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...