Why, yes, yes I did.
Let's start things off with a little story and then we'll get to the goods. May I suggest you grab a drink (iced tea would be most appropriate for this tale) because this post is sure to be a long one.
Back in the halcyon days of college, Matt and I started dating when he was a fourth year and I a lowly second year. Fourth-years, particularly those of the male variety, tend to have a lot of extra time on their hands. And so it was, with this extra time, that Matt could often be found out in the mountains of Albemarle, fishing rods in tow, little black lab trotting alongside him while the trusty ol' red jeep sat on the gravel dirt road, awaiting their sure-to-be-filthy return.
Fast forward four years and I decide to move back north to Chicago, dragging Matt out of the woods and into the city. Fast forward another four years and I drag Matt out of the city and into our basement, armed with the brilliant idea of gutting the place and reinstalling a perfectly functional but currently fugly bathroom. Take a quick visual inventory of what we were working with, would you?
classic Federalist hostess mirror.
Moving upward you'll see the ceiling light and exhaust fan. Nothing special here other than we reused it and spray painted the baffle white to better blend in with the fresh new ceiling. $3 in spray paint goes a long way with something like this.towels and the towel hook are from Ikea.
this hook as it reminded me of a fishing lure. You might say I found it a-lure-ing. HA!
But before we close the door on this project (and pack up our fishing gear) let's take a closer look at the wallpaper. Remember my earlier comment about the bathroom giving a slight, if inaccurate, nod to the Civil War? All credit for this realization goes to Angler Matt. He took one good look at the scene above the toilet and said, "The gray coats are on the wrong side of the river! They should be on the south bank! And the blue coats on the north!" Blasphemy! Then again, it's not like the Brits were fighting this battle so I guess we can't blame them for getting it wrong on the wallpaper.
With that, if you're still reading and sipping your tea, I close out this bathroom story. Enormous thanks go to my mom, who practically hung the wallpaper all by herself while I just provided additional paste and held the razor blades. She's a talented gal and we're so thankful to her on this Mother's Day weekend. Go grab your fishin' hats and have a great weekend!
- Sunday night I pretreated the fabric. It's a super soft linen from JoAnn's that looked destined to shrink. I try to avoid pretreating as much as possible because of impatience, first and foremost. And when it comes to cutting, the fabric never lays as smoothly as it did straight off the bolt. At least not for me, even after ironing.
- Monday I cut stuff up. Because I had to match the pattern print, this took a decent chunk of time. Oh, and it involved a dumpster dive. More on that later.
- Tuesday I started assembly. Roughly 3.5 hours later I had a dress! All that's left to do is the handstitching on the hem and tacking down some facings. Have a look-see at the progress:
To finish things off today, J sent over some pics of the kiddie clothes for your viewing pleasure!
Then what was I doing making baby rompers? They were gifts for our friends in town for the reunion this past weekend. Since these friends, J&P, occassionally drop in on the blog I had to keep the project under wraps until they opened the package. J&P just learned about 10 days ago that the kid in the making is a boy, leaving yours truly with very little time to whip up some outfits.
The patterns of choice this time around were both from Simplicity, 4711 and 2459. And I'm really sorry, but this is the only picture I have of the finished products (courtesy of J&P). Things were hectic last week and I was literally sewing on buttons and closing up seams on the El ride down to brunch, where I planned to give these to the parents-to-be. So put on your thinking caps, y'all, and imagine the following:
- nice summer-weight cottons in gingham, classic white, and plaid (which, tragically, I didn't even have the time to align perfectly....sigh)
- overalls sized for 1-3 months, plaid romper sized for 9-12 months
- serged finish seam edges (j'adore)
- tiny baseball and bat buttons for J, who is a big Cubs fan, and little yellow ducks in a row
- snap tape for the legs. Having used both the cloth twill-tape style with metal snaps and a nylon tape with plastic snaps, I'd recommend the former.
All in all I'd say these were good patterns to work with. Both of them are patterns with a basic foundation and lots of little options. You're left digging through the instructions at various points and that was mildly annoying. Yet once I finished the gingham overalls the romper went together much the same.
I've made baby clothes before and if you haven't gotten a strong indication of how much I love having a serger, I'll yell it from the rooftops.
When I whipped up some corduroy overalls years ago I wanted finished seams. Really my only option was french seams and any of you experienced sewists out there can probably imagine how thick they felt. Baby clothes, being a small as they are, don't leave a lot of room for bulky seams and the like. And when you're likely going to launder them a bazillion times it's swell to know that the seams won't unravel in the wash. I don't have munchkins of my own but I made a modest teenage living by babysitting (and simultaneously folding rompers) so to me, ensuring durability was key.
Anyway, we've got a handful of other friends who are preggers so I plan to make some of these again in the future. I promise to take more pictures the second (and third and fourth...) time around.