anxiety, baby and toddler, bad week, baking, biscuits, blw, Bollywood, camping, cooking, CPTSD, diy, mental illness, nightdress, Nightie, onesie, pinafore, pintrest, post natal anxiety, pre natal anxiety, ptsd, reading, Saree, Sari, Sewing, sewing novice, toddler activities, university, winter

Week 10 Toddler Pinafore 

Keeping it simple this week. I’ve just spent a few days finishing a Uni assignment on a particularly difficult topic plus there has been loads going on at home, so, here is something I did outside of my head.

It’s part of an idea I had for what to dress bub in overnight while we are camping as she WILL NOT stay under the covers and I have no idea what the weather will be on the East Coast in September.

I wanted it to be layers and comfortable and warm without screaming “I’m pyjamas” and something she can keep wearing as she gets bigger.

Quite a bit of thought and research went into this over the last few weeks.

I started trying to find out the best kind of camp blanket for warmth. It’s woollen, of course. But I have not the time nor the money to knit her a completely woollen outfit. Plus the itch factor of most wool fabrics ruled that out.

Next on the list was fleece (or as I know it polar fleece).

This was kind of perfect.

I think polar fleece is made out if recycled plastic- so that’s a bonus (And I’m not ready to be disabused of that notion yet, thank you, I can’t afford to be right now)

 In addition part of a bundle of second hand clothes we received recently was a fleece Kathmandu jacket for bub in a beautiful teal green.

So with that in mind as a top layer, and a simple cheap cotton onesie and the bottom layer, the middle two are going to be this pinafore and a pair of loose pants.

I ordered the fabric in a Lincraft sale two weeks ago and got beautiful microfleece for $4 a meter. 

I was going to wait for all the fabric to arrive but the navy blue was sitting there all washed and ready and I really needed to do something other than uni work so here we are.

I based it roughly on this pin, which is a so simple, pretty toddler/little girls dress.

Click for link

But my printer wouldn’t print the pattern so I traced one of her old pinafores on to baking paper 

*NB making an actual pattern is highly recommend – the finished product is so much better plus I felt like I was doing it ‘properly’

I hope you can see the pencil- one line was for front, the other for the back

So, I traced and cut and pinned and even stay stay stitched, then zig zagged over the top so it all looked right.

I also hemmed around the neck and arm holes and did a bit of notched cutting (look at fourth image from last to see what i mean)(Oh yes, I have all the lingo down now)

I then used the buttonhole attachment on my sewing machine (which I adore). Every other buttonhole I’ve done has been by hand. Pah! say I to buttonholes taking an hour. Mine took about twenty minutes all up. 

In addition I worked out this rather cool way of keeping buttons handy while you are sewing them on – 

so they don’t wander off and disappear in your sewing table-which I’m sure looks just like mine…doesnt it?

Anyway there you go. Part one of bub sleep system done.

Not that she’d try it on for photos, so you’ll have to make do with regulation “on a white surface” ones.

Parts I’m most proud of? The strap ends and buttons. Also the idea of the drawstring so it won’t ride up. I’m going to put them in the pant cuffs too. That way they can be loose comfy daywear or snuggly nightwear that keeps out cold air.

There will definately be more pictures when I do the pants. 

In the meantime I’m just proud I made something properly- I even changed the bobbin thread.

NB Please excuse the slightly formal academic language- think I’m still in assignment mode.

Just quickly, because I took about forty five minuites to get right-ish, I also wore my first Sari this week thanks to this pin. What do you think?

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anxiety, baby and toddler, bad week, baking, biscuits, Bollywood, calm for baby, carers, CPTSD, diy, mental illness, mindfulness, post natal anxiety, pre natal anxiety, ptsd, quotes, reading, stress, understanding, winter

Week 9 The Monsters in our Heads

I want to curl up and watch “2 Penttutikal” but this blog keeps snapping at the back of my mind like my childhood Australian terrier and our postman (yup- my dog used to actually chase (And bite) the postman)

I have (amongst other things) PTSD. That is one of the few boxes I’ve been put in that made sense. 

