Oooh Baby, Baby

Oooh Baby, Baby

It is just so much fun to make and gift a creation for someone’s new, human creation — a baby! Yes, another new baby in the extended family. A baby girl with a big sister to watch over her and teach her the ropes. And most likely there will be some occasional hair pulling, toy stealing and other less-than-model behavior, but that’s what helps make younger siblings so resilient (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself about the situation in my house).

With my daughter a short but healthy 13 month old, wearing mostly size 24-month clothing (pants rolled up!), I am forced to acknowledge I am no longer the mother to an infant.  Although she is obviously far from independence, she is becoming more and more of an individual each day. Words are forming; new skills attempted and then honed. Her personality is blooming.

So now I have to get my infant fix from child-bearing friends and family.

Obviously I had many months notice that this baby was coming; and I even knew it was a baby girl. But while I spent time mulling over what would be fun to make for her, I did not actually put needle and thread to fabric. She was born in November, and I’m just now mailing this out. So I’m a little behind in welcoming her to the family. But not for lack of excitement or joy for her arrival! Having my own November baby, I know how easily the impending holidays and end of the year stuff can overtake new baby celebrations. I swear that last year it felt like Daisy was born and then suddenly it was mid-January, and somewhere in between I think had been Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, New Years, etc., although it’s all kind of fuzzy.

 

Both the pants and the skirt are made from corduroy fabric paired with a ribbed knit waistband. To create a pattern for the pants, I traced a pair of my daughter’s outgrown pants, and then added a tall knit waistband as opposed to making a casing for a more traditional elastic waistband. The corduroy fabric is so soft (I want pants this soft!) and I loved the big bright dots. A bundle of visual and tactile stimulation for baby.

And since all the ooh-ing and aah-ing over a new baby can take its toll on an older sibling, something special for big sister was a must! I wasn’t sure if my cousin is a fan of matching outfits for siblings, so I decided to go with a complementary fabric for big sister, as opposed to the same fabric I used for the pants. The print on the skirt fabric seemed sweetly suited for its recipient.  For big sister’s skirt, I made a yoga-style knit waistband that can be folded over. These projects were actually my first time making knit waistbands. They provide both a casual and a bit more contemporary look than traditional waistbands, and they are pretty forgiving in sizing. A mommy-sized knit skirt may be in my future…

So, welcome little one, and congratulations, big sister! You make a beautiful pair! Now I should probably start planning a baby boy project, because it’s only a few months until the next addition to our extended family!

Purple Pierrot

Purple Pierrot

2013 has arrived and I think it’s about time I show this blog some love, since I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. Speaking of 2013, I can’t help but wonder, if you’re superstitious about the number “13” have you already written this year off, figuring that nothing is going to go right? Seriously, 2013 has got to be a superstitious person’s worst nightmare. You mean there’s a “13” in every day for a whole year? Well, thankfully that’s not me. I have plenty of other kooky things that are taking up valuable real estate in my brain and keeping me up at night. [And on the subject of sleep, personal note to daughter: You are now 13 months old. It is time to start sleeping through the night!]

For my birthday at the end of November, I set a few personal goals for the year ahead; and since I didn’t exactly start executing them right away, I’m recycling them as 2013 New Year’s resolutions. (That’s fair, right? I mean, recycling is a good thing, right?) I categorized my goals in terms of more and less.

More:

  1. photos: take more photos, whether by camera or phone
  2. patterns: create a few things using real sewing patterns, not just the patterns I draw for myself
  3. sew an article of clothing for myself (sewing grown-up clothes scares me!)
Less:
  1. sugar
  2. complaining (bound to be difficult due to #1)
  3. people-pleasing (I’ll spare you the psychology on this one)
So, let this post serve as proof that I am pursuing one of my goals — more creations from real sewing patterns! I made this fun tunic for my daughter from the Pierrot Tunic Sewing Pattern by Made By Rae.

I guess this fabric really isn’t purple. More like raspberry ice cream. But I liked the alliteration of “purple pierrot”, so let’s all just pretend my title is accurate. (I seriously had to hold back from adding a caption to the top photo, “my purple pierrot is perfect for packing parcels”. Hey, I never claimed that I’m not a dork.) I didn’t even know what “Pierrot” meant/was until I looked it up on Wikipedia did some in-depth research. And I’m still not entirely sure my pronunciation is spot-on. Oh well, I guess I’m just winging this whole thing today.

Made By Rae‘s blog is really great. She’s talented, funny and full of good tips, tutorials and inspiration. I saw the Pierrot tunics she debuted a while back and loved them. I purchased the pattern with hopes of making a tunic during Kids Clothes Week Challenge in the Fall, but it didn’t happen. I finally just got around to trying it out. The pattern was easy to follow and full of pictures. Now why can’t most commercial patterns be written in such a manner? Maybe then I wouldn’t have such “real pattern” phobia. The only modification I made was to add two ruffles to the neckline, as opposed to one ruffle, as suggested by the pattern. The additional ruffle was due to the fact that I accidentally cut the first ruffle piece more narrow than the pattern instructs. The ruffled neckline is what makes this tunic so darn cute, so a narrow ruffle just wasn’t going to cut it for me. I added a second, wider ruffle under the narrow ruffle to compensate for my silly cutting error.

Typically when I’m thinking about a sewing project, I have a particular fabric in mind. In this case I was excited about trying the pattern but nothing in my fabric pile was shouting for my attention.  I ended up using a fine wale corduroy for the tunic. I had just enough of the fabric for the size 18-24 months pattern; and actually I skimped on the length of the ruffle pieces. The corduroy had its pros and cons. I really like the color, and the corduroy added more structure to the Pierrot ruffled neckline, which I think is awesome in all its standing-up glory. On the other hand, I think a woven cotton or a linen would allow for a more beautiful drape. I also think that since corduroy generally requires more thought and work — checking that the direction of the nap is consistent across the pieces, and being so careful when pressing to avoid crushing the wales and leaving marks — that sometimes the extra element of caution can detract a bit from the fun of the project. I will definitely make this pattern again (and conveniently the pattern includes 0-3 months up to 5T), and will put some of my light, summery prints to use.

And Daisy is enjoying the tunic. So far it has proven to be perfectly suitable for

posing

climbing the stairs (even if you’re not allowed to)

being taunted by your brother about not being allowed to climb the stairs alone

pouting (hey, it’s not all fun and games around here!)

crawling

and snacking!

I hope your 2013 is off to a great start — even if you’re not dressed in alliterative splendor!