Thursday, November 20, 2014

Introducing SHB

Wow, I took quite a break there, didn't I? I didn't even finish up my Geekiest Baby series, but in my defense A Lot of Things happened right after my previous blog post: we bought and moved into our first house, the school year started, and I birthed a SHB! I do plan on blogging more about that first item (although you can see a sneak peek of my new sewing area on Instagram!), the second item is irrelevant for now since I'm on maternity leave, and here I am to briefly discuss the third!

5 days old, sleeping in the Totoro bouncer.

8 days old, getting eaten by a whale shark.

It seems a little pathetic that it took me almost two months to get around to introducing SHB, but I think you'll all forgive me when I say that it wasn't really high on my priority list. Pretty sure that keeping said SHB alive (and myself, too) is more important, and my goodness gracious, they weren't kidding when they all said how demanding newborns are! I feel like the first month and half was just one incredibly long, sleepless day involving constant feeding/diapering/rocking/attempting to eat one-handed. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that SHB started settling into more of a routine and babywearing made it possible to ease back into sewing.

They say (goodness, I'm quoting "them" a lot) that parenthood is all about taking back your pre-parenting "I will nevers," e.g. "I will never cosleep" or "I will never drive around aimlessly just to get my baby to sleep." Well, I've ended up succumbing to the first and will probably do so to the second, too, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I've reneged on my promise to never sew baby clothes, previous reasoning being that 1) they're unnecessarily small and fiddly (you can't even fit the armsyce around the free arm of a sewing machine!) and 2) the returns are low (baby will never appreciate or express gratitude for handmade clothes, they'll be outgrown before they even have a chance to get worn twice, everything ends up covered in spit up anyway).

However...it's been getting colder and our house has spotty heating, and SHB has needed more cardigan/sweatshirt/non-hooded outerwear to keep him warm. And it is ridiculously hard to find said items in stores, so the solution is, of course, to *sigh* sew it myself. I quickly drew up a basic pattern based on one of his hoodies, then set about making a cardigan-y thing out of the fuzzy fabric leftover from lining this jacket. Unfortunately, my sewing skills are apparently a little rusty, because I cut two right front pieces. *headdesk*

See how the left side isn't as fuzzy as the rest of the jacket? Also note that I didn't even attempt plaid-matching.

There wasn't enough fabric to cut another piece (stashbusting at its finest!), so I just sighed and told myself that babies thankfully don't care if their clothing is sewn wrong, then went ahead and finished the garment. Since the front was already messed up, I didn't even bother finishing my edges properly and just left the serged edges from the original piece of fabric. Things got super dicey at the neckline, where laziness (and impending baby-waking-up-from-nap) took over and I settled for a quick zigzag to stop fraying. Not the finest return to sewing, but hey, at this point function over form is my modus operandi.

Serged edges at the sleeves.

You can see the questionable neckline finish up top. I did French seam the sides and shoulders, though. 
Rather than dealing with snaps or buttonholes (whose bright idea was it, anyway, to put such fiddly closures on clothing intended for wiggly squirming babies?), I settled for non-aesthetically-pleasing Velcro.

At least SHB seems happy about wearing it!

Testing out the mobility of the sleeve cap with some punches...
This face could persuade me to sew a lot more tiny garments...

I may or may not end up making more of these, depending on how cold it gets/how much spitting up happens/how fast SHB grows, but for now I'm just happy to be back! One of the things I remember from reading some mommy blog years ago was to do something irreversible everyday. That is, being a mom involves so much that seems to get "undone," like I just fed the baby and now I have to feed it again, I just changed that diaper, I just washed those dishes, I just did the laundry, etc., that it's important to do irreversible things just to save your sanity. Even though it took a whole week to sew this simple garment, I can attest to the truth of that statement. I feel more like me and less like a zombie cow when I'm able to sew, even it it's just sewing a stitch here and a stitch there. Of course, one could argue that even sewing isn't quite irreversible since one can always wield a seam ripper...

