Friday, January 31, 2014

Vintage Corduroy Rufflejump

Today marks the 5th day of the Kid's Clothes Week! I cut the pieces for this and did a bit of work on it yesterday but did most of the sewing and putting together today. The pattern was for a jumper or shorts suit but I opted for long bubble pants by simply extending the leg and then adding a cuff. I also decided to line the ruffles with the cutest floral cotton I've seen in a long time!

The look is definitely vintage but in my opinion any combination of ruffles and overalls on a baby is timeless :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 4 of the daily sew project!

I know I had planned for this to be a week of sewing for my little one and the other dear little ones in my life but I had a couple of purse orders come in this week so though I worked sewing and cutting and sewing some more for a cute little outfit for my little bird today all I have to show for it is these two purses.

Pretty cute if I do say so myself! :)

The idea behind these little guys was an basic pouch from I LOVE the patterns here! They are pretty amazing and the instructions are so clear! This little pouch pattern is free so I whipped one up and thought, how much cuter if it had a face. I played with the sizing, shape, and woodlandness so technically it's a new pattern.

Every little girl needs a place to store her treasures and carry them about! (Or hide mommy's cell phone!) I first sold these at a craft show and sure enough, a little girl about my daughter's age saw them and reached out of her mom's arms and grabbed one! My little one carries her fox purse around all the time with anything from an alphabet cookie to a crayons in it!

These are available on my etsy shoppe!

Potty inquiry. Potty misery. Potty Bliss.

As a stay at home mom I have tried my best to stay out of any type of kid comparison. Speaking French at 2, composing symphonies at 4... It's hard not to find identity in your child's achievements when rearing your child is your full time job. I want to find my identity in her in some ways. I want to find my identity in how I've helped her grow in kindness, her ability to look at the world and see beauty, her sense of wonder, her easy laughter, her confidence and willingness to try. The rest is whatever. As long a she's happy and healthy that's all that matters.

When one of my mom friends discretely pulled a travel potty out of her bag and snuck her 18 month old out of library time I was shocked. Is she doing potty training? She'd talked to enough moms already to know to minimize it. "Welllll, she's been going pee pees on the potty for a few weeks now."
"Is she potty trained?"
"Errr, uhhh, she's like 90% potty trained."

The room stopped.

"WHAAAAAA???" All the moms were wide eyed and seemed immediately defensive.
"Well, Johnny pees on the potty every night"
"Avery is only 6 months but we're potty training her!"
"We would potty train Annabelle but she's so advanced in her music I'd hate to take distract her."

Ok, so truth? These are not all actual things people said, but come on moms, we've all been there! Someone else's kid is advanced at something and you catch yourself tallying up all you've done... thinking, did I do everything I could? did I forget something? AM I RUINING MY CHILD?
How quickly the mom mind can go there.

I was surprised, felt a little bad for this mom that lost the freedom of diapers, and noted that I should probably get that potty down out of the attic, dust the old thing off and give it as an option.

The first time we introduced it, our little bird ran over and peed in it. Hmm, nice! At least she's keeping up with her peers, she's peed in it once. Then the rest of that day she started telling us when she had to pee and going to the potty.

Uhhhh, I don't think I was potty training till I was 2 1/2 at least. The idea of my 19 month old showing interest was great but the thought of her actually potty training was terrifying! I had no idea what I was doing. I gave it a week. If she was still into it after a week we'd jump in. All week we stayed in our cloth diapers but she was very consistent about peeing in the potty and refused to poo anywhere else!

So we took the giant leap.

I asked my friend what in the world comes next. She said set a timer everytime you hit 30 minutes. She also said undies but I was not ready for that! We did a few days of 30 minutes, then 45, then an hour. She was doing great.

Thus began the search for big girl underwear.

My 19 month old was a small 19 month old and the smallest size undies they sell offline are 2/3 T. We took a trip to Carters and bought a 3 pack. They were so big they would fall off as she was walking around. Even now that she's 22 months I still have to plan our Carter's brand undies for days when she's wearing tights or leggings! Later we found that fruit of the loom undies fit really well and thank goodness for that. In the meantime I dug through all her old clothes that I'd already washed and stored for twobert to find the little bloomers that come with dresses. Whew! life saver!

Another thing about potty training a cloth diaper baby I'd never thought about was that without her bulky cloth covered bum she was back wearing a size smaller pants. Sometimes even 2 sizes smaller! Thank goodness for tights and leggings! :)

After a week in underwear and barely having any accidents we hit a rough patch. Accidents every day, sometimes twice a day. Crying and crying and crying on the potty. Crying to get off, crying harder when I took her off the pot. We'd both reached the end of our rope. We'd been stuck inside for 2 weeks not wanting to pee on anybody else's floors, we were tired and unnecessarily STRESSED OUT.

