Monday, November 8, 2010

Afternoon Kindergarten

We drop the boys off at the elementary school at about 8:15 a.m.

I, in my sweats (yep, one of those moms), Samantha in her flannel nightgown.

We don't get out of the van, of course.

Then we come home and have some cereal. Check the email. Listen to some NPR. You know the drill.

As I clean up the morning kitchen mess from breakfast and lunch prep, Samantha prattles on about the things little girl prattle on about. Plastic kitchen toys she'd like to find under the Christmas tree, Leapster high scores, how the cereal doesn't get soggy if you eat it fast enough, etc.

Her hair is silly.

Mine is too.

She makes funny faces.

Tells me funny dreams.

We do this for a long time. Sometimes until eleven ten.

Eventually we get dressed and brush our hair.

Then we eat some lunch, pack her book bag, hunt for matching socks.

And then at 12:20, I drop her off at the elementary school for afternoon Kindergarten.

I'd be a liar if I said I don't relish those quiet kid-less hours from 12:30 to 3:30.

They rock.

But I'm going to miss our mornings next year when afternoon Kindergarten is forever in our family's rear view mirror.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Remind me next year how vehemently the children resist photo ops ten minutes before Trick-r-Treating.

"Because EVERYone is LEAVING!


I'm going to miss EVERYTHING!"

A highly resistant Alice. Note the tatoos.

A resistant Ewok. Not a bear.

A slightly less resistant Warewolf. [SIC] Warewolf is a character William imagined and has been drawing since Kindergarten. He designed the costume himself. It was a mom/son Project Runway moment. Love.

Least resistant child, correlated by age, Voldemort

I haven't dressed up in several decades..

I had to add the white skirt to make this costume legal in Utah.

The wolf stopped by as well.

With the exception of the Voldemort robe and the added-for-decency white skirt, everything was sewn by moi. It only took 31 days or so.

No sweat.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A post for Grandma

Grandma doesn't do Facebook.

Actually, come to think of it.. neither does BFF.

But both read my blog.

Thanks Grandma! Thanks Meghan!

So here's the picture you missed.

Broken arm.

(But you shoulda seen the other guy)

Ok, actually it was just a fall from the monkey bars. She has already declared she is tired of the cast. Good thing her concept of time is still pretty foggy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In September, I was distracted.

And apparently forgot to blog.

We went here.

And did this,

and this,

and way more of this than advisable.

It was fun.

And we're all sad that it's over.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Meet my new baby Ryan!

Actually he's not my baby in the "has-my-last-name" sense,
and I have to give him back each night at 6 pm,
but I do love him so.

He is also a bona fide miracle. You see, he tried to make his entrance into this world at 22 weeks gestation. But thanks to some modern medical magic, lots of sincere prayer, and his mama parking it on the couch for 4 months (when she wasn't parked nearly upside down in the hospital, that is), he made it! You can meet his family at The Bedrest Bugle.

So anyway...

The theme at Necessitae this week is "Back to Old School".

I sewed some rompers. Love them!

Conveniently, I just happen to have this delicious one year old model in-house for the month of August.

Oh the feet. The FEET!

I know the baby totally steals the post, but I made a girly romper too.

I was tempted to put a bow in Ryan's hair and have him model in baby drag.

Lucky for him, it was nap time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

He loves NY

I've been feeling very non productive lately. I haven't added a single item to the online boutique that I sew for in a month.

I blame blog reading.

Not for the time it takes away from being productive, but for making me feel that in comparison to all the other sewing mamas in the world, I get nothing done.

I wonder if they have nannies. Or if their houses smell bad.

I like to imagine that wildly creative and productive people have tragic hidden flaws. Rats live in their bathtubs and their children have to forage for lunch betwixt the couch cushions.

Then I feel better about myself because I'm small like that.

I'm mostly kidding.

I decided to forgo sleep last night and sew a shirt for my son. He says I ONLY sew for his sister. And she is the ONLY one who is photographed. And I NEVER put him on my blog.


(except for today)

I used the CarlaC All-the-Rage Raglan pattern which can be downloaded from It's a fabulous basic raglan tee pattern with lots of variations for both boys and girls. And it's extra great if you don't have much experience sewing knits since it includes detailed photos, instructions, and construction tips. I highly recommend.

At least I can cross "alleviate mommy guilt" off my list today.

Now, off to chase the rats out of my bathtubs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sew-n-Show Catchup

I've let a few sewing projects slip by undocumented.

So.. for the record:

The top is the Round Neck Top pattern (found on and the pants are from the ModKid Sophie pattern.

This outfit was finished months ago (February?), but the pants were too big. As you can see, they still are! But she's grown at least an inch since spring and at least now they are wearable.

By the way, I LOVE both of these patterns! Well drafted, great instructions, fabulous results.


And a few itty bitty baby projects. Each set has a newborn sized kimono, booties, and bloomers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The last little birdie

It's back to school time here in Utah. Yes, already! We're on a year-round schedule, so our "summer" is only three weeks long. But before you feel too sorry for us, we get another three weeks off in September, which happens to be a fabulous time for family vacations.

And it's no ordinary back-to-school this year.
The littlest Carrot Top started Kindergarten today!

I took lots of pictures.
She quickly tired of it.

It's a family milestone. All of our children are now in school.

No, I did not wear mascara to her send-off.

Yes, that was a good decision.

No, I did not come home and take a nap.

No, I did not go shopping.

No, I did not sew anything.

I had a sick seven year old to contend with. Actually, the Playstation contended with the sick child for the most part. But I doled out Kool-Aid and cereal as needed.

Oh, and I have a baby.

