Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baby Hunter's Christmas Present

So baby Hunter's Christmas present was finished this week, when the hubby stole the kids for the afternoon. I had the sleeves and top of a fair isle sweater in my stash and there's just something about a  baby in knit pants...

Here's a better look at the print. They're made basically the same way as these sweatpants, just from an  knit sweater instead of a sweatshirt. Here's a close-up of the print:

I've made these leggings so many times that I can whip them up in my sleep and I really wanted to add a little something to it. I settled on a little lace trimmed pixie bonnet. Even easier than the pants since it's just a long rectangle sewed up the back but it makes suck a cute little pointy top when it's put on.

My only worry  is if it will fit. Guesstimating baby head sizes is not an exact science...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Story Disks

I may be a lazy parent most days, my kids thrive on neglect, but I always have things on hand for them to do. We keep our craft supplies available to them at all times, in a nine cube storage unit in the kitchen. I have a big bucket of play dough in the fridge with tons of cookie cutters, rollers and play dough mats available. Puzzles, board games and a really neat doll house that my aunt made for the kids take up our living room area upstairs. Down stairs is the play room, which houses all of their pretend play stuff as well as the rest of their toys. One special toy down there is the puppet theater, which I will post about in the near future. Some of my favourite memories from childhood, involve myself, my brother, my sister and two of our friends, putting on plays in the basement. They evolved over the years and somehow all five of us still love theater today. I really want my kids to grow up with their imaginations intact, so I try to provide them with opportunities to 'tell me a story'.

One way to do this is by using story stones, or disks. I decided to use wooden disks, as I was going to make 6 or 7 sets of these for Christmas gifts for other kids in our lives. I thought that shipping a bunch of rocks across the country would cost a pretty penny. I painted random things on one side of each disk with acrylic paint, and then applied a coat of mod lodge to help protect it. The backs are blank so that each family can add their own pictures. How you play is up to you and your children. I think that we will start by saying 'Tell me a story' and reaching in the bag for a disk to start our adventure with.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sweet Baby Starter Kits

I've been working on a secret project.

It's been on my mind for months after reading an article about the boxes the Finnish government gives out to new parents to get them started. The idea of every baby having the things they need really touched my heart and I knew that I had to make it happen in my community. I am just about ready to start distributing the first boxes and it would really mean a lot to me if you would take a minute to look at the page I have set up and read about the project.

The site is still brand new and there will be many links, tutorials and resources added in the coming months, but all of the information about the project is ready to go. Please also share this site with anyone who you think might be interested in receiving a box, or donating/making baby items.

Thanks so much <3

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Leggings, and Questionable Improvements

Why on earth did it take me this long to make myself leggings? This has to be one of the easiest things I've ever done! I make kid leggings all of the time and they come together in a flash, I guess I just have the idea in my head that sewing for myself is intrinsically harder?

This isn't even a pattern. I just traced around the pair that fit best, and when I was done and noticed that they crumpled at the ankles just like the other pair, I cut off a few inches and re-hemmed them into the new best fitting pair I own. Magic :)

I did it all with a zigzag stitch on a regular machine. I just used a narrow stitch for the seams and a wider one to catch the fabric on the cuffs and waistband. As you can see above I was super impatient and made these with dark green thread because I was out of black.

The waistband is sewn the same way, but with elastic in it obviously. I just measured the elastic in the original leggings. Ta-da! That's it, it's really that easy. So easy that I went straight back to raid my stash for anything else remotely legging-like. I came up with two other possibilities, but both had a print to them as well and I know from experience how hard that can be to work into an outfit later. They both had solid colours on the reverse that looked just fine, but what a waste of a nice print fabric...

The solution? Reversible leggings! Best idea ever! In theory. I chose flat felled seams (like on your jeans) as my method for flat, enclosed seams. Worked beautifully to attach the top pieces together as you can see below. (The wobbles are mostly due to the fabric not lying flat.)

Then we got to the legs. First seam is outside, so no problem. Second needs to run flat down one layer of the leg, which means bunching  up the bottom of the tube (leg) against the machine as you go because the legs are so narrow.  Ugh. Giant disaster. Below is the beautiful seam I was left with.

So, what to do? I can't unpick the seam because that always destroys knits. I would normally just cut it out and but I just barely had enough fabric to start with and making them any narrower would probably doom them to be too small. I might just have to give up on this pair being reversible and flip them to the print side. Which is lovely, but loses me my solid red pair :(

I have one more piece of reversible knit to play with and am determined to figure this out! Maybe a really skinny french seam wouldn't be too noticeable? Hand sewing would give me nice flat-felled seams but probably not stretch very well.

Any thoughts on how I should save this pair or do the next?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My sister is a bad influence

Once upon a time ( or as my kids say it " uhspon") my darling sister let her daughter watch a movie called 'My neighbour Totorro'. Sophie loved it. She loved so much that her mother has made her the main character's dresses as well as make her 4th birthday party Totorro  themed. Cat bus and soot sprites included. My kids had no idea what was going on. Months after the party, we finally took the plunge and watch the movie. Every. Single. Day. For at least a week... and every other day after that. My kids are obsessed. I must admit, I really like it to. So, when my sister made the dresses, naturally caught the sewing bug too. Since I have three kids, and there are three forest spirits, it was a no brainer as to what I was going to make. Using the basic tee pattern from Dana Made it, I added a little extra to the length and made them long sleeves with hoods. Below is the result:

complete with front pocket <3

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Trap a Dinosaur

Dinovember may face an early demise in our house. Sophie has decided that playing in the night time makes the dinosaurs naughty, and she has set out to stop them! 

She's been trapping them one at a time in ziploc bags, until only the dragon (who hasn't been moving) and the big dinosaur were left. I've been playing along and any bagged dino's have stayed "trapped" in the bucket while the others played. This has left me with only one dino to pose for the last few days though...

Daddy took a turn posing them last night and he set them all free. I covered for him by claiming that the dragon let the others out. Sophie quite determinedly zipped all three little ones and the dragon back up in bags and then started plotting how to trap the big one.

Sophie says "I like them moving. I just want to be sneakier than them."

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Dino's Went Walking Last Night...

Dinovember is here! An entire month of convincing my kids that their toy dinosaurs come alive in the night and make mischief while they sleep. (You really need to check out the original post of the parents who thought this up, their pictures are amazing and so much fun!)

Reading books.
We technically started a day or two late, but my kids can't read a calendar yet so I got away with it.

Playing baby.
Sophie's actually been pretty funny about it. She's decided that the dinosaurs are being naughty by getting up and playing in the night and has trapped one in a ziploc bag so it will behave tonight.

Trying to go outside.
(Sorry for the terrible pictures but living in a basement means that there are only a few very weird places that I can take nice photos and none of them are suitable for dinosaur games.)

Going for a ride.
This is definitely one of my favorite traditions. It just adds some fun and magic to their morning. I also love that Sophie actually remembers some of their antics from last year! "Remember when the dinosaurs made me breakfast? Remember when they were ironing?" (That last one was a desperate middle of the night set up after I'd stayed up too late sewing and almost forgot to pose the dinosaurs. I felt pretty lame just sticking them in the middle of my stuff so I didn't have to clean it up but it turned out to be one of her favorites, maybe because they were into something she wasn't allowed to touch?)