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This weekend was filled with unfortunate mishaps (Kate peeing all over herself and the floor of the washroom of a natural foods store, runny lemon meringue pie, not one but two chairs breaking on dinner guests and the death wish that is Costco on a Saturday) but I still really enjoyed it.  Aside from her birthday next week it was the last of Kate’s first holidays so I tried to come up with treats for her but I wanted to avoid candy while I can still get away with it.  Plastic eggs filled with dehydrated fruit toddler snacks, Nutrios and Multigrain Cheerios were a big hit until Kate realized that the eggs didn’t automatically refill themselves throughout the day.  The sleeper hit was these bean bags that I sewed up for Kate and filled with rice (they might double as a hot pack too – I should look that up.

She really enjoys throwing them on and then off of pieces of furniture and trying to pick three up at a time and then throwing them. Good times.

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A few months ago I scored maybe 1.3 yards of my favourite Liberty tana lawn print from Ebay and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it ever since.  I thought Vogue 8650 might be a good fit but now I’m not sure.

Ignoring the weird pillow case and quilting scrap fabric I used which is stiffer than the lawn,  I’m still not sure if it will work, even belted.  It’s a little blousy around the bust because of the raglan construction but it’s a little tight at the waist. I think I might have to lengthen it too but I’m not sure if I’ll have enough fabric for that. Maybe it’s just not right for my shape. Thoughts?

Erin sent me a paper cut template a shamefully long time ago and I think she had all but given up that I would ever get around to it.  I thought Easter would be a good time to get this Peter Rabbit design in the bag and a new craft under my belt.

When I pulled this template out of the envelope I realized that Erin had actually sent me the entire Elsita set. Thanks Erin! Sorry I’m such a spaz!

Now I really want to make all of them, frame them and hang them in Kate’s room.  I’m hung up on finding white oval frames but since I can’t seem to find decent regular frames this might be challenging.

Wanting to make a little toy for Melina’s new baby Henry I made the sage choice of turning to Wee Wonderfuls for ideas only to abandon it when I couldn’t find the fabric I had in mind for the project I had chosen. That was a mistake because this Menswear Bunny pattern from Martha was kind of a crock. Do not attempt if you aren’t familiar with toy making and if you like to have fun.

I decided to be all eco chic and use a dress shirt of Chris’s from the donation box so I thought it would be a nice idea to make one for Kate at the same time only to remember after I had cut all the pieces that she already had one.

The bunny on the left is my work and the more rotund bunny on the right was made for Kate by Erin.  I see it every single day and still failed to associate it with the project I was working on.  Doi.

All’s well that ends well, I guess, because Henry seems to appreciate his new buddy and the tag blanket I made for him months ago.  I also made another for Kate at the same time and she didn’t get the point of it at four months but now she loves it.  It makes a hilarious hat.

This week I was hit with a cold that made me soooo tired. It’s my first time being sick since Kate was born and she was a great sport while I sat on the couch and watched daytime tv for days in a row. I’m just glad that we haven’t had to deal with any illness on her part aside from a few injuries and teething crap.

Me being a big sick baby coincided nicely with Kate deciding to walk as her exclusive mode of transportation. It’s pretty funny watching her stumble around like a drunken gnome, and terrifying to see how much faster she can get into trouble.

Her first birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks (can you freaking believe it?) and I’m doing lots of party planning in my head. Whether I’ll actually move away from the couch to make a birthday banner, cake, pasta salad, dips, decorations, fruit tray, and commemorative book remains to be seen.

My Kwik Sew dress is finally finished!

I think it’s quite an improvement from the muslin.  I’m so happy that I decided to just cut the smaller size.  I was really scared that it wouldn’t fit at all but it does and it’s so much more flattering now! I also lowered the vertical darts a little bit so they didn’t land way above my apex (that’s a polite sewerly way of saying nipples).

It turns out that when I made the muslin I had accidentally cut the neckline for the wrong view.  It’s too bad because my only complaint about the fit of this is that the neckline is pretty gapey but I didn’t realize it until it was done.  My only other issue is with the zipper.  I hate zippers.  Luckily the hack job isn’t too noticeable when it’s zipped up and I will probably wear a cardigan with this anyway.

I’ve added an invisible zipper foot to my sewing wish list along with a dress form, tailor’s ham and sleeve roll, both of which are proving very hard to find.

