Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Lingerie Month Finale - My Favourite Camisole

I think we've had a pretty decent lingerie month for June 2010. There have been patterns and tutorials for a couple of different cuts of panties. There's been bra-making, swimsuit making, mini-bloomers, baby doll nighties and now...

I've saved the best for last. Or at least my favourite for last. I love tank tops - or their "lingerie-ish" name - camisoles.

I made this pretty purple one tonight. Terry and the kids are at the park, so I had to take the pictures using the webcam. Not the best quality, but those of you who know me see me in this fashion every day anyway :)

I love the purple gingham ribbon I placed along the top edge. So cute!

I made some pants out of this knit over a year ago and a top to match, but I don't really like the top. And worn together the outfit is hideous. I think this little cami will make the outfit much better. Because I love those pants. They fit really nice and they are comfy. I'll take a photo of me in the entire outfit when I wear it next for you to see.

It's also a really great little cami to wear underneath a sweater or vest. But if you know me, I'll just wear it as is with a pair of pants or shorts.

If anyone would like the pattern for a size large cami, let me know. I'll figure out a way to scan it and post it up with a tutorial. It's only one pattern piece! Awesome. It only took me a half hour to make this top. Yay!

I'm wish my Canadian friends a Happy Canada Day tomorrow. Have a great time, enjoy the BBQ and fireworks!

I think we're going to the Canadian Mint for a tour and BBQ tomorrow. A very Canadian-type activity for a very Canadian-type day!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Sail Boat and Dump Truck Shorts

Those parents with toddlers that are learning to go to the potty know that back up pants or shorts are very important!

So when I went to fetch some clothes for Logan this morning and realized that he only had one pair of semi-clean shorts in his room, I knew that more needed to be made - stat!

I made these two pairs of shorts tonight. They were so simple. I used fabric in my stash and I always have tons of elastic. I didn't bother with pockets or fancy flies. These are just good cotton shorts that are easy to pull down and have lots of extra room in the bum for pull-ups. :)

The Dump trucks is a knit and the sailboats is woven, but the same pattern works for both. Yeah, I know they are kind of stereotypical "boy" fabrics, but boy fabric is hard to come by and this worked. Logan eyed the finished shorts and said, "I like the back of them mommy." Since the back and the front are the same, I suppose that means he likes 'em!

If any readers want the pattern (size 3 toddler) let me know. I'd be happy to make it available for download for free. I took a bunch of pictures while I was making the shorts as well, so I could be persuaded to post up a tutorial as well. ;)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Baby Doll Dress and Madeleine Mini-Bloomers

This weekend I thought I'd try a few lingerie-ish tutorials.

First up I tried the Weekend Designer Baby Doll Dress. I love the way this one turned out! So cute and flowy and summery. The picture doesn't really do it justice. The kids were about to hop in the bath and I was about to do some exercising when I made Terry take this pic.

I used a pretty cotton for the main part and some blue lace for the middle tier and the straps. I think I might take the leftover blue lace and make a big sash to tie around the middle. Might slim me out a bit instead of always looking like a tired overweight mommy. Although I'm sure if I just put some effort into doing my hair and looking presentable, that would work as well. :P

Originally I thought I was going to wear it as a nightie, but it's too cute. Must ... wear ... outside... somewhere.

Second up is Colette Pattern's Madeleine Mini-Bloomers. As you can see in the link, these are normally made with a bunch of frilly lace at the bottom. I love these so much though that I'll be wearing them a lot around the house as pajama shorts, so I omitted the ribbon and just put elastic in the bottom casing. Easier for washing over and over again.

The waistband on these shorts is so soft and comfy. I totally want to do all my waistbands like this from now on. It looks really nice too!

Has anyone tried either of these two tutorials out? I'd love to see the photos!

Date Afternoon

These past couple of weeks have been kind of rainy. We've had some nice days in between when I can take the kids to the park or play in the backyard, but the rest of the days are spent inside. On these days, Logan likes to play with all his toys in the Rec Room and watch Sponge Bob episodes.

