Sunday, July 27, 2014

Partly Cloudy Dress

 Lately my little bird has been making lots of cloudy rainbow scenes in her drawings. I wanted to make her a dress that captured the lone fluffy white cloud in a perfectly sunny sky. Here's what I came up with! Sewing this was a fun challenge. I used my self drafted dress pattern that I use for the base for all the fox dresses in my etsy shoppe and simply drafted a the cloud collar for it.
I love working with light weight cotton when sewing for children. It's comfortable, breathable, forgiving and easy to wash!

Romping Whales!

Another day another romper!
I found this pattern at Joann's when McCall's patterns were like 99 cents each and I immediately saw potential in the easy breeziness of this pattern! My little bird and I were walking down the aisles the same trip and she picked out the whale fabric herself! I couldn't resist! :) adorable!
The pattern was easy to use and simple but it did run about a size and a half too big... maybe my seam allowances were off (I'll allow that) but she'll be wearing this more next summer for sure! :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Drawing together and sewing together

The time has come for another kid's clothes week!!! I spent this past weekend at my best friend's wedding and then the next morning we flew out to Chicago for my college roommate's wedding! Needless to say the beginning of this week was spent sleeping, napping and wishing I was sleeping! Hence the late start in posting projects! The inspiration this time around is Kid's Art. I loved the idea of the kid's art inspiration and since my daughter spend so much of our time watercolouring, crayoning over our watercolors, then penning/inking over all that I figured why not spend some time drawing on some fabric to make my little bird wearable art!
Years ago my dearest friend gave me a box of these awesome fabric crayons! I looked for more of them on amazon since mine are getting pretty old (at least 15 years???) and they are so cheap! We'll be doing way more projects with these in the future! My 2 year old had such an easy time using them! I made sure to tape down our fabric so it wouldn't slide around but they draw on as easily as oil pastels and blend just as nicely (though we aren't really at that point yet!!). I think our next project with these will be a pair of lounge pants or maybe a box mailed to my nephews with precut fabric for pj pants for them!
 This was my very first time rouching or smocking with elastic thread on the bobbin in my machine. Super easy! Absolutely adorable! I used the end of a bolt of muslin I've had for forever and used to make all the curtains for my downstairs as well as lots of pattern pieces. I LOVE the simplicity of muslin. It's perfectly light and breezy for summer! I just keep thinking I need to make more clothing for myself out of muslin!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This is attachment parenting?

When my little bird was inside my belly, rolling and hiccupping, I knew exactly how to parent. I'd done my research; I'd watched friends and family bring up lovely, capable, confident kids. I felt no fear about what to do with baby.

And then we went to the hospital and my sweet little breech bird was placed into my arms and I forgot everything I knew about parenting, everything I'd heard, everything I'd seen and I just did what my instincts told me was best for my little one.

Breastfeeding was my number one priority when I got out of an hour of recovery and finally got to hold my little redhead. My husband handed our little girl to me and I told him to kick everybody out of the room. Our first attempts were silly and awkward. Dan resisted commenting for the most part, later saying he thought we were doing it wrong... (maybe because the one time he said that I didn't even see him but said, totally focused on little bird "it'll come") and it did. After 2 attempts she showed me what she needed from me and I really felt like she was teaching me how to do it. From that first good latch we had pain, we had not enough milk coming in at first, we had supplemental formula for a day because of lack of education, and then my milk came in and we never looked back.

Whenever she cried or fussed I breastfed her and she stopped crying and fussing. My mom stayed with me for the first 2 weeks after she was born and visited frequently after and remarked how she'd never heard this baby cry. Certainly there were nights when the darkness felt too heavy and she'd cry despite our efforts to soothe. All babies have nights like that.

Our nighttime routine involved holding her while she slept and Dan and I ate dinner and watched quiet tv or read. Around 10 we'd go up to bed and she'd sleep next to my side of the bed in the pack and play. When she woke to eat, Dan would bring her to me or I'd get her out once my C-section incision was healed. I'd nurse her until she was asleep then Dan would put her back in her crib.

Around 6 months in I had a few nights where I fell asleep when Littlebird was nursing and I'd wake with her next to me and be terrified that she'd fall off our toweringly high bed or that I'd roll over and squish her.

I did my research and realized that if I put our thin mattress on the floor and got rid of our blankets co-sleeping was not only doable but the safest thing for us. The first few nights of her being in the bed between me and a bedrail our whole family's sleep improved exponentially! I learned quickly to sleep through her mid-night nursings and she learned to roll over, latch and then roll away to her area.

