Thursday, May 28, 2015

Susie Sews-a-Lot

My children nap together about half the time. The toddler takes a two-ish hour nap and baby’s now taking three 45-ish minute naps instead of four 30-ish minute naps. This means I get at least 15-30 minutes for myself every few days now. I read for ten minutes and sew (or cut and pin, whatever) for the remainder. Some days I have too much on my mind and I swap out the reading for some writing. Then our girl is exhausted and ready for bed by seven and our boy by eight. Once he is in bed and we have gone in the requisite number of times to say “That’s enough! Get back in your bed and go to sleep!,” the night is middle-aged (because I like to be in bed by ten if I can help it). So. Ryan and I might play a game or watch a show/movie together (on movie/show nights I also fold laundry and sew) or we might do our own thing for an hour and then come back together for the last hour to hang out. Regardless, I get to sew a little most nights now too.

Any ways. Back to the good stuff.

The other day my little lady skipped her nap but I was in desperate need of some kind of “me” time so she hung out in her bouncy seat beside me while I finished up a very quick project, a teething ring. I had sewn the thin little strip of fabric together a few days before she was born but was then so miserably pregnant I didn’t finish it. You know, because a project like this requires tons o effort. Saw one online and followed suit.

Cut strip of fabric (I used part of a (washed) thrift store fat-quarter bundle), turn inside out and sew into a long strip, flip right-side out, close up, tie onto natural wooden teething ring. I got the teething ring in a care package from my sweet friend.

I also made another pillowcase dress. When I made the first one I made, I thought it was a pain. I decided I liked those simple reversible a-line dresses better. Then my little girl was big enough to wear that first pillowcase dress and I fell madly in love again. I happened to be checking out a local quilting store the next day so I relieved my craft fund of a few dollars and picked out this Moda fabric. I try to be really thrifty with my fabrics (which sometimes come from actual thrift stores) so I’m currently in food mode. I’m planning to make us a big picnic quilt and I liked the idea of a scrappy food-printed quilt. I used the scraps from this fabric to cut out one big square for that quilt and a few little 4x4 squares for my growing collection of 4x4 squares. I already have enough in that stash to make a baby quilt the next time someone announces a pregnancy. The red fabric I used for the bow is old from my scrap stash.

The first time around, I used one kind of bias tape at the arm holes, a strip of contrasting fabric at the bottom, a second color of bias tape beneath that, and an iron-on applique. I still love the end result but it was definitely a lot more work than it needed to be. This time I wanted to see if I could do it without any bias tape at all so I just folded the edges in on themselves. I wish I’d had a matching thread but I otherwise like the result just fine and definitely plan to make them like this from now on. This one is still a hair too big for her but it fits well enough. I may or may not have used my ThredUp trade credit (if you use my link you get $10 absolutely free for yourself and I do too) to order her a free red sweater to wear with it in the fall.

For the record, here’s what that first one looks like when she’s wearing it:

I also finished the body of the rag doll I had been working on. That project is tabled for now while I work on my embroidery skills since her face and hair will both be embroidered… but here’s a peek for now. Hopefully she doesn’t mind me posting photos of her without her face on. Doll body (and eventually hair embroidery design) is from the Mary Lou pattern in Storybook Toys. I used Kona Cotton from JoAnn. I wasn’t happy with the first dress I tried out so I’m re-thinking that and plan to just use one of the thrift store fat quarters I’ve been hanging onto.

My list is getting a tad obscene. Everything is on hold right now while I finish the patriotic pillowcase dresses I’m making for my daughter and my cousin’s baby girl to wear on the 4th of July. Pillowcase dresses are theoretically super quick and easy, but these ones are taking forever because they’re a scrappy patchwork design I’m making myself. I love the way it’s looking but I have to admit that I’ll be happy to be done with them! Once those are finished though, so many things on my list: finish the cherry pillowcase dress I have half-sewn together, make the doll’s dress and eventually embroider her hair and face, another doll for a gift, a car mat and pants for my little guy, the wrap skirt in Sew Everything Workshop for me, picnic quilt. Plus I’ve been working on a modest breastfeeding-friendly dress pattern which is so far not really happening. I think the reason most nursing dresses are so low-cut and immodest is because that’s a heck of a lot easier. Any ideas?

I also plan to eventually loom knit a slouchy beanie for myself. And I still want to learn to crochet. And Ryan and I have all these elaborate woodworking/sewing collaboration kids’ room ideas too.

I would have a lot more time to make fun things for my children if I wasn’t a mom. ;]

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