Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sewing, Sailing, and a Visit from Big Sister

I can't believe it's nearly Christmas. But since moving to Florida I've found that sunny days just melt into new sunny days and then all of a sudden...

Crap! I haven't even started Christmas shopping!

But anyway I finally finished up some baby sewing for Hans' cousin who is due to have a baby boy this January. I found some very nice hand towels at Target that I made into bibs. Have you ever caught the silky hairs at the back of an infant's neck in the string ties of a bib? It's not fun for all those involved believe me! These bibs have a simple ribbed neckline that pull on and off Baby with absolutely no trauma. I've made tons of these over the years and some women have told me they were the only ones they ended up using full time.

You can see how big one actually is here (I have my little onesie, booties, and more folded bibs lying on top of one). This covers an infant's clothing very nicely during a feeding (and the pukey follow up!) and also provides a lot of cover for a toddler in a high chair.

Complete with diaper bag.

We've managed to get out for a couple of sails since we've been here. Now that Hans is working full time that only leaves the weekends and in order to sail, it's all about weather. A few weeks ago we had a fabulous day in the gulf with our new friends Carolyn and Mark. I met Carolyn through this blog and you just have to love the internet! Just a few years ago this never would have happened.
After the holidays we hope to get out a bit more. What's the sense in having a boat if you don't use it?

Here's Carolyn trying to relax which is sometimes difficult when you have a kissing machine of a pit bull along for the ride.

Very soon after our day at sea Hans and I went to New York City for a few days. Poor Hans had to work but I managed to stomp around (more like limp around on my very hurty feet!) the city and got to visit the garment district. And if anyone happened to be watching the Today Show while I was there, yes, that was me waving at you from Rockefeller Plaza. I had a great time and the ladies of the Today show are even prettier in person, they really are!

And right after we got back, Baby Girl decided to pay us a visit. She originally wanted to surprise me but there is so much involved in getting our guest berth ready, Hans had to let the cat out of the bag. She is a college soccer coach now and was able to use her break to visit us (not that she wasn't on the phone or texting constantly about recruits, meetings etc...).

Here she is taking a snooze with her baby brother Wilbur. Poor Wilbur ended up being left behind way too many times while Baby Girl was here because unfortunately pitties aren't permitted to prance about the many places we ended up visiting.

"You always did like her best!" Wilbur pouted.
We ended up taking a trip to The Pier and Baby Girl insisted on feeding the Pelicans. For five bucks you get five fish and let me tell you those five fish created quite a scene as pelicans came out of nowhere for their free meal. That man is holding a net behind her head to ward off any more renegade pelicans because in the heat of the moment a particularly famished (greedy) pelican slammed into Baby Girl's head and nearly knocked her off her perch. It was too stinking funny and I only wish I'd gotten a picture.

Oh the life a busy young lady. While she should be taking a note from Wilbur and relaxing, she's on her phone yet once again and her I-Pad is sitting at the ready for even more work.

I feel bad because I'd promised Baby Girl that if she ever got to Florida I'd make sure to get her to Disney World so she could finally experience the Tea Cup Ride. I won't go into details but when she was a tiny little thing the Tea Cup Ride was just within her grasp and it was rudely taken away from her and she's never forgotten it. It didn't happen on this trip either but hopefully she'll give me more notice next time and as far as I'm concerned she can ride it till she pukes!!

She deserves it and I'll make sure to take along a big bib.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New York City... the story continues

Warning! Way too much rambling on this post!

First of all I don't think my feet have ever hurt as much as they do right now and I have to admit that it's all my fault. I may be wearing the very same shoes I wore a couple of years ago when I accompanied Hans on a whirlwind two week trip to Europe, but I'm afraid my feet have since then grown accustomed to sandy beaches and they are having a delightful time torturing me for making them stomp about on unforgiving concrete all day long.

I hate looking like a tourist but I had to whip out my camera and take a picture of this fabulous button and needle that marks the beginning of the garment/fabric district.

I only wish I'd been bold enough to take a picture of the young lady who walked in front of me for several blocks clad only in a polka dot white fleece robe and her hair in curlers. Might I add that her robe just barely covered her bottom. I wasn't the only one who found this unusual and since I was following her I got to see the reaction on the faces of people after they passed from the opposite direction. And then we walked past a construction site. Have you ever witnessed a group of construction workers go completely silent?

I managed to find the fabric district and it was actually pretty overwhelming. After a while I finally figured out that everyones prices were pretty much the same and I didn't find what I would call any real bargains. I wasn't particularly looking for clothing fabric but I did buy two pieces of spandex fabric at Spandex House. I didn't find any (affordable) fabric for purses but I did buy a few little o-rings (for wallet wristlets) and some short zippers. There are tons of pieces of hardware available here but some were pretty pricey and without a real plan for them I didn't want to buy any (I already have a lot of stuff I've bought in the past and still haven't used).

