Sweet Dreams

So, I don’t want to be whiny, but sleeping while pregnant is hard.  I’m a back sleeper, but when you’ve got a baby filled uterus they recommend you sleep on your left side to prevent compression of the inferior vena cava.  (The major vein that returns blood from your lower extremities to the heart.)  It took me many months to get used to the position so that I could sleep more than a few hours before becoming uncomfortable.  Of course right when that happened, I started having to get up every few hours to pee so it was irrelevant.  Now I wake up every two hours for no apparent reason – maybe the baby is kicking me, maybe my back hurts, maybe I’ve gotten a headache again, maybe I have to pee.  Usually I have no idea why I’ve awoken, but it is very hard to get back to sleep after this happens.

In many cases I wake poor Will up while I try to get comfortable again.  Today I told Will that I’d only woken up 3 times last night and Will remarked that he actually had a restful night.  My response was that I knew I hadn’t woken him up because he was snoring every time I woke up.  He chuckled and said that multiple times he had considered recording a snapchat of me snoring, but thought better of it.  My dad is a legendary snorer and apparently in my current state I’m nearly able to compete with him.  Discouraging.

While we’re on the subject of annoying Will while he sleeps, I have to tell you about my pillows.  When I had to switch to side sleeping, every forum I looked at recommended this pillow the size of a man – the snoogle.   It is a c-shaped pillow that you are supposed to lean either your back or your belly on.  For me, my back is the thing that hurts most while sleeping on my side, so I use it to lean my back against while I sleep in a little nest.  It’s like having a third person in the bed. Plus when I have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, I have to disentangle myself from the pillow so not to kill myself.  Both reasons add to me inevitably waking Will up at night.

In recent days, even the giant third man in the bed has been unable to solve my current problem – belly support.  My mom gave me an old memory foam pillow to counteract the belly issue, but the pillow itself has a groove in it.  I guess the point of the groove is to keep your neck cradled while your head lies in the valley.  Normally I sleep with my belly in the center of the groove with the walls of the valley cradling my stomach.  Unfortunately this means the long side of the pillow protrudes 18 inches out from my belly, directly into Will’s ribs.  He didn’t complain about the pillow for several weeks, but one day I felt so bad that I cut the pillow in half.  This solved the problem completely and Will is almost able to have 1/3 of the bed to himself again!

Unfortunately after I cut my belly pillow in half a normal pillow case would no longer work, so I had to make my own.  Follow the instructions below with your pillow’s measurements to make your own button-up pillow case.  It worked great even for my odd shaped pillow.

Button-up Pillow Case

You will need:

  • 3 3/4″ buttons
  • 1-1.5 yards of cotton

Seam allowance is 1/2″ unless indicated.

  1. Measure the length and width wise circumference of your pillow.  Divide measurements in half and add 3 inches to the lengthwise measurement and 1.5 inch to the widthwise measurement.  For me, the pillow’s widthwise circumference was 29″ and the lengthwise circumference was 34″.  I divided both in half and added the measurements above to get 20″x16″
  2. With the shorter edge on the fold, cut out a double thickness rectangle of the size above.  Skip to step 4.  If you don’t have enough fabric to do this, add another 1/2″ to the lengthwise measurement, cut out two rectangles of this size and go on to step 3.

    Cut out rectangles of fabric, along the fold if possible.

  3. With right sides together, stitch along one short end.
  4. Press under 1″ of material at either short end of the pillowcase.  (Wrong sides together.)

    Press the short sides of pillowcase under by 1″.

  5. Stitch close to the unfinished edge.
  6. Mark out 3 equally spaced dots on one of the finished edges you created above.

    Mark location of 3 buttonholes.

  7. Using a machine buttonhole stitch, or by stitching by hand, stitch a 3/4″ buttonhole over every marking in step 6.

    Stitch 3 3/4″ buttonholes.

  8. With right sides together, fold the pillowcase so the two finished edges are lined up.  Stitch along the long sides of the pillowcase.

    Stitch along long unfinished edges of pillowcase.

  9. Open pillowcase out. Stitch 3 buttons on the folded fabric below your buttonholes.

    Line up buttonholes and stitch a button on the opposite seam.

Insert your pillow and enjoy your new pillowcase!

