Short Pants for the Boy

Three evenings of late-night sewing and Silas has three new pairs of shorts just in time for the warm weather that is upon us. The morning after I finished the last pair and he found them lying in his room he said to me, "mama, I wish that I could wear the shorts that you made every single day!" Well gee, little bug, you sure know how to melt your mama's heart and ensure that she will keep making you shorts until the cows come home.

I used this pattern and it was exactly what I was looking for. Easy enough for me to follow, but really cute and with plenty of options for customization once I gain the confidence. When I told him I was going to make him some shorts for the summer, the only request that Silas made was that they were "very very soft." Can do. The brown and green pairs I made in cotton terry (left over from this teething doll that I made for him over 3 years ago!) and the grey pair is sweatshirt material and all three passed the softness test.

I'm totally addicted to kids' clothes sewing. When Silas was a newborn I found my creative outlet in baking rustic fruit desserts, which was odd because I generally don't enjoy baking at all. In fact, there have been hardly any pies at all since that summer. This time around, though, it's sewing kids' clothes. I love it.

Pants for the Baby

Two new pairs of pants for the Little Miss. I sewed the pair on the right before Theda was born. It was my first time ever cutting out and following a pattern and I struggled mightily. I'm the type of person who is irrationally upset by failure and I have a tendency to give up rather than to risk failing again. It's one of those little personality traits that I'm working on. So, in an effort to better myself, I decided to give them another go. I cut the pieces out for the second pair the afternoon before I went into labor and was finally able to sit down in front of the sewing machine one evening last week to piece them together. This time, it all went so smoothly! I'm actually excited to make them again in a larger size for the fall.

I'm sure you already know because it's such a popular pattern, but they are the Quick Change Trousers from Horner's Handmade Beginnings. All fabrics were already in my stash; remnants from other projects (mostly this bunting from Silas' first birthday). In the pair on the left: Heather Moore's Free as a Bird, Amy Butler's Eyelash Pine, and Workshop #11171 by Oliver + S. In the pair on the right: Heather Ross' Wildflowers, an unknown polka dot, and (don't laugh) the farm fabric is reclaimed from a pair of organic cotton boxers I bought for Steve, but that he refused to wear. They were organic cotton and ridiculously expensive! I couldn't just throw them away!

Kickin' Back Pants

It took a full four years, but I finally sewed an article of clothing for my little boy. They're the Kickin' Back Sweats from Sewing for Boys by Shelly Figueroa and I used some blue linen and a patterned cotton that I found at the thrift store for a couple dollars. These are super easy to sew and I made them in a single night, although this incredibly inexperienced sewer did need to seek out some help from my local sewing circle to figure out the pattern...luckily those talented ladies are up late sewing (and checking Facebook!) just as I was.

I had a huge burst of sewing motivation in the two weeks before Theda was born. If she had waited one more day to arrive, I probably would have made a matching shirt for these pants. I'd still like to try my hand at one, but Silas has requested more pants, so those are at the top of the to-make list. Now I just need to figure out how to nurse a 3-week-old while sitting at the sewing machine...

Layers of the Soil

Exploring soil this week. Bedrock, subsoil, top soil, leaf litter. Sprouting seeds. Dark crescents under our nails. Dirty hands. Happy that spring is here.

Rock On! Uke Strap

Now that this gift has been given, I think that I can safely share it here! Silas' best friend turned 4 last month and we were on the hunt for a project that we could make together to give to him. I asked Silas what his friend likes and he said, "cars and music." Knowing that the kiddo had just received an awesome ukulele, we decided to make him a strap to use with it.

Steve was skeptical, but a quick Pinterest search showed that this is apparently a commonly sought after item; there were several tutorials. I blended a couple of them to make a strap that perfectly fit our needs. I borrowed the top snapped portion from this tutorial.

And was inspired by this tutorial for the other half. It called for a self-adhesive hook, but I wasn't sure that our gift recipient would want to attach something to his ukulele that might damage the finish. Not sure what else to use, the answer came to me during one of my many middle-of-the-night-late-pregnancy wakings. A suction cup hook. It works perfectly.

A little embellishment on the back (and, yes, I did realize that his name was sewn on upside down. After much gnashing of teeth I did rip out all the stitches and sew it back on correctly).

Throw in some sheet music, and you have a pretty fantastic gift for a preschooler! We made another one for Silas (in red - his favorite color of the moment) so that he and his friend can jam together.

This project was a lot of fun to work on with Silas. He was an awesome helper and he chose every element - from the color of the straps to which buckles to use. Very fun collaboration! 

More Booties for the Babe

This is what I was knitting when I went into labor with Theda. I cast them on the day before my due date (which was also the day on which I put my money in the when-will-this-baby-be-born pool) and finished one bootie that night. The following Sunday, after our equinox fire, after pork loin for dinner, after kissing Silas goodnight and tucking him in to bed, I sat on the couch with Steve and pulled out the second bootie, which was only 10 or so rows shy of completion. At that point, I was already pretty sure that we would have a baby by morning, but labor had not yet started at all. I got about two rows in when I had to pause and focus to deal with a contraction. Six more rows and six more pauses and I tucked my needles away for the night, not being able to at all concentrate on anything outside my body anymore. A short hour and a half later Theda was born.

The pattern is Baby Uggs and I knit them in Mission Falls 1824 cotton that I had in my stash. The construction is pretty ingenious, but I found the pattern to be somewhat frustrating. The instructions are pretty straightforward, but the diagram confused me more than helped me. Once I turned off my brain, though, and just knit what was written, it all came together. We'll have to wait a bit for photos of them on little baby feet, though...they are sized for 3-6 months and they are quite huge on the little miss.

Joining Ginny.