Sunday, October 31, 2010

Unfinished business

I was supposed to have the second half of my sewing class today and finish my pants.  I was sick and wasn't able to go.  I promise I'll get the pants done :)

"I aim to misbehave."

I'm not one to do traditional costumes.  I want something different for Halloween.  I also rather enjoy coordinating Garrett and Aloysius (our mini dachshund).  Every year the Boston Dachshund Meetup group hosts a Halloweiner event in the Boston Commons.   Last year Garrett went as a flower and Aloysius as a bumble bee.  
This is the last year I'll be able to choose his costume.  A few months ago I had purchased pants with suspenders for Garrett and the idea came to me...he was going to be Mal Reynolds from the short lived (but brilliant) series Firefly with Aloysius as Wash.

Aloysius only let me get a quick picture of him at home before he wriggled out of his costume.   But Garrett wore his costume all through his Halloween party at Gymboree.
 His godmother made the adorable duster coat. Next year I'll be able to make his costume myself.
 Without the jacket you can see his holster.
 "put me down mommy I want to run around"

Both my red heads are exhausted.  They had fun.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little Bib Project

I wanted to make Garrett a bib after finding some cute oil cloth.  I couldn't find a pattern and tutorial that did what I needed or showed pictures of every step so I decided to try to make my own. 

What you'll need: This will make 4-5 bibs
A yard of oil cloth (you can use a plain fabric but this will make it waterproof)
A yard of flannel, cotton or terry for the back (optional).  I used some left over receiving blankets for this.
Double fold bias tape. I used 1/4 inch width.
Snap, button or velcro for closure
Newspaper to make the pattern

I didn't like the patterns I found online so I took one of the bibs we already had and measured it out on some newspaper. If you don't have newspaper, just grab some of the circulars you get in the mail. I made another piece for the pocket I wanted to add.  A pocket is optional but we found pocket bibs on our toddler help keep the mess off the floor.

Using the bib pattern cut one main piece in oil cloth and one in flannel. Cut the pocket in your oil cloth fabric.  (you could even use a piece of complementary fabric on the pocket)

Take your bias tape and sew it to the flat edge of the pocket.

Take the pocket piece and sew it to the back of your bib.  Sew with the RIGHT side of the pocket facing the WRONG side of the bib.  Sew with very small seam allowances so any mistakes you can cover up with the bias tape. I like to make the pocket a little bigger then the bib so when you use the bib it doesn't lay flat and helps catch more mess.  
Turn the pocket right side out.
Place the 2 main bib pieces together wrong sides facing and sew them together. Make sure that when you pin your fabric you pin it close to the edge so any holes will be covered up by your bias tape. Sew close to the edge and trim the flannel fabric.  The raw edges will get covered up later when we add the bias tape.

Sew the bias tape around the entire bib.  

The last step is to add the closure of your choice to the bib.

Now you have an adorable bib for your little one.  They make great gifts and with a more absorbant fabric on the back they can be used either way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sewing class: Part 1

This Sunday I went to my first sewing class at The Stitch House Dorchester. 
I've always loved their yarn but I found out they teach several sewing classes as well. Anissa is a wonderful instructor and has been so helpful.

 I found a great black twill to make some pants for Garrett.

 The pattern called for a muslin lining so I had to cut that out as well.

 The accent fabric for the back pockets with button holes.  I know they came out slightly different sizes but it still looks really cute.

 Sewing the front pockets together.

I can't wait until next Sunday when I can finish up the pants.  They're coming along nicely and I'm understand how to read and adjust patterns a little bit more.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I can't help but share this

Lately Garrett has had a thing for buckets.  I have no idea why, he knows they aren't rides but he still loves to get into them and just sit around.  It doesn't matter where we are, he wants to sit in a bucket. 
While we were at Joann's this Saturday he decided that he would chill out while we were waiting to get our fabric cut.

We did get the obligatory "I didn't know they sold those here."  I was thinking on my toes and said "They only sell the materials and the pattern, I had to make him myself."   
And if you think he sits there quietly then you are mistaken.  He "talks" constantly. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What's the secret behind unisex bathrooms?

Is there some different bathroom etiquette when it comes to unisex bathrooms that I don't know about?  It's sad to say it but men and women in their respective public bathrooms are gross.
Women leave urine on the seat (if you want to squat please wipe the seat when you are done) and often forget to flush.  Men tend to miss the bowl all together when urinating and just drench the floor (I've had the displeasure of having to use a one seater men's room) so you're afraid you'll drop your pants in pee.

Does etiquette and cleanliness not apply when going to a bathroom with the same sex?  Or are people more "polite" when it comes to unisex bathrooms because they are embarrassed?  I'm trying to figure out why a woman (or man) would be more embarrassed by someone of the opposite sex seeing their bad bathroom habits then someone of their gender. 

 I'm still trying to figure out why unisex bathrooms are always cleaner while their counterparts are disgusting.  So ladies, gentlemen...please clean up after yourselves.  If you come out of the bathroom and have clogged the toilet please let me know before I go in and get a surprise.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who are you calling tacky?