Big M my its-so-bloody-complicated-and-not-for-this-post is my Carer.

If we didn’t have kids, people might see things differently.

If I had physical therapy, was in a wheel chair or had a cast, people might see things differently.

If I was vomiting from radiation or even just had a run of nasty virus'(knock on all wooden objects within sight) people might see things differently –less likely in this medicate and get on with it world but still…

If every day Big M got up and went to someone else’s house dressed in a snazzy polo shirt with a logo, while a different person in said snazzy polo shirt came here, people might see things differently.

Just look at those snazzy button up shirts (nothing against outside care at all- people who do this as a job ROCK)

As it is we are two stay at home parents ( to most)

To some : I’m not doing brilliantly, he’s my Carer but – so?

 To very few we are both coping – Big M with a 18/7 job and I with being a full time Mum with PTSD, ANA, GAD and BPD (plus even more abbreviations irrelivant to this post).

These people are few and far between (And much appreciated)

On a bad day Big M isn’t even one of them.

On a bad day caring for me isn’t a job or responsibility – it’s a hinderence.

On a very bad day I offer to get in another Carer or leave so he can manage others expectations and his wants and I can look after what bub and I need.

It’s been a very bad week.

Because in my mind- and in  some others I’m meant to just cope when this bugger of a disease interferes withmy plans and thus their plans either for me, Big M or my children.

I’m fairly sure no one would tell an obstetrician they should have skipped the birth of one of their patients because it meant they and their partner who had to stay home for the kids missed a dinner party.

I can imagine the conversation:

“But couldn’t you have just ignored your pager? I checked you were coming three days ago and you said yes!. Surely you could just have just ignored her? And I can’t believe Matt didn’t turn up- toddlers are okay on their own”

 Ok – appalling example but thats because there isn’t one that matches.

There is nothing quite like the hell of being told what you can and cannot do by experiences you lived half a life ago that won’t leave you alone.

The irony of a disorder that makes you desperate for contact with people but then finding it impossible to cope with.

And then that people resent you for needing the supports you have put in place – it’s like that thing in primary school where everyone wanted a go on the crutches when someone sprained their ankle. Except no one gives them back when the bell rings.

I just wish everybody knew I’m doing the best that I can but that my absolute best will always always be reserved for my youngest, then the rest of my little lot.

I wish they could be understanding. Hell, I just wish they were okay with it.

And to anyone out there going through this- one person gets it. Just one voice but (trust me) better than none.

Which is why if nothing else came out of this week at least I found pins like this one :

And this one:

 And this one

which led to this post.
 So there, task complete.

Read on for some helpful info :

 

Alia Bhatt, anxiety, anzacs, baby and toddler, baby led weaning, baking, biscuits, blw, Bollywood, cooking, diy, education, headscarf, Kurti, mental illness, mindfulness, montessori, pasta, pintrest, post natal anxiety, pre natal anxiety, ptsd, quotes, reading, recipes, repurpose, sensory activities, Sewing, stress, toddler activities, toys, upcycle, winter

Week 8. Scrappy,  but good biscuits and toddler fun 

So, no blog post yesterday. And no apology either. Truth be told I’m exhausted. 

I don’t know if it’s winter or my ED or bub having her immunization reaction or “I’m a single mum with a daughter” (anyone else remember those black & white ‘women low in iron’ ads? Were they for red meat? Or just awareness…anyway. Advertising in the 90s rocked & 80s …. what went wrong? (Not that I watch commercial tv except in waiting rooms so I wouldn’t really know))

So yes. Exhausted. And yesterday while bub napped I thought about writing but then, well, didn’t. 

Because this week got away from me. I’ve browsed pins for clothing ideas (I adore Alia Bhatt) for ways to cover my hair when I go to the GP  ( being germ phobic is so much fun when you have to pick up a regular prescription) for baking ideas and for storage ideas for our Airbnb tent (& got eldest working on it- woot!)

 it’s also been a week where looking up things like this :

featured a lot.

Also it’s August. Considering semester started about three weeks ago and I’m tired of just scraping through assignment by assignment (I want an HD damn it! (For those not permanently studying HD= High Distinction = A or in the 90%s)) I thought maybe Pintrest might have some handy hints/ tips.

