Posts Tagged ‘Baby’

Tutorial Tuesday – The Market Skirt

Welcome to my first Tutorial Tuesday!

I’ve been thinking about how I want to proceed with this. I could completely rehash the tutorial and show you step-by-step. I could just show you the finished product. …or I could do a little bit of both and a little bit of neither.

That’s what I will do.

So, each week I will generously link the author and the tutorial to this site.  I will also show you some pics I took, a little commentary, and some of my dos and don’ts.  The tutorial author’s pics are WAY better and some of these tutorials are lengthy! This way, you just get to laugh at my failures and get a huge self-esteem boost about your own skill level. 😉

This week, I present to you… THE MARKET SKIRT!

I know. It’s ridiculously cute.


So, I went to Hobby Lobby this week to buy some fabric.  I found a pretty cute plaid that I thought would be perfect for this and I looked for some white cotton that was pretty opaque. (Originally, I wasn’t going to double the white.)
I rushed home to start my project.

Task  #1 — resize pattern to fit 12 month sizing.

Since the kiddo was asleep, I used a pair of her 12 month pants to estimate her waist.  It worked well. I did add an extra inch to the waistline for sewing allowance. (17 total inches for the elastic)

With the computer in hand, I tried to understand what Dana was saying about the measurements. I got confused at first because she kept saying length and I was thinking vertically (as in the length of the finished skirt).  She meant the length of the fabric (which I think of as WIDTH… how wide the skirt is.) After a LOT of staring, I came up with these measurements for a 12 month size :

Waistband fabric length (width) – 12.75 in x 3.5 in
Skirt fabric length (width) –  21 in x 5 in
Hem fabric length (width) – 25.5 in x 2.5 in(I will do 3 next time)

Then, I cut out my fabric.  I followed her advice and doubled the white.
TIP (What I will do next time): I will cut (at least the hem piece) on the FOLD and I probably won’t hem it. Probably I’ll just stitch a top stitch to keep it creased.

Then, I followed the tutorial for sewing the skirt.  It was pretty well explained and simple. Although, my machine tried to eat my fabric. We had a tug of war. It won.

Now, I didn’t use my serger/overlocker to serge the fabric.  I attempted a different stitch on my sewing machine.  That said, if I choose not to bust out the ol’ temperamental serger, I will ZIG ZAG my fabric.  I did that with my pockets and it was much cleaner and neater than the other stitch I tried.

The dress was pretty simple to make.
Oh yeah — you know how they tell you that you can “cheat” the gathering of the dress by adjusting your tension all the way? Well, my sewing machine didn’t gather it so well, so I will have to do the “traditional” way from now on. Lesson learned.

Now, the pocket… well, I learned a lot.


The Gathered Pocket Tutorial.

Things I have learned about the pocket tutorial:

1. Make sure you leave enough space for the buttonhole (which is bigger than the button) and the band/gathers. I didn’t and I didn’t have quite the space.
2. Make sure you are well acquainted with your buttonhole maker. This was my first time with mine on my new machine. We have a learning curve.
3. My pocket seemed too big/wide for my skirt.  So I “pleated” it.
4. Maneuvering my needle around the pocket was difficult, so my pocket wasn’t perfect. I also sewed my button onto my pocket and sewed the pocket closed. My girl is only a year old so the pocket was only for the look.

Final thoughts:

*After washing, my skirt was REALLY wrinkled.  I talked to my grandma and she said that the softer cottons (think pima) are more forgiving in the wash. So, keep that in mind while shopping, unless you love ironing tiny skirts.
* I would make my hem piece a little longer and I wouldn’t hem (note earlier opinion). That way, pressing would be easier and it would have a cleaner look.
* I will make sure my pocket is perfect. This one, I became impatient.

Well, I hope this inspires someone else to try it! I’m sure you’ll do better than I will!

Next week: I will make a dress out of one of my old shirts and some scrap material! (Low budget!)


I am one hot mama.


I wish I looked in the mirror and felt that way!

Honestly, though, I have discovered that I am learning to be happy with my body.  I’ve never been smaller than a size 10, and that’s while playing softball and cheerleading. My entire life I’ve moaned and begrudged the fact that I wasn’t “tiny.”  I’ve only wanted to look beautiful and my body continually tried to thwart my desires.  My body became a war zone, one in which I threw every exercise, diet, and diet pill at it.  I’ve only really lost weight twice – “too busy to eat” in college and the South Beach Diet right after I got married (which I really still like).  Even then, I only got to a size 10 — and you could feel my hip bones.

