05 January 2015

Goldfish Romper - Ottobre of the Month - December

My gift for subscribing was my choice of back issue. I went for Summer 2012,, as the contents looked hugely useable for our lifestyle, with fome fun shorts designs, new shirts to try and some cute but easy dresses for friends/possible future girls.

But what really drew me in was that adorable vintage style bubble romper. I figured the detailing meant that it would be unisex and adorable.

Its definitely adorable, but I'm not sure its the most flattering on my little man. 

Those high cut legs make it look a little like a swimming costume. I'm not sure if the elastic is still a little tight or if this is how theyre supposed to look.
This is the size 80, cut out as a guess as I have no idea how big he currently is and I didn't bother measuring because he was asleep when I decided to trace the pattern. It seems to fit OK though there isnt as much bubble as I was expecting. There seemed like there was more in the quick muslin  made up, so maybe the poplin just doesnt want to bubble.
I added snaps to the crotch for easy access, and winged the straps.
Nice and cool for the 41 degree (106F) day were expecting here!

I'm contemplating another for birthday cake smash style pictures, with a big 1 on the bib. Or I might just spray baste a big 1 on this one as I have way more ideas than time... If I do I think I'll work on lowering the rise some so theyre more bubble bloomers, though I'm not sure how that will work with the bib.

I've got some shorts to finish up for a friend, and a birthday boy shirt to make, and maybe a top for me, and the new Ottobre will supposedly be here shortly too, but I'm thinking I'll trace off the nautical shorts (number 7) and give those a go too.  So much on the wish list, so little time!

01 January 2015

2014 Highlights, Relections and Goals

Obviously Bubbaboo has been a massive highlight this year! I still cannot believe its only a couple of weeks to his first birthday, and how far he has come. All the milestones, both big and small, make my heart sing and I really cant remember or imagine life without him.
Other highlights include heading back to the Motherland to catch up with friends and family and do some tourist stuff, Run/Walking the 12km of the City to Surf with our little lion man who was content to sit in the pram just about all the way and got his first medal for his efforts, and our first proper family holiday, road tripping in a dodgy old camper van down the Great Ocean Road. Lots of happy memories.

Since Bubbaboo was born I've also been sucked down the rabbithole of babywearing. We both love the closeness, and he'll contently sit on my back and watch me cook while TheBoy is at work instead of causing chaos or screaming because he doesn't want to be in his play pen. Lifesaver. Sanity saver anyway! Plus I get to indulge in even more fabric!

So, thats what I've been up to. Aims for the next year include:

More selfish sewing. I have I have some grey check wool with subtle pink sparkle threads that I picked up for a song that I'm planning will become some winter trousers. I also have the Colette iris shorts pattern that will hopefully soon become my first pair of shorts. I just need to print the damn thing, and it looks like a huge waste of paper :( I also have these pretties waiting to be sewn up into... some thing...

My sister-in-law got me 3 balls of gorgeous cotton/wool blend yarn each with a silver thread and mini sequins. Its screaming "make me into a stripy scarf" so I'm thinking I might finally attempt to knit one. I hated knitting when my grandma tried to teach me at primary school, so we'll see if my patience has improved.

More quality, less quantity. As Bubbaboo gets bigger and wears his clothes for longer I'm trying to aim for less but more. Sure, there will be rapid fire play clothes, but I think the joy of boys clothes is in the details. I have an ideas board on Pintrest, so the plan is to put them into action.

My present from Bubbaboo (via Daddy, of course) was a subscription to Ottobre magazine. I'm thinking a Lower Your Presserfoot style challenge is in order. I'm not sure if my subscription includes the womans magazines, but my aim is to make at least one pattern a month from the most recent edition. Decembers is done, so I'll try and get that up soon, and I know what Januarys will be.

Lets see how the year progresses!

31 December 2014

2014 Review

So I've had a lot of things going on this year. Sewing has taken a bit of a backseat, and blogging fell out of the car a while ago! But I've been working a way in the background, making bits and bobs when I can. These are mostly for Bubbaboo, but more recently I've started sewing for me again now I'm coming to terms with my post-partum body!

I'm going to do the usual (all over the blogosphere) round up for a bit of insight into whats been under my presser foot and how its worked out. It wont be a top 5 and its not very specific, but here goes nothing...

Maybe we should start with the misses:

Baby shoes
So fiddly, so cute, so never worn.
He came out too big for the cute pair I made for his Daddys first "I'm nearly a" Daddys Day, And by the time I'd finished these uber cute boots from an old wool skirt he didnt fit them either. Bad planning? Maybe, but I dont think I'll bother for future babies.