This (and the discovery I have an assignment due next week) led to a wild Pintrest a thon on Sunday night.

 I found so many pins like this: 

  and subscribed to this :

  (honestly I got the information I needed from the pin but…you know…fellow blogger. The emails haven’t stopped. Yup- one of those) 

Thus I was going to write a post on Pintrest and studying- then I realised while my assignment is due in a week that isn’t today and I won’t have used these pins by today.

 So that’s for next week.
Then I thought I’d do a “self care” post because I’ve been looking up lots of pins about it over the last few months and self care seems the new “thing” (after paleo, yoga, jazzercise, pritikin diet…thats got me back to the 80s. Further I have no idea) 

But have I used them yet? Have I even read them? Erm- no.
Right – so that left me with a post on anzac biscuits  or shirring . 

 Because while I’ve looked at a lot of pins there isn’t anything that feels finished.

So this is kind of an evaluation plus excellent biscuit plus actually surprisingly cool toddler activity post.

Excellent Anzacs

To anybody out there who doesn’t like Anzacs – try this recipe but use white sugar instead of brown. They will taste like brandy snaps.( If you do this Do not give them to your toddler. They will go mad)

Anzacs are bubs cooking activity of choice at the moment. We’ve made them about four times in the last three weeks.  When offered an alternative  (“shall we make cake” “No- Anzac Biscuit “ which is so sweet and followed by please and she put those words together herself and the brilliant thing is they are quick, easy, relatively low sugar and it’s fine for kids to eat the mix – No egg)

So yesterday we made Anzacs. 

And it was fun. 

And bub chose to be in her Baba Sling which is fantastic for cooking and short things like that. 

Very nice way to spend the afternoon. And bub had “parfait” (yoghurt with anzac crumble and hidden fruit) for dinner. 

I could walk you through the recipe- but I honestly didn’t take any photos & with such a simple recipe it feels a bit like the teacher who would give you a hand out then read it to you. Kind of pointless.

* One thing though- aside from the sugar- best shaped with wet hands and also watch the time. I haven’t had a batch go the full time yet.

Toddler Sensory and Other Development Things Activity.

While I was hectically trying to find a pin to do yesterday afternoon during bubs nap that wasn’t baking and wasn’t sewing I struck upon the idea of a toddler activity. 

Apparently you will always have either pom poms or pipecleaners at home- just lying around- as you do.

(Bub woke up at this point and thus began a great chorus of “No Pom pom, no pipe cleaner. Oh no!” which provoked a lot of laughter but no activities)

The problem is (aside from the pompom pipecleaner dilemma- do people from America smoke a lot of pipes?) lots of activities were a part of lists and I wouldn’t have felt like I’d done that pin unless I finished the list.

 

We ended up with moon sandplaydough or this: 

When I told Big M about it (wonder if that psudonym will stick) the phrase “And then what”? May have been used.

 So I wasn’t going to do it. 

Being the self confident person I am.

Instead I was aiming for this: 

 later in the afternoon.

But you know- a toddler to amuse in the kitchen, an oncoming headache – it’s pasta, it’s cheap, its quiet; why not let her play with it. 

I started bub off with some patty pans and a handful of rigatoni (I think..bumpy big macaroni) and asked her to help by putting the pasta in the patty pans. She was having so much fun with that I got out a straw. Now- notice the straws in the screenshot? Not see through. Also the pasta is decidedly larger than the straw.

Our straws are clear and the pasta just JUST fit on them.

After a lot of “mummy help please” and “are you sure you want to” “yes” I was so proud of bub when she took a piece of pasta off then put it back on a straw.

I then struck upon the idea of bamboo skewers – do I have to say “ supervise your child if they are doing this activity – especially if you give them a thin pokey bit of wood- even with the point cut off” in headmistressly tones? 

Thought not.

 Good.

They worked so well and she was so happy and so so proud putting pasta on and taking it off.

At around this time we had everything set up for the biscuits (did I say this was to entertain her while we did some dishes and got ingredients out to make Anzacs? – it was) but bub didn’t want to stop.

