Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taking a Mini Sew-Cation!

Getting excited for my two-day sewcation next week! #sewing #maternitysewing #sewingforkids

Between one thing and another — work, pregnancy nausea followed by pregnancy exhaustion, chasing my four-year-old around Brooklyn, taking an intense hypnobirthing class,* cooking overly elaborate allergy-free meals from scratch, life, the universe, you know — there hasn't been a whole lot of actual sewing going on around here. Knitting, yes (because that's what subway commutes are for). And even darning:

Yes, I am that boring person who sits around on a Saturday night darning her wool socks, sweaters and tights. #makedoandmend (p.s. pictured are wooden darning egg and vintage and new mending wool). #darning #knitting

But not sewing.

And these summer and fall weekends have been too beautiful to justify making the kiddo stay inside and play Legos while I sew. I got myself a beautiful used Gazelle Dutch bike — that very serious type of 50-lb Dutch granny bike with the high handlebars, skirt guards, fenders, baskets, and so forth... and we got Ms. Z a Weehoo iGo Pro trailer bike to attach to my husband's bike now that she's outgrown her bike seat, and we've been taking family rides around the city:

Took our first family bike ride in a year (since Z outgrew her old bike seat) - I got a used Dutch Gazelle bike and we got Z a Weehoo trailer bike to attach to @whatmashekadid 's bike.

Z in her new Weehoo iGo Pro trailer bike

But you know I'm a sewing gal, and you know my sewing machine and I have been missing each other, and that is why I am taking the next two days off of work to sew while Z is at school.

Things I will be doing on my sewcation:

  • Tracing patterns.
  • Cutting fabric.
  • Sewing.
  • Eating tacos I did not make myself from scratch.
  • Drinking mocktails.
  • Taking excessive numbers of Instagram photos.

Things I will resist doing on my sewcation:

  • Reading blogs. (I know I need to catch up on all the amazing things you all are doing, but if I start diving into blog-land, no actual sewing will occur.)
  • Watching moving pictures on screens (unless done while paying half-attention at the sewing machine).
  • Cleaning, cooking, tidying, scrubbing, folding.

Things I hope to sew (or at least cut out or plan or SOMETHING—I doubt I'll get to all this in just two days):

  • 1 maternity dress (Simplicity 1360, pictured at top of post)
  • 1 pair maternity-ized Cake Espresso purple jeggings
  • 5-6 pairs maternity panties from my TNT pattern (see middle of this blog post).
  • A baby gift for a friend
  • A going-home outfit for my own baby — a matching knit kimono-style baby shirt and pants.
  • 1 nursing dress (Simplicity 1469, pictured at top of post)
  • 1 nursing top (Simplicity 1469, pictured at top of post)

So that's the plan. Ms. Z is only in school from 8:40 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, so we'll see how much I actually get done — but maybe it'll kickstart me back into finding a few sewing moments here and there going forward.

Wish me luck! It is also entirely possible I will end up napping the entire time and sewing a lone baby kimono shirt, but let's hope not.

*In case you're wondering why I am taking childbirth classes as a second-time mom, well, let's just say I had a rather long and challenging (as in 87 hours challenging) birthing time with my first child for which my basic childbirth education class left me completely unprepared. This time I am taking Hypnobabies and hiring a doula and I am quite positively set on hypnotizing myself into a much more comfortable — and less prolonged — birthing experience.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for (quite likely to be spent on yarn or fabric).


  1. Good luck! As a Dutch I´m really proud you ride a Dutch bike. My twin babies are 11 today, I remember their birth very well.I took the basic childbirth class for my 3 pregnancies, it´s good to be prepared. Enjoy your sewcation!

    1. Thank you! I had no idea how awesome Dutch bikes were until I visited Amsterdam in 2009 with my husband and saw that even adults could sit on the rear rack. They are also much more more comfortable... not fast, but I do not really care about speed. I feel like my new bike is a tank, it can hold so many groceries (and kids too).