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This present topper is easy, I’m not lion

My friend’s family threw her a baby shower this past weekend with an adorable zoo theme.  She and her husband opted not to find out the gender of the baby, so it was completely gender neutral.  For that reason I was afraid to buy baby clothes, because even though I am trying to limit my gender stereotyping, I somehow can’t pass up tiny dresses or little tuxedos (just look at my registry).  So instead I decided to buy some sleep themed items off their registry.  Since their registry was fairly small (they are lucky enough to have hand me downs from their siblings’ children) there weren’t many items on it.  So in addition to a couple small sleep related items I bought them a crib mattress.

I don’t know why I didn’t realize how large crib mattresses were, but because of this I had it shipped to my house and immediately regretted it.  Not only was the box so huge that I wouldn’t be able to carry it by myself but she was going to have to fit it in her car to lug it home from the shower.  Perhaps worst of all is that I was going to have to figure out how to wrap it.  I scoured the internet and decided on a genius idea!  I would wrap it in tablecloths from the dollar store!  I spent 7 dollars wrapping the darn thing (including all the bows), but that is a lot less than it would have cost me in wrapping paper and bows.  In the end it looked fairly presentable and matched the wrapping paper I used for the smaller gifts (which happened to coincidentally be zoo themed).  For one final flourish I added a little lion on top made from baby washcloths.  I couldn’t find instructions online, so my instructions are below.

Lion adorning package.

Baby Washcloth Lion

What you’ll need:

  • one yellow baby washcloth
  • one orange baby washcloth
  • yellow thread
  • orange thread
  • 2 tiny self stick googly eyes
  1. Take yellow washcloth and roll two sides to meet in the middle.  This will be the lion’s body.

    Roll both sides of yellow washcloth to center

  2. Twist the legs as shown.

    Twist legs.

  3. Using yellow thread, tie around the center twist, leaving 1/3 of the cloth for each pair of legs.

    Tie head of lion using yellow thread.

  4. Unroll the center twist to form the head of the lion.

    Unroll twist to form head.

  5. Pull a small clump of fabric from one side of the head to form an ear.  Tie with yellow thread.

    Pinch fabric on one side of head and tie ear.

  6. Repeat for other side.

    Tie second ear

  7. Roll the orange washcloth on the diagonal to form the mane.

    Roll orange washcloth on the diagonal.

  8. Place rolled mane around the lion’s head so it fits snuggly.  Using the orange thread, tie the mane at the bottom.

    Tie mane snuggly to head.

  9. Tuck the bottom part of the mane under so you can’t see it.

    View of mane tied and tucked under.

  10. Tie the orange thread around the lion’s neck, holding it in place.

    Tie mane to back of head.

  11. Stick googly eyes onto the lion.

    Add googly eyes

Voila!

Matching packages.

Posted in Crafts & Sewing | 4 Comments

Camelbak Drying Rack

I had a curious realization yesterday.  As I was chugging a glass of ice water and laying on my left side hoping the baby would start kicking, I pictured myself 8 weeks from now holding my baby in my arms, and feeling content that I could finally stop worrying about him.  Then I panicked and realized that I would probably never stop worrying.  You see, if you’re like me you worry a lot when you’re pregnant – that you’re eating the right food, that you’re gaining the right amount of weight, that your baby is kicking often enough, that <insert weird thing here> that just happened is normal during pregnancy.  If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll manage to get through the work day without googling symptoms.  The realization that I’d worry about this tiny being even after he was outside my body was something I had not considered.

Will weirdly came to the same conclusion as well.  Late yesterday I was talking to him about something (probably the baby kicking) and remarked that I couldn’t wait until I could stop worrying.  That was when he said wisely, ‘I doubt that will happen for a long time’.   I’ll just have to start meditating more.  Or hiking.

Much like meditation I find hiking particularly freeing.  Will and I take Dany on hikes in the woods every weekend.  On vacations we always find excuses to go hiking.  I like remote hiking trails where if you’re lucky you won’t pass another traveler.  One of my favorite hiking stories took place when Will and I were vacationing on Hawaii for our honeymoon.  We drove to Volcano National Park and found ourselves on a moderate hike called something like “crater trail”.  We didn’t pass another soul on the trail and we were amazed at the distinct changes in landscape around the volcano.  Then suddenly the woods ended and we were standing inside the crater of the volcano staring up the steep hardened lava walls.  We were nearly convinced we must have taken a wrong turn and weren’t supposed to be there until we saw a sign that said “danger, end of trail”.  It was the coolest hike I think I’ve ever been on!

