February 28, 2014
Years and years ago, I stumbled upon a book of sewing patterns for little kids that had this adorable, French-y, vintage-looking little art smock in it. It was going to be the perfect thing for Colin to wear in all of those messy toddler crafts we were going to do together. I went out and bought the cutest fabric I could find (I believe it is Robert Kaufman, circa 2008?), and then promptly forgot about the whole thing—for three years and two more children.
But, lo and behold, this past January I finally found the time and energy to tackle this project. Just don't ask me how.
The pattern is from Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson, and the whole book is brilliant. I kinda want to make everything in it.
But don't let the simplicity of the design fool you. This is one fancy art smock. It has got French seams. Now, why a kid's art smock needed French seams beats me. But I appreciated learning how to do them properly, thanks to Ms. Gibson's excellent instructions. (I'll just not mention the two hours I spent sitting on my kitchen floor trying to figure out how to do French seams on a raglan sleeve. In my defence, it was pushing midnight and there might have been wine involved.)
After working so hard on this pretty little thing, it seemed a shame to let Colin wear it and get it all messy. But this afternoon, when he said he wanted to pull out the wet clay, I knew a fancy little art smock was just what he needed.
Now, I guess I've just got to sew one for the other two!
I (heart) you, too, Little Man!
February 23, 2014
February 21, 2014
Yesterday we had a sick day. For a family that is rarely sick, it was quite an anomaly. Even when the kids are just a little sick, we usually push on through with whatever we already had planned. As the child of a teacher, this is just how I was brought up: if you weren't gushing blood or throwing up, you got on with your day.
But yesterday Colin was throwing up, big time. So we spent the day quietly at home. And you know what? It was glorious.
Colin, my loud, active boy, spent the day cut and tracing and colouring in activity books. Archer, who wasn't sick at all, spent the day pretending to be sick: all curled up with me on the couch, while I read him books and scratched his back. And I got to work on my knitting a bit.
Even Pélé and Baby Beau, the boys' dolls, spent the day recuperating. The only person in the house who didn't take it easy was Virginia, who is busy getting into everything these days. (My how the time flies!)
At the end of the day, I felt so well-rested and rejuvenated. It was possibly the best day I have spent with my children in a long time. Finally, I was able to put my finger on what had made the day so lovely: there was absolutely no fighting or bickering or rough-housing. And I hadn't had to raise my voice once. Too bad this doesn't happen when they are well!
February 18, 2014
We were homebound recently for an entire day while the car was in the shop. This could have spelled disaster and destruction for my very energetic little boys. Fortunately, I came up with a perfect last-minute crafting idea: recycling robots. They came up with the idea of making the robots in the image of our family. Can you guess who's who?
February 11, 2014
My January project was knitting this little sweater dress for Virginia. I had to learn all kinds of new techniques like knitting in the round, knitting with double points, and knitting raglan sleeves, but I'm so proud of myself for learning new things.
Also, the dress is adorable! It's really more of a tunic, because I knit on the tight side, but the length is perfect for my pre-crawler as it doesn't get in the way of her scooting around on the floor. And since it's on the small side, I've got her wearing it, oh, about twice a week, since she is growing like a weed and will probably outgrow it in just a couple of months.
The pattern is "Autumn Frock" from the book Mabel's Closet by Hannah Fettig for Quince and Co., and the yard in Quince and Co. Lark in "Petal." Check out my notes on Ravelry. Fettig's patterns are so lovely, and the yarn and colour choices are so luscious that I'm slowly working through the entire book, pattern by pattern. Look out next month for stripes!
February 2, 2014
The baby I made this quilt for was just born yesterday! And despite the colour scheme, Baby A is most definitely a baby girl. But her mother Shannon, my good friend, asked for a baby quilt that was gender-neutral, with no pink or purple in it.
No pink or purple?! I was at a loss. After two boys, I am all over the pink and purple for Miss Virginia. Yet, Shannon was not the first of my friends to have a baby girl and want to avoid all of that girlie-ness, and I was happy to comply. After all, I want my handiwork to be *used*.
So I asked Shannon to choose her own fabric bundle from a quilting website I know and trust, and this is what she chose. At first I was a little skeptical. Those are some really dark solids and bold geometric patterns in there! But I went to work using the same baby quilt pattern I've used again and again, and, you know, I think it really works! In the end it was a total pleasure sewing fabrics that are unlike anything I would ever choose, and it expanded my fabric vocabulary a bit.
Most of all, I'm glad that Shannon gets something she will like and use for Baby A, whom I can already tell is going to be a very stylish and well-loved baby girl. (And thanks to Virginia to modelling Baby A's quilt, since Baby A is 2,500 miles away and probably not even home from the hospital yet!)