9.21.2016

All that glitters

Mori Dress (modified) // bodice fabric // skirt fabric (similar)
4 years ago, this girl was in my belly. What a weird sentence to type, but I'm feeling nostalgic so let's go with it and take a walk down memory lane. 
We'd just moved to a new town only 20 miles away from our old town, but man it felt farther. I was so terribly lonely. Jonathon traveled for work back then and he was gone almost the entire month of September. So I tried to navigate that little town and figure out something to do with my large belly + two kids. 
And then, on a brisk October day, came Madelyn. She was beautiful, perfect, and exactly what I'd always pictured what a little baby girl should look like. Then came the storm. A dark, heavy cloud that I'd never felt before. Granted, Madelyn was a little fussy and she didn't believe in sleep. Plus my hormones are always a little out of wack for a week or 2 after my other babies, but this time, I was just so sad. I felt so stretched thin with 3 kids. I didn't have enough hands. I didn't understand what was wrong with me. I felt like a horrible person. I had a beautiful baby, wonderful children, a kind, hard-working husband. What was wrong with me??? It wasn't until December and I was flipping out about something as small as where the star should go on the tree, that I realized something was wrong. This wasn't normal. Facing postpartum depression was tough, but thankfully, I worked though it and that sad, heaviness moved away. And I haven't ever had anything happen to me like that again. I mean, it's not like I don't have down days, but I've never felt that very heavy darkness on me for that long.  It was so real and although I don't pretend to understand what people with long term depression go through, I empathize.  That has to be so tough.  
After I went through it, I felt a renewed sense of love for my babies.  Especially Madelyn.  She's always given me a bit of a run for me money, but I like to think that she'll be worth it. 
 Everywhere Madelyn goes, she shines. When I thought up this dress hack, I knew it would make a perfect dress for Madelyn and for the current projectrunandplay challenge. Never mind that it's too short. I swear I measured. Sigh. It will make a perfect tunic.  :)


 
Hard times do pass. And sometimes, you get a perfect little curly haired angel in the bargain.

9.16.2016

Sewing for Kindergarten 2016

Aw man, I'm so honored to be here for Sewing for Kindergarten!  Is the word "honored" too-over-the-top-much?  Like I'm accepting an Oscar or something?  Probably.  Forgive me guys. I just mean, I always enjoy this series and Mie is just such a phenomenal seamstress and so down to Earth with all her amazing skillzzzz.  It's a pleasure and a half to join in on the fun.  We're this excited about it.  :)
 Now onward and upward.  It's that time again.  Last year, it was Lila and this time around, we sent Ezra's.  Good thing Madelyn doesn't go to Kindergarten until 2018, so we can give the school system a break from my babies...for the time being.  :) Anyway, Ezra needed a few clothes, so I had a hard time limiting myself to just one outfit.  So naturally, I didn't.  I sewed 3.  The one I'm sharing today is my favorite, but feel free to check out Outfits 1 
and 2 for more inspiration.  Just click on the pictures to see more!

I made them all inter-changeable so that Ezra can mix and match without me having to worry about things clashing.  As if he cares.  Ha, that's totally me.  But I did use all of Ezra's favorite colors.  Or lack thereof.  :) 

I loved this particular look because I hacked this Skinny Jean Pattern to make some jean joggers and they turned out exactly how I wanted them too.  Oh the joy of creating something just how you envisioned.  Sewing mama's, you feel me??  Plus this denim was Ezra's pick, not his sisters.  More on that here.  

The jist on these is that I cut it out based on the pattern instructions except I added 1/2 inch all around and eliminated the denim waistband and used ribbing instead.  (not pictured, sorry!) I inserted elastic inside the ribbing so they'd stay on his waist for all the running and jumping this kid does.  
This type of waistband is a lot easier for me to sew on.  For the bottom I added an ankle band/casing and inserted 1" elastic just to gather the bottoms in a bit.  I love the look of jean joggers on boys.  I've mentioned this before, but Ezra struggles with eczema, so a lighter bottom weight denim is feels much more comfortable on his skin than regular jeans.  I intentionally made them a little long for him to grow into over the year. 
 
