things *we* make for maddy: roly-poly pinafore

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I think this will wrap up the little backlog of projects that accumulated towards the end of last year – and it isn’t a knitting project, but a SEWING project! I say “we” made it, meaning my husband and I, because while I did all of the stitching, he took care of setting up the machine, which for some reason just intimidates me. But to him, the mechanics of the machine make perfect sense. And he also helped me with laying out the pattern and cutting. We’re looking forward to doing some more sewing projects together.

So anyway. We wanted to make Madrigal something cute to wear for her school’s Holiday Concert, and I’d had some cute printed flannel and a deep red corduroy fabric laying around for awhile, and to me they were just BEGGING to become a roly poly pinafore. So, we decided that we’d make one for her to wear.

topstitching done!

It was a bit of a comedy of errors. See that pocket on the front? I had plenty of the flannel left over to cut pockets from the scraps, but I wasn’t checking when I grabbed it and saw the cute bird I wanted to feature on the pocket and cut it out. It turns out, that pocket was cut out of the lining. And here’s where my husband REALLY helped, because I was in tears over it and just wanted to give up, but he convinced me to try to patch it up. It’s obvious, but since we weren’t really planning on this being “reversible” anyway, it’s ok:

the lining.

The pinafore has a really clever design, where the straps cross over in the back:

the back

M has a storebought top much like this one, and I’m really excited to have a pattern that I can use to make her more like it. I hope I can improve my stitching on the next one, though – this one doesn’t look so hot close-up:

pocket

the straps

I am pretty proud of the pleat, though!

closeup of pleat

I ran into another problem when I went to put in the buttonholes, the night before M’s concert. I studied my machine’s manual, and was all set to stitch a buttonhole, but when I tried – I broke my needle. This has actually happened every single time I’ve tried to do a stitch that involves lateral motion on my machine. Of course, I’ve only got an N=3, because I haven’t sewn very much at all lately, but still. If any of you folks who know more about sewing than I do (which is probably ALL of you!) have ideas about what might be going wrong, I’d love to hear them!

I came up with what is probably an even better solution, anyway – I just sewed the buttons on through both the front and back strap, so it looks like it’s buttoned shut, but it’s actually sewn together:

Cheater buttons

Since the straps cross in the back, it’s easy enough to get on and off without the buttons, anyway. Speaking of which, M *did* actually wear it for her concert. It turns out that despite the fact that M’s been solidly in 3T sizes since well before her 2nd birthday, we should have actually made her the 2T; it came out too big. But that means it might fit her again next year. I don’t have any good photos of her wearing it, because she was just too darn wiggly. Here she is, crawling across the stage in attempt to make a break for me (once she spotted me in the audience, it was ALL OVER):

She spotted me in the audience and made a break for it. Ah, mama's girl.

This led to a super embarrassing moment for me. During the next group’s songs, M’s teacher motioned to me to go out of the auditorium and get M, because she was basically *freaking out* that mama was in the audience and she couldn’t be with me. So I obliged, attempting to sneak out between songs (except they started the next one quicker than I expected), but it was dark, and I managed to trip (in spectacular fashion) over the legs of the tripod the school was using with their video camera to record the concert. EVERY SINGLE OTHER PARENT was staring at me. I think most were sympathetic, but a few were, uh, glaring just a bit, and I felt so awful. I mean, I wrecked the video, and to anyone who didn’t see me signing back and forth with her teacher (so, pretty much everyone), I just looked like some jerk trying to skip out after her own kid’s stuff was done, which I know isn’t cool. Anyway, I kind of wanted to melt into a hole in the ground after that. Instead, I had to hang out for an hour while wrangling a very overstimulated toddler. Good times! I did get one other photo of M wearing her dress, playing around after the event with a couple of her classmates:

The dress is cute, but I actually should've done the 2T instead of 3T.

So, we made M a dress! And it’s cute, and it kinda fits, and it really does make me want to sew more things for her. Here’s hoping we can find the time. We aren’t off to a great start this year…I actually currently have pneumonia, and M got her very first ear infection (both are the result of secondary infections following a particularly aggressive cold that all 3 of us had). So our days look a lot like this:

We don't feel good :(

If you’re interested on what I’m up to on a day-to-day basis, I’m keeping a daily photo blog with a group of friends of mine this year – you can see my entries here. But so far, it’s mostly just me being sick.

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