After making my own cork board I realized I wanted to make some cute matching tacks.  I had the perfect matching fabric to use for tacks but no idea what to do.
In my searching I found a great tutorial over at Creative Outlet Designs.
All the items were easy to find at the craft store.  It's also a fun gift idea because you can personalize them to each person.  I made some ridge magnets with extra fabric I had.  You can never have too many magnets.

I love the way it looks on my cork board.

My mom loved my cork board so much that I'm making one for her with a matching mail bag and tacks.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Garrett helps with a quick project

I have to admit, I'm in love with One Yard Wonders.  I've been a big fan of the One Skein Wonders books for my knitting because I find myself buying 1-2 skeins of yarn because it's too lovely not to get and then not knowing what to do with it.
Garrett is still small so purchasing 1 yard of fabric leaves me with lots of options if I decide to sew something for him.  I wanted to make a mail bag from the One Yard Wonders book.  The first step was choosing a fabric.

 Garrett wanted to help choose the pattern.  He left no fabric unturned.

Eventually we agreed on a cute apple pattern and 2 hours later (hey, watching the little guy is distracting) we have a nifty place to keep all our take out menus.

 Garrett found a better use for the fabric drawers too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The bunnies are coming!

Remember those hand made gifts I was talking about? Well they've come in the form of bunnies. We've had some friends and family who recently had children and it's a great little stuffed animal to make.
What I really love is that it's a free and simple pattern from Wee Wonderfuls.  It's so much fun to make this bunny in different fun fabrics that reflect each family. 
I first encountered the Wee Wonderfuls bunny when I was pregnant with Garrett.  I was only knitting at that point and my friend Ali was sweet enough to make one of these adorable little guys.
Now that I'm sewing I looked up the pattern and realized it was pretty simple.  I picked out some colorful fabric and cut my pieces.
It came together really nicely and only took an afternoon to do.  If you're a more experienced or don't have a toddler running around you'll probably be able to do it in about 2 hours.

They're adorable and fun to make.  I love the way it came out.  Now I have a drawer full of different patterned bunnies.  Maybe they'll reproduce and I'll wake up to even more adorable, fun bunnies.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's too hard, I don't want to do it.

This is a sentiment I see a lot of lately.  When I was a child my father refered to this as "coping out".  Not giving my all was just not acceptable in my family.  I plan to teach the same mentality to Garrett.

The problem is I'm not just seeing this sentiment in children, I'm seeing it in so many adults today.  From things like breastfeeding (I advocate breastfeeding but I am not a boob nazi) to marriage.  I wonder if people think these things are supposed to be simple or if they were never taught that some things you have to work for.

I'm sure lots of people are going "so what, if they don't want to do it they don't have to" but was is that teaching our children?  Or for that matter what is that teaching all the other people on our planet?  Why bother if someone will always help me out? 

It's a feeling that has been becoming more and more acceptable in recent years.  What kind of society will that make us if no one does anything that is "too hard" for them? 

Just make yourself a promise "I won't give up just because something is hard.  I will always try my best and I will teach this sentiment to those around me."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The lost art of hand made gifts

I remember when I was little seeing TV shows around the holidays where kids would dread getting hand knit sweaters from grandmothers and aunts.  I never understood that feeling.  I still have the afghan that a family friend crocheted for me when I was 7 and even though it's pink, purple and white my husband doesn't seem to care because it's so warm. 

Last year money was tight around the holidays (Ben had been laid off half way through my pregnancy and was hired to his new job the day after Garrett was born) so most of the family got hand knit gifts.  I wondered if they really liked them or if some of them hated getting home made gifts. 

Today so many families are having money problems, we happen to be among them.  I've branched out into other areas of crafting just in time to make gifts for the holiday season.  We're saving money and giving people things that are so much more personal and unique. 

I've always loved the thought and care that went into hand made gifts.  I can only hope that our family and friends feel the same way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To sleep or Not to sleep

We never really used the crib for Garrett.  He went from the bassinet to sleeping in our bed.  Everyone just sleeps better that way.  However now that he's weaned during the daytime we want him to start napping in his own bed. 
So last night we decided to convert the crib into a toddler bed.  

 Wait, something is not quite right with this picture!

 Aloysius decided to take a nap inside the pillow case.

Garrett is still adjusting to falling asleep without being breastfed and he needs to be snuggled close to fall asleep.  It will take some time to get used to not nursing during the day.  But I snuggled him to sleep (eventually) and put him down in his own bed to nap. 
He slept for 2 hours in his bed.

 He looks so tiny and so grown up at the same time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Top stitching- If at first you don't suceed...

I'm still learning the basics of sewing.  I'll be taking a sewing class on the 24th (had to reschedule due to the death in the family) but I wanted to get the feel of my machine and try out some basics before the class.  Most patterns include top stitching.  That's where I have a great deal of trouble.

I took some scrap fabric and practiced

 And kept on practicing until I got better at it.  It's going to take me some time to get used to it.

 And then I went back and tried sewing my project.  It wasn't the straightest top stitch but it was much closer to the edge.

 Take that top stitch!  You won't defeat me.