When I was pregnant I knew I'd never co-sleep, it was too dangerous. It only took me a few times of our little baby almost falling over the side of our bed to convince me that this was the safest option for us! Besides being safe it seemed all of our friends were talking about how many times they had to get up at night and getting baby back to sleep. I never participated because in those conversations "if you don't have anything bad to say don't say anything at all!" A dear friend who was also co-sleeping confided in me that she was sleeping great and didn't want to tell anybody else because they wouldn't understand.

For the first 4 months my little bird would not sleep unless she was on someone. In the beginning I didn't want to put her down. After a month or two I was ready for some space but she wasn't. We tried and tried but she wouldn't sleep anywhere but my arms or in the moby wrap which helped immensely when I needed to get work done. I worried and researched and complained until I realized that this little one in my arms would only be this size, this peaceful, this happy to just smell me for such a short time. It was then I resolved myself to enjoying every single second of this fleeting time. I watched her sleep, read, listened to music, enjoyed the quiet, planned her first birthday party, and soon enough she didn't want to be held during her naps anymore.

We moved her naps up to my bed where I nursed her to sleep and then detached and spent the next 2 hours getting work done and catching up on all the alone time I'd lost in those months of her only sleeping on me.

At night time I'd nurse her to sleep and my husband would put her in her crib for the first part of the night starting around 9 months. This suddenly gave us alone time! Sometimes she'd last 10 minutes, sometimes until I came upstairs for bed myself. Amazing how she could always smell me and would wake up wanting to nurse!

Somewhere in the midst of this co-sleeping, baby wearing, cloth diapering, exclusively breast feeding, no crying sleep untraining, probably around 6 months a friend asked what I thought about all the attachment parenting stuff. I had no idea it even existed. I looked at the website and found that a lot of it resonated with me just because that had seemed to be the natural way to parent.

Once I found myself identifying as a sort of attachment parent person I joined some facebook groups and found them to be kind of a turn off. There was so much defending and accusing going on I realized maybe this wasn't the best fit for me. I had my strong beliefs about why I didn't want to do cry it out with my baby but I would never presume to say what another parent should or shouldn't do, let alone to say their parenting decisions were causing their child harm. So much of what I read was negative it almost seemed to color my parenting. All of the sudden I felt I needed to defend myself. All this time my mom, my Grammy, and my mother in law saw the way we were parenting and only commented on how happy, how bright, how peaceful our child was. I never had to defend myself to my family but now I was feeling like I had to defend myself to total strangers!

When my littlebird was about a year old I met some dear friends for a playdate and they were talking about how they had been to a gathering with a bunch of attachment parent people who were completely narcissistic and judgmental. They asked if I knew anyone who did that stuff and I realized they had no idea that I was parenting very much the same way these people were. I admitted, head down, cheeks flushed, that we co slept, I made all of birdie's food from scratch, I did baby led weaning, I did cloth diapering, we did baby wearing, we didn't do sleep training, and that would put me into the attachment parenting camp. They turned to me and said
"Yeah, but you're not like them!"
This was one of the first times I felt brave enough to admit to our "unusual parenting ways" and they smiled, asked me more and were happy that it worked for us and happy that we were happy. They didn't think my way was better than theirs and neither did I. It was just better for me.

Hmm... is that what attachment parenting is? Trying to convert everyone you know to natural parenting and spreading guilt where ere you go?

Blegh! Count me out. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, nursing till she's done, picking her up when she's crying, but I refuse to tell a working mom that she is doing a bad job if she isn't up all night rocking her toddler!

I love our style of parenting, whatever it is called, and it suits our little family perfectly right now. We still co-sleep now for part of the night and our daughter is almost 2. About 3 months ago she started going down for her naps alone and awake. She didn't cry. She was ready. For about 1 month now she's gone to bed at night awake in her crib too. I nurse her before bed but make sure she's awake when I put her in her crib. I cherished nursing her to sleep for her naps and bedtime and I do miss the snuggles and listening to her breathing slow and get heavy but the joy of seeing her grow and develop overshadows this little loss. Soon we will be moving into the nightweaning phase but for now one time a night, around 3 am my little girl rolls over to me and snuggles with me and nurses briefly before falling back asleep. It's so brief and normal I rarely wake up anymore.

