Monday, June 26, 2023

three years of colin

Happy third birthday, Colin!
We had a little birthday celebration when my family visited this weekend. We had pizza and cupcakes at our house and then went creek stomping with the cousin crew! The kids had fun playing in the rocks and mud, chasing the water skimmers, and getting completely soaked.
Colin's birthday was a perfect reflection of his interests. (I even found banana-print wrapping paper for my banana-obsessed kid!) Creek stomping was a great activity since he loves being outside as much as possible, even if he's just collecting sticks or watering plants with the hose. We're working on giving up the stroller so we've been trying to take longer walks on "Mommy and Colin" days when I don't work.
Like many little kids, he is completely obsessed with trains (and trucks and diggers), so we added a few pieces to his wooden train set. Every night before bed, we read him two books, sing a song (Edelweiss), and then tuck him into his blankets (in a particular order) while he asks, "Mom, can we talk about trains?" And every night I have to come up with something new to tell him about trains. Sometimes it's fact like, "Today I saw a gray train stopped on the tracks by the interstate," and sometimes it's something ridiculous like, "I wish there was a candy train full of lollipops to deliver sweets to our house." I fear the day I run out of things to say about trains.
Bed and nap time have been a bit of a struggle lately. Colin started potty training recently, and we took the side off his bed. Downside: he can get out of bed. (He frequently opts to sleep on the floor instead of in his bed now.) Upside: more room for snuggles with big sister!
Colin still loves Octonauts and Bluey. He was very excited to get some Octonauts toys and a Bluey truck as gifts. We still watch these shows most nights before bed and in the mornings if he wakes up before my brain is fully functioning. He's a big helper whether we're doing yard work, folding laundry, or preparing food in the kitchen. He loves to be right up in the middle of whatever is happening, even though it makes dinner prep a little challenging! He's also really good at entertaining himself and playing quietly for short periods of time. He's the snuggliest little nugget; he often crawls into my lap and curls up while meowing. Sometimes I have a little boy and sometimes I have a little kitten.
It's fun to watch Colin's sense of humor develop. He loves to play silly pretend games like, "What do you think is for breakfast at day care today?" Common responses include things like "ice cream chicken" and "hot dog cereal." When he asks if dinner is ready and I respond, "Not yet!" he always follows up with "..... YET??" This usually leads to a good 5 minutes of "Yet?" "Not yet." "Yet?" "Not yet." "Yet??" "Not yet!!!"

Happy three years to my silly, snuggly, sweet boy!

Friday, June 23, 2023

celebrating seven

We celebrated Mae's 7th birthday with a weekend of fun activities. Friday evening, we invited a few of her friends out for dinner at Mae's favorite Mexican restaurant. They got to sit at their own table, order their own food, and be silly and a little wild. At the end of the meal, the waiters brought out sombreros, fried ice cream, and sparklers, and we all sang happy birthday! Everyone had fun (including all of us parents at the adults table!)
On Sunday, we met up with Mom, Dad, Kevin, Christopher, Emily, Oliver, Archie, and Lillian at the zoo. I'm glad we got another opportunity to put the kids in their Cousin Crew shirts!
The kids loved the barnyard show, especially the dancing at the end. They also spent, in my opinion, WAY too much time looking at bugs in the insect house! Mae opened presents at the end of the day and was excited to get lots of craft activities. She has been a rainbow loom bracelet-making machine the last couple weeks, and we have a million Perler bead projects decorating our fridge now.

