A Little Surprise

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Hello, hello! I have missed being here, missed being in my studio and missed seeing everyone’s lovely projects online. It has certainly been a whirlwind past few weeks. As you might have guessed, I had my baby! There’s a bit of a twist to this story though…

Hiking-Nov10

I was about 3 days overdue and soooo over being huge and pregnant. Rob and I went hiking and I saw my chiropractor to see if we could jump start labor. It worked! It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing though. There were some hiccups with the baby’s birth, but after 41 hours of labor (including 4 hours of pushing!), our beautiful baby was born. However, there was an unexpected twist…

It was a BOY!

Em3Everyone in the room was shocked. They all knew we were expecting a little girl, and I don’t think I’ve ever been at such a loss for words. There’s a pretty great photo from his birth that shows the expression on my face when Rob gasped, shook his head, and announced, “It’s a… boy?!” Not that the photo will EVER see the light of day on the internet, mind you. But it’s hilarious, trust me.

Em2

The great part? He’s amazing and the best surprise we ever could have hoped for. I can’t even imagine having a girl now. It was alway supposed to be him, our sweet Emmerich Nicholas. He weighed in at 8 lbs 10.4 oz, and was 22.5″ long. He’s not a tiny baby! He’s grown since his birth on November 11th, and is getting an extra chin and some lovely squishy baby rolls on his thighs.

Em1I have to tell you, he loves his Baby Nest!  It’s really fun to see him using something I made him, since I really didn’t get around to making many other baby items. The little sweater I was knitting? Well, it’s done except for 1″ on the second sleeve, but who knows when I’ll have time to even look at that project again, or if switching around the buttons will make it look more boy-ish.

Em4I’m pretty glad that I didn’t end up making any quilts or baby clothes with the fabrics I’d picked out. It’s almost like my brain knew that my baby wouldn’t really be into a tiny Liberty of London romper or a quilt made with pinks and yellows. I have to rethink everything sitting on my “to be sewn” shelf! I look forward to it though, and making a whole host of cute little boy things!

Also, can I just say how excited I am that I can FINALLY make and wear the Grainline Alder and Linden patterns? YEEESSSSS!

 

Sewing Hopes vs. Sewing Realities

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Cloud-Mobile

I can’t believe how much I’ve actually gotten done these past three weeks! It’s been a whirlwind around here, for sure. I bet you’re wondering, but no, Baby Girl has not yet made her appearance. I’m not due until this weekend, so fingers crossed she is on time! I’ve been busily scurrying around making food plans, unpacking the rest of the house and I even managed to (somehow) get some sewing done.

Cloud-Mobile-Raindrops

I’m so pleased with how her mobile turned out! I mentioned I had it cut out in my last post, but I was a little bit nervous that it wasn’t really going to get done. After spending about three evenings on the couch with a needle and thread, and patiently painting a wooden embroidery hoop with a few coats of white paint, it was finished. It turned out just how I had hoped. And best of all, it was free (besides the spinning music box, which I bought on Etsy for $10). My friend Erica gave me all of the felt and sequins from her stash that I needed to make it.

Of course, when I first started stitching, I wanted it done FAST and I was using a whip stitch on the felt. Umm… no, that was hideous. It look like a 5 year old’s first project. For some reason, I don’t like doing the blanket stitch. It’s always what looks best on felt, but for some reason I thought I could get away with something faster. Don’t be like me, or you’ll have to start over.

Cloud-Mobile-Bead-Detail

The original inspiration mobile can be found here, at Milbot and Chooky. I would have loved to have purchased it from the maker, but it was out of my budget, plus I really wanted to make it myself. I added a few things to this mobile, like tiny clear and silver beads to the clouds. There is also a coordinating color sequin on the very bottom of each raindrop, to hopefully catch a little bit of light when it spins.

Cloud-Mobile-Rainbow-RaindropsOther things I’ve been making? Well, another Swedish Baby Nest! This one is a gift, that has been shipped to its new home.

Swedish-Baby-Nest-FinalJennie, my friend who originally sent me the pattern, had a lot of requests to make a PDF pattern available. I gave her my thoughts on the pattern, and she worked very hard to make and release it recently. You can find it in her Etsy shop, Jagged Rose. She also will be hosting a sew-along on her blog very soon, so if you have babies that need a cuddly place to sleep, pop on over to tell her hello!

