Monday, April 13, 2015

SHB Sewalong: Adventures in Babywearing

Installment 2 of my Small Human Being Sewalong:

I knew we would want some kind of baby carrier for babywearing, aka having hands that are free!! In week two of Andrew's paternity leave, he held the baby and kept me company while I whipped this together. 

Previously, I did a bit of research as I had absolutely no plans to pay upwards of $50 for a Moby wrap or a Boba wrap or whatever. Essentially, it is a very long rectangle of knit fabric. It should be about two or three yards of 60" wide knit, and then you cut it into three strips of about 20" wide. Sew them together and wham-bam-babywrap. 
Cradle Hold
 I bought this fabric on Goldhawk Road when Andrew and I were in London in (gasp) 2013. It really puts my fabric hoarding into perspective when I can look back on my blog and see how long ago I bought it. I really love it!

At first I was reluctant to use it, but if I made it into a dress I would only wear it sometimes, and then for only a season or two. Making it into the baby wrap means that I will use it every day- all the time since my little spider monkey only wants to sleep on my chest. Plus, since the fabric is almost intact, I can always make it into clothes later if I want to.
Ta Daaaaaaaaaa!
 Anyways, I made the wrap and then Andrew tried it out. I was still recovering from my stitches and was no shape to spend much time standing, much less wearing the baby. There are two holds for newborns, cradle hold (like how you hold them in your arms) and newborn hold (chest to chest with the baby's legs tucked in). We tried both, but they were not all that successful. He would enjoy it for less than 30 minutes maximum and then flip out.
Selfie with the baby

newborn hold
 Finally, I searched online for other holds and discovered kangaroo hold. It is like the newborn hold, so it is still chest to chest, but the baby's legs hang out the bottom. You put him in the pouch, cross the X over your back, and then loop each half under the baby and between his legs so he is super secure.

Max loves this one!! He loves to kick his legs wildly, so when his legs were tucked in he was very cramped and mad. This one allows him to move his arms and legs, and he is super happy. Usually he falls asleep in less than five minutes.


 Then, you just tuck his head in one of the sides and you're good to go!!
Success: Kangaroo Hold!!
I am going to count this as a sewing project because I am totally sleep deprived and adjusting to being a mom. I sewed one seam to hold two strips of fabric together and then did not finish the edges because it's a knit. Still counts!!!

So congratulate me on my sewing success (haha) and reassure me that the sleeps-only-on-my-chest phase will not last until I am sending him off to college...right? right? guys?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

SHB Sewalong: Baby Bunting for a Carseat

I don't think I have ever participated in a sew-along before, which is amazing since I have been blogging since 2009 and sewing since 2006? I usually have trouble following along to other people's time tables, what with work, and life, and being a giant procrastinator. However, this sew-along corresponds with my time and interests perfectly so why not. 

The SHB (Small Human Being) Sewalong is for the month of April and is anything baby related. It is being hosted by CindyClio and Mikhaela, who all have small babies. Do you ever find a blog and feel like you're kind of stalking someone's life (in a positive way)? I love reading Cindy's (Cation Designs) blog since she sews, teaches middle school and has a baby boy who is a few months older than mine. I am, for the first time, interested in other people's babies. I suppose that sounds terrible, but now I am interested in what to look forward to!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to my sewing:

I bought this pattern a long time ago at an estate sale, I think. Kwik Sew 1827, from 1987. It is for two baby buntings, for a newborn and a bigger baby. It always made me laugh so much, since I think the baby in pink looks somewhat like a vagina. When I have a girl, I will make a pink one just for laughs. 
 As Maxwell is a boy, I decided to choose something other than pink. I roamed up and down the huge wall of fleece at JoAnns. Really, if aliens landed on Earth and visited JoAnn, they would think that 90% of humans' wardrobes are made up of polar fleece. I chose a cute space print, since Andrew loves space so much.
 The pattern is three pieces: front, back and hood facing. I bought the coordinating flannel at the same time and didn't even realize it (baby brain?) so that worked out well. The drawstring is from fabrics.com.
 I thought I had lost the instructions, so I winged it. That wasn't too hard- zipper first, hood facing, sew front to back and then insert the drawstring. I then found the instructions right after I had finished. The fabric was purchased when I was pregnant, so that was baby brain, but I made this after he was born, so let's blame that on sleep deprivation!

