Coming Home Outfits

One of the first things that flew through my mind when we got a positive pregnancy test was what the baby would wear home from the hospital and in newborn pictures. I guess I'm just a little obsessed with sewing little baby clothes.

I was thrilled when I finally finished these and was able to mark them off my to-do list. Of course I have a matching bow for each of them.

I blogged about the middle onesie here.

Here are some close ups:

Can't wait to get her little body in these!

Weekly Update: April 22-26

Last weekend was pretty chilly, be we were able to enjoy the sunshine anyways. My sweet boy picked me flowers...
See? He's hiding them behind his back :) He told me to close my eyes- that he had a surprise for me.

This week is the most dreaded/anticipated (if those 2 feelings can even co-exist?) week of the whole school year. State testing debuted on Wednesday... and my kiddos are hanging in there! I'll be glad when Tuesday is over and they are behind us.

Besides testing, this week was rather uneventful. I had my 36 week appointment and wasn't able to see the doctor. She was delivering a baby so the nurse just listened to the heartbeat. I'll go back Tuesday for my 37 week, and I have tons of questions! Questions I haven't thought of before now- but now that time is closing in on me, and I'm in panic mode they are popping in my head. Like how will I be stitched up? Will they use staples or glue (I had glue last time- different doctor). Staples really freak me out. What will the spinal feel like? I had an epidural last time but I was in so much pain I would have cut off my arm for relief. This time I'll be walking in, in no pain. Sticking a needle in my back doesn't exactly sound like fun.

Luke had his 3 year checkup this week. I've been putting it off and putting it off to hopefully avoid flu season at the doctors office. I think it'll just be assumed that his "checkups" will be half way through the next calendar year. No point in exposing perfectly healthy people to nasty germs. Josh took him since I was testing this week.

He is 40lbs (95%) and in the 75% for height (I think it was 3'5"). Everything checked out perfectly. I had Josh ask about his speech- I'm not worried about what he says, but sometimes he mixes up the first letters (dir for sir, ogurt for yogurt, meese for please). I want to correct him all.the.time but I also don't want him to be scared to talk, so the doctor was able to give more direction on that (we should be correcting it). So far he is doing great and he loves saying the "new words". I just can't believe how much his vocabulary has EXPLODED this year and how he gets certain things we are saying. He has a "just kidding" tone, and a serious tone. It's hilarious. Also right around his birthday (December) I was worried about stuttering. He was having trouble getting out certain words and sounds. I'm kind of glad we didn't go to the doctor then. We took the wait and see approach and sure enough the stuttering disappeared. I'm assuming his brain was thinking faster than his mouth was able to keep up. It was scary though to see him struggle to say certain words.

Emberly's clothes are in the process of being washed! This is all getting real! I wrapped up my target registry with my completion coupon last night. I also did my last big coupon trip before baby! That's such a  strange feeling. I also stocked up on formula (hopefully she'll tolerate it- if not thank goodness for exchanges). I do plan on nursing, but we will most likely supplement with formula. Luke was on 75% breast milk, 25% formula the first 6 months of his life. I am a huge believer that formula fed babies sleep better with that last bottle of the night being formula. Maybe I made skim milk? But he slept more soundly when it was formula. I guess it could have been coincidence but it worked for us.

I feel like she has dropped LOW. I am more comfortable now than I was weeks 33-35... I can breathe again and she's not all up on my stomach (so I can eat a good sized dinner). But there are times I feel like she is going to fall out because of how much pressure her head puts on my hips. I am also sleeping much better than I have that past 5 weeks. I am back to first trimester exhaustion. It's for the birds. I feel like I'll never have energy again!

Well that was a big long wordy post! But these are details I don't want to forget!! 10 days left at school, 17 days til we meet her!

Baby Shower

Our baby shower for Emberly was this past weekend. We feel so tremendously blessed by the generosity of so many friends!! 

It was so exciting (and still feels so surreal) to be opening GIRL things! 

Luke's bff was there to share his excitement and play a little too :)

Here's all the loot (in no particular order)...
(the pink dress came with bloomers and a bonnet--- ohhh my it's adorable!)

Take a look at those crocheted booties...
And diapers with inspirational verses for middle of the night changes. 
I also received a door hanger that will be coming to the hospital with us! I'll get a picture once all the info is filled in. Thanks again everyone!

decisions decisions

**Sorry about all the flickr issues! I think I have it figured out- I switched photo servers and I'm still getting the hang of it. The weird part was that it was showing fine on my computer but "this image can't be displayed" on my phone. Hopefully it's fixed now!

