Thursday, December 9, 2010

newborn photoshoot

Melanie has an incredible natural talent for taking beautiful pictures. So of course I totally exploited the fact that she's my sister-in-law and asked her to take some pictures of my new little babe Jensen. And boy did Melanie deliver. Seriously, take a look at her handy work...

This one is my absolute favorite, I love that she's smiling. I know, totally involuntary, but still completely adorable!

And I love how this one turned out just so simple and sweet.

These look so good in B&W.

Cannot get enough of the ruffly bum.

Ruffly and bummy, so cute!

Mel knew just how to place everything to get the best shots. Love the colors in this one, perfect!

Of all of the nakie shots, this one is my favorite, it's so cute and looks just like my Jensen.

She's so cute, all curled up and sound alseep.

Ok, so the fact that Jensen is darling doesn't hurt, but seriously, Melly is awesome! And she not only took the photos, but she has mad editing skills too. So a very big thank you to Melanie for taking these gorgeous pictures of my sweet new baby Jensen, and giving me some wonderful keepsakes of my little girl as a tiny newborn. Melly has lots more of her awesome camera work posted on her blog, so make sure to stop by!

our new little one

Our new little one has arrived, safe and sound, and as cute as can be.

I made sure to get at least one belly shot right before we left for the hospital. Talk about procrastination.

I had a very quick labor, only 2 1/2 hours start to finish, with our new little baby arriving in a very big hurry.

Jensen Catherine Anne

November 29, 2010

11:06 am

7 lbs. 6 oz.

19 inches long

Jensen is absolutely adored by all of her brothers and sisters. In fact, they can't stay away, with most of their time spent begging to hold her or even just touch her. It's hard being the most popular girl in town.

