Saturday, 25 October 2008

Nappy making frenzy underway!

Here are a few more I whipped up between curtain making:

Of course, my favourite is the turtles, despite having made a similar nappy for Austy before (although his now looks like a rag, the turtles almost invisible and a few tears in the outer fabric these days). I love the fabric, but also, I lined it with luscious soft mint velour. MMMMMmmm.

Austy thought the cow one was a bib, since he has a few bibs of the same fabric (that he doesn't really wear anymore), and happily played my assistant, handing me the correct coloured snaps in the quantities I asked for.

The lemon star one looks like one leg is bigger than the other in the photo, but it's definitely not since I marked my elastic start and end points before sewing on two equally sized pieces of elastic. I am thinking it's the way it was sitting for the photo. I like that print a lot too and wish I'd used the natural coloured bamboo velour in my stash to line it rather than the white microfleece.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Things are getting serious!

Seriously TINY that is! (Or you could say things are getting seriously huge, but it depends if you are talking about me or the nappies...)

A bit of my nappy making history:

I cloth nappied Austin from birth, making up about 20 small pocket nappies before he was born and one newborn one simply because my first go at creating my own pattern had me make one too small. But that nappy was wonderful in the early days as it didn't rub on his umbilical stump too much (the pockets have quite a high rise) and the legs didn't have to be done up at the tightest snap (and risk wing droop). After my first go at making new pockets on Saturday night, (this time my first one came out to be more like a medium than a newborn... I think I just couldn't remember how small new babies are), I decided to make a newborn sized fitted. Austin was in pockets from day 1 till he was 6-8m old and no longer able to stay dry in a heavily boosted pocket nappy all night long so I never did the fitted and woolly thing with him until then when nothing else seemed to work. Fitteds always seem smaller than a pocket anyway as there is no allowance for lots of stuffers, and you do have to fit a cover over them. But I was so shocked when I whipped up this little fitted tonight. It is the cutest, tiniest thing I have ever seen and I was tempted to go and steal Austy's "baby" from his tight sleepy grasp just to try it on as I did with his first newborn nappy (the doll was here for my niece long before Austin was thought of but with our baby approaching Austin has become quite attached to his little boy baby).

It was quite fiddly to do and next time I would cut the lay in booster a bit bigger (you can't see it here as it's underneath the snap in soaker pad). Overlocking those tight corners was a little difficult when I am so out of practice on the nappy making front. I did have a full body layer cut from the microfleece but the nappy seemed really bulky and I decided to go withoiut, leaving soft bamboo fleece against bub's skin, and microfleece on the soaker pad to wick the moisture away. This was the first time I used woolly nylon too - love the stuff - soooo soft!

And here's a progress shot of bubs, taken at 31w pregnant. I actually don't look that big here - I think it's the skirt. Normally when I have jeans or work pants on and it's easier to see where my bump starts, people start looking very worried, even my boss is stressing taht I won't make it through to my maternity leave date at 37 weeks!

And just a cute story about Austy, because I feel like sharing. Tonight I was seriously tired, having woken up at 4am with reflux (I never want to eat Indian again... well at least not till after bub arrives!) and not being able to go back to sleep. When I got home I started having some nasty Braxton Hicks contractions that had me stopping whatever I was doing - I think it was my body's way of telling me to rest. Austy was quite concerned and when I went to lay down on the couch and called him into the family room to play where I could keep an eye on him, he came in, gently wrapped his arms around my tummy and said "I'm taking your tummy sore away and throwing it in the bin" and off he went and I heard the bin lid go up and slam down. Then he dissappeared to his bedroom, came back with his pillow and "star blanket" (the baby quilt I made him) and "tucked me all in" on the lounge. He played for a little bit, then I moaned again so off he went. I looked at my watch and realising it was bed time for him I went to go and get him to get him ready for bed. There he was in his doorway, dragging his CD player and telling me to go back on the couch because he was bringing Justine Clarke for me to make me feel better! Isn't he just adorable! I just know he will make a fantastic big brother.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Teddy #1 complete

Austy wouldn't go to bed last night and with all of the getting up and down I didn't want to start quilting till I knew he was asleep, so I started the bears instead. This little guy got his front knitted in between putting someone back into bed, and then the back knitted while that little someone had swimming lessons today. After we swam in our pool this afternoon Austin wanted to stay outside and play with water toys so I sat outside with him and finished this little guy off. I still need ribbon for the teddy bear's necks, and then for stringing the mobile together but this is a start.

