Monday, October 27, 2014

Rainbow Weather Chart

What's with this lazy blogger girl? Where did she get to? I know, you've been waiting with baited breath to find out ;)

We had some problems with the internet and had to wait a week for a technician to arrive to fix it. The Hubby was all "Nah, they won't need to come inside." so when he did get here I had a dresser and a half (some drawers if you're wondering how that's possible) plus every piece of clothing/textiles from the kids room in piles all over my living room. Classy.

We've been up to a fair bit in the meantime though.  I have a new crush; the laminater. I laminated a few things for homeschool kindergarten, one of which is the beautiful weather chart from .Paint On The Ceiling. Seriously, you need one. It's a free printable and it's really pretty as well as clear for the kids. Sophie's been loving it. It has really shortened the "It's time to get dressed now" discussion every morning because she can't go upstairs to check the weather for her chart until she's out of her jammies. (Ah, parental blackmail!)

It has also raised some interesting educational questions like the time she came down and said that it was cold when the cars went by and warm when they didn't. Hmm... Time to talk about where the wind comes from... 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Warmest Socks

It's cozy sock weather!

These pictures helped me notice a dropped stitch before it got any worse. Phew!
These are made with a chunky yarn and this pattern. They're a pretty quick knit but I'm not a pro so it took me way longer than the evening the pattern suggests! This was a scrap buster for me, as you can tell by the ever decreasing pink on one foot and off-white toe. I made sure the cuffs were the same though, so it won't look funny in shoes.

My only worry is that they'll be too warm. If so I'll just wear them over another pair inside my boots this winter. Time to go test and see!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pretty Bow Dress for a Wedding

So I finally got the chance to make my favorite dress from Feminine Wardrobe, a cute dress book I bought in the spring. If you follow the link in the book title you'll see that this is the dress on the cover, and the reason I bought the book! 

My cousin had a wedding coming up and thanks to babies I had exactly one dress nice enough to wear. I have managed to get away with this because all of the weddings I have been to since then have coincidentally been for different family and friend groups, so no one except my husband has seen it repeat. This side of the family was the only group not to have seen the dress yet, so I technically could have gotten away with it but the whole traveling dress thing was just getting pathetic. Then I wandered into Fabricland for some thread, (a very dangerous pastime) and they just happened to be having their seasonal clear out... Well wonderfully soft rose coloured satin for 3$ a meter is clearly a sign that it's time to do some sewing for Mama!  

I found the instructions pretty clear, though some were on a different page because similar patterns are grouped. The only weird thing about the pattern is that the grain line on the sleeves is one way on the pattern and the other in the instructions. (Unless I traced something wrong but I didn't investigate this further since I didn't have enough fabric to do it the other way!)

This is actually the first time I have ever made a real muslin. I make wearable muslin's all of the time but I sew with such inexpensive fabrics that it doesn't usually matter. This time I knew that if I screwed it up I didn't have backup fabric, and I was less sure than usual about how the dress would end up fitting. I'm glad I did because I sewed the pleats in backwards! That would have sucked to try and pick out of the satin.

The book does their designs in three's, three variations on a basic pattern. The other two don't have the bow and this shot gives an idea of how that would look. I have definite plans to make the other variations some day! My only question is what do I do with the stupid muslin now that I'm done with it?

So actually sewing the dress went fairly smoothly. I unfortunately had to marathon it in one looong sewing session the night before we left. The only thing I changed was to hem the bottom by machine instead of blind stitching it by hand like the instructions suggest. It was so worth it though, I'm so proud of this dress! I love the bow, I love the colour, and I love that the hemline's not a foot shorter than I'm comfortable with like everything in the stores! 

I will admit that despite my list of loves there were a few cons. Having bigger boobs than the model on the book cover meant that the bow sat differently on my dress. On her it's almost like a short bodice, on me more like a collar detail. This is common with larger sizes though, to just widen the smallest size without adjusting length or rise.  I also need a slip next time, the material was a bit static-y, but that's my material choice not the pattern. 

My final pitfall was self inflicted. I traced my pattern markings in that blue wipe off marker. In the past it has always just rubbed off with a damp cloth. The above pictures were taken after doing that but when I unpacked my suitcase, they were back. I wiped again. They disappeared when wet and came back all smudgy when dry. Uh-oh. Google assured me they would wash out in the machine but that didn't help me that afternoon. Hair camouflage to the rescue! 

This picture's really here for my Mom. I had her take a few pictures of the dress outside of the church. It bothered her that I asked for one without my head, so here's a close-up just for her. Sorry Mom, I don't regret the head-less picture though. I'm making stupid faces in the other two full length photo's :P

I'm do glad I took the time to sew something nice for me though. I shy away from that because it just takes so much longer and sewing time with little's around is pretty limited. Also the fabric issue. My stash is full of small odds and ends and things to refashion with just enough material for a kid-sized something. I will remedy this though! I have bought a couple of pieces of grownup sized fabric with big the plan of updating my wardrobe this fall. It needs it desperately, but this is also Christmas present season so we'll see what actually happens!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Salt Sock: Cat Version

Because who says practical can't be cute? 

These are super simple to make and are meant to help ear infections. I found a tutorial here. I'm writing this post in praise of the salt sock, not to show off my fabulous sewing job by the way ;) It is my new friend. It is coming to work with me today, though I'm a little nervous it will come home bacon scented since Monday is bacon day. (No, bacon day in NOT as great as it sounds. I don't eat bacon anymore.) Anyways, salt socks are cheap, easy and awesome. Do not forget this next time you or your littles have an ear infection. You won't regret making one!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mama Confession

Sometimes I'm not very good at this whole Mama thing. I know everyone has those days, it's normal and we're human, but it's hard when it's these little people of ours who pay for it. I make more good decisions than bad ones, but sometimes it feels like other people are better at this than us. So, here's my little confession.

Sophie has had a hard time adjusting to my going back to work, and I've been sick and had less time for her this past week. Not surprisingly, we had a bedtime recently that involved an epic meltdown at bath time and several trips out of bed once we got her in it. So when she appeared at her door once too often muttering what I thought was her wanting to sing me a song, my patients was done. All I could think about was the shower I desperately needed and repeated "Go to bed! Go to bed! Go to bed!" over her protests and shut myself in the bathroom until I was clean and human again. Not before I had heard her whimper "Seashell" from her bed though. But I went anyways.

What's the big deal you're thinking? She was supposed to be in bed. Mama's are allowed to be cranky by the end of the day, especially sick ones. The "Go to bed!" 's  could have been uttered without the exclamation marks but weren't unreasonable.

That's because you don't know about Seashell.
Seashell is her baby song, the lullaby that is hers alone and that I've sung to her since before she can remember. Every once in awhile when she's upset or lonely she will ask for it, and I will sit on her bed and rock her while I sing it.

Except I didn't.
My tired, sore, dirty, frustrated, self-pitying and thoroughly done self left her in the dark instead of taking two minutes to help her calm down.
Just the sort of decision that leaves you feeling like pond scum once you've relaxed (and showered).

She's probably already forgotten it. Especially since she woke up later that same evening for some water. I brought it to her, rocked her in my arms and sang, grateful for the chance to try again.

Seashell, seashell,
Sing a song for me.
Tell me about the ocean,
Tell me about the sea...