Monday, November 29, 2010

a baby story

4:30am- Craig and I get up, shower, and get ready to leave for the hospital. It's baby day.
6am- I have Ciel take a few belly shots with my camera before we leave, we make sure to leave the last few instructions, then we head out the door.
6:10am- We arrive at the registration desk, and for some reason, the girl has trouble getting my information entered in properly. She keeps mixing me up with another woman named Brooke that is already admitted to Labor & Delivery. Finally we get everything straightened out after about 20 minutes, and they take us back.
6:30am- They take me to my room, one I have never been in before, and my nurse, Connie, gives me my gown to change into, and a stack of papers to fill out. She is very sweet, and I know instantly she will be an awesome delivery nurse.
6:45am- Connie gets a call that she is needed to help wit the other woman there in labor, Brooke, her delivery is imminent. I finish filling out the pile of papers, and Connie lets me know she will be back shortly. In less than 5 minutes we hear a newborn baby crying. I am happy for Brooke. It suddenly dawns on me that I know who Brooke is. She is about my same age, about the same number of kids, is in our ward and our due dates were 3 days apart. When Connie returns, I ask her a few questions and I confirm my suspicions. I was right. So fun!
7:15am- I send Craig home to get the kids off to school, Finn on the schoolbus, and then drive Ciel to school on his way back. I knew we had time and he wasn't going to miss anything, so off he went.
7:45am- Connie tries to insert my IV so that she can start my Pitocin. After two sticks in my hand she stops, afraid of hurting me, and calls the other nurse on duty in to see if she has any better luck. Nope. Instead the anesthesiologist is called to do my IV and my epidural at the same time.
8:10am- The anesthesiologist arrives, gets my IV line inserted in less than a second on the first try, with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back. Not really, but I swear he probably could have.  He then moves on to my epidural. He gets it in but when he flushes the line, it doesn't work. So he has to re-do it. Connie and I talk about my past labors and when I mention that I have given birth 4 times without any pain meds, the anesthesiologist asks me why I would ever do that. He felt that if we have the meds to make birth less painful, we should use it. I tried to explain, but he was kind of irritated with me. Oh well. He gets a call from surgery saying he needs to be there asap. He gets the second epidural in and dashes off. He calls over his shoulder that he will return after surgery to dose me with the meds to numb me since I am not contracting yet and he has only inserted the epidural catheter in my back in preparation for the meds for later. Connie and I have been chatting away the entire time, and I am so thrilled that she will be my delivery nurse, she is the best.
8:30am-My Dr. arrives, checks me (I'm a 3 still) and decides to break my water first thing (the nurse noted the time it was broken at 8:33am, and they consider this as the start of labor).I tell the Dr. I will deliver this baby in about 2 hours time. He laughs and says he's not so sure about that, every labor is different and not to get my hopes up. Then the nurse starts the Pitocin. It takes mere minutes for my contractions to start and become regular. Mild, but regular.
8:40am- the Dr. leaves and minutes later Craig is back. The kids are safely off to school, and we settle in for labor.
9am- I call my best friend Jodee and make arrangements for Finn to be dropped off at her house just in case my Mom is held up and doesn't get to our house in time to get him off the bus herself. Once I know everything is settled, arranged and the kids will be fine, I totally relax and stop worrying about it.
9:30am-My contractions are  getting stronger. Connie checks me and I'm a 4. I ask for the anesthesiologist to come and give me the numbing meds. He arrives and doses me up, then another tech brings in a epidural pump, my first time using one, and sets me up so I can dose myself as I go. The tech tells me that when I am ready to push to hit the button to give myself one last dose to make things easier at the end.
10am- the epidural meds have kicked in, but only to take the edge off of the contractions. My feet feel kind of numb and tingly, but I can feel everything else. Not wanting to be a whiner, I don't mention anything. I figure it will kick in soon and I won't be in pain anymore.  I try to get some rest. Connie turns out the lights and I lie down for a bit to see if I can take a little nap.
10:30am- My contractions are getting stronger and my epidural is still not working on my contractions and I can't sleep. Rest is out of the question. I finally break down and tell Connie I'm hurting, and she helps me to breathe through the contractions. They are very strong and reminiscent of my drug free labors. Connie pages the anesthesiologist immediately to see if he can help. She helps me continue to breathe through them, they are really getting  hard. Connie is a so kind, and the breathing is getting me through.
10:45am- I ask Connie to check me again and I was a good 5, almost 6 cm dilated.  I am disappointed, I was sure I was at least a 7 or an 8. Ugh. More contractions and breathing.
11am- I get hit with a whopper of a contractions. It took my breath away. I instantly know. This is it. I tell Connie she needs to check me again. Now. She does. She looks at me in total shock and says I am 10cm. I'm complete. It's time to push. She runs to call the Dr.
11:01am- The anesthesiologist arrives, checks my epidural to make sure it;s still inserted properly. Asks me how much I want to feel while I push, totally numb, or just enough to feel some pressure. I opt for the second one. He doses me up and within one minute I am pain free. Oh sweet relief.
11:04am- My Dr. dashes in, throwing on a gown in a quiet panic.He says I was right after all, it was only about 2 hours since he broke my water. Connie and the other nurse Jamie are prepping me, raising the bed, and scurrying to ready everything.
11:05am- The Dr. has me push on the next contraction, counting to 10. A deep breath, and push again counting to 10, but I only make it to 8. One tiny push. The Dr. tells me to look up, look up, and I see my baby's face as he delivers her and lays her on my stomach.
11:06am- She's born. Our sweet little babe is here, safe and sound. She looks like a little chub, and she is barely making any sounds. The nurse is rubbing her off, and I am staring at her in disbelief and total adoration.
They whisked her over for assessment since she was struggling the tiniest bit to breathe at first, but within minutes she is totally fine. They weigh her and by her looks Craig and I both think she will be an 8lb baby at least. During my pregnancy I was convinced she was going to be around 7-7 1/2 lbs. Turns out she only looked chubby, she weighed in @ 7lbs. 6oz. instead. The nurse cleans her up and hands her to me, and I can't get enough of her sweet face. And she has hair. Lots of dark hair. And big dark eyes too. What a little doll.
The Dr. told me later that the reason I was feeling my contractions, even though I had an epidural, was that my labor has progressed too quickly. Simply put, the epidural just couldn't keep up with the speed and intensity of the contractions. But, regardless, it was a fantastic labor and delivery, one of my best. As much as it hurt, the epidural still took the edge off of the worst of it, and I was fine. It took us until the second day to finally decide on her namne, but she suits it. And Jensen she is.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

