life

Why I’m not waiting for perfect anymore

Life is too short to wear clothes I don't like

I find myself buying fewer and fewer pieces of clothing for myself, because I look at them and think “surely I can just make this for myself instead!” But the thing is, I’ve been saying that for a long time. And I keep holding back, waiting…

To find the perfect pattern.

To be done breastfeeding.

To not be pregnant.

To finally lose the baby weight.

To find the perfect fabric… And then never cutting into it, because there’s no pattern good enough for this amazing fabric.

To have perfected all my sewing skills (ha!)

The past few days, I’ve been taping patterns and choosing fabric for dresses and shirts that I’ve been wanting to sew for awhile. But I keep getting hung up on my fabric choices, hesitating to cut into fabrics that I love, because what if I suddenly lose ten pounds and it doesn’t fit anymore (that’s a lovely dream, isn’t it?) Or what if I decide I don’t like it, and then I’ve used this expensive or hard to find fabric on something I’m never going to wear?

There will always be excuses to keep me from sewing for myself. But really, now is the perfect time. Because there is no perfect time. If I keep waiting for the stars to align and for life’s circumstances to be exactly what I hope they will be, I’m never going to do it. Today I’ve decided that I’m not going to hold out for perfect. I’m going to embrace the imperfections of my life and my circumstances. I’m not going to save my favorite fabrics for someday. I’m going to sew for myself, even if I haven’t met my “ideal weight.” I’m going to sew garments that aren’t perfect, but that I feel good about wearing, because they were made by me. And I’m going to make mistakes and I’m going to “waste fabric” as I try new things.

Because life is too short to wear clothes that I don’t like and to spend my days waiting around for someday. If (when?) I lose that baby weight, I may have to make myself some new clothes.. but then I get to make myself new clothes. And they’ll probably be better, because with each garment I sew, my skills improve and I learn how to fit my body. And goodness, there will always be pretty fabric. I do love buying new fabrics.. :)

So over the next few months, you’ll be seeing more sewing for me. And if you don’t, you have permission to yell at me. Well, gently remind me of this post anyway.

Will you join me?

Happy sewing, friends!

Blogging an Imperfect Life

Have you ever visited a blog and thought to yourself, “Wow. Her house is always so perfectly clean!” or “She is such an amazing seamstress/DIYer, she never makes any mistakes!” or “Holy cow, her food always looks amaaaayyyzing!” Yeah, me too.

I’ll admit, sometimes that makes me annoyed. Because you know that can’t all be real. Of course they’ve had sewing fails. Obviously their living room gets messy and dusty. I’ll bet the first time they tried to dye fabric something probably went wrong. You know that the first time they ever sewed a pair of pants, they probably used their seam ripper just as much as their sewing machine.

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Ever since I started my blog a few years ago, I knew I didn’t want to be – couldn’t be – that kind of blogger. I’d share my successes, but also my failures or my “almost quite rights, but not exactly perfects.”

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One of my first-ever blogged projects… full of imperfections. But I learned from it and am proud of it, mistakes and all.

And on Instagram? I share my messy living room … so you can follow me and feel so much better about your housekeeping skills.

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If we only share things that are perfectly styled, perfectly cropped, or perfectly sewn, how does that encourage someone who is just learning? How does that give us an opportunity to form authentic relationships, based on real-life?

I value growth. I value authenticity. I value being real with the people around me. I value sharing the good and the bad [and sometimes the ugly...] in life and in the things that I make. I value knowing that I have the freedom to make mistakes alongside my successes.

Will I share a lot of the pretty things? Yes, of course. I probably wouldn’t have all you lovely readers if I never showed you my occasional awesome. ;)

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But am I a work in progress? Obviously. Aren’t we all? I have yet to meet someone who is really, truly perfect at everything they do and never makes mistakes. There is no perfect parent, seamstress, chef, housekeeper, fill-in-your-chosen-skill-here… God gifted me with my own strengths that are different from yours. If I look at your blog and compare myself to you [or vice versa], how is that helpful? If I never try anything new and risk making mistakes, what fun is that?

comparison is the thief of all joy

So when you visit this space, you can be sure that I’m going to share things that I’m proud of – even if they’re not always perfect. Sometimes you might look at something I’ve created and think I have a lot to learn – you’re probably right. I do. And other times you’ll visit, be inspired, and leave having a new skill in your repertoire.

But whichever it is, you’ll leave knowing that you’ve seen the real me – the imperfect, growing, always-learning, grace-filled me. If we all shared our rough edges, our work-in-progress selves, I think our relationships would all be a little bit deeper and we’d all feel better admitting that we don’t really have it all together.

What not sewing for KCW looks like…

I love Kids Clothes Week for a lot of reasons. Each time I’ve participated, I’ve had varying degrees of success. Sometimes I’ve cranked garments out and had awesome results. Other times I’ve gotten really cozy with my seam ripper.

This year I set my expectations pretty low, and while I sewed up the Study Hall Jacket [that truthfully was nearly completed before KCW began], my sewing machine sat mostly untouched.

The dropping temperatures brought colds to our house, and a baby who is itching to crawl has brought even more sleepless nights [and days]. But sewing will always be there… babies are only babies for so long.

45d776aa3ce611e392fc22000a1f9806_8 So while there hasn’t been sewing, there has been lots of coffee…7b2b64a83c1711e3aac622000ab5bc37_8Some game playing..16b5acf83b3c11e3b98522000a9e063b_8 A lot of babywearing…50f1a5283a6c11e3a62222000ab685c6_8More coffee…97687508381f11e3a93822000ae9025c_8

Baby snuggles…b20abb503d9211e39da122000a9e28e0_8And notes that make it all worth it.

