Thursday, January 31, 2013

Everyday Valentine's Day

Gracie's shirt
Gracie's Headband
To be honest, I hadn't planned on entering the sew along this week.  All I had planned for Valentine's Day this year was simple, store-bought t-shirts painted with the aid of freezer paper stencils.  No sewing=no entry.  But things changed.  Tuesday, Mom started having appendicitis symptoms, so naturally, she went into the ER.  But it wasn't appendicitis.  They found a baseball-sized mass that they think is a tumor, and a spot on her liver.  The tests aren't back  yet, but since she's a survivor of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer (all at once, even) cancers, that's the diagnosis for now.
We're a religious family.  We're active in our church, try to live our religion, and firmly believe in the power of prayer.Part of me is hesitant to send this out over cyberspace, but I'm doing it anyway.  Losing her would be absolutely devastating, so I'm gonna ask.  Pray for my mom, Nadine, please?  We need all the prayers we can get.  Back to the point.

Nikki's shirt
When I'm upset, I make things.  It gives me something to focus on and something useful comes out in the end.  In Center Stage, Juliette tells Eva that smart dancers realize that  it all comes back to the barre.  For me, that's sewing.  For however long it takes, it's me, fabric, and a picture in my head of how it will look when it's done. Everything else disappears and fades into background noise.

One of Nikki's new Valentine's bows

Combine that with the fact that Nikki is at an awkward size.  She drowns in a lot of commercial 18 month clothes, 12 months is too small, and of 18 months what does fit is almost too small.

Nikki desperately needs some long pants. She has only two pairs that fit well, and has been rotating between them.  My base pattern was the Pier 49 pants from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  (I'm not affiliated with them, but I do like some of their stuff.)  I made her a pair last summer in 12 months, and they fit until last month, so I know for sure these will last a long time... at least in infant clothing time!  ;)  I ditched the original pockets, the belt loops, and the string.  The pants themselves are made from some wale-less corduroy I picked up on sale at Joanns last year, and Nikki picked the pink heart fabric from the leftover bin.  Y'all might recognize it as the pink part of Gracie's
polka dot dress!

Instead of rivets, because, frankly, I'm out and I've never seen any at Joanns, I opted for heart shaped buttons.  But I didn't have enough, and Joanns didn't have enough, so I mixed them with the same clear glitter buttons that I used on the girls' Christmas nightgowns.  The back waistband is adjustable.  A long time ago, I examined a commercial adjustable waistband and figured out how to do it. (Tutorial can be found here.)  Because it will extend the life of these pants, I decided that was the way to go, and I freely admit that it figured in my choice to use the Pier 49 pattern--I knew it could be done!

Because I'm counting on these lasting, I kept the convertible part so these can be shorts this spring... at least until she outgrows them.  For corduroy, the fabric is fairly lightweight; it's about the same as a pair of jeans.  All of the pockets are useable and makes it so that she can stuff small toys in them easily--even the back pockets that probably won't be used! I considered tacking a ribbon "belt" on, but decided it would ultimately just be a pain, so I put a largish heart button on the front to make it even easier to tell which side goes front...  especially since Nikki is reveling in a new skill that led to a new game--the Naked 400! 

Yep.  She strips off all her clothes and runs away in hopes that I won't catch her and redress her.  Or worse--strips them off after I've put her down for a nap which ends up with everything in the crib, including her, getting a bath!  (Hm... maybe that's the aim here?)  I'm calling this the Everyday Valentine's Day outfit because that's what I think it is--casual, cute, comfortable, and hopefully wearable after Valentine's Day. 

As for Grace, well, she has so many pairs of pants in her current size that she doesn't need a new pair, so it's a new shirt and hair accessory instead!  As per usual lately, she says she wants Nicole's outfit instead of hers.  A bit of sibling rivalry, I guess!

Nicole is especially taken by the "hairbows", and keeps pointing out her pink hearts.  We've been pointing out colors for the past two months, and pink is one of the guaranteed right ones.

 She loves the heart pockets, too and has been trying to stuff just about everything into them.
Nikki and Babbit (who, she informs me quite a bit, is 'lellow") say hey!


  1. Praying for good results for your Mom! Please let us know how she's doing. Thinking of you all...

  2. Hi Laura - Love the everyday Valentine's outfits!

    I'm writing to you because I read a comment of yours on Gertie's blog. You mentioned having an Pfaff 1222 (I have the Pfaff 1222 se) and I love my old Pfaff but I cannot for love or money find a buttonhole foot for it and my buttonholes are suffering. You said something in your comment about finding a group of Pfaff enthusiasts - can you tell me where I can find them?

    I am so sorry to hear about your mom - I hope that she is safe. And while it's odd to say this to a complete stranger, I will offer up a prayer for her and you.

    Thanks - Lisa poldapop[at]