38 weeks pregnant, and prepping for thanksgiving

Nope. Still no baby. Yet. But it won't be much longer. So...I am currently preparing as much of our Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time as possible. This way, even if I am still totally pregnant, I can enjoy the day and meal without knocking myself silly getting the food made and onto the table. I want to be able to enjoy the day as much as I can. I made the mashed potatoes using a make-ahead recipe with potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, and milk. They will keep in the fridge and only need to be re-heated the day of, and they still taste like you made them fresh that day. The yam casserole is a new recipe I am trying out since I can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge until the day of, where I just have to toss the pecan topping on top and then bake it. I have a turkey breast defrosting in the fridge that I will be cooking in my crock pot so as to free up the oven for the other dishes, as well as make my life, and day, that much easier. I made three pie crusts and tossed them in the freezer, and all I have to do is pull them out to defrost, throw the fillings together and bake them up the day before. I have a bag of Rhodes rolls that will be thawed and baked the day of, and some veggies that are simple to throw together, the recipes take next to no time, and they're all prepared on the stovetop so the oven will not be overcrowded. And the stuffing is half way prepared and I will only have to wait until the day of to mix together the onion/apple/celery base with the cubed bread, season it, and then heat it all up. I am so ready. This little baby has the green light to arrive anytime she wishes. Like now. Right now. This very minute. Tonight would be perfect. Please? I am so done with the waddling.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

fondue fun

For dinner tonight, I decided that fondue sounded like a fun idea. The cheese fondue recipe was simple and fast, and I paired it with steamed veggies and cubed bread from a baguette. Seriously, my kids were crazy for it. You never saw little ones so excited to eat their veggies. I used a bag of frozen broccoli florets, a bag of frozen cauliflower pieces and a bag of baby carrots, which made my prep time even faster. I steamed the veggies to a crisp tender stage so that they were cooked, but not mushy making it easy for the kidlets to dip without everything falling apart. I also bought a 2-quart mini crock pot at Wal-Mart for $9.88 that was the perfect fit for the fondue. Seriously, this little gadget is the BEST for keeping hot dips hot, I love it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

friday and saturday were…

...busy. I had lots of family over, held a small birthday party for one of my children, had another child celebrate a birthday and turn 16 (no!), sewed myself a skirt, sewed an outfit for the baby, sorted through clothes and got rid of a lot of outgrown and seasonal stuff, caught up on laundry, cleaned out two cabinets and dressers to make room for baby clothes, helped my best friend get some background info on her sister's date to make sure he was not a creep (he's not), made my bed, and folded the world's largest pile of clean clothes. Needless to say, I am nesting. I wished that I had gotten more done, but I stupidly managed to over do it anyways on Saturday. In the end though, Craig was the one that REALLY worked the hardest. Seriously, the family room was deep cleaned, all of the toys are organized and put away in perfect order on their shelves, the floors are vacuumed, the kitchen is sparkling, the dishes are done, the trees in back are pruned, the garage is perfectly organized, the carpets were spot cleaned, the storage room was organized, the boys dresser is fixed, the computer is running smoothly again, the floor is swept, five small children bathed and fresh as a daisy, a Scout project with Noah is nearing completion, and the kitchen counters are totally clean. And he didn't have to sit down every five minutes to get any of that done like I do. I spent Sunday paying for my stupidity with swollen feet and contractions. I stayed home from church and from the family dinner at my parents and I put my feet up, drank lots of water, laid on my left side and I stopped being an overactive idiot. I have got to stop forging ahead all of the time thinking that just because I feel ok, does not mean that the the trip to the store for marathon grocery shopping is a good idea. When will I learn.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

32 weeks

So, things are good. My last Dr. appointment was on Monday and the baby is head down, growing as she should, and as active as ever. And even though I have been having some bouts of contractions that are causing concern, I have managed to keep them in check for almost a week now. When I told my Dr about it, he seemed more concerned than I was. He was ready to immediately administer a test that would determine whether or not I would go into labor in the next two weeks or not. I declined the test. Seriously, I'm not going to go into labor anytime soon, as long as I continue to take it easy like I have been the last little while. And I have been very good. I cut way back on my activities which means that my house is not as clean as I would like it and my laundry is not only winning, but poised to overthrow the government, but I'm making sure that I am resting a lot during the day. It gives me lots of time to catch up on "Maury" since you never know which of the 8 men they tested is going to turn out to be that baby's daddy. Fo sho.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

