Thursday, June 30, 2011

BurdaStyle Magazine 06-2011-111B

I made another pattern from the Burda Style Magazine, this time a pair of shorts, and I love them. I think I'm going to make a lot more pairs. The largest size of the pattern was a 44 so I graded up to about a 48.




I also did my first review on pattern review, where you can get more information. Here is the link.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simplicity 4076

Remember my making this before? I had cut the right side (or left) out twice instead of one of each and so half the shirt is always inside out. Most people would consider it a wadder and toss it, but the knit is super comfy and so I've been wearing it as pajamas...a lot.

After making this first shirt, I had cut out another, this time correctly, but only got around to sewing it yesterday.

(I'm not angry. I'm not sure why I look that way.)

Unfortunately, I have stopped breastfeeding since then and so have lost four inches off my chest. I was going to make this smaller, but laying it out there was no way that those giant circles were not going to be in an inconvenient place. So it was made as is and it still works, but it reveals more cleavage than even normally and hangs funny a bit under the arms, but it is still better than almost all RTW and I am a little short on clothing that fits better (note the skirt in the picture which I made while pregnant with the nerdlet but am still wearing due to a shortage of summer skirts and shorts - note that but try to ignore Darth Baby's gift on the skirt).

I think reading Australian sewing blogs is adversely affecting me as I have traced out a (BS) Burda Style jacket. I probably won't be making it for a while, but I'm really happy with the tissue paper fitting. I do wonder if I need a new way of making an FBA, since all the ones I've seen lower the bust point and usually that is too low to begin with (due to being extremely short torsoed not from being overly perky). I use the Palmer and Pletsch method mostly for my FBAs.

What I want to make are the jacket or matching dresses for my girls, but after a finishing a few more pillowcases, I will definitely be working on more me clothing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Save Ivan/Liam!

Anyone that has been reading my blog for any period of time knows that I always have one or more adoption of a child with Down syndrome through Reece's Rainbow that I am watching. Melanie/Lucy's mom is at the orphanage getting her right now. Lera's adoption is fully funded and they are completing the final steps before they can go get her. Alexander's adoption is almost fully funded, and they are gung ho about going to get him even if no more money is donated, but they are having to wait for some issues with the political system in the country of Alexander's orphanage. So now I am advocating for Liam.

My sister is a consultant for Tastefully Simple. It is a company that sells gourmet food products that I had never heard of before she started selling it, but apparently is extremely popular because as soon as I start talking about it, everyone cuts me off having heard of it and obviously knowing more about it than I do. She has agree to do a fundraiser donating 100% of the profits of an online catalog party to Liam, who is still $9K away from being fully funded. Go to Tastefully Simple, pick out your products, and list me 'Kimberly Hughes' as the host and my sister will make sure the profits are directed to Liam's adoption. Liam's mom, Amy, has adopted multiple times before and if you go to her blog, you can see pictures of her three handsome sons that have Down syndrome.

Of course, if you don't eat or know anyone who eats, and therefore cannot fathom buying delicious food, then you can, of course, donate directly to Liam's adoption here.

Finally, a giant thank you to all those that have donated to this adoption or any of the others or who have already purchased. Every small amount counts.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Simplicity 4243

I've had this pattern for a long time.

Sometime early in my pregnancy with the bear cub, I modified the pattern to fit the nerdlet and cut it out but I had severe Carpal's Tunnel during my pregnancies and never finished sewing it. So I finished it for Darth Baby to wear today. It's a good thing I finished it now as it doesn't look like it will fit her much longer.

It's perfect in the stitching and the binding and almost completely unfinished on the seams. My serger was giving me a hard time and instead of spending the time fixing it I took shortcuts, such as zigzagging some of the seams and ignoring the rest. It is made out of Tutti Frutti fabric which is great for clothes for little ones as it is super easy to sew and clean and requires no ironing. I love that the many outfits we have made with this fabric (my MIL has made a bunch) are all still unstained.

I also made a ton of red bias tape. For less than the cost of one package, I bought the fabric on sale to make 25 to 50 yards depending on width and it took me a little less than 3 hours to make it from start to end. I will confess to hating making bias tape, but I can't see spending money on it when I go through so much.

