolled up. Like he's going to go wading and get frogs to put in his pockets. Not yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a sewing spree, part one: diapers and a beach bag

My sewing machine went in for service last month for a few weeks that coincided with my parents coming to visit. So I was faced with the rare opportunity to hand the baby over to somebody else and hole myself away and make things, but I had no machine. The result is that I cut out fabric for a bunch of new projects: diapers & diaper covers, a dress for me, pants for Joseph, a beach bag, a laundry basket, curtains for my mom, the beginnings of a quilt, a very ugly never-to-be-seen camera case, and a few other failed efforts that I won't detail.

So when I got my machine back, I was ready to go on a spree, which I did. Here are some of the results:

First up: diapers & diaper covers.

Wow. These look awful. Wouldn't you think that I'd trim the strings before putting them on the internet (or on the baby)? But no.

I'm actually very pleased with these diapers and diaper covers. Since I am too cheap to buy a pattern (but not too cheap to ruin yards of fabric not knowing what I'm doing) I sort of winged it on these. What I did was basically trace the outline of a diaper I liked and then add bigger tabs. Because when you have to change a squirmy baby by holding him by one foot upside down you need big tabs. The covers are made from thrifted cashmere sweaters. They were five dollars each, which seems like a lot to pay for a thrifted sweater in summer in Phoenix, but I got a few covers out of each so they were worth it. I felted the sweaters as best as I could, then added elastic along the legs and bag with a zig zag stitch. Then I added velcro to the tabs. Done. You don't need to bind or finish the edges because felted wool won't fray. The diapers themselves are made of cheapo fleece from JoAnn on the inside, gingham cotton on the outside, and a cut up prefold sandwiched between. I used basically the same outline I used for the diaper cover and the same process, using the turn-and-be-too-lazy-to-topstitch method.

My father says the baby looks like a caveman in his wool diaper cover. He kind of does, in a good way.

Next up: beach bag.

This is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing. Or, it should have been, except for how I don't have the attention span or spatial relation skills to actually follow a pattern. Anyway, it has loads of lovely outside pockets in which to stow sippy cups made from toxic plastic, snacks, sun block, etc. Inside it's big enough for a towel or two. I added a button-and-loop closure. Because that's pretty much the only way I know to close anything.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

In which I eat soggy Cheerios

Now that Joseph has learned to feed himself, he wants to feed everyone else. Yesterday I got fed several damp cheerios. I felt it would be too rude to refuse, considering how happy this makes him.

We think Indiana started this. Indiana is no idiot (at least where food is concerned); he lurks around the baby's chair during meal times and Joseph, naturally, reaches down to pet him. Indiana then gets to lick a food-encrusted hand. Joseph loves this--he laughs and squeals like it's the most wonderful thing in the world.

Joseph sometimes holds his hand out as if he's holding a piece of food and we think we're supposed to kiss his fingers, but we never get quite the same reaction as Indiana does.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

standing & talking

On Sunday the baby stood up on his own a few times. He didn't even seem to realize he was doing it--he was busy patting Freckles/grabbing the remote control/etc. and then all of a sudden he was standing with no hands.

And then yesterday he said "mama." The first time he said it I wasn't sure it was real--he babbles so much that eventually he was bound to make a babble that sounded like mama. But a few hours later he said it several times, and Scott was home to witness it, and he agreed that it was the real deal. Granted, this has only happened when I'm saying "mama" to him, which I will admit to doing very often. But I do think (hope) he knows that I'm this mama he's heard so much about.

His other new trick (he has had a busy week: standing, talking, feeding himself) is taking off his diaper. Here he is, holding his diaper cover and wearing, thank god, a securely fastened fitted diaper made from monkey-printed green flannel. The next time this happened we were not so fortunate.

And here he is up against the porch door imitating a catfish (according to my father):

Actually, he's wearing another kind of cloth diaper there--I made it from a shrunken wool sweater from Old Navy. I have been on a diaper-making tear lately.

Friday, June 13, 2008

fed the baby, bought a house...

We've had plenty going on during the last few weeks, namely traveling to Florida and buying a house. The house hunting process in not as grueling as I thought it would be--we saw fifteen houses, most with major problems, and two that were great. We put in a bid on the house we liked most, they countered with a number that was only symbolically higher, and we're set to close in a few weeks and then move at the end of July. I've never bought a house before, so I wasn't sure what kind of drama I was expecting, but it was all really mellow and low key. Now I'm beyond excited about getting all set up at our new house.

While we were in Florida we visited the beach a few times. Joseph was not fond of it--he is not into cold (or even tepid) water or loud noises (e.g., waves).

See that hat? We lost it somewhere. I'm still bitter about it. We have three or four sun hats, none of which are as cute as that one.

The plane right to Florida was uneventful, but the plane ride back, when we were all exhausted an longing for home, was not good. The baby was tired and couldn't settle himself down in my lap, so I basically had to nurse him for the entire flight. I started out fairly discreet, but after a few hours of a crying baby and getting angry looks (seriously! as if I was making the baby cry) from people across the aisle, I just started to whip it out as fast as I could. And since I was in the middle seat (to keep busy baby legs out of the aisle) I essentially had my nekkid bosoms eighteen inches away from the stranger occupying the window seat (a very patient man). If I had any lingering reservations about indiscreet public breastfeeding, they are now gone. Spending five hours with your shirt basically off will do that for you.

Here he is on the flight out, being entertained on his daddy's lap.