Not MY baby, of course (see "family milestone" above). My BFF's son Ryan is hanging out with us in August while her regular babysitter (aka Ryan's grandma) attends to her husband's (aka Ryan's grandpa's) medical needs.

Anyway. I didn't come home to an empty house and tiptoe through the tulips nor cry into my tea. It was kind of a normalish afternoon for a mother of four, despite the empty nest milestone. And that was okay, because I'll be all alone soon enough.

When I came to pick her up, she was all a twitter with the day's news. Everything went great. We own the book the teacher read. She got to sit next to her BFF (aka our neighbor Madison). They sit at the Yellow Table. They get fruit snacks for good behavior.

She did not appreciate having only through the teacher's count of five to drink at the water fountain after recess.

"I was freakin' thirsty!"

(It is, after all, 97 degrees. I do hope the teacher counted, "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi.. ")

She has adopted her preteen brothers' vernacular.

It's precious, don't you think?

My last little birdie has flown the nest.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Simplicity 2373. Or, the "Making Lemonade" dress

Am I the first person in the whole wide world to sew up Simplicity 2373 and reveal my results online? There were no reviews on Pattern Review, no Flickr hits, no blog posts categorized by Google.

With no evidence to the contrary, allow me to declare myself the first!

The result?

I like it.

Maybe not LOVE it.

But it'll do.

Cute. Wearable. Good learning experience as always.

I wish the shoulder straps were a little more.. something. Slightly wider maybe? Set in a little closer?

Serendipitously, the straps do happen to fall exactly over my bra straps, which was a happy accident.

The bodice is too high under the armpits, but that is likely my fault. I cannot abide straps that fall off my shoulders, so I tend to overcompensate by making them too short. In other words, it's not necessarily a pattern design flaw, but rather user error due to my inexperience in executing fit adjustment.

Or maybe it's just my sloped shoulders.

Or my bad posture.

Probably bad posture.

Anyway, the other issue I had stemmed from the gathering at the empire waist. Because my fabric didn't have much drape, it ended up looking *quite* maternal. About six-months-along maternal, to be exact.

Not good when you're 45 months postpartum.

I pulled out the gathering and put in pleats instead, which I sewed down several inches. That solved the problem, at least satisfactorily enough.

One fun technique I did try for the first time was using plain cotton muslin in place of the interfacing called for in the bodice. This was suggested by Gertie on her fabulous blog, Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. In her June post of summer sewing tips, she suggests we can build more comfortable summer wear by sewing in natural fibers for interfacing rather then using iron-on synthetic interfacing. The natural fibers dissipate body heat instead of trapping it against the skin as synthetics do. Why didn't I think of that? And it was just as easy to quickly baste the muslin on as it would have been to iron on interfacing. Definitely a tip that I will use again. Thanks Gertie!

I know you're over the Fourth of July, America..

but I am behind on my blogging and I don't want to skip past this project!

Samantha and I could not agree on a fabric for her4th of July dress, so we compromised and bought both the red, white, and blue batiks show below AND the Hello Kitty novelty fabric (for a shirt completed but yet to be photographed).

This is from the Izzy & Ivy pattern, "Macy Giggles". It's a simple pattern that any somewhat experienced seamstress could handle with ease, but the instructions are terrible. If I were a novice, I would have wadded the entire pattern and lit it on fire. Sorry Izzy & Ivy, I hate to give an indie pattern company a bad rap.. but really poor execution in the instructions department. That said, having a good idea about how the pieces should fit together, it's an adorable dress that came together quickly.

The pattern also called for little (or no?) top stitching, so I top stitched where it seemed logical. The fit and sizing are terrific as well. Super cute detail in the the over sized covered buttons.

A+ for sweetness factor!

Here is another version of this dress in a size 3. I'm in love with these fabrics!

Here's a better view of the covered buttons on the back.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two in a Canoe

We went canoeing with two other families last weekend.

Between the six adults, we had thirteen kids under 13!

And one dog.

Joyous chaos.

It was a gorgeous day and about 15 degrees cooler at 10,000 feet.

My oldest sporting mud freckles.

Kids + Summer.

I highly recommend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Bees Knees" - A Pinafore Set

After a few months of sewing for myself, I'm starting to feel my kid sewing mojo trickle back. My mind is all a-swirl with ideas involving classic summer staples (tees, shorts, a-lines) and embroidery.

A notable distraction, however, is this pile of lovely.

I've been dreaming of adding something in a summery yellow to my wardrobe. I fell in love with this fabric a few weeks ago and found the pattern shortly thereafter. The ribbon detail on the dress - swoon swoon. It reminds me of Grosgrain Kathleen's "Stolen From Your Sister's Closet" dress highlighted in my last post.

I've promised myself that after I finish up a few custom pad orders and some hemming work for a neighbor, that my reward will be a new lemon-lime summer dress with chocolate brown trim. Yum.

But back to kid sewing mojo.

For the three darlings that follow this blog that don't know me (i.e., are not my mother and BFF. Hi Mom! Mi BFF!), I sew for an online boutique, Necessitae. I often wonder how I wiggled my way in with this amazingly talented group of women! We stock the store twice a month and my contribution this week includes a vintage style child's pinafore set.

This is the same JoAnn fabric I used for my fave Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress. I happened upon the coordinate fabric recently and love how well they pair.

I love the covered buttons and pin tuck detailing.

I'm a sucker for baby hats. So sweet!

Since I have no babies in my life to give this outfit to should it not sell at a set price, I'm auctioning it with a starting bid of $1. I'd rather at least cover my fabric costs then have it sit unloved and unworn in my sewing room closet. Hopefully it will sell for at least a dollar. :)