Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sewing myself a shirt

My dad was in Beijing and bought me half a meter of silk.

My girl in the plaid dress I made her. 2009.
What do I do with this? I am not a clothing sewer. I can't remember the last time I made clothing for myself. I do remember making a dress for my little girl (before she started sewing her own things). And once I made pajama pants for my darling husband. I'm not sure why. It just seemed like the thing to do.

Now I'm not sure about everyone else, but I find that if I buy a pattern and then make it, it never fits. It's huge. Always. I make my regular size, which in every store is SMALL.

As I looked at the pattern, I wondered: maybe this is because for the actual bust for the small size is 43". Hello! 43"? What am I? A model in a girly mag? I am a small! I come with a small bust.

I measured my bust right now with a metal tape measure over all my clothes and it came in at 35". And I am at the height of my milk production with a six-month-old son. If you had asked me back before having kids, it would have probably been 25". Seriously.

Anyway, I have a plan to use this pattern to make a smocked top. Just the smocked part since the pattern is for a child. But I am not making it from a pattern. They will just make me look like I am wearing a mumu.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Have Lots of Time for Quilting with Five Small Kids

And here's how:

Baby Felix sleeping on his new blanket.

My baby, sleeping on a blanket in the living room. There is a type of magic that comes out when you have five kids. That fifth one is special (as well as the first four, of course).

I have a bouncy chair that I keep in the basement where I sew. He bounces. He giggles.

But what do I do with the other kids? I'll admit that I do the bulk of my "sewing machine" sewing when my darling husband is home.

I also do a lot of hand sewing with the kids are around--at the side of the playground, waiting for gymnastics, sitting at the table while they do a puzzle. Then I can listen to them tell me about their Minecraft world (ugh!) or their new Rainbow Loom project in minute detail (double ugh!) or whatever is on their mind. My hands are moving and I am listening to them.

I try to listen to them, even when I am not really interested, although I struggle with this. I have a very limited tolerance for Minecraft talk.

I'll admit that I would love to spend an hour every day sitting in front of my sewing machine, but the truth is, my sewing machine is in the basement facing a wall. And I am not interacting nor engaging with my children whatsoever when I am doing this.

So I don't do very much quilting these days on the machine. I do a lot of it in my mind, though, planning and dreaming of colours and techniques. I hope this comes across in my patterns at least! :)

And I imagine that one day the kids will be older and I will have more time to work on my projects. I am not eager for this, but I know it will come anyway...