My favorite hiking accessory is my Camelbak backpack, especially now that I’m pregnant.  I used to drink an above average amount of water before, but now that I’m pregnant I’m constantly thirsty.  My first pack got me through ski season and the Grand Canyon!  I finally got Will a hydration backpack for his birthday this year, which to my delight he loved!  (He kept telling me he didn’t ‘need’ one, but apparently that really meant he ‘wanted’ one.)  My one issue with the Camelbak packs is that after you empty the bladder bags they become flat and don’t dry properly.  My sister told me her secret solution to this – she removes her roll of paper towels from the counter top holder and plops the bag on top.  Genius!  Since I actually use my paper towel holder for towels, I decided to make a quick contraption that I can store away in the closet when I’m done with it.  Also it can hold two Camelbaks since I’m almost always hiking with Will.

Fold Up Camelbak Bag Rack

What You’ll Need:

  • 6″x12″ piece of scrap wood
  • 7/8″x48″ wooden dowel
  • two 1″ narrow utility hinges
  • two 1 1/2″ round wood knobs (in cabinet pull section)
  • two 1/4″ x1 1/2″ dowel screws
  1. Cut two 14″ pieces of dowel
  2. Mark 2″ diagonally in from the corner at two diagonal corners.  You’ll place one screw of your hinge on this mark.

    Mark screw hole for hinge, 2″ diagonally from the corner. The flat line in my pencil drawing is parallel to the short edge of the base.

  3. Screw one side of hinge into board at the point you marked.  You want the hinge to open along the long side of the wood base.

    Screw hinge where you marked. Note it should open up into the base.

  4. Drill a 7/32″ pilot hole in the top of each piece of dowel on one side.

    Drill pilot hole in dowel.

  5. Using pliers, clamp each dowel screw around the middle and screw into the base of each wood knob.

    Clamp dowel screw with pliers and screw knob onto it.

  6. When you’ve sunk the screw 1/2″ into the knob, then take the wood knob with the screw and twist into the pilot hole you made in the dowel, forming a cap on the end of each dowel.

    Twist knob and screw into pilot hole on dowel.

  7. Open your hinge at a 90 degree angle, lay the dowel horizontally on the base and place the unfinished end of the dowel flush against the hinge.  Center the dowel over the screw hole closest to the edge of the base.

    Lay dowel along base with end of dowel flush with hinge.

  8. Screw the dowel to the hinge.  Repeat steps 7 and 8 for other dowel.

    Screw hinge to dowel.

When you want to use the drying rack, simply close the hinges and stand up each dowel.  Place your Camelbak over dowel.  To store, open the hinges up, lowering the dowel to be flush with the base of the board.

Finished rack for Camelbaks

To use, stand up dowels and place Camelbak bladders over dowels.

To store, lower dowels flat.

 

Posted in Crafts & Sewing | 2 Comments

Baby Ewoks

Well this weekend started off promising, and then I came down with something that resembled a 24 hour bug.  I suspect it was just a pregnancy thing, but Saturday night through Sunday afternoon I felt downright awful.  Based on my symptoms I thought I might have food poisoning, but everyone else who ate the same meal with me had no ailments.  Oh well, chalking it up to the joys of pregnancy.

In other news, Will and I have finally settled on a color for the baby’s room!  I’ll save it as a surprise for now because I’m certain I’ll do several posts on the re-do of the guest room into the baby’s room.  And I found this super neat fabric that I want to use as curtains, but it is REALLY expensive.  I’m debating if I want to pay as much as they’re charging… But it really is cute…

On the subject of cute things, the tiny renaissance boots I made prompted a request for some Star Wars themed baby paraphernalia.  I’d been planning for a while to make an adorable ewok hat, so this was my chance.  Here’s the finished hat, being worn by an eggplant (I don’t have a baby around, and the eggplant was the only nearby thing that was fairly baby sized).  It was very quick to make (even while I was feeling awful this weekend)!  I made this for a newborn (13.5″ circumference head) but you could very easily scale up the design for an older child or an adult!  I’m taking requests for other adorable baby accessories!!

Eggplant in ewok hat – front view

Eggplant in ewok hat – side view

Baby Ewok Hat

  • 1/4 yard of fleece in burnt orange
  • 1 sq foot of light brown faux fur
  • 1 yard of brown yarn
  • Pattern – to be posted whenever Will or I can get the scanner to work.

All patterns have 1/2″ seam allowance unless indicated.