When the skewers ended up on the floor, eldest and I struck upon the idea of spaghetti at exactly the same time .

This was the best yet. It would have been better had it not been thin spaghetti but you work with what you have and bub loved snapping the spaghetti as much as threading on to it.

It all ended about half an hour after we started with bub hiding the pasta in the seat of her high chair and pockets of her tabard (apron) before asking to do “cooking now”
So if you have a toddler who is restless but not tired or just want something a bit different to do with them- try this.
It’s parent involvement heavy (my way was anyway) but so much fun. You might also want to try a shoelace in place of straws. I think it would work.

So there we go. I did complete a pin after all.

(I also used this one after realising every new paragraph in this blog started with “so”)

anxiety, baby and toddler, candles, diy, Frank Nightdress or Onesie, jumpsuit, mental illness, Nightie, onesie, pintrest, ptsd, repurpose, Sewing, sewing novice, upcycle, winter

The promised next post…and the Frank #upcycled onesie nightdress or larger onesie

After some thought last night & some doing today I’d really like to give the other parts of baby relaxation a longer chance to work- so that’s what I’m going to do & I’ll write about it next week.

In Life Beyond Pintrest if you have a baby who has outgrown two long legged jumpsuits but you’d like them to keep wearing them because they are cute/warm/have loads of wear in them/ good grief I’m not paying that for a warm nightie/pjs for an infant. You could do what I did today and sort of mash up the idea of making a denim skirt from jeans (that I remember reading in ‘Dolly’ when I was, oh, 14?) and create this :

The Frank Nightie or Onesie

 (Frank for Frankenstiens monster- get it? Ba-doom-chh)


 I’ve never written a tutorial before but I’ve  done this twice now & bub loves them &I’m always up for an upcycle so I thought I’d give it a go for other cash strapped parents out there.  

Both times The onesies have been knit fabric. This time definitely turned out better than the first. 

So keep all seams facing inward (boho style doesn’t work here), hem any rough edges in a straight stitch & do all the little bits first.

So- 

1.Put one onesie on top of the other ( choose the one you love most  for the main fabric -onesie 1 in this tute). Pin.

2. Cut where you want the bodice to end on onesie 1 through both onesies. Unpin.

3. Cut onesie 2 just above the crotch press studs (Or as long a piece as you want for the middle) you’ll end up with a knit tube.

4. Look at the sleeves of onesie 1- if they need lengthening slit a small way up the sleeve along the hem. Place this sleeve on onesie 2 sleeve at a point where you will have enough length with added sleeve coming from top of slit.

5. Cut press studs off onesie 1s legs. Using left over leg fabric fill in the gaps  (this is where jeans-to-skirt comes in useful) pin. Sew- straight stitch. Check. Sew again zig zag. Cut off excess fabric.

6. Hem the edges of the arm slits

7. Pin sleeves together – if you are clever you’ll be able to do the sleeve 2 inside sleeve 1 trick. 😊 I wasn’t and had to unpick. Put the sleeve from onesie 2 inside 1, seam towards the middle (Or to normal people not inside out). Line up the end of the sleeve with the top of the slit and pin. Sew.

8. Pin the big band you cut in step 3 to onesie 1 top part in the same way as you did the sleeves. Hem. Repeat with skirt.

9. There you go- a Frank Nightie. (Of course also iron all seams. If you own an iron)

(If you want to keep it a jumpsuit repeat the steps you did to get the “body tube” on each arm and leg. The sewing works the same way as the body portion in the above tutorial. The main thing to watch out for is the press studs and placement thereof but if I can do it- anyone can. See images- hopefully they’ll help)

=

anxiety, baby and toddler, bad week, Nightie, pintrest, ptsd, repurpose, Sewing, sewing novice, sock monkey, toys, upcycle, winter

 Fourth Week – hmmm

Wow. Okay. I’ve made it to my fourth week.

I’m quietly a little bit happy with myself.