  2. Hope you enjoy the hypnobirthing. I did that too although as I was induced and everything started quickly I didn't have the chance to get into the self-hypnotised state of mind. However I loved the positivity of it and think that it was very beneficial.

    1. Yes, I feel like it has changed my take on birthing from fear to actually looking forward to it. We shall see! The doula we hired is also certified in hypnobirthing and should be able to help as well.

  3. Hypnobirthing is awesome! Good luck :)

  4. I have a close friend who had an amazing hypnobirth experience for her first child. She did a lot of practicing leading up to the birth. I actually may do a waterbirth, which is another natural pain relief option. Not sure if you have that option available to you.

    Good luck with the sewing!! I've found that, for whatever reason, I'm more able or more driven to get one or two little tasks done each day (like pin a sleeve or trim seams) than I could or would do pre-pregnancy. So, I hope this break helps you get your sew on!

    1. Waterbirth is definitely an option—I'm planning to give birth at a freestanding birth center that has big tubs in each room and allows waterbirth (not just spending time in the tub but actually giving birth in it too), so hoping to combine the two!

      So far the sewing has not been a huge success today (I managed to cut out two things, but then sewed one together wrong and am currently unpicking miles of tiny white zig zag stitches out of fuzzy white cashmere sweater knit. ARGH) but I DID eat tacos and drink a mocktail. :)

  5. 87 hours! Dear Mr. Jesus. I cannot even begin to imagine ... after a fairly horrible first-and-only pregnancy, I was lucky enough to have an easy, quick delivery (had I known what I was doing, it would have been 20 minutes instead of an hour-and-a-half, but then I would have had the baby in the shower instead of the delivery room, and that would have been disturbing). I hope that you are getting all the rest you can, between bike treks and laying out paper patterns and such. I hope that this baby comes easier for you.

    1. I will not lie, it was a rough 87 hours, BUT I did get through it with help from my husband and my mom and the midwives... and I really can't imagine it could be like that again, at least my body should have a better idea what to do this time.

  6. Oooh have so much fun!! Your plans sound like a blast. I can understand why you're doing this -- being away from sewing too long makes me grumpy, and I would definitely look for a sew-cation opportunity too. (And omgggg best of luck with getting this birth easier and quicker!!)

    1. Yes, the grumpy is bad. Though at the moment I am grumpy because I have been away from sewing so long I am making silly mistakes like sewing things together backward with stitches that are NOT fun to unpick! :)

  7. Good luck! My first baby's birth was not great--water broke first, back labor, bitchy nurses, etc. etc. My next two were super quick--woke up in labor, baby around lunchtime, with the third faster than the second. We used midwives/doula/water birth/hypno-birthing for those two and although I think circumstances (baby not posterior!) probably helped a lot so did the chill environment and "you can do it" attitude. I am a big fan of hypnobirthing!

  8. I hope you're having a wonderful few days!
    I'm reading up on hypnobirthing too, just so that I have a better idea of what I'm doing this time. Gotta understand it - useless as blindly following directions. Having said that baby no1 was no where near the feat of endurance you had, I just want to be more aware and involved with it this time (if I can!).

  9. I love this idea! (Although I have seen your later post about the problems you ran into. So sorry!) I have some comp time I need to use, and I must say you've inspired me to plan to do something similar (which will be both fun and productive). So thank you!

  10. Hi Mikheala--this is Katharine in Brussels although my husband's account is logged in. Love your bike trailer, I've never seen one of those. Our daughters are the same age and mine would enjoy safely getting out of the cargo bike (bakfiets). She probably will start agitating majorly for it after #3 arrives--you're a few weeks ahead of me in pg. We also have the same SIM maternity twist dress pattern. You might like the Jalie crossover top for bfing, it's on my trace list today. Kisses from Brussels!

  11. Very cute! You are so creative!


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