He has an amazing imagination and can entertain himself quite well. There is one serious problem though:

Lane - the curious, destructo baby who follows him around and has to check out everything he's doing and shove every toy in her mouth and touch and destroy all in her path.

"Laney's bugging me. Laney's BUGGING me!!!" can be heard on repeat in our house at any given minute when these kids are stuck inside for too long.

I try to pull her away from whatever Logan is playing with and keep her occupied doing baby sort of activities. But this means that I can't play with Logan. He ends up playing mostly by himself while I spend all my time distracting Lane.

Naptime affords us some time to play together. But Lane only sleeps for about 20 minutes in the afternoon and that's it. She's a terrible napper. And 20 minutes doesn't cut it.

I'm left at the end of the day feeling like I've neglected my sweet little boy. So we decided to spend some one on one time together yesterday afternoon.

I went out on a date with my little man to Toy Story 3. Just the two of us. We stopped at the mall food court and ordered his favourite - hot dog and poutine from New York Fries. We played video games in the arcade. Even though mommy totally sucks at videogames, Logan didn't make fun of me at all.

He really enjoyed the movie! It was awesome to be able to spend some time with him. I forget sometimes how much growing up he's done since Lane was born. He's so smart and thoughtful and imaginitive and curious.

And the strange and wonderful part of the whole afternoon? Logan really missed his little tormentor. Here's a few of the things he told me on our afternoon date:

"When Lane is here we can park in the spot for babies." - Referring to the 'parents with infants' parking.

"Laney likes to watch people in the mall mommy."

"There is no change table for Laney at the movies mommy."

"I don't need to go to play park mommy because Laney isn't here to crawl around."

He even sang a happy little song about Laney eating french fries while we had our lunch.

Awww. He really loves his little sister!

When we got home, he said, "I missed Laney and daddy and now we can hang out as a family for the rest of the day."

Nothing like some time apart to make the heart grow fonder!

We couldn't get Logan to pose very nicely for a photo of us going out, so check out this one. Logan has decided that making mudpies in the backyard is a fun activity. We had to dip him in the bathtub after this little adventure. And that's his little sister in the background - sleeping!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Our Fearless Water Baby

Lane is becoming a little beach baby. She loves the water!

We started her out in the sprinkler in the backyard. She put her hands in the water, giggled and then tried to crawl through the water. This didn't bother her at all. In fact, she loved it!

So we thought we'd try out lake water. The first time didn't go so well.

I think we surprised her. And it wasn't the nicest day to go for a dip in the lake.

We tried again the next week. We slowly dipped her feet in the water. After a little bit of a surprise, Lane decided that water was the best. She couldn't get enough of it. We sat her down on the edge of the lake and she splashed and giggled. She cried when we had to take her out of the water.

She's giving me a look like: "Mom I really don't want to pose for a picture right now, I'd much rather be splashing with Daddy and Logan."

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Wedding Top - Finished!

I finished the top of my wedding dress a few days ago, and have yet to blog about it. ACK!

Actually, it isn't that I forgot and didn't want to, it was just that I really thought about saving it until I finished the skirt and then I would post the entire dress in one post.

But I know a lot of my readers are following along on this "sewing my own wedding dress" journey and want to know every detail.

So here it is!

I know I said that I was going to make the corset looking prototype from this post. But I changed my mind and went with the original Asian-inspired one from this post instead. I made it out of lightweight cotton eyelet to minimize the heat factor. And the design on the fabric matches really nicely with the brocade that I'm making the skirt out of. And it was really the design I liked best.

I used the buttons that I ordered from China (and posted about here) as closures. I have three more handmade buttons that I'll most likely attach to each of my bridesmaids outfits.

I have yet to hem this top. I still haven't decided what length I want it, so I'll wait until the skirt is finished. So the bias will get to hang for a really long time hehee :)

Here's a closer shot of the buttons. I won't photograph myself in this top until the wedding. Since I've lived with Terry for the past 9 years, I can't say it's bad luck for him to see the wedding dress before the wedding, but I can say that it's bad luck for him to photograph me in it before the wedding! :P

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Self Esteem Booster

Making a bikini for yourself is kind of a drag. But making a little baby bathing suit for Laney - awesome!