Baby shirts
I had great hopes, and they did look very cute on, but they weren't practical on a little one and I don't reach for them still. Maybe I should make an effort now the weather is warming up so he can be breezy but covered. I'll still make him a first birthday shirt as I got a lovely blue paisley Liberty remnant from Tessuti for only $7, but thats more for me than him.

Crochet hats
I had the most fabulous alpaca/wool blend yarn to make a little hat. I even lined it with jersey to stop any potential prickles, even though it felt yummy to me. But it was too big for our trip to the motherland, and Perth doesn't really get cold enough for fully lined alpaca blend bobble hats. I did get a few people asking me to make them one, so maybe I'll contribute it to a fund raising raffle for one of the groups I'm part of next year. Or I could just hoard it for ever and cuddle it.
He did get a couple of other acrylic ones that got a bit more wear, but I think I'll admit he didn't need 4 of them...

Actually, Crochet in general
I started trying to crochet him a winter cardigan/jacket. I found it was something I could do when I was under a sleeping baby and neither of us really wanted to move. But when I got to the end of the first sleeve I lost momentum. Maybe I'll frog it back and add a few more rows to widen the back/should (its raglan style) and give it a go for next year.

Most things for me
Meh. I tried doing FBA, I tried new patterns. But with limited sewing time I havn't had time to faff around adjusting things to fit and preferably still allow me to feed. I had plans to make shorts but I havnt quite got around to printing the pattern out. I will admit I still wear a few of my dodgy bust dart sorbettos and laurels around and about, because they're cool and comfy, but they're not the best. And I just finished a Tesuti Alice top, which is nice and light and breezy. Now the need to feed at any given moment is starting to end though, and I've got a new more fitted pattern muslined that will hopefully break me out of this bad streak!

And the hits:

Most things for Bubbaboo
I'm really proud to say that in just about every photo of my little man and just about every day he is wearing/using something I made. From shorts to pram liners and onsies to suck pads for the ergo. And hats and toys and jeans and playmats... I love that we aren't restricted by the pretty limited boys wear selection. We can do bright colours and non skinny jeans. We can do anything (and he can't complain yet!). Here are some of my favourites:

Purl Soho baby pants, KwickSew Romper, Sirocco dress for a friend, BBBPants with wrap scrap panel, half birthday Oliver+S Sunny Day shirt, Lion shirt for the City to Surf,
Matching Sunny Day and Negroni shirts. Suck pads and my fav (self drafted) pants of all yet rarely photo'd, upcycled onsie, shirt and upcycled lined jeans, Surfing Space Robot cargos, upcycled Tshirts into raglan t and pants,
Upcycled T to track pants- Daddys favourite, christmas shorts, second fav pants- green babycord BBBPants, Yellow cord overalls, red polo from scrap of op shopped red jersey used for maternity dress plus MoVember shorts, Haloween/dress-up box dinosaur/dragon reversible cape.

Megan Neilson Nursing tops
I wear these all the time, though have surprisingly few photos. I love that its easy to feed in but also draws in around the waist and skims the tummy. I found the neckline bagged out, so I sew elastic in the hem to stop that. I also found the modesty panel made it really hard to actually feed  through and the opening also stretched out, so I just wear it with a cut off singlet underneath instead.

Upcycling for baby clothes
I've been saving up old Tshirts and pants for a while. I have maybe also been buying things of varying states of newness to make into different things.  My favourite is this combo- Daddys well worn in tshirt with Daddys well worn in jeans, but as you can see in the above collage, there has been lots of recycling and reusing going on.

So yep, lots of sewing, just not much blogging. Not even much Flickr-ing!

01 April 2014

Me Made May '14 - Its on!

I, Ellen, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to dress myself and/or my BubbaBoo in at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2014

Its done. I'm in. Me-Made-May!

Not so many of my me-mades fit me particularly well at the moment so my personal wardrobe is much reduced. I've managed to squeeze in a few feeding friendly tops which may or may not turn up here prior to May. They whip up really fast (gotta love knits for that!) so they can be made up in a couple of nap times. Who wants to clean the kitchen when theres sewing to be done?!

So my challenge is split between me and bubs. He's not one of natures spewy babies, so up until recently he's generally worn the same summer onesie for 24 hours. Now we are needing a bit more warmth day and night, so I can actually get a bit more creative with his wardrobe before he grows out of everything! 

I think between us we should get every day covered, and I can reassess my wardrobe going forward too. Thats definitely been a benefit in the past. Bring on May!

25 March 2014

Baby Trousers - One Pattern, many ways

Baby stuff again! But I do have grown up sewing in the pipeline...

