Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Soren's Suspender Shorts

Crawling in the Suspender Shorts

The pattern for Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy's Sewing for Boys Sewalong this month was Mimi's Little Suspender Shorts. I was pretty skeptical of this one at first; I cut it out as soon as the announcement was made and let it sit for the entire month. Since this pattern went down to 12-18 mo and since it seems more babyish to me, I decided to try and make it for Soren, even though it's the next size up from what he's wearing in RTW clothing.

I used a cute seersucker made even cuter by the fact that I got about 3 yards of it for $3 at the thrift store (score!). It's the same fabric I used for their Mother's Day Tie Shirts. I did the facings and the back of the pocket in a blue linen for contrast. I am getting a lot of mileage out of that linen--it's leftover from a long yardage I bought on clearance at JoAnn's to make ring slings with. I got two ring-slings and a child's sling out of it and still have about half the width by 2 yards!

Suspender Shorts

Contrast Buttons & Facings

This pattern went together really quickly. I challenged myself to not take the easy way out and serge the edges but to use the "smooth finish" technique on the back/font seams. Other than some burned fingers, it was pretty painless, just took a bit longer, and I do appreciate the nice looking finish on the inside.

I had no major screw ups for this project, although I realized when applying my snaps (more on that in a minute), my front facing never got stitched down. I'll have to go back and read and see where I missed the instructions for that! I did have a problem with my machine: I was unable to get it to make a buttonhole on the shorts. I did several trial ones on the same fabric. Changed out needles. Read and re-read my buttonholing directions. Read the instructions for how to open up the machine as much as possible and clean it out. I think maybe the interfacing plus two layers of fabric was just too much for my machine to handle. Plus, my machine is definitely overdue for a tuneup. In any case, I decided I had to go to Plan B if I were going to get the shorts done in time to enter the sewalong since we're about to go out of town. So I used snaps instead of buttons. However, I bought cute yellow buttons especially to use on this project, and I really thought it needed the pop of color, so I went ahead and attached the buttons on top of the snaps as decoration. I also preferred the look of just the one button instead of two on each side, so left the extra decorative buttons off.

It was kind of difficult trying to measure where to add the snaps since my target is such a wiggle worm, but hopefully this placement works. These shorts fit surprisingly well on a 7 month old, although he is super-long, so I'm sure that helps.

Front of Suspender Shorts
Back/Top View of Suspender Shorts
Suspender Shorts from the side

When I was trying these on Soren, Will said, "Get my clothes off him!" and I said, "These aren't yours Will, they are for Soren." He thought about that a minute, and then said, "Well, then make ME some!" I'm not sure whether to be pleased that he is requesting homemade clothes from me or sad at yet another moment of sibling jealousy. :- )

We had to take pics at Granny and Papa's house as we were going out of town and I just barely finished them in time!

Back of Suspender Shorts

Adorable baby is adorable
Adorable baby is adorable.

A kitty!
Look a the kitty, mom!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Sometimes you just gotta laugh to keep from crying....

This morning I took Will & Soren to get their pictures made (3 years & "6" months) by Tammy. I was worried about taking them both by myself, and it was pretty much the disaster I imagined. Will got his done first; then Tammy tried to get a couple with the boys together. Will did not want anything to do with Soren, so she got them kind of sitting in the same general area but not actually touching or anything. Then, we tried to focus on Soren, but Will was bored and his usual wild self, and rampaged around playing with props and jumping off stools, etc. He started stripping down and wanted to take his diaper off; I said no, but since I couldn't enforce anything with him and deal with Soren (who was fussy) at the same time, he managed to get it off, and then after I put it back on, took it off again, and threw the insides out! Then, Tammy was kindly trying to get him interested in coloring while I nursed Soren. I heard "Uh-oh!" and look up to see a puddle near the coloring book. Yes, my kid peed on the photography studio's carpeted floor. I wanted to die a little. Or a lot. Tammy was, of course, very gracious and said it wasn't the first time (probably not since she photographs newborns, but I bet he's the only 3 year old!) and assured me he wasn't that bad. But, he still got to go spend the session wrap-up in his diaper strapped in his carseat.

