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June 2011

an interview with grace

I'm over at Uncommon Grace today, talking about motherhood, routines, humility, and ... oh, the book! Head on over - I know you'll love Grace's blog, too.

Also, for those of you in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area, I'll be at Spoonflower on Thursday, June 16th at 10:30 a.m. for a little book signing and a tour of their fabric printing wonderland. I'd love to meet you!

See you on Monday with a summer sewing surprise!

the dolls come home

dolls from growing up sew liberated

All of the projects that I made over a year ago for Growing Up Sew Liberated arrived home yesterday. The little boy doll on the left didn't make it into the final photo cut for the book, but I love him so.

I can't wait to unpack the play tent (pictured on the front cover of the book) for Finn.

You can find me at the Rhythm of the Home blog today - a little interview with Heather. Also, don't miss the summer edition of my favorite online quarterly: Rhythm of the Home.

bird cookies

Today called for a mission of sorts. When asked if he wanted to go to the museum, Finn said no. When asked if he wanted to go swimming, Finn said no. Being in a saying-no kind of mood, I suggested that we switch things up a bit and do something we've never done before. 

"Want to make cookies for the birds, Finn?"

"Mmmhmmmm," he nodded, finishing the long-awaited affirmative answer with his typical sing-songy lilt. 

We started with a trip to a wild bird store to pick up some bird seed.

Then he and Grandma got to work in the kitchen. Recipe here.

bird cookies

The recipe calls for eggs along with their shells, which happens to be Finn's kitchen specialty. (Scrambled eggs with a crunch, anyone?) The birds, apparently, like the crunch.

bird cookies

bird cookies

bird cookies

bird cookies

Placing the cookies in the feeder, we waited patiently in the wings for a "tardnull" (cardinal) to appear. 

bird cookies

Bird happiness. Boy happiness. We'll do this again.

Blog tour update:

Jean of The Artful Parent made up an Art Satchel from Growing Up Sew Liberated for her girls. Stop by for her tips on making the satchel with stiff interfacing instead of plexiglas. She also posted an excerpt from the book - "Nature As Teacher." Thanks, Jean!

Also, just a teaser - the Art Satchel will be one of the kits I'm going to offer at my store! I'll include the plexiglas and everything!

Check out Elsie Marley's jammies here and Made By Rae's here.

Tomorrow's stop - the Rhythm of the Home blog, followed by Friday at Uncommon Grace!


new patterns! new website!


Growing Up Sew Liberated is out. The blog tour is off and running - Rae made some adorable boy jammies. The three new women's patterns are available for pre-order. And we have a new website! (Here's a little coupon code for you all, good for 20% off at our new site for the next week: SiteWarming.)

Obviously, we've had a lot of help these last few months! Between my parents, Patrick's mom, Patrick's brother and sisters, and friends and neighbors, we've managed to get by. (Not to mention the folks at Interweave Press, our friends and colleagues Charlotte, Kim, Mia, Lynsi and Micah, and our pattern testers.) I say without hesitation that it has been the most intense, soul-challenging, patience-making three months of my life. We are tired, but in good spirits. Lachlan continues to do so well, and they have scheduled his second surgery for June 27th. With gratitude, we close the door on this intense time in our lives. With hope, we move on.

With thanks, for all of your support, dear friends and readers - who have surrounded us with nothing but support and words of encouragement.

finn's pocket pants

finn's pocket pants 6

finn's pocket pants

finn's pocket pants 2

finn's pocket pants 4

finn's pocket pants 5

finn's pocket pants 3

 From Growing Up Sew Liberated - Basic Pocket Pants, sized for 2T-5T.

I love the details of these pants. Itch-free seams, bias-trimmed pockets, and faux cuffs that can be let down with growth. Pair them with any Heather Ross fabric and you have cute squared. 