I know that Lane doesn't really need a bathing suit. She's a baby. It's fine to let her go in her little swimmers and nothing else. But, I really liked the idea of having a little bathing suit on her, at least to keep some of her chubby little baby tummy out of the sun. We bought a bathing suit for her from Zellers. It was a size 2 because they don't really make suits for babies. It's cute enough, but doesn't fit very well.

So I copied the design only I added some room in the bum to fit over swim diapers and I added a bit more modesty at the top. Lane's store bought one wouldn't stay up very well.

I just giggled and cooed over how cute this little bathing suit was the entire time I was sewing it. Adorable!


There are a few tutorials about how to make a bathing suit pattern (like this one), but I could be convinced to scan my pattern and create a tutorial if anyone is interested? Let me know in the comments or in an email. :)

Now mama and baby will match! I'll work on getting a pic of the both of us posted soon.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Red River Ex 2010

Last year the threat of H1N1 and my uncomfortable pregnancy meant that we skipped the Red River Ex. We were also in the process of packing to move to our new house!

But this year we want to celebrate summer full tilt, so we had to attend.

We visited the petting zoo and fed the goats.

We played the games.

We rode the rides.

We ate the bison burgers.

We drank the lemonade.

We also spent a pile of money! Good thing the Red River Ex only comes along once a year!

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Self Esteem Killer

A girl can either go to the mall and spend two hours trying on bikinis to find that perfect one, or she can spend two hours making it herself. Either way, it's a major self esteem killer.

Since the kids have discovered that the sprinkler is a great place to be and since the wading pool is opening in a few weeks, I knew that I'd have to increase my swimwear collection. So I made a pretty decent bikini.

When my friend Mel was visiting last, we had a discussion about knits. She and I both complained about purchasing knits at the fabric store. I love to sew with them, but the selection is horrible. Everything has gigantic flowers on it. That being said, my new bikini has enormous flowers on it. :P I kinda like it though.

The top fits wonderfully and is super comfortable. I will get a lot of use out of it this summer. The bottom could be better. I don't ever really like the bottoms, so this is no different. The only thing that would fix my opinion of these bottoms would be if I lost 20 pounds, and that's not going to happen, so I'll live with these. I always wear shorts over them anyway. When you're chasing around after a toddler, it's best to have everything covered. I'm scared I'll snag my lovely 'kini on something or mess it up in the dirt and rocks or cement or whatever else Logan has me sitting on in order to play his toddler games.

The bottoms kind of look like granny panties in this picture, but I assure you, they look like boy cuts when I try them on. (I won't subject you to a picture of me in the swimsuit. Some things are better left unblogged).

Sorry for the stretched out picture. I tried it on a couple of times to check the fit.

Next up: Laney needs a matching swimsuit! :)

Crafty Father's Day

I'm starting to become known as the "crafty chick" around here. So I would be totally remiss if I didn't figure out something crafty for Father's Day. What kind of crafty chick goes out and buys a Father's Day present when she's got a drawer (or drawers, bags and shelves!) full of fun crafty stuff?

But sometimes my brain just cannot handle the pressure. This is when I turn to other crafty chicks to help me out. There are so many great ideas out there just waiting for me to try.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this blog posting showing me how to make a perfect Father's Day present using Shrinky Dinks! I know - awesome right? I haven't used those things since I was a kid! Logan was sure to love it.

We gathered up all the tools and made to-scale key chains out of the kids hand tracings. Logan let me trace his hand, and even Lane stayed reasonably still while I traced hers. Then Logan decorated them and we put them in the toaster oven. I must admit, I was way more enthusiastic about this process than Logan was. But he humored me.

Our final result was precious.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Celebrating Terry

Happy Father's Day to Terry.

Top Ten Reasons why Terry is the best dad ever!

