Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My (Diastrous) Just Like Dad Robe: A Sort-of Review

The disastrous Jedi robe

Cliff's notes review: READ THE ERRATA!! The extra front piece should be attached to the big front piece before you cut your fabric out! If you do this, it's a great pattern ;-).

TL;DR version:

The Sewing for Boys sewalong pattern for November was the Just Like Dad robe. I was excited about it because Will has been needing a winter robe. I made him the cute Made robe this summer, and he likes to wear it and calls it his "Obi Wan" robe, so I thought a winter robe in brown flannel would be appreciated (if he can pretend bright blue & green spotted robe is a jedi robe, then how much better would solid brown be?). The only problem was this pattern fell in November, which as my last post indicates, was a rather busy/bad/stressful month. It was the last day of November when I purchased fabric and cut out the pieces.

I cut out all my pieces and noticed that the front was much shorter than the back piece. I thought maybe I wasn't understanding how they went together. Nope, I understood correctly......the front was just much shorter. I compared pattern pieces and saw that, indeed the front was much shorter than the back. I decided I must have traced the 2/3 for the front rather than 4/5 as was my intention. Additionally, I had an extra pattern piece and 2 pieces of fabric that were unaccounted for in any of the directions. I decided I must have been really loopy when I traced out the pattern and copied one from a different pattern. So, to match up my front & back, instead of just adding to the front, I whacked off the back. I figured it would be short, but Will's small, so it'd be ok.

After I evened it up, the pattern sewed up pretty well, especially considering I was using minky on the inside, and it's just pure evil to sew with. After I was all finished and posted my sad picture, I read someone's blog post on the robe and discovered that I hadn't cut the wrong size after all, but that the weird extra peice I had was supposed to have been taped to the pattern piece to create the whole front. Apparently, if I had just read the errata, I would have known this. Live and learn! Or, you would think I would have noticed that the robe was the same amount short as the extra piece I had, but.....I did not. It was definitely not my finest sewing moment. 

I didn't get the robe finished on time (I was a day late!), but went ahead and posted my pics just to show that I did it, however awful it might have turned out. Can you believe I actually won the drawing? (I think there were only 3 of us who got ours done "on time"--I guess November was busy for everyone!)

The fit of this robe is pretty big on Will (I sized up, so I expected this)--it hangs pretty far off his shoulders. I didn't realize I should have pinned the belt loops on (according to where his waist is) instead of blindly following the pattern markings. Consequently, they are located down around his butt, and need to be ripped off and sewn back on.  I realize I shortened this by about 10 inches or so, but I think even being normal length, this would be a fairly short robe for being a winter-length, especially on a boy that normally wears a 5 instead of a 3 like Will. If I make this for him again, I will add length to it. Ultimately, this was the most disappointing garment I've made from the book, but I think this is mostly my own fault for not reading carefully beforehand and then trying to sew it when I should have left it alone till I could focus.

I am really excited about the last pattern of the sewalong--the Two-in-One Jacket. I've been wanting to make this one! I need to figure out how to add a hood to it. I'm thankful Stacey is giving us two months on this one, but sad that it's the last month of the sewalong. It's been great motivation to work my way through the book!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Long Time, No Post

Whew, the past month and kind of got away from me there. This time of year is always so busy with the big holidays and the end of school. The last week of November through mid-December are right up there with the end of April/beginning of May for being the most stressful of the year for me.

To make things even more fun this year, we went to a conference in Boston (I gave a paper) so that we could see Rachel and get at least half of the trip paid for. It was nice to get see her and meet Zack, her boyfriend. We got to eat some yummy creations at Max Brenner and stay up late talking to Rachel (does 11 count as late to normal people? it does to me post-kids!). Will stayed with Granny & Papa, but Soren's not old enough to leave yet, so he went with us. He did very well on the flight, though he did a fair bit of crying when we were in Boston, and he had to stay with Daddy while I went conferencing. One morning after I left them and was waiting down the hall and around the corner, a woman commented, "Wow, that is one angry baby." I did not tell her it was my angry baby. LOL

After we got back from the trip, we had a couple days of school and then it was Thanksgiving. We had a nice Yount and then Weaver Thanksgiving, where we got to see almost all members of both families (just minus Rick & Rachel).

