February 13, 2009

O' Fun For... discovering your true self

This is not making stuff related, but I thought this off-subject post was justified after the week-long streak of posts. A friend of mine posted a note on facebook where you type "(your name) needs" (quotation marks and all) into Google and share the first ten hits you get back. As I sat there at my computer putting off any kind of productivity, I thought I'd give it a try and share my findings.

"Dana needs" by Google

1. Dana needs... some breathing room
2. Dana needs... to negotiate a network television deal
3. Dana needs... help. (no surprises there)
4. Dana needs... a self-embedding U-Box. (?)
5. Dana needs... to be the center of attention (hey!)
6. Dana needs... some advice about her old girlfriend
7. Dana needs... a lot of comforting
8. Dana needs... a dose of transparancy, accountabitiy
9. Dana needs... emergency prayers
10. Dana needs... to slay the beast

Thanks for the idea, Tiffany! That was way more fun than folding laundry. What does Google think you need?

February 12, 2009

O' Fun For... this kid I've been growin'

Here are the finished blocks. Ta-da! The directions can be found from the link in my previous post about them. Okay, that link isn't working. The directions are from the London Mummy blog, and I have a working link in my post from December 29. I followed the directions as written, but added some fringe and ribbon and whatnot in the seams of some of the blocks since babies always seem to enjoy the tags more than the toys. Well, kid, there you go. Ribbon tags.

Now the name is set in... fabric. Unless we think of something we like better that can be spelled by rearranging the blocks...

February 11, 2009

O' Fun For... thwarting my attempts at plumbing

...or at least my attempts to sport the plumber's choice in pants.

It's all thanks to Spandex. This is rather shocking in light of my history with the stretchy sparkly fabric. One time in high school during cross country practice I made a wayward comment about Spandex involving the drill team, which was overheard (and misunderstood) by a very indignant Drill Team coach, who then passed the information on to the rest of her team. This lead to my being forced into writing an apology to the entire drill team on behalf of the cross country team, and getting cussed out in the halls by some drill teamers who were very defensive of their Spandex. (Who then turned away in unison and marched down the hall, arms flapping and heads bobbing in time to their marching... no, but that would have been a lot cooler...)

So who would have thought my saggy pants savior would have come in Spandex form?! I am humbled. And now, to show my new found respect for the elastic fabric of the gods, here is my...


This is a picture-riffic tutorial on how to make maternity pants that actually stay up! It's true! They'll be there to cover your rapidly expanding bum through it all- the sitting and standing, the bending, the climbing of stairs... you get the idea. Let's begin...

You'll need:

*one pair of jeans, preferably low rise with a bit of stretch
*one big ol' piece of Spandex- not too thin a piece, preferably the kind that stretches up and down as well as side to side. (check out SpandexWorld- they have a minimum purchase requirement, but you could get extra to make a swimsuit... you know, for that time far off into the future when you decide it is safe to wear a swimsuit again...)
*plus a tape measure, thread, pins, all that sewing stuff

I have made a bunch of these now, and since they do- to some extent- grow with you, the specific size of the jeans you start with doesn't matter too much, as long as they are a few sizes bigger than you wear while not all knocked up. Really it's all about whether or not your preggo thighs want to fit into them or not that really matters.

STEP ONE: measure around your jeans about one inch or so below the waistband, all the way around. Now subtract a few inches from this, and you have the length for your Spandex measurement.

STEP TWO: Cut a rectangle from your spandex measuring 12 inches x the measurement you got at the end of step one.

STEP THREE: With right sides together, fold the Spandex rectangle in half so the 12" sides are touching. Sew a seam along the 12" side. (See the picture, my words are not working...) You should now have a Spandex tube. Try it on around your middle and make sure it is snug. Then take it in or taper the seam or whatnot as needed. In my example I needed to take the seam in more at the top then the hip area, so it tapers at the top. Just how snug to make it depends on how thick and stretchy your fabric is. The point is to make it stay put without your needing to hold it up while still not crushing your internal organs. Cut off extra seam allowance from the side seam.