So, life has been a bit, well un-brilliant since my last post. Very messy and torrid and stressful and tortured with past issues like my ED creeping back (in a totally nasty ‘it’s behind you’ kind of way). As well as this there’s been parent-y stuff going on and I mean, god, you’d think by thirty – mumph I’d be over parent issues but nup…still doing the same old routine .
Anyway- 

one thing I have learnt so far with this experiment is that I quite like sewing. 

Especially for bub. 

Although I miss the time with her.

I’m still very much a beginner so each project takes probably at least twice as long as it should and I make mistakes. 

Loads of them. 

That is why I wrote about not one but two pin activities this week. 

Because if anyone else out there is like me I want them to know the mistakes are ok. It works out….or maybe just don’t make the same ones I did.

 I’m going to call this ‘The Bedtime Set’ Because it feels like it needs some tenuous connection other than ‘I sewed them both’

My middlest child wanted a sock monkey for  years and we could never find one or when we did we couldnt afford one (at the time Frank was really the only brand in Australia making them) so when I  found about twenty pins for DIY sock monkeys I knew I had to make one (there are also so many other sock animals- after middlest saw the monkey I now owe him a sloth. Or a dachund. Or an elephant).

I went with this pin because it seemed easy and beginner friendly. It probably would have been if this beginner had actual fabric scissors and a pencil or chopstick for the turning-narrow-things-in-the-right-way bit. A bamboo skewer just doesn’t cut it. Nor do the kids old school scissors  (ba-doom-ch?).

So I marked, and sewed, and hacked and then realised I didn’t have to cut both layers of sock together- so that helped.

Then I spent twenty minutes trying to turn it’s arm in the right way. I gave up. Turned everything except that arm and the far too thin tail inside in and then just unpicked the disobliging limbs and sewed them up on the outside. Bub isn’t two yet. She doesn’t care.

Then I used the template from the tutorial to cut a monkey face and eyes from some left over tshirt fabric. Stuffed and sewed and stuffed and sewed as bub bedtime hurtled at me until we had a monkey. 

A bit Frankensteins monstery but definitely a monkey. 

Handstitched his mouth (thank you years of embroidery and especially my grade 6 teacher Mrs Scott).

Bub loves him and he hasn’t fallen apart yet. I’m impressed and he is wonky in a loveable and totally fits in with the rest of us way.

I’d wanted to make bub a flanelette nightie for weeks. It’s been freezing in Geelong (-2 last night) & a thin onesie just isn’t enough for my little blanket kicker off-er-er. 

 I finally asked eldest to pick up some flanelette and elastic from Lincraft,  and bub was happy playing in the clean washing mountain so I thought I’d give it a go.

 

This pinned tutorial is easy. Really. Just if you haven’t sewn clothes before- be careful.

Something went a bit awry and I cut out the pattern backwards I think…either way I had to cut the front and back pieces in half and sew them up the middle.

NB with sewing always look at the shape of things in photos instead of assuming a curve means neckline.

After that it came together well. There was an instruction about sewing elastic onto the sleeves that I couldn’t work out- so I just made a pocket and threaded some through.

One thing I am going to add is a couple of press studs above the hem in the middle so that bub doesn’t end up with that ‘nightie twisted around you, is trying to strangle you and has exposed 80% of your body’ thing. If they don’t work I might use press studs on a pair of leggings and the nightie…or I could make flannel pants…hmmm.

(Also, always double fold hems. I washed the nightie pre wear and I had to re hem it due to fraying. Lesson learned. )

Bub tried it on this morning and didn’t want to take it off. 

Yay.

Happy Mum.

Also it is huge so -longer life- Yay!

There. A cuddly toy and a nighty. Bedtime set.

The practice with these meant that I felt confident enough to take last winters pjs – two size 0 thick weight onesies by pumpkin patch and sew them into one bigger bub sized onesie- it’s actually kind of cute. Plus warm and comfy. Bonus- it was my idea. Not a Pin in sight. (If you wanted to pin it though that’d be kind of cool :))

 

Have a happy and warm week everyone.

P.S. I’ve got a couple of pin based long term projects coming along- one for next week that might be especially good for parents of little ones, one for bigger kids. Nothing to do with sewing. Or cooking. Well not much.