Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ECing a 7 month old baby

It's been a while since I have posted. Sick kids, sick husband and getting sick myself.....I had been trying to sleep as much as possible to combat the colds/flus. My baby girl got a nasty cold last week and was crying a lot and nursed very frequently day and night. That certainly didn't help with my sleep. I'm glad that we are all finally recovering from our sickness.

When my baby girl was sick, she refused to sit on the potty. She would scream bloody murder if I tried to put her on it. She was not pooing much when she was sick then but I did have to clean up a few poopy diapers. This week, she is back to her old self and pooing/peeing in the potty again. Thank goodness! I'm trying to teach her baby sign language so that she can tell me (eventually) when she needs to go to the toilet.

My toddler son on the other hand, is refusing to be toilet trained. Everyone around me are saying that he is not ready. He knows very well what the toilet is for, and has on occasion peed in it. But I think he is too stressed out about going to the toilet so most of the times nothing comes out. He fidgets a lot on the toilet. I tried singing with him to calm him down but in vain. I don't really know what to do to help him relax. His baby sister may be toilet trained before he will! LOL!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Refashion project was featured on Craft Gossip

I just found out that I was featured on Craft Gossip! Wow! I was googling something and found my swimsuit refashion featured on the Craft Gossip website. Wicked!

You can see the article here: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-turn-a-too-long-swimsuit-into-a-faux-tankini/2011/07/08/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saree fabric to Shirt refashion

This is a refashion project from before I joined Refashion Co-op I thrifted a piece of 'art silk' purple saree fabric a while back. I love the royal purple colour and the gold design. I made a button down shirt with this fabric using an old Simplicity shirt pattern from the 90's.

The saree fabric looked something like this (this is not the actual picture of my saree as I didn't take a picture before I cut it up. However this is very close to the real thing):
I used the gold designs to make the shirt's cuffs as well as the buttons. I loved it and wore it many times to the office and on weekends. I got lots of comments about it. Unfortunately, I underestimated how 'un-colourfast' the fabric is. I handwashed it and the purple dye just bled non-stop. Now there are slight blotches of discolouration here and there! Bummer! I really like this shirt. If anyone has any idea how to fix the blotches please please let me know!

I need to work on my ironing skill..... :-(

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pattern Review: Simplicity 5316

I had decided early this year to use only stash patterns and fabrics to make X'mas gifts. I have remnants of this yellow fleece and mauve microfleece. I thought they might make a good combo for a jacket for my baby girl. The only new thing I bought was the mauve zipper.

Here is my review of this pattern:

Pattern Description: Babies' overall, jacket or vest, pants, knit top and hat. I made the jacket.

Pattern Sizing: XXS to L. I used L.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not really because of my design changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't read the instructions. The pattern pieces seem simple enough.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's a basic baby hoodie pattern and one can easily add one's only design changes to it.

Fabric Used: Golden Yellow fleece and mauve microfleece. Both remnants in my stash.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I lined the hood and the body with the mauve microfleece. I also use the mauve microfleece to make cuffs for the jacket. I eliminated 4cm from the bottom of the sleeve pattern to accommodate the cuffs. I also added about 2.5cm to the length of the jacket.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is the not the first time I have used this pattern (See this review). But this is the first time I have made significant design changes to it. I will definitely use it again and would recommend it to others.

Conclusion: Simple baby hoodie pattern. Easy to make design changes to make it your own. Highly recommended.

Friday, November 11, 2011

ECing a 6 month old baby

My baby has started eating cereals, fruits and veggies. Her poo has really changed! It used to be the consistency of a thick milkshake and didn't smell. Now her poo is much harder (like adult poo) and stinks! She cries a bit every time she has to push the poo out. I guess she will get used to it eventually. I make sure that she has lots of fruits and veggies so that she doesn't get constipated. When my toddler started eating solids, he didn't cry when pooing. I guess each kid is different.

My baby's poo schedule has also changed. She used to poo a couple of times a day. Now it's more like once a day or every other day, in which case she would have a big quantity of poo. She seems to enjoy eating solids so far. The paediatrician said that she can start eating meat next month. I wonder what that would do to her poo?!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I like thrifting!