  1. Cut out fleece and fur from pattern above.

    Cut out pattern pieces.

  2. With fur right sides together, stitch 1/2″ from the edge of the fur, leaving an opening between two notches.

    Stitch ears, leaving gap at notches.

  3. Turn ears right side out.

    Turn ears right side out.

  4. Place fleece pieces, right sides together and sandwich the ears inside the hat.  Make sure the ears are placed on each curve and the open side of the ears lines up with the curve.

    Place ears on curves like so (but sandwiched between fabric.

  5. Stitch between notches on hat.

    Pin and stitch from notch to notch, leaving flap opened.

  6. Fold the bottom of each side of the hat under.  Pin and stitch.

    Pin and stitch bottom hems.

  7. Fold the unfinished edge on each side of the flap in up to the notch.  Stitch in place from the notches on the hat to the finished seam in step 6.

    Finish unfinished edges of the flaps.

  8. Folding only 1/4″ of the face portion of the hat under, sew in place.

    Fold unfinished edge of the face of the hat under and stitch.

  9. Put a knot in the end of your yarn and thread other end through a yarn needle.
  10. Stitch two x’s onto one side of the hat, just above the notches marking the flaps.

    Stitch x’s on the side of the hat above flap.

  11. Tie another knot inside the hat to secure.  Repeat with second side.

    Tie a knot inside the hat.

  12. Find an eggplant, or better yet a baby, to model your hat!

    Front of ewok hat.

    Side view of ewok hat.

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Water into Wine (or something like that)

This summer seems to have gone by too quickly.  Will has been getting up early for work to avoid traffic and I’ve been extra tired all the time, so we’ve been hitting the hay by 9:30 every night.  No jokes.  We’ve also been taking childbirth classes after work and on weekends, so it seems like our free time has really evaporated.  What little time we have left we’ve spent lounging around my parent’s summer house in RI doing absolutely nothing.  Which is exactly what I think summer should be used for.

Since we’ve been driving so much back and forth to RI for birth classes, doctor’s appointments, and hanging at the summer house, Will and I have been listening to books on cds that we got for a steal at Savers!  We found both Pillars of the Earth as well as World Without End by Ken Follett for $4 each!  Each volume is 45 hours of audio!  ‘Why read those books’, you ask?  Well there are two popular board games that we really enjoy based on each of the books, so we figured it was due time we gave the books a read.  I can tell you that Pillars of the Earth does not disappoint!  It has totally engrossed me.  It also makes me extremely thankful that I live in the 21st century.

In other news, I’ve started getting nervous that we haven’t done anything for the baby’s room yet, so Will agreed to paint the room this past weekend.  Except I didn’t get any paint swatches.  So he couldn’t buy any paint.  But I DID manage to finish the baby registry – so at least I have a list of all the things I think we’ll need when the baby arrives!  And I purchased a single adorable outfit off Amazon, so if nothing else, our baby will be looking dapper for about 30 seconds before destroying the outfit with its un-diapered bottom.  And on that subject, I have to tell you one last quick story.

Will and I are planning to use cloth diapers.  Before you say anything, if you read this blog you know how big of a hippie I am and that two of my biggest hippie concerns are recycling and energy.  So it will come as no surprise to you that the thought of throwing away over 5000 diapers over my child’s diapering lifetime is enough to kill me.  Well I have gotten heckled by friends, co-workers, and even COMPLETE STRANGERS when I mention offhand I’m planning to cloth diaper.  I was with my mom in Babies R Us the other day looking for a suitable diaper pail for cloth diapers (spoilers, there are none) when a woman, trying to be friendly, starts offering us some free advice on her daughter’s favorite diaper bin.  My mom mentioned that my husband and I were planning to cloth diaper so that bin wouldn’t be suitable for us, and the woman’s reaction was something of horror.  Her response was a sarcastic, “good luck”!  My response to that was, “thanks, I’ll need it, but I’m an environmental hippie so I think I’ll be okay” which I hoped would stop her commentary.  Her reaction to that was to ignore me and look at my mom and say “well, we’ll see how long that lasts, won’t we?!”  To which my mom responded with, “I cloth diapered 2 of my children so I bet she’ll get through at least one.”  That shut her up.  I’ll let you know in another 6 months how much of a disaster cloth diapering is, but for now, let me live my flower child dreams.

