September 30, 2011

nineteen weeks

So, moving right along with this pregnancy and already just about half-cooked! I can tell, because the pop-up turkey timer that has replaced my belly button is approximately half-popped at this point. Just the top half, mostly, so it's starting to kind of resemble an eyelid. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was about three minutes after I hit "publish" on my last belly post that everything suddenly emerged from hiding and I really started to look pregnant.

19 weeks
My apologies for the weird yellow lighting. I do have a cold, but as far as I know, not jaundice. It was evening by the time I mustered the energy to take a photo, and obviously, I couldn't be bothered to brush my hair or put on shoes either. Just keeping it real here.

Also have started to really feel the baby moving a lot in the last week or so, and not those vague little "was that it?" type of bubbles, but real kicks and jabs and flips. The timing of the first movement was great, as I was fairly certain that I had caused Thing 2's untimely demise when I electrocuted myself in my ongoing quest to rid the world of almond-colored electrical outlets a few days earlier. And although I know much better than to consult Dr. Google when it comes to such matters, I couldn't help myself. My fingers were typing "electrical shock while pregnant" before I could even think to stop them, and the next thing I knew I was going to all sorts of dark places that we don't even want to think about. So yeah, DON'T GOOGLE! Especially when pregnant. Google should have that disclaimer right on the search page, actually:
"If you're pregnant and are about to consult the internets regarding some mysterious symptom or need answers to any question best answered by a medically trained professional, PLEASE BACK AWAY!"
And, nineteen weeks also means that it's about time to find out what kind of parts this baby is going to have! By this time next week, we'll know (assuming full cooperation on the part of Thing 2). I keep going back and forth on what kind I'm currently rooting for. Sometimes I would really like a girl, for the obvious reasons: cute ruffly dresses, doll houses, pigtails, etc. But- it would also be really fun to have another boy because then Lincoln would have a brother. Something about brothers just seems like fun. Plus, we already have all the right clothes and toys for that kind of baby. But if it was a girl, think of all the cute stuff I could sew! You see the dilemma. But we'll see soon enough. Well, not really soon enough- but it's just a few days, so I guess I can wait.

In other news, Lincoln is still a charming two year old, and he's really become interested in dressing and (mostly) undressing himself lately. He's frequently taking off his pants because he's "too hot" and last night ate dinner in just a diaper at his passionate insistence. While it does make for easy clean up, I was concerned that he would drop a hot noodle on his belly so I finally convinced him that a bib would be a nice addition to his ensemble. It's fun to see him asserting his independence this way, and usually he's successful in his attempts at doing things "ALL BY MYSELF". Sometimes though, not so much:

Lincoln insisted on undressing himself for his bath that night, and somewhere in the shirt removal process things went horribly wrong. He just could not get it off of his (perhaps oddly large?) head, and wouldn't let me help at all. Finally I gave up and he calmed down and into the tub he went with a stylish new turban and an ear all red from the struggle. I finally just tore it off quick like a band-aid, which of course resulted in a mighty tantrum, but he was soon distracted by me washing his hair and he had something new to complain about so all was well once again.

He entertains us in so many ways, really. He's also been singing a lot of songs lately, both ones that we have taught him, and ones that he has made up on his own. His little imagination is so fun to watch, and I think this age is just incredibly awesome. He particularly likes to walk around with a partially extended tape measure held across his belly singing: "I play banjo, I play banjo..." Maybe we should get him a little guitar so he doesn't end up sitting on a porch with a jug between his knees? Redirect that musical talent now, while he's still young.

September 19, 2011

A Sorbetto hack

So remember when I said that I was inspired by The Sew Weekly's 7 Days of Sorbetto challenge to see just what I could make the Sorbetto pattern do for me? Well here's more proof of the versatility and evidence of the good bones that this pattern has. It's nice as is, but it's also so easy to tweak and rework into something that will fit anyone. I think this one will even still fit me in a few months when my belly starts to resemble a basketball smuggled under my shirt.

Obviously, there's not much left that resembles the original tank from this view, but since I knew that the proportions and the size were right (or easily adjusted) on the original pattern, I just took my pencil and scissors to a piece of pattern paper and started hacking away to create this maternity modification.

I started by drafting a new piece for the belly region, and I knew that cutting that piece on the bias would help accomodate my growing middle over the next few months by adding plenty of drape and flow. I added five inches of length to the front and back pieces, and I also added width to the new belly piece (4 inches) which was gathered in to match the modified bodice and shaped inset.

I added sleeves using the same sleeve pattern as before (from The Sew Weekly). I slashed and spread the pattern piece to add two inches to it in the middle, and then I gathered that up in a pleat on top to give the sleeves a nice flowy effect. I also added ties to the side seam to provide some more shape and allow for adjustments as I expand.

I finished the hem and sleeves with a narrow rolled hem on my serger and decided at the last minute to change the neckline shape from round to a V. I cut the new neckline then traced the front and back of the top to create a pattern piece for a neckline facing. I then attached it essentially like bias tape, sewing it down on the outside of the top. The point is a wee bit crooked compared to the upward-facing V on the bodice piece, but I can live with it.