I saw these Italian made leather oxford pumps at the thrift store for $6.99 and instantly snapped them up. They are in excellent condition but one just has a little bit of gum on the side. I intend to clean it with Eucalyptus oil. And I can buy new laces for a dollar!

Then I saw these at the Nine West store for $89.99. I guess I did well for $6.99! :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Men's sweater to Baby outfits Refashion

Ah! My favourite kind of refashioning - Shrunken men's sweaters! I thrifted these two shrunken 100% Merino wool men's sweater. The weather is getting colder and my baby girl needed warmer layers. So I used some ribbon in my stash and transformed the shrunken men's sweaters from these:
To these sweater tunics and pants:
My baby girl has been wearing them daily. She is toasty warm now! :-) I think I may make more for the holiday season.....

Monday, October 3, 2011

ECing a 5 month old baby

Lately my baby girl has discovered her feet. Every time I put her on the potty, she was too busy trying to reach her feet instead of pooing/peeing. Before this discovery, she would consistently sit on the BabyBjorn Smart potty and pee. So I have to revert back to pulling her legs up for her to pee/poo, so that she is not moving too much and can concentrate on peeing/pooing. She is now 19 lbs which makes it difficult for me to hold on to her properly.

I would dearly like to find moms who practice EC with there babies in my town but most moms I met just politely dismiss my adventure in ECing. They think that I'm making life difficult for myself! LOL! I don't mind doing EC part time. The fact that my baby girl hasn't had a diaper rash since the first month, and that she has never needed diaper cream or diaper wipes, are all good reasons for me to carry on. I just needed to find that online message board where I can get some tips from other EC moms as my baby gets older.

Any EC moms out there who can point me to the right message board?

Pattern Review: Simplicity 8850 skirts

Pattern Description: This pattern is out of print. Lined fitted jacket A, B, C has front zipper and front patch pockets. A and B have contrast band collar. A has contrast sleeves; B has contrast upper pocket. A line gored skirt D, E and straight pants F have back zipper. D is short length; E in long length has contrast lower band.

I made the short skirt as well as the long skirt in size 12.

Pattern Sizing: 8-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not exactly.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The pattern pieces speak for themselves. I didn't look at the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Very easy to sew skirt. I like the bottom band of the long skirt. It's a bit different than the other skirt patterns out there.

Fabric Used: Burgundy wool flannel for the long skirt. A cheapy bin wool mix for the short skirt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: For the long skirt I didn't use a different fabric for the lower band. I used the same fabric and added braided trim to the seams. As for the short skirt I shortened the length slightly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I actually have started sewing another long one already in a forest green wool flannel. I'm just trying to decide on how to embellish it.

Conclusion: Quick and easy to make. Can be embellished in different ways to make it your own!

Pattern Review: Butterick 4609

I'm determined to not buy any new sewing patterns or new fabrics. Here is a review of Butterick 4609 which I think is out of print now.

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting shirt has collar and collar band, full length sleeves, shaped narrow hem at lower edge. A: cuff with 2 buttons and flower with bands. B: cuff with 2 buttons and tie. C: french cuff with button links.

I made View A in size 12 but with sleeves from Simplicity 5204. I'm lazy and the Simplicity pattern has a faux button sleeve that was much easier to do.

Pattern Sizing: 8-14, 16-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes except for the sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the loose fitting part of the pattern, which means I didn't have to do an FBA. Although now that I'm nursing my baby, the shirt is tight across the chest. It's not that I don't like the sleeves of this pattern. It's just that I'm really lazy and didn't have much time so I chose the Simplicity 5204 sleeves instead.

Fabric Used: It was from the cheapy bin. It looked like some sort of craft or quilting cotton that is a light peachy colour with dark orange pattern on it. I thought it might make an elegant shirt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As mentioned, I used the sleeves from Simplicity 5204 instead. I also did a petite waist adjustment.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I would sew it again in another fabric and I would definitely recommend it to others.

Conclusion: Easy to sew. And if you are looking for a shirt that's not super-fitted but doesn't look like a sac, this is for you!

Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge - Sept 26,27,28,29,30

Okay! The final post for the Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge!

