Posted on 2 Comments

Beckett’s Costume Phase 2.2

I’m still in Phase 2, the jumper phase.
This picture is showing how I pinned the sleeves in.

This shows how I tapered the underarm seam to get rid of the weird hip points from Phase 2.1.

I wanted to shrink the width a little but leave it big enough to look like a puffy marshmallow. I used the jumper that fits Beckett as a guide and added about an inch on top of that to mark where I would sew the front and back seams.

I marked where to stop for the legs with three red pins.

Sewing…..

 Stop!

Front seam done!

Here I have the back seam pinned. I started it a few inches down to add a button closure for giant baby head clearance.

 I stitched a line perpendicular to each seam at the end of both the front and back seam.

I cut inside the seam to create a continuous strip for me to attach the snap tape.

Here I have the first part of snap tape pinned in. When I sew it, I will fold it in the width of the tape and stitch all around the edge. 

And here’s where Beckett got too fussy for me to continue for the night.

Posted on 2 Comments

Beckett’s Costume – Phase 2.1

Beckett actually gave me a few minutes to work on his costume this morning. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

First I turned the shirt inside out and cut off the sleeves just inside the seams. Then I took a picture with my camera in need if batteries.

I folded the shirt in half matching all seams to be symmetrical. then I cut it down the middle along the fold.

Starting at the cuff, I matched the sleeve of my guide jumper to one of the sleeves and marked it about an inch longer. I cut it wiith a slight curve to match the jumper’s arm hole seam.

I used the first sleeve as a pattern to carefully cut the second sleeve while holding a cranky, teething Beckett.

Cranky, teething Beckett.

I don’t have pictures for this part, but I pinned one shortened sleeve into the arm hole with right sides together. (If you’re following along, remember that there is a top and bottom to the sleeve because of how it is cut with the slight curve.) There was hole under the sleeve since the new sleeve is smaller. Once I got the sleeve pinned, I sewed up the underarm hole and tried to taper it out a little. Then I sewed on the arm.

Beckett tried on the new sleeve. It’s a little big, but poofybunchy is good for the costume and it gives him a little room to grow.

Here it is flat. You can see I need to do something to soften the weird hip point. I will probably do the other side the same way first, though, and then fix them both at the same time.

Time to break for lunch and to replace my camera batteries.

Phase 1 is here.

Posted on 1 Comment

Style help

Over the past seven years my weight has fluctuated from about 160lbs before Finnian, 230 lbs with Finnian, 190-195ish for five years after Finnian, 135lbs right before Beckett, 190lbs with Beckett and now holding at about 165-170lbs. I’d like to see at least 15 lbs drop off of that because I know my joints would feel better at that weight and that’s a range that is realistic for my 5′ 8″ frame to maintain. I’m not in a huge hurry to work it off yet, though, other than being more aware of what I’m eating.

In the meantime, I have a closet full of clothes in size too big and size too small with just a few in the just right or passable range. Many of them have been in my closet for at least five years. I desperately need to update my wardrobe with minimal money spent. My clothes need to be practical enough to stand up to everything my boys throw at me (literally and figuratively) but not be all sweats, mom jeans and boxy men’s t-shirts.

I figure I need some sort of game plan to decide what stays, what goes and what purchases will give me the most for my (limited) money. I decided to use the Ain’t No Mom Jeans personal style exercise (discussed in depth here and here) as a starting point.

While I’m sure Beckett would have loved to help me tear up magazines, I decided one handed Polyvore clipping while B dream nursed on my lap was the more productive way to go. I have to say that I’m not sure I’m looking at it quite right. There was definitely an outfit type that I chose consistently, and a few themes I see in the outfits I picked. What I’m not seeing is how to label the styles in such a way to be useful and not have me wearing The Outfit every single day. Plus, I live in Texas, so The Outfit is pretty much limited to fall/winter in it’s full form. Maybe I’m just not seeing it clearly because I’m doing it for myself, though, so feel free to help.

Here we go:

This board is for the skirts and dresses I clipped. There weren’t many compared to everything else, so I grouped them together.

Skirts/dresses

Most of the outfits I chose seemed to consist of solid colors, so anything with any sort of pattern or design went here. Stripes seem to be a big hit, and The Outfit is beginning to emerge.

Pattern/design

Pattern/design by csloan on Polyvore

This board has everything else I clipped. Mostly variations of The Outfit.
everything else

So, here’s my summary.
I prefer pants. My go-to Outfit would be slim fitting jeans with layers on top and cute shoes or boots. I’m seeing pops of reds, yellows and blues with mostly blacks, neutrals and earthy colors for the main colors.  
As far as accessories go, I don’t see a lot of jewelry. It seems like they are accessorized through layering scarves, jackets, etc. more so than with statement necklaces or bold jewelry. Many of the outfits use a big bag for added impact. There are also a lot of really cute boots.
The main adjectives I’d use to describe the outfits overall are simple, casual, cozy and maybe a little edgy.
What do you think? Did I get it?
Posted on Leave a comment

7 Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

Finnian is trying out for Battle of the Books. I love that he is reading so well and wants to do it. I’m nervous about what happens if he doesn’t make it or is the only one his age to make it. He’s up against second and third graders to make the team.

— 2 —

Beckett is really, really teething this time. I saw a red spot on his gum and he’s being a little Fussbudget. Which is kind of a misnomer, because there is no budgeting of the fuss.