Will has hit a breakthrough age, as he and Ella were able to play almost entirely without direction/intervention from any adults. I don't remember them having one serious fight and only one pout-worthy spat. It was wonderful!


We took pictures of the 4 Weaver grandkids together (coordinating clothes and everything!), but they were the grumpiest bunch ever. Out of the 100 or so I took, these are about it for pictures where at leas tone of the older three aren't crying.




Soren was sick the week we went to Boston, and then again the week after Thanksgiving. It was pretty rough. Because Annie had fallen before Thanksgiving and gotten hurt, she wasn't able to keep him the first two days he was sick, so I had to take him to work, and it was just awful--he threw things and tantrumed in the class that he was awake for. Luckily, he did sleep in the Ergo through most of 2 classes. I was thrilled when Annie could keep him the 3rd day. I finally got him into the pediatrician, who tested him for RSV and the flu, but declared it ultimately to be just a virus. He was better the next day, of course!

Somewhere between Soren's two bouts of sickness, Will had a tummy bug and hit the dubious milestone of throwing up for the first time. I had hoped he might be one of those special people who just never threw up, but nope. I woke up around 3 to gagging noises and figured out what was wrong a moment too late--ugh. Not a pretty picture.

Before Soren's awful URI (the last virus he had), he too caught the tummy bug. During all the weeks of sickness, he was super-fussy and clingy (understatement of the century--he'd scream to the point of throwing up if I left the room or if I wouldn't hold him). It was definitely one of those "I understand why people get so frustrated they shake their babies" kind of times. Dark, dark, dark. Then last week, he suddenly had two molars on the top! And, lo and behold, he's happy again! I can now put him down without him screaming, and he has actually waved at me when leaving him at daycare instead of melting down. Apparently the poor little guy was just in pain on top of being sick. I hope I remember this next time he starts acting so unlike his happy little self!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Halloween

Our futile attempts at getting pics of both boys in costume.

The boys had a good Halloween, despite being sick all around it.

The Wednesday before Halloween, we went to OKC First's Fall Festival. Aunt Jana accompanied us. I didn't know that Soren would enjoy it but figured Will would. They both ended up having a good time. Soren mostly got carried/worn around, but at the end, he wanted DOWN and was not very happy that he didn't get to do the bouncy house with brother. We ended up walking in from the parking lot with Lindy and her boys, and they were meeting up with John & Jeannette, so we spent the night hanging out with them--impromptu Duncan reunion!

Soren was sick pretty much the rest of the week, and I got sick as well, so Will just barely got to go to the big birthday bash Jeanne threw for Richelle's twins. I was sorry to miss it; Jana said it was quite the party (Dr. Seuss themed), and Will had a GREAT time. He's lucky he has an aunt who's willing to take care of him when his mama is too sick to go.

Thankfully I was back with the living by Monday, and then we were all well for Halloween. Will was Spiderman and Soren was a dragon. We tried out the seahorse costume that Granny got him for Christmas, but it was so top heavy and tail heavy that he was having trouble even walking and cried the whole time it was on! He didn't mind the dragon costume at all and even wore the hood up. He already enjoys dressing up just like his big brother!

My little dragon.

My little Spidey!

Since we've discovered no one much goes trick or treating in our neighborhood (in spite of the 50 million kids that live here), we decided to go to Jana and Brad's edition. It was a great decision. About half of the neighborhood was passing out candy and there are just a few streets in the neighborhood, so it was just the right size. Will was getting tired, and we ended up skipping one street. He got a great haul, though, and Soren is ready for next year when he'll be big enough to go to the door (he just sat in the stroller and waved from the sidewalk). 

First house
First house (Aunt Jana's)!

Hi, Aunt Jana!

"Aunt Jana!"
Soren just had to get down, and ran up to Aunt Jana with his hands outstretched. Awww, so cute!

"No, I want CANDY!"
I thought he wanted picked up--nope, he wanted a popcorn hand, too!

so proud of his loot!

Brotherly love
I was trying to get a pic of the two of them by the pumpkins. Will was pulling Soren back by his hood as he tried to run away. Ah, brotherly love!

Soren is ready to go

Will at the starting gate
At the starting gate!