An update in bullets:

  • The book tour starts today! First stop - Elsie Marley, of Kids Clothing Week Challenge fame. Meg made the crossover top and the sleeping johns from the book - an adorable summertime jammie set.
  • Sew Liberated is now on Facebook. I don't really know how to use it. Patrick thinks I get a kick out of being pop-culture challenged. That said, I did figure out how to upload a bunch of pictures of my three new patterns, which will be available for pre-orders (hopefully) tomorrow!
  • Did you know that I have no clue how to send a text from my phone? Even my mom can do that.
  • This is really the post that should have been five posts, but I condensed them all into one. 
  • That's all I have to report for now. I just heard some very exciting news, and I want to jump up and down. I'll just leave it at that.
  • See
  • you
  • soon!



lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee

lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee 7

Lachlan got some new, cloth diaper-friendly duds - the Reversible Bubble Pants and the Envelope Tee from Growing Up Sew Liberated. (Thanks to my friend and super-seamstress Kim, who whipped these up for me. No way in a blue moon would I find the time to make anything myself this week!)

lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee 6

Remember Finn's pants?

lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee

The published pants pattern is sized to fit newborns - 2 year olds, and has some new bells and whistles. The elasticated ankle cuffs help keep the pants from falling down over those cute toesies when they are crawling (or walking) around. You can make the pants using either knit or woven fabric, with or without the cuff.

lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee 2

What? We were blogging about an outfit? Bet you didn't even notice the outfit. I forgot for a second while looking at that cute face.

lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee 5

Combine the Reversible Bubble Pants with Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants pattern, and you have yourself all you need to clothe a cloth-diapered babe (or any babe, for that matter.)

The fabric is from Nani Iro's new cotton knit line. Here's a bit of fun news - we'll soon (within a month?) be offering fabric & notions kits to go along with my patterns. This will be one of the kits! My studio is filling up with bolts of mouth-watering Japanese fabrics and other yummy textiles.

fightin' irish

Wanna fight?

(Perhaps he has some fighting Irish in him after all, what with both parents being alumni.)

oh, just kidding

Ah, just kidding! I'm a lover not a fighter! And I prefer sewing to football.


this sweater is brought to you by ... the breast pump

pumping station and baby scale

Ah, the pumping station. We have all sorts of medical equipment in this house that I try to disguise in various ways. Notice the blanket on the baby scale? And that's my breast pump in the big basket, its tubes and cords covered by a blue silk.

I have very mixed feelings about that pump. On the one hand, it allows me to continue to provide my baby with my milk, with all of its nutritional and immunological benefits. On the other hand, it is a huge pain. I have to sit in front of its swish swoosh, swish swoosh, four or five times a day to continue to produce the amount that Lachlan needs - much more than a typical baby because his one working ventricle is pumping blood to both his lungs and his body. Superbaby heart! Hats off to you, heart ... but man, could you eat a little less?

breastmilk in a bottle

This diminished appetite will come, but not until after his second surgery. Until then, he seems to have gotten the hang of feeding from a bottle, with the rest of his (huge) milk requirement going through his g-tube after he tires of drinking. He still breastfeeds, but it is more difficult for him. We will continue to work on breastfeeding (because, well, the pump sucks, both literally and figuratively.) It is a lesson for me in letting go and following the needs and cues of my child.

One of the ways I've kept my spirits up while pumping is doing something with my hands. And so - thanks to the long pumping sessions, I present to you the Oatmeal Pullover!

oatmeal sweater

oatmeal sweater 3

silly sweater

silly sweater 2

Yes, it was completed just as the thermometer reached 95 degrees. A funny time to be knitting a sweater, but I'm pretty pleased with it. I knit the size 36 with Quince and Co. Puffin in the Lichen colorway. I also used maybe a skein's worth of human hair. Hello, post-partum hair shed! Better in the sweater than clogging the drain? Anyway ...

Used size 13 needles to get the correct guage. It fits pretty well, and I'm betting that I'll like the fit even more once I lose the last bit of pregnancy weight come cooler weather.

Next keep-your-hands-busy-while-pumping project? Something for Finn, I think.

*** THANK YOU for your kind words about the book! I'll be showing off a few more projects from its pages in the coming week or so.***