Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Closet Equilibrium

My closet has finally reached what I like to think of as "grown-up" status.

I can pull an outfit for almost any occasion out of it right now, whether or not it fits is something my body has to catch up to.

I started to notice this last week when I was going through to inventory clothes for our upcoming cruise and vacation. I needed a semi-formal outfit to wear to dinner a few nights while out. My first thought was my purple Colette dress that I made to wear to a work Holiday dinner two years ago.

The Colette dress.

It fit but it wasn't flattering. Still too much baby shape hanging on.

So I dove back in and found it. A navy blue knee length silk dress with ruffled collar. It may be maternity, but I've only wore it once and it still looks lovely. No weird hem in the front and it doesn't look all bump-a-rific in the front. That whole baby shape hanging on thing works in this dress.

I didn't have to go shopping.

This made me sad, I love shopping, and relieved, I have no time to shop for a semi-formal dress!

Today my closet hit closet nirvana.

I found a belt over the weekend, still had the tags on, but was purchased so long ago the price had faded off of the tag! It's okay I bought it on clearance! I have a lot of belts that I never wear because I want to be the girl who wears the belt to accentuate the tiniest part of her body ala "What Not To Wear" but I haven't ever really achieved that goal.


Until now.

That belt goes perfectly with a dress I made two years ago that never gets worn because the two tone-ness of it seemed to business-y which didn't really make sense because it is a gauze dress which should make it a casual dress. I never claimed to reasonable.

Please pretend this is a lovely photo and not all weirdly colored because of poor lighting.

So now I have a dress to wear to replace the one that I didn't have enough fabric to make the skirt a decent length and it's now a swim cover-up. Which was on my list to sew anyway. A swim cover-up, not a too short dress.

Another crazy thing, I didn't need to buy shoes for this trip. Granted it didn't stop me from buying shoes, I got this pair from Boden that I have been eyeing since in the hospital with Theo and they finally went on sale. Of course I bought the leopard print. And these, but in an adult size see a theme? But the other two pairs I am taking are from my closet.

Yup, this closet thing must mean I am a grown up now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Swimsuit version 1 and 2

Swimsuit #1

I made my muslin and learned a lot. Big take aways were to use my serger to attach the lining to the outer fabric, it keeps it from bunching up tons. I also figured out the whole "how to put it together" thing. Believe it or not following the directions helps. I put my under bust elastic on the wrong side of the seam allowance and while it didn't affect fit, it did affect the aesthetics.

I have no pictures of the first suit. I followed the instructions to make the full bust adjustment and that seemed to work out pretty well. But overall the whole suit was way too big. I took all my measurements and fell in between two sizes so I went with the larger of the two and graded the pattern out a bit towards the bottom. That was silly. It looked ridiculous. I often think, even with the numbers in front of me, that I am much bigger then I am in reality.

I also added an inch to the length but it wasn't as long as I would have liked it and I hadn't even hemmed it yet. It was all ok because I really didn't expect to have the first suit fit at all and I was impressed with how much it actually looked like a swim suit.

Swimsuit #2

I hacked up the first one to make the second one. I kept the bust cups the same size and re-cut them out of the fabric of the belly and back of the first one, hence no pictures.

I traced out the smaller size that I fell between measurement wise and DID NOT add anything to the bottom width. I did add on three inches to the length and that was perfect. But this one was too big too. It felt like the minute I got into the water the belly would float right up.
I am not stretching the fabric out here with any tension, I'm just holding the excess away from my body.

I think the boobs are too big now though and maybe I should do a high bust measurement, instead of a bust measurement and go with that with the full bust adjustment. I tried stretching the elastic at the top of the bust cup more in case that would help the fit, but it doesn't and it looks lumpy so I won't do that next time. I also used 3/8" elastic under the bust instead of 1/4" elastic and that made a huge difference on the fit and support for the girls. And yeah, that's my poor girls with a little support.

But one of the modifications I did do which I liked was I made the straps much thicker. I just have them tied behind my neck halter style because at this point it was pretty obvious that I wasn't going to do all the finishing of this version since it was still too big. When I make it again I'll crisscross them in the back. They're just basted in place right now, which is why the stitches are showing when you look at the picture.

And if you made it this far, you get to see what I've been working on instead of swimsuit #3.

Cutie Patootie Romper for Theo!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vacation sewing

I like to make my own clothes. I feel accomplished when I make something that is wearable and doesn't look like I made it myself (unless you look closely, I can always point out my mistakes!)

