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!

 kids4

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.

kids2

 kids3

kids1

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!