90 comments:

  1. Welcome to the world SHB! I love that tiny jacket!

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  2. Congratulations! And good call with the Velcro - buttoning babies into things is not easy, wriggly little devils that they are :)

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    1. Seriously, aren't they supposed to be sleepy angels, not wriggly devils??

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  3. I, too, swore I'd never handmake for my babies... but their needs + cute = kryptonite. One of these days I'll get around to blogging them, but I've probably got a backlog of 20 hacked-together, random-scrap, almost-coordinating-thread, what-needles-do-I-have-left projects to get up when I do! Never underestimate the happiness of seeing your creation on a smiling little one when you've just gone through the tenth change in a day...

    And start on the zippered pajamas now. Once SHB gets to 6 months old, lying around for 100 snaps to be done up is *not* happening. Why are they all snapped??

    -knitsnwovens

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    1. You are so right about that kryptonite, and also about the cobbled-together-ness! At least they make good scrapbusting projects. Thanks for the advice on the zippered pjs!

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  4. Congratulations - he is adorable!!!

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  5. Welcome cutie! :-) Yeah, I've had to eat a LOT of my "I'll never..." comments since becoming a mom--the best one is the "I'll never let my kid scream like that in walmart", it turns out that, yes, I will. I mean, I'll make it as fast as possible, but when the diapers and formula run out, screaming or not, we're not leaving until we're done. ;-)

    As far as sewing for little ones, it can be quite addicting because their little outfits don't take that long to whip up, and once you've made a couple, you can get your creative on even when you're in zombie mode. ;-)

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    1. Haha that was totally me at Target the other day with the screaming baby! Even better, we were there to stock up on pacifiers :\

      You're quite right about the addicting quality of sewing baby clothes -- I've already made him a little sweatshirt!

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  6. Congratulations! Yes baby and mama survival first. Blog can wait. LOL
    I just had my Grub a few months ago and I figured out that I can sew with her sleeping on my lap on a boppy pillow with a stepstool to rest one leg on (so baby does not go rolling down). Ok, I can't do anything more than sew small items in mostly straight lines, but it's something to try to help the sanity levels. =)
    P.S. That cat fabric blanket is adorable!!! Can I ask where you got it?

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    1. Wow, that takes some coordination! I think I'd be afraid of SHB rolling off the boppy. The cat fabric is a snuggle flannel from Joann's: http://www.joann.com/bw-cats/12751061.html

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  7. Yey! Congratulations and welcome back. I wish I would have known that irreversible tip years ago with my daughter. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. It's not too late to do irreversible things!

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  8. Congratulations! He is beautiful :)

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  9. congratulations!!! :D he's so cute! :D I totally did the same pre-parenting and post-parenting standard thing. in fact, with the 2nd child i slipped even more! lol, i didnt even ATTEMPT to not cosleep :P also, sewing helps keeping sanity through mommyhood- keep at it when you can!!! this is when a sewing room/area really pays off :D

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you cosleep too! It's such a lifesaver. I can't imagine trudging down the hallway multiple times a night.

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  10. Congratulations, he's adorable! I like your "do something irreversible every day". I must make sure that I do that too!

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    1. Yes, it really helps one feel accomplished at the end of the day!

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  11. Very cute, and congratulations! If you check out the brand 'Babyville' they sell all sort of goodies for babies clothing that would be great for you. In particular are snaps, in all sorts of lovely baby colors, that attach with a tool that looks like a stapler. No rough/sharp edges like you get with velco :) Here in Canada, Fabricland sells them - I suspect Jo-Anns would probably have them in the US.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to check Joann's.

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  12. He is gorgeous! Congratulations to you all. And happy baby sewing. It is fiddly but the wearer is generally uncritical (unless it is itchy) and the cutting out is lovely and easy. I agree about the snaps. Don't mess around with the ones you hammer in, theyre not as good. Enjoy being a parent!

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    1. Thanks, and yes, I'm so glad babies don't care about plaid-matching!

