Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Upcycled Daisy Pillows

Daisies are my favorite flower. I've had a couple ugly pillows on my couch for a while, and today I just felt like sewing. So I made these two Daisy pillows while Daisy napped.  

I went through my fabric and give-away stash and found a few pieces that would work. A blue t-shirt, my yellow t-shirt from my Pikachu costume, the white jacket from my valance project, and a green king-size pillow case that someone gave me. 

I cut two 17'' squares from the t-shirt. I cut the jacket into strips. The white strips would become the petals on the blue background.

I sewed each strip down the middle. 

It took five strips for each blue square.  

Then I cut the sleeve off the yellow shirt. I cut the sleeve in half, and put it in the middle of the flower. 

I flipped it over and placed a piece of tissue paper with a circle drawn on it on the center of the circle, right on top of where the yellow sleeve would be. 

I sewed along the circle. 

Then I trimmed the excess yellow fabric off to finish the daisy center applique.  

The last step was to trim each petal end in a curve and hand-sew them down if needed. I also ironed them out. Then I used the green pillow case as the backing, stuffed the pillow and hand-sewed it closed. 

The whole project took about three hours. I had to take breaks and finished up the hand-sewing after Daisy went to sleep tonight. 

I'm still getting used to my new work schedule, but every week gets easier. I keep finding extra time on my hands for little projects like this which make me happy. These are sweet smiling daisy pillows just in time for our super early Florida spring. 

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DIY Skinny Jeans

I saw this method of sewing your bootleg jeans into skinny jeans a long time ago on Maybe Matilda. I never had the desire or need to use it, until now. 

My body's all changed and changing after pregnancy (everything is going back differently). As a result, a pair of jeans that once fit me fine, no longer fit. I gave them to my sister, telling her I could skinnify them so she could wear them with boots. Since I was working on her pants, I decided to do a pair of pants for myself too. 

These pictures are mid-project to show the before-after. 

I have since finished the pants, hemmed them, and worn them to work. I'll try to update this post with a full-on after shot. But I might never do it, just because my free time to blog is next to non-existant these days. 

Basically, if you can sew a straight line, this project is perfect for you. It's pretty simple. 

Here's the tutorial I used for making your jeans skinny. 
Here's the tutorial I used for hemming jeans. 

Go, therefore, and skinnify your own pants.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Upcycled T-Shirt to Baby Pants

Last week marked the first time I had to buy Daisy clothes. She's right in the middle of the charts for weight, but she's in the 90th percentile for height. A long, lean girl! That means that her waist fits in 6-9 month pants, but her legs are 12-month long.

I don't have time to figure out if you can buy pants without getting a whole outfit (Target didn't have any). Since I mainly need pajama pants for her, I decided to delve into my give-away pile and make her some custom-fit pants.

The little red pants are 12-month pants that I used as a pattern for size. I've seen this method on several other blogs. It's pretty simple.

1. Fold the pattern pants in half like in the picture, and lay them on your fabric. In this case, I'm using the bottom hem of the pajama pants (the floral ones) as the waist-line for the baby pants. 

2. Cut out leaving a 1/2 inch of fabric all around. Repeat. I used the other pajama pant leg (the floral one), so I could keep the same hem-line/waist line. 

3. Unfold the pieces and lay them together right-sides in. Then pin the short sides and sew together. 

I ended up adding a little panel on the "butt" side of her pants to give her extra butt-space for her big cloth diapers. If you're using paper diapers, then that's not necessary, because there's plenty of space. Unless your baby has a honkytonk bandonkadonk.

Okay no picture for the next steps.

4. After you have sewn the short sides, sew a short hem at the bottom of the pants around the ankles. I just folded it in 1/4'' and zig-zag stitched it down. 

5. Open the pants and fold them along the original side seams (the seam that's running down the center of the picture above) They should look like inside-out pants. Sew the inside seam of the legs. 

6. Thread an elastic band through the waist line and hand-sew the elastic together. Then hand-sew the gaps closed. 

Done. Here's how I made the baby pants out of a t-shirt. 

I used the bottom hem of the shirt as the waist-line of the pants. It just makes it WAY easier when you get to the elastic-inserting phase at the end. 

This t-shirt had cuffs on the sleeves, so I cut one of them off. Then I cut the cuff in half, and sewed it to the bottom of the baby pants instead of sewing a hem. 

Voila. As you can see, they're still a little long, but that's good, because she will keep growing. 

This whole project took about 90 minutes, including a couple stages of ripping stitches and re-sewing. You could probably crank out several in one sitting once you get the hang of it. I only have Tuesdays at home with Daisy, but over the course of two naps, I finished both pairs. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Year News

Happy New Year!

2013 started me back to work full-time (30 hours). The past two weeks have been quite an adjustment for me as I navigate motherhood, work, and household management. I'm also trying to spend the last days of my sister's visit to the states before she returns to the other side of the world, literally.

I'm back at work so that my dear hubs can go back to school. Yep, he's in prerequisite classes right now on the road to becoming a MURSE (that's a male-nurse, everybody)! We made the decision back in July right after Daisy was born, but I waited to announce it on the blog until we were actually doing it. I guess I've spent the last few months in denial. Being home with Daisy for her first six months of life was incredibly special, and I will always be thankful for those lazy days of cuddles and naps.

But, wow! Let me tell you what - I have MAJOR respect, compassion for working moms now. Double that respect and compassion for single, working moms.

Zane has been a HUGE help. He watches Daisy on his days with no classes. On those days at home, he also washes diapers, vacuums, cooks, and says things like, "What else can I do to help you?" Yes, he is an incredible man.

Daisy's six months old now. Her first two teeth arrived mid-December. She's eating lots of pureed solids: pumpkin, black beans, avocado, summer squash, zucchini, carrots, apples, pears, bananas, rice cereal. She hasn't rejected any of them so far, but carrots are definitely on the bottom of her list. Pears are her favorite.

She's not crawling yet, but she rolls back and forth and gets up on her hands and knees and rocks forwards and backwards. 

No belly laughs yet, just giggles. She gets the most smiley when Rufio runs around. Our ridiculous efforts to make her laugh are all in vain. Dancing, singing, funny faces, strange noises only elicit smiles at best. I can't wait for that big giggly laugh whenever it comes. 

She's on a pretty regular schedule with 2-3 naps a day and night sleep from 7pm to 7am (with one feeding at 10pm). She loves walks and car rides. She loves chewing on everything. She loves to watch football with daddy. 

Daisy also loves people. We are fairly certain we have an extroverted child. She will be fussy with me or Zane, but once we take her into public, she brightens up. 

My job is not really stressful, but being away all day is tiring. After a long day at work, I navigate rush hour traffic and walk in the door to my sweet family. Zane exclaims, "Mommy's home!" and Daisy gives me a big smile! Then she flaps her arms up and down and coos. My heart just melts, and I can't help but smile back at her and kiss her and hold her. No one can stay stressed when a baby's smiling right at you. 

When I'm at work, though, I'm very relaxed. My work environment is really fun and low-key. I have to work, then I'm in the best job possible. The stress of working is more about juggling roles and responsibilities than doing finance tasks at an office all day. 

Whatever new challenges this year holds with scheduling, education, and work, Daisy makes it fun and worth every minute. And someday, Zane will be a nurse.