My little bird was wailing on the potty for like the 10th minute in a row and I was trying to sing to her, encourage her, make her laugh, MAKE HER PEE, MAKE HER STOP CRYING AND WHYINING...  and, in a dark moment of mothering I caught myself whining right back and begging her to "STOP YELLING AT ME! I DON'T CARE IF YOU WEAR DIAPERS! THIS WAS YOUR IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE!"

Then I sought good counsel. I called my friend who'd been through it the month before and I posted on my trusted Birth Center Toddler Mom's group.

So much support, so much love, so much good guidance... most of it was:

*keep it fun
*get special toys and books just for potty time
*don't push it
*as much encouragement as you can muster whenever she's successful

The last one we do really well at, but though I'd done all these in the beginning stages of potty training I'd let the first 3 slide that week. I was making us both miserable.

I apologized to my sweet girl right there when we were in the bathroom and again after I got all this great insight.

We went together the next day to get a special potty book from the library and we sang songs and didn't push it.

And go figure the accidents stopped.

***NO, they didn't stop forever. We still have an occasional accident. Bladders are still pretty small at this age and anytime juice is in the picture it just falls out whenever it pleases without poor little bird even noticing! ALSO any time we have a major schedule disrupt or too much excitement our potty stability flies out the window. (Christmas was wild!) But that's why we didn't put away our cloth diapers yet! we still use them at naptime and bedtime. (Pre Christmas she was waking up dry from both nap and bedtime... post Christmas is another story... )

Now when we are the ones sneaking out of storytime or the church nursery to go pee pees on the potty I have learned to be discrete and if we're caught I do get the occasional snide comment or eye roll for pushing my child too hard too early (even my Grammy checked to make sure I wasn't trying to push her too hard to grow up too fast... she said it so sweetly though!) I emphasize that it was her leading not me, and what a pain it is sometimes, and how smart your kid is, because I don't want people questioning their child or their parenting based on mine.

Your kid's not potty trained already? Who cares! Go on a long car ride and just slap on that diaper! You don't have to pester your kid about "do you need to go pee pees?" or in every new store you go to find the bathroom and touch everything and not pee after all that! The most important thing is always if baby is proud, happy and healthy. What more can you ask for?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sharing Plaid

This marks day 3 of the daily sewing challenge. I feel like I may have a bit of an advantage over people who work outside the home. I'm not only sewing for my daughter but I'm filling orders and sewing daily every week. I so often put the projects for others ahead of those I've started for my own little bird or my sweet nephews. I realized that this week is a chance to really push myself to focus on things for my sweets!

This dress is a repurposed men's button down shirt. My father's old button down to be precise. I love a good repurpose so whenever my parents are giving clothing to goodwill I make a point to go through it. Not too long ago my dad went through his closet and handed me a pile of shirts with this one on top. This was one of his favorites when I was growing up and the dark green plaid is soft and familiar. I knew I had to make a dress for Litttlebird out of it. She adores my dad and was so excited to find out it was his. Slight misunderstandings happen when you are talking with a not yet two year old. She told me excitedly today that this "Was Appa's dress, now my dress!" Close...

Men's button down shirts seem to wear out on the cuffs and collar but not in the large reusable pieces of fabric so I'm always trying new ways to reuse them. I have a quilt on my bed of my husband's old button downs and I have a few skirts from them. This is by far my favorite button down repurpose I've tried!

The pattern is one of my own with the matching rounded front and back. The little sleeves have just enough poof to make them charming. The use of a men's button down is obvious from the buttons up the back and the curves of the shirttail kept intact.

Finally, I'll add, that yes, the only way my little girl will pose is if she is bribed with a "Lolli Plop". *Sigh*

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cassius Coon Butt pants

I'm participating in Kid's Clothes Week, a gathering of sewers, designers and even just people trying to sew more. It provides a community where we who sew can be inspired by getting a chance to see what our peers are making. It also is a commitment to spend a part of every day of one week setting aside everything else and sewing clothing for kids.

Day one I spent dreaming and digging through fabric. Finally I settled on a wonderful vintage kids' pattern that my Grammy gave me and I sat down and began cutting some petal pink fabric.

Today is day 2 and I did get a bit more time to cut some new pieces and get some real sewing in. Sweet Littlebird took a good long nap (that didn't end in a stinky diaper thank goodness!!!) and I used every second I got to cut and sew. Tonight my father in law came over to play with Wren and I got a surprise date with my sewing machine. The old girl done good! :)

I started my Etsy shoppe ( ) just about 4 months ago and most of my business there and at craft shows is from my woodland dresses and shoes. I've gotten lots of positive feedback about my dresses and slippers but I've also gotten frustrated comments from moms of baby boys who pick up the dresses and sigh, and put them back saying "There's never anything cute for boys!"


