The Mommy in Me

I had great ambitions this month.  Then, work happened.  It’s been nuts lately.  One week I had three hearings in three different counties.  One of those was even my first oral argument in front of the Court of Appeals!  It was super stressful (I only found out on Friday I was handling the oral arguments on Wednesday…) but I loved it.  It was one of those things that reminds me of exactly what I had envisioned being an attorney could be. SilasGavin28 Speaking of being an attorney… This month’s Sew the Show selection was Parenthood.  Somehow I had missed this show when it was on tv, so I did some research (via Netflix) so I could participate in this month’s challenge.  While I will admit that I’m now sucked into the show (I’m on the second season now), I have a bit of a gripe.  Why do shows always seem to show female attorneys as failures as moms?  The character of Julia bugs me – she’s a successful attorney so she constantly messes up when it comes to her daughter and, in fact, her daughter prefers her dad to her mom?  Maybe it only bugs me because I’m just starting this mom/attorney dual role and I’m worried I’ll mess it all up.  I don’t know.  But, for once, I’d love a show depicting a female attorney who also has kids who adore her. Anyway, on to the sewing!  I picked the character of Kristina, the quintessential mom. SilasGavin29 So it’s only fitting I show shots of myself with the kiddos. SilasGavin02 She often wears tank tops and cardigans, so I decided to recreate that look.  I made my tank top – a Greenwood Tank by Straight Stitch Designs with a cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee’s May Knitfix. SilasGavin34   And I made my pants – Jalie 2908 Stretch Jeans with a corduroy from Pacific Fabrics. I had intended to whip up a cardigan, too, but that just didn’t happen this month (not that I have a shortage of cardigans in my closet, but it’d be nice to have some I have made myself).  Maybe next month!  I’ll provide a detailed description of the top and pants soon (including how I intend to modify those pants!), but I wanted to make sure I got this posted in June!

A little bit Dorothy Zbornak

You guys, I love the Golden Girls.  Seriously.  In fact, the only category for which I was ever of any use to my team in trivia was the Golden Girls (which, surprisingly, came up fairly often in our old trivia spot).  I’m useless at pop culture, but I’ve seen just about every episode of the Golden Girls.  So, when I found out about Sew the Show AND it happened to be the Golden Girls, I just knew I had to participate.  Of course, actually coming up with a Golden Girls inspired outfit proved fairly challenging.  I wanted to make something that I might actually wear, but still wanted something that seemed like it fit in with the theme.

This is what happens when I ask the hubby to take the photos...

This is what happens when I ask the hubby to take the photos…

After much thought, I finally decided to make a kimono jacket and a tank top to go under it.  I was going to make a pair of pants, too, but… babies… work… life… I ran out of time.

DSC_0058_fotor

The guts of the kimono jacket.

The jacket is Simplicity 1318, view b.  The pattern is very simple and straight forward.  To keep the insides looking nice, I used french seams throughout (french seams on the sleeves were a bit tricky…).  The fabric is an Italian printed linen from Mood.  I was looking for something that seemed like it would be in Golden Girls but one that didn’t look too “Florida retirement home” style.  I found this fabric on moodfabrics.com, ordered it and hoped it would work for the kimono jacket.  It’s a little stiff, but I think it works.  I made a straight size medium with no alterations and I am really happy with the way it turned out.  The pattern has quite a bit of ease, so, if you’re between sizes on this one, definitely size down.

DSC_0050_fotor

For the tank top, I used a knit I’ve had in my stash for a while (no idea where it came from at this point).  I used Simplicity 5379, an out of print pattern I’ve had in my stash since I started sewing clothes.  I love the fabric, but I’m not loving the fit of the tank top. Guys, I really need a good basic knit tank top pattern.  I’ve tried out a few of them (this one, the Style Arc Diana Top, modified the basic tee pattern from the Sew U Home Stretch book, etc.), but I have yet to find one that I like!  It seems like it should not be this hard to find a basic tank top pattern that looks nice.  But, I did get to use my new cover stitch machine (to be blogged about later…) which I loved.  This makes working with knits so much better.  Between that and my serger, this was a very quick make.

DSC_0055_fotor

This was such a fun challenge – taking a TV show and trying to make an outfit inspired by it, which I might actually wear.  I can’t wait to see what next month’s show will be (at it’s new home here).

For the Boys: Onesies

I’ve been on a knits kick lately.  With only a limited amount of time for sewing, I love quick projects and knits are about as quick as it gets – especially knit projects for the babies!  I’m all about the instant gratification.

IMG_3323

 

After making the giraffe onesie, I decided to look for a pattern for a onesie with sleeves to make a few more outfits for the boys and I found the perfect pattern from Brindille & Twig.  This bodysuit pattern can be made with short or long sleeves from Preemie to 3T sizes.  I wish I had found this pattern earlier – I could have made outfits for the boys when they were too small to fit in all of the newborn clothes we had purchased for them before they were born.