Forty Toes

There are forty little toes in my house. That’s not a small number.DSC_0305There’s a lot of time put into caring for these precious little bodies. Some days it feels easier than others… though any parent will tell you that it’s never actually easy.
DSC_0963Parenting comes in seasons … the exhausting, sleepless, just-give-me-one-moment-to-myself-please ones and the rhythms that sail along, giving you some rest for when the tougher ones return.
DSC_0798With so many little bodies, though, the times of rest seem few and far between. And my goodness, you would give anything if they would just.go.to.bed. DSC_0684Parenting is hard. If no one has told you this today, hear this: You’re doing a good job, mama. Forget about the dishes for a bit, and kiss those little toes. That’s what I’m going to do.

When pajama pants make you feel successful..

I know I’m not alone when I say that getting to my sewing machine these days is work. Sometimes life takes over and babies don’t sleep and two-year-olds dump out every box in the cupboard and your sewing table becomes the catch-all for everything.

But when days like that come, pajama pants will rescue you. They will make you feel like successful and productive and like you do something other than wipe noses and bums.

DSC_0670These pants, upcycled from a tee that I loved for years but no longer fit, I had begun sewing months ago. [constructed using the DIY baby pants tutorial]DSC_0669Sometimes it’s the quick and easy projects, the ones that are practical and don’t require details, that give you the most satisfaction.
DSC_0229Because I may not sleep at night or have time to take a shower every day, but I made pajama pants. And that, my friends, makes for a good day.

**Psst… Peek-a-boo Patterns has a sweet Thrifty Thursday deal today! The Varsity Cowl Sweatshirt is only $4! [affiliate link]**Varsity_Cowl_Neck_Pullover

Life Lately [instagram edition]

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Hello, lovelies! It’s a rainy Wisconsin day, so I’m anticipating a lovely afternoon of sewing. That’s one of the things I looove about rainy days – no guilt about staying inside! Do you follow me on Instagram?? I’m kind of an IG junkie. Lots of adventures to follow along with over there. [@iftheywouldnap]

Here’s just a peek at some of my photos:

IMG_7998I’ve been sewing a lot lately, and I’ll have a bunch of things to share with you in the next few weeks. I’m also [big gulp!] working on my first pattern. Eeek! I haven’t pulled the trigger yet – still tweaking and hemming and hawing and basically am a big bundle of nerves about the whole thing.

IMG_7997I’ve been spending lots of time outside with all my boys, since summer has finally arrived!
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The boys have also been hit by a summer cold, so we’ve spent a lot of days lounging about in jammies.
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But a cold can’t stop the tree climbing!
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This one has been healthy so far [yay mama milk immunities!] and has a constant smile on his face.

Also, Google Reader is going away! So make sure you have another way to follow me…

You can import all the blogs you read via Google Reader with either Bloglovin or Feedly with just a click. Super easy.

Find me on Facebook or Twitter

Baby + Baby Pants

Well, apparently blogging [or doing anything, actually] with three kids + a newborn is not easy.

Slowly but surely, though, we are getting into some kind of routine. Sewing and blogging are making their way back into the mix… with the help of coffee. Lots of coffee.
DSC_0563Remember the baby pants tutorial? They’re getting good use these days.

DSC_0565Baby toes get me every time.

P.S. He peed through these pants about thirty seconds after I took this picture. Obviously.

{this moment}

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

[pop over to Soule Mama to link up your Friday moment too]

The Wait is Over!

You may have noticed that the blog has been a little quiet this week. Well, I’d like to introduce you to the reason.

Meet Reid.

DSC_0015Last Monday night, he made his way into the world.
DSC_0113 He has completed our family in a way we didn’t know possible.DSC_0128 He is snuggly and smells of baby loveliness and only cries when he has a reason. [so far...]DSC_0168We’re all pretty smitten over here.
DSC_0197The next couple of weeks will be a little slow on here, but I think you’d agree that this little lovey is just too cute to put down.

Getting Ready for Baby: Cloth Wipes and Burp Cloths

If you’ve had a baby or seen a baby before… ever… you know that babies make a lot of messes. And usually at the times that are the most inconvenient [like when you're sitting in church or cleaning the house for guests to come over].

So some of the obvious baby prep for me was making more burp cloths and cloth wipes. We use burp cloths all the time still – even when we don’t have babies spitting up. We use them to wipe boogies and drool and tears and … well, whatever else might need wiping. And since I’ve had the same burp cloths for more than five years, some of them are looking beyond sad.

DSC_0950So using some of the flannel I scored from Jo-Ann Fabric’s Black Friday sale [three bolts! woot!] I made some easy peasy burp cloths.DSC_0946I just sandwiched two pieces of flannel together and used the rolled edge setting on my serger.DSC_0942Then I whipped up a bunch of cloth wipes in the same fashion. We use these with our cloth diapers, but they’re the perfect size for washing up in the bath or after meals too. We spend very little money on baby wipes by using these, and it’s one more way to use less waste.DSC_0944Plus they look cuter than baby wipes! And don’t worry, if you don’t have a serger, these are still easy for you too! Make them in a similar fashion to my quilted coasters [minus the quilting step].

And just in case you don’t follow me on instagram1ebedc4e8c0a11e2a0a022000a1f968b_7The baby belly in all it’s glory. And my “I went to the hospital in labor and they sent me home when it stopped so now I’m still waiting for this baby” face.

Happy sewing, friends!