Thursday, 16 July 2009

Finally, I have something to say

Fear not everyone, I didn't take to myself with my staple gun and put myself out of action for the last few weeks resulting in blog silence. It's just that nothing blogworthy has happened in the last few weeks, in fact I've been rather dispirited lately because Anna's sleeping patterns went from bad to worse: not only was she sleeping only 20 minutes at a time 3 or 4 times a day, she then stopped sleeping through the night as she had been and instead started waking every 45 minutes until we gave up and brought her into our bed, usually around 2am or so! So you can imagine how tired and frustrated I've been, and I had quite a few of those moments when you try to imagine your life if you never had children.....

But all is not lost because a few days ago I had an early childhood nurse come and spend the day with us to observe what is happening and to give assistance with sleep and settling routines. They don't advocate a controlled crying routine or a cry it out approach which is good because Anna didn't take to those methods at all. In fact she cried once for 2.5 hours straight even with me patting her stomach and singing to her until I gave in and picked her up when I tried the Tizzie Hall method which I found very harsh and upsetting. But on this more gentle approach, of only letting her cry for a minute before calming her it's so far so good, her naps this week have extended to 1.5 hours, falling to sleep quite quickly and re-settling quickly halfway through if she has woken. She is only waking twice at night time now, but they are getting shorter in length and she is sleeping for more hours before waking. So for any Sydney mums, I can thoroughly recommend the lovely ladies from The Infants Home in Ashfield if you're at the end of your tether like I was.

I guess I won't be dropping her off at the orphan's home just yet as I've been threatening to do (good thing babies don't fully understand what we're saying!). And apart from this hiccup she is doing great - rolling, sitting up, improving her dexterity and hand skills, eating solids and learning to squeal for fun, although that is not so great! And she is 6 months already, I can't believe how fast time has flown by. Here is a photo from just a few days ago:

Anyway this is a sewing blog, so enough about the baby and please imagine a big drum roll in your head: here is my new dress that I have been working on for at least a month or more now!


I used a vintage Butterick pattern, which is labelled an easy pattern. And it was an easy dress to sew, pre-baby it would have taken a few hours at most, but I think you all know how little time is left when there are children around. But I also made things harder for myself because the fabric I chose to use is very unstable, and would shift if I even looked at it, so it made it hard to keep the fabric straight when cutting and sewing it, made even more obvious by the check pattern of the fabric. I underlined the fabric with some black organza to make it more stable and more substantial since it is a lightweight woven cotton.











It has a bit of a school uniform look to it, although since my high school uniform was a bottle green straight skirt and lemon yellow blouse, and my primary school uniform was a pink check tunic with maroon ribbon, this would be a pretty good school uniform! Of course I could wear it with a more colourful polo neck top or scarf, or pair it with a red belt and shoes to brighten it up a little more. And taking a photo on a less gloomy day would help too I suppose. But nevermind, I'm just so pleased with myself for finally finishing it!

And to answer your question, Judy Ross, about the piping on the footstool in my previous post, I have to admit it was a bit of a shoddy job but you just can't really see it because of the thick fabric. Normally I would fold the raw end under and then sew the tubes one inside the other with the folded end on the outside, but because this fabric was so thick it would be too bulky, so I just overlapped the ends of the tube and sewed them down. To stop the raw end that is now exposed from fraying, I dabbed on some clear nail varnish! I suppose you could use some fray check spray if you wanted to do it properly, but I didn't have any and I find that clear nail varnish works wonders on lots of things other than your nails: stopping holes and ladders in pantyhose getting worse, replacing the plastic tips on shoelaces when they fall off, glueing down fabric where there are small holes or tears and finishing the ends of ribbon when cut. Anyway here is a close up of the join:

So I hope to be back shortly with something else to show off (other than the baby), hopefully I'm on a roll now!

18 comments:

  1. I love your dress. It turned out beautifully. And the baby is so sweet and cute looking. I'm happy for you that her sleep schedule is improving. I know how difficult that can be since I have five, with the youngest being 17 months. I was awaken four times last night, from two different children, though. But it does get better, as you are seeing. I prefer the gentler method as well. They seem to feel more secure and respond better to it.

