Friday, May 29, 2009

plain equals perfect

Sewing tiny newborn clothes is totally fun - and somehow way more compelling than sewing doll clothes (Sadie has asked me to, but I just can't get excited about it).  I couldn't really find any patterns online, so yesterday I sat down and started drafting my own.  I think the little shirt worked out particularly well and I'm crossing my fingers it will fit the baby.

When Sadie was a newborn I dreaded putting clothes over her head so I made the front of this shirt open with snap tape.  I thought it might make it look makeshift, but I actually like the twill tape showing through (and it makes a nice clean edge with little work).  Due to the tiny size, I had to hand sew the cuffs and neck binding, but it really didn't take long and the stitches have such a delicate look.  The pants are pretty plain with an elastic waist and a pinch pleat on the outside edge of the cuff.  The bottom hems of both the shirt and pants are serged and the only decoration on the shirt is a tiny pearl bunny button I picked up in Paris.  My main objection to most baby clothes you can buy is all the embellishments and overdone patterns - so it was nice to have some taupe knit in my fabric stash that I could use.  And under the clothes is a finished baby sling I made on Wednesday using this great photo tutorial.  I had to piece the linen fabric together, but at least I used up what I had - which is one of my goals this mat leave.

Today I'm attempting a romper which is much trickier, but if my prototype works out I'm going to use an old t-shirt of Jay's to make another from.  I was inspired by this romper tutorial and Jay loves the idea of recycling his t-shirts.  With all these pattern pieces piling up, I'm wondering if they are worth sharing?  I know the newborn stage is fleeting, but they sure are fun to make. 

That could just be the full-term pregnant lady talking though.

Monday, May 25, 2009

spurts and skirts

And so my mat leave begins.

I have a long list of things I'd like to make and tedious tasks like "do the taxes", but today I'm taking it easy.  Reading magazines and actually planning dinner.  I spent the night dreaming that I was missing meetings, so clearly my brain hasn't left work just yet, and I'm a little emotional about saying good-bye to the people I love seeing every day.  But I know my body - and mind - needed a break before the baby arrives.  Decompressing takes time.

On a crafting note: I left the sewing room in a mess after making the above skirt for Sadie, but it was so worth it.  I've made two, and they truly come together in 30 minutes.  I think it's a miracle, and Sadie loves them.  I can see a couple more getting made in my before-baby-future.  The instructions are found at the Oliver + S blog, and here are photos posted on Flickr of other ribbon/fabric combinations.  I'm totally smitten. And totally going to sew right now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

sewing therapy

I didn't work on Friday (and I only have 4 more days to go!) so I spent the whole day at the sewing machine.  It was heaven.  After preparing for my exhibit, it was really a treat to sew with no goal in mind other than relaxing.  I worked on skirts for Sadie (post to come) but then found myself pulling together fabrics for chair pads.  I remembered Soulemama's post about simple quilted chair pads, and now that we've moved the furniture back into the kitchen I felt that a little dressing would be nice.  I didn't measure anything, just sat at the machine and swiveled my chair to the ironing board to keep my movement limited. Truthfully, standing up and down to press fabric would leave me out of breath right now - I've hit 35 weeks and I'm pretty much a physical mess.

But chair pads.  The first photo is how the tops look right now. I thought I would cut them up and piece all 4 together similarly, but now that I've tested it out in Photoshop (how did we ever survive without Photoshop?) I think I like them best just the way they are.  They match enough without being too matchy, you know?  But I could be persuaded, especially if I wake up tomorrow feeling all orderly and such.  Oh wait, I work tomorrow - the decision can be made the next time I have a free sewing day, which is officially next Monday.  I'm actually hoping the wee one stays inside for at least a couple of weeks so I can really enjoy the "me time" I've booked.  Matinees, sewing and reading here I come.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

bootee magic

I've been wanting to try these bootees for a long time now, but I knew I had to be finished with the art show first.  Last weekend, after I sewed on the final hook to my 28th bird, I gave them a try.  The pattern was quick, easy and oh-so-satisfying.  I haven't finished a knitting project for a while now and these really hit the spot.  The yarn is Rowan Cashcotton (which the pattern calls for) and the natural colour means the unknown-gendered baby can easily wear them.  And the pattern is Saartje's Bootees, available for free on Ravelry and her blog.

Not surprisingly, Sadie loves the pattern and has already chosen the wool she wants a pair made from (Louisa Harding Merino/Silk in Ruby). I cast on last night and will keep track of the modifications in case they work out.  I'm sure there are a few more 4 year-olds out there who would love a pair of their own.

thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to my opening reception.  I felt surrounded by support and friendship, which is truly a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

goodness underfoot

We're still living in our bedroom, but man, is the new floor pretty.  Even without the furniture I can't believe how different our house looks from a simple change underfoot.  The "common" maple is full of variations and the colour is just what we wanted, plus the great thing about a site finish is that there are no grooves (or bevels) between the boards - it's just one smooth surface.  The only drawback may be our need for grippy socks...Sadie has already taken a tumble on the slick wood.

But a two week job is not easy to live through and it will be 3 weeks in total without a livable main floor (at least we got the fridge and stove back in - eating out every night is not good when you've been told to eat healthy for the rest of your pregnancy).  This weekend we'll put it all back together.  I think we'll celebrate with a pile of movies, home-cooked treats and a marathon love-in with our couch.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

virtual invitation

If you are in Toronto and like the idea of spending a Friday night at Dundas and Ossington, it would be great to see you.  I'll be the extra-pregnant lady looking stunned that her work is actually hanging on walls.

Details are: LE Gallery, 1183 Dundas Street West (south side of Dundas, just west of Ossington). Reception is Friday, May 8th from 7 to 10pm (and you can click on the invite image above to read the show description).