February month-in-review

Aside from the dress in my last post, I thought I’d just do a recap of what else I’ve been making this month, since it’s a lot of works-in-progress and stuff that I wouldn’t give individual posts to. Also, thanks for all of the lovely birthday wishes and compliments on that dress!

1. First off, the totals. I tend to only count stash as busted once the project is actually sewn up, so for this month, I used up a total of 9 1/2 yards of fabric. I did buy one pattern (The Sewaholic Granville blouse, since Tasia was having her big birthday sale and I actually didn’t have a standard button-down shirt pattern in my stash) and a zipper, but overall, I did manage to stick with using things I had.

  • The maternity dress was 3 yards. 
  • I used half a yard of ugly quilt cotton plus some ugly quilted fabric that my mother-in-law dropped off to me the day before to make an ugly pillow to keep between my knees and help me sleep with reduced hip pain, because that’s been an issue for the last couple of months and my OB suggested a thinner pillow than the one I’d been using. I didn’t measure out that quilted fabric, I literally just folded it up into the size I wanted and sewed the ugly cotton into a pillowcase around it. So I’m not going to show that here, though I did post it in the Stashbusting Sewalong group on Facebook, since one category in this month’s fabric contest was Ugly. (I literally don’t even know how that fabric got into my stash. I didn’t buy it.)
  • As for the rest, I made this:

nursery stuffed animal hammockDoug and I almost have the nursery (aka the Hobbit Hole) set up, minus whatever we’re given in the baby shower that my mom’s been planning and a few minor projects. He had the idea to do a hammock for stuffed animals, since we need to keep those away from the dogs. Malkin in particular has a habit of tearing holes and ripping all of the stuffing out as soon as he gets his paws on them! I had a lot of tulle left over from making my wedding dress, because I seriously overestimated how much I would need. Good thing it’s cheap. I didn’t use it all up, since it was in two pieces, but I did manage to use up a 6-yard piece by cutting 4 layers and zig-zagging the edges to hold it all together, then binding the shorter edges/making tabs out of a scrap of thicker white cotton from my scrap bin. Not bad for an afternoon’s work, I think, and I’m happy that I found a way to use up some tulle on a project for a boy!

For the record, a majority of the stuffed animals in there are actually ones I’d kept from my own childhood/teenage years that had some sentimental value. Though the Donald Duck and the little German shepherd puppy were gifts from the soon-to-be grandparents, and there’s a bunch of Dr. Seuss-style fish that my mom made as well.

2. I’d mentioned earlier in the month that I had some pretty massive, time-consuming baby projects to make, so I thought I’d give the update on that.

newborn diaperFirst of all, I’ve been going to my parents’ a couple of times a week to work on the cloth diapers that my mom and I are sewing. They live closer to my teaching than I currently do, so it makes sense on the days I have fewer lessons to drive up there for more than one thing. Most of her projects are packed away now, so she’s using her sewing time to help me, which is so great of her. We still have a long way to go, since we’re ultimately making 72 (2 dozen each of 3 different sizes), but everything is at least cut out and ready to sew, and we’re making a pretty big dent on the smallest size of diaper. So this is one of those.

LotR Quiet book
And this is what I’ve been working on instead of knitting for most evenings lately, using this pattern. It’s taking awhile, since I’ve been having fabric glue issues and therefore have been basically hand-stitching the majority of this, with a little machine sewing thrown in to secure the edges of pages when backing them to hide all of the mess. Oh well…toys for boys need to be sturdy anyway, right?

Fellowship of the Finger Puppets!

And here’s a little closeup of the Fellowship of the Finger Puppets so far–the imagery is based a little more on the movies, so I’m going with that. So this is Boromir, Pippin and Legolas. I probably would have finished all 9 puppets last night, except the fabric glue that I bought yesterday specifically to assemble these just isn’t sticking to the felt very well! (My previous fabric glue had gotten too dried out to use, and these pieces are way too tiny for hot glue. So once again, I’m hand-stitching!) I’ve got 6 puppets in various stages of completion, and then 8 more pages on this book, I think. Some are much less intricate, so that will help. I also have a second book all cut out and ready to go that’s Doctor Who-based. If nothing else, maybe I can have these done in time to give Hobbit for his first Christmas?

So my goals for March, aside from continuing to make as big a dent on these books and diapers as possible:

  1. Sew my diaper bag, which I cut out earlier this week and that is therefore ready to go for my at-home sewing time. I’m planning to start that today.
  2. If I have time, sew myself at least one more article of clothing to get me through the next couple of months. Probably a top, since hopefully the weather will start to warm up and I can at least graduate to 3/4 sleeves. Especially if I make it nursing-friendly so I can wear it in the fall, too. 
  3. On the non-sewing front, I’ll probably also have to start thinking about some cooking days, since one of my plans is to try to get our freezers filled with as many prepped meals as possible so I don’t have to worry about food too much in the first month. (And by prepped, I mean either just defrost, or throw in the crockpot/oven and be done with it.) I have a list of recipes to make, including breakfast and lunch options that I can eat with one hand, plus a second list of ALL the ingredients, but I probably won’t really start with this until closer to the end of the month/beginning of April. We still need to eat in the meantime, so I’m focusing on using up the older stuff that’s in there first.

On a more personal note, since this still sounds like a lot, we’ve decided that I won’t be resuming my retail job this spring as usual. Our plan was for me to stay at home with the baby anyway, though I’m still going to be doing my music and now sewing lessons, which I do have babysitting lined up for. (Thanks, Mom!) But since spring is the busiest season at that job and I’ll be in my third trimester the whole time, and there’s several factors at that job that would make it very physically difficult (having to bend down to lift plants for scanning, stools with no backs, 6-day workweeks, the owner smokes in his office often and cigarette smoke makes me sick even when I’m not pregnant, the nausea still hasn’t fully gone away, etc.), we decided that it would be much better for me to use those last couple of months to just focus on final preparations instead of struggling through two part-time jobs plus all of that. Which is also why I’m planning to do cloth diapers and cook ahead, since in the long run that will save us money on diapers and avoiding takeout while we’re first learning how this parenting thing works. I can’t say I’m too broken-hearted over the thought of having more time in my day to cram in as many hours of sewing and music as I can before having to spend most of my time ensuring the survival of another human!

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15 thoughts on “February month-in-review

  1. My mom used cloth diapers on my brother and I, and they weren't nearly as user-friendly then. I know we'll have to keep some disposables around for when his mom babysits/we have to take him to the church nursery (don't want a well-meaning worker to throw my sewing away!), but I am hoping that these work out! It took awhile to get Doug on board, but once I broke down the math for him, he's starting to come around. 🙂

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  2. I'm excited to see how they turn out, too! It's been a great evening project, especially since I am getting more into the spacey-brained stage and I don't know how well I'd be able to keep following knitting patterns right now.

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  3. Thank you! And yeah, it probably wouldn't be that many if I was doing more of a multi-sized all in one pattern, but I thought that doing the different sizes would make them hold up better in the long run. Especially since we are hoping to have at least one more baby down the road, and I'd want to re-use these if I can!

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  4. Wow, I'm really impressed how organized you are. I love the little cloth diapers and I'd appreciate a review when they've been used “in action”. Also, the hobbit book is adorable!

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