I was thrilled to death to accompany Hans to New York on his business trip. I've never been here before and the thought of seeing NYC during the Christmas season was too good to be true. So I told Hans that for my Christmas present I wanted to go to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes. My great grandmother thought the Rockettes walked (or perhaps tapped) on water and I only wish she'd been able to attend an actual performance during her lifetime. The show was spectacular and I have no idea how the hell those girls remember all their dance steps.

Of course it rained like crazy on Rockette night and here's Hans with both of our umbrellas. We got soaked.

The sculpture behind us was created years ago for Radio City Music Hall and was then banned for being too graphic. It's now very much out in the open and don't think Hans didn't appreciate it!
I mentioned before that I have no sense of direction and was a bit fearful of maneuvering about Manhattan on my own, and I admit that I had to back track a couple (okay a hell of a lot!) of times. But in the end I found myself enjoying the Big Apple immensely.

How well I recall bursting into our hotel room late in the afternoon on our first day in New York only to find Hans had gotten there first.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I demanded.

"I'm done for the day. Where have you been?" was Hans' reply.

"My feet were killing me and I just had to sit down so I had lunch up the street at D.J. Reynolds Pub and the owner happened to be there and he bought me a drink and I've been having a fabulous time!" I exclaimed. "I love New York! It has such a small town feeling and I told Dennis we'd be back for dinner tonight!"

"Who's Dennis? Hans asked.

"The owner."

"Why am I not surprised," Hans sighed.

He knows me all too well and could only shake his head, because, you see, I will talk to any one, any time, and at any place.

D J Reynold's Pub is a fabulous Irish Pub (and I've been to Ireland) with good food at a very affordable price (we ate there every single night!). By all means please go there if you happen to be in Manhattan. You will not be disappointed.

When we moved to Florida I had no idea I would be heading north before the Christmas holidays (I left my winter coat back home) and I was in dire need of a winter coat to take with me to New York. My new friend Carolyn stepped forward and offered me a beautiful leather coat that had belonged to her husband's mother. It fit like a glove!
Here I am right before we left to see the Rockettes.

After dinner at D.J.'s, our waitress, Siobhan followed us out into the street and after giving us a hug, she commented on my beautiful coat.

Thank you Carolyn!

We are now back home and apparently just in time.

I've been informed my youngest is due to arrive for a visit tomorrow!

Wilbur can't wait. He loves to sleep with his sister.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New York City

That's where I am right now folks!
Believe it or not.
I've never been here before and I very well may never get here again so tomorrow I'm going to take a stab at hitting the fabric (or garment) district.

We flew right over the Statue of Liberty which was really pretty exciting as I try never to look out the window of a plane.

Anyway, I have absolutely no sense of direction so God only knows where I'll end up.
Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some stinking cute baby sewing.

I mentioned in a previous post that Hans' cousin is going to have a baby this January, and let's face it, now that I live in Florida, I'm having a very difficult time wrapping my brain around the fact that it's already December. I truly need to get my head on straight and finish up this baby project and get some Christmas shopping done.

So check out this adorable onesie I made out of one of Hans' old dress shirts by using this tutorial.

I also made my own bias tape.

And you wouldn't believe how much bias tape you can get out of a very small amount of fabric by using this method.

Since the future daddy designs ships, I purchased some sail boat fabric for the collar, cuffs, and bias tape, which was a perfect match, and I also thought it was just too cute.

And those are adorable matching shoes on the right. They were too easy to make and don't be surprised if I find a way to enlarge the pattern and make a pair for myself!

A view of the back.

Look at that little pleat!

And again, the shoes!

I rinsed it out and hung it out to dry on my red neck clothes line (which is really Wilbur's retractable leash).

Here's a close up of the cuff I added that wasn't on the tutorial, but you can see the sleeve placket that was kept from the original shirt.

I added an extra button hole and button at the bottom of the shirt front. I then made a tab with a button hole and stitched it to the back of the onesie. This tab then attaches to that button and secures the onesie to the baby.

And once again the little shoes. This was the first pair of these I've ever made and I'm pretty sure I cut the elastic just a bit too small on the right one which is making it pucker. The next pair will surely be better.

Waste not want not.

Very coincidentally I happened to see a Sewing with Nancy episode on the very day I was making this outfit. And on that particular show they were re-purposing a man's shirt into various useful items.

The very last thing they did was to cut off the collar and make it into an adorable dog collar.

Believe me when I say I wasted no time at all hacking off the collar of Hans' shirt, and no dog could possibly look as cute in a dress shirt collar than our Wilburbutt!

I only hope Hans doesn't ask me next week why he doesn't seem to have any more good dress shirts!