IMG_3333

This pattern is very quick.  I purchased, printed, traced, and cut out the pattern, cut out all of the fabric for two onesies, and sewed them up all in one evening after the boys went to bed.  I made the 6-9 month size for my 5.5 month olds.  They are just a tad big, which is perfect.  The boys will be able to wear these for at least a week (I swear – they outgrow clothes by the day they are growing so quickly).

IMG_3364

 

Construction is very easy.  I used my serger for all of the seems and attaching the binding, and then used a narrow zig zag stitch to stitch the binding down.  The grey fabric was a 1/4 yard remnant I found a while back that I’ve just been holding on to until I figured out what to do with it.  This is the perfect project to use up small quantities of knit fabric!

IMG_3401

“It fits!”

 

The white polka dot fabric came from April’s Girl Charlee KnitFix.  KnitFix is a deal Girl Charlee offers once a month where you buy essentially a grab bag of fabrics.  For $69, you purchase 2 yards each of 6 different fabrics, but you don’t know what fabrics you will get until you receive the package in the mail.  It’s kind of a fun way to build up your stash of knits, and it ends up being only $5.75 per yard, which is a great price for knits.  Of course you run the risk of getting stuff you don’t like…  But I’m not too worried about that.  I can always use up my less desired fabrics to make gifts for others who will like those fabrics more.

IMG_3353

“I’m working on my smizing, Mom.”

For the snaps, I used Babyville snaps and the Babyville Snap pliers.  The pattern doesn’t say to use any interfacing behind the snaps, but I really think there should be some to strengthen that area.  I worry that the fabric won’t hold up to the constant snapping and unsnapping.  But maybe It would hold up better if I used a different type of snap.  I’ll have to look into different snaps.  Babyville snaps are just so easy to use!  I think I’ll use interfacing behind the snaps next time, too, just to make sure the onesies will last for a while.

IMG_3391

“Hey! Did you know I have feet?”

I will definitely be making more of these onesies in the future.  And I look forward to trying more of the Brindille & Twig patterns in the future.  If all of their patterns are as well written as the Bodysuit pattern, then this may become my go to pattern company for baby basics!

IMG_3379

“Swinging is so fun in my new bodysuit!” 

Grainline Archer

Guys, I’m pretty proud of this one.

DSC_0011_fotor

I’ve (finally) made myself an Archer from Grainline Studio.  I bought this pattern back in February of 2014, after seeing amazing button-up shirts pop up all over the internet.  I immediately traced out the pattern, cut out my fabric, and got to work.  Then, I got pregnant and this pattern got put on hold until I could actually wear it again (for some reason, button ups don’t go well with growing bellies…).  About a week ago, I decided it was about time I finish up my shirt.

DSC_0005_fotor

When I left off last year, I had only had the collar, cuffs, hemming and buttons/buttonholes left to do, so this was a pretty quick project when I picked it up again.

And now I have a new button-up shirt!  The fabric is an Italian shirting from Pacific Fabrics.  I made a straight size 10.  I think I’ll make a few adjustments to my next Archer (and oh yes, there will be a next one – I’m already trying to decide what type of fabric I should use.  I was thinking plaid, but now I kind of want a lace one after seeing this one).

 

For the next one, I plan to take in the sides a little bit for a more fitted fit and shorten the sleeves. I could probably go down at least one size, but I have fairly broad shoulders and I don’t want the shirt to be too tight when I move my arms.

Just a tad too long...

I’ll have to wear this one with the sleeves rolled up since the sleeves are so long, but it’s not too bad for a pattern with no alterations.  I learned tons of things making this shirt (flat felling seems, buttonholes, plackets…). I just hope I can remember how to do those things when I make my next one.  My husband is now requesting I make him some shirts, so I have a feeling I will be making a lot of button-up shirts in the future.  Now I just need to find a good guys’ shirt pattern…

Kids Clothes Week – Day 2

For my second day of KCW, I decided to embrace the “go wild” theme.  So, I made a onesie with a giraffe print knit I recently received from Girl Charlee in their April KnitFix.

IMG_2979

I used the free pattern (yay for another free pattern!) from Omi Creates.  It’s available here.  It’s a pretty straightforward pattern, though the instructions on the shoulder seems were a little unclear.  I made the body of the pattern exactly as written, but changed the binding construction a bit.  I actually bound all of the outside edges with the knit binding to make for a cleaner (and seemingly more comfortable) finished project.  The armholes I finished off with a cuff, rather than the binding approach.  I used my serger for as many seems as possible (though still had to use my regular machine to stitch down the binding on the top and bottom).

IMG_3009

I think it came out super cute!  The binding was a little tough to deal with as my binding fabric (also from Girl Charlee in my KnitFix) did not have quite as much stretch as the pattern requires.  But it still worked – it just required a little effort and a lot of stretching on my part.