Ezra's t-shirt is an oxymoron because Ezra used to be terrified of dogs when he was little.  He's growing out of this fear (#thankgoodness) so when I saw this fabric at Joann's, I couldn't resist.  
I made the t-shirt by tracing an existing t-shirt, but their are t-shirt patterns and tutorials all over the place if you don't know how to make.  Google it and give it a try!
And now for a little Q&A:
- Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? If not, which number child is this?
Nope, this is child number 2 that we've sent to school.  Lila is in first grade.  And we've got 4 more kids at home.  We're basically walking insurance for all future teachers out there.  ;)

- Do you feel like crying or celebrating? And what about your child?
Oh no.  All the feelings. I have a love/hate relationship with school.  And I think every family is so different in their own specific needs.  As for me, Jonathon and I feel strongly that we should send our kids to school and help supplement their learning at home.  But I miss them terribly and I always feel a slight trepidation on their first few days.  I can't say every day goes perfectly smooth for them, but I think that's an important life lesson.  Plus, I love watching their growth and I enjoy being able to help them along and talk with them and add to what they are learning, who they're friends with etc.  This isn't to imply that you don't get that with other forms of learning/education, this is just what works best for us. 

- What kind of school does your child attend? (Public, charter, private or homeschool)
Ezra is attending a public school with a really great duel immersion program.  He's learning Spanish and he's absolutely loving that.  
- Question to your kindergartner: What have been the best and the worst part so far? 
Best: "Snacks, recess, and Spanish."  
Worst: "The crying."  Sad day.  Ezra struggled a little with anxiety in the first couple weeks of school, so he had a few crying moments. We're working with him here at home to be able to deal with his emotions and thankfully, his teacher has been very sweet and involved in helping ease some of his fears.  I know that often these kinds of kinks work themselves out, so right now, I'm just trying to love that boy as much as I possibly can.  It's not hard.  
Overall, Ezra's doing just fine.  Plus he's armed with a Darth Vader backpack and water bottle.  Can't go wrong with that kind of protection.  :)
Keep your eye out for lots of other Kindergarten Sewing Inspo from all these lovely ladies!
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Thanks again for having me, Mie! 

9.14.2016

Black and gray and.....gray all over

Ezra is like my dream come true when it comes to choosing fabric colors and styles.  It's almost always black or gray.  And if you've ever seen my closet, you know how much black and gray I wear.  Also white.  Man, I am so boring.  But simple is easy and classic.....at least, that's what I tell Jonathon when I add yet another gray, black, or white item to my wardrobe.  :)
But this was Ezra's favorite outfit that I made for him for school this year. 
It's the ultimate comfy outfit.  (I'm a little jealous)  Ezra is like his Mama and all about comfort.  I made the hoodie out of soft sweater knit from Joann.  The pattern is modified from this free pattern.   
I added pirate fabric inside the lining.  That's about as much color as either of us like to add to things. 
I used the mini hudson pattern.  Which is a fantastic pattern.  Fabric is from Girl Charlee.  It sewed up quite well.   
Now Ezra is free to run 
and jump with the best of 'em.
 

9.12.2016

Life with girls

This is exactly what happens when you have 5 sisters and they pick out the material for your pants.
I mean, it's fine.  A little on the feminine side, but hopefully they'll pass for boys?  Either way Ezra is really happy with them.  He struggles with eczema especially on his legs, so he doesn't love jeans.  Bottom weight fabrics tend to be softer, so he's a fan.  
I used the Skinny Jean Pattern by Peek-a-boo Patterns.  It's been a while since I used this pattern, but once I started up again, it all came back to me.  This is a fun one.  Even though after I cut the pattern, Sophia found my scissors and cut random spots in the pants.  BUT I just went with it and added some extra stitching to match the stitching on the back of the pockets.  Woot.  Also no belt loops.  Because: no patience.  :)
Ezra is actually pretty sweet about most things when it comes to all his sisters.  It was beyond difficult for him when he found out that the twins were girls.  He cried for days.  He got over it and of course he loves the girls, but he still holds out for at least one brother.  Sometimes I wish people knew how much he wanted a brother, but strangers always feel the need to remind him that he's the only boy.  And Ezra just kind of sighs.  Like we had any choice in the matter of gender.  :)  Thanks strangers.  Thanks.  
But either way, I consider myself so fortunate to have the experience of having a boy.  
He's so precious to me and I'll always be thankful.  And sending him to school has been hard, but good.  He's loving it so far.
I used an existing t-shirt to make the shirt.  I re-purposed an XL shirt to make this one.  I saw the little sunglasses and I couldn't resist.
  