Then, since we hadn't had enough fun, I had to go to an appointment at the Apple store to see if they could fix my phone, which died yesterday (on my birthday--the nerve!). We waited in the extremely crowded store only to find that they could not fix it, but I had to buy a replacement for $160. Sadly, I am so addicted to my phone that I was happy to pay it in order to have it back. Soren was really good in the Ergo during all that waiting, but he was very tired and hungry. Will was less good, but thankfully, I kept him pretty well quiet between SweetTart bribes and my iPad.

I wonder if I will miss these days when they are all grown up?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Adventurous Eater

Proof of just how different an eater Soren is from Will:

Soren is eating avocado and chicken cooked in Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas. This recipe is delicious, by the way.

Even when (I think) he got a little bit of jalapeno in there, he still wanted more!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Purple Plaid Refashion

I am inordinately proud of these shorts!

A loooong time ago, I pinned Saltwater Kids' post about turning a button-down adult shirt into kid's shorts and immediately bought a couple of button-downs from the thrift store with that project in mind. In December. Because of course I was going to make shorts in December!

I actually didn't go back and consult the original inspiration post since I remembered the general idea--beyond cheap fabric, the gist of the concept is to utilize the premade pockets you generally find on this type of shirt.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out and how many of the shirt's original details I was able to utilize!

I used Dana's Made Pants pattern in the flat front version. I also used the Melly Sews hack for adding a faux fly. I intended to use Dana's pattern for the front pockets, as I had decided the Melly Sews version resulted in too-small a pocket. I got the Made-pockets all cut out and sewn together only to realize that the front pattern I had used was one that had to be used with Melly Sews pocket. After going through various ideas to try to add back on the part of the pants that sticks out above the pocket, I finally gave up and used the Melly Sews pocket pattern. My problem was that I had already used up most of the big chunks of the shirt, except the yoke, so I had to use that for the pocket backing and then used a contrasting quilting cotton in brown for the pocket liner.  I think the bias-cut yoke fabric actually turned out pretty cute, though!

plaid shorts 027

I also used a decorative stitch on the pocket top. Not too sure I like it that much, but it's OK.

After all my pocket drama (seriously, I spent more time on those silly front pockets than pretty much the rest of it together!), I got to sew them up--my favorite part, when pants actually start resembling pants! I was SO happy with how the back pockets turned out! I got everything pretty level by pinning the pockets right on top of each other and then cutting both backs out at once. I'm sure that would be obvious to others, but I do NOT usually find the easiest way to do anything when it comes to sewing.

plaid shorts 029

Finally, I added the button, tab, and loop that were on the shirt's shoulders to the cuff of the shorts. So adorable!

plaid shorts 028

Most importantly, Will likes them!

plaid shorts 019

Screw ups in this project include:

1. "Surely it doesn't matter if I sew down the front waistband first instead of last" (I was hoping it would help me not have gathers that always seem to creep in). Yeah, there's a reason--so you can have room to work with your elastic! As a consequence of my stupidity and my impaired ability to put in the elastic, the elastic is too long and so the shorts are VERY loose. Maybe they'll fit next year too?

2. When I was clipping off a button, I must have snipped the fabric, which then got incorporated into the pants. I have no idea how to patch something like that and didn't want to Google, so I just put a patch over it from the outside (matching up a scrap of plaid from the scraps). I'm hoping that plus some Fraycheck on the inside of the pants will hold it. I don't think it's noticeable b/c of the placement and that I matched up the fabric.

I am linking up to Family Ever After. This is "my entry into Once Upon a Weekend sponsored by Appliances Online and their FridgeFreezers."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Same Genes, Different Boys

I got to thinking about how big Soren is compared to Will, and I confirmed my hunch when I went back to this post where I recorded Will's one-year well-baby appointment stats. At 6 months, Soren was bigger than Will was at 1 year (well, slightly lighter, but I'm sure he's surpassed him by now at 7 months). Soren measured 3/4" longer at 6 months, though!

I snapped some pics of Soren wearing that same little bug outfit that Will was in those pictures for reference.

Soren 7 mos

I guess it's no wonder he's bigger: Soren loves to eat, and loves to eat EVERYTHING.

Soren 7 mos

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Third Mother's Day

Mother's Day 2012
(Pay no attention to the giant zit I managed to develop the day before Mother's Day--you'd think I was 13 again!)

I had a nice Mother's Day weekend.

