Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My supermodel, Aileen, and a failed (but funny) attempt at a sleepsack!

Last Friday, I had taken the day off to go and visit Anne in the morning before having our ducts cleaned (yuck!), and I got to meet Aileen at last!  She slept through my first visit, but this time I got lots of smiles and good baby holding time!  She's such a dear, and Anne is a great mom...I knew she would be, but it is still strange to me...I'm older than Anne, and I feel like I should know all this stuff that she knows, but I don't!  Perhaps it comes from learning by experience or the fact that she has read lots about it?  That said, I'm glad to have a friend nearby to call when we get around to having a little one who is way smarter than me on mom-stuff!  I'll gladly follow in her footsteps!  ;)

Anyway, one of the fun things I worked on over the holidays with my mom's support and cheerleading/holding assistance was making a sleep sack/pajama (in addition to hand-quilting Aileen's second quilt...it's sitting on the couch next to my mom in a "Where's Waldo?" cameo).

I have a bunch of old t-shirts that were misprinted/out-of-date, but they are 100% organic cotton knit from Patagonia. Mom had said she would take them to Goodwill years ago, but luckily for me, her "slacker-ness" worked out (am I really admitting/encouraging this hoarding behavior?  Yup - guess so...sorry, Dad!).  I had seen a pattern for a sleep sack using "upcycled" t-shirts when I was searching for a crochet pattern on the internet in the airport on my way to Georgia, and I thought it sounded like fun to try it out, but I mistakenly thought I could improve upon it instead of just following the directions as written!  I made one, and I'm so glad I waited to make 20 until after trying it on Aileen, because the pattern (as I modified it) didn't work that well (at least for Aileen).  I'd also never sewn knit before, so I didn't understand why some of the directions were what they were until seeing it on a baby (like not using the finished hems of the shirt to wrap around the openings - not enough stretch at all!).  In fact, I didn't think we were going to even be able to get it on Aileen, and at one point she looked unhappy about being my model, though luckily there were no tears - just lip trembling warnings of tears.  We did get it on her, though, and it was great to get feedback from Anne so that I can start over with some different ideas.  I also brought home a couple of Aileen's shirts - 1 that was too big and 1 that was too small - and one of Aileen's sleep sacks that fits right now and that Anne really likes the fit/features of to use to attempt to make my own patterns.  I've decided to try again from scratch to see if I can make an idea that I had for the bottom closure work with the rest of the garment.  If I can get it right, then I'd like to make a bunch in different sizes so that I have a stock of baby clothes before we even get pregnant, as every mom (especially every older mom like I'll be) has told me not to plan to do a lot after the baby is born, or even during the pregnancy.  Since we most likely will only have time/strength/money for one child, I want to enjoy the experience thoroughly and not be stressed out over having a naked baby, so making cute clothes in advance seems like a good idea, and if something doesn't work out, then my friends and/or local charities will benefit from my sewing frenzy!  Win-win!

Aileen - "I used to have a hand.  Where did it go?"
Me - "The force is strong with this one." Aileen - "Um...not funny, lady!"
"Oh, ok, I'll smile for you this time, if you promise to make me a better outfit next time or get me a part in the next Star Wars remake!"

In addition to my organic knit, I should have LOTS of extra knit from making t-shirt quilts for Bryan from the HUGE stockpile of concert t-shirts, in particular, that he has been saving for 20+ years!  I'm excited about making t-shirt quilts for him on many levels, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that one of the reasons is that it will be nice to get to reduce the volume of t-shirts being stored...plus we need quilts, but we don't need multiple large plastic vats of too small or too big t-shirts!  We started sorting over the holidays, but it was a little overwhelming.  Hopefully we can get the first quilt designed and made, and that will make it a little easier going forward.

"Just a few t-shirts for quilts...including one from our favorite BBQ place in North Carolina!"

"Is there any room for me on the bed with all of these t-shirts?"

Question:  Has anyone ever used water soluble fusible interfacing, especially with knits?  I was thinking that it might be a great answer for t-shirt quilts, since I need the interfacing to help in construction, but it would be nice to not have the stiffness/weight in the final quilt.  If you've ever tried it or have thoughts about whether this is a good idea, I'd love your insight!

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