Why was I so obsessed?  Let’s see… I was a cheerleader as a teenager (a weight obsessed sport).  I have a grandmother who called me fat repeatedly.  I have a mother who is a former anorexic/bulimic who is still unnaturally focused on weight (I’ve been bigger than her since I was 14).

So… my obsession wasn’t all that unnatural to come by.

When I became pregnant, I suddenly had to stop doing things that I used to do to be thin.  I couldn’t indulge in as much caffeine as I could ingest.  I stopped using artificial sweeteners.  I started enjoying food rather than hating it and then craving it.  I was still 30 lbs overweight but there was nothing I could do.

I gained weight.  I drank large volumes of milk.  I got stretch marks.  Scars.  Wobbly bits all over my body.

Since I’ve had the baby, I’ve lost all that I’ve gained during pregnancy and then some. Not much, but some.  Still, my body has sustained the damage.  A C-Section scar.  The Marks.  A jelly belly (and not the delicious kind). Clothes fit funny. For the first time in my life… I don’t mind. Much.

My body has been used for a purpose so much greater than looking good and gaining attention. I have a beautiful and healthy little girl.  My body has held and nourished life.  I’m proud of my body!

I’m now a 14/16, and while I would like to be less, I don’t find it imperative to be a certain size.  My husband loves me.  My daughter loves me.  I can move and dance and have fun.  Maybe my body isn’t attractive to other people — but it’s my body.  It’s done a darn good job for me so far.

I’m coming to the conclusion that I am one hot mama. You may not love me, but I do. I’m at least trying to.

Snow Day Project – Birthday Banner!

I’ll admit– I’m both sad and excited for my little Bluebelle to turn one.

I’ll also admit that I feel a little like a bad mama.  I don’t write her monthly letters or anything like that.  I don’t plan on making a huge production for her first birthday. I’m sometimes afraid that she got a defective Mama. Ha. I think of it, but I don’t get to it.  I’m just good to keep up with her baby book!

Even though her first birthday will mainly be family (and a few friends), I want it to be chock full of love and simplicity. I’m still trying to decide if I’ll make her cake or not, and I want her decorations to be homemade and reusable (for both financial and eco-friendly reasons).  I also just love how homemade things look!

I stumbled upon See Mommy Sew’s website while searching for a way to make a birthday banner for my Bluebelle and fell in love with the simplicity of this project.  I thought you might want to make one, too!

Yes, I’m aware that her birthday is 2 months away, but since we’re moving and everything else is going on, I wanted to complete this project before we moved!

Supplies needed:
Fabric (use what you have.  If you want to buy one of those packs of 5 18″x21″ rectangles of fabric, one pack will do quite nicely.)
Bias tape (I used single fold narrow.  I think mine was 8 yards, but I had excess left over.)
Felt (if you make 3×4 inch letters, you’ll need 2 -3 of the swatches)
Sewing machine
Template (shown)

I bought way too much fabric, but I’m planning to use the striped fabric in some other projects, so it’s not a loss. 🙂

I began by making a template (I used cardboard from a notebook).  I used SMS’s measurements and I made a 4×9 triangle to use on the fold.

You’ll need 26 triangles (front and back) to write “Happy Birthday.”  I made 30 because I was on a roll. Oops.
I’ll just add them to the “Happy” part of the banner.

I then cut out the letters in felt.  I made 3×4 inch blocks and then I freehanded the letters out of that.  It helped me keep the letters consistent.

Then I mapped out my colors and letters to get an idea of what it would look like.

Then I sewed the felt letters onto the triangle. I started with an applique stitch, but I quickly realized I would STILL be sewing.  I’ll save that for one of baby girl’s clothes!  So, I just used a zig zag stitch for a little pizzazz! (You could use a straight stitch if you wanted.)


Then, I sewed the triangles’ front and backs wrong sides together.  Yes, I know this creates a raw edge, but I like it.  I may go back and pink the edges, but my pinking shears are MIA and I’ll have to buy a new pair if this is what I want to do. I also wanted my fronts and backs to be different from each other.

Then, I pinned the finished pennants to the bias tape.  I didn’t do anything special with the tape.  Actually, I’m sure you could even use ribbon or something if you would rather.  I just laid the tape on top, pinned it, and started sewing with a wide zig zag stitch.

When that’s done, you’re done!  Super easy!