Better go, someone is up to his bedtime antics again... can't wait for DH to get home tomorrow night!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Thursday night dye up

I plan to make this little mobile for bubs room (or something very similar). Please excuse the dodgy photo of a photo in a pattern book!

The problem was the room colours I have chosen are quite rich, so there is no such thing as baby wool in deep burgandy, chocolate or beige. Good thing I know how to dye wool, eh? I picked up some cleckheaton merino bambino 4ply in Spotlight's 20% off sale this week (I had to go in to get more stuffing for Austy's bed cushion, but there was no way I was lining up for fabric - the express isle even took 20 minutes of waiting!). I found some gaywool colours (garnet, mushroom and logwood) and ordered them online a few weeks ago. So last night I set myself up a-dyeing. I was jsut going to do the three solids, but did a varigated one for good measure...

And finally one last sneak peak at the doll quilt I am working on. No more peaks now until it is received and opened. But I had to show you the hand stitched lettering I have added to the picture squares. And that's a little people doll to show you how tiny everything is. I would have used something else, but it was being photographed on Austy's play desk so of course the quickest little thing I could find was a toy!

Monday, 13 October 2008

A promise kept

As promised, here is another (bigger) sneak peak at the little quilt I am working on for the EB doll quilt swap 2. Hope you like it!

Friday, 10 October 2008

One little boy's room...

...slowly coming together.

I finished the cushion cover last night and mad a cushion to go in it, although I ran out of stuffing so it will need some more before I can close the hole in the cushion. Luckily, with it being in a cover, Austy is able to have it in his room tonight and since it's so thin with stuffing, he has decided it makes a snuggly pillow, and went down as soon as we closed his door. A few EBers would know that we had some trouble with him on the first night in his new room, his excuse for all the tears being "but it's not finished". Slowly but surely we are getting there though and here is the evidence:

Some bunting, appliqued curtains and a big new personalised cushion.

Quilting underway (although, VERY slowly but I am determined to get it done). Emma came over today to get me started, generously gave up half of her day off to do it, and also gave me a few pointers. This is my first quilt this size (and the second quilt top I ever pieced - just been sitting dormant for a while), and I have decided to use wool batting so it's quite heavy and tricky to manouvre. I have already had a few "What was I thinking?!" moments but it will be worth all the effort in the end.

BEAUTIFUL new big boy bed, fit for a prince, waiting for a coat of paint tomorrow. I'm so proud of Austy's Dad. He's never built a piece of furniture before but when we couldn't find anything we liked, and those that were close cost over $1000, he decided to attempt it himself and I love it!! He still has to put the slats on and make the trundle drawer but he wants to get the bed part finished so Austy can sleep in it and worry about the trundle drawer afterwards.

Our poor bank accounts are suffering at the moment due to new mattresses for the bed, trundle, and cot, new curtains for bub's room, lots of new bedding for both Austy and bub, a new car seat for Austy, all of the timber and paint we have consumed lately and a huge $565 vet bill to have Gryffin's teeth pulled... poor cat, but we were shocked at the price. So we will let the funds recover a bit (and unfortunately Austy's Dad will be working weekends again for a while) before the trundle drawer gets built and the kids shelves and Austy's toy/book unit gets bought. So the rooms will stay unfinished for a little bit longer.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A wednesday WIP

Here's what I was working on yesterday afternoon. It will become a floor cushion for Austy's room, to have on his bed as decoration, or to sit on the floor playing with his toys as I will imagine when the baby comes and starts to explore he will want to play with some of his toys in his room so they can't be snaffled by tiny fingers. I can just see him sitting on it building castles with his duplo.

