Make A Baby Girl T-Shirt

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I love pink and purple, and over the last few years I’ve had several girl-colored t-shirts or tank tops that wore out, shrank too much, or were otherwise rendered unwearable.

Clearly I couldn’t upcycle them for Camon (although if you want your boys to wear pink, that’s totally your call!), but I hung on to them anyway. If this baby hadn’t been a girl, I probably would have either donated or thrown them out. But, hooray! Baby’s gender saved some fabric from certain destruction! (Or is that just delayed destruction?!… ;) )

I decided to make some 0-3 month sized tops and my pattern turned out super easy to sew and very versatile. You can make a t-shirt, add a ruffle and turn it into a dress, or use woven fabric with buttons and have a tunic.

To avoid the hassle of setting in sleeves, I drew a dolman sleeve-style pattern (the shoulder curves right down into a sleeve instead of having two separate pieces to sew together) based on a 0-3 month onesie. They all turned out well, but I guess it remains to be seen how they actually fit.

Trace a onesie on a large sheet of paper. (Tissue paper is great.)

It can be a very loose trace–the shape does not need to be precise. Just make sure the neckline is large enough to fit your baby’s head through :)

Curve down around the sleeves so that you’ve drawn a shirt-shape. You can make short, medium, or long sleeves. You could also just trace the armhole with no sleeve for a sleeveless top (see purple example at the end of the post).

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Cut out your pattern 1/4″ or 1/2″ away from the line you drew so that you have some room for the seam allowance.

To make sure your sleeves and neckline are symmetrical, fold your pattern in half. Trim away any excess and even up the neckline.

Cut two identical pieces from your fabric.

Make sure your fabric is doubled (so you’ll get two pieces from one cut), and then cut away!

Sew two seams. (1/4″ seam allowance)

1: Sew the shoulder seams together.

2: Starting at the lower edge of the sleeve–sew up the sleeve, pivot, and sew down the side seam. Repeat on other side.

seams

Hmmm…I guess that’s really 4 seams because there are two shoulders and two sides. :)

Hem the sleeves, neck, and waist.

For banded edges: Cut 2″ wide strips of fabric and iron them in half. Sew (right sides together, keeping the strip as a double layer) to each armhole, neckline, and the waist.

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If you’re using knit fabric, stretch the fabric strip as you pin and sew so it will be slightly smaller than the armhole, neck, or waist. (Use the same procedure you’d use for attaching ribbing like is shown in this video. There are lots of other really well-done tutorials on attaching a band like this, so do a quick search if this is your first time!)

With your iron, press the strips away from the shirt.

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For hemmed edges: If the fabric is knit, you can just turn under a small edge and sew it down (it won’t ravel). If the fabric is woven, create a narrow hem with your favorite technique (the regular way or using a rolled hem foot).

DSC_6660_1 And you’re done!

If you make one, let me know!

Sneak Peak: Baby Clothes!

baby tee

I’ve been working in bits and pieces on a new tutorial, but it’s still far from being coherent :) (Maybe that has something to do with my current state of I’ve-been-pregnant-for-so-long-and-I-still-have-10-weeks-to-go? :) )

Anyway, I wanted to give you a sneak peak so you know that the eczema hasn’t taken over my life to the point where I can’t do anything else :) (By the way, it’s gotten a lot better between a heavy-duty moisturizer, baking soda baths, an electric shaver, and cutting out dairy and coffee. I’m trying coffee again this morning to see if that was a fluke…)

I’ve got a fabulous pattern for a dolman-sleeve baby top that can be modified to use knit or woven fabrics, and it’s perfect for upcycling old t-shirts or woven shirts that you might have been hanging onto but not wearing.

You can use the pattern to make a tank top, short sleeve, or long sleeve shirt, and you can even add a long ruffle on the bottom to turn it into a dress.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Hopefully I’ll see you back here next week with the tutorial (and maybe a printable pattern piece, but let’s not push our luck too far on that one ;) )

Tips for Managing Pregnancy-Induced Eczema

managing eczema

It’s back again, y’all :) That terrible eczema I had with Camon’s pregnancy? It’s back, and with a vengeance this time. (cue the pity party music. :) )

I’ve had time to develop a few more anti-itch strategies, try eliminating dairy (and maybe coffee–yikes!), use nearly every style of available lotion, and learn the power of counting to thirty as a way of letting the worst of the itch pass without harming myself.

Itching could seriously be used as a torture device :)

Anyway, I compiled a bunch of thoughts and tips for Modern Alternative Mama’s pregnancy channel. If you or someone you know is struggling with eczema (pregnancy-induce or not!), I’d be grateful if you’d pop over for a read and chime in with your best tip in the comments!