This pic shows the seams:

This one shows how the tube should fit, (and what I have learned in my Photoshop class...):

STEP FOUR: Really quick before you forget, hand sew the zipper of your pants closed about halfway down the fly, like this:

STEP FIVE: With right sides together, pin your Spandex tube to your pants. The tube is smaller than the pants, so stretch the tube to fit as you pin. Make sure to line the tube seam up with one of the side seams on the pants. Now, hopefully to clarify and not confuse, I'll explain what you should have here. Looking at the pants you should see the pants inside the tube, and the tube is inside out and upside down. (The part you measured for your hips is on top and pinned to the jeans, the part you measured around your rib area is scrunched up awkwardly around the thighs of the jeans. If that was confusing just ignore it...)

It should look something like this:

STEP SIX: Use a zigzag or some stitch with a bit of stretch and sew the tube to the jeans about 1/2" from the top. (look at the picture above...) Start at one side of the fly and work around until you get to the other side of the fly. Don't sew over the zipper. Your machine won't like that. Also be careful for metal rivets or snaps or things like that as you sew.

**Reinforcing all seams by sewing twice or something is recommended since they will get a lot of strain put on them as you get freakishly huge**

That's it! Pull that panel on up and ta-da! Enjoy your pants! You can wear them before you get too big by zipping the fly like normal and folding the waistband over your hips to keep your pants firmly in place, like a belt. As you get larger and larger, you can unzip the fly (to the point where you sewed it shut at least) and pull that stretchy tube o' fun up to yer armpits there under your shirt.

Here are the pants worn with the waistband folded down:

And here they are worn with it pulled up:

Now go do some squats! No, that sounds tiring. Maybe instead put on your stretchy pants and go eat some brownies while you watch American Idol. Yes. Try that.

February 10, 2009

O' Fun For... blingin' up the wardrobe

...This is especially useful once you are in the giant tenty pregnant clothes that are not all that fun or wearing you husband's t-shirts with ginormous men's overalls to contain all your baby-house-sized self. Adding some sparkly, whether it matches or not, just makes you feel better. If you have to feel like an RV, may as well feel like a posh tour bus or something rather than the 70's camper, eh?

I've stopped making sense... time to move on...

A month or so ago my sister-in-law Jenny invited me to go "bead" with her. We met at her mother-in-law Alice's, where I discovered that the gem fair goes on all year long. I brought my own meager stash to work with and then marveled at the sparkly-ness of Alice and Jenny's stash. It was pretty awesome.

After forcing my mind to focus on the task at hand, rather than the sparkles around every turn, I decided to make a necklace out of some chain I had bought at the gem fair last year. I had never used it since I was unsure if the lighter silver wire I had for wire-wrapping would look odd with the dark charcoal-ish chain. Jenny convinced me to go for it, so I rummaged through the large pearly beads from my Grama T's stash, supplemented them with some crystaly ones and rock-ish ones from the same stash, and Jenny came up with the perfect deep purply Swarovski crystals to tie it all together. It was all kinds of fun to have Jenny there to consult as I figured out the layout- James and the boys, helpful as they are, don't have quite the feedback I am usually looking for when I am making something. ("Sure hon, looks nice," James offers while his eyes never leave the computer screen.... "I don't like purple," says Toby... you get the idea.)

I was pretty pleased with the outcome! The pictures are the best I could get- it is harder than it looks to photograph jewelry.

Woo! Thanks, Alice and Jenny!

February 9, 2009

o' fun for... endless crafting

Sorry it's been so long! To make up for it, I will post something new every weekday this week. Oh yes.

To begin, here is a link that you will love. (Or else!) It's the Top 100 Tutuorials of the year as ranked by http://www.thelongthread.com/ It is full of crafty goodness, so stick your kids in front of some Disney and get to it! (What? No.. that's not what I really do... that was just a joke...)

I recently made the kimono from a tutorial on the list. It is the 0-6 month size for a friend's baby shower gift. (I missed the shower, but late gifts are still fun, right?) Now I just have to deliver it before I decide to keep it for my baby...

No, I won't keep it. I'll just make one for Ellie also and then my friend and I can have matching wise-yet-comfy looking baby girls.

Enjoy the tutorial fun!