I usually need a goal to sew towards, like being pregnant. I made a bunch of my own maternity clothes while I was pregnant with Theo. My favorite anecdote of this was one day while in the hospital my mom was bragging about my crafty abilities to my Doctor and said something along the lines of, "Jennifer makes lots of clothes, I bet she even made that blouse she's wearing right now." I looked down and low and behold I had made the blouse I was wearing. Only it wasn't a blouse it was a tunic-y t-shirt but you get the drift.

I leave for an awesome vacation in four weeks! We'll be gone close to three weeks with a small stop in Philadelphia before we head out to our European cruise. I really don't think my current spring wardrobe of stretchy pants and tunic-y t-shirts is going to cut it in the summer heat in Spain, Italy, & France.

I've got a sewing plan though.
- Hem up two pairs of my linen pants to long short or capri length

-sew Navy blue voile blouse Simplicty 2593 I already did the muslin weeks ago minus the collar so I know I need to take the back in two inches and increase the length at least 3" so I can wear a belt with it

- Brown crinkle gauze dress KwikSew 3675 I'm using a Boden dress as inspiration, not that I need inspiration for a simple brown dress, it's just something I saw and said "oh I want that" and then realized I could make something close to it for WAY less the $75 or whatever they were charging

-two rompers for Theo (One in gingham before I cut my expensive Kokka seersucker)

-two collared shirts for Oliver (one trains before I cut the coordinating expensive Kokka seersucker) yup I'm that Mom.

- a couple of my favorite Jalie tank tops (one is already done with a fun lace inset in the back)

-fix the front bodice length on my awesome Grecian goddess maxi dress so I'm not flashing the world when I sit down

-finish the hem and arms on a simple tank tunic that isn't necessarily for vacation but I could be wearing now if I hemmed the dang thing

-and of course the swim suit.

Why am I sitting here typing? I should be sewing. . .

Monday, June 13, 2011

Swimsuit sewing or how I decided to make myself crazy

So in a fit of never fitting my giant nursing boobs (36F-did you know there were letters after D?) into a bathing suit that didn't bag out everywhere else I decided to sew my own swimsuit this summer.

Please note that I did not say I would actually wear said bathing suit.

I scoured online blogs, PatternReview.com, and more online blogs for any and all tips and tricks I could learn. Most of them were things I already knew, use ballpoint needles in your machine, use a zig zag stitch or stretch straight stitch when sewing, pin like the dickens!

Some were things I never even thought of like, disengage your serger knife when sewing the elastic on. The seams are all only 1/4", which is how wide my serger stitches are so I don't need to trim any off anyway and if a little bit hangs over it'll loop over the edge of the elastic to help encase it anyway.

I ordered my patterns. I went with Jalie because I love sewing their other stretch tops and find them to have an awesome fit. I ordered Jalie 2447 for the top and Jalie 3023 for the bottom.

I also ordered my lining from Sew Sassy (c'mon you know you love the name, say it with attitude!)

And one day Theo and I scoured Downtown LA for some awesome fabrics. I bought four different ones, two prints and two solids (black and brown) and found a place that has an AMAZING selection of nylon/spandex fabrics and they have a website! Blue Moon Fabrics. Although it's not a super useful website.

I was prepared. Now it was time to sew. . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 12. . .but who's counting?

Last night, after having my BP readings stay the same for the 11th day and having my labs come back perfectly fine, Peter and I decided to talk to the Dr about monitoring me at home. I had already bought the BP cuff, my mom is here to take care of Oliver, and I have much, much, much better TV at home. Not to mention being able to sleep in the same bed with my husband again. Or take a shower in a space that is bigger then 2'x2', can maintain a normal temperature and not fluctuate between scalding and freezing, and has some water pressure. Oh and eat normal food.

Amazingly the Dr was highly receptive to what we had to say. He said he's gotten some calls from our insurance company about why I was still here and he made his case to us about why I should stay but said let's talk to everybody and see what they all have to say. Of course also mentioning that he's just my Dr and not a police officer and he can't MAKE me stay.

So I got a wheelchair ride to the Perinatologist for an ultrasound to make sure the high BP readings were not causing the baby any growth issues. It's not. He's gained almost a pound in the last two weeks so he's being estimated now at 5 3/4 pounds which is big for 33 weeks. The Perinatologist was of the same mind of me staying here. He also said we could do an Amnio next Tuesday to check for lung maturity and make some more decisions with that information. Oh and he called me a bright and intelligent patient and that it wasn't a false compliment.