And on that note, here’s a tutorial on how to make something else recycled!  For Dany’s water bowl we’ve been refilling the bowl over the course of each day using an old liter plastic Dasani water bottle.  It is much easier than picking the bowl up and dragging it over to the sink.  The one downside to the dasani water bottle method is that because it sits on our counter and looks like it should be in the recycling bin it confuses our guests.  Multiple times we have had to dig it out of the recycling bin after overly helpful guests try to help us tidy up.  (Honestly not a complaint just evidence that it looks like garbage!)  To solve this dilemma I took a clear mead bottle and etched the word “water” into it so guests would no longer think there was a piece of trash sitting in our counter.

Finished water bottle!

Glass Water Bottle

  1. Print out the word water (or whatever word you desire) in the font of your choice.
  2. Place the print out over your contact paper on a piece of scrap cardboard.  Trace the letters using an X-acto knife.

    Trace letters with X-acto knife.

  3. Remove the letters you cut with your X-acto knife, but be sure to save any letters that have negative space that you don’t want to etch such as “a” and “e” in water.

    Remove letters from your stencil, reserving any negative space inside letters.

  4. Prepare your wine bottle by scraping the label and glue off with steel wool.

    Remove label with steel wool.

  5. Let bottle dry completely.
  6. Apply contact paper stencil to bottle.

    Apply contact paper to bottle.

  7. Following the instructions on the bottle, paint etching cream over your stencil continuously for 3 minutes.

    Paint etching cream over stencil for 3 minutes.

  8. After 3 minutes, rinse the stencil and bottle under cold water.

    Rinse stencil under water.

  9. Remove the stencil from the bottle.

    Remove the stencil from the bottle.

 

 

 

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Kheer Royale

Will and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this week.  It seems to me that six years has gone by so quickly, and I’m going to be corny, but I am so happy to have spent the time with Will.  This year we’re really stepping outside our element, what with the baby on the way.

Thoughts of the baby are hard to ignore when you have a little person kicking you from the inside a few times an hour.  The other day when we were driving somewhere I told Will that I never thought I would like being pregnant and had been dreading it for years (he’d known this of course).  But that even though it is not so easy or a ball of fun like some people might have you believe, it is really exciting to have a baby growing inside you.  Every time the little person kicks or moves around inside you it’s your private secret.  And in return for this little secret, I have a profound desire to keep the little person safe, because that’s clearly my job.  It’s a weird feeling really.  When I finished Will remarked that that was the cutest thing I’d ever said.

Speaking of cutest things said, I have one more anecdote I would like to share.  But first, I apologize that this blog post is so corny,  I promise, its just because its the anniversary edition.  Please feel free to skip to the end where I’ll tell you how to make another interesting oatmeal variation!  The other day I was standing around chopping vegetables, in a black maternity shirt, maternity shorts, bright pink compression socks (yes I have to wear compression socks or stockings every day) and my hair thrown into a messy ponytail – basically looking like a pregnant woman who had just walked out of one of those People of Walmart sub-reddits.  Will came up behind me, gave me a hug and said something like, “look at my sexy wife standing there chopping vegetables like she just don’t care”.  That’s when I decided for the millionth time that I had married the right man.

Okay and without further ado here’s a recipe I created for a mini-crockpot oatmeal breakfast based on my favorite Indian dessert, kheer.  The key is to avoid over seasoning with the cardamom.  Since cardamom powder loses flavor and aroma pretty quickly, I advise starting with a very small amount and adjusting to taste.

Kheer Inspired Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats (not quick cook)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp honey (or to taste)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cardamom (ground) or to taste – see comment above
  • Slivered almonds for garnish

Stir oats, water and coconut milk into a tiny crock pot (such as the little dipper).  Place cover on top, turn on and cook overnight for 8 hours.  In the morning, remove oatmeal to a bowl and add 1 tsp of honey, and 1/8 tsp or more of cardamom until you’ve reached your desired flavor.  Let stand 5 minutes until thickened.  Top with slivered almonds if desired.