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  13. The finishing on the cardigan might be dicey, the finishing on your SHB is excellent! And since the SHB is the bigger project of the two, I would call that a win

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  14. Oh gosh he's absolutely gorgeous, congratulations on his safe arrival! He looks super adorable in his new jacket too. Look after yourself. Xx

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    1. Thank you, and yes, I'm trying to look after myself too...it's harder than I thought! :)

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  15. yay welcome back! and welcome SHB to the world! he is such a cutie :)

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    1. He really is ;) I never thought I'd be so enamored of a baby!

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  17. What a beautiful little face! He's so cute!

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    1. Thank you! I love staring at his little face.

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  18. Welcome back, and congrats! He's definitely a cutie. :)

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  19. He is beautiful! I know he would prefer to be called handsome, but he will just have to deal! He has great taste. Just look at those sleepers, that jacket. He wears all things well and adds that lop-sided smile. Thank you for taking the time in your new world to brighten my morning.

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    1. Haha I think he's dealing just fine ;) Thanks for all your kind words about him!

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  20. Awwww that lopsided squinty smile is heart melting! Good for you to squeeze in some sewing time. Baby books can not adequately describe first time parent exhaustion!

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    1. I don't know how you do it with multiple kids! I am so tired all the time, it's my new normal.

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  21. Congratulations! I don't think I could resist sewing for such an adorable little guy either. It's great that you've been able to work in some sewing time - welcome back!

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    1. It's so funny how he just made me eat my words! It's like sewing for a large, wiggly, very cute doll :)

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  22. we missed you: baby is worth the wait, however. what of father-of-shb and felines?

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    1. Thanks for asking! Mr. Cation is blossoming into a wonderful, hands-on dad, and Walnut is...well, he's tolerating SHB. He's very prompt to exit the room once the crying starts, but he'll come close and sniff if things are quiet.

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  23. aaww, he is adorable. congratulations! my SHB (of the female variety) is now 6 and i still rarely sew for her. bad mummy!

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    1. Haha I think you're excused! Besides, there's so much adorable kids' clothing for purchase out there!

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  24. OMG! Congrats! He is super adorbs! You can add "making attractive SHBs" to your list of things you do well.

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  25. Absolutely ADORABLE baby! The jacket is cute too! Congratulations!

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  26. He is so, so sweet! Congratulations!!!

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  27. What a cutie! Congratulations! A warm and comfortable baby is much more important than perfect finishes on any given day.

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    1. Thanks for the reassuring words about my lackluster finishes :)

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  28. Your baby is so adorable! He's as cute as a button! Glad you are getting a a little sewing time in. Baby clothes can be quick and easy, especially with knit fabrics. Just curious, what does SHB stand for?

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    1. Yes, knits are great for fast makes. SHB = Small Human Being.

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  29. Congratulations on SHB! He's so cute! The jacket is cute, and you are right, he won't wear it long, so it doesn't need to be of heirloom quality! I think you are living in the world of "good enough" these days, and do enjoy it as much as you can.

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    1. Haha as soon as I finished it, I thought, oh man what if I want to save this as the first baby garment I ever made for him, and it looks so slapdash! But yes, the world of "good enough" is definitely my current home!

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  30. Congrats on the SHB! And new house! And finding time to sew!

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    1. You too! I don't even know how you managed to be so productive when baby girl was so brand new, and to come and hang out that time I visited Seattle, too!

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  31. I remember sewing curtains after Thing One was born. I only remember this because I just pulled them down last month, and he is 17 now, practically 18. I now have two of these homemade people, and I can tell you that no one can tell that one was bottle fed and one breast, that one coslept and one did not, one liked the swaddle....you get the idea. You do what you can when you have to, or whatever makes the most sense right now. Every day is sooooo long and the years fly by. All events are significant until they don;t matter, and you will become very skilled at stuff that you won't need to know once you have mastered it. You now are a member of the oldest sorority on the planet, and the one with the deepest instant bonds. I had no girlfriends until I had a baby. Just had coffee with her (twelve years of coffee on Friday after the kids go to school). My bestee.