I agreed with both Dr's at this point. From being upright in a wheelchair for the past 45 minutes I felt HORRIBLE and while I can get totally normal pressure readings (126/77) by working the system and laying on my left side with the cuff on my right arm, if I am reclining upright in bed, my numbers are much worse (160/94) on average. Those numbers are super close to the cut off for inducing just for Hypertension. Another big concern is how quickly my BP readings can change between ok and not ok.

But the real reality check came this evening. My Ob came in to see what we had decided and to tell us what the insurance agency Dr said. You know it's serious when the insurance company says, keep her there as long as she needs to be there.

Right now it's at least 8 more days. If the amnio comes back with mature lung development then we will most likely induce my labor. If not, then we're going to have to figure out a new plan. I am absolutely getting tired of being in here. I've done what I can to make my room as comfortable as possible. I have my own super nice sheets on the bed and I covered the stupid checkout signs with a large poster board Oliver painted and tons of pictures of him and our family and friends. I wear my own clothes, I have my Ipod dock, my laptop (with streaming Netflix), visitors scheduled so I'm not alone all day every day, etc. But it's still not home and I miss Oliver so much it's crazy.

Tonight Peter's going to bring me pizza. I haven't had pizza in weeks. I am very excited, heartburn be damned!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Looks like I'm going be in here for a while. . .

After meeting with the Perinatologist and discussing everything with my OB, it looks like the plan is for me to sit and bake this cookie as long as possible or at least until 35 weeks.

I think the decision was an easy one when I realized I can lay here in bed for two-three more weeks or Small-Fry could be in the NICU for two-three weeks.

Of course all of this is based on how moderate my pre-eclampsia stays. If my pressures go up or I start having other problems Small-Fry is going to have to come and join us on the outside.

35 weeks is only 16 days away. I can do anything for 16 days.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This is not the birth you are looking for. . .

Go back and read the title with a Jedi Mind Trick voice.
That's the way I keep hearing it in my head and for some reason thought you should too.

I had a really simple plan with this pregnancy.
Step one- get pregnant in the spring so I wouldn't be giant and pregnant all summer long like with Oliver.
Step two- have baby at home.

Well 50% is pretty good right?

I was seeing a midwife for regular prenatal care until 29 weeks. At that point I had had three separate elevated blood pressure readings, and three large fundal height measurements, and she wanted me to get an all clear from an OB that I was safe for a home birth.

Well that went bust pretty fast. My BP was even more elevated at the first OB's office and I was spilling a little protein in my urine. Enter in Labs, 24 hour urine catch, and meeting with a Perinatologist.

Labs and urine were perfect, Small-Fry was perfect but big averaging 3 weeks ahead in measurements. Most doctors would question my dates but I know when we got pregnant and I have two early ultrasounds backing that up, Small-Fry is just a big little guy.

Since this first OB was on the way other side of town, Century City for those in the know, I switched to a new OB, Dr. Dwight near my house downtown. My first appointment with him went like my last appointment with the midwives I used with Oliver or you know the Hotel California, you can check in anytime you like but you can never leave. So I was wheeled over to the Maternity ward and have been here since. Really I should have packed a bag last week. Maybe if I was prepared for this it wouldn't have happened? At least this time I had washed my hair in the morning.

My labs are still great, my urine is still low in protein, my my blood pressure readings are slowly, slowly creeping up to Danger, Danger Will Robinson levels! Yesterdays top read was 156/94. So while there is no such thing as moderate pre-eclampsia that's what Dr. Dwight is calling me case. Mainly because he wants to keep me prisoner in this hospital pregnant as long as possible to give Small-Fry the best beginning possible.

I have had two steroid shots to help mature his lungs and he's being monitored every 12 hours and is doing fantastic, he doesn't care that I'm stuck in bed, he's still a dancing fool.

Today I meet with another Perinatologist, get another ultrasound, review my labs and numbers and discuss the pros and cons of an Amniocentis to see if his lungs have matured enough for delivery but at this point I think we're just waiting for me to be too sick to stay pregnant.

The nurses are lovely, there is round the clock juice available, and I am allowed to go to the bathroom and shower on my own provided I am not dizzy. Staying in bed totally sucks, my back and hips are bugging me but I did get an amazing massage yesterday.

I am also getting pretty good at crocheting. I've already made Small-Fry a ridiculously cute hat and if the dizzy spells and headaches stay away today I'm going to try another pattern.