Tuesday, March 29, 2011

*Serious* Stashbusting - #6

Alternate blog post title - "I don't want to sew another pair of pants until fall, m'kay?"

15 pairs of pants in the last month. I can now sew kids elastic waist pants in my sleep.

First up was this cute pair of pants for Gray.

It's a reversible pair of pants for toddlers from Anna Marie Horner's Handmade Beginnings book.

He was out of pants that fit, I have a huge stash of fabric, this pattern is reversible! One pair of pants serves as two! I can make him four pairs of pants and he'll really get EIGHT! Sweet!

Reality check : When sewing reversible pants, one pair of pants does not equal two. It takes two pair of pants sewn to equal one pair of reversible pants. So if I want him to get eight pairs of pants, I get to sew eight pairs of pants. It was a lot of pants.

It was fun to mix and match fabrics and try to use up scraps I had that weren't getting used. Some of the pants I was sure were going to be camping-only pants, but they turned out better than I thought.

Pair #1:
One side:

And the other:

Pair #2:
One side:

And the other:

On two of the pairs of pants I used flannel on one side for warmth.

Pair #3:
Cotton side:
Flannel side:
Pair #4:
Cotton side:
Flannel side:
I also learned to follow my instincts when something doesn't look right in a pattern. The pattern says to use 1/4" elastic. With an active child (read: with any child) 1/4" elastic isn't the best for holding up pants. I should have used 1/2" elastic.

I also accidentally cut these right with the pattern instead of making the legs a few inches longer as I knew I should, so he will grow out of these fairly quickly. Have you heard of road blindness, where you are driving for so long that you kind of don't really see the road in front of you, so you have the chance of hitting a car parked alongside the interstate because your mind assumes it's a moving car and by the time you realize you're going to hit it, you don't have time to move? I get pattern blindness. I have to make a whole new pattern or mark on the fabric, or I'll just cut right around it, totally forgetting the adjustments I need to make until the fabric's already cut.

After I got done with these, Ainsley needed a pair of pajama pants, so I made her a pair. Then I made Hannah a pair.

By the way, do you have any cute ideas for this fabric? For some unfathomable reason, once upon a time I bought over 3 yards of it. Three. Yards.

When the girls saw Gray's reversible flannel pants, they wanted a pair, so we made them some. I used the pajama pants patterns I'd just made for them, lengthened the legs, and used the same technique to make them reversible. I didn't use 1/4" elastic.

So that was four more pants done. And oh my goodness, are they cute!

The last pair was a pair of church pants for Gray. We had to go to a family gathering that involved church and I wasn't about to spend $10-$15 on a pair of pants he would wear one time, so I used a 50% coupon to buy 1 yard of $7 fabric to make him a pair of church-y pants. $3.50 is much better than $10-$15.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Look what I found.

Sitting in my 'draft' pile of posts from back in August.

Oh, it's a good thing to come across when spring is being .... spring-y. Cold, windy, and snowy.

Fresh picked raspberries and currants and blackberries.

Little kids bundled up, not against cold, but against sun and brambles.

Short, short haircuts.
Mornings in the mountains when you are grateful for the coolness.

And, wow - short, short hair!

It's good to run across something like this - reminds me that warmth is inevitable.

And that their hair really is growing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trying to keep up with MamaTea.

The Jones' just aren't as interesting. I don't need to keep up with them.

The other day, MamaTea posted pictures of her swamped Minnesota area. Mine really can't keep up, but I thought I'd show you what spring is bringing to our neck of the ... desert.

See that lake out there? That's pasture.

And that? That's a road.

Terribly fun to drive through. Lots of squeals. The kids liked it too.

This picture doesn't show what I wanted it to show - those big snow chunks? They're rushing by faster than I can run. That water is *moving*.

But then again, I can't run that fast right now. I *am* only 6 or so weeks away from having a baby.

OK, I'm back. Had to go breathe into a paper bag.

And, as Mama Tea had happen, we just got more snow on top of that! As they say in this area - "We are thankful for the moisture."

After all, spring means mud and anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you seeds.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's in your sink?

My sink has a cold baby goat in it. My daughter's super-power is saving lives.

ETA: He made it. He's nursing now and is very strong.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What spring looks like on this small homestead.

Bringing new kids into the kid pen.

A little girl *so* excited that her very own goat had a baby. His name is Jack. She's named all of the little boys Jack.

Another girl who is taking a much bigger part in goat care this year, as is appropriate for her age.

Watering cans and shovels in hand. Pushing Mother Nature along.

Wild swans passing through. So beautiful.

That's as close as I could get to them. You stop the car and they move away very quickly.

I don't know why I have no pictures of Gray to include. He's there - moving rocks from one place to another in the driveway. Pushing tires around. Chasing the cat with a stick.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring is coming.

Spring is coming.

(I made the above photo here. My favorite optimism picture is here.)

Spring is coming.

Spring is coming.

Spring is coming.

Spring is coming.

Spring is coming.

It has to be.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hannah's Pants - Stashbusting #5

I made Hannah a pair of pants from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love. It's a book with fantastically outrageous fabric choices and embellishments used for all of their clothes. Hannah loves looking through it.

She asked me to make her a pair of the Dortje Trousers. The patterns in this book offer so many variations, so I walked her through them and when she'd decided what she wanted, I told her to pick out a fabric.

"A fabric? Just one? But I need different colors for the pockets! And for the starfish!"

The starfish?

"Yeah, the starfish. And the notes. I'll need a fabric for those too."

My eyes can go goggly. I found that out.

I also found out that I need to add a hem allowance along with a seam allowance to these patterns. I thought they were a bit short, but she didn't - she loves the length. They come down to her feet, I think I just like them a bit longer so she could have some growth room.

Look at that fabric! I bought it years ago - at least four - to use for art smocks. There was barely enough for the pants, especially as tall as she's getting. I'm avoiding thinking about the fact that she's getting so tall.

Here's the starfish she wanted. It's a 'hidden pocket'. I have to remember to check it when I do laundry.

The waistband fabric matches the fabric on the hem. She said it 'pulls it together'. What 6-year-old says that? She also wanted to use rick-rack that I had in my trim drawer. I don't know why I had it since I'm not a big rick-rack fan, but I'm glad she used it. It's really cute.

Then there are the music notes that start at the back pocket ...

and wrap themselves around her leg. Those were hand-stitched (blanket stitch) on - easy and fast.

These pants were not at all what I would have made for her myself. I wouldn't have chosen these fabrics. I wouldn't have chosen these embellishments. But she did. And she looks darling in them. And she loves them.

And she wears them. Which, if you make clothes for your kids you know is the best response they could have.