Monday, January 31, 2011

belly cover

Out of necessity, I sewed something I think is awesome. I know it's nothing you've never seen before, but I didn't have one - so it's new to me!

I made a "belly cover" also known as a belly band or "the lower portion of a shirt."

It has been working wonders on my work uniform of loose jeans that are immodestly low and shirts that are becoming too short. I have plans of making an extra short shirt to wear over this belly cover since it's very tall, I think it will make for a cool pregnant silhouette.
Construction: This is a two-layer tube of stretchy fabric. I didn't want to worry about hemming stretchy fabric - what a pain - so I made this belly cover by folding a tube of fabric in half, sewing together, and then re-positioning the seam in the center of the cover (on the inside) so I have a clean, folded edge at both top and bottom.
More specifically, I cut a rectangle (26" X hip measurement"); sewed the 26" sides together to make a tube with the seam in the back; then, folded the tube in half so it was now about 13" tall and sewed raw edges together; then, I repositioned the seam so it would be hidden on the inside, in the center.
It's still a little big, but I'll grow into it.

**Though it sounds ridiculous, I'll admit I have been waiting years to modify my wardrobe into pregnancy clothes. I am going to make those awesome skirts with stretchy waistbands, more stretchy belly covers, and some cool stretchy shirts. Basically, everything will be stretchy. That's one of the reasons I love this belly band so much because it was the first thing I had to make to accommodate my new size. Many updates to come...

The only downside I've noticed is that it makes me look more pregnant than I did before I put it on - though definitely more pulled together.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My family sent us a cute baby banner!
When we told my family I was pregnant, they asked if we call "it" anything - like if we have a name to reference our baby without having to say "the baby" all the time (for example, one of my friends started calling their unborn baby Dweezil!).
After thinking for a second, we realized we often say "the Pea" when talking about the growing darling inside me. It came from the pea in the pod saying, of course, and would show up in phrases like, "this Pea hates driving," whenever I felt carsick.
The name really caught on and my family made me and Adam - and the Pea - a banner. Cute :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Home Birth Week

My friend, Rachel Swan, is having "Home Birth Week" on her blog - where she talks about a topic related to home birth each day.

My wonderful sister, Briana, is a home birth midwife and was the midwife for Rachel's second child. Here is Rachel's interview with her. Fern Midwifery is the name of Briana's practice in Salt Lake City.

A few weeks ago Rachel also wrote about making a play midwife kit (like a play doctor kit) for her daughter, Sela, who loves midwives and wants to be a midwife someday. So cute!

(There will be an increase in home birth related posts in the coming months as Adam and I are planning a home birth for our coming baby! Home birth is something I've planned on for several years now - mostly influenced by watching my sister learn about and become a midwife and by my fear of hospitals - but I figured there would be plenty of time to post about these topics when I was actually pregnant.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sewn Slippers

Instead of other important things to do today... I made some slippers!
I've seen similar slipper projects on blogs/websites over the last year, but finally got around to making some for myself. I traced my foot and drafted an "upper" pattern as you see:
(Feel free to enlarge and use to draft your own custom pair - I'm a wide womens 8.5 and the paper is normal 8.5" X 11" )
Cut out 2 uppers and 2 soles in both the outer fabric and the lining fabric.
For fabric, I reused some old shredded corduroy pants that needed to be thrown away weeks ago but I continued to wear until yesterday and an old cotton sheet (my twin sheet from before we were married!)
To cushion the sole, cut some thin cotton batting (or a few layers of flannel or fleece, etc.) slightly smaller than the sole, as shown below:
Sew outer and lining fabric along foot opening, then turn right side out:
Then sew back seam closed and make a channel for elastic:
Pin upper to sole (inside out). Allow upper to gather a bit at the toe and heel for a better fit. Sew, try on and adjust sizing, etc.
I cut some bias tape from extra lining fabric and bound the seam to keep from fraying and make the slipper more durable.
Turn right side out and embellish with bow, buttons, etc. (I still need to do this....)
Here's a view from the bottom. It will be fun to have many different pairs in various colors and print combinations. I definitely want to make a pair with soft leather for the sole.
I know this is going a little over board, BUT, it could be cool to have a basket of these in various sizes and colors by the front door (of some future house) for kids and guests to put on when they come over :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

baby play mat (DI style)

As you know, the Thanksgiving Provo DI run proved to be very fruitful - in both trim and sewing patterns. However, I also scavenged 3 quilts worth of quilt scraps.
After Christmas, I wanted a simple, methodical sewing project, so I decided to make a quilt from these odd shaped DI scraps. I had bought a $1 bag of variously printed canvas trapezoid-shaped scraps and knew the only thing to do with them was patchwork quilting. The scraps fell into two main color groups which I would describe as "neon 70's floral" and "old-timey general store." See?

I trimmed the trapezoid shapes into rectangles,

arranged them "randomly"

and sewed my first patchwork quilt!

It's small, thick (has 3 layers of DI batting), and durable from both the canvas and denim backing. It's only about 3' X 3' square, so I decided to use it someday as a baby play mat - type of thing so I can lay the little darling on it and not have to worry about my dirty floors :)

Plus it might be good at our notoriously damp parks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

blue wool baby dress

I made a baby dress!