and that leaves us with three…

After much conversation and discussion, Craig and I managed to find several baby names we're considering. Four to be exact. And for the last few weeks we have felt good about the few we had picked out. That is, until now. A few nights ago while watching some of the new season premieres on tv, we heard one of the names on our short list used for a currently recurring character. On a seriously popular show. Uber popular. Ummm, how did we miss this? That character was there last season. We must not have been paying attention. Well, Craig must have been unconsciously storing that info because the name was one of his choices, although he swears he never remembered hearing the name on that show. Sigh. They were really using this name a lot. Not just once or twice, this character is quite prominent so the name was being said repeatedly. And it was really bugging me. And I'm not sure why. I think I just don't want my baby's name tied to an uber popular tv show. It's happened before. My oldest child, Dylan? Yeah, you cannot believe the amount of "90210" comments we got when we told people his name when he was born over 18 years ago. Remember "Dylan McKay"? Luke Perry's character? Yeah, him. For crying out loud, I have never even watched 5 minutes of it, let alone an entire episode, so why did everyone think we were naming our baby after that dumb show! Totally annoying. So this is really bugging me now. We aren't trying to find a name that no one else has, that's not the idea. It would just be nice not to have my baby's name tied to a show unless I am a die hard fan (so if this baby was a boy we would HAVE to name him 'Lenny'). So, we are down to three name possibilities. And sorry to say, but we're not telling what any of the names are because, as has happened before, we may chuck all of those names out and go for something completely off the list at the last minute. So you will just have to wait. The good news is we are down to mere weeks now. Eight and a half if you're counting. And no, I'm still not feeling ready, but I am feeling more at peace with my non-ready state.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

thirty weeks

Today I am 30 weeks pregnant (yay!) and I am so very grateful. I know, I know it's only going to get harder from here on out, but I don't care. It's so exciting to know it won't be much longer until we get to meet this new little one coming to our family. They are so worth it. I have even been able to sneak in some sewing here and there and I made a few blankets. The fabrics I am hooked on consist of a lot of blacks, whites and grays mixed with color. Yellow and gray, black and white with turquoise, black, white and gray with lavender, but most especially gray and pink. They're all so fun. The only non-fun thing so far? Fighting off the heartburn and a seriously lame sinus infection. I'm winning against the sinus infection. The heartburn? Most days yes, some days, not even close. Thank heaven for Tums, it gets the job done.

Monday, August 30, 2010

the first day, minus pictures

Today was the first day of school. I had spent the day before baking mini cookies and making sandwiches so that I could pack their lunches and have everything ready, which made our morning that much easier. Once breakfast was done, the five little ones each donned their backpacks and we headed out the door. Finn was wearing his backpack only because he wanted to be just like the big kids, but school doesn't start for him until Thursday. I felt like a mother duck heading up the line and my little ones following right behind me on our short walk to the school. All of them were a bit nervous and wanted me to walk each of them to their classroom. Except Mathes. He didn't seem to care one bit whether I was there or not, and just walked in and sat at his desk without a single backwards glance at me. Funny boy. Gracen was not so ready for me to go, so I walked her into class, and helped her hang up her coat and bag and get her name tag. Once that was done however, the teacher came over to see what activity she wanted to do, and Gracen was off to play, looking quietly happy and excited to be there. I did manage to sneak in a goodbye hug and kiss beforehand, and then Finn and I set off for home. Yes, the house is very quiet, but I am tired enough that I am ok with it, the last few weeks have been so busy, I am ready for a break. Now to try and keep Finn entertained until the rest of the kidlets get home. Although I should make use of my time and start looking for my camera, since I can't find it anywhere. Which means that of course I don't have any pictures of their first day of school. Total stinksville.

Monday, July 26, 2010

sewing maternity skirts

It's finally hot. And with the heat comes a need to dress in as few items of clothing as possible, especially when pregnant. I prefer to wear skirts most of the time to try and keep as cool as possible. Unfortunately, I have a hard time finding skirts that are actually long enough to come to my knee (at the very least) since I am just tall enough and have legs just long enough to keep me out of the average lengths available in most clothing. Yet I am not quite tall enough to really wear "Tall" sizes either, and I usually end up having to trim a few inches off of them to get to my perfect length there too. So in order to bypass all of that clothing drama I decided that I would just sew some skirts myslef so that I could get the fit that I want and need. For my first try I cut my fabric out and then cut out matching pieces in tissue paper for the front and back piece of the skirt. Any time I cut or trimmed anything  from the fabric pieces, I then cut the same amount from the tissue paper. So once I was done I then had the exact pattern piece for the skirt I had made. It worked like a charm.