— 3 —

Fleas seem to thrive in my neighborhood. I have been battling them in our house all summer, but the last week has been the worst. I’ve swept, vacuumed and mopped frequently, treated the (indoor) cat and (outdoor) dog with Frontline, tried vinegar, EO’s and sprays from Raid and Hartz. All it does is make them mad. In the past we’ve tried diatomaceous (sp?) earth and that did nothing. We don’t even have carpet. Luckily they aren’t in my craft room, but I’m afraid to go in there and have one follow me. 😛 Basically, help!

— 4 —

Finn has a school holiday today. I didn’t want him in front of the t.v. all day, so I insisted we walk to the park. You would not believe the whining! I thought it would be a treat. He finally came around once we got there.

— 5 —

I’m pretty sure my across-the-street neighbor is on her fourth garage sale of the year. I think the city only allows two. I really don’t care, except my dog barks and people park so it’s hard to get in and out of my driveway.

— 6 —

Finn is having his first sleepover at a friend’s house, so I expect to be up all night. Not that I’d be sleeping with B teething anyway.

— 7 —
I’ve been trying to update my wardrobe a little without actually having to go to the mall or spend a lot of money. Yesterday, my neighbor (who I hadn’t told about my clothes shopping) gave me a bag of clothes that she didn’t want either because of the size or needed repairs. Some of them needed more work than I can do and some didn’t fit. There were two pairs of jeans in styles I was looking for that miraculously fit (2 sizes smaller than I normally wear!) and had fairly easy repairs needed. I love it when things work out like that.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Posted on Leave a comment

Mini Tutorial- Altering Pants

Earlier this week I mentioned quickly taking in some pants at the waist. I was always afraid of adjusting pants, but with my fluctuating post baby body, I needed a way to have pants that fit without lots of shopping. It may not be 100% perfect, but it works for me.

First, try on your pants to determine how much to take in. You’ll be stitching at the side seams, so you’ll want to divide that amount evenly between each side. You can either actually measure or just pinch and guesstimate like I did.

Now, you’ll sew your new seam starting with the max amount at the waistband and tapering out to the seam somewhere around the middle to end of the pocket depending on what you need for fit and how the pants are structured. I didn’t want to change the shape of the legs, so I just did a gradual taper of probably 5-6 inches. Repeat on the other side.

Some things to keep in mind while sewing:
Keep the waistband even at the top
Use a denim needle for thicker materials
Taper all the way out so you don’t end up with a weird little pleat
Avoid stitching over belt loops.
WATCH OUT FOR METAL RIVETS. Seriously. I’ve had needles break and hit me in the face without hitting something metal. Use extra care if your jeans have metal details around the seams.

This tutorial was based on one I saw on another blog, but I can’t find that blog now. If you know the one I’m talking about, please let me know. I would love to link back to it, and the blog probably has tons of other awesome tutorials I need to see.

Posted on Leave a comment

Attempt #1: Blue shirt sewing project

I need some cool, cute but relaxed fitting, nursing-friendly shirts for the summer. I decided to try making a few with my overflowing fabric stash.

I’ve been working on this shirt from Simplicity pattern P1969 for about a week during Mr. B’s morning nap times. I had a little trouble understanding some of the instructions, but I’m sure a more experienced seamstress could have easily finished it in a couple of hours or less. This slightly flawed version is straight from the pattern. It’s such a basic design, though, that I would like to try a few variations with it.

I actually haven’t had the chance to try it on yet, but my lovely torso double Athena stepped in to model it for you.

Note: it’s best to use the handle to pick up a hot iron.

Posted on Leave a comment

What I Think Every New Mom Needs: A Ring Sling

Aside from a live-in maid or a clothes dryer that folds and puts away laundry or a self-cleaning kitchen, the most useful thing for a mom that actually exists is a comfy baby carrier. My preference, hands-down, is for a good quality baby ring sling. They are so versatile you can use them to carry your baby from the time they’re a newborn all the way up to a big toddler. You can carry them lying down, upright, facing in or out, legs tucked in or out, semi-sitting, on mom’s front, back or hip depending on the baby’s age, all with the same sling.

For mom, the sling supports your back and distributes baby’s weight evenly when worn properly. Ring slings are adjustable to any body shape and size. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a good one if you have the slightest sewing ability. All you need is a length of sturdy material, a pair of solid rings and a sewing machine. There are so many good tutorials online for making your own, I’m not going to do my own here. One that I found very helpful for making slings, complete with info on choosing fabric and where to buy rings can be found here: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/index.html.

Without my first sling, I don’t think I could have done much of anything when Finn was little. I loved my original sling so much I’ve made two more for myself. One stays in the car, one I use around the house and the third is back up for when the others need washed. I can grocery shop, clean, do some cooking, even feed Beckett, all almost hands-free while. They are much more portable than a bulky stroller. The constant movement and closeness of being carried in the sling also seems to be comforting to my babies. Finn frequently fell asleep in the sling, and he was normally very hard to get to sleep.

My slings are so indispensable to me that I always tell new mom’s about them. Slings have gotten some bad press lately due to some popular but poorly designed “bag” styles and improper usage. When used properly, though, a well constructed ring sling is perfectly safe. This link gives safety guidelines and tips for how to use them: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/wearing/bwsling_booklet.pdf

And, of course, a baby Beckett sling picture:

Baby Beckett in a ring sling
My newest sling with Beckett in a tummy to tummy position. He prefers to have his legs sticking out while he sits on the bottom “rail” of the sling. Please ignore the lovely bathroom backdrop.

Like this post? To make sure you never miss a future post, please sign up for my newsletter.