 

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Wee li’l Boots

Well I had a slightly ridiculous experience today.  It seems that this morning when I parked, I may have parked a bit too close to the white parking line.  The person next to me arrived after I was in the building and must have backed into the spot.  So when I came out to my car this afternoon I found that the person’s mirror was right where my door needed to open.  This meant I could only open my door about half way.  This would normally be no problem for non-pregnant Lexi, but for pregnant Lexi this presented a problem.  Turning sideways actually made it more difficult for me to get into the car… Luckily the top of my car door bows out a bit near the windows (apparently) so I was able to hoist myself up on the side of the car and swing my belly down into the car.  Do people still do hashtags?  If so #pregnancyproblems

Anyway I’m working on a baby renaissance outfit for the little bun in the oven.  I’m going to make it 3-6 month size just in case I have a large baby on my hips.  For starters I made some baby booties.  What do you think?  I sized them using a chart I found on pinterest, and the foot size claims to be for a baby 3-6 months.  We’ll see.  After I figured out the pattern, they didn’t take long to make!  And they were basically free to make since I used faux suede scraps that I had leftover from all the Robinhood hats I made for the renaissance faire.

Check out these wee li’l boots.

Baby Renaissance Boots

  • 1/2 yard of thick faux suede
  • Pattern here and here

Note the pattern above is for size 3-6 months.

  1. Cut out all the pattern pieces from your scrap suede.  All pieces include 1/2″ seam allowance.  Make sure to transfer the markings on the sole of the boot and on the face of the boot.

    Cut out all pattern pieces.

  2. Cut a straight line perpendicular to the face of the boot piece 1/4″ away from the point of the marking you transferred.  Trim 1/4″ inside the marking in the larger section of the marking.

    Cut out the space for the toe as specified.

  3. Place the wrong side of the toe on top of the right side of the face of the boot, lining up with the markings you made.  Pin and stitch on the front side of the boot.  Note: to line the markings up with the toe piece, you will need to curve the toe piece in slightly.  

    Line the toe of the boot on top of the face of the boot. Pin & sew.

  4. Flip the face of the boot inside out (right sides facing) and line up the back seam.  Pin and stitch.

    Stitch center back of the boot face.

  5. Take the inside face of the boot and with right sides facing line up the back seam.  Pin and stitch.

    Stitch center back of inside boot facing.

  6. Turn the face of the boot right side out.  With the inside face of the boot still inside out, fit the inside face of the boot over the face of the boot, lining up the center back seam.  Pin and stitch along the top edge.

    With inside boot facing inside out, fit inside of boot over outside of boot. Stitch and pin along top of boot.

  7. Flip inside face to inside of boot.

    Flip face to inside of boot.

  8. Turn boot right side in.  Pin the sole of the boot (right side in) to the face of the boot.  Make sure to line the points of the toe insert up with the markings on the pattern.

    With both pieces right side in, pin the sole of the boot to the rest of the boot.

  9. Flip the patterns over and cut out all the pattern pieces again for the other boot.  Repeat steps 2-8 for second boot.

    Now we just need a baby to rock these wee boots!

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Seersucker Mothertrucker

This weekend we visited Will’s grandparents outside Knoxville to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.  Will’s family on his mom’s side is huge and every single person came into town to celebrate for a total of 28 people!  We had a lot of fun with all Will’s cousins hanging out, playing board games and singing along to piano renditions of Disney songs.

A tradition at all of these anniversary/birthday milestones is to dress up for a huge family picture.  This year the family picture was held at Grandmother’s childhood home, which is this huge historical house that really could be a museum.  The color theme for the photo was blue and white so everyone wore solid blues and whites with the exception of blue and white striped seersucker, which was allowed because it photographs as light blue.  Given seersucker was called out specially, Will & I felt we HAD to wear seersucker.  Will has lots of seersucker, but I didn’t have any shirts that would fit my pregnant belly so I decided to make one!

I got the shirt idea from my co-worker.  A few weeks ago, after I wore my maternity shower curtain dress to work, one of my co-workers was complimenting the dress.  She remarked that it looked like the “old style” maternity dresses and shirts that they used to wear (I guess before the days where it was appropriate to wear so much spandex).  Then she gave me the great idea to make the dress pattern into a shirt pattern!  I used the same pattern Kwik Sew K3486 as my dress and tweaked the pattern slightly.  My modifications are below for your reference!

Will and I in our seersucker

Lined Seersucker Maternity Shirt

  • Kwik Sew K3486 – pattern pieces 7,8,9,10,11,12,14,
  • 2.25 yards seersucker fabric 43″ wide
  • 2 yards cotton lining
  • 13″ zipper

Lining

The seersucker I purchased was extremely lightweight and sheer, so I lined the dress.  This meant that I cut 2 of 8*,10*,11,12* and one of 7 and 9* from seersucker material and two of 10*,11,14*, and one of 9* from lining material.  In addition I cut piece 7 and 8 so that the stripes would be horizontal to the waistband instead of vertical.