So far I have made two skirts from that pattern along with yet another jeans-to-skirt refashion only this time I added a stretchy panel to make it maternity worthy. I have worn all of these to church and well as around the house, they are all so comfy and have been perfect for beating the heat.

This skirt was the prototype, and also the one that made me realize just how important it can be to add lining to a skirt. The first time I wore it was to a family party earlier this month, and it drove me crazy as I continually flashed anyone and everyone as it constantly crept up in the front as I walked no matter what I did. Needless to say, I have since added lining to this skirt, and made sure to add it to the next one as well as I sewed it.

This one is my favorite as I not only love the print but the fabric for both the skirt and stretchy panel were both only $1 a yard, so this skirt cost me about $2 to make. Score! These first two skirts hit me just at the bottom of my kneecap and I like to wear the front of the panel right right under the bottom curve of my belly so that the skirt fits like I'm pregnant and not like I'm just fat. Such an awkward stage of pregnancy isn't it.

And of course I re-purposed a pair of too-short jeans for yet another skirt. Although it looks much lighter in this pic, it's actually a very dark wash which looks great dressed up or down, and I have worn this one the most. I love it. The stretchy panel is long enough to wear it pulled up over my little belly, or folded down like a demi panel, whichever suits my mood at the moment. It's also able to accommodate my tummy as it expands over these next few weeks, because there is definitely going to be a lot of expanding in the next little while. But that's good, and expected, so no complaints.

*I found some great tutorials on several different blogs, offering some cool ideas and tips to help make a maternity skirt, and all I had to do was google it and I had no end of places to browse.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

a very good unltrasound and 2 days of cousins

I had a diagnostic ultrasound this morning and it was nothing but good news, with the baby cooperating just enough to get the measurements needed and a second confirmation that she is indeed a little girl. The tech was not only lovely, but so chatty and fun, we had a great time. Haven begged me to let her come, so I did, and she loved being able to see the baby on the screen. The tech was so kind and explained so many things to her, just to make sure she not only understood, but really knew just what she was looking at or what was going on. So very kind. Definitely getting a gold star. We got home in time for day two of cousin mania, since Korby had been out to visit for the day on Wednesday, and now my Mom and Heidi came for the day today with all of the cousins for even more fun. I don't think I saw Noah and Adler apart the entire two days, they were either drawing or battling with lightsaber arms. The universe is safe for tonight. And the girls were so funny, either off being girly-girls, or right in the middle of all of the boys games, with Haven ready to boss anyone that looked like they just might need some bossing. The kids, played until they were ready to pass out, in fact Isobel did just that within minutes of being strapped into her carseat once they were loading up and getting ready to leave later that night. It was a grand two days, and my kids didn't complain once about going to bed. They were played out. And frankly so am I. I'm calling it a night and heading to bed, good night!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

play tent

I set about making a play tent for my kids that I could hang from some of the trees in our backyard. This is my end result.

The kids love it, and spent all morning and afternoon playing in it, hauling their toys and books out there to read and play to their hearts content.

To make it, I took 3 twin size flat sheets I had picked up at my local thrift store (at one time or another), and a large scrap of fabric 18" w x 30"L as a header to kind of designate the front opening, and stitched them all together on their long sides (except for the header piece which I stitched it's short sides to either side of the front sheets). I folded the top edge over and stitched it to form the casing. Then I took a hula hoop and pulled it apart at the seams where it joins together, then threaded the hula hoop through the casing on the top edge of the sheets. Once the tent was threaded onto the hula hoop I then pushed the two ends of the hula hoop back together again, thus forming the top of the tent. I attached some rope to the hula hoop at four different spots and knotted them in the middle and attached a carabiner clip, then using the same rope, I tied a large metal ring to one of the branches of the apple tree in the back, so I am able to hang up the tent and take it down just as easily when needed.

These go together quite quickly, and since there is only straight stitching involved this is a very easy project. The hardest part is maneuvering the yards and yards of fabric since you are working with 3 twin size sheets after all, but it's still not that hard. Also, if you don't want to cut the hula hoop, you could make this a bit more time intensive and make some fabric tabs that button closed and stitch them at even intervals all around the top of your sheets instead of making a casing. That way you could unbutton the fabric part and toss it in the wash if you ever needed to. I may try that version another time, but for now, this is it, I just wasn't feeling patient enough that day. Sometimes I just want to keep it fuss free and as simple possible, and for me this was that way. Definitely not fancy, but fancy was not my main objective. So there you go, a quick and easy way to whip up a fun place for the kids to escape the heat and stay cool in the shade.