10) He gets up early with the kids on the weekend so that mommy can sleep in

9) He can cook! Waffles, chicken, sweet and sour pork, bbq - yum!

8) He messages us throughout the day from work just to see what we're up to

7) He's the best role model Logan could ever have. He lets Logan follow him around while he mows the lawn, does some vacuuming, changes light bulbs, and whatever else Logan might be interested in learning.

6) Lane's first word was "Dada!" and she says it with such enthusiasm whenever she needs an extra hug and the support of Terry's strong arms

5) He is the designated "bath" person in our house. And he has made up a ton of games and entertainment for bath time. :)

4) He does the dishes every night after the kids go to bed, so that mommy can have a rest

3) He makes up the funniest songs using "Logan" and "Lane" in the lyrics.

2) He still has energy after work for playing video games, going to the park, pushing Logan around on his bike (while holding Lane in the other arm!), and various other games the children think up

1) Your kids are the happy, healthy, well adjusted and love you with all their hearts (so do I!)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Beach Weather

This past weekend the weather was awesome! We were able to drive out to the beach for the afternoon. Yay!

Of course I snapped a few pictures of the amphitheater where we are getting married. Gotta have those pics on hand when I decide on the decorations (or lack of decorations - I think it might be nice to leave this as rustic as possible). Isn't it perfect?

Laney got a chance to get her toes wet in the lake. This is quite the step up from last year. Remember this post of Laney laying on a blanket at this beach? She was only a few days old. Awwww.

She actually didn't like getting her feet wet. This took us all by surprise because she's so enthusiastic about crawling through the sprinkler in the back yard. Oh well, maybe she was having an over-stimulated afternoon and needed a little relaxation.

Logan's an old pro. He loves the beach and gets right into digging with all his beach toys. He spent a little time in the water collecting rocks, but it was still a bit too cold for too much playing.

So we all played on the swings.

And Laney got some relaxation while we ate ice cream. What is it with toddlers and bubblegum ice cream? Logan had never tried it (or even heard of it before) and it was all he wanted when we listed the choices.

I can't wait to get married here. It's only a month and a bit away! :D

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Potty Mouth

Our little sweetie baby can talk!

Here's a run down of Lane's vocabulary so far:

1) "Dada" - this was her first word. She uses it to refer to both Terry and Logan. We've decided that it's the word for "notthemama" hehehe
2) "Juice" - she does like to steal Logan's sippy cup and gulp a bunch of juice when no one is looking. We water hers down too much for her to be interested in that :P
3) "kitty" - the neighbor's cat wanders around our yard when we're outside playing. Lane goes crazy for kitty. Kitty is smart and does not come too close to Lane for fear of being mauled by an over-enthusiastic baby.
4) "poop" - *sigh* her 4th word is indeed "poop" and she says it with such conviction! And since she is a little poop factory, she has many chances to try out the new word. We're so proud...

Check it out! Our little girl is finally growing some hair! No longer Miss Baldy.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A Child's Idea of Helping

See mom, I'm helping! I took all of the Tawny Bee coasters out of the bin and organized them here in this pot. I have also renamed them "Krabby Patties," and if you call them coasters, I will freak out.

Look mom, I'm helping. I took all of your empty thread spools and spread them throughout the room and slobbered on each one for you. You can thank me later.

Meh... at least it keeps them busy.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Make Your Own Bra

Lingerie month continues with the Bra. I made this one tonight in an hour and a half! They are actually really simple to make and if you tweak the pattern just right, you'll have the perfect fitting, handmade bra.

I was going to post up my pattern, but it doesn't really make much sense. Everyone has their own preferences, so I'll point you in the direction of a tutorial that helps deconstruct an already existing bra to get you started.

I took the underwires from an old bra. The fabric was worn out, but the underwires were still in good condition. I also got the adjustable strap and the back hook pieces from that worn out bra. You can buy all these items at the fabric store though.