Swedish-Baby-Nest-Casing

I am really pleased with my second baby nest. It turns out that on my first one, I had put on the bias tape incorrectly, which is why it was so hard for me to feed my drawstring into the casing. Following the directions helps a lot! I still chose to quilt the bottom mattress with a grid of squares, and I made the sides more squishy by adding extra fiberfill to the rolled-up batting that you put in the bumper edge. I can’t wait to see my friend’s baby all wrapped up and sleeping soundly in this! I described the nest to my Grandma, and she said, “That sounds lovely. Please make one for me in an adult version.” It’s tempting to do, for sure.

Swedish-Baby-Nest-QuiltedWhile finishing unpacking the rest of my studio, I came across a few patterns that I had every intention of making during my pregnancy, and just never got to. I thought that I would make this really awesome maternity wardrobe, that I would have completed some nursing tops by the time I was 9 months along, and of course I’d get that tote bag done that I wanted to use as a purse/diaper bag.

Maternity-Patterns

HA. It didn’t happen. I even bought fabric for that Victory Pattern’s Chloe dress, and I ordered this super-fancy French maternity dress pattern online from Deuxieme Arrondissement. I had visions of making it out of a lovely drapey wool, or a soft chambray. Then we moved, I was exhausted, and I thought, “Why would I use up my energy and fabric stash to sew maternity clothes that I’ll only get to wear for a few weeks?” The dress is still really tempting because it looks super easy to make, but I also would love to save the fabric to make a Grainline Alder with sleeves. I tell you, Jen’s patterns have been driving me nuts. I just want to make and wear them, but this giant belly is kind of getting in the way of those plans.

Maybe I’ll get to the Super Tote soon, but I’m not holding my breath. The reality is that I’m about to have a very tiny person to answer to, who I kind of doubt cares about my sewing time. I’ll take it though. Sniff a sweet newborn head or spend an evening tracing out a pattern? That’s no contest in my book!

Still Life in the New Studio

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A baby mobile, cut out but not sewn…

MobilePiecesA 500-thread count sheet, soon to be turned into pillowcases…BlueSheetThe only finished project to happen in the last few weeks, knit from leftover yarn I used to making hats for her Dad and uncles…BabysFirstKnitHatA basted quilt, patiently waiting to be quilted and gifted…MachineStillLife

A copy of a beautiful new book that I have a project in and need to share with you…BealBookShelves that are finally full of sewing thread, fabric, buttons and patterns…StudioShelves

I tell you what. Moving and setting up a new working space, house and room for a baby when you’re 9 months pregnant is no easy task. Every day includes at least one nap (if not two, let’s be honest here), and I move at a snail’s pace. It’s getting there though. Up until about a week and half ago, this room was our bedroom while our upstairs floors were being refinished. Rob has worked so incredibly hard to put a fresh coat of paint on everything, clean, put in new outlets… his job list seems to never end. But I am so thankful that he is so handy and such a hard worker, especially at a time when I’m not much help and a lot needs to be done.

I hope to share some house and whole studio photos with you soon! I have one cabinet that needs to be put together for this new space, and then it will feel more complete. But done? What old house is ever done?

A Studio Tour

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Hello from the land of cardboard boxes! Our move went well, but we are currently living in the downstairs of our new house while the upstairs floors are being redone. It’s a bit stressful to say the least!

The room that will be my future sewing studio is currently functioning as our bedroom. All of my sewing machines are still in boxes and all of my fabric is packed away, but that’s not to say I haven’t opened up a few boxes just to sadly look at fabric that I’m waiting to cut up. Soon, soon!

I took a few photos of my studio at our last house before I packed up everything up for our move. I always love seeing everyone else’s sewing spaces, so I thought I’d share updated photos of my set-up. I really liked working in that space, even if it did get really stinking hot in the summer thanks to having very little insulation! I was able to easily flow from sewing to cutting to ironing, and it was easy to find my fabric and notions on the shelves Rob installed for me.

