Friday, January 30, 2015

Baby Sleeper- Purl Bee Fleece Baby Jumpsuit

I'm on a bit of a a Purl Bee Soho kick... their free patterns are just so sweet and have such a lovely aesthetic.

As the start of my home-made baby layette, I decided to make their Fleece Baby Jumpsuit. I found a fantastic bamboo fleece at our local sewing store, Homespun, and it is just the perfect cozy fabric for a new baby.

It is sort of an unconventional pattern, but very cleverly thought out. I especially love how they use both sides of the fabric to provide subtle contrast and texture.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Turtle Stuffies- Purl Bee Turtle Pattern

Little Bug is soooooo into Mommies and babies, so for her birthday I decided to make her Mommy and Baby stuffies. I came across the Purl Bee turtle pattern, and which is totally free and just super cute.

I used materials I had on hand... some quilting fabric in a fun print, plain washed muslin for the head and feet, and some felt made from felted sweaters for the underside.

For the baby, I just had to sort of wing it. I sized down the pattern as best I could, trying to keep the proportions baby-ish.

It is a super easy pattern, so it came together very quickly!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

First Waldorf Doll

I was going for a mostly home-made Christmas, so I decided to make a Waldorf baby doll for my 3-year old. It was a totally fun project, and I'm so proud of the end result!

I ordered all of the supplies from A Child's Dream. It probably would have been cheaper to order a kit, but I wanted to have some extra supplies for fixing little Bug's 2 year old Waldorf doll and also making more dolls if I so felt the need!

I used the pattern for the 16-inch Button Baby. Little Bug's current Waldorf doll (purchased from Etsy) is a traditional doll, and I thought that with a baby brother on the way she might appreciate a "baby" doll Waldorf doll. It is also pretty neat that the doll can sit up on its own.

The instructions and pattern for the doll were excellent and anything that wasn't clear was pretty easy to look up online. The instructions for the button joints were somewhat confusing though, and I spent some time puzzling over them and looking up ways that other people had done button-jointing. In the end I don't think it matters a whole lot how it is done, as long as the button is placed to take the stress of the joint and the cord holding the joint is pulled nice and tight.

I could only work late at night or during naptime and I was working full-time until a week before Christmas, so it was slow going-- it took me several weeks to complete the doll! I was a little afraid I wouldn't finish in time, but in the end it all came together.

The doll pattern comes with a pattern for clothes and a diaper, which is nice, but I actually thought this part of the pattern could have used some improvement. The "diaper" doesn't fit very well, it could use better coverage in the back. I used the provided "sleeper" pattern to make a 2 piece PJ outfit hoping the pattern would save time, but actually I had to spend so much time adjusting the fit through the shoulders and over the butt.... I think I would have done better drafting my own.

Overall, the doll came out great! And it was so much fun to make. And Little Bug was very excited to receive it on Christmas day. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

"I'm a good dancer"

My little bug (now 3!) gets soooooo frustrated when I don't understand her. We were leaving the house this weekend, and she was trying to tell me something. Four words. I could not figure out what she was saying. Halfway down the steps she threw a frustration tantrum, screaming and crying and refusing to budge. I was trying to think of what she wanted, what we had left behind, where she wanted to go, etc...

After 10 minutes of this, I finally convinced her that we could not stand on the steps all day, that she should get in the car. She was still crying and screaming tears of frustration and repeating the same four words as I pulled out of the driveway and started on our way. A couple minutes down the road it finally hit me: she was saying "I'm a good dancer." We had just been dancing to the music before we left the house.

The minute I uttered those words and she was finally understood and affirmed, the tears dried up and everything was fine again.

A blogging break apology, and a short rant about working while pregnant!

Sorry I haven't blogged in ages! This fall was just consuming: commuting (1 hour each way), working full time, minding a toddler whenever I wasn't working, and being very, very pregnant. My main symptom was exhaustion, which is probably a combination of all of the above.

By the end, I was eating breakfast and lunch in the car, and getting home in time to climb into bed with my toddler, only wake up at 6:30am to do it again.

I sort of think the expectation in our society that pregnant moms are able to work right up to their due dates is crazy. Or, perhaps other women are just stronger than I am. While I like to deny it as much as every other woman who can hold up her head and continue on as if everything was normal, let me admit it right now: being pregnant is hard work. Don't even get me started on the 6 weeks maternity leave in New York State. Yes, we should be thankful that we get even that, since in the US maternity leave of any sort is a grand privilege. Most of Europe is much more civilized about it... a year in the UK, with 90 percent wages, is much more like it!

Actually, I am very fortunate to work at a college that gives a semester leave, and since the holidays, I have been home. So really, I am not complaining. But I feel for all of you other pregnant working women out there.

Anyway, despite the lack of blogging activity, making things did not completely stop. I have a whole bunch of projects to share! Maternity clothes will be upcoming... I didn't buy one item of maternity clothing this time around, I just can't bear to look at the stuff available in stores, it is just so ugly and unflattering. I also tried for a mostly home-made christmas, so I have some cute homemade christmas and birthday presents to show.