stress and loopiness

Monday, 12 July 2010
I've had a somewhat stressful week. Not because of tonsillitis (which is gone now), not because of Anna not sleeping (which she's not, but I'm over it), but because I had my inlaws stay with us for the last week and a half, and all I can say is thankfully they've now gone home. Their home is in another state. Where they can't return quickly. What is it about other people's parents that are really annoying? Is it because you don't feel free to snap at them the way you would with your own parents? My inlaws aren't that bad really, but after a week of living in close quarters little things were driving me nuts, like my father inlaw flicking his really long fingernails (it's a chinese cultural thing) together making a grating noise, or my mother inlaw inventing housework to do like handwashing her clothes each day instead of waiting to do a load in the machine or whisking a cup off to the sink to wash it the second after you've put it down.

Anyway, I did manage to get a few hours to myself on Saturday afternoon, and it was lovely to retreat to my sewing room for some peace and quiet. I made a little skirt for Anna from the red corduroy wadder skirt I started to make for myself. Her version came out much better I think:

So simple, basically just two rectangles sewn together with elastic at the top. In fact, I didn't really need a pattern, but I used Kwik Sew 3665 that I picked up in a 60% off patterns sale at Spotlight a few weeks ago:

Since I was on a roll, I decided to try my hand at sewing knits again, using Kwik Sew 3424 because I had read all the reviews on Pattern Review saying it was a good pattern and I figured that since it's just a t-shirt for Anna that it would be good practice. And it turned out technically perfect:

I used fusible interfacing along the hem lines which did help stabilise it and prevent waviness, so thanks for whoever gave that tip last time I lamented about my poor knit sewing skills. The fabric print itself is a little off grain, but I thought it had the required stretch. I guess not though, because I can't get the neck opening over Anna's head! I don't think she has a particularly large noggin, but it wasn't getting over it! Maybe the rib doesn't have enough stretch? Who knows, but I do know that I know have to unpick some twin stitching and some overlocking to get the rib off and then I'll just sew some clear elastic on and turn the edge under.

And it seems my overlocker dislikes knit fabrics as much as I do. I had been sewing corduroy and some wool with no problems, but then when I put this knit fabric through the underside because all loopy and no end of fiddling with the tension would fix it. It must be a sign that I should stick to what I know best......

In spirited child watch this week, Anna has taken to stomping around in my shoes and drawing on her face with my lipliner:

Drawing on the floor even though she has ginormous pieces of paper to draw on:

And flicking through any book in the hope of seeing a clock, a bike or a car which she'll then yell the word out, although embarrassingly her pronunciation of clock is missing the 'l', which is a vital letter in that word I think.

But overall she has been a good child this week and all is happy around here. And I have a new lens for my camera, and it's turning out some fantastic photos.

Happy sewing everyone, I'm off to finish something for myself (hopefully not another wadder!)


  1. What a bargain for the pattern! So jealous. Yes my kids draw on walls too, so much more fun than on boring white paper. Oh you'll have to hide the mascara, can you imagine what I thought when my 2.5yr old son found mine and looked like a panda when he came out to greet me? Luckily it washed off.

  2. Anna looks soo cute.... just think of it this way.... Now you have photo's to use when she starts dating!
    Ohhhh, that finger nail thing would drive me ga-ga too! I really dislike repetitive noises! As far as your mother in law... maybe next time she comes (which hopefully for you it will be a while!) you can have some "chore type things" for her to do! Figure she is just a fish outta water... she is probably just trying to help and doesn't know what to do to keep herself busy! Maybe she just doesn't understand that vacation visits mean just that "vacation"! I know that sometimes I'm at a loss as to what to do with myself while visiting our son/DIL.
    The skirt is cute... I like "other" types of material better than knits also!
    Here's hoping that you get time to sew for yourself!

  3. well we had no problems with the "l" in "clock", but when my son was small the distinction between the "o" and the "u" in "fork" was vague. We REALLY tried to avoide missing utensiles in public places.

  4. Here's for a happy, less stressful week!

    And, yes, "L" is probably vital for saying clock, but not so much for some giggles. :-)

  5. My patience reserve for relatives in my home is about 1 day (I should really say half a day but I do not want to make a bad impression LOL). So, congratulations on remaining calm and sane for a week and a half :-)
    Anna looks lovely in her new skirt. She'll end up with a giant wardrobe. Lucky girl! And she's already starting to use her mother's things as well...

  6. Marie-Christine13 July 2010 at 00:50

    Normally, a serger doesn't require 'fiddling with tension' at all. You may need to fiddle with the tension if you're changing thread, not if you're changing fabric..

  7. I don't have inlaws. But, I have found when staying with friends and thier parents that I can't snip at them the way I would tell my mom to STOP WASHING AFTER ME. LOL. I sympathise.

  8. no more.

  9. Gorgeous pictures of Anna. I agree about the inlaws. Mine are the loveliest people you could meet, but after one day in their company I lose the will to live. I think I don't like people in my space. I love your new header.

  10. Anna is too cute and the skirt is great. Funny I thought of you today in the second hand shop as I flicked through a copy of Meditations for the Mother of Toddlers on the counter.

  11. I like your new header! Anna looks adorable in her new red skirt!

  12. Anna is taller! Maybe that's why she's been a bit more spirited than usual.
    She's amazing, trying on new things like those behaviors. How wonderful. And cute in that skirt.

  13. Bummer about the overlocker having a spack attack! I hate it when mine does that! Have you tried ball point needles with the knits? Or even just new needles? They can help... if the needles are a bit blunt from sewing the thicker fabrics... or perhaps rethreading? I often find that problems with the overlocker don't really show up until you sew the trickier fabrics... it will pretty much always sew calico regardless of issues... (which is why i am peeved when people trying to sell you a machine only ever demonstrate it on calico!!!)
    if none of those help perhaps the timing is a little out on your machine?

    You shouldn't blame yourself!!! :D An overlocker really should sew knits pretty well...

  14. Gorgeous skirt!!!! Great pics of Anna too, she sure is growing up fast..

    Hugs - Jodie :)

  15. I love your new blog header!!!! PS. I'm assuming your inlaws aren't reading your blog. LOL. :)

  16. My son has a giant head - blessed with a 22 incher at age 3 - and as he's the only one in the family I make tees for... I tend to take my ribknit, cut it into its proper width, then stretch it *almost* as far as it'll go and, stretched, measure around his melon with it. I leave about 1/4" for seam allowance, and then cut and sew it like that. No problems since starting that way. Hope this helps!

  17. I understand the in-law thing. What was I thinking when I thought it would be nice for them to move here? I don't know.

    As for the missing "l" = when in public, just repeat, "Yes, sweetie - a clock." Any parent will understand ocmpletely.