Olin-StudioA

I still loooove my drafting table/cutting table. It is a great height for standing around and cutting, and being able to reach all sides of a project is key to some of the harder layouts I do on plaids and delicate cuts on chiffon. I’m happy it will fit very well into my new sewing space, because I don’t think I could part with it!

Olin-StudioB

Something that I would like to do for my new studio is to get rid of the IKEA tables that currently house my sewing machines. I’m hoping to talk Rob into building me one long table with strong supports, so that I don’t have table legs to work around. I go back and forth from machine to machine quite often, so being able to easily slide down to the end of the table would be really great.

Olin-StudioC

Two things I won’t miss? The ugly air conditioner and the floor vent. That vent drove me crazy. My chair was constantly getting stuck on it and making a racket.

Olin-StudioD

I will miss sharing a space with Rob (his office was behind that door). I can’t say he’ll miss my constant pestering though! It was hard to stop myself from badgering him with questions and music requests during the day.

Keep your fingers crossed that my new space is ready to be set up soon! Knitting is keeping me busy for the moment, but I’m getting a little bit twitchy about not being able to sew…

Tiny Things: A Swedish Baby Nest and a Onesie

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UPDATE: There is now a pattern for this Swedish Baby Nest available from Jagged Rose on Etsy!

Swedish-Baby-NestIn the middle of packing up to move, I decided it was the PERFECT time to sew up a few baby things. Makes sense, right? Need to procrastinate doing something really important? How about sewing instead! I went to Modern Domestic and picked up some Cotton & Steel yardage, batting, and few other items and came home to whip up a Swedish Baby Nest pattern that my sweet friend Jennie sent me. She was really awesome and had traced off and cut out the pattern pieces for me and translated the instructions. It was so easy to follow thanks to her help!

Baby-Nest-Sewing

The baby nest is made out of two pieces of fabric, a three-layer quilt batting “mattress”, a rolled-up batting bumper, and some bias tape to make a casing for a tie (I used twill tape). I pretty much followed the instructions exactly, except for two things. I decided to quilt the batting, because I thought that it would likely shift a lot and maybe bunch up if this gets thrown in the washing machine. And let’s be honest, it will be used by a baby, so it’s bound to be washed a lot! The other thing I changed was to add some extra fiber-fill to the bumper edge. The rolled-up batting wasn’t as plush as I wanted it to be, so I squeezed my arm into the bumper casing and added some extra stuffing. In the above photo, the right side is yet to be stuffed.

Two things that were tricky about this were getting the pull-tie into the bias-tape casing (totally bent my bodkin doing that), and evenly distributing the batting and fiber fill in the bumper. I’m lucky my arms aren’t much bigger around, or I couldn’t have reached the far curved edge to fill it!

Baby-Nest-QuiltingI’m so happy with how it turned out! I think that we’ll get a lot of use out of it, and I think I’d like to make these as baby gifts as well.

Baby-Nest-Detail

It took a certain furry someone about a day to find it sitting on my cutting table. He was purring quite comfortably when I found him, so I’ll have to keep this out of his reach when the baby isn’t in it.

Baby-Nest-DuncanMy other project that I’d had in my head for a while was a onesie. I know that they’re easy to sew up, so I though it would be some quick and satisfying sewing. I have some old clothes that I’ve been saving to cut up into baby clothes, and a t-shirt my brother designed a few years ago seemed like a great first choice. I got a Jalie onesie pattern at Bolt and made a 6 month size. It still seems so tiny!

Tiger-Room-Onesie

I used a fold-over elastic (FOE) to encase the onesie edges, and I can’t say that it made anything any easier. Next time I’ll stick with making my own knit binding! It was hard to get the elastic to stay lined up along the fabric edge while I used my cover stitch machine to attach it. In the end it looks fine, but I had to use so many pins to hold everything in place, and I had to resew the neckline FOE at least 3 times to get it to lay the way I wanted. Now I need some snaps for the crotch and it’ll be done. Tiger-Room-Onesie-1I’m excited to make more tiny clothes and baby projects! They really do go together quickly. I might as well sew some more little things while I pout about not being able to make a Grainline Studio Alder shirtdress to fit me right now!