Perfect Polo: Pattern Review (for Go To Patterns)

A few weeks ago I got to write up my review of the Perfect Polo t-shirt pattern.

Designed by Melissa of Blank Slate Patterns, this shirt completes my boy pattern collection. :) (I.e., I have a basic pants, shorts, and shirt pattern for Camon that I love.)

Hop on over to see what I thought and more photos of the finished product. :)

Hope you have a fabulous day in this last full month of winter! Hooray!

Living Intentionally with a Toddler (Notes from a Blue Bike)

It’s here! Tsh (from the Art of Simple, aka Simple Mom) has written a fabulous new book–Notes from a Blue Bike– and it’s being released today!

I’m a huge fan of slowing our lives down from the frenetic, never-ending days that so often characterize life in America. I first slowed down accidentally–moving to a town where you know only three people besides your husband (two of those three being college friends of said husband) will do that to you, whether you like it or not! (And thankfully we have broadened our circle of friends since then. :) )

I found out I really love the slower pace of life that we have here. It’s pretty easy right now with no school-aged children and a small church to keep activities and appointments from overwhelming us. (Seriously, life with a toddler can be stressful enough even if you don’t go anywhere!) I know that as we add more children (hooray!) and as they get older, I’ll have to start being more intentional with our choices of what we do and don’t do, or we’ll be right back to that crazy, run-here-and-there-and-grab-dinner-on-the-way that I so want to avoid.

But that’s years down the road–Camon won’t be joining any homeschool coops, starting music lessons, playing sports, or going to Lego meets anytime soon. :)

How can I live intentionally now, as a stay-at-home mom with one toddler and a little one on the way? In each of the five sections of Notes, there were definite takeaways that I can apply now, even though my family is at a different stage than Tsh’s.

Food

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Tsh talks about several different aspects of intentional food, from the slow food movement to sourcing ethical coffee. I was reminded of the importance of taking Camon with me to the farmers markets, letting him try in-season produce he’s not familiar with, letting him help in the garden, and planning my strawberry picking trip for when he’s awake instead of during his naptime.

I would *love* for him to grow up viewing fresh fruits and veggies as treats and as comfort foods. Intentionally exposing him to those things now will go a long way towards that goal. As he gets older, intentionally teaching him basic cooking skills will become important as well.

Work

Although I’m not really a work-at-home mom by the standard definition, how many moms do you know that don’t work?! :) Tsh mentions how it’s hard to know when to stop her online work, but it can also be hard to know when to stop housekeeping work. (Wait, I’m not sure that statement really applies to me. I usually have no trouble finding excuses to stop housekeeping work. ;) )

“Sometimes not being caught up is okay.” (pg. 73) Although I have had very few times where I actually feel “caught up” with housekeeping chores, keeping my attitude correct about their true importance is key to staying sane.

Education

We don’t have any education decisions to make in the next two or three years (besides deciding against preschool!), but I loved the encouragements to make reading habitual at a young age. Not only should reading to my children become habitual, they should see me reading for enjoyment or enrichment as well. I want to keep being intentional about reading with my kids and reading “next to my kids” (pg. 125-126).

Travel

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This is an area that fills me with dread. I am not a traveler–I like my routines and I like my clothes in my own closet. But the times I have traveled are filled with amazing memories. I guess I love the travel memories more than the actual travel itself!

Camon is a notoriously bad car-rider (our recent 9-hour car trip at the holidays was literally filled with screeches), and I get carsick so easily that long road trips aren’t ideal for us. But that shouldn’t stop us from exploring all the fun areas around us locally. Within an hour’s drive are tons of places we’ve never explored. Maybe we can hit a few of them this year!

Entertainment

I loved the section on boredom. Jumping in to entertain my kids every time they’re bored (although Camon doesn’t know that word yet) could be stifling some creativity. I’m planning to try to notice more often when Camon actually needs my attention and when he just needs some guidance as to an activity to begin. I know, he’s only two–he needs me a lot more than 5 or 7-year olds might. But I definitely think there’s room for growth in this area–for me and for him.

Any of you veteran parents have tips for when he says “Mommy do it!”? He’ll want a circle on his paper (which he can actually draw) but sometimes he won’t. He wants me to do it for him. Should I give in? Is that reinforcing that his way isn’t good enough? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts :)

In Conclusion

The titles of three of the final chapters really sum up what I took away from this comprehensive, thought-provoking new book:

“Slow down, live in the real world, and live for the real world.”

And if you want to know the rest of the story, you’ll have to read the book. ;)

(P.S. I purposely did not include my Amazon affiliate link this time. This is a great book and I know many, many people in our day and age would benefit immensely from reading it! Spread the word! :) )