I thought I'd do a post on how I decide which appliques to put on Luke's shirts. This isn't a random process and sometimes it takes me more time to plan than it does to actually stitch out the designs. 

It's no secret that pretty much every shirt/pair of shorts that Luke owns is from a consignment or thrift store. After spending $1.50-$2.00 on shirts I just can't fathom how people spend $8-10 new on children's clothes!

Many of the shirts I look for at these shops are blanks (this is the embroidery world's term for them)- also known as blank shirts. I scour the racks for them double checking that they aren't too worn, stained and hole free. I snatch them and hold on to them for dear life making sure no one steals them from my arms. That's how strongly I feel about them :) I absolutely cannot stand tacky character shirts. Of course I'll occasionally grab a Thomas shirt that I know he'll love or one with Micky Mouse ears. But for the most part, I walk away with blank shirts. I try to stick to the same tried and true brands that I know hold up over time. J Khaki (Belk, Jc Penney), Children's Place, and Garanimals/Faded Glory (Walmart) seem to be the ones I come across the most often and they are SO wonderful to stitch with:

Inspiration is KEY. If I am not inspired, I won't want to sew. I have to find pictures of appliques that inspire me or colors that inspire me. Every season (or whenever they release a catalog) I request a catalog from Kelly's Kids. I also always go to the facebook sites I follow that also do applique. Sometimes it's a personal business I follow and sometimes it's the applique business I follow. Either way they are full of great ideas (color and fabric inspiration)! If I'm stumped on a color I'll check out how Kelly's Kids used that color and what accents they used. It's always fun to get new ideas! Also The Company Store, Shrimp and Grits, and Rags Land are all awesome places to find inspiration! 

Obviously the first thing I do is lay out what I have. I need to see what colors I'm working with in order to decide what applique/accent colors/fabric to use.

The main issue I constantly run into is what a sucker I am for plaid shorts. It's AWFUL! They are so preppy and cute, I just can't say 'no'. But they are tough little boogers to match when it comes to appliques.

Next I try to match (as best I can) the shorts to the blank shirts. In this case, only the white shirt matched the blue/brown plaid shorts...
and the gray shirt matched these other plaids...
I always quickly label the color of the applique accent fabric I'm thinking before I forget. In this case a brown applique on the white shirt matched the best, and a navy applique on the gray shirt worked well with the plaid.

Also his red shirt matched the blue/red/white plaid:
The photo above shows how I can change my mind with a little inspiration. My first idea was to do a lobster or crab in red gingham. But after a browse through the Kelly's Kids catalog...
I decided on a crab in blue seersucker. I have to make the little notes to myself to help me remember what I'm thinking, but those original notes are in no way set in stone! I go back and change my mind all.the.time.

I mentioned briefly at the beginning of the post how I find inspiration. I try to use what I have first to save the most $$. When I started planning these shirts, I brainstormed a list of appliques I have already purchased.

Josh vetoed the whale- he said it looked too babyish. I loved the tree swing applique, but it was going to have to go on the white shirt and the green in the tree wouldn't match the blue/brown plaid shorts. I went about putting labels on the shirts so I would remember my ideas. I'm also ok with buying new appliques. I just want to make sure I make the most of what I have.

Fabric comes next! I have to make sure and double check that the shirts and the applique fabric I choose will 100% match each pair of shorts (whether they'll be paired with the plaid shorts or khaki/navy shorts we also have).

When the office/sewing room became a nursery, my stash had to be contained to this filing system that fits in our hall closet. I also have 2 scrap bins (one with patterns and the other solids) that I try to raid before cutting more. I usually find half of what I need in the scrap bins and the other half I cut from the "bolt". 

I've found that when working with plaid, the less busy the accent fabric, the better. Solids and gingham seem to work best. I go slow, take 1 shirt at a time, keep in mind the original color that I already noted on the shirt and try to find fabric that matches all the criteria.

I also have to keep in mind the appliques that I'm thinking of using. A lime green crab would look weird and so would a blue alligator. The applique that I'm thinking HAS to complement the accent fabric AND the color of the shirt.  Sometimes it's at this point that my head starts spinning.