When I showed him the top he grinned a super big grin. I asked him what it said and he recognised his name straight away: "It says Austin" he exclaimed as he hugged it close to his chest. Gotta love that for gratitude - what I most love about making things for my boy.

And for the EB quilters and sewers... if you look really carefully you may see a hint of the doll quilt I am working on. More sneak peaks to come so keep your eyes peeled.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Getting ready for baby

Not much more progress here, but I have finally finished (and hung) both of Austy's curtains so another photo will come when the whole room is done. Not too far away now - Austy's Dad is up in the shed building the bed, and the matresses arrive today!

Here is my second bassinette set, this time I made the contrast band slightly narrower, and I think this is my favourite of the two. I will need more fabric to make more so this will be it for now, but I did buy some plain cot sheets to embroider or applique and some plain ones for Austy too so if the moment strikes I can add pictures to them too. I will definitely need more fitted sheets for the bassinette, as most of the time we never used top sheets with Austin, just wrapped him in a light muslin wrap and layed him on the mattress.

I have also finished up some knitting I started a while ago:

Pattern: Budget 3ply PG 20 (old pattern leaflet I found on ebay) - Panda Yarns Pty Ltd
Yarn: Patons Dreamtime 3ply 100% wool Colour 0049 (Cream)
Needle size: 2.75mm and 3.5mm
Size: 3 months

It knitted up much faster after my frustration had it in hibernation for a while. I think it must have been my very tired early pregnancy brain as the lace pattern was actually quite easy to remember when I picked it up again, not nearly as difficult as I thought it was at first. I have done much more complicated things so couldn't understand why it didn't gel with me. The pattern was quite easy to follow, and I love the round yoke and bonnet crown with the simple horisontal rib. I had planned to dye this yarn as a varigated wool similar to these but am glad I went for the classic cream in the end (couldn't decide on a unisex colour) as it really works well with the classic design - much nicer than the pink one in the pattern book. This would be nice to take baby home in, but since it will most likely be stifling hot in December, I made it a bit bigger than newborn, so instead will be saved for some cool Autumn days visiting.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A new spot to sew

I thought I'd better show you all my new sewing nook - a bit of a downgrade from the lovely big double bedroom I could shut the doors on, leave set up and had free reign over. I guess I will get a sewing room back one day when the kids are grown though and by then there will be noone to sew for, so I am glad to at least have this little sunny corner where I can create. Luckily this house has both a family room AND a lounge room (or adult's room as Austy calls it), so I can shut the doors and keep kids out, but I will need to keep it a bit tidier than my old sewing room. I sort of got into the habit of sewing till I dropped, leaving no time for tidy up, since I get such a small amount of sewing time anyway.

Here's the big room I left, being prepped for painting. The pink square on the wall was where a mirror used to be as a part of a dressing table that came with the house. That's now out in the carport waiting to be ebayed, and the room is all painted, with a certain little boy sleeping in it tonight, waiting for his room to get the same treatment as we make it over from nursery to little boy's room. I will show you after shots once the new nursery is finished and all set up, curtains included. I picked outr some fabrics today and when they arrive in a week's time I will have lots of long straight lines to sew.

Here is the room before we moved in - those curtains hanging there look quite ok but in reality they were all discoloured with a combination of yellowing and fading so they had to go, as did the pelmets as we opt for a more modern look. I still have to hunt down a new light fitting too, much to the old owner's disgust - they loved the old lights so I am thinking about ringing them for them to have the option to come and take it off our hands. I have picked out a rather simple sheer netting, to come just to the window ledge and the outer curtain will be a sunout fabric in a mushroom colour with the slightest bit of texture for some interest. The pull cords are gone, never to be allowed back into the house again! Austy's Dad liked them and wanted to put them back up but with the strangulation risk I wouldn't have it, plus they were disgusting and grimey anyhow.

