Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hannah is ONE + a Photoshoot


My sweet baby turned 1!!! Well, she actually turned 1 two weeks ago, but I am just now getting to go through the photos and sit down to write all about her first year. This blogpost may be more for me than anyone else, but maybe you will enjoy these special photos my friend Aimee Wilson took for me. I am also using this as a space to document all the things I swear I will remember about this year... so maybe that will be fun to read as well. 


The year started with a homebirth. You can read that story here. The first few weeks postpartum were surprisingly smooth. My husband stayed home for two weeks and helped so much. We have both learned that the more I rest for the first few weeks, the quicker I recover and the better I am able to handle life (physically and emotionally) when I am alone with a newborn and the bigger kids. The big kids also were awesome helpers, and I got a lot of rest during this time. Hannah adjusted so well to her new big family and was such a happy little newborn (as long as she was being held). 


She really has never liked sleep (and still doesn't!). We struggled with colic for the first few months. After all the other children were asleep and my home was quiet, my sweet newborn would become inconsolable. It would last many nights until midnight or 1 am. I had not experienced colic with any of my other children so I felt so unprepared. I felt like a new parent all over again, trying to figure out how to get her to calm down and sleep. 

While I was trying to make it through the colic times, I learned that she absolutely loves worship music. She has her favorite songs from Bethel and Hillsong that instantly will calm her. Even now that she is past the colic stage, if something upsets her, I can put on one of her favorite songs, and she goes from screaming and mad to singing and smiling. She LOVES to sing. She will have one hand waiving in the air while she sways and sings. It is so cute!


The next few months seem like a blur. Once we got into somewhat of a routine with homeschool, sewing, housework, and life, the time just passed quickly. I feel the constant need to divide my time, balance everything before me, and find joy in a place where overwhelm is constantly in front of me. I find that emotionally, anxiety was more present in my life than it was before the few rough years I had medically before she was born. Maybe this is just how life happens: as you grow, you realize there are hard parts of life to walk through, and even though you make it through with God's help, you are a bit raw and learning how to still be (the new) you on the other side. Before becoming a mother, I was pretty oblivious, care free, and easy going. I am still pretty care free and easy going, but I just have so much to constantly think about now! 

I love how much JOY she has brought to our home. She is non-stop entertainment for us all, and it is exciting and yet hard at the same time to see the baby-days flying by. I constantly choose to enjoy her and not let the juggling act overwhelm me. 



At 6 months she was crawling and her first tooth came at 10 months. After the first tooth, 5 more quickly followed. She is a champion eater of all foods that come her way. We are still breastfeeding, like a lot. She is showing no signs of slowing down. She even will nurse in a loud noisy room! My first and third weened at 18 months. My second weened at 11 months. My fourth born weened closer to 2 years. I am grateful she is still breastfeeding.


Her favorite person is mom. This is very typical with breastfed babies, and I am eating it up. She thinks I should hold and carry her night and day. I think she is keeping me skinny because it is a lot of work to carry her so much, and then when I do sit down, she thinks we should be nursing. 

I am grateful that she also really loves her sisters. She plays with them so much! If I did not have the older girls to give me a break when I need it, I would not be enjoying this first year as much. They help her and dote on her all the time, and it just warms my heart to see how much they love each other. They also keep her occupied while I get ready in the morning, when I need to take a shower in the evening, and for any other time where I may feel overwhelmed and need a moment. 


She has this specific look that she makes all the time. I was so excited that Aimee caught a lot of her favorite faces in this photo shoot!


I love her look of excitement when she takes a few steps. She is just so thrilled that is able to walk. Even though she can walk, she really doesn't use it as her preferred way to get around yet. Aimee says it is because she has too many people to carry her. 

She says "Mommy," "Tata" (for Tabitha), "Addy" (for Abby). She says "Hi!" a ton. If my phone rings, she starts saying "Hi, Hi, Hi!" and sounds so sweet. Her favorite thing to say, though, is "Wup!!!" Her "w" sounds are pretty clear, but I have no idea what she is talking about. 


The quilt peeking out in these photos is the BFF Quilt that I finished three years ago and blogged about here


I bravely let her borrow my real pearls for these photos. I just couldn't get over how sweet they looked on her. She is wearing a tutu that was Tabitha's when she was this age. It was one of the only things I had saved from her, and I am so happy to see Hannah wearing it.