Here's what my shirts look like after I've made all these decisions. Most shirts have the applique idea note pinned on and the fabric I want to use.
That picture above is super deceptive because it makes this process look easy... but sometimes I change my mind (like I did with the red crab to the blue crab that I mentioned before). On the green shirt below I had planned something TOTALLY different (a navy shark) to begin with. After thinking and finding a fabric that coordinated with the green shirt perfectly I changed my mind to a polka dot alligator.
Here's how it turned out:
Here are some more examples of inspiration...

I was totally stumped with the orange shirt. All I could think was pumpkin (which was a NO in April!). I love how KK used the navy accents with the orange...
So I decided on a navy shark:

I was also clueless about the lime shirt because none of my appliques seemed like they would fit with the color of the t-shirt. When I saw the string of fish in the KK catalog...
...I remembered that my favorite applique designer ever ( had a similar applique so I jumped online and found this adorable applique that almost exactly matches the KK one. 

A very similar applique was used in the Kelly's Kids catalog last year. I liked their use of the madras plaid. 
It's quite a process to lay all this out and try to figure it all out, but it will make matching his outfits so much easier in the long run.

The next step is stitching it all out. If I have to purchase any appliques I wait until they go on sale. Many times applique designers will mark appliques down around the holidays or season changes. 30%-40% is a huge savings! In this case I have to wait on the string of fish, the anchor, and the crab. I have already purchased a crab, but I have my eye on a different one.

I also tried something different this time around. Appliques usually stitch out in a satin stitch which looks like this:
Although the satin stitch is beautiful and clean looking, it takes A LONG TIME and alot of thread.

As I was stitching the airplane, I loved how the zig zag stitch looked. Every time you applique a digital design it goes through the same process:
1. the marking stitch to show you where to put the fabric
2. tack down stitch to attach the fabric to the shirt
3. Then a zig zag stitch to really tack it all down and then the satin stitch to finish the design (this is all done in the same step)

The airplane design I had was ready for the satin stitch, but I simply stopped my machine after if went through the zig zag process. I stopped it RIGHT at the stitch where it was about to start the satin stitch.
It cut the time for making this shirt from 25-20 minutes to about 15 minutes! And I LOVE how it looks almost vintage! I plan to use this process alot in the future. Of course I still love the satin stitch! But it sure is nice to stitch out 2 shirts in the amount of time it would have taken me to do 1! Also I back all my appliques with heat and bond light so there will be minimal fraying with this design.

Although so much time and effort is put into this process, when I see shirts selling on etsy for $10-$35 each I consider it a success that I spent less than $20 on 6 shirts and they are customized EXACTLY how I want them (6 shirts @$10 each would be $60- which means I am paying/saving myself a MINIMUM of $20 an hour to whip these up). Also as much as I LOVE Luke's name being on things, for resale I am steering away from that. I also love that he loves the animals and objects on his shirts! He absolutely loves sharks and airplanes and I can customize that to fit him and his personality and each time I get my machine out he asks if I'm making him a shirt.

As soon as I get the other 3 appliques ordered and the shirts stitched out, I'll share them here! 

Weekly Update: April 15-21

This has just been such a bizarre week! With all the events happening in the news (Boston, Texas, etc) and stressing prepping for CRCT I am just happy to say that it's gone. I'm really trying not to wish these weeks away but the closer we are getting to D-Date the more anxious (ants in my pants) I am getting! I am also feeling the pressure to get my house clean (nesting and spring cleaning perhaps?), my classroom cleared of all my personal belongings, and everything else purchased for this baby. Josh sensed my stress and this is what I came home to Friday afternoon after a long week:
My favorite roses, sweedish fish and rolos (my favorite candy in the whole world), and a hand drawn picture from little man. This mama's heart was able to breathe a little easier after this sweet reminder of how much my family loves me!

I hit the 35 week mark this week. Here's a side shot that I thought was a fun shadow picture :) 
and a shot looking down (this is how I see my toes). My husband was gracious enough to paint my toe nails for sandal weather! It saved me $20 for a pedicure and he did phenomenal! He admitted how hard it actually was and that the polish dried too quickly. Rookie. 
Here's my little man cheesin' it up. Oh I love that grin and that messy mouth. 
Saturday was my baby shower at church. Oh my we are incredibly blessed by some amazing people! We received lots of clothes and other necessities. Here's a few detail shots; I plan to do a whole post about it later this week:

I also managed to take only my THIRD pregnancy picture to document this whole process. I took one almost every week with Luke. Oh how the second one is different!

I was curious to see how I compared to Luke's pregnancy. Here's a side by side at 35 weeks:
I have 15 days left at school and 25 days left until we hold our sweet baby girl!