I can’t wait to use this again and again! Hopefully, I can find some other projects to add to the birthday festivities!

Enjoy! Let me know if you make one too!

The Motherhood Club

There is a club that I sometimes wish I never belonged to.

The Motherhood Club.

My reasons for this has nothing to do with my child.  I love my child more than life.  I have a problem with other club members, and this makes me incredibly sad.  Being a mother changes a person. I’m still who I was before I had my daughter, but my life has definitely been enlightened by her.  I have been blessed to know other wonderful mothers who will do anything for their kids and they make me want to be a better mom in a very good way.

Still, I am shocked by other moms. I was aware that there were women out in the world that were petty, mean, competitive, etc, but I guess I never really understood that there were so many. It seems like all I read and hear about are other moms criticizing and berating each other.  Why all the comparisons?  Why the passive-aggressive and aggressive competition?

I would never dare call another woman a bad mom to their face.  Well, unless they were doing their child legitimate harm.

Why are we being so mean to each other?  I mean, aren’t we all in the same boat?  We all love our children.  We all want the best for them.  We all believe they are little geniuses and that they are simply perfect. So why do we brag about them so blatantly in a way that alienates other women? Why do we look down upon other women whose kids aren’t having a good day?

I can hardly get on Babycenter (at least the community aspect) or read a lot of “mommy blogs” anymore because they make me feel inadequate if I linger too long. I start to worry about the fact that my kid isn’t talking or walking or the fact that I don’t play on the floor all day with her.  I feel guilty for breastfeeding – both because formula fed moms already assume that you feel superior to them (and I don’t) and because I feel pressure to not breastfeed.  I can’t be proud of it because of the war-like stance women take. I feel guilty because I let my kid explore on her own.  I feel guilty because I haven’t read to her Anna Karenina yet (lol, not really, but you get the idea).  I don’t drill words or the ABC’s to her every day.  I don’t take her for daily walks.  I don’t structure activities.  And on, and on, and on…

Why in the WORLD do we do this to each other as women?

Am I guilty of loving my child less because I have fed her a jar of baby food or because she has had juice already? Am I a jerk because I have made her baby food from scratch and therefore I am automatically a “superior” mother? (and on and on…)

The Motherhood Club.  Where women tear down others to make their own inadequacies diminish.

I don’t want to be a part of it.

I know that this is NOT all women.  I just wish that there weren’t so many women like this out there.  We should be allies, not enemies.

Friday Five

1. I think something is up with my kid.  Is it teething?  Is it winter congestion?  She’s only 8 1/2 months… and a toothless wonder.  Needless to say, we have no idea how she’s going to react to teething and she is acting a little… off.  This will be easier once I figure out how she reacts, right?  I am no good at this guessing game.

2. Only 8 more days til Christmas!  Shopping was easy this year (we didn’t buy presents) and now I’m just trying to hold off from buying too many groceries until after the holiday. These stores are craaaazy!  We are celebrating Christmas Eve with my family after my husband gets off work (ah, retail) and then we are driving to Texas Christmas morning. 

3. Speaking of Texas… I will be in the great state a few extra days with my girlie!  Of course, the hubs can’t go with me because of… retail. Oh, the life!  Seriously, though.  I need to see some of my Lone Star friends… and eat some real Mexican food.  Honestly, Oklahoma doesn’t really cut it.  It’s more TexMex than Texas!

4. THE KIDDO IS MOBILE. She’s been mobile for a while, pulling up on everything and rolling/sitting in a way that helped her get across the room.  She has shown NO interest in crawling.  Didn’t rock or anything.  Then on Monday, as I was wrapping gifts, she just took off in a perfect crawl! Crazy girl. 🙂  Now’s she’s crawling and furniture surfing and everything.  This kid.  She likes to do a million things at once.  Oh, and no obstacles can slow her down.  She also likes to try to grab my Aunt and Uncle’s cat.  Linzie will hiss at her and it doesn’t faze her in the SLIGHTEST.  I’m in trouble.

5. Come back here on Monday. I have some super great news to share!! The post is written and it will post at 8 am.  I know, why wait?  Todd has asked me to and if he gives me the go-ahead before then, you’ll know sooner!

Have a happy weekend! Good luck if you’re still shopping.  I saw Santa on a bench this week and nearly wrecked, so make sure you’re paying attention.  You want to stay on the “nice” list!


Tales of the walking dead — or the sleeping awake.

Mothers with full-time jobs – I salute you.

