the long and the short of it

Monday, 8 June 2009
Thanks everyone for your delightful comments regarding the fabric stash, it still lifts my spirits every time I go in to my sewing room and see that wall of rainbow goodness. I could talk about my fabric stash all day, in fact visitors who dare to enter get a glazed look after a while, sort of like looking at other people's holiday slides..... But since you asked, here's some answers:

Anne LO asked if I was worried about fading the fabrics since the room is so sunny. This is a definate concern since a lot of that fabric (ok most of it) will sit there maturing for many many years before being used. I was toying with enclosing the shelves with fabric curtains but the reason I chose open shelving instead of cupboards was for the visual impact (ie if I see it I'm more likely to use it), so I'm going to make curtains for the windows instead to block the sun out when I'm not in the room.

Nancy K - I totally agree with you on the lack of complementary shoes for brown and tan colour clothes. Although I sometimes wear red shoes with tan colours, but then again I wear red shoes with practically everything (but not red clothes, that would be way too much!).

Paola asked about remnants. Well, as I have openly admitted I am a major hoarder and I find it difficult to throw out fabric scraps of practically any size, even though I'm not a quilter which is the logical use of them. I am hanging on to them for Anna to play with and make doll clothes from, or for potentially embellishing clothes. That said, I have way more remnants than I will ever need, but I just can't throw them in the bin. This red, white and blue stripey bag next to Anna has all my fabric scraps and remnants after I had a major throw out of the smaller pieces:

Tracy you're right about not getting into bad habits early just because it's funny like putting Anna in the washing basket. I have bought a cheap highchair from Ikea which is at the same height as my sewing desk, and Anna has been sitting next to me quite happily observing so I think this is a better solution.

georgeina your question about folding the fabric to get them all the same size is not uber-nerdy at all! I tried doing it quilting style, ie folding the fabric around a piece of rectangular cardboard to get the same widths but that may work for fat quarters but doesn't really for long lengths of fabric or chunky fabrics. So I just eyeballed it, and if you look closely they aren't exact but close enough. It does drive me a little crazy though, and I wish they were exact but obviously I have significant obsessive / compulsive issues....

Littleredhen - frustration levels re lack of napping around here reached all time high last week, almost to the point where I wanted to go back to work to get a break! I spent 30 minutes settling Anna to get only 8 minutes of napping, but mostly she is still only napping 20 minutes at a time. I've started feeding her solids now to see if that fills her up and makes her sleepy - it's how I feel after Christmas lunch so I thought I'd give it a try (yeah I'm not up for mother of the year award that's for sure!)

Anyway, having organised my stash has really got my motivation going since last week I made Anna a pair of pants and a little jumper, two pairs of boxer shorts for my husband and I've cut out and pinned a dress for myself but I need to change the thread in the overlocker before sewing it up. I didn't finish cleaning my sewing room though, just enough space around the machnes to work LOL.

I made the jumper and the pants for Anna from this 1980s pattern picked up from an op shop, and once again they were way too big. The jumper is now put away for a few more months time, but the pants I figure need to be a bit bigger since the fabric I used doesn't stretch and it needs to get over her big cloth nappy butt. I used some caramel coloured fine wale corduroy, chosen because it was in the stash and it's not pink! I know little girls are supposed to wear pink, but she has way too much pink clothing so I'm trying to balance it out with reds and neutrals. I also sewed a pocket on the back not because I'm expecting her to use it but just so I know which is the front and back when I'm dressing her.

The boxer shorts I made for my husband also came from stash fabric, and were made from a vintage sewing pattern for men's swim shorts. Apart from an Elvis costume and a kilt type skirt made novelty fabric (both for fancy dress) this would be the first clothes I've made for him. I really just wanted to make this pattern so I could post over at Sew Retro, but I won't tell him that!

So the pants and boxer shorts are pretty boring right? Well the funny thing is the extremes in size (ie the long and the short):

And I guess when you see the two wearers together you can see why!:


  1. Delightful picture of Anna and her Dad. Just a quickie re: napping - my youngest of 3 is now 14 so we are well past the napping stage. Well except I nap when not playing taxi (and sometimes while waiting for them!)

    Truthfully, all the things that drive you crazy like napping and not eating certain foods, and not potty training when other their age are....all that stuff eventually takes care of itself. Relax, enjoy the time - whether napping or not 'cause it goes by in a blink. Yeah, yeah, I know...everybody says that but my oldest just turned 21 when just yesterday he was going off to first grade!

    So, put Anna in a laundry basket or whatever makes her happy while you take the time to sew, 'cause your sanity is what needs to remain intact at this point.

    Enough rambling. Love your blog. Love your fabric stash and your sewing.



  2. Really cute picture! The pants (both) turned out great! Glad that hubby decided "not" to model his!
    Nothing wrong with letting Anna play in the fabric! Besides, as you said... your just breaking her in... and giving her some good bonding time!
    Good idea about putting up the drapes... much more fun then covering up all the wonderful fabric!
    I need to get on the ball... and get back to posting!

  3. Ohhhh, what a cute picture of baby and daddy. He sure looks like a proud father.

  4. What a cute picture of Anna and her dad! Regarding the naps, I wanted to add one thing: Whenever the kids and I really needed a break from each other, or from the usual routine, and they wouldn't nap, I took them outside in the stroller/pram for a long walk. (One memorable time in the pouring rain, with two kids in one stroller. I really needed a break!) Bonus: They often fell asleep.
    Also, I admire your stash and sewing room!

  5. Whenever I make pants for my kids that don't have an obvious front and back I sew a tag of ribbon in at the centre back where a label would be. When the kids get bigger and start dressing themselves it helps them to know too!

    I love the pic of Anna in the washing basket! One of my twins loves ours, and often climbs in by himself and just sits there, playing with something. Not for long though unless an older sibling is pushing it around the floor!

  6. Aw, the pic and daddy and daughter is gorgous!! Enjoy the time when you can pick their clothing, I have three girls, 1, 3 and 5. I get to pick what the 1yo wears (so far, not for a lot longer), but I have to fight the other two to wear vaguely suitable clothing, colours etc, are completely up to them selves. So after spending ages picking out cute but non-pink clothing, they will ONLY wear pinkpinkpinkpinkpink and if at all possible dresses or skirts. Headstrong little misses :).

    As for napping etc, do what suits you, it really does pass very quickly!


  7. If your scrap bag becomes overwhelming and Anna isn't sewing fast enough to take care of it :o) offer a load to the nearest school for little ones - we call them elementary schools in the States, what would you call them, primary schools? They frequently use them for crafts and my gifts have often been accepted with joy. :o)

    Re. the napping - as one not-mother-of-the-year to another, if it ever gets so bad that you just need a few minutes to yourself NOW, you can always put Anna in her crib and just let her cry for awhile. It won't scar her for life. She will be safe. Sometimes we just need a sanity break. She won't remember it for long, she won't hold it against you in therapy when she is in her 30s (believe me, there will be plenty else to talk about in therapy by then), and if you really need the break, TAKE IT.

    WV = inest. Inest in piles of fabric scraps, and so does Anna. :o)

  8. Kristy, I forgot to tell you... I really love Anna's little slippers! They are soo cute! She looks like she is a bit camera shy in this picture... like she is saying... Ohhhh mom... not now! Wait til I get my face on!

  9. Thank you, Kristy, for your response to my question on Sew Retro about plus size vintage patterns.