Thursday, 13 May 2010

Kids Clothing Challenge Update

I'm a little discouraged with my sewing progress. I'm pleased that I've got myself working in my sewing room every day this week so far as challenged. The problem is I'm beginning to feel as though I'm going to end the week with only one outfit made (and I haven't actually finished that one yet). This is the pattern I've been working on and a glimpse at the work in progress:

It's not a particularly complicated garment, I did make it a little trickier for myself by essentially making two dresses though. The floral print I bought is fairly thin so I knew it would need something worn underneath and so actually decided to cut the pattern pieces also in another fabric to line the garment (I'm joining them together where there's binding at the neck and sleeves and at the opening in the back). Still, I'm not sure what's taking me so long!! Hopefully my daughter will like it, now I'm debating whether I should save it to be a birthday dress since if it's taking me this long I don't know whether I'll get round to more before then!

I haven't actually done the best job of getting sewing on clothes done today anyway to be honest. This morning I ended up spending most of my daughter's school time at her school - they have an assembly for the whole school which parents can attend once a week and I thought I'd go and see that but it meant sitting around for quite a while afterwards as the mother I'd got a ride with was in a meeting. I did do some sewing for my child though, here's a peek at what I was working on:
This is as far as I got because it turned out I had brought the wrong green embroidery floss with me so then I started unravelling the knitting project I've been working on (another reason I'm a bit discouraged with my crafting right now) to restart because I just wasn't happy with the way it was fitting. Here's hoping that tomorrow I can actually manage to finish something!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Day 2

Well, I did sew today for more than the one hour, unfortunately I guess I'm not the fastest sewer so I do not have anything ready to show and tell about yet. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. I have most of the sewing done for the outer part of the dress so I need to finish up the lining and put binding around neck and sleeves and then hem. I have matching trousers cut and ready to sew too. Then it'll be time to make something for the baby.

Hopefully I'll build enough sewing momentum this week to carry me through until the new baby comes and will then actually manage to get through the list of things to make I came up with yesterday (and have thought of more things to add to today of course!).

While I work on my sewing I like to catch up with my BBC radio listening (mostly Radio 4 and 7). I forgot yesterday to mention a series that I've been listening to (currently running on BBC Radio 7) which seems particularly appropriate listening for this sewing challenge - it's called The Invention of Childhood looking at what we know about childhood from the middle ages through to the present day. Each episode is available to "listen again" to for 7 days after broadcast, the first couple of episodes are now gone unfortunately but the series has a total of 30 episodes (each 15 minutes long.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Time to Sew!!

I hope everyone for whom it was Mothers Day yesterday had a good day. Mine was not exactly the day I wished for going into it - my husband and I had talked about me having the afternoon to myself while he took our daughter to see his mother. In the end I went with them which was good but also a little stressful in places and since I napped in the car on the way down I didn't get as much crafting done as I'd thought I would manage.

Maybe I changed my mind because I was feeling a little territorial since the first thing my daughter said upon waking up on Mother's Day was, "I'm so excited because we're going to see Memere today!" Then turned and confided in whispers to my husband that though she'd finished the collage she'd decided to make her Memere the one for me wasn't done so, "maybe I can finish it and give it to her next year" - so nothing for me for Mothers Day morning! She did draw me a picture (of a "rainbow house") while we were in church and then cuddle up in my lap and tell me how much she loves me which is the best gift after all. Plus then the three of us went out for brunch which was very nice. And I suppose there's a teeny tiny chance I'll get another opportunity for a day to myself before I go into labour...

Really though I can't complain because although it can be hard work and exhausting this is where I wanted to be in life - a SAHM with an amazing daughter and a new baby on the way - and there was a time I wondered whether it would happen for me (after several years of trying to get pregnant we lost our first daughter due to a placental abruption about 23 weeks into my pregnancy). And how can I be anything but thankful when there are so many women out there still waiting and hoping, and for some, trying to figure out how to grieve and move on from their dreams of motherhood? When we got home and my daughter was in bed I read a couple of posts that were exactly what I needed to be reading right then, check out this blog post at Uppercase Woman (watch the video too), and the Huffington Post article PBS's 'This Emotional Life': Now Is the Moment to Hold Your Child by Catherine Connors (her brief Mothers Day blogpost is here with a poem by Christina Rossetti). You may well need to get tissues first though.

But wait, this post was supposed to be about sewing wasn't it, whoops! I signed up to join in with elsiemarley's kids clothes week challenge - which is to spend at least one hour a day working on sewing clothes for children for the upcoming season.

I'm hoping I can follow through with it better than I did with eskimimi's knitting and crochet blog week challenge - I started working on the blogposts every day but most of them are currently still in draft form waiting to see if I'll ever finish them. This is largely due to my amazing indecisiveness -- picking just one pattern or designer or knitter is so hard! Just looking at my queue and lists of favourites at ravelry will give you an inkling of how much time I wasted going back and looking through and thinking about and narrowing down what to write about! It did get me knitting again though so that's good -- I'm working on a mini-sweater (aka boobholder) after obsessing over cropped not too warm quick to knit patterns to make and wear at a wedding we have coming up (I have a long black dress and wanted something pretty and colourful which I can wear over my almost ready to pop belly to make me look more wedding like and less funereal).

But to this week's challenge... I did not get quite as far as any actual sewing today but I have been going through my fabric and patterns trying to decide on projects for the week and have cut out fabric for a dress for my daughter, she doesn't really need any more summer dresses but can one have too many? Tomorrow is her long day at preschool so hopefully I'll get some daytime sewing in that might allow for daylight picture taking. I've been looking through pictures people have posted to the flickr group, some really cute stuff already. I'm a little afraid that if I start visiting all the participating blogs I might never actually get any sewing done though so perhaps I'll wait on that until I've posted at least one finished object of my own.

So what I'd like to try and get to this week would be:

  • a dress or two, and perhaps some twirly skirts for my daughter
  • also what she actually needs is be some shorts and summery trousers so that's on my list for sure
  • a sun hat or three would not go amiss since I don't know what happened to the ones we had last summer so right now she just has a purple baseball cap which is really a bit too big for her

I didn't actually go through the baby patterns yet but it's probably what I should really work on - some thoughts for that:
  • kimono tops
  • trousers
  • cloth diapers
  • cloth baby shoes
Now I kind of wish we'd found out whether the baby will be a girl or a boy 'cause if it's a girl I could safely make some baby clothes to coordinate with the dresses for my daughter which I bet she'd get a kick out of. Well I'll save the offcuts and see what happens, perhaps I can use the more girly fabric for doll clothes if it's a boy.

I have another sewing WIP to share at some point, and it's even for my daughter but it's not clothing so maybe I'll take a break from working on it until next week. I'm hoping to finally make her a quilt to give her a special birthday/big sister gift (baby's due in June, her birthday is in July). I'm excited about it and hope I can get it done - it involves embroidery which I need to do before piecing the quilt so I hope I'm not being ridiculously ambitious.

At some point I should probably really be cleaning the house so we can invite people over to see the new baby when it arrives. Oh yes, and actually get the house ready for having a newborn in it again since we've not had changing stations set up around for a long time. Ugh, I'm tiring myself out just thinking about it, the baby on the other hand is doing a little high kicking!