    And you have a BAAAAAAABBBBBEEEEEEE! Oohwhee! That smell! And you (I assume) have a dryer you can put the baby seat on to fake that car ride thing. Dishwasher works as well.

    Welcome to the monkey house of motherhood!

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    1. Thanks for such a warm welcome! I had not heard of the dryer thing, but it may well be a moot point since SHB hates his car seat :(

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  32. Your son is adorable and hey you get props from me that you got that cute little cardi made! Enjoy him - it goes faster than you think possible now. And if you get a chance make a few more of those cardis it will be good for your creative soul!

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  33. Congratulations! He is absolutely gorgeous, and I think your first return to sewing isn't bad at all. It's very cute (and why do so many baby things have hoods? They just bunch up behind their heads all the time!).

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    1. Hoods drive me crazy! I don't understand why it's so hard to find non-hooded outerwear, or even non-collared...I mean, babies have no necks to speak of as it is.

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  34. I'm not surprised to find you weathering the first weeks of baby boot camp with wit and spirit. Nice jacket and obviously superior SHB. Well done!

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    1. Thanks, I think he's quite superior too ;)

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  35. He's adorable! Super impressed you managed to squeeze sewing that cardi in :)

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  36. Congratulations! He is adorable! Sewing or just being creative always makes me feel more productive and therefore better about our days. But, as my mom always told me, about the time you feel like you've got it figured out with kids, they're doing something new and you have to figure it all out again. The good news is that you will figure it out.
    Sarah

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    1. I am quickly discovering the truth of your mom's statement! Just the other day I thought I'd gotten his sleep schedule figured out, and then he goes back to waking up every other hour at night...

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  37. He's gorgeous Cindy! Great to have you back! I love that last bit of advice. Do something irreversible! Hope everything continues to go well and more sewing gets done!

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    1. Thank you Emily! And good luck to you with unpacking and settling into your new home!

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  38. Hooray! That is one gorgeous little baby and jacket! Welcome to the world of parenting. It gets easier and easier I promise!
    When my son was first born I spent the first three months half naked on the couch breastfeeding and muttering to myself. I don't really remember much of that time as it was a blur. Ignore what everyone else's kid is or isn't doing because it'll do your head in and remember a good parent is just one that that is there for their child. None of the rest of it matters! All the best to you and your family :)

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    1. That is really, really good advice that I will take to heart! And I'm perversely glad to hear I'm not the only one wandering around topless in order to cope with the constant feeding...

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  39. Congratulations!! And what a darling little babe! My only (unsolicited) advice is to not stress yourself out trying to 'do things.' This is such a short and fleeting time. I know it doesn't feel like it right now. But things will return to normal (or a new normal) before you know it. I remember feeling like I was coming out of the fog finally around the four month mark. Also, the naps get longer :)

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    1. I look forward to exiting this fog! It's been quite an adjustment, but I will try to remember your advice!

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  40. I've been checking for a glimpse of SHB for months now, and I have to say, he is ridiculously cute.

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    1. Aww, that is so kind of you to say! Sorry I made you wait so long :P

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  41. Congratulations! Look at his happy, alert little face! He's just gorgeous! And your sewing is fantastic - it's doing everything it should do: making you happier and keeping him warm. I look forward to seeing more of it, and your house, and your SHB!

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    1. Thank you Leimomi! Even though I haven't been able to keep up with HSF, I really enjoy reading your posts during those late night feedings!

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  42. Congratulations! He is adorable. So happy for you. The velcro is a perfect idea...I spent so much of my last year cursing the billions of snaps on each baby outfit. I agree with you...who thought that was a good idea? Anyway, have fun with that little guy!

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    1. Hahaha yes, I have spent a good amount of time cursing snaps and tiny buttons!

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  43. Congrats! What a truly gorgeous young chap he is!

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  44. Congratulations to you all and welcome to SHB! He's adorable and I'm really pleased that you're doing so well. Enjoy your irreversible moments and your SHB moments too.

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