Friday, January 26, 2018

Greenstyle Xpress Tank Top

A big part of my wardrobe is work out clothes. A lot of my work out tops are pretty fitted, which is great normally but is not so encouraging when you have a postpartum tummy! I just had a baby 3 weeks ago, and all my workout bottoms still fit (thank you stretchy waistbands!), but I was seriously lacking in flattering tops that I can work out and feel good in. I am a runner at heart and kept up my weekly mileage goals until about 5 years ago when I had Luke. Since then, I still run but am not so serious about it. I keep up my gym workouts and do lots of long walks with the kids. When I am released to start working out again, my plan is to safely amp up my mileage again.  

I was super excited to get to test Greenstyle's newest workout top pattern - the Xpress. It is so aptly named too because this is one of the quickest garments I have ever made! It is one pattern piece. The only seams are on the shoulder. There are no bindings. One quick hem, and you are done. OH, and I made all my tops just with my sewing machine; so, don't be discouraged if you don't have a serger or coverstitch. Since they were so quick, they were also so satisfying! I have not had ample amounts of time to sew like I normally do, but these quick tops made me feel like I was back at it!

There are 3 views to the Xpress pattern - a curved back, a straight pointed back, or a tie back. There are also two necklines - a high or low neck. I made all three of my tops with the low neck option. I made two of the three views - a curved back and tie back. First up is a tie back top in Simply by Ti's Nike Wickaway jersey in navy. This fabric is textured on the right side and smooth on the inside. The smooth inside will be great for preventing any chafing on a long run. This fabric has wonderful drape for a looser workout top and has a very nice 4 way stretch with great recovery. I also got to test out the moisture wicking properties of the fabric on my way out for the photoshoot. I picked up the happy baby, and she spit up all on me! In my hair, down my shirt, and all the way to my shoe! I cleaned myself off, and my shirt was dry in seconds! Thanks for stocking this amazing fabric Ti!

Pink may just be my favorite color, so I love this next tank. It is a curved hem Xpress tank top in a brushed nylon I got from Aimee Wilson's scraps. She has the most amazing scrap bin ever. I messed up with hemming the back of this top, though, so I tied the back, and it still looks very good. It is just more fitted around my tummy when tied than the regular tie back view of this pattern. I messed up because this fabric is super stretchy, and I accidentally stretched it while hemming, which made the hem wavy along the curve. No amount of steam would fix it either, and I did not have time to seam rip. Happy mistake because I love how it turned out. The shorts I am wearing with the navy and pink tops are my Moxi shorts (blogged about here). This top pairs so nice with the Moxi shorts. It shows off the back trim of the shorts so nicely. 

And, I got some super cute photos with baby in my tops. Hannah is wearing a Shirtzie dress.

Lastly, I made an Xpress top in a jersey blend fabric. This fabric has only 50% horizontal stretch, no vertical stretch, and is a more stable fabric. This fabric was a great choice for this top and will be great for working out or just as a summer top for the Texas heat.  

You can grab your Xpress pattern here. I think my next few Xpress tops will be made in a dressy fabric for a date night. My husband seemed to love the low neckline and breezy back view! What fabric will you make yours out of? What is your favorite way to stay active?

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

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. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hannah Hope - The Birth of My Rainbow Baby

I am so thrilled today to get to introduce y'all to the newest addition to our family - Hannah Hope Aguilar! She was born at home on (her due date!!) January 3rd at 3:09 p.m. It has taken me 2 weeks to update my blog because four children + a newborn does not equal ample blogging or sewing time! Today I want to share with you Hannah's birth story as well as a quilt and a quilt story. 

Let's start with the quilt story. Two years ago, in January and June of 2016, after four healthy pregnancies, I miscarried my fifth and sixth pregnancies, both at around 13 weeks into the pregnancy. I was devastated. The second loss was even harder physically and emotionally because it was more drawn out. The miscarriage took about 5 months to complete due to being a partial molar pregnancy and included many hospital stays and a bout with sepsis. 

To help cope with all the emotions and questions and misunderstanding of the pain, I made a baby quilt. I felt kind of silly at the time making a baby quilt, but it was almost therapy in itself. Quilting is my hobby that allows me to simmer, think, pray, and work through whatever is going on in that season of my life. It keeps my hands busy while my heart pours through it all. I loved the smaller size of this quilt because it allowed me to take it everywhere with me to do the quilting by hand.