I think that being a SAHM** (Stay At Home Mom) is hard.  Seriously, backbreakingly, hard.  That said, I think that being a working mom is freakingly, crazy, hard.  Now, let me say this: BEING A PARENT IS AHH!!! HARD.

**Let me give a little shout out to one of my BFF’s for being a SAHD.  He works his tookus off — juggling a 4 month old, a bajillion pound dog with a personality the size of Texas, completing his masters, and job hunting for when his masters is completed.  So, while I use the word “Mom” in this post, I am speaking for all parents, cause this crap (sometimes literally)  is hard.

I am “working” now as a childcare provider (I use quotations because it is both fun and a job, and many people wouldn’t consider it a job.  Although it SO is.) and I am loving it, but I have never been this tired in my life.  I am up at 5:30, out of the house by 6:45, and I am home somewhere between 4-6 pm, roughly 4 days a week.  

Yesterday, I fell asleep with my daughter at 6:30 pm on the twin bed in her room.  I was in bed myself at 8:30 pm (after Glee! of course).  I washed one load of laundry.  I ate some chips and ice cream because I couldn’t form enough of a mind to actually prepare something healthy and balanced. 

I’ve totally began to cheat on my “super mom” goal.  I haven’t made baby food in weeks.  Our laundry is sitting on the couch and there are dishes in the sink.  I’ve been taking shortcuts with meals, bathtime, etc, and I haven’t baked or cooked since Thanksgiving.  It’s all I can do to keep up!

I think that being a parent is totally awesome, and totally doable — but life gets in the way.  It’s so messy.  Isn’t that life?

I am wishing that I would have taken more than 3 pictures in the last month, and I’m hoping I can still clean my house and get some Christmas baking in before December 25.  If I don’t though, that’s okay.

I have officially joined the group of the walking dead – or the sleeping awake.  Parents who are out of the house all day long … I salute you.  I don’t know how you can work all day and then clean/cook/live until 11 pm.

So, as a SAHM, who has turned into a workingish mom, I pledge to lose my (slight and silent) smug demeanor that thinks that I am doing the “best thing ever” by staying at home.  I never thought that working was BAD, mind you, I just thought that I am being the best by staying at home.  I still think it’s important, and it will hurt if I have to be separated from my girl, but I know that as a parent you just have to do what you have to do.

Come on and admit it – if you aren’t a little bit like that, you know someone who is.

We’re all walking dead.  Let’s zombie around together in harmony.

Mommy-Blog post: The C-Section Debate

Yesterday, we welcomed a sweet little addition to the family — my cousin gave birth to a 7 lb, 20.25 in long baby boy.   I can’t wait to love on him! Three babies in 2010 – yay!

My cousin did beautifully.  She was able to convince her doctor (same as mine) to induce ON her due date (lucky! 😉 ), at 40 weeks exactly, and she delivered her son at 3:39 pm (water broke at 8:30 am).  She had the same doctor, and the EXACT same routine as mine (see here if you care to have a refresher).  The only difference is that apparently my body was defective.  Actually, I was further dialated when I went in for my induction than she was… but not by much.

I ended up with an emergency c-section.  I know I did my best.  I didn’t realize that the labor was out of the norm until much later, and I have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I am happy.

Recently, however, I have heard a ton of comments from my family about how they disapproved of the fact that I had a c-section.  “I should have been allowed to go into labor on my own,” “I think you could have had the baby without a c-section,” etc.

At first, I felt cheated and dismayed that I did not go through a “normal” delivery.  Did I not get the “full experience”? Am I not fully a woman because I had a c-section? In this part of the state, the hospital policy is “once a c-section, always a c-section.”  I can’t even try to be “normal” if I wanted to.

Then I realized/remembered, Motherhood is not about how you became a mother.  Whether a traditional labor, a c-section, adoption, or another means, how you become a mother is not as important as how you are AS a mother. One of my friends carried her baby for 42 weeks, and gave birth via c-section to a perfect, nearly 10 lb, baby girl!  Is that not real work?  My aunt had an emergency c-section for nearly the same reason as I.  Is she not a mother because she didn’t traditionally deliver? NO! I have friends who have adopted their first child around the same time as I had Belle… are they not mothers?

We are all moms.  We all toiled and worked to obtain motherhood.  Let’s stop this comparison thing, because it’s futile.  You’re not better than me because you pushed your kid out of your you-know-what, and I’m not better because I went through major abdominal surgery to have mine. 

That’s all I have to say about that.