More spring sewing

I haven’t felt much like cleaning lately. I mean, I’m doing the minimum – picking up toys and washing dishes and cleaning up the 8,000 messes that the two kids and husband make every day. But I haven’t felt like REALLY cleaning – scrubbing and sorting and A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place. Instead, I’ve been reading, knitting, and sewing personal stuff. I tend to hate February. Hate it. Longest month of the year. Cold, depressing. So very winter. ugh.

So, you know, I’m hibernating.

At any rate, I made myself three more skirts and Genna two dresses. A pair of new PJ pants has been requested by Wally, so I hope to get those done next week.

spring skirt spring skirt

(please ignore the lack of ironing, but feel free to admire my awesome socks.) These two skirts are both made from linen – the green is a nice organic linen I picked up on clearance. The tan is the same linen I use for many of my Wallypop and Boulevard Designs products. I always have a bolt or two on hand. I used my Super Easy Patternless A-Line Skirt tutorial, but actually made myself a paper pattern for a two-panel skirt (a front piece and a back piece) and then cut it out on the bias for both of these skirts. I don’t tend to do bias-cut skirts often, because they use SO MUCH fabric, and I’m cheap that way, but I love the drape of bias skirts.

The green one, I cut out a wedge from the side of the hem and inserted a little ruffle. I think this might have worked out better with a less stiff fabric, but it still looks ok. The green one is made with a zipper at the side waist. The tan one, I cut wider and bound the waist with Fold over Elastic (the elastic binding sometimes used on diapers and covers) to make an easy pull on skirt. I totally borrowed the idea from, I think, Amy Karol at Angry Chicken. I’ve used FOE to bind gathered edges of tops, and on children’s clothes, but never on a skirt waistband.

spring skirt
This one is another made from leftovers from ring slings. It’s a four-panel skirt, using the ideas in the Super Easy Patternless A-Line Skirt tutorial, but making the waist wider to use elastic instead of a zipper.

wrap dresssundress

Genna’s dresses. The blue one is made from a McCall’s pattern (I do actually own patterns, too!). The wrap dress is from this tutorial at Tiny Happy. It would have looked way, way cuter with handmade bias tape, but I was quickly running out of naptime and decided for forgo the pretty, wide bias tape in favor of something pulled from my Bin Of Bias Tape. The dress is actually quite large, and probably won’t fit her well until next year, which is a little disappointing, particularly considering that I could have easily figured this out by just taking a minute to think about it. Ah, well.

Sundresses are my absolute favorite for Genna. They can be made appropriate for winter simply by putting a long sleeve shirt underneath, and maybe some pants or Little Leg Warmers. In spring, or cooler days in summer, they are matched with a short sleeve shirt and Little Leg Warmers if needed. And of course, they can be worn as is for hot weather. Many sundresses also last for several years, if they’re wide and drapey, which is an added bonus.

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Working at Home, with Kids

When I was pregnant and considering working from home (somehow), I read a few books about the subject. They all recommended sending kids to daycare, hiring a nanny, or at the very least, getting them into preschool programs and then regular school. Yikes. That didn’t sound good to me at all. I was, after all, staying home in the first place so that I could be with my kids – NOT so that I could put them in daycare. And preschool? Um, no. We’re homeschoolers.

Well, over six years later, I won’t say that I don’t know why the books recommend shipping the kids off somewhere else! However, it hasn’t been necessary. Though some days (weeks, months) are better than others, we get by pretty good here. I work with the kids with me. It’s a little chaotic at times, but here’s how we do it.

  • Keep a routine. If I’m not careful, I can work all day. My routine used to have me starting out the day in my office, but I discovered that it was too easy to never quit working. Now, our routine has us doing homeschooling and upstairs activities until after lunch, and working in the afternoon – hopefully to finish up by the time daddy gets home. This usually results in 3 or 4 hours of work time every day. (note: this is not to be confused with completing 3-4 hours of work every day, lol.)
  • Stock the office with lots of fun stuff. One customer asked me one day if I also run a daycare. Um, no. But I do keep a large variety of toys on hand. The widely varied ages of my kids makes the toy thing kind of challenging at times, but I keep three drawers of misc. toddler-type toys, then a series of bins full of older-kid toys. I have coloring books, paper, crayons, washable markers. There’s an easel with a whiteboard and dry-erase markers (out of Genna’s reach). We have play-dough and a variety of play-dough accessories. There’s a ride-on toy and dolls. I rotate the toys often. Even just moving something to a different part of the room makes them newly interesting. I try to switch things around every week or two, and notice that when I get lax in this department, it shows, since the kids get bored a lot faster.
  • Pillows, blankets, books, TV, and a computer. The TV does not come on every day. But now that I have a TV in my office, it does tend to come one once or twice a week, usually PBS kids late afternoon programming, sometimes movies on DVD. And Wally has a computer in my office, which we use as a supplement to homeschooling, or just for fun games.
  • Breathe in, breathe out. Patience, patience.
  • Stop whenever necessary to take a break to give the kids some attention. It’s sooo tempting to try to stave off children who want your attention, but in the long run, this is a losing strategy.

I also currently have two alone times to work – Sunday afternoon or evening, I process and pack orders from Thursday thru Sunday. And Thursday evening, I have the entire evening to work – I keep Genna with me while Wally’s at Kung Fu until 7, then Daddy takes both kids and I can work until I’m ready to come up – sometimes that’s 9:00, sometimes that’s 2:00. I like Thursday nights!

New Diapers for Genna

I was sewing fitted diapers this week for a few orders and for inventory, and decided to go ahead and sew up a dozen new dipes for Genna, too. It’s not like she needs new diapers… but, you know, she’s been in the size Mediums since she was about 5 months old, and that was about 19 months ago. 19 months of looking at the same diapers… I was just ready for some new stuff.
Cloth Diapers

I also made her a Luther Norse diaper from a Tshirt that my friend Abby picked up at a garage sale. My husband went to Luther, and the Tshirt was in a size that neither of us could wear, so of course it’s now a diaper!

New Fitted Diapers

I do have one more Luther Norse Tshirt that I can make into either a diaper or a MT style carrier for anyone who wants it – I know there are tons of Lutherites hiding out there!

Here is my babywearing story

My babywearing story is nothing special. I had a baby. He was a snuggler and hated to be alone. He just always wanted to be with other people, preferably right up next to them. I started out with a ring sling, then a wrap and a mei tai. (and then many, many more.)

With the carriers, I could wash dishes. I could run my business. I could clean the house. In short, I could live my life, while also caring for my baby. Baby carriers even allowed us to hike up to the top of Mt Timpanogos in Utah.

Enter the second baby, during a period of time when we were busy with activities with our firstborn, then 5. The Science Center is much easier with a baby contentedly snoozing in a sling than it would be with a baby unhappily alone in a stroller.

This baby was different from the first – she was not as snuggly, but much more demanding. She didn’t need snuggles as much as she needed activity and motion. Without carriers, I would have quickly started to resent how much she needed to be carried and, particularly, bounced. Long evenings bouncing her to sleep were easier to cope with when I could hold a book or my knitting in my hands while she wriggled in the wrap.

Really, my babywearing story is just the story of mothering.