For me the best part of co-sleeping is waking up every morning to a little voice saying "Hi Mama!" and opening my eyes to see a little smiling face a few inches from mine. I have the cutest alarm clock ever!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April is the time when clouds roll in and skies turn that gorgeous blue grey colour right before the rain comes. April means we're dying to get outside and play but rain may keep us in for yet another day of puzzles and watercolours. This coat with all it's irregular scalloped edges is an effort to mimic cloud shapes and that lovely grey blue colour minus the limiting rain.

This is my own pattern design and I hope to get a PDF out there soon!!!

In the meantime, we'll wear our cloud coat and skip and play and find eggs and revel in the beauty and mud that are spring!!!

Pretty Pink Peter Pan Peplum!

  We've just made it to the point where spring has stretched and yawned and sprouted jonquils and crocuses everywhere! The sunshine is intoxicating. April is cruel though and those mornings in the 40's mean we can't put away our winter warmth quite yet. This pretty little fleece peterpan collared pixie peplum in petal pink... (how many more p's can I get away with using?) is my response to the dread of pulling out that same old fleece vest. It has all the warmth of the fleece fabric but it exudes pale pink tulip bliss! I'd like to think Audrey Hepburn would've worn this in her size had there been fleece back then :)
The sewing was shockingly easy with no need to French seam! I used the same pattern I do for all my fox dresses, added sleeves and a peter pan collar and used fleece! easy-peasy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Huckleberry Pickin' Overalls

My little Huck Finn and I were out in our garden putting in strawberries and broccoli and onions today and knees were dirtied and boots were scuffed and spiders were yelled about. She needed the perfect ensemble to suit our gardening needs and this is the perfect pair of overalls. The pants are based off a basic toddler pants pattern but I subtracted pockets and added the waist, bib, and straps. What a lovely little creation this turned out to be and what a perfect fit! I love the tied overall straps because it means this outfit may make it to fall with the give of the elastic and the adjustable length in the straps! Plus they just look so sweet!

We test drove these overalls working on our new (3rd) raised bed we plan on filling with tomatoes this year! I'm sure our little bird will get these sweet soft stripey pants well broken in by the time we sink our teeth into the years first tomato!

Ice Cream Romper!!!

I scream you scream we all scream for this cold to pull up it's petticoats and run away and let us finally get warm enough days for shorts and popsicles.

This is the same pattern I used for the corduroy pants jumper just a cute little balloon shorts version.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kids Sewing Week Challenge is here again!!!

So glad for the chance to be challenged again to work on/finish clothes for my sweet little bird! I am a project starter but not as much of a project finisher so this challenge gives me the opportunity to pick pieces I cut but never brought to the sewing machine or design new items and whip them up for my sweet girl. I spent time today cutting and sewing a few different pieces but only got one finished and these pants are the only thing my little one would deign to wear! Once she put them on she refused to take them off so that's a little compliment to the chef I suppose?

Gypsy pants are all over the place in kids' clothes and I understand why. I got a pair when Hubs and I were visiting Thailand and they are the most comfortable thing ever! I decided to use this fun flannely train conductor fabric I got for shockingly cheap at Jomar... scary place but super cheap fabric!!! You can't see how soft this fabric is but it's wonderful! I took a 2T pair of pants to get the length right on the legs but the rest was just cutting out a basic shape with my scissors and sewing it together. I used a small piece of organic cotton knit as the waistband and bango presto... PANTS!

She's pretty cute!

The watermelon ukulele was our gift to Sweet Girl on her 2nd birthday! Truth? She's not terribly interested but I on the other hand can't seem to stop playing it! I LOVE the sound of the little watermelon! My favorite to play on it is Hard Times by Gillian Welch Love that song!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Birthday Parties with Woodland Friends!

 Our Little Bird is getting big so fast! 2 is such a busy age full of imaginative play (our toys talk and have long conversations with each other, mostly at a very high pitch!), singing, cooking imaginary meals, and reading. I wanted to give our big girl a birthday that she'd love so on her actual birthday we invited all her favorite people to dinner (Just family. She was so excited that everybody was together in one place! She had a blast and felt so loved!) A week later we planned a friend birthday party for her and had 4 two year old buddies come out to par-tay! And party we did!!!

I wanted to do something creative for party favors and thought it perfectly appropriate to make all the little guys T-shirts turning them into woodland friends! I was so excited by this project I am going to be putting these on my Etsy Shoppe !!!

 I made our little bird a fox birthday ensemble upon her request :)

 I whipped up some funny woodland ears and bows and bowties to serve as props for a photo booth. I picked up some fabric and put together a pinky woodland backdrop.

It turned out to be a wonderful day of pals and partying! Happy Birthday little one! You brighten our lives more every single day!!!