Sept 26: I'm wearing a self-stitched skirt (Simplicity 8850). The baby just spit up on me. You can see that my left shoulder is wet! LOL
Sept 27: I'm wearing a self-refashioned black wool cardigan and self-stitched wool skirt with braided trim (Simplicity 8850 again).
Sept 28: I'm wearing a self-stitched craft cotton shirt (Butterick 4609 and sleeves from Simplicity 5204) and self-stitched beige stretch cotton pants (vogue 8041). The shirt is very tight across the chest as I'm nursing my baby right now. I wore this often for the office.
Sept 29: I'm wearing a self-made necklace and self-stitched wool mix skirt with asymmetric hem (McCalls 4593).
Sept 30: I'm dressing up today! I'm wearing a self-made necklace, a self-stitched navy wool mix jacket (Butterick 4863) and self-modified wool flannel pants I bought 12 years ago (still fits - yay!). I like the jacket very much and wore it to the office with dress pants and then with jeans on the weekend. The baby was pulling on the flouce of the jacket so I had to take it off when I was nursing her.

So I really tried to put more thought into what I was wearing by the end of the month. Skirts are not exactly practical for chasing around a 2.5 year old toddler and carrying a 5 month old all the time. Hey I tried! Do I get some points for trying?? :-) I'm astonished that I made so much clothing for myself that I didn't really have to repeat outfits. I still have more self-stitched clothes that I didn't wear for the month of Sept. Perhaps I should put more thoughts into my clothing from now on.

And on another note....I don't know how to pose! What awful poses I have!

It was a fun experiment and thanks to Zoe for organizing this!

Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge - Sept 21,22,23,24,25

More pics from the Self-stitched Sept'11 challenge!

Sept 21: I'm wearing a self-stitched poly knit dress (New Look 6697).Sept 22: I'm wearing a self-refashioned top with self-stitched beige stretch cotton pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 23: I'm wearing a self-stitched top modified from Vogue 7933 and self-stitched ankle length stretch cotton pants from Vogue 8041.
Sept 24: I'm wearing a self-refashioned' skirt to top' top and self-stitched stretch cotton pants (Vogue 8041).
Sept 25: I'm wearing a self-stitched cotton knit top from Vogue 7933 and self-stitched pants from Vogue 8157. I also made the necklace but it came off soon after I put it on because the baby was pulling on it.

I put a little more thought into my clothes for these few days. I like how the jewelry compliment the outfit. Too bad the baby likes it too much as well!! LOL

Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge - Sept 16,17,18,19,20

Sorry I have been very tardy in posting pics from the Self-stitched Sept'11 challenge. Kids sick again.....flu season has started!

Sept 16: I'm wearing a thrifted wool mix grey short sleeves sweater (itching to refashion this plain thing) and self-stitched beige stretch cotton pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 17: I'm wearing a thrifted cotton/cashmere mix top with self-stitched stretch polyester pants (Vogue 8041).
Sept 18: I'm wearing a fleece vest (a gift from 5 years ago) and self-stitched ponte di roma drawstring pants (Butterick 6771).
Sept 19: I'm wearing a self-refashioned v-neck merino wool sweater and self-stitched ankle length stretch cotton pant (Vogue 8041)s.
Sept 20: I'm wearing a self-stitched faux wrap poly knit top (New Look 6729) and self-stitched ankle length stretch cotton pants (Vogue 8041).
I think I was pretty lazy this week. Just grabbing whatever was clean to wear. The ankle length stretch cotton pants got a lot of wear!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

From tight v-neck to nice v-neck refashion

I just did another simple refashion. I have worn this thrifted shrunken men's merino wool sweater for a while. I like it but the v-neck is too tight on my neck. So I decided to use some remnant purple cotton velvet in my stash to redo the neckline. The sweater is now much more wearable and has more character too!

I did the new v-neck in a very awkward way (I'm sure there is an easier way and more correct way to do it).

1. I used tailor chalk to mark out where I want the final neckline to be on the sweater.
2. Then I measure the length of the neckline to determine how much of that purple cotton velvet knit I need to cut.
3. I sew a strip of velvet knit that was about 3cm shorter than the neckline. Each knit has a different stretch. My knit was quite stretchy so I had to take a guess on how much shorter than the neckline it needed to be.
4. I sew the ends of the strip form a round.
5. I attached the 'joint' of the round to the shoulder seam of the sweater so that it's not too obvious.
6. After that I just sew the round to the neckline while slightly stretching it.
7. At the v-point I actually hand sewed it because the round was actually a bit too long (by about 1cm or so) so I had to fiddle it until it overlaps and lie flat. Like I said, this is probably not the correct way to do it but I didn't find any tutorials online for this kind of neckline.