I ordered Ottobre magazine and got the first issue and I'm excited about trying it out. The one I received is all children's patterns and many require bias tape so I'll likely be making more in the near future.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Making Nylon Scrubbies

This is what I have been up to other than parenting my three girls lately.

Cutting them is a bit of a pain. It's basically eight yards of course tulle cut into 3-4 inch strips. Normally I do this with an old rotary cutter and it is done fairly quickly, but with three little ones and all the activity around, I ended up having to cut them a few strips at a time with regular scissors (definitely not my fabric scissors).

You can use pretty much any small crochet pattern you want. I basically double crochet in circles until I run out of the ball, though in previous years I have crocheted other shapes just for fun, like hearts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More bibs

After trying out the new bib pattern on Darth Baby, I realized that none of the other bibs we had were going to make me happy anymore and that I had to make a bunch more. I picked up a package of 18 wash cloths at Wal-mart for $4.00. These were a little disappointing because they were about an inch smaller on all sides than any I had at home which made for much smaller bibs that likely aren't going to fit her too much longer (though they still fit the nerdlet). I ended up feeling tired of making bibs after 12.

Here are pictures of most of them (some are still in the wash).

The nerdlet claimed this one as her own.

If you have a baby with reflux, these are definitely great bibs for you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

People Can Be So Nice

My debit card expired this month. I had gotten the new one but had accidentally left it on my computer. I didn't realize that the old card would not be good through the end of the month or I would have been more careful. So I went grocery shopping after the gym on Friday with the three girls on the way home. When I tried to check out and it rejected my card, I was really out of luck as I didn't have any other way of paying. I really didn't want to reshop for all the things I had and was trying to convince them to leave it in the cart so that I could pay for it after coming back. They wouldn't do that so I called my husband so that he could bring the new card. While I was doing that a couple of customers paid for my groceries and left. So I couldn't even thank them properly. When the cashier told me to call my husband back and tell him never mind, I burst into tears. To anyone that has done anything like this before, THANK YOU!!! Anyway, I intend to pass it on and will be donating the amount of my groceries to one of the Reece's Rainbow kids.

After I had gotten home, it occurred to me that I knew the new expiration and the security code on the back and that I should have asked them to key it in. Le Sigh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Making Bibs

I decided to make my own bib pattern. Darth Baby has pretty bad reflux and we go through a stack of bibs for her each day. On top of that, she has taken to leaning over her bib to spit up so that she gets everything past the end of a normal length bib dirty. The bear cub is still teething so often she'll soak a bib, too. So I was in need of a new design.

First I tried this free bib pattern. It definitely covers a lot, but it is big even on the nerdlet. Also, it takes a full hand towel, which I don't really want to waste on a single bib. Here was the result.

Next, I tried this free bib pattern, which was much smaller and covered most everything except the sleeve area. I used one of the newborn cloth diapers I had to make it. The bear cub did not seem to think this one was comfortable and complained until I took it off of her.

So I decided to make my own. I wanted one that I could use the wash cloths for that you can get a stack of new ones fairly cheap (I think you can get a stack of 20 for around $5.00). I also wanted one with sleeves so when Darth Baby leaned over like she does before spitting up, it would still catch most of it. This is what I came up with. I think I'll applique a heart in the pink from the sleeves on it later. All of my models are napping right now.

And if you're interested a quick picture tutorial of what I did.

If anyone is interested in the pattern or a more thorough tutorial, let me know.

Audrey's Day at the Beach

Saturday, Q and I took the bear cub and the nerdlet to Audrey's Day at the Beach, a meeting in Rockport of families with children or relatives with Down syndrome. We wanted to do this last year and the year before but family things kept us from going this year. We actually missed my nephew's eagle scout meeting to go this year and almost cancelled it again, and although it was a difficult decision for us, we decided that it was important for us to spend a day celebrating the bear cub's extra special chromosome with like families.