Back modification (piece 12, back bodice and 14, back facing)

I modified the back of the dress to come down into a v neck in the back.  I thought this looked a bit more summery.  This is why my zipper was slightly shorter than what they recommended.  To modify the back, I took pattern piece 12 for the back bodice and measured down the center back from the neckline 6.5″.  Then I drew a line from the point where the neckline and shoulder meet, down to the marking I made on the center back.

Adding line from shoulder seam to marking on center back for v-neck back.

Because of my changes to piece 12, the back, I had to modify piece 14, the back facing.  To adjust the facing, I left the shoulder and armscye portion alone and traced along the new v-neck back pattern from above.  I extended the pattern 2 inches below the point of the v-neck and then used my curves to keep the width of this new “arm” of the pattern about 3″ wide.  See the picture below for what it looked like.

Adjusted back facing. The right side was adjusted for the v-neck.

Bodice front

Everywhere that called for piece 13 of the pattern in the instructions, I used lining piece 11 instead.  The only issue with this was in step 6 I sewed the waist of the lining to the bodice front, which meant I was unable to perform step 8 properly.  Instead of flipping up the lining and stitching all the way down from lining to fabric just stitched the sideseams together, lining and all.

This shows the back lining (right) attached to the front lining (left) then attached to front and back neckline

Modifications to the ties

In addition to cutting the ties so the stripes were horizontal along the ties/waistband, I also made the ties a lot longer.  I wanted to be able to wrap around the back of the shirt and tie it in the front, to give the illusion of a wrap shirt.  I changed the length of my ties to 43″each.

Length Modifications

Since I wanted a shirt instead of a dress, I took pattern pieces 9 and 10 up considerably.  The total length of each piece was 16″ and that includes 1″ for a bottom hem.  I hemmed the shirt using a blind hem.

*pattern piece has some modification to it.

Finished shirt – note how the tie wraps around to the front.

Side view – note the horizontal stripes on the waistband and ties.

Back view – note the v-neck back.

Our favorite picture of us from the Pryor family photoshoot from Thelen Wright Photography!

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Oatmeal Re-do

I don’t know if I told you about our recent bagel addiction.  Since the first trimester I’ve been craving carbs, and every morning Will has kept our kitchen stocked with everything bagels and cream cheese.  This has not only delighted me, but Dany, our corgi, who we let lick the empty cream cheese containers every week.  Well I finally decided last week that its been long enough and I have got to stop eating an entire everything bagel with cream cheese every morning.  This has disappointed Dany, but hopefully she’ll get over it.

So instead I’ve dusted off the old mini crock pot, and I’ve been having oatmeal every morning.  Well to be honest I haven’t just been eating oatmeal in the morning.  Instead I’ve been having steel cut oatmeal for breakfast, a hard boiled egg an hour later and half of a grapefruit an hour after that.  Small meals a billion times a day has been working for me lately.  Well aside from the weight gain.

In other exciting news, Will was able to feel the baby kick for the first time two weeks ago!  Maybe the baby is protesting the lack of bagels and cream cheese.  Or perhaps just displaying their excitement over my new breakfast choices.  Either way, here’s the recipe for my latest concoction – peach and brown sugar oatmeal.  I think it would work for any fruit, but peaches go well with the brown sugar.  I started out with a tablespoon of sugar, but realized that was half your daily recommended sugar intake!  I think it tastes just as good with a teaspoon, but if you’re feeling lavish you can certainly up that number…

Peach and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

  • ¼ c steel cut oats (NOT quick cook)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 peach, peeled and cut into ¾” dice
  • ⅔ c water

Stir together oats, sugar and peach in little dipper crock pot.  Add water and stir to combine.  Cook 8-10 hours.  Let stand 5 minutes before enjoying!

Mix peaches, brown sugar and oatmeal.

Finished oatmeal!

 

Posted in Culinary Delights | 2 Comments

Medieval Overdress

I know you’ve been waiting all week just to learn how you too can make your own empire waisted medieval overdress.  Well your wait has not been in vain – today I’ll show you how I made one!  On the subject of waiting, can I admit something to you?  I have been thinking about this overdress for a quite a while.  I was hoping that someday I would have a big pregnant belly and I’d need to cover it with a renaissance costume.  To be even more honest I was hoping that by the faire last year I’d need to have a pregnant costume to wear while selling hats.  In retrospect that would have been horrible so I’m probably lucky it worked out this way.