I present to you:

From the front these are classy wool pants, from the inside these are NOT itchy at all since they are lined with flannel, and from the back they are unbearably cute!

to make it even better, I drafted the pattern for the raccoon face and I'm going to scan my pattern and post it to you so can raccoon any pants! The face is only felt so it's easy to work with and doesn't need to be hemmed!

I'll be posting this in the next couple of week hopefully!

Monday, January 27, 2014

 Lately whenever we ask littlebird what she dreamed about when she napped or slept she always gives the same answer.


I love the idea of her dancing through a land of chocolate and I imagine she is wearing a hat something like this as she splashes in chocolate milk puddles and dances in falling chocolate apple blossom petals.

This is the same self-drafted pattern as the sweet bunny coat, minus the coat :) The hood is fairly simple and helmet like but with the bow chin tie and the woodland whimsy ears it's perfectly suited for chocolate dreams.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spring is the time for Bunnies!

I come from a long line of sewers which means I have inherited some wonderful quirky patterns. One of the patterns caught my Grammy's eye way back and she used it to make a robe for my mom when she was in college. When I was pregnant I was told you MUST have a robe when you are in the hospital and when you are home with your baby. (mind you, I've never been much of a Robe person. I'm not a walk around the house nude person either, just more of a wear yoga pants and a sweater kind of person.) But in a fit of pregnancy terror I made myself a robe. (I didn't want to find myself robeless in case what they said was right and It was pivitol to my success as a new mom.) I got most of the way done with the robe when I realized I'd never wear a robe, not this robe, not any robe. But as I was cutting the pattern and piecing it together I fell in love with the lines of the pattern. The way the yoke and sleeves were one piece. Brilliant! I'd been sketching baby dress ideas and realized that this sleeve line while kind of dated on a ladies' dress would be unbearably cute on a wee tot.

I drafted the pattern for the baby dress and then added a hood and then added bunny ears to the hood (because everybaby needs a good set of bunny ears) and realized in a tweed this would be the PERFECT COAT for my little bird!

I hit up my local Goodwill and picked out a very ugly L.L. Bean coat but saw the potential it held. I've always been one to root for the underdog. I brought it home, butchered it up, stitched it together with some warm blush pink flannel as a lining, pulled it on my little bird and *GASP* the cutest little coat that every existed!

I should note that I'd seen coats on Etsy and Pinterest that had bunny ears but they always looked stiff, uncomfortable, and not containing nearly the amount of whimsy in the lines of the coat to support such fabulous woodlandish ears!

I've used use this pattern to create ear hoods, other earless coats and even some button up dresses for my little bird. It really is such an easy to use pattern and it's so incredibly versatile. I am working to get it turned into a PDF pattern to put up for sale on Etsy. If you want to make one of these for a little girl in your life just keep your eyes peeled... soon and very soon :)

The coat below is for sale at my etsy shoppe:

same pattern sans ears in sweet cotton and repurposed floral upholstery remnants.
Best part: it's totally reversible!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Advent and a New Year

    Advent this year was beautiful. Our little bird is almost 2 and old enough to understand the excitement and anticipation of Christmas to some extent. Buying the tree and decorating it, listening to Bing and Perry Como crooning, and finally being able to see Christmas lights out the car windows at night all fed this excitement for Christmas. In my humble opinion you can never have too much excitement for Christmas so we put together an advent calendar filled with treats (yogurt covered raisins were the big hit but Trader Joe's freeze dried mangos and raspberries were quickly gobbled too!)

I'd seen beautiful groupings of birdhouses on pinterest and the thought came to me to do an advent calendar of birdhouses.

My mom had a baby bird themed baby shower for me in the time before we even met our littlebird. She saw a display at Nordstrom and asked what they planned to do with all the bird houses when the display was changed. They told her to come back in a few weeks and she could buy them for cents each. We have plenty of birdhouses to choose from! The birdhouses are basically paper covered cardstock so pulling off the tacky rhinestones and painting them was easy. My husband engineered it so the tops lifted for easy treat hiding and finding. He did all the measuring for the wood above the doors and hung them while I did all the arranging and tagging.



   Nothing gives you the same feeling of anticipation as being greatly with child yourself during this time of expectant waiting or even having a new baby yourself. This year we felt well past new baby and don't have any new life coming any time soon so we chose to anticipate with yogurt covered raisins and sweet little bird houses.