I’m really pleased with myself for taking my time and trying to learn as much as I could. This took me over a month rather than my usual sweaty stress-filled weekend pace. I pressed the bejesus out of this both as I was going and afterward, and it could still probably use more smoothing.  Here’s a great post about how to properly press your seams.  Unfortunately, I only saw this yesterday and didn’t realize that you were supposed to press the stitches flat too but I did do all the other steps for each seam.

I wish I had taken a little more time when I was cutting my pieces out to line my pattern up and make sure they were cut on the grainline but I though this was just going to be a muslin so I didn’t fuss with that much although I should have for the practice.

I think part of the reason that my garment sewing has suffered a bit is that I tend to sew mostly in the summer only and I don’t focus on just sewing garments. If I did I think it would come more naturally to me and I would start to get in the flow of construction a little more easily.  There are just so many more thing to make though!

I forget sometimes how comfortable dresses are. I just wish I didn’t feel like a freak going out in one, especially where I live. I honestly find this more comfortable than jeans and a hoodie.  There’s no waistband digging in to my mom tummy, no fabric cinching my hips and no hood pulling the neck back and choking me. Maybe I’ll try to grow a pair and wear whatever I want more often.

A surprising source of guidance to me was this book that I checked out of our dinky library. I know Melina bought it a few years ago and loved it but it looked a little to “rad” for me.  That should teach me not to judge a book my it’s cover, literally.  It has some really great basic info in here as well as patterns.  Too many of the sewing books I own fly through the sewing info and jump straight into the funky patterns.  This will be my new recommendation to beginning sewers.

So, in conclusion, up with dresses! Rock out with your frock…out. I don’t know.

I’ve been working away, here and there, on my dress bodice. I decided to go ahead with the sheet fabric. You can see the print a little better here.

Bodice - Kwik Sew 3682

The innards are looking a lot slicker than those on my earlier clothing attempts. I hopefully settled the fitting issues I was having with the muslin by taking it apart and cutting out a smaller size since it was about an inch too big all around.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric left from this sheet to do anything about lowering the waist inset but I’m hoping a more supportive bra will do the trick.  I think when Kate’s done nursing I’m going to go to a fancy bra shop and get an expert fitting. If it’s not working I can always consider this a muslin 2.0 and go get some actual made for clothing fabric and try again if I’m not too demoralized.

A few things that are really floating my boat:

  • We’ve had some really tasty breakfasts lately. On the guilt-ridden side are these amazing cinnamon sour cream pancakes. Mmmm.  But for a healthy start I’m in love with the texture of this baked oatmeal.
  • My new favourite blog is Dinner: A Love Story. The last post with their seven-year-olds Roald Dahl round up was hilarious and had be getting excited to someday read The BFG to Kate (although if she doesn’t love it as much as I did as a kid I would be pretty bummed out).
  • Speaking of Kate and books, we read to her every night and more often if we can and I was surprised to discover that she had definite favourites right from the get-go. I’ve been considering doing a post of her favourite baby literature if anyone is interested.

A few years ago my friend Natacha made curtains for her living room and I was super impressed. She brushed off my awe and said “curtains are easy.”  Tell this to a swearing heap of me when I tried making blackout-lined curtains for Kate’s room.  Total gong show.  I decided not to let that misadventure dissuade me from giving it another go in the living room. Except, I ordered way too little fabric and ended up with an amateur hour drape that didn’t cover the whole window.  Kind of misses the point, no?  So, I bought some heavier fabric in a co-ordinating color from Mitchells and now we’re set.

It’s hard to tell from the light of this grey day but they really add a lot of warmth to the room.  I only wish it had even occurred to me to line up the print.

I really like the curtain rod from Umbra.  Word to the wise, their shipping is ridiculously slow.

Chris also moved the armchair (a Kijiji score, not sure if I mentioned it before) and I really like how it divides the room and creates an ideal angle for eye contact.  We had an actual conversation after he moved it! Imagine!  He also contributed the cardboard playhouse from Kate’s new car seat box. It’s a marvel.

Also:

I somehow totally forgot to mention that I’ve worked on the last two issues of Twist. Check it – there’s my name at the bottom!  It’s, as always, a great issue and Kate really works her butt off to put it out.

Happy weekend (unless you work weekends, in which case, my condolences)!