Here's the inside. Oooh, pretty red! Logan has taken an interest in my thread stash lately. I used to have 4 bobbins (I know - not very many eh?) Anyway, I'm down to 2 now. And I hate unwinding perfectly good thread, so you might be able to see the pink bobbin thread I used on the underside of this bra. Whatever, nobody sees it anyway.

Here's a closer picture of the cup, just to show you the textured fabric I used. I won't be wearing this bra under anything too slinky, but I love the red peeking out through the patterned holes of this black cotton.

I'm still tweaking this pattern a little bit, so I think I'll make a few more bras in the next few days. I'll keep you updated with the progress!

Evening Gardening Has Consequences

An update on the state of our garden. We have 3 pea shoots growing despite the fact that Logan dug them up about 15 times and watered them at full hose strength about 2 inches from where they were trying to grow. He's learning though, so it's fine!

Sunday evening, I sat outside while Terry worked on building our new BBQ (an activity you can't do with curious little kids milling about). We had a beer with the neighbour and a very pleasant evening. The BBQ wasn't quite finished, so we went out again last night, only this time I actually did something.

I planted 2 cherry tomato plants and some chives. It's almost impossible to get any gardening done when the kids are awake. Laney tries to get up on the planter and Logan decides to dig everything up. So last night I finally went out after they went to sleep and dug out that top planter and put in some chives.

And this is what I get for my troubles! That's just a picture of my ankles. I was wearing long pants and a hoodie, but I still got bitten a bunch around my neck as well. ACK! Vampires!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

How To: Cloth Pads and Pantyliners

Tonight I'm going to talk about something that isn't talked about very often. Women seem to think it's shameful and gross, and yet we all do it once a month. Yup, you got it - menstruation. Hey, it's Lingerie Month, and we've all gotta protect our precious underwear once a month, so why not talk about it?

I won a giveaway last year during the May Day Giveaway at Sew Mama Sew. The prize was two cloth pantyliners from HoneyBee Hill. I was pregnant at the time, but I promised to give them a try when my cycle started going again. I admit, I'm a disposable type of girl, and cloth pads didn't appeal to me.

So imagine my surprise when I found that they weren't terrible.

Here are a few of the benefits I've found:
- Another way to become more eco-friendly is a plus
- saves on money. They're re-usable after washing.
- always accessible even in the middle of the night when you don't feel like running to the drugstore
- comfy - no plastic-y hot feeling. They're breathable.
- I love to have a back up when I think my period is going to start, but don't feel like wearing plastic all day just in case

These aren't your grandmother's rags! We have advanced A LOT in the design of underwear and now have easy to wear, snap closed cloth pads with wings! :)

Here's how to make your own:

Supplies needed:
I used entirely upcycled fabrics for my example. I figure if I'm going to be green, might as well do it up right.
- scraps of fleece and cotton
- snaps. A note on snaps: I upcycled mine from articles of clothing I had in the house. If you do laundry as much as I do (I have 2 kids) then the metal ones should be fine. If you're a once a week kind of laundry girl, then I recommend using the poly resin snaps, or the plastic sew-on type that you can find at your local fabric store.
- matching thread

1) Make your pattern

- the pattern is simple. The first piece is basically an oval. The length is 8 inches and the width is 6.5 inches. Connect the dots in an oval shape and you've got the first piece.
- the second piece is for the cloth pad (you don't need this piece if you're just making the pantyliners). It's 7 inches by 2.5 inches. Round off the ends a bit.

2) Cut out your pieces
- for the cloth pad, cut the first piece out once of fleece and once in cotton, linen or raw silk. These are natural fibres that will be absorbent and easily laundered over and over again. Cut the second piece out in fleece, terrycloth, or anything else you can find that is super absorbent. I cut this out three times and layered them to make it my desired thickness. You can cut out the thickness you prefer.