 Also, this cracks me up.  We've been watching the Great British Bake Off on Netflix and Ezra is a huge fan of Richard, the "builder" who always wears a pencil behind his ears.  :)  This is his little tribute.  Classic Ezra.
 

9.08.2016

Stretchy Car Seat Cover Tutorial

Warning: old people hate these.  It's the honest truth.  These stretchy car seat covers are just that good at keeping your baby from the clutches of all those hands.  :)
 I'm kidding really.  Well half kidding.  I truly have gotten comments from older people about "you funny parents these days who don't want people to see your babies."  Though to be fair, I don't actually mind people seeing or touching my babies. 
It's more about giving them some safety from the weather plus a sort of quiet spot to sleep while we're out and about.  
And you can peak in and check on your baby whenever you need to.  
I saw this kind of car seat first a couple years ago.  A mama in front of me at the store was carrying a car seat that covered the whole car seat.  And I was like, "Wha!?  Is that made out of knit?  Genius." I sort of wished that I could grab that car seat cover and trace it out so that I could make one, but I refrained.  I did however, promise myself that I'd figure out how to make one.  Especially after I found I had not one but two little babies in the oven.  So I figured out how to make these covers and they'er so easy guys.  One yard of fabric!
I've tweaked the measurements and figured out what I like best.  It should fit a standard car seat, but adjust measurements to your liking.  I also feel bad that I didn't pull the fabric down to the bottom of the car seat for the pictures.  That's usually how I use it, but I was rushing to take some quick pictures so oh well.  Just imagine the fabric is covering the stickers.  :)  And seriously, after having 6 kids in 6 years and using seat cover after seat cover, this style is the best.  It doesn't flip up, it doesn't smother your baby, it's exactly what a new mama needs.   
 
Pair it with a super cheap drawstring backpack/diaper bag and you're set!  I like living life a little....less expensively.  Is that so tacky??  :)  
 Ready to make one for yourself?  Or a friend whose having a baby?  These make great gifts.
 
 You'll need:

  • A sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • 1 yard of stretchy knit fabric.  Look for knit fabric that's at least 58-60 inches. {If the fabric doesn't have a 4 way stretch, make sure that it stretches side to side quite a bit.}
  • Twin needle {optional}

*Seam allowance is 1/2 inch

Start by placing your fabric so that the stretch is horizontal.
 
 Fold fabric in half

Starting at the bottom, cut at an angle at either side as shown on the graphic below.  The bottom will need to be roughly 30'' inches wide and the top will be about 18''.  Asjust depending on how wide your fabric is
 
 You should have two pieces now that basically look like triangles without tops.  With right sides together, sew down both sides.  Be sure to use a stretch stitch or a zig zag stitch.  I also surged my edges, but knit doesn't fray so that's totally optional.

To hem, fold your fabric towards the wrong side 3/4 an inch.  Sew with a zig zag stitch or use a twin needle.  Do this to the top and bottom.

 
Trim threads and enjoy your new cover!  I also wanted to note that the top is loose, but I like ti that way because the stitch doesn't break.  It also makes it easy for my other kids to peak in.  Because people will peak in.  And as life usually goes in internet land, since I've made these, turns out other people have made them too. I've seen them for sale online here {a little pricey, but not a bad deal if you don't sew} and See Kate Sew has a free pattern for them too.  Good luck and happy covering!
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