So despite the fact that we're still sweltering through one of the hottest summers in Perths recorded history (the rains coming! yey! but now its just warm and humid...) Bubbaboo has many many pairs of pants that he occasionally wears for best or our morning walks, because 22 oC is cold, right?

The ones I'm showing today were all based on Rae's free newborn pants pattern. Its not as newborn as some of her stuff, so with some mods they still fit my 7.2kg/15lb 9 week old who is generally in 3-6m or bigger RTW.

I made a couple of pairs of the straight pattern from woven fabric for true newborn. These never really got worn-Too fiddly and too warm to really bother- but they were very cute.

The next way was out of stretch fabrics, mostly refashioned Tshirts. Sometimes I used the existing hem, sometimes that wouldn't work so I hemmed them myself, sometimes I added a cuff:

I made a matching hat out of the owl tshirt. Bubbaboo wore it lots in the hospital, though the trousers didn't fit yet. In all the commotion of being allowed to finally leave the hospital and make sure he was properly in the baby seat and things, the hat got left behind. I was gutted. I loved that hat and all the memories. But I still have the memories... And maybe someone else got to love it too. How much he's changed already! Now the pants fit, and they're nice and thin so they'll make a good slightly-cool weather layer.

The pink Koala pair are for Bubbaboos second cousin who is about 2 months older (and about 3lb lighter!). We're going a visiting soon, so these were made as a souvenir out of a Tshirt I bought years and years ago on my first visit to what is now my home city. I rarely wore it but I knew it would come in useful some day! Bubbaboo has a matching pair made out of a t-shirt I picked up in Cairns a couple of years ago.

These have ribbing waist and cuffs, and longer but narrower legs. The cuff means they can be longer without overhanging, and the soft waist means they'll be nice and comfy for long term wear, not to mention that the other baby struggles with reflux so a gentle waist is supposed to be better for that.

If you're adding a waist cuff, you can cut away the extra fabric for the elastic casing and just leave a seam allowance for adding the ribbing. But for these I sewed the basic trouser shape then dipped the waist at the front to give them a bit less rise there, then attached the waist band. It just gives them a bit more rise for a bigger baby. In some pairs I also added a bit more width by putting the pattern piece away from the fold slightly prior to cutting.

Then we started getting into the proper winter clothes:

Refashioned from a fleecy sweatshirt, with extra width and length to hopefully last us through the winter.
And my biggest step away from the original idea:

(my old) Jeans fully lined with flannel. These took a bit of imagining and some un picking, but I got there in the end! They have extra width and length, hence the turn ups. And a fake fly (maybe on the wrong side...) and back pocket. If I get time to make another pair I'll do a tutorial, mostly for my own remembering!

Such a quick pattern to make, and so easy to make different every time!
I love patterns like that! Especially when they're free.
Do you have a "quick fix" pattern?

04 March 2014

Little Shoesies!

Bubbaboo is wearing size 2 shoes already! It means the hippo shoes I made to give his daddy for Fathers Day squish his toes. *Sad Face*

Cameron Seakers (IThinkSew)

We're headed back to the Motherland before too long, which will be a shock to the system for this summer baby who seems cold if it drops below 30oC. So I decided a new pair of shoes were needed to keep his toesies toasty.

These are up-cycled from a wool skirt from the op shop, which barely fit at the time and which I cannot imagine fitting anytime soon, even if I had occasion to wear it! But I loved the weave, so I knew they'd make some smart baby clothes. Its a bit poofy, and that made the pleated front panel much harder, but I'm liking the finished look:

Jaden Sneakers ((IThinkSew)

They are lined with black jersey, with black drill cotton for the sole, interfaced with fleece for comfort and warmth. I cant imagine a lack of non-slip soles being an issue at 6 weeks!

This one is finished (after a week of stolen moments), and I have a second that needs hand finishing (the hole to turn out sewing up and the front panel and closures attaching). 
We'll get there soon!

In the meantime, its all about crochet while bubs is being needy and not napping away from my chest!

13 February 2014

The start of a modelling career!

BubbaBoo is 4 weeks old! 
And we're starting to phase in some clothes beyond onsies.
Being a monster baby he's pretty much into the 3-6 month sizes already!
Here are some of the outfits we've been rocking:

I'm especially loving the Big Butt Baby Pants and the PurlSoho Baby Pants. I foresee more of those in our sewing future! I also foresee a Plantain T shirt to hide the fact that BubbaBoo killed my tummy muscles. 
If I can ever force myself to switch newborn cuddles for naptime sewing...