And here is yesterday's efforts - already claimed by a rather surprised Siamese who got caught doing something he shouldn't! He's not allowed in that bassinette and he knows it, but I took the photo before booting him out. I think he likes the little bunnies! I love the way my fitted sheet fits so easily and snugly - no battling with flat sheets or pillowscases over the bassinette matress this time. I whipped up another set today between hunting down curtain fabrics, an obstetric visit (and much to my relief - bub is spot on size for dates so contrary to popular belief, so far it's not looking like another massive one!), buying some more sewing supplies and doing the drop off/pickup run for Austy to go to childcare. Phew! What a busy day, and I can hardly believe I also fitted in some much needed housework as well, baked a banana cake AND cooked a roast. No wonder my feet are so swollen and sore tonight. Sheet embroidery (this time a teddy bear) will have to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Nearly a whole month!

I can hardly believe I've left blogging for so long. I just haven't really had much to show anyone. However I'm now in the middle of my first week of plant shutdown (annual leave) and am on a mission to sew as much baby stuff as I can. So far it hasn't been easy as Austy has been clingy with an ear infection and there's not a whole lot that can be done in the 2hrs between dropping him off at childcare so I was hoping to get a lot of the preparation work done (drawing patterns, cutting out etc.) while he was still with me but it hasn't happened.

So far all I have managed is to applique ONE curtain for Austy's room (and had it with the vilesofix falling off it's backing as I cut it out so am not ready to attempt the other one yet), a fitted bassinette sheet and a flat bassinette sheet. Not so good for three afternoons efforts. I still have plans to make lots of nappies, summer pyjamas for Austin, a nappy bag, curtains for the baby's room and finish Austy's big bed quilt as the cot/bed is not going back into his room after it gets moved out to paint. So what am I doing in here? Well I am sort of stuck to my embroidery macine to stop it every time I hear the threads splitting (which seems to happen far too often). I am not trusting this thing - it will stop when the thread snaps but it could sew for a whole 30mins with a very fine remnant of thread after the rest bunches up somewhere in the machine. I think I have already stuffed up the design because I trusted the machine to tell me what colour to do next, instead of the colour charts, and it was wrong... very wrong! So hopefully my unpicking didn't cause the fabric to shift too much. Fingers crossed and we'll see. (Can't you tell that my embroidery machine and I have a love hate relationship!)

I can say I have finally finished Austy's dust jacket and he has proudly worn it out in public twice. He loves the little pencil pocket the best, and I think I do too. I tried to copy every detail from Austy's Dad's real dust jacket, inluding the raglan sleeves, hidden buttons (changed to snaps for Austy's little hands) and divided mitred chest pocket. I didn't have a pattern so I was a bit apprehensive about drafting my own and put it off for some time. But with austy wanting to help his Dad in the shed building the big boy bed, there was no way out of it. The results are worth the fear and the effort though.

Here is a quick little project I made for a lady at childcare who used to be one of Austy's baby room carers. As she's not in the kindy or pre-kindy room where I head to pick up Austy so I didn't even know she was pregnant until the letter went out asking for gifts to be placed in the basket by the end of the week. In a mad panic for a quick project, I came across these taggy blocks. I decided to add a little photo window as well, and chose bright colours teamed with black and white to give baby lots of visual stimulation. There's a rattle bell inside too. The best part - it was all done in an hour or so!

I promise to be back with photos of my (hopefully productive) two weeks off. If I don't achieve much at least I know I have been successful in one thing - Austy is pretty much toilet trained! It was like a switch. After all these months trying he finally decided to wear jocks. I knew it was just a matter of having some time off work to help keep things consistent.

Oh and don't forget to add your guesses to my baby stats game - check the link in my side bar. Only 10 weeks to go now!! It's zooming along.