Our jackolantern

Sunday, November 4, 2012

More Treasure Pocket Pants

More TPPs
Will is in need of pants (and long-sleeved shirts). Apparently my garage-sale shopping sort of petered out in the winter 3T department. Last week, I scored a really nice cut of linen (about 2 yards) from the thrift store. I think it was .75 cents--what a deal! I decided they would make a cute pair of little Treasure Pocket Pants for Will, and I could use the scraps leftover from his construction fabric used in the Luka Hoodie.

More TPPs

Despite screwing up almost everything possible after the main part of the pants were constructed (had to rip the waistband off not once but TWICE!!!), these went together pretty quickly as usual. I don't know why I had such trouble since I've made these twice before....just not paying enough attention, I guess.

The only thing tripping me up on these is the hem bands. When I made these the first time, I did not use the hem band pattern piece as I utilized an existing hem for the bottom of the pants. When I made Soren's pair in 18-mo size, the hem band came out WAAAAY smaller than the pants leg, causing me to take major tucks to get it together. This time, I measured the pants leg before cutting out, and my measurement was over an inch larger than the pattern piece! I cut according to my measurements and it came out just about right. I haven't heard other people mentioning the hem facing being too big, so I have a feeling I'm doing something wrong, but I have no idea what it is! Anyway, since I used my own measurements this time, it came out fine.

More TPPs

As opposed to other versions of these I've made, I did the waistband in the main fabric rather than contrast, and I like it! It looks slightly more dressy that way, I think (as dressy as you can be with heavy construction equipment on your pants, I guess).

More TPPs

It was very warm here today (thanks, Oklahoma weather!), so I was doing good to get Will to model these at all and didn't press my luck with asking him to put on a shirt (or better yet, his Luka hoodie, which cordinates!). Crazy that he was playing outside without clothes on November 4th!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Fall, Y'All!

Happy Fall Y'all

Soren has discovered leaves!

Happy Fall Y'all

Happy Fall Y'all

Happy Fall Y'all

Happy Fall Y'all

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Jammies for Everyone!

New jammies

This month the Sewing for Boys sewalong pattern is the Goodnight, Sweetheart PJs. The pattern is really cute, and we can always use another pair of pajamas. Unfortunately, the pattern only goes down to a size 3/4T, so I couldn't make them for Soren who is the child in dire need of pajamas. I just unpacked the 18 mo clothes, and he has tons of everything--except pajamas. There are several pairs of footie pajamas but only a couple pair of long-but-not-winter pajamas. I guess when Will was in 18 mo clothing, we were able to let him wear the same pair more than one night. Not Soren! His are almost always dirty by the morning. 

Anyway, so I set about to make Will the PJs. I wanted to use some flannel I bought back in March when JoAnns had a big sale. Unfortunately I didn't know at the time how MUCH flannel a full set of PJs would require, so I ended up with not quite enough. I decided I'd just do the arms in a contrasting fabric (I asked Will, and of course it had to be red), so I ran out and got some from Hobby Lobby. Because I just barely had enough of the weenie dog fabric to get everything but the arms, I couldn't cut both legs at once. And, can you guess what I did? Yep, as usual, I forgot to flip the pattern piece over when I cut the second one, so when I went to sew it up, I discovered I had two right legs. ARRGH! Did I mention I was already short on fabric??? I didn't fret about it long, but did the only sensible thing and went for the harlequin look, with one leg in the red contrast. Fortunately, I'd gone ahead and gotten a whole yard of it, just in case, so I had just enough. I added a pocket in weenie dog fabric to the red leg, hoping to make it look more integrated and intentional.

New jammies

I also used vintage brown bias tape I had on hand. It was more than twice the size the pattern called for, so I cut it in half, but it was still bigger than it should have been. Having it in the right size would have looked better.

Despite all the errors and fabric problems, I thought these actually came out pretty cute, and they fit Will well, especially if he has his giant night diaper on. If I were in the same boat again, though, I think I'd have cut the yoke or back facing--whatever it was called--out of the red too in order to bring the red around to the back.

New jammies

All in all, the pattern was very nice, directions clear and simple. This one was rated intermediate, but either I'm improving or it might be a touch easier than other intermediate projects. Maybe it's just all downhill after the Henry Shirt

Since Soren was the one who ACTUALLY needed pajamas, I whipped him up a pair using the Envelope Tee pattern from Growing Up Sew Liberated (also used for his birthday shirt) and Little Comet Tails Crescent Moon Yoga Pants.