I often say that every family should have a child with Down syndrome. This trip really brought this feeling to a point. It was so wonderful seeing almost every family around you being blessed by trisomy 21. There were people on the beach that were not apart of our group. About 20 feet from us was one such family. The mother was smoking and the father was yelling at the two kids about how to properly build the sand castle to hold water. The two kids were working hard trying to please their dad. Watching them I kept thinking that there family was missing something, and to me it was obvious what it was.

The bear cub had a blast. She kept waiting for us to turn our backs and each time she did this.

We got to see dolphins, all kinds of birds, and George Strait's home.

Q and I spent a lot of time in the sand digging holes and making arches, which the girls loved.

On the way to and from the beach we got to see the wind farm in Sinton, TX, which I though was just beautiful and I couldn't get pictures that really captured the beauty of it. I would love to see these around my city all the time.

It really was a great trip and I hope to be able to take my family again in future years.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nerdlet is an Artist

The nerdlet loves drawing, especially when she gets access to permanent markers. She's been at it all morning, about 2 1/2 hours so far. She also has an incredible attention span.

She started telling me about a specific picture she was drawing. "The boy wants to go to the gym."

I was only half paying attention. "You want to go to the gym?"

"No, Mama. The boy wants to go to the gym, but his mom says no. She's driving the truck. She's not going to the gym, and she yells 'Get out of my way! Get out of the way!' She's going to get gas for energy for the truck. Here are the pipes that the oil is in under the car."

Normally, she just draws abstract shapes, but today she drew two about cars and roads (in addition to a stack of abstract work). While her daddy was leaving this morning, she said she was drawing a blockade on the road. The red is the blockade and the gray is the road.

She's clearly an artistic genius!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

See Me For Me

Copied from Melissa'a wonderful blog.

See Me For Me

When you look at me -
What do you see?

When you look into my eyes
Do you see beautiful blue,
sparkling with joy, delight
in my accomplishments
Or do you see that "almond shape"
or "brushfield spots"?

When you look at my hands
Do you see them reaching
for toys, writing the alphabet,
throwing a ball, doing a
meaningful job
Or do you see a "simian crease"?

When you look at my face
Do you see the resemblance
to my parents, that I have just had
my hair permed
Or do you see a "flat face" or
"epicanthal folds"?

When you look at my behavior
Do you see my feelings of
pleasure and anger, my desire
to achieve, my frustration in
being treated like a baby
Or do you see the "stubbornness"?

When you look at my development
Do you see me playing with peers,
participating in sports, growing
into a productive adult
Or do you see "low muscle tone" or
"the eternal child"?

When you look at my family
Do you see loving parents wanting
to challenge me to my ultimate potential,
sisters and brothers who have a better
understanding of the differences in us all?
Or do you see a family torn apart by my
difference, constantly in crisis, unable
to accept, never to feel the joy of
having a "normal child"?

What Do You See?
Look At Me.
Look Closer.
See Me For Me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My First Embroidery Applique

I did my first embroidery applique. I bought my sewing/embroidery machine as my graduation from college present about a decade ago. I used this machine like mad, but never used the applique abilities. It just never appealed to me. I've been reading Cole's Corner and Creations blog and she has completely inspired me by the beautiful appliqued projects she makes for the little ones in her life.

I started with a dress that my MIL just made for the nerdlet which she stained on her second or third wearing (in the first two weeks).

Then I downloaded a freebie from GG Designs Embroidery.

I love how it came out and now want to applique on everything in the girls' closet.

In other news, I went garage sale shopping today. I found this really cool website that allows you to plot a number of different garage sales and it will print out the directions to each from one to the next. It lets you choose from about 50 cities, and since Austin and San Antonio are choices, I think I'll be using it again. I don't go very often, but when I do, I think this will make it less hit and miss. We also hit ones that weren't on my list that we found on the way.

My mom and I had a blast, though we didn't buy much. I did find a mini trampoline with a bar that will be great for Chloe's therapy in learning how to jump, which I read about in one of the book on Ds I read (I think one of the Woodbine ones, but I'm not positive). My mom said I was wrong because I bargained $10 off of it, but my original intention wasn't to bargain but to explain why I wasn't going to buy it. I feel a little guilty but have been rationalizing by saying they didn't have to come down off the price. It's in great condition and they claimed it had never been used.