IMG_3004

 

S’s movements don’t seem to be hampered by his new onesie — so I’ll call this a success!  The size is a little big on him (supposed to be for a 6-month old and he just turned 5 months old today), but that just means he (and his brother) can wear it a while longer.

I think I’ll try a different onesie pattern next.  Maybe this one?

 

 

 

Kids Clothes Week – Day 1

For the first time ever, I can participate in Kids Clothes Week!  It’s about time I started making some garments for these baby boys of mine, and Kids Clothes Week is just the motivation I need.

For those not aware, Kids Clothes Week is a challenge to spend one hour each day for seven days sewing clothes for kids.  Even I can handle one hour per day (or at least I should be able to handle it… some days even an hour seems impossible).  The theme of this season’s Kids Clothes Week (this challenge happens four times a year) is wild things.  I didn’t really stick to the theme yesterday, but the babies I was dressing are pretty wild in and of themselves, so I’m counting it.  🙂

Anyway, the first day of the challenge was a success!  I made two pairs of baby pants.  And fortunately, I have two willing models to show them off.  I used the Made by Rae Just Hatched Leggings pattern.  I was looking for a basic knit pants pattern and this fit the bill.  Plus it was free!

First up, some basic grey pants.

IMG_2928

I made this pair exactly as the pattern was written, with ribbed cuffs and an elastic waist.  The fabric was just fabric I had in my stash.

Then a green pair with white cuffs.  The fabric for this one was also from my stash.

IMG_2948

For this pair, I decided to try to use ribbing for the waistband, rather than an elastic waist.  I wanted to do this just because I thought the pants looked a little odd with just white cuffs – I wanted to bring more white into the outfit.

Unfortunately, though, I didn’t cut the waistband ribbing small enough, so the pants aren’t very snug around the waist.  I think I’ll take off the waistband and try again, because I do really like the look of the ribbing at the waist.  Maybe I’ll just put some elastic into the ribbing to cinch it up a little tighter (and take some fabric off of the top part of the pants since I didn’t factor the extra length of the ribbing into the pattern itself).

Overall, I really liked the pattern – it was a super quick make (especially with my serger).  I think I’ll make more pairs in the future, with some small tweaks to the pattern.  Namely, I will make the legs wider so that they are more like pants and less like leggings.  I will also play around with having the ribbed waistband.

And these pants were basically free – free pattern and fabric from my stash.  It doesn’t get much better than free clothes!

Completed: Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tanks

Today has been a really tough day for the family.

Instead of dealing with that right now, though, I’m going to focus on two finished items.

This was the first Megan Nielsen pattern I tried – the Eucalypt Tank pattern.  It’s a cute little tank top (or dress, though I haven’t tried that yet) and it whips up quite quickly, even with french seams.

DSC_0010_fotor

The first version was made using a cotton print from JoAnn Fabrics.  I made a straight size medium.  I did French seams throughout, and used bias binding for the neck and arm holes.  Overall, the fit is pretty good, though I’m not sure I love how the back looks on me.

DSC_0020_fotor

Fortunately, I mostly wear tank tops with cardigans, so I’m not too concerned about the back.

For the second version, I used a quilting cotton from Pacific Fabrics.

DSC_0051_fotor

Check out the cat peeking through the cat door…  That’s Bailey.  I have no idea why the old owners installed a cat door in the door to the upstairs bedroom.  But they did.  And Bailey can’t figure out how to use it, so he just sits on the other side and whines until someone opens the door for him.

Again, a straight size medium.  This one just doesn’t seem to fit as well as the pink one, despite making them in exactly the same way.  I think it must just be because this is a stiffer fabric than the other one.

I have a couple of other tank top patterns in my stash, so I’m going to keep trying to find that perfect wardrobe staple.

And here’s a bonus pic because this little guy didn’t want to be left out of the picture taking fun…

DSC_0047

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Easter just happens to be my favorite holiday. I know. It’s weird. But there you have it. The weather is usually nice, everyone is cheerful, you get baskets of goodies and there is no stress. What’s not to love?

I think my favorite thing about having the twins is being able to share all of the wonderful holidays and traditions with them. They are still too young to understand now, but I look forward to the coming years so we can create our own traditions together. I do hope they’ll love Easter as much as I do.

So I’m starting them early on Easter traditions. This year, we all got dressed up and went to church.

I’m still looking for a new church home in our neighborhood, so this was their first trip to church ever and our first trip to this particular church. And they did so well! I was very impressed. They didn’t make a peep (ha, Easter pun unintended), just looked around to check everything out and then settled down to naps in our arms. And the service was great. Overall, it was perfect.

Then we had a Skype session with their grandparents who are currently in Mexico. They were great for that, too, despite needing a nap at that time.

And finally, we had Easter dinner with my family. Where they got to see everyone and spend time with their 95-year old great grandma.

I feel so, so, so blessed to have these boys!

And their bunnies, the softest stuffed animals I’ve ever touched, are Jellycat bunnies sold and monogrammed by Peekawhoo.  I love them so much. And I think the boys do, too!