The Coat

I mentioned the coat crafting on our quiet afternoon last week, and even gave you a bit of a sneak peek.

Well today, it was finally coat weather, and Ewan was more than eager to wear his brand spanking new mama-made coat.

He was even eager to have his picture taken in it, though these days he’s always ready to sport his fake-o smile for a photo shoot.

Pardon the crappy picture. It is cloudy, again. And I used my cell phone, though, I’ve gotta say the new iPhone 4S can take some pretty rockin’ pictures, this just isn’t one of them. And, while eager, he isn’t terribly patient. He was ready to go to the grocery store to buy bananas.

The pattern was from an etsy seller, Heidi & Finn. Their Chic Everyday Coat pattern. This is my second pattern from them, I don’t think I ever showed off the results from the first, for Xander, must show you! The instructions are easy to follow and thorough. The coat came together quickly, taking just one afternoon nap plus a little extra for finishing.

The thing that makes this coat extra awesome, however, is that all the fabric was in the stash and the outer, a nice wool, is upcycled.

Upcycled from the coat (well, cape) I wore while I was pregnant with him.

You see, finding clothes to fit me in Japan was a challenge. Finding clothes to fit me while pregnant was impossible. When we visited the states early in my pregnancy, I bought all the clothes I needed for the duration of my pregnancy. Except a winter coat.

Then winter came.

I was cold.

And while I couldn’t (and didn’t expect to) find any coats that fit, I was able to find a lovely wool cape. I scooped it up, stayed warm and now I couldn’t be happier to see my little boy wearing something made from it.

Now there is a boy, instead of a belly, in that fabric. Keeping warm. And that, well, that’s pretty special.

(And then I made a coat for Xander. Same pattern. It’s huge. I’ll show you next week. Along with his uber-cool Heidi & Finn hoodie. Remind me if I forget.)


Quiet Afternoon

It was a dark, dreary afternoon. Perfect for staying home.

And sometimes the stars just align enough that I get a chance to sit at the sewing machine.

Babe napping peacefully. Ewan happy to work alongside me.

A little over an hour of sewing and Ewan, almost, has a new coat (pic above is an initial fitting). Even before it was complete I had Ewan try it on and he declared, “I do so like this coat, mama. I love it.” That boy, he sure does know how to get me every time.

I can’t wait to show the finished product to you. Hopefully we’ll get some decent sunshine here soon so I can take a few pictures in better light. I am pleased as pie about it and there is a pretty good back story too.


I Make because I Must

Yesterday was one for the record books.

It was chaos.

It was filled with tantrums and struggles and conflict. It was filled with tears and arguments and unkind words.

Nothing, and I mean nothing went as planned.

Then, finally, in the afternoon there was a bit of a break as Xander’s weary body finally gave in to the rest he needed despite the less-than-favorable conditions.

Ewan stopped fighting long enough to realize he was utterly exhausted, both body and mind, from a day to nonstop conflict. Snoozing in a heap on the hardwood floor. Sleepy breaths punctuated by sighs, the remnants of a tantruming body even in sleep.

And, in those few minutes, where the house was quiet and I finally had a moment to breathe and relax, I did the only thing I could do given all the chaos and conflict.

I made something.

Two pairs of pants, as it turns out.

Because I had to. I had to use my hands. I had to distract my mind.

And then, when they both woke up, I was able to show them their new pants. Xander, as expected, was nonplussed by the whole gesture. Ewan, on the other hand, was grateful. And excited. And insisted that we take pictures.

I’d like to tell you that pants saved the day but, actually, they only saved the handful of minutes while these pictures were taken. Then the chaos and foul-moods of the day returned, with a vengenance.

I’m still glad I made them because, honestly, those two new pairs of pants were the only good things that came from yesterday.

So, yay for pants.

Tell me, so I can throw a few extra ideas into my next terrible day coffer, what do you do to redeem otherwise unredeemable days?


Pants x Three

A few weeks back when we had those really good friends in town, Ella and I stayed home one evening while the boys checked out a local brew pub. With two kiddos fast asleep and a whole evening ahead of us, what did we do? We sewed. Pajama pants. (My 20-year-old self is filled with shock and disbelief)

And it didn’t take long before two other pairs were whipped up using the scraps.

A pair of Big Butt Baby Pants for Xander. They’re too big now, but I can’t wait till they fit! He’s going to be so adorable it hurts.

And a pair of pajama shorts for Ewan. Just the thing he needed as the heat of summer came crushing down upon us.

Apparently I’m not the only one with pajamas on the brain and on the sewing table. Just today I found two other stunning examples on the interwebs. Love these pillowcase pajama pants and can’t wait to find a few pillowcases that are just right.

And these froggy pajamas are rather cute, too. Neither of my boys have any opinions about what their handmade clothes look like at the moment, though Ewan is always pleased when something new that mama made lands in one of his baskets. It’s adorable and I hope it lasts a really long time.

Or at least for the next six months.

For the next six months I am going to try to avoid purchasing any new clothes for the boys. We will make do. We will make. We will thrift. We will do hand-me-downs. We will make a few exceptions (undergarments, shoes, blank t-shirts for me to block print on, and possibly outerwear once winter arrives). It is a challenge, one that I’m really looking forward to. It is a challenge that I can see extending, but let’s just start with six months. Okay?

Any one care to join me? For the kids? For themselves?


No Rules Sewing

Sometimes my life is filled by too many rules. Too many schedules. Too much micromanaging.

Sometimes that bleeds over into my crafting life and I lose my drive to make. When that’s the case, I find the best thing I can do is abandon the patterns. Put aside the tutorials. Move away from my preconceived notions. Sit down and just Make.

This is what’s been happening during that Making. A vast departure from my usual sewing.

I think it’ll be a quilted table runner when it grows up. Though I’m not sure.

My husband thinks it might be a touch too feminine.

Then again, it might be just the thing to counteract all.the.boy around here.

What do you think? If it is deemed too feminine, any ideas what I can do with 12 8-inch quilted squares?