Making the whole thing probably took less than two hours, including cutting.
The matching facing 
 These pictures are from a few weeks ago, when Max was much smaller. His happiness quickly turned to rage during the photo shoot, but it's hilarious! Baby in his pod!
Interested in Dad.
 He hates being swaddled or having his arms restrained, so this outfit was not a winner...
Struggling to be free
 The point was to put him in his car seat and take him for a walk in the park. This is a car seat suit, supposedly. When we tried to put him in the car seat, we realized that the seat clips at his shoulders, between his legs and UNDER HIS ARMS. Duh. So it didn't work at all.
Baby rage
Since the pattern was made in 1987, I googled car seats in 1987. Sure enough, they only go over the shoulder and clip between the legs. Time has rendered view A obsolete, unless you just need a fleece newborn pod.

Either way, a funny pattern and something I made for the baby!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet my Sweet Baby!

One month and one day ago: my last day being pregnant and T-Rex's last day being an only (dog) child!

One month ago, I had our baby! It was a scheduled cesarean and went just as expected. He arrived at 8:10 am and weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and was 20.5 inches long. We named him Maxwell Alexander and he is such a good baby. I can't believe a month has already passed!

With Daddy at the hospital
Look at that chin!! So precious!
First clothes for going home from the hospital- not a fan


About a week old...
 

I know all of his clothes are too big, but its too cute- 2 weeks old

Three weeks old and ready for business

Almost a month!!
Andrew and I are both so happy and I am in awe of the adorable baby I grew inside of me!! He is already getting to be so much bigger and changing so much. I am really happy that I get to say home with him through August and I have recovered from my surgery- it was not the end of the world after all! :)

I have already made a few baby related sewing projects, so I will post those as I find time. Lately he only wants to sleep on me, so that is limiting my activities- baby snuggles make that worth it! I have been Instagramming a lot lately since its easier than writing a blog post- I am mollysews on Instagram.

As for T-Rex, he is adjusting very well. He was such a spoiled only child that I was kind of worried, but he is a smart dog and is adapting really fast. He knows he needs to stay back from the baby and is getting used to the interesting sounds Max makes, but he still gets people food and to sleep in our bed so not everything is different!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Final Maternity Dress- Simplicity 1360 Again

As I am now 39 weeks pregnant, this will be my final contribution to my maternity "wardrobe" of things I made. I really only ended up making five dresses and three skirts. I was feeling fairly peppy until January, when my favorite thing became taking a nap after work. So not a whole lot going on around here sewing-wise. 
Since it was my third attempt, the knot looks the best on this one. 

I made this from that same pattern, Simplicity 1360, as my other two (floral print here and green one here). This one is a knit from Jo-Ann and it is really static-clingy. I wore this over leggings and with a slip and it still spends all day trying to climb my legs, which you can see in some of the pictures. The floral wrinkles insanely when it is washed, but the print is busy enough to hide it. The green one doesn't have any major problems, maybe since that is the bamboo rayon I bought from fabrics.com?

My only tip for making these is to try it on after you sew the front to the back and really pull and tug on the knot. Most of the time, pulling will open up some kind of gap either above or below the knot that you then need to sew up. Otherwise you end up with a hole directly between the boobs... unless that's what you're going for ;)

 It is great for its expansion capabilities- I can still wear it at nine months and it still has some drape in the front. Less on the sides.
Static cling on the sides. 
 Look at my big baby!
 A little bit squishier from the back, but what do you expect? I have gained 35 lbs, which is still in my target range.

The last few weeks have been really busy and hectic. The baby decided to turn breech about 3 weeks ago and we were trying everything to get him to turn head-down again. Went to a chiropractor, did acupuncture, the moxibustion where you burn incense next to your little toe, laying in all the weird positions from the spinningbabies website, talking to him, flashlight on where you want his head to go, and so on.

