So, now we’re home, it should be back to life as usual, right?

Erm. Not quite yet.

You see, memory is a finicky thing. Much as we swear that we’ll never forget the little things, they still get fuzzy as the years go by. I no longer remember which of my children was born at 4:00 am vs. 6:00 am.  I don’t remember whether Syo walked at nine months or ten (either way, it was far too early…)

And I didn’t remember quite what it was like to have pre-schoolers in the house. So when my stylish sister-in-law asked if we could watch her girls (yes, the ones I occasionally sew for, currently aged 4.5 and 3) for a couple of days while she and her hubby take their first-ever post-child vacation, I blithely said yes. She took my kids all freakin’ July, people. It was the least I could do. Especially since we shanghaied my father-in-law to provide “childcare” for us for the rest of August.

So, yeah. I have a serious infestation of pre-schoolers. And while they’re both past the everything-goes-in-the-mouth-first stage, there’s such a lot of, well, chaos. Syo, freshly turned eight, can whip up a jug of orange-juice from concentrate without me having to do more than wipe the counter after. Syo assisted by the three-year-old niece gets orange goop all over said counter, floor, stack of mail, and the orange-juice has bran flakes in it when finished. And they don’t know that the sewing room is a no-play zone. Same with the furnace room. Same with—ARGH! WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU NEED YOUR BUM WIPED? WOULD YOU JUST GO PLAY OUTSIDE NOW? NO, WE DON’T HAVE A PADDLING POOL! WHY ARE YOU CRYING NOW????


So I’m feeling just a wee bit like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. >_<

On the plus side, I did retrieve my Janome from the sewing-machine hospital, and she seems to be working again—at least, the flywheel turns freely and there was a nice little piece of fabric decorated with some gorgeous stitching stuffed under the needle when I picked it up. I haven’t had a chance to actually set her up and give her a run (see previous paragraph).

So instead I’ll show you a couple of glimpses of stuff that was in-progress when I left, lo these many moons ago. Ok, two weeks back. That’s, like, forever in internetland, people.

A handsome cuff

Of course, there’s Serena’s jacket. I really need to get cracking on this one.  But doesn’t the cuff look nice? I should’ve used more interfacing, though. When in doubt, add more interfacing. Ah, well.

Collar: a diptych

And there’s Tyo’s shirt. Here’s my nice collar. I had to show you both sides so you could see how (not) awesome my stripes are. I managed to cut one of each piece on-grain. Obviously this is one of those situations where you (I) should cut your pieces individually. Or match the freakin’ plaid. Either of which I was too lazy rushed  to do. However I did swing it so that the nice-looking side of the collar will fold out over the nice-looking side of the stand, which is why they’re on opposite sides in this flat view. Having just tried it around her neck, I may have to junk the whole thing and cut out another anyway, as this one’s going to be a bit snug. Perils of using a pattern that’s technically too small even if it is the right chest measurement.

Tyo's shirt back

I’m pretty happy with how the back is looking, though.

Hmm, have I even mentioned this shirt properly?

Tyo wanted a shirt. Way back before she went on vacation. She picked out the fabric back in the spring, and then found a pattern (7171) off the Lekala site. Their sample size is for a child of 120 cm height, which Tyo is far beyond, but the chest measurements were the same, so I went for it (with considerable lengthening of the sleeve). As I mentioned, the collar is small, so I may end up regretting that.

Technical drawing of the pattern

As you can see, instead of buttons, I’ve opted for loops of elastic on each side, which will be threaded with black velvet ribbon. Because everyone loves lacing, don’t they? You can also see my clever use of bias to avoid all semblance of having to match my plaid. Except at the side-seams, but I wasn’t even thinking about that. Figuring out how to finish the seam where the little loops are inserted was a little, ah, mind-expanding. There was seam-ripping, and possibly even a little swearing. I wound up basically doing a

You can perhaps see how I flared out the bottom of the side-back and centre-back pieces a little bit. This will hopefully accomodate Tyo’s generous derriere. I’m a touch stalled because I need to go back over the Men’s Shirt Sewalong before I get much further, to do the cuffs and plackets.