 New jammies

New jammies

 The pants are meant to be made of more substantial fabric, so I'm going to have to go back and open the waistband and insert some elastic--the stretchy jersey isn't enough to hold these up, especially when they are a bit too big anyway. The fabric for this set of jammies was leftover from my second Renfrew Tee, which I LOVE. Now I understand why everyone's so obsessed with that pattern! Maybe I'll get some pictures of it up soon.

New jammies
Right now these bottoms give us an excuse to sing, "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground..."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Soren's One!: Part II

More pics from Soren's party and notes about our current bout of shared misery.

Soren's Birthday

Mr. One-Year Old
Mr. Cutie Pie before he covered himself in chocolate frosting.

Family Birthday Pics
Maybe if we could meld these together we could have one decent family picture.

Birthday Moments

Soren's 1st birthday cake
The monster cake.

After his party, we broke down and admitted he had an eye infection, which he got ointment for on Monday, then he started running a fever and being super-fussy later in the week, and I found out Wednesday that he had an ear infection. I had Fall Break Thurs-Fri and Granny & Papa Weaver were planning to take Will home with them Thursday evening to spend the weekend with them and Ella & Aubrey, with me driving down and picking him up later. However, on Thursday we went to the Science Museum and came home when I realized Will was feeling hot. His temp was over 102 by the time we got home, and after ANOTHER trip to the pediatricians Friday morning, he was pronounced to have a double  ear infection--had to outdo his brother, I guess! Poor kid has been on antibiotics more weeks the last two months than he's had off. The NP prescribed a different (very expensive) antibiotic this time, so I hope that it is able to get rid of the bug.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Soren's One!: Part I

I can't believe how Soren's first year has flown by--so much faster than Will's. I'm not sure if it's because Soren was an easier baby or because there were two of them to keep me even busier!!

Just in time for his first birthday, Soren fell into the guest-bed frame, cutting himself above his eye and the inside of his mouth--poor baby! They also had pictures at school that week, so he's decorated in those as well. Will got scratched really badly on his face by another boy the same week as pictures too. I wonder what the photographer thought when he took their "sibling pictures" with both of their messed-up little faces!

 Soren's Birthday
The only halfway decent pic I got of him on his birthday. It was a super-busy, long day for me. Here you can see his injuries and the beginning of his gummy eyes.

On top of that, Soren also was fighting an eye infection and cutting 2 molars in addition to his bottom 4th tooth that had just finished cutting through a couple days before. Not much of a break from the miseries of babyhood for his birthday!

We did manage to have a really nice birthday celebration with just family, though. Bil picked a monster theme for him, and we sent out really cute themed invites. Sadly, beyond the cake and his monster shirt, the theme pretty much ended there, but that's OK--I'm sure Soren won't remember!

Soren's Birthday Shirt 2
Notice his little "1" shirt here--mama made, shirt & all. 

I was pretty worried about the cake for a while there. I waited till Saturday morning to start on it (no choice, really) and was having a migraine in addition to trying to keep Will from tearing the fondant up and licking it as I was decorating it. I tried marshmallow fondant this time (from this recipe), and liked it pretty well. I think it was slightly easier to make, and it did taste better. I didn't think it was going to get done, but it did.

Soren's Birthday
Here it is, warts and all (literally!). 

Soren's Birthday
The back looked so bad with fondant wrinkles that I added an unplanned tail to try and camouflage it! 

Soren's Birthday
It was nice to see him actually enjoy the cake and be able to get those fun "cake in the face" pictures, unlike Will!


Jimmie and Rachel were able to bring the girls down, and Will had a great time playing with Ella (and he wasn't too mean to Aubrey, so that's progress!). They played a long time in the back even though it was a very chilly 50-something-degrees that afternoon. We finally did shut down their play when I noticed they had turned on the water hose so they could "clean off" the porch. Then they spent almost an hour playing in the bathtub.

Soren's Birthday
Pontificating from the hearth.