Monday, July 12, 2010

two more in the apron club

After being begged by Haven to please, please, please make her an apron, I found a very cute pattern on Etsy, bought it, had Haven pick out some fabrics, and sewed it up for her. Unfortunately, once I was done I realized that the piping the pattern called for just wasn't enough, at least in my eyes. It looked kind of unfinished as-is. In my mind it needed piping somewhere on the pocket and all around the edge between the ruffle and the skirt to really make it look finished. So when my cute niece Emma saw Haven's apron and said how much she would love one too, I took her into my sewing room to pick out some fabric, and I set about making another apron, but this time with the extra piping in the places I mentioned before.


And it worked. I love the end result with the extra piping, and Emma was thrilled to be in the apron club with her cousin Haven. Haven and Emma loved their aprons so much that they wore them the rest of the evening.

Such cute little apron girls! And if you like the apron pattern, I got it from here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

smuggled goods

My daughter Ciel thought it would be a great idea to bring a tiny little kitten home from her friends house.

She was able to sneak it into her room without me knowing, until she finally caved and spilled the beans about 2 hours later.


Look at this little face.

So sweet. So cute. So full of dander and deathly allergies.

I made her take the kitten back. I think a new baby arriving this Winter is enough, don't you?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

this is the part where I begin to look for a 12 step program…

See this?

Do you know where it all came from? My garage.

Do you know how long it had been there? Since we moved in Fall 2008.

It is now Summer 2010.

Haven't you heard of slowly but surely?  I err on the side of 'slowly'.

And stop calling me Shirley.

And look, I found my yogurt maker! Along with a box of 5 extra glass yogurt jars.

Which will go nicely with the other box of 5 extra glass yogurt jars that I have in my pantry.

 Wow, 15 jars. That's a lot of yogurt. I had better get busy.

And the totes? There are 12 of them. And 1 box.

Three of the totes have baby clothes in them. All that I have left after having 7 babies.

I thought I gave most of it away. Nice to be wrong.

The other nine totes and the one box are filled with fabric. Filled. To the brim. Yards and yards of it.

Cottons, knits, flannels and fleece. And so much more.

I even found Ciel's sewing machine buried in a box labeled "Kitchen Appliances".

Ciel has been looking for it for over a year with no luck. I guess no one told her that you always skip the boxes marked "Sewing" and go straight for anything marked "Kitchen Appliances".


Nevertheless, she is thrilled.

Craig? Less than thrilled. More like annoyed.

He thinks I have a problem. He says no one should own this much fabric.

I totally disagree.

So I probably shouldn't mention the 5 other totes of fabric still in the garage that I wasn't able to bring in...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

make your own baby legs (legwarmers)

These were a bunch of knee high socks I bought last Fall, intending them for one of my younger girls to wear to school, but they were misplaced until recently, so I decided to put them to better use and make something for the new baby since I am due in the Winter after all. So baby legs they will be. (These will fit both babies and older children alike as I have made these for my 5 & 9 year old and they love them, so these are not limited to just babies!)  I found a great selection at Smith's Marketplace in a 2-pack in the girl's section for $8. I have also found that there were more knee high socks with prints and colors that would work for boys in the womens section as opposed to the girls, so make sure and look if you want to make some for your little guy.


You can use a serger or a sewing machine to make these, and they are totally easy and work up incredibly fast.


-1 pair of knee high socks

-serger or sewing machine


-a pair of sharp scissors

Ok, let's start. First, pick out a pair of either girls or womens knee high socks, they both work just as well for this.

 Lay them out flat and cut off the foot just before the "bend" starts, cutting them straight across.

Next, cut off the rounded end at the top where the toes go. Try to keep the rectangular portion in the middle about the same size as the other.

 It should look something like this when you're done. The rectangular piece you cut out from the foot portion will become your cuff.


 Take the cuff piece and fold it inward onto itself, in half, wrong sides together, matching the raw cut edges up with each other. You want the right sides of the print facing out. It should look something like this.

 Slip the cuff over the cut edge of the sock, making sure that the raw edges from both the cuff and the sock match up.

 See, the sock is inside the cuff, and you just slide it up to the raw edge and even them up as best you can.