Saturday I attended my first spring commencement ever. Always before I've had a good reason to skip it (like Rachel's graduation, new baby, honeymoon, my own graduation, etc.), but not this year. It was nice to see off my students. But I also had a migraine brewing which was not helped by being stuck directly underneath the tornado sirens when they tested them at noon

After I finished with commencement, we loaded up and headed for Duncan. We went to a fish buffet in Lawton for supper and were shocked at how much Will put away (a moderate amount for most kids, but a gigantic amount for Mr. I Eat Mostly Air). Soren also enjoyed himself and put away his fair share of food! We also had fun digging for potatoes and turnips in Papa's garden.

Picking potatoes--May 12

We went to church with Granny & Papa on Sunday. The boys wore their tie shirts that I made them. I've seen lots of tutorials for making these, and I used the tie pattern from Saltwater Kids. Why reinvent the wheel? The shirt and romper are patterns from Sewing for Boys.

Tie Shirts--Mother's Day 

I discovered that I apparently had not been putting on the raglan shirt collar per the instructions, even though this is probably my 5th or 6th version--I had just been putting it on as I had learned on other shirts. Doing it according to the book doesn't leave an exposed serged seam on the inside (as my way does), but it doesn't look quite as finished on the outside. As per usual, though, I managed to screw up something. The romper directions are for making all the seams on the outside, but I prefer them on the inside. Well, that was all fine till I forgot what I was doing  and  actually followed the directions for putting on the bottom tabs, with the seams on the outside. ARGH. And of course, I had serged them on. I am too lazy to seam rip all that out, so I just decided to live with it. And kick myself for being too lazy to change my thread so that at least my screw up would have blended... Oh well. I still think they turned out pretty cute! I will have to try again for a better picture. This was taken after church, visiting Great-Granny in the nursing home, so not the best of conditions.Will had to be taken outside shortly thereafter. It looks like Bil got some good photo opps with him outside, though.

Will poses

After lunch, we went on a caterpillar hunt. Will's daycare was studying the butterfly lifecycle recently, and I enjoyed watching their caterpillars progress that I wanted to try it at home. Everyone said just to get our own caterpillars instead of ordering them. Granny and I found 3 giant caterpillars that I have yet to identify. Will also captured 3 little tree frogs and various other creepie crawlies, but we let those go. It was a fun excursion!

Happy Baby--Mother's Day 2012

We wrapped up the day back at home, where I got my present, a Silhouette Cameo. Yah! I can't wait to try it out!

****************** Adding more pics of the boys' outfits. ********************

It's so hard to get a decent picture of either boy, but for different reasons!  Will is to the point where he doesn't want his picture taken (even if I'm not asking him to pose), and Soren just can't still and is really hard to set up to get a full-length shot of any kind.

 Mother's Day Ties

Mother's Day Ties

Mother's Day Ties

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Will: 3-Year Stats

Will had his 3-year well-child checkup a couple of weeks ago. I scheduled it for a couple days before his big dental procedure appointment so we could get his clean bill of health for the general anesthesia at the same time. Unfortunately, the only time they had available was 1:15, which is 15 minutes after my class lets out, and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the dr.'s office. Also, my classes are back to back, so I didn't even have time to let out early and run get him. So, I ended up dropping him at daycare, running to work and frantically reading through the day's material, then getting Will and bringing him to school with me. He had been asking to "see my kids" anyway, so it worked out. He was not as disruptive as he could have been, but also not quiet as a mouse either (when is he ever?).  I had a couple of student presentations in the first class, and Will did interrupt a couple of times--I felt pretty bad, but the students handled it well.

To keep him entertained, I brought him a juice box (he never gets real juice at home normally) and some snacks and my iPad and his headphones. It worked alright till the food ran out. Also, I did not plan well for his diapering needs after the juice box, and by the time we got to the dr.'s office, he was soaked clear through his shorts. Ack! Thankfully at 3, he normally doesn't require a change of clothes in the diaper bag, so I was unprepared. I changed his diaper, but just had to leave him with no pants/shorts since the one pair were too wet. We definitely looked "interesting" in the waiting room at the doctor's. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long. Since we're not having any current problems, it was a pretty quick visit. It's hard to believe at this time last year, I was worrying about his lack of eating/textures and his speech. He's definitely ahead of his peers in the speech department, and though he's still a picky eater, he doesn't seem to have major texture aversions like he did before.

His growth stats:
29 pounds
36 inches

That puts him somewhere around the 25% for weight (a huge increase there!) and 15% for height (a bit of an increase there).

Happy 3rd Birthday Will!