 Finally we tried the external version on Tuesday, where the doctor pushes on your stomach to try and physically turn the baby head down. That was really painful, but unsuccessful. So unless he magically turns before his due date, we will be scheduling a cesarean soon. Not quite what I had in mind, but I am getting used to the idea.


I have one more week of work (or less, depending on the baby's agenda) and now I am moving on to sewing baby things finally.

I will post a few more things this week, hopefully, but then I might fall off the earth for awhile!! Wish us luck with our new baby!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Maternity Skirts- Simplicity 1359

I made these skirts in early December and have been wearing them fairly regularly with tights or with fleece-lined leggings. You make the pattern in your pre-pregnancy size and it came out perfectly fine. It is a simple pencil skirt with a belly pattern with no ruching, which I personally dislike. The waist is elastic, so you can adjust it to fit. 

I took all of these pictures with a self-timer after school one day before the light disappears at about 4pm.
 I made three from knits from Jo-Ann. I made simple black one because I was tired of how my maxi skirts would bunch up around my tights. These are all a size 8. 
So neutral...
 I am still wearing all regular tops, nothing specifically for maternity. This is an Ann Taylor Loft one that was always a little big, and all of my Target tops are super stretchy and still work.
Side view-32 weeks pregnant
 This one is a grey knit with small gold polka dots. The side picture was super blurry, but you get the idea.
 This one is my favorite- a very 90s inspired neon cheetah print knit.
 I still look mostly like old Molly from the back (and I really need a haircut!)
 I always wear my shirt over the skirt, but this is just for your amusement! I look like I'm stealing a bowling ball!
I got the pattern on sale for $1 and it also has shirts, pants and a long skirt. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to sew some simple and easy maternity clothes!! It's only four pieces and I made all three assembly-line style in just a few hours. Plus, they are stretchy knits so you will get a decent amount of wear out of them.

Only five more weeks and it's baby time!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas Croissants

While in Oregon over Xmas, Andrew, my mom, my dad and I made croissants. They are incredibly time consuming, so none of us had ever attempted them before. It took four people three days to make them, but they turned out to be delicious! My parents got a marble pastry slab for Xmas, so that helped too.

I forget the recipe we used, but you make the dough and let is rise several times. Then you roll it out with butter and then wrap it in plastic and let it rise in the fridge. You repeat that a billion times (Andrew did all of the rolling) and then cut them into triangles and roll them up. Then you let that rise again and bake them.
 They did turn out to be beautiful and were really good!
Since Xmas, we have been making a lot of bread- in large part due to the radiator heat. The house is tropically hot and the yeast goes crazy. I'll make a summary post later when I upload the pictures from my phone!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A nice green dress for Xmas- Simplicity 1360

 I wanted to make another version of Simplicity 1360, which I made over Thanksgiving break. I wanted to make a green one, both for general wearing and to have a holiday dress that fits. Jo-Ann of course had no green knits that were nice or the right shade of green. I ended up buying this from fabrics.com with some baby fabric; it is a hunter green bamboo rayon.

 But they had my old credit card number saved, and I was forced to get a new number with the Home Depot data breach. Then I had to fix the number after getting an email like five days later and I didn't think I would get the fabric in time to make the dress. Luckily, I got the fabric on Wednesday and I was able to cut it out on Wednesday night and then sew it up on Thursday.

Sadly, I couldn't find my Santa hat, but I got to have a reasonably festive outfit for our class party on the last day before winter break!

I did a much better job on the knot the second time around!
 This is from mid-December and I am much bigger now.
 Nice and simple back.
 I always blink. I still have quite a few pairs of tights that fit and can be pulled up over my belly (these are from Forever 21) so that's good. This week has been super cold and I am LOVING my fleece lined leggings I bought from Charlotte Russe. How did I not own any last winter?!? They are so warm and comfy and they have no elastic in the waist, so I will be able to wear them until the baby is born.
I cut out the same dress in a purple knit when I cut out the green, so I will whip that up soon and then I will have three! Perfect! They are great dresses and I will be able to wear them post-birth as my stomach (hopefully) resumes its previous shape.