  Here are the raw edges of both the sock and cuff lined up.

 I don't even bother to pin them, I find it easier not to when I serge/sew them, but you can pin them if it makes it easier for you, it really doesn't matter.

 Here they are, all ready to be serged or sewn. I did one of these with my serger and one with my sewing machine so that you can see an example of both.

 I just hold the edges together and run it through the serger all the way around.

 And here it is, all done. I know it looks like the edges are all stretched and ruffled from being serged, but once the cuffs are turned out, it doesn't matter. And after being washed once, it looks even better, so don't sweat it.

  I stitched this one on my sewing machine using a simple zig zag stitch. I kept the aligned raw edges close to the edge of my presser foot for a guide and stitched it all the way around.

  Here it is all all stitched, and it looks pretty similar to the serged one, doesn't it, and it too seems a bit ruffled after being sewn. Also not a big deal.

  Turn the cuffs up and you have a great little pair of baby legs for your little one that took you all of 10 minutes to make.

 Here is a close up of both cuffs. Can you tell which one was sewn with a serger and which one was sewn with a sewing machine? Neither can I.

 So there you are. Easy as can be.

 Now go crazy and make a bunch more. It took me less than 30 minutes to cut and serge all of these, and just like that I had 9 pairs of baby legs.

  Like I said, they're incredibly fast and easy to make.

And just for a reference, the last three pairs of baby legs on the end at the right were all made from women's knee socks (gray with rainbow pinstripes, navy & white stripe with green edge, and gray & white stripe with pink edge). The first 6 (starting from the left) were all made from knee socks from the girls section.

*Variation*-You can also use a pair of tights to make baby legs if you would like. Just cut off the foot portion the same as you would if using a knee high sock, except you will need to cut a second piece about the same size as the first cuff from somewhere on the leg portion of the tights to make a second cuff for each baby leg. So you will then sew a cuff to each end to finish them off since the tights don't have a pre-finished edge like the socks do. This is a great way to use up outgrown tights you might already have on hand.

Monday, June 28, 2010

well what do you know…

I had another OB appointment yesterday, and since I'm 17 weeks along my Dr. went ahead and did a quick ultrasound so we could see the gender and just make sure all was well in general. I have had zero problems, issues, or complaints with this pregnancy (yes, I know how lucky I am) so it was doubly wonderful to see the baby in there doing a gymnastics routine with a lovely and strong little heartbeat. Oh, and my funny little pattern of alternating genders with my children? (ie. boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy) Well who would have thought. It has held strong. Because we're having a little girl.  Yes really. I thought for sure we were having a boy and that the pattern would break for good this time. Well what do I know. Nothing apparently. So there you go. My pattern is complete.

summer pajamas and nighties

With the warmer weather finally here, I decided it was time to get myself in gear and make the girls some summer pajamas and nighties. I bought some plain white tank tops at Wal-Mart for $3 each along with several yards of a classic cotton print, and in no time I had them sewn up. For the nighties, I used the same basic idea from my tutorial for the long sleeved tees into nighties, cutting the tank top off at the bottom, attaching the gathered skirt to it, and then adding a ruffle to the bottom edge with the same fabric as the skirt. These work up so fast, I love it.

For the pajama pants I just used one of the simple pants patterns I always keep on hand, except I cut a few inches off the bottom edge to make them a cropped pant, and hemmed the bottom edges. Then I cut two strips of matching fabric that were about 2 inches wide and about twice the circumference of the bottom edge of the pants, serged both of the edges to finish them and stop any fraying, and sewed the short edges together, right sides together, to make a continuous circle. Then, using my longest stitch length I ran a gathering stitch directly down the middle of each one on the right side of the fabric, pulled the bobbin thread from the wrong side of the fabric to gently gather them, and evenly pinned them to the pants, wrong side of the fabric on the ruffle against the right side of the fabric on the pants, matching the bottom edges of the ruffle to the hem edge. Then, I sewed down the middle of the ruffles, using the gathering stitch as a general guide, and stitched them in place using a regular stitch length.

Haven loves them and they make the perfect summer pajama pant, as they provide very light and airy coverage for the warmer nights. In the end I was able to make 3 nighties and 1 pair of pants, with 3 more nighties and 3 more pairs of pants left to sew. Now if I can just stop obsessing about sewing cloth diapers long enough to finish them...