Friday, June 2, 2023

me made may 2023

I’ve just wrapped up another Me Made May! This year I committed to wearing as many of my handmade items as possible, and I managed to wear something almost every day.
Top Row (L to R): Dory Cardigan, Lane Raglan hoodie, striped raglan sweater, fade pullover, Cheyenne Tunic button down

2nd Row: Breathing Space sweater, Biscayne Blouse, Julia cardigan, Cheyenne tunic, Georgetown cardigan

3rd Row: Lark Tee, Lane raglan v-neck, Bettine top, Biscayne Blouse, sleeveless top

4th Row: Estuary Skirt, Julia cardigan, sleeveless top, City Gym Shorts, Blackwood Cardigan

5th Row: Lady Skater dress, Bettine top, Helen's Closet robe, Pussy Bow Blouse, Nittany top

A couple of items are new this May. I originally bought the yarn for this sweater (Garnstudio DROPS baby merino in colorway "grey" - it's less purple than it looks in this photo) to make a "Magnolia Bloom Light" sweater, but the gauge was just too far off. Then I started a Culswick pullover but the lace pattern was just too slow-going. I pulled that out and decided to just make a simple striped raglan sweater with some black Berroco Ultra Wool Fine yarn leftover from my Fiesta mittens. The sweater is based on the "Ink and Brass" pattern, though I've been calling mine "Ink and Iron" due to the color scheme. I didn't have quite enough black yarn to finish the stripes, so I added a few purple stripes to the end of the sleeves. They turned out to be my favorite part! The yarn is really soft, and I love the fit of this sweater. Shame I only got to wear it once before it got hot out!
I also finished sewing this Nittany Top recently. I wore it to celebrate the last day of Me Made May. It was fun to sew and I love how the pleated neckline came together. This feels like a good staple wardrobe pattern, and would look pretty sleeveless as well as with the sleeves. I bought 1.75 yd of fabric (Art Gallery tinted bloom rayon in "dusk"), which was plenty for a size 4. I made the view without the keyhole; the only modifications were shortening by 1" and using french seams at the shoulders and sides.
Lastly, I didn't actually wear this in May, but I finished it just in time for Easter. (Did you notice it in our Easter photos?) This is a Style Arc Tulip Dress in a rayon crepe and bemberg lining from Harts Fabric. I didn't expect this crepe fabric to be stretchy when I bought it, since I've never worked with crepe before. It makes the dress comfy to wear, but it sags a bit in the bodice due to the weight of the material. Fortunately, the bodice lining keeps the structure and helps hold the waistband and skirt in place. I followed the Moneta Dress instructions for assembling the bodice to the sleeves, which keeps all the seams nicely hidden inside the lining. The tulip sleeves are so cute, and I love how they match the hemline!
To combat the stretch in the seams, I reinforced the pocket edges, neckline, and zipper seam with twill tape instead of interfacing. I lined the back of the skirt also. I finally bought an invisible zipper foot and it made sewing the zipper less annoying. Win! I cut the pocket from lining only, but I made the pocket bearer with a layer of crepe and a layer of lining for extra support (and slipperiness against the skin.) The pockets actually lay flat when the dress is flat, but they stick out a bit when the dress is on my body. I'd love to see how this pattern behaves with a slightly sturdier material like a cotton sateen.

I did make a muslin for the bodice (size 8 graded to 10 at the waist), and eventually decided to just sew a straight 10 with the bodice shortened 1/2" and the hem shortened a bit too. The hem is just overlocked, turned up 3/4" and stitched with a zig-zag blind hem stitch.

Lastly, I apparenty never blogged this Sew Over It Pussy Bow blouse and Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt that I made for Christmas this year. The skirt didn't make an appearance in May, but the top did. The blouse is a size 10 based on 35” bust. I did all French seams and followed instructions by Cashmerette for the sleeve splits (though I think I put them in the wrong spot - inner wrist vs. outer!) I don't love the finish at the top of the bow and had to do a little hand stitching to get it to look right. Also, the sleeve caps fit kinda weird. This is my second SOI pattern and I've had sleeve issues both times!
The skirt is made from a crushed velvet that I impulse purchased (very rare for me) from JoAnn. I lined the skirt, but the lining has a tendency has a tendency to ride up and the waistband has a tendency to roll down. Still cute though!
Phew, that was a lot of new stuff I made over the last ~9 months!