This dress was made with two things in mind: an empire waist to encompass a growing belly of many sizes, and a laced bodice closure to encompass a growing bosom.  As a side note, I got an email from King Richard’s Faire about the cleavage contest this year.  Do you think pregnant women would be automatically disqualified?  All that aside, it fit me a month ago, and it still fits me now, so the pattern seems to be working!

I drafted the pattern for the bodice myself based on my current size (34DD).  For the skirt pattern I got lazy and used the skirt from view A of Simplicity 8735.  If you want to make the dress yourself let me know and I can whip up a quick skirt variant for you to use.  For material I used a green heavyweight cotton material that I got at Saver’s.  It was $3.99 for 4 yards of 60″ material.  What a bargain!  For trim I used a 1.5″ wide gold jacquard ribbon which was much more expensive than the fabric.  Even so, the total cost of the overdress was $17.

Maternity Medieval Overdress

  • 4 yards of 60″ heavyweight material
  • 4 yards of 1.5″ jacquard ribbon trim
  • 1 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing
  • 1 yard of lining material
  • 2 yards of 1/4″ double fold bias tape (I usually make mine so it will match)
  • 3 yards of ribbon or cord
  • 8 3/8″ grommets
  • Pattern for bodice – to be posted 7/18!
  1. Cut out pattern pieces for the bodice from lining material, interfacing and outer material. Also cut out an additional rectangle of interfacing as marked on pattern.

    Cut out pattern pieces

  2. Apply rectangle of interfacing following manufacturer’s instructions to outer material on bodice front where indicated on the pattern.

    Apply interfacing strip to bodice front

  3. Apply interfacing to bodice.

    Apply interfacing to bodice.

  4. Pin side seams on bodice, right sides together.  Stitch.

    Pin and stitch side seams

  5. Pin shoulder seams on bodice, right sides together. Stitch.

    Pin shoulder seams and stitch.

  6. Pin darts on bodice front, right sides together.  Stitch.

    Pin and stitch darts

  7. Repeat steps 4,5, and 6 for lining material.

    Repeat above steps for lining.

  8. Pin lining to outer material all along neckline and bodice front, right sides together.  Stitch.

    Attach lining to bodice along neckline.

  9. Clip curves and trim seams to 1/4″

    Clip curves.

  10. Turn right side out and press.

    Turn right side out and press.

  11. Pin and baste armscyes.

    Baste armscyes

  12. Make the skirt following the instructions for the pattern, stitching center back, and side seams together.
  13. With wrong sides together, pin the ribbon trim to the edge of each front section.

    Pin wrong side of ribbon to wrong side of fabric edge.

  14. Baste along the front of the ribbon trim, 1/4″ from the edge.

    Baste.

  15. Flip the ribbon to the right side of the dress and match the fold with the edge of the ribbon.  Stitch along your basting line in 14.

    Flip ribbon to right side and stitch.

  16. Stitch 1/4″ from the other edge of the ribbon to secure.

    Stitch other end of ribbon to secure.

  17. Trim armscye seams to 1/4″ if you haven’t already.
  18. Open out one side of your double fold bias tape and pin the fold on your 1/4″ seam.

    Pin bias tape along armscye pattern line.

  19. Stitch along this line.

    Stitch then fold bias tape over unfinished edge.

  20. Fold bias tape around the unfinished edge and pin on the front side of the fabric.  Stitch in the ditch to attach the bias tape.

    Stitch in the ditch.

  21. Repeat for second armscye.
  22. Take the ribbon trim and pin it to the outside of your bodice front, folding over at the top.

    Pin trim to bodice front.

  23. Stitch 1/4″ from each side of ribbon as in step 15 and 16.

    Stitch ribbon to bodice as above.

  24. Take your skirt and baste 1/4″ from the top of the skirt and 1/2″ from the top of the skirt. Gather.

    Baste and gather skirt

  25. Pin gathered skirt to bodice, right sides together.  Matching up side seams and center back respectively.
  26.  Stitch 1/4″ below your 1/2″ baste.

    Attach skirt to bodice.

  27. Finish the bottom hem as desired.
  28. Mark out locations for 4 grommets on each side of the bodice front.  Affix grommets as per manufacturer’s instructions.

    Finished overdress with underdress and of course the “Boleyn” french hood.

    Finished dress. Note dany frolicking in the background/photobombing me.

    Side view of the maternity medieval outfit.

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