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  2. Oh I remember when my kids were that little! busy, busy...and still are!
    I love the dress/jumper. Need to add this to the endless search list!
    How do you find your vintage patterns? I seem to have most success with ebay--it is so time consuming yet fun!

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  3. I think Fray-Chek IS clear nail polish. It smells the same, looks the same, acts the same. Just probably cheaper for the volume in the bottle, if you can find it that is.

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  4. Yeahhhhh team! Good for you... nothing like getting back to square one on the sleeping agenda! Glad to hear that the gal was able to help. Nothing like feeling at your wits end... and then some!
    Your dress turned out really cute! From the photo I would almost have suspected it was a wool jumper! Until I saw the close up.
    Keep up the good work... Kristy... check out my blog for some "finishing tips".... LoL...

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  5. Would it frighten you if I told you my son only stopped crawling into our bed at night at age 11? There is nothing so wonderful as a night of uninterrupted sleep. It will happen.

    And cute dress! Much credit for being able to sew it all with an adorable infant.

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  6. Your dress looks really nice. The red shoes and belt idea will be really great. Sorry to hear about your tough nights lately.

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  7. Can I just offer you a word of comfort...can I tell you that yes this is difficult but that we are all still standing now on the other side of it and that you will make it too! :)

    I didn't sew much when my children were small...probably why I sew so much now! And I devised several methods of gaining time to sew...I am sure you will come up with one for yourself.

    She is getting big and she looks so happy so you ARE doing something right!

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  8. That's a cute dress; makes me long for fall in these quarters even more! Good luck with Anna; she's so cute, but I know how you feel. Sleep deprivation is the pits. But you seem to be on a good way!

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  9. Glad to hear you're OK. Never having been a mother I can only imagine how hard it can be at times. I really like your dress and I'm quite partial to the school uniform look. I often wear tartan skirts and tights for the same reason. Even if it's taken you much longer than pre baby to sew this, at least you are still sewing. I'm sure having a gorgeous baby to occupy you keeps you busy enough. Oh and yes, with the red accessories! My favourite look.

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  10. That dress is great and so perfect for the current cold weather we are having!
    You are doing really well with your bub and she is obviously thriving - just remember it must get better or no-one would have a second one!

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  11. Love the dress/jumper and the red accessories would really make it impressive.

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  12. Oooh, that sleep schedule must have been tough! Been there, done that, survived. Can't remember a lot of it! Sleep deprivation is the VERY WORST thing your kids can do to you. (And mine have done some pretty yukky things).
    Even in close up your join is almost invisible. I'm going to get me some clear nail varnish! (Can you tell that manicures are low on my list of priorities?)
    And the dress is great too - I can just see it with something bright red.

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  13. Congrats on getting the dress done - looks great. And Anna looks very happy, and oh so cute.

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  14. Ah, much sympathy from me for the sleep woes. It does get better, and then sometimes it gets worse, and then it gets better, and then another baby is born . . . you can do it. :) That's so wonderful that you have a resource like that to help you in your home.

    Love the dress.

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  15. Kristy, my heart goes out to you and little Anna. I clearly remember how desperate I was for sleep when both my ones were babies. I ended up at Tresillian at Canterbury Hospital with both, which saved my sanity. My half-baked theory is that non-sleepers turn into delightful toddlers while the sleeping babies metamorphose into terrors as toddlers. Hang in there!

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  16. Dear Kristy,
    Your posts about little Anna's sleeping remeinds me of my struggles with my daughter. Take heart, they do sleep eventually and you will get to again too! Sara is living proof...she is 27 now and sleeps beautifully...somewhere else. Of course her poor sleep habits probably resulted in her being an only child, which she doesn't seem to mind. She looks around my sewnig room and says "This will all be mine one day!" Nice...

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  17. Love that vintage dress! Love those shoes!

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  18. Why don't you post that picture at the Vintage Sewing Wiki? That would be awesome.

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