The fabric is a tiny floral printed wool gabardine from my mother-in-law's fabric collection. She used to sew clothes and make porcelin dolls, and I've been lucky enough to inherit some of her treasures.
The crochet trim might be from her, too - but I can't remember if I had if before.
The buttons are from a garage sale, I'm pretty sure.
I got the pattern for 50 cents at the DI on the same visit when I found that great woven trim.
Now, I need to find a cute baby hanger...

Friday, January 14, 2011


Adam and I just watched Moon, a movie I would now recommend.
It's a calm, thought-provoking, mind-bender type. We both really liked it.
It's not scary, or freaky, but it is suspenseful and strange.
(It also ends well...I'm the type that needs to know the general end of a movie so I don't die of heart attack while watching. Oh, and the girl in the movie is named Tess!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sewing Party

My friend, at Silver Penny in Her Shoe, is getting married in a few months. Hooray!
Her sister and I had a wedding announcement sewing party last night while is snowed.
Wedding announcement sewing party? Yes! Check out her photos here.
I love how they turned out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eritrean Food

Today at work I got a nice surprise: Elsa, the custodian from Eritrea, made me some spicy lamb stew and injera!
While talking last week, I mentioned I like to make Eritrean/Ethiopian food, so she not only made me some to eat, but gave me a tub of homemade spice paste to use next time I cook.
I'm so excited to try it and I'm excited to actually know someone from that area of Africa.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The 1st Trimester in Review

Last week, I finished the first trimester of my first pregnancy!
...and I found out I'm one of the lucky ones that don't get sick (at least not yet).
I feel basically fine.
I've been skiing twice, snow shoeing, yoga occasionally, and going to work as usual. I have definitely noticed that I am slower than before at all of those things, but I can still do them. I have not thrown up at all, I have not felt sick in the morning. I get tired earlier at night and don't get as much done when I come home from work.
The "baby" (embryo, amniotic sac, and placenta) are "the size of a large grapefruit" and fully enclosed within the bones of my pelvis. None of the "chub" you can see on my stomach is baby - just displaced intestines.
(now for the "over-share" part of the post:)
I've been eating more, pee-ing more, and poop-ing less (apparently everyone gets constipated in pregnancy from a combination of squished intestines, needing more water to support the increased volume of blood and rate of metabolism, and from too much iron in prenatal vitamins).
I felt the most ill back at Thanksgiving, when I was visiting my family. I was 1.5 months pregnant but we hadn't told anyone. I never threw up, but I was tired and felt motion sick in the car (which usually never happens to me). A few people remarked "You look terrible," but that's all :)

Some facts I've learned since being pregnant:
-In the first few months, your blood volume increases by half, so your blood pressure reduces. I'm one of these girls with bad circulation in her legs on a normal day, and this has worsened since being pregnant. My legs get swollen and puffy so I try to walk a lot and elevate my feet when I can.
-Some hormone makes your veins looser (or something) so if you stand up too fast, you might black out - this happened twice at Thanksgiving, but not since then.
-You really only need 200-300 more calories per day in pregnancy - I've been eating way more than that so I'm trying to make sure I exercise enough.
-Relaxin, a hormone, makes the ligaments in your pelvis more flexible. I've totally noticed this because I used to crack my lower back pretty often, but it won't crack now!

Now that I'm moving into the 2nd trimester, it's harder to overlook my belly. It often gets in the way when I sleep (I'm a stomach sleeper), and I get full faster because there is less room for my stomach and intestines.
Hopefully the next three months go smoothly; I'll let you know in April.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

High-waisted Skirt

I found myself with a Saturday at home and ended up making a skirt.
I'm really happy with how it turned out, though I didn't know from the beginning how it would end.
I started with an XS wool dress my sister gave me. At one point, I squeezed into it and decided it could only be worn if made into a skirt - a high waisted skirt.
I cut off the skirt portion and marked where my waist would be for it to fit correctly across my hips.
I cut off the extra portion to use as some kind of waistband and realized it would look great if the skirt came up to my waist and the waistband extended up even higher. It would need to flare out to accommodate my ribs, and I realized the part I cut off for a waistband would be perfect if it was flipped upside down.
Like so (above)
I added two small darts to the front and four large darts to the back to get a nice fit.
I haven't officially hemmed the skirt because the dress was finished with only a serged edge...and if I hem this now - it will be too short :(
It looks basically fine as it is.
I did line the skirt and waistband with lining from the dress.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

a Pea in my Pod

Adam and I would like to officially announce that I've got a Pea in my Pod!
We expect to meet our Pea at the end of July (around July 20th).

Here's some proof:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I got a pedestrian ticket this morning! For crossing when the "Red Crossing Hand" was up even though it was a green traffic light. I am so steamed about it because I had been running the whole way up the hill to avoid being late for my bus - which I've missed a few times lately.
I actually had no idea it was a ticket-worthy crime to cross the street when there was a green traffic light - so lame. $56 for trying to get to work on time.