She loves dogs and cats and squeals when she sees them (thankfully we don't own any because I do not need anyone else to clean up after!). She finds baby dolls and rocks them back and forth and already acts motherly when she plays. She also screams a lot when she plays and finds her world so exciting. When she sees her brothers, she tries to smack them and wrestle with them, thinking she is a match for them. I love to hear her squeal with delight and play with her siblings. 

Enjoy the photos! It was so hard to narrow them down! I think she was very confused as to why she kept having to sit in the basket, but I was so glad she played along so well :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

5 out of 4 Patterns Jenny Cross Front Tunic


Last month I took some time to review and think about my favorite and not so favorite sewing projects from the previous year. I blogged about my top hits and top fails and let you know what I wore a ton and what just never really made it out of my closet. One of my sewing fails was a cross front top that I wanted to like, but it just did not work for me. I was nervously excited when I saw that 5 out of 4 Patterns wanted to release a cross front top that was very similar. So, I signed up as a tester, and today, I will be reviewing - and telling you what I think about that pattern - the Jenny Cross Front Tunic.



The Pattern Details

The Jenny Cross Front Tunic Pattern is a fitted dolman top that can be made in short or long sleeves. It is tunic length and the cross over is daring and low. The pattern includes the overlay cross front top as well as a tank pattern to wear as a modesty layer underneath. The tank layer has the option of a lower or mid neckline. I made the lower neckline. The back hem on the cross over top can be straight or curved. The pattern also includes a full bust adjustment as well. 

The pattern works best in knit fabric with great drape. I used an ITY from Knitpop on my short sleeved Jenny. Since it was light and airy, I knew I would wear it more in the summer so I left it without sleeves. 


I made an XS bust and graded my top to a XXS waist and hips. I also took 1 inch out of the pattern at the lengthen/shorten line to adjust for my  (lack of) height. 


My next Jenny is in a lightweight, loose, open weave sweater knit that has a ton of stretch and drape. This fabric took a little bit more patience to sew with, and since the weave was so open, I definitely could not do without a tank underneath. I was really glad that a modesty tank was included in the pattern!


My Thoughts

What did I not like about the previous cross over top that I made?? Well, the neckline on the previous pattern was finished with only hemming. Nothing was keeping that neckline stable. This meant that when I moved, it would fall under my bust. It was just open and swingy, which felt weird and meant I was constantly adjusting it.  

However, on the Jenny top pattern, the neckline is finished with a band AND clear elastic. It is seriously not budging. I can run after my kids and move all about doing mom life, and I am not worried about it falling down and exposing me. I also just don't like to constantly adjust my clothing. 

Even with all the security, I can still breastfeed just fine in this top! That always makes me excited when I can easily nurse from the top in a pattern. My baby just bats away the fabric when I try to nurse by pulling my shirt up. 

I know I will wear my tops with the modesty tank (which I am glad is included in the pattern!), but I think the clear elastic also makes the top just fine to wear without the modesty tank because you don't have to worry about the cross over falling down. 

I normally don't really like clear elastic that much, but it worked really well for me on this top. I found it worked easier to serge my band to the neckline seam first and then go back over that seam and apply the clear elastic with a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine without stretching anything. If I applied the clear elastic and the band at the same time, it didn't look as good.  


Another thing that I did not like about the previous cross over top was the amount of ease. It was just too much fabric all around my stomach. I think the Jenny top is much more fitted but still drapes very nicely under my bust. 
 

 I made the curved hem back on this sweater version (and I forgot to zip up my shoes - whoops!). 


Now let's talk about the underlayer. It is a simple quick tank finished with bands. I made the same adjustments to the tank as I did to the crossover top. I used a lightweight jersey for it. I was so excited that my friend Aimee gifted me this fabric because the color is perfect for me to wear under my sweater Jenny in the winter and then to wear again under my short sleeved Jenny in the summer!


Resources
  1. The Jenny Cross Over Top Pattern can be found HERE. Grab it while it is on sale this week!
  2. The fabric for my blue floral Jenny is an ITY from Knitpop.
  3. The fabric for my open weave sweater was from a local destash.
  4. The fabric for my tank came from my sweet friend, Aimee.
  5. The clear elastic that I used came from Amazon.
  6. My necklace was a Christmas gift from my sweet husband! He got it here
Thanks for reading! I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.












Sunday, January 6, 2019

Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan + Yoga Pants = LOVE


After the holidays this year, I have to tell you... I lost my sewjo! I just walked by my sewing room and kept walking. I also went to bed early a lot of nights. It didn't help that my sewing room looked like a disaster from multiple pattern tests + present wrapping + Christmas sewing. 