The fabric was from my stash, and is probably ten years old. It's a nice weight for a top, and kind of a crepe-like material. Silky, but not too slippery. And I love not paying anything to make myself something. That's always good too.

I see tons of potential in this pattern, and plan to keep playing with it to make many more Sorbetto mods. I'm thinking knit next.

September 16, 2011

Hello? Grandpa?

One of Lincoln's favorite games is to call up the family and have a nice long conversation with them, usually consisting of "Hello? Hi. How doin' today? Good?" repeated over and over. We have a cordless phone that isn't hooked up and he usually makes his calls from that, but on this particular afternoon the foot pedal from my serger made for an excellent substitute. And yes, Grandpa and Tyee are doing well, thanks for asking!

September 8, 2011

Thing 2

Well, I have some exciting news! Our happy little family of three is expected to grow into a happy family of four sometime at the end of February! We'll find out next month what variety of baby is on the way, but in the meantime we've taken to affectionately referring to him/her as "Thing 2".

So far, this pregnancy is fairly unremarkable. I've been sicker than I was with Lincoln, but nothing too awful, and I'm much better now that the second trimester is underway. And with Lincoln my skin was clear, my hair stopped falling out, and I mostly felt really amazing. Can't say the same this time around, unfortunately! My complexion has been ick, my hair falls out in clumps, and I'm tired a lot. I imagine that the tiredness is largely due to chasing a two-year old around during the day and being kicked by him in bed all night long. Where IS that big-boy bed, anyway? Coming on a slow boat from China, I expect.

We've been busily preparing a couple of things to make the house a little bit more hospitable for our growing brood, and I'll be sharing those details shortly. Naturally, I've gotten bitten by a mad sewing bug and have tons of projects that I want to do and may or may not even be able to fit into once I finish, depending on how exponential the growth is in the belly region. Why aren't there more cute maternity patterns? I did work some magic on a Sorbetto top modification though, and it's very belly-friendly. Will post photos and details on that soon.

Lincoln is excited about being a big brother, and I think he will be an amazing one. He offers my belly kisses and hugs on a regular basis, and he even sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to the bump the other day. He's so dang adorable!

And, since no pregnancy post is complete without a belly shot, here's one taken today (16 weeks, 1 day):

I've been slacking, and have only taken photos at 9 weeks and 16 weeks to document the progress so far. It's not terribly exciting yet anyway- no inverted belly buttons or anything! The pics are here, and I'll keep adding to the album as things progress.

September 6, 2011

finger painting!

I think the look on his face says it all!

September 2, 2011

selfish sewing with Colette

Sometimes I get a bug to sew something up for myself for no good reason. Not something practical or necessary, just something to exercise my sewing muscles and take a break from "have to" sewing.

I've been spending more time perusing sewing blogs lately, and I was inspired by The Sew Weekly's 7 Days of Sorbetto challenge. The Sorbetto, in case you live under a rock or are my husband, is a free tank pattern by Sarai of Colette Patterns that, as evidenced by Mena's variations, is infinitely adaptable. The idea of finding a great base top pattern that can be built on and modified to suit a variety of styles is intriguing to me, so I decided to whip up a Sorbetto myself to see if there was potential there for me too.

I used fabric that had a previous incarnation as a disastrous failure from Spring Top Week. I had attempted to resurrect it, but it was no use, so I shelved it, and was happy to see that there was still enough fabric there to cut my Sorbetto. I had to modify a bit by cutting the front piece in two parts and stitching it together rather than cutting it on the fold, but this was really just a muslin to test size and see if the pattern had a good fit for me for future mods, so I wasn't concerned with that minor detail.

Aside from that, I cut and sewed the Sorbetto just as indicated in the instructions. Well, I guess that's not entirely true either. I added sleeves using the pattern from The Sew Weekly, and I stitched the bias binding at the neckline to the inside rather than the outside. But other than that, it's made just as instructed. I'm happy with the size and the fit, and I do think that it's a great base pattern to build from. It's too short for my taste though, and I doubt that I'll wear this particular version for anything besides lounging around the house or sleeping in.

While I was at it, I also downloaded another of Colette's free patterns, the Madeleine Bloomers. These are adorable, completely impractical, and again, something I probably won't ever wear. But I didn't care! I just wanted to sew something for the fun of it, and these are super quick to put together and easy too.

These were also stitched up entirely with things that I already had on hand. The fabric is a drapey, silkey bit of leftovers from a previous attempt at sewing something that I can't even remember right now. Probably a top, probably a failure that I never wore. It was the perfect weight for these bloomers though, and I got to try some fancy French seams and felling techniques that I don't ever use, so it was a good exercise. And they are cute, it just takes some mad confidence that I don't possess to pull them off. Even for PJ's.

There are some more photos of these garments here, along with some detailed shots of the interior seam finishes if you're a sewing nerd and think that would be interesting to see. And I highly recommend downloading one or both of these free patterns from Colette and sewing them up for yourself. Even if you're like me and you don't actually plan to use them! Sometimes you just need to sew, right?