Soren was a bit slow to warm up to everyone since he wasn't feeling too well, but his hammy side eventually came out, and he had a good time showing everyone how he could climb in his toy crate.

Soren's Birthday

For gifts, he received a pair of Robeeze winter boots from Mommy & Daddy, which he seems to love. He proudly wore them all around and will bring them to you to put on if he finds them in the floor. So cute! He got a musical toy from Aunt Jana & Uncle Brad that so far has been of more interest to Will, as well as some books that have been a hit with Will. Maybe when Soren gets a bit older. From Aunt Rachel & Uncle Jimmie, he got a wooden box of activity toys, which he has enjoyed throwing around quite a bit. He really enjoys the little stacking rings game, and has played with it quite a bit. He's impressively good at it! It's one of the kind that just has a small stick, not the big plastic ones, so it's a little more challenging. His grandparents gave him money, which we will probably put towards a new carseat for Daddy's car and put the rest in his savings account. One thing about being the second kid, there's not a lot he needs that we don't already have.




Check out Part II of the Soren's birthday for more pics.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Pauley's Pullover for Soren

Soren in SFB Pullover

Here is my entry for September's Sewing for Boys Sewalong at Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy. Thankfully this pattern was super-duper easy since we've been busy and sick, sick, sick. Bil is suffering from the virus I had last week, and poor Will has strep throat again. When he's really sick, he gets cuddly and sweet, but when he's just feeling bad, he gets grumpy and mean, but is just as wild as ever. Unfortunately we've been in the latter phase for the last couple of days. Soren had a terrible week , too, but on Thursday, I finally saw the cause--his fourth tooth on the bottom is now showing. He seems to have gotten some relief since it cut through; at least, he has been able to sleep without nursing the entire night the last couple of nights. Thank GOODNESS for that, says this tired mama.

Anyway, back to the pattern--super easy. 4 pieces. Nothing complicated at all. Well, I guess there is a buttonhole, but since I skipped that, it didn't bother me any!

The pattern recommends French terry, so I decided to use a maternity jogging suit that I've had in the upcycle pile for a while. It's a L, and I never get big enough when I'm pregnant to fill out a baggy, shapeless large; plus, Bil thinks any hoodie or pants made from cotton velour looks like a mobster's wife's outfit (thanks, Sopranos!), so he would have mocked me mercilessly had I tried to wear it myself.

Soren in SFB Pullover

I wanted to utilize the pockets that were already on the hoodie, so I cut off the zipper (a nice metal one, for future use) and sewed the two front pieces together.  So I've got what appears to be a front seam going down the shirt, but I think it's ok. The pockets are cute. They would have been more practical for something for Will, but maybe Soren will start using pockets before he outgrows the pullover (I made the 12-18 mos size).

Soren in SFB Pullover
Staged pocket usage. 

Soren in SFB Pullover
Modeling is vry srz bznz, y'all.

I had a bit of trouble with the V-neck binding (for which I utilized the hoodie's ribbed hem band)--one side didn't quite get captured underneath the other side. Not quite sure how to explain. It was a stupid mistake, and I even ripped out seams and tried again and still didn't get it, so I gave up and said "good enough." Totally my fault and not the pattern's.

My other alteration was skipping the drawstring. With my pockets on the front, I would have been making buttonholes through 2 fluffy layers instead of one and just didn't want to hassle with it. Instead, I added a hem band made from the leftover fabric of the hoodie's original hem band. I didn't have quite enough to use its full width (4 inches, so 2 inches folded), so I had a band of only 1" when finished. It would have looked better bigger, but c'est la vie when you're upcycling (and you're too busy/lazy to take the time to hunt around for coordinating fabric). I think following the directions would have resulted in a really short garment, though, as it's not very long as it is. It's a bit baggy on Soren, but more width than length-wise. As all the patterns in this book, it definitely runs short and wide. It is perfect for layering, though.

Soren in SFB Pullover
Hem band visible here. Also a Yossie photobomb--he wants to know why he never gets to be in pictures anymore.

It's still much too hot here for long-sleeves and layers, but Soren has been wearing this happily all day in the house. The pattern is cute, fast, and produces a very wearable results.   

Soren in SFB Pullover
Look out--teething drool!

Soren in SFB Pullover
He loves to climb up in his camp chair and look in the kitchen window.