And I don’t multitask well (at sewing or at anything else) so I really need to just hunker down and finish Serena’s coat. Before I do anything else.


I want to make my Lonsdale

EDIT: Just got a call from the MIL that Niece #1’s tests just came back positive for strep. And Syo is already showing the same symptoms she had… Life just keeps getting better. >_<



Filed under Sewing

18 responses to “Oof-Da

  1. Oof Da. Indeed. (& btw, half of my heritage allows me to say that with a perfect Scandihoovian inflection….& you?)

    May you have a smoother tomorrow, my dear!

    • No Scandihoovian here… just a melange of British colonial with a light spicing of French and German for interest. My husband’s pedigree, now that’s something else…

      Today we are off to the Dr’s as soon as I figure out whether I can take my niece in without having her health card in hand…

  2. Not that I’m not happy to be reading your posts again, but maybe you shoulda stayed on vacation!

    Dig the potential of the back lace-up!

  3. Hey, my mother says Uff Da! And I feel for you with the kids. Simon has something flu-like. Seriously, in the summer dude? And missing the first few days of school to boot! Blerg. I can’t wait to see the finished jacket.

  4. Glad you ands the janome are back- both projects look very inspiring- try to keep the bran flakes out of there!

  5. Well mercy me sounds like you have your hands full. better you than me with all the kiddos tee hee :O)… teasing ummm sort of … ROFL…

    The costume jacket is looking wonderful! I like the shirt very much your making for your DD too…the lacing is a great idea.

  6. oof da indeed. lock yourself in your sewing room and make your lonsdale. the strep will have the kids on their backs anyway, non?

    • Oooh, tempting. Also, I wish. It seems to be just enough to give them a sore throat and a slight fever, rendering them intermittently whiny (when the tylenol wears off) without incapacitating them significantly…

  7. Sewista Fashionista

    Ooh! A houseful of strep!
    I remember my three year old being quite a dangerous little creature. All of that newfound agility with very little forethought. Better watch that one. 😉

    • Yeah, she’s also the one with the history of emptying tubes of toothpaste (and any other liquid/emulsion/paste she can find) all over the house. I’m hoping that phase is past…

  8. Ohhh, preschoolers, one forgets fast what total attention hogs they are. As least they are out of what I found to be the “suicide watch” stage, where they try to fling themselves off anything possible and shove all manner of garbage in their maws. Strep !!!!!! Ack, although Onnabaloona has a point, they might just lie down then. Anyhow, looks like you have some nice projects coming along.

  9. ack. I JUST convinced myself that The Big One’s soar throat was just a cold. Now I’m going to have to check her out again.


    (nice shirt, I like the lacing idea too).

  10. First of all if the sleeve is any indication that jacket is going to be incredible!!! I love the bias cut center piece on the back of the shirt. Oh and little children…. what can I say except that it is a good thing for them that they are so cute when they sleep or they just wouldn’t survive the wrath of a mother. I remember my MIL watched my four kids when they were ages 1 through 8 and when I got back she said “I forgot how long it takes just to get them out the door in the morning”.

  11. Oh my. I nearly ended up in an asylum when my two oldest were that age. I still maintain they were some of the worst toddler/preschoolers I have ever met. They could (and did) get into every scrape possible. Sewing, jogging, and copious amounts of chocolate milk were the only things that kept me sane.

    At least you know you get to give them back shortly! 😉

  12. Infestation indeed! I’m sure the bran flakes seemed like a good idea to them at the time. heh heh heh

    All your projects look great! Fingers crossed that you will find some sanity and time for sewing soon.

  13. Egad – I’m feeling exhausted just reading this. Don’t touch any children till the A/Bs kick in!

  14. I want to see that jacket! Beware of kid germs. They are potent.

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