Here is Tabitha, holding the quilt for photos in 2016. 

I used this really fun Alexander Henry book print for the back of the quilt.

When I finished the quilt, I took photos of it with my kids, but I never shared the quilt or its story. I told myself I was done having children, despite the desire I still had deep down. I focused on my family and looked to Jesus for his plan for my life. I went back to the church I knew God had placed me in, which was quite a breath of fresh air and a pivotal part in my journey. I gave the quilt to my kids to play with. The quilt of course has gotten lots of play time. Here are just a few photos that I found on my phone from just the last few months. 

Fast-forward to 2017, and much to my surprise, in May, I found out we were expecting again. I had not even taken a pregnancy test, but the OB caught it on my bloodwork. I had to get bloodwork once a month from the partial molar pregnancy the year before, and this was supposed to be my final bloodwork. I received a call late one evening from the OB, who was so excited to tell me the news. I think I was shaking from the shock! I can't even begin to describe the anxiety and emotions I felt. I did not want to tell anyone or even believe it myself. After the first trimester was over and the pregnancy was going along well, I switched to the care of my midwife, Robin Destafano. I just loved the support she had given me through Aaron's pregnancy and birth and was glad to go through another healthy pregnancy with her support. She came to my home for my prenatal appointments, which is amazing. Going to a doctor's office and waiting with four children in the waiting room is quite stressful, and hiring a babysitter for each appointment can be quite expensive. 

Now for the birth story... just scroll to the end if this is not your cup of tea. Hannah was born on a Wednesday, but her birth story really starts the Saturday before. I woke up Saturday morning with an insane amount of energy, and all I could think about was cleaning. This is very unusual because if I have extra energy, I use it to sew or go to the gym. From Saturday to Monday, I cleaned like a crazy woman. If I wasn't cleaning, I was cooking. By Tuesday, every piece of laundry was finished, every floor was mopped, every closet cleaned, and even my sewing room was completely organized! So, Tuesday, I headed to the gym and got a pretty decent work out in for being 39 weeks and 6 days, and then, by Tuesday evening, I just started feeling that pre-labor yuck. No contractions, just emotional, crampy and discouraged. 

I woke up at 2:30 am on Wednesday with contractions that I knew were labor contractions, but they did not hurt, were between 10 and 15 minutes apart, and only lasted about 30 seconds. Dario immediately called the midwife because I have woken up with contractions like this in past pregnancies and had a baby in my arms an hour later! The midwife arrived shortly thereafter to check on me and slept on my couch until morning. I was able to sleep between a lot of the contractions and was pretty rested in the morning. When everyone was awake, the midwife checked me and decided to go home and get a shower and breakfast. I think she said I was barely dilated to a 5 and baby was still pretty high. That morning I tried to go about my day as normal as possible, just waiting for these contractions to turn into something hard. After lunch, I called the midwife and told her to go ahead and come over. The contractions were still 10 minutes apart and pretty short, but I wanted her to come give me some herbs or do something to help this labor pick up. The midwife arrived at 2:30 pm. The babysitter arrived at the same time to stay with the children downstairs. About 10 minutes prior to this, the contractions finally started to feel more intense so I was so glad to see them both. For the next about 30 minutes, I had those hard, transition contractions that make you wonder why so many people have children. Dario and the midwife both did a great job of supporting me with counter pressure on my back, which is where I feel the pain of most contractions. Then, a few minutes after 3 pm, the midwife told me to start pushing with contractions "to take the edge off." About 5 minutes later, sweet little Hannah was born! She was a healthy sized baby, weighing in at 8 lbs and 8 ounces, and she was 20.75 inches long. She took a few extra pushes to get out because her shoulders needed help rotating. Surprisingly, I did not need any stitches, and so far, my recovery has gone very well.

Here are a few photos from after the birth. Hannah's head was a little bruised from her quick exit, but she pinked up very quickly. The kids were so excited to come meet her when Dario announced her arrival. 


Now, I have this heart quilt to give to my sweet Hannah. I can tell her the story of hope. Deep down, God knew my heart's desire. Romans 5:5 says that "...hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." I felt God show his love toward me through Hannah. I was not looking for another baby, but she came. She came when I had given up.

She has already changed so much in just two weeks. We adore her, and she has brought so much joy to our family! I can't wait to watch her grow and see the beautiful woman she becomes.