Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fabric Binge...buying with a purpose...kind of...

I measured my son against the bag this morning, and realised that I had overestimated its size (of the swaddler that is). Its finished length is 53cm, which is the average length of a tallish newborn, so I am guessing this is meant primarily for newborns to babies about the age of 4-6 months, depending on ethnic variation wrt size, before they outgrow them. Which is fine. It is what tends to happen with muslin wraps too.

Having gotten one of these "out of the way", I took the opportunity to duck into Spotlight this morning, sans kids, since my husband was (!!!!) home, and managed to pick up all this fabric in one hour exactly!

Talk about efficient!

To be fair, I had a specific plan in mind; purchase cotton fabric, with matching lining for some of it, and specifically, look in the quilting clearance section, for suitable prints. I took my KS pattern with me, so I knew I needed about 2 metres of fabric for each print.

Animal paw prints, suitable for boy or girl, since some of my friends either don't know what they are having, or don't want to let on.
Another fairly neutral print, for boy or girl. Or do you think the floral pattern makes it more girl-y?

A neutral pattern, for boy or girl, with bright bold colours, which I really like, as well as the geometric pattern.

This is probably the most boy-ish print of all. I hope matching up the rows won't be too much of an issue!

Now the girl prints...

This floral black and white print...

You can't tell here, but this is a paisley print...

A floral print in sage, a very light green colour background...

A paisley broadcloth print, I love paisley prints...

A pretty floral print in lavender.

A bold floral print and for the lining of the sling for some of the fabrics at least,

A solid cream flannel in "vanilla". I figure this will go well with the animal print fabric sling/ swaddler. For some of the others, I have plain/ solid fleece in cream/ butter, pale pink, and some other shades.

So I should be all set.

Also on the cards this coming month, in addition to these sling/ swaddler sets,
1. 3-4 cloth nappy "sampler" for a friend who is interested in cloth nappying, and who is due mid March.
2. finishing off the singlets and undies I cut out for my 4 yo daughter over a month ago
3. this waste free lunch bag that I bought and paid for 2 days ago and am having difficulty accessing to download...we'll get there. Once I do, I also intend to enter this into the Pattern Review March Handbag Contest if at all possible.

So, big things planned. Now to see how much I can realistically accomplish.

Kwik Sew 3734- Swaddler Attempt #1

It's late at night, and I should be in bed.

My 8 month old son has been keeping me up most nights for over a week now, and the sleep deprivation, coupled with feeling like I am childminder 24/7 (almost, hubby works long hours), has meant, among other things, that not much sewing has been happening.

So, the last two nights, when he finally began getting back into his night routine again, and I was home alone with the kids until my husband got home at/ after 10pm, I used the opportunity to sew this up. I always forget how therapeutic and soothing tracing/ cutting/ sewing is, like being in "the zone".

I am uploading my latest sewing attempt. Kwik Sew 3734

I made the swaddler this time. This, along with the co-ordinating sling I made earlier, is meant to be a gift set for a friend of mine who has just had her second child, a boy, about a week ago.

When I had bought the pattern, I had intended to make the sling and the swaddler for her, as well as some 6 other women I know from my religious group, who are all at varying stages of their pregnancy. I asked the women on Pattern Review Down Under for advice, they felt it might be better to go with the traditional muslin wraps instead.

So that was that. But then I had that lunch do with these friends, when they were all trying to convince me to make these for money, and gushed for swaddlers of their very own, which, I was told, retail for around AUD40.

So, to make a long story short, I made one. And I will make more, for each of these women. To save them 40 bucks. And because I would rather make these than buy more baby clothes from Pumpkin Patch.

Fastened with Velcro tabs that I sewed on.

Fully lined on the inside with 100% cotton poplin in royal blue to match the base of the fabric print. Interlined with lightweight fleece. I did not think to take construction photos as I was making this.

Adding the fleece layer was a last minute decision. The weather being what it is, I had intended to give her this with only the 2 layers of cotton. But it felt rather thin, and more importantly, with summer on its way out, the nights and mornings have been cool enough to need a light blanket, especially for babies. Since I had already cut out the fabric and matching lining, and did not have matching fleece on hand, I used fleece out of my stash that completely does NOT match.

I sewed the fleece to the lining layer and then treated the two as a single layer for the construction of the garment. It came together fairly easily, and quickly, even though I had some moments where I was not quite sure if it would all come together. It did.

Final product, modeled on my daughter's doll.

More of these to come!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Should I or not?

So I wore the second sling I made to a lunch get together with some friends I meet regularly, who all have kids my kids' age.

I was not about to tell them I had made the sling, since I am a bit private like that, but one of them asked me point blank if I had made it, and I could not lie.

So then another one asked if I could make her one, and she would buy it off me. I told her I had intended to gift each pregnant woman in the room with one, and a swaddler.

That started a whole new topic on how I ought to consider selling them for money, have a sling/ swaddler party at home and get a business going that way.

Surely no one would be into that? And more to the point, how much would they be willing to pay for my labour? And do I really want to do production line sewing when this is more about sewing as my time?


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kwik Sew 3734- Sling Attempt #2

The second attempt went together in 45 minutes flat, cutting, and construction, with 3 kids underfoot, including a whining baby.

And the construction is of better quality, if I do say so myself.

And I chose a different lining fabric this time around, from stash, because I ran out of the royal blue poplin. I don't quite know if the effect is as nice.

Any opinions?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some sewing...

So I am trying to get a little sewing done each day. Some days are better than others, obviously, with three young children under 4 underfoot.

Some time late last year, one of the members on started a 30 minutes a day sewalong, and I signed up.

But it was not until recently that I have had much luck with this concept. Previously I used to wait until the kids were in bed, to begin any sewing activity. It does not work. Usually because by the time they go to bed at 7 pm, I am so tired I can't be bothered to start. Also, the fear of the noise of the machine(s) waking the kids borders on paranoia for me. And of late, my 7 month old DS has also been keeping odd hours, often refusing to go to bed until 9 pm and later; I suspect he might be teething. So...there went that plan.

What I have found DOES work for me, is setting aside 30 minutes or more to sew daily, when the time permits.

I am trying and liking for organisation, and once my morning routine is done, I am free to sit with the kids, and play with them, which also includes some unstructured play time for them while I roll out my Sullivan's hobby table into the lounge room, and cut out patterns and fabric, usually in batches.

So what have I just finished? Kiwk Sew 3734, which you can see reviewed here

One of my friends is due to have her second child, a boy in 2 weeks, and she is a bit of a novice sewer too, so I figured, this way, I get to make something for her, which to me, always means more than yet more clothes, as long as it is usable. And I get to use some of my stash, and I get to practice sewing. Win-win IMO.

This is my test garment, which I will use for my own 7 month old son. I got the material from Spotlight, and it is 100% cotton. My husband thought it was too bright when he saw the print, especially since it is so hard to find suitable prints for boys, unless one gets licensed stuff. Having sewn it up however, he has changed his mind about its "ugliness".

It was pretty easy to put together, for the most part. I am sure a big part of that was the fact that it is another KS pattern, cos the instructions are just so great.

It is fully lined with 100% poplin in royal blue, also from Spotlight.

I traced and cut it out in about 1/2 hour, and put it all together in another 1/2 hour.

Here are the results. I cut the XS size, based on my height and measurements of 5'4, but it is being modeled here by my 6'0 tall husband, hence the bunching. Apart from that, it is a pretty good fit.

Easy it? I rather do.