Posted in Parenting, Projects

So…..Sewing

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First thing’s first, as is the case with many things in my life, I never would have bet on ever wanting to sew.  Given that sewing for me has always been synonymous with trying to repair a ripped pant hem by hand and ending up with a wobbly line of very uneven stitches, it’s not very surprising that I found it unpleasant.  However, ever since taking out the old sewing machine, I’ve fallen in love with it.

Now, if you remember, I mentioned a few weeks ago that the machine stopped working mid-project.  The needle wasn’t picking up the thread from the bobbin anymore.  Well, I got it serviced and it turns out that the problem was this:

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It turns out that a broken gear isn’t very conductive to a  working sewing machine…

Now that everything’s working again, I’ve been going a little crazy with projects.  I first made a Mei Tai (I used this pattern.  It was super easy to follow and perfect for a beginner). for Amélie and then one for Charles.  I mostly used some flat sheets because I had them on hand and we don’t use them in our beds.  Also, given that I had no idea how the projects would actually turn out, I didn’t really want to go out and buy any fabric.  This project allowed me to learn about backstitching and thread tension.  I also got better at sewing in a straight line as the project progressed.  The Mei Tai’s are by no means perfect, but I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out and the kids love them so that’s a plus.

Then, I decided it was time to try to create something simple.  I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here, in Québec, we have vaccination booklets in which, well, the given vaccines are registered and where the doctors write in the height and weight of the kids during each visit.  We also each have a medicare card that we have to bring with us when we go to the hospital or doctor’s office.  Plus, if you’ve ever been to a hospital, you’re issued a hospital card that you must bring the next time you visit.  That’s a lot of stuff to carry around!  I decided to make a case for each kid to hold their booklets and cards.  Through this project, I learned a lot about planning and taking into consideration an appropriate seam allowance while deciding the dimensions.

The first one I made is the one with the foxes.  I changed the pattern slightly for the second one and prefer it.  I only need to sew a strap on the fox case and it’ll be finished.

After that, I decided to tackle our washable diapers.  You see, I’ve had some of them for years (we bought our first ones when Charles was a baby) so they’ve seen a LOT of use.  Unfortunately, there were quite a few that I had put into storage because the elastics were completely shot.  I had considered getting them repaired, but just kept procrastinating.  Instead, I decided to just bite the bullet, find an online tutorial for elastics replacements in the brand of diapers I use and just went for it.  And you know what?  It worked!  By the time I had gotten to the diapers, I was getting pretty good at sewing in straight-ish lines.  It was still a challenge though and I learned a lot about using elastics and a seam ripper (as well as how to be very careful with PUL).

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(Left: diaper with shot elastics, right: diaper with newly replaced elastics).

Last but not least, I decided to try to find a way to use up the rest of the fabric from the cases.  I found a really simple bow tie tutorial.  So far, I’ve made one for Charles, I’m then going to work on one for Elliot and then I want to make a headband with a bow for Amélie.

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Lookin’ good!

So, what’s next?  I have some nice sheer pink fabric that I’d like to use in place of tulle using this pattern to make a cute skirt for Amélie.  I would also love to make a dress with this super cute pattern once my skill have improved a little.

What projects have you been working on lately?  Feel free to link up in the comments!

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: June 13th

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  1. Aaaaand I’m back…again.  Sorry for the hiatus, but there was some stuff going on in my life including not sleeping and having two thirds of my kids on antibiotics.  Yay.  The good news is that things have finally gotten back to crazy normal.  I’m going to try to play catch-up on the posts I’ve missed, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read all of them :(.
  2. In other news, my sewing machine is now repaired (which, to be totally honest, is another reason I’ve been away).  I’m working on a post for tomorrow about what was wrong with it, my completed works and my WIPs.
  3. I’m starting to bring Elliot to daycare for short periods of time.  He already knows everyone because he’s always with me when I drop off and pick up the kids, but this morning, I left him there for an hour and went for some one-on-one mommy Charles time at the nearby park.  Charles was happy and Elliot was too.  Next time, I’m planning on leaving him for the whole morning (up until lunchtime).FullSizeRender 8
  4. Elliot is going to be a year old in a week (what!?!).  I’m planning on making a mirror cake for his birthday because they look so pretty!
  5. I went for a run this morning and for the first time in months I felt no pain, not even the slightest little hint of it.  The progressive program, PT exercises I do at home and treatments I’ve been getting are finally yielding some very real results!
  6. I had a bout of nostalgia yesterday and decided to check if two of the shows I watched when I was younger were on Netflix.  They are!  I’ll be watching Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark in the coming weeks.  Please tell me I’m not the only 80s child who has fond memories of watching those.
  7. We’re finally going to be getting our windows replaced. I got a call from the company and they’re coming on Monday.
  8. I started learning Japanese with Duolingo last week.  I’ve developed an interest in the language over the years from watching anime.  It.  Is.  Hard!  But, it’s so fun and interesting.
  9. Our plants are growing.  The chives, thym and cilantro are doing great.  The spinach that Charles sowed has taken nicely.  Our string beans, lettuce and carrots have poked through the soil and our blueberry and raspberry bushes as well as our apple tree are showing signs of fruit production!
  10. Speaking of gardening, I found a really interesting book on Amazon.  It’s titled: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and it it written by a Canadian who has managed to have fresh veggies all year-round at low cost.  This is great as we’re slowly working our way to being more self-reliant.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: June 23rd 2015

TTT1.  Next year, I’m set to teach English, Science and Phys. Ed. on top of teaching resource.  I’m planning on picking up the books they are going to use at school next year so that I can take advantage of the summer to do some lesson planning.

2.  This morning, Charles came “jogging” with me.  Basically, he sat in the double Chariot carrier that a colleague gave me last year as I pushed him.

3.  I realized that it was much harder to run while pushing a chatty 2.5 year old than it is to run alone.

4.  One of Amélie’s bottom first molars has cut (because, you know, who wants to follow a teething timeline when you can just get them all in quickly).  This time around, I’ve been using Camilia (a homeopathic medicine) instead of Advil or Tylenol for dealing with the pain at night.  I never thought I’d say this, but this stuff is working wonders so far!

5.  I ordered my very first pair of Soft Star shoes, well sandals actually.  These cute sandals for Charles should be in any day now.

6.  I’m planning on making a weighted blanket for Charles to help him to calm down and actually sleep during nap time (because he definitely still needs a nap).  I just have to figure out how to thread the old sewing machine that I have downstairs.

7.  I’m planning on starting a series of recipe posts soon and I’m going to need your help to write them.  Look for more details in the days to come.

8.  It hasn’t been warm enough for us to be able to use our pool yet, but we’re getting there!

9.  Now that Amélie’s seriously cruising, I’m thinking she’ll be walking before her first birthday.  She’s just so intent on following her big brother everywhere (much to his chagrin sometimes).

10.  Tomorrow’s a statutory holiday for Québec, which means that the dada will be at home.  We’ll likely go to the Ecomuseum in the morning with the kiddos and then go to his parents’ place.