3) Layer the pieces together
- place the bottom fleece wrong side up on the table. Put your absorbent pieces in the middle lengthwise. Place your cotton main piece on the top, wrong side down. Pin the absorbent layers in place
** Note on layering: there are products out there, an example is Zorb, that are made for extra absorbency. Hemp and Bamboo are also wonderful absorbers. You may choose to add some of these into your layers. I haven't for this tutorial because my goal was to make an upcycled product out of things I had on hand.
- if making a pantyliner only, then you just layer the two main pieces wrong sides together

4) Sew the cloth pad together
- Select a small zigzag stitch on your machine. Sew down both sides of the absorbent layers. This will form the pad part.
- using the same zigzag stitch, sew around the outer edge of the pad. Trim off excess.
- if sewing the pantyliner, just zigzag around the entire outer edge of the pad and trim off excess.
** you can also serge around the edge to make a nice finished edge

5) Attach snaps
- I've upcycled my snaps, so I've placed them in the correct position on the wings and sewed them on.
- You can also attach the snaps using the instructions on the package they came in.

Now go make some more!

The ones in this tutorial are for me. I used a terrible colour of thread just to make the pictures show up for you, so I get the guinea pigs. But on Sunday evening, or possible Monday, I will have a starter pack available for purchase at Tawny Bee if you'd like to try them out, but don't feel like sewing them yourself. :)

Friday, 4 June 2010

How To: Regular Cut Panties

Oooh aren't these cute? This is my very favourite style of panties. Comfy and pretty! I warn you though - if you learn how to make these, you'll start making matching panties to every one of your new knit outfits. Seriously, I love them that much!

So let's get to the How To shall we?

Supplies needed:

- downloadable pattern (links below)
- half a metre of knit fabric should make two pairs
- elastic trim (I've pasted a close up of this stuff to show you. It has a line running down it where you can fold it in half. It can be found in the trim section of the fabric store. It's sold by the metre) 1 metre should make two pairs.
- matching thread

Downloads you'll need

The pattern is made in size medium. If you want another size, you'll have to upsize or downsize this pattern.

Here's a close up of the elastic trim you'll need.

1) Cut out the pieces
- Download, print and cut out the pattern pieces.
- Cut out one front, one back and one crotch piece (it's located on the pdf with the front piece)

2) Sew the seams
- with right sides together pin the front to back and side seams and crotch seam. Stitch.

3) Prepare crotch piece
- Finish the short ends of the crotch piece using a small zigzag stitch.
- pin the crotch piece on the inside of the stitched panties. You can place the crotch piece either right side up or wrong side up. It's personal choice. The first pair of panties I made, I used some funky monkey knit and placed the crotch piece with the right side showing. But now every time I go to the bathroom I have a bunch of smiling (and somewhat shocked-looking) monkeys staring up at those parts. Probably not the best choice, but it makes me laugh. :P
- baste along the leg edges to secure the crotch piece in place.

4) Sew the elastic
- this is the most difficult step. It takes some finesse and practice.
- what you need to do is attach the elastic around the waist and the legs to finish the seams.
- starting at the back of the waist, fold your elastic over the edge (kinda like bias tape) and start stitching in place.
- I use a zigzag stitch for this to make sure there is lots of stretch and that I can catch the entire elastic in the stitch. I don't pin this or estimate how much elastic I'm going to need. I tried that and it ended badly.
- I'm sure there's a trick to this stuff, but I haven't discovered it yet. My biggest tip would be to pull the elastic quite a bit while you're stitching. The first pair I never sewed had a huge leg because I didn't pull it enough.
- Here's a picture of me sewing it for reference. Please excuse my terrible half painted nails. Yipes!
- When you get to the end, overlap the elastic a bit, cut the extra off and backstitch a lot.
- do the legs in the same manner.

The elastic might be a little tricky, but all it really needs is a little practice. And they turn out so cute and original after all that fussing. I never want to buy mass manufactured panties ever again. It's so much nicer to have a pair with a little uniqueness and a handmade touch!

These two pairs will be on sale at Tawny Bee if you don't want to take the plunge and make a pair of your own. And if you try out the pattern, I'd love to see your version of it. Just email me a photo (email link in my profile) or post it up in the Tawny Bee Flickr Pool.