Friday, April 30, 2010

knicker redemption

Amongst all the sewing for Milo, I really tried to make a shirt for myself for Spring Top Week. I even took a course a few weeks ago at the workroom to learn how to knock-off your favourite clothes - so I felt more than prepared. I could accept that the first try at my knocked-off pattern didn't work, but I felt like I'd solved the problems and I even made a muslin copy to be sure it would work before cutting into the grey shirting I had chosen. But after 4 precious Milo-is-napping-Sadie-is-at-school sessions, I had to give up. The shirt is officially "frumpalicious". Jay quickly agreed, after first asking if I had meant the shirt to be "pilgrim" style. All in all, a total failure on top of the many clothing failures I've had this past year. And so I started to think that I should stick to sewing for Sadie and Milo and just give up on myself.

Enter...knickers. Yes, knickers (hey, that's what the pattern calls them, and it sounds way better to say, "I made a pair of knickers today"). After a post on Angry Chicken a while (maybe years) ago I bought this awesome pattern off Etsy and even though I'd read it through and decided it wouldn't be too hard, the pattern still sat around. But in a last ditch attempt to sew for myself, I figured I'd give knickers a try. And it was just what I needed - they were quick, fun to make, and I learned something new (ahh, the magic of fold-over-elastic). I used hemp jersey in the bikini height version, and the retro pattern means that they have ample bum room, which is perfect in my book. Since I could order more hemp jersey in any colour I want from here, and get matching fold-over-elastic from here (both are Canadian companies) I now have the urge to make a whole bunch of these because the utilitarian in me loves the idea of having a drawer full of matching underwear.

So while I may take a break from sewing woven fabric garments for myself, I am going to keep going in the world of knit fabrics. I picked up Wendy Mullin's Sew U Home Stretch and I'm pretty excited to try a boat neck t-shirt. But since sewing for Sadie and Milo always works out, I've joined Elsie Marley's Kids Clothes Week Challenge. What can I say? Sewing an hour a day for my little people sounds like a great way to spend a week. I may even make Sadie some knickers of her own.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Did I say I was going to make Milo some "plain" garments? Well, it looks like I totally lied. Something about finding a mens t-shirt at Goodwill and having just enough rainbow jersey to make sleeves won me over. Now my little man is part Mork and Mindy, part Canadian patriot.

The 90-Minute-Shirt is all kinds of awesome, eh?

Monday, April 19, 2010

oh boy

I am smitten with the 90 Minute Shirt. There is just something about making clothes from knit fabric that feels so good. Plus, this pattern is totally helping me conquer my fear about knit fabrics, while helping me learn a thing or two about my serger and sewing machine. (For instance, I found out that I have a stretch knit stitch.  Who knew?)

The tutorials for this shirt and making-a-pattern-from-existing-clothes are excellent and just what I needed to get started (how did I miss this great site for so long? Thanks to Meg for showing me the way!) I still had some shirts from Jay that were earmarked for clothes for Milo, but I also love the idea of making some PLAIN garments too. Don't get me wrong, the Mr. Rogers and the snake graphic above are great - it's just that most boys clothes have "stuff" on them and it would be nice to simplify Milo's wardrobe. I mean, check out these options - how cool are they?

It wasn't easy to get shots of these clothes in action - because Milo is always in action and also in low-light situations. But here is one anyway. The onesie is only going to fit him for about one more week, so I've since adjusted my pattern to make bigger shirts. What can I say - he's a robust little boy.

One thing's for sure - there's more of these shirts to come.

Friday, April 16, 2010

deja vu

It's happening. No matter how hard I try I can't stop dwelling on my dwindling time with Sadie and Milo. And then that feeling bleeds into sadness for a disappearing babyhood. Just yesterday we took Milo's infant carseat to Goodwill and it was the last large-ish baby item we had - both Jay and I took a longing look at it when it left our hands. When Sadie was this age we were holding on to everything, knowing that someday we might decide to have a second child. But this time is different and it's harder than I imagined to say goodbye to all things baby. Luckily, one look at these big 9-month old eyes and I can forget all my trivial troubles. He's pretty magical that way.

And this photo in particular was kind of familiar to me. It turns out that I wrote a post, 5 years ago, talking about my sadness for being separated from Sadie. Perhaps I just need to stop taking pictures of my children looking up at me when I'm so struck with back-to-work anxiety?

Yeah, that sounds like a smart idea.

(And here's the pic from that post, Sadie, circa 2005. About 9 months old. Umm, is she storing nuts in those cheeks?)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

delivery by foot

If you saw a family of four walking on a Toronto street the other night, baby on the dad's chest, mom and dad each holding one handle of a massive green trunk, and the 5 year old daughter carrying a large bag of take-out food, that was us. Let's just say it's our idea of a family outing.

When Sadie was a baby we carried a whole desk home by foot. At least this trunk was lighter, and now our files are happily hidden away. I'd have to say that three thrift shops within walking distance has served us well.

Monday, April 05, 2010

a happy after

Have I ever mentioned how awesome Jay is? If not, here is a reason why. He salvaged wood from our attic floor and an old shelf in the basement to make this shelf for our "Office Valet" cabinet. And it's absolutely perfect.

We've had this piece of furniture for a while now, but Jay always intended to build a shelf for it. Once Milo became active it was a true necessity. It's a simple design and we found baskets to maximize space and now the piece really works, both aesthetically and practically. Milo's toys are hidden (though as I type all 3 baskets have been toppled over - the little boy can pull them right out and loves all the toys falling to the floor) and we don't have to see the tv equipment so much.

Like I said, he's awesome. Now if I were a better stylist I might have removed a few more tchotchkes before taking a photo, but I'm not a better stylist. Clutter is the way of the world around here, and for now, we're a tiny bit more organized.

Oh, and here's the "before". (You have to start with the "after" shot, right?)