If anyone knows of a good tutorial online for this kind of neckline please let me know!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge - Sept 11,12,13,14,15

Okay, I'm slowly catching up on my Self-stitched challenge posts.

Sept 11:I made the jacket when I was pregnant with my first child. It's a wool mix boucle single layer jacket (no facing, no lining). I wear it like a cardigan. It's Butterick 5104. The pants were the ones that has the modified waistband (Vogue 8157).

Sept 12:
I'm wearing a thrifted shrunken men's merino wool polo sweater and stretch woven pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 13:I'm wearing a ponte di roma knit top (Butterick 4865) and ankle stretch woven pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 14:The drawstring pants are made with ponte di roman knit (Butterick 6771).

Sept 15:
I'm wearing a thrifted cashmere cotton mix sweater with black stretch woven pants (Vogue 8041).

I see I do tend to wear the same few pair of pants a lot. With 2 kids under 2.5, I guess stretchy pants are more practical for me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge - Sept 6,7,8,9,10

Sorry I haven't posted the pics from self-stitched Sept'11 challenge for a while because the kids and the parents were sick. Here they are:

Sept 6:
Here I'm wearing a self-stitched poly knit top (Vogue 7933) and poly stretch woven self-stitched pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 7:Here I'm wearing a thrifted shrunken men's merino wool sweater and self-stitched red stretch denim jeans (Vogue 8041).

Sept 8:Here I'm wearing a self-stitched green corduroy jacket and black poly stretch woven pants (Vogue 7933).

Sept 9:
I'm wearing a self-stitched top (McCall's 5050) and microfibre cargo pants.

Sept 10:I'm wearing a self-stitched top (New Look 6809) and the same microfibre cargo pants (great for all the kids' dirt).

Sick kids, sick parents....

Alas! What I was worried about in August had come true in Sept. After 4 days of daycare, my toddler got sick, and in turn infected his baby sister, myself and my husband. A household full of sick kids and sick parents was not an easy one. My baby wanted to nurse constantly (for my antibodies to fight off her illness) so I hardly got any sleep. And of course I still had cook and do the usual house chores and take care of the other sick kid. Well, we survived that and I hope I won't get to see the next wave of sickies in my house for a while! But flu season has just started....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Trendy handbag for $5

I thrifted this patent faux croc bag for $5 a few months ago. There was nothing wrong with it. It wasn't even dirty.Lately I've seen lots of these patent croc bags in magazines. It seems like it's all the rage for this Fall/Winter 2011 season. I'm happy I am on trend for only a fiver!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge - Sept 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

As mentioned before I have signed up for 'So, Zo's Self-stitched Sept'11 Challenge'. I aim to wear at least 1 self-stitched or refashioned piece of clothing each day during the month of Sept.

Sept 1 (sorry the picture is blurry):I'm wearing a self-stitched top (New Look 6357) and microfibre cargo pants I bought 12 years ago in the UK.

Sept 2:I'm wearing a self-stitched faux wrap top (New Look 6729) and self-stitched ankle length pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 3:I'm wearing a repurposed chocolate box elastic as a hair elastic.

Sept 4:I'm wearing a Montreal Jazz Festival t-shirt from 18 years ago and self-stitched ankle length pants (Vogue 8041).

Sept 5:I'm wearing a thrifted cotton cashmere top and self-stitched pants (vogue 8157).

I actually look forward to cooler days as I have more self-stitched and self-refashioned clothes that are for cooler weather.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chocolate box elastic repurposed

This is more a repurpose than a refashion. I got this gold elastic from a chocolate box. My hubby was going to throw it away but I managed to save it. I was going to take it apart and make something with it but haven't had time yet. Meanwhile, I needed some strong elastic to pull my hair back.


I didn't fiddle with it. I just used it as it. My hubby thinks I've finally gone off the rocker!! LOL!