Thursday, September 30, 2010


It's not much, but I did finish a pair of pants for Milo on Sunday - the very last day of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge. They are made from the sleeves of a $3 man's sweatshirt and I added pockets to make them feel less pajama-like. The big sleeve cuffs work nicely as pant cuffs, and I have so much sweatshirt left that I'm going to try and make a hoodie for Milo too. I'm totally inspired by Trula's foldover hoodie, so that will be my starting point. When I can sew again, that is.

Since Sunday, I've been slightly distracted by my surgery. It all went fine, but recovery is recovery - you can't speed it up and there is no such thing as a to-do list. Taking these photographs is probably my output for the day. Luckily I have some novels to enjoy (I just started Tinkers by Paul Harding and I'm loving it, plus The Laws of Harmony had me bawling yesterday) and a trusty laptop to keep me entertained.

But I do have one to-do that I recommend highly: visit the Elsie Marley Flickr group and check out all the great kids clothes that were made last week. What a talented bunch of sewers out there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

stripe roundup

Now I understand the dangers of slippery jersey: when you least expect it, the fabric moves around while you're serging and suddenly you've cut a hole where you really don't want one. And this is after you've spent too much time adjusting the gathers of the skirt and attaching it twice. You'd think it would be the sign to stop sewing right then and there and call this week's challenge a bust, but somehow the little children playing restaurant and serving me fake food while sewing was just enough distraction (or rather, reason to censor any cursing) to make finishing possible. The dress became shorter and the gathers a little less uniform, but at least I had no more serger mishaps.

I based this dress off a cute velour Gap dress with a cowl neck, but I love how this jersey drapes. It changes the dress quite a bit and makes the cowl neck acceptable to Sadie. The aqua stripes are a bit metallic (which I wasn't expecting when I ordered from here), and the gray stripes are heathered, so it's quite a nice combination. It's very easy to sew - serging disaster aside - so I think I'll make another one this season. I've got some gray jersey with black hearts all over that would be perfect.

But next up, Milo. We walked down to Goodwill on Friday night and it was 50% off all clothing, so I picked up some men's shirts to make pants (and hopefully a hoodie?) from. It didn't dawn on me until I was loading them into the washing machine that everything was stripes. And then I realized that even Sadie's dress is striped. Oh, and the waistband of Milo's pajama pants. Looking back, all the knits I have been using are about 95% striped.

Oops. My love of stripes is officially official.

Friday, September 24, 2010

kids clothes week challenge

Thank goodness for some late night surfing because I almost missed Elsie Marley's fall edition of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge. But I haven't been nearly as active this time around for a variety of reasons. First, the only time I have during a work week is post 9:30pm and generally I'm feeling pretty wiped by then. And second, when I have dragged myself upstairs, I'm extra conscious of the noise I'm making and sure enough, the serger woke Sadie up one night (clearly sewing in my bedroom is not the best idea.) Then today, when I could have had Milo's nap to myself, I was hanging out in a hospital for my pre-op appointment...'cause I'm having my uncooperative gallbladder removed on Tuesday. Boo.

But being the Queen of Excuses is a drag. I have made some things, and so far I'm most pleased with these pajama pants for Milo. The nights are much cooler now and he needs his feet covered but he's outgrown all of his sleepers. Instead of investing in new ones that he would outgrow tomorrow, I thought pants would have a longer life. I drafted a pattern from an existing sleeper and these pants sewed (or rather, serged) up quickly. He wore them last night and they seem to do the trick, so I've lined up more jersey for other pairs.

Not as successful though, or more like what-on-earth-was-I-thinking, is an outfit I finished up for Sadie. Behold:

Okay, the cuffs are cute, but a full Hello Kitty outfit? Did I want Sadie to look like she's wearing pajamas to school? Didn't I realize she'd wear both pieces together? And what is with the garish pink? Oh well, at least I finished them. And Sadie thinks they are great. I just need to make a rule for myself about buying less prints...and stick to it.

Two more days to go. And check out the many, many cute garments already made on view here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

chalk love

Fact: Sadie draws a lot. Another fact: we never have enough paper in the house. So, when a corner of the living/computer/front room became empty - and there were holes in the wall that needed repainting - we decided to make it a chalkboard instead. Obviously this is not a new idea at all, but it was totally fun and had us questioning our sanity when I started rolling the inky black paint on the wall Sunday night at 10pm. Two coats and a thoroughly aired out house later and Sadie LOVES it.

As a before and after (above), it's quite a dramatic improvement in an awkward corner space. So far, we have played many games of hangman and the drawings change daily. Even Milo has been at it, though he's really only drawing rain and most of the time we find chalk in his mouth. Sadie has tried to make him her student (the child's desk pretty much screams for that kind of role-playing) but he doesn't sit still for too long.

Overall, it's a total winner. And for now, we'll just have to figure out how to live with a whole lot of chalk dust.

Monday, September 06, 2010

gnome attire

This past week was a holiday from both work (for me) and summer camp (for Sadie). Our goal was to spend some quality girl time together, something we haven't really done since Milo was born. And as I had hoped - it was lovely. Sadie's new favourite place is the ROM, she has a cute haircut from the salon, and in general we simply reconnected because there wasn't a little boy needing our attention.

So why the little boy photo? Well, whenever I have time off work I imagine all the things I can make, but I knew this week would be different. I tired really hard not to dwell on what wasn't happening in favour of enjoying what was. But in the evenings I did manage to make a hat for Milo that is ever-so-cute (I've learned that little projects go a long way - because as much as I told myself that making things this week wasn't important, this tiny garment helped my inner productivity need). The pattern is from this adorable book, and although it's a bit snug Milo can't get it off - perfect for this fall. The yarn is Koigu Kersti which washes well and has some subtle colour changes. Hopefully it looks manly enough, but I sure love the vintage look. Oh, and the fact that Milo looks like a little gnome in it.

Little gnomes and growing girls. It was a lovely week indeed.