I did a lot of cleaning and worked on some quilting projects during the day instead. This past weekend, my husband took all of the kids to an Obstacle Warrior place and gave me sometime to myself. I am very much an introvert so I was looking forward to the time to finish cleaning my sewing room and enjoy the quiet. While I was folding fabric to put it back on the shelf, I found some that I just had to sew up right away. The fabric just spoke to me about what it should become. My sewjo was back!!! 




The Fabric

The fabric I found in my sewing room was a cozy soft striped sweater knit and some French terry that I picked up in the Dallas Fabric District on one of my last trips. The weather has been hovering around the 30s and rainy lately so I have been wanting some more cozy lounge clothes for the dreary winter days. I loved how cozy this fabric felt and just kept petting it. I just knew the sweater knit needed to be a cozy cardigan and that the French Terry needed to be lounge pants.


The Cardigan

For my cardigan, I used the Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan pattern. I LOVE this pattern. The options included in the pattern are knee length or duster length, high or low side slit or closed side, vest or long sleeves, sleeve cuffs or hemmed, hood or no hood, regular or large patch pockets or no pockets. 

I made the knee length, hemmed the sleeves, used the large pocket, and did the high side slit. I made this pattern for the first time this summer as a duster length swim cover up (You can see that blogpost here). I enjoyed wearing my cover up so much this summer that I wanted to make the cardigan version ever since. I was so glad that this fabric finally spoke to me that it needed to be a cardigan!



The hood on the Sunday Cardigan is just perfect and so easy to do. I love a cardigan with a hood!


My tip for getting patch pockets to look good is to use wondertape to tape them where you want them before sewing. Then, I give them a big press after I sew them down. Mine aren't perfect, but with this squishy sweater knit I was really happy with how they turned out. 


The Lounge Pants

For my pants, I wanted cozy but not frumpy cozy. I looked through my patterns and thought "Do I need my umpteenth pair of Brassie joggers, or should I try something new?" I chose to branch out and used the Greenstyle Women's Everyday Yoga Pants pattern. This is going to be another staple pattern for me. I already see myself wanting to wear these everyday!



I had not made this pattern before so I printed off the XS (based on my hip measurement) and made my usual height adjustment (took off 3 inches). I was so excited at how well they fit right off the printer!! They also seem to have booty lifting properties that I am pretty excited about.


The Yoga Pants pattern includes a fold over waistband. I took forever to decide which scrap of cotton lycra would look best as a waistband and eventually found a small scrap of a darker tan fabric that looked like it worked. Since it was small, I didn't have enough for a fold over waistband so I used the midrise Stride tights waistband. The Stride's waistband is so comfortable since it is contoured at the top. These pants stay on great, and I don't have any elastic pushing on my stomach. 


Pockets!!

Pockets are really a must for me. Since the pattern does not include pockets, I borrowed the pocket piece from the Brassie joggers. The side seam, however, is different on the yoga pants so I changed the pocket pattern piece to work. Here is what my pocket piece looks like for the Yoga Pants. 


You can see the outline of the original Brassie pocket that I traced and where I drew the new pocket so that it matched the side seam of the yoga pants. I cut 2 mirror images of the main pocket out of my main fabric. 

To make the pocket lining, I traced the main pocket and cut out the part above the pocket opening. Here is my pattern piece for the lining:


I then cut mirror images out of a thin cotton fabric for the lining and cut out the pocket opening on the front of my pants. I always make sure to mark on the wrong side of the fabric which one is the pocket opening and which one is the crotch because I have accidentally put a pocket on the wrong one before! 


To sew the pocket, I put the pocket lining right sides together on top of the front of the pants, sewed it at the pocket opening, and then, I pressed, understitched and topstitched the pocket opening. Finally, I sewed the main pocket to the lining and basted it to the pants. 



The pocket seam shows a little on the side of my pants that doesn't have the floral over the pocket. I am really ok with that because I would much rather have pockets than no pocket seam showing!
 

I love how they turned out! 


Thanks for reading, and I hope I have inspired you!!

Resources
  1. The Greenstyle Sunday Cardigan can be found HERE.
  2. The Greenstyle Everyday Yoga Pants for Women can be found HERE.
  3. The fabric I used came from Wherehouse Fabric Dallas, TX. If you ever find yourself in the DFW area, you need to visit this place.
 
You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it gives me money to buy more patterns and fabric!  Any and all opinions expressed are still my own.