Sunday, February 9

cabin fever

Snow and ice, cold and more snow, and the flu.  Essentially, this summarizes our winter around these parts pretty aptly (though that's probably the most self-pitying way I could describe it).  Truthfully, I appreciate the winter for the way it slows us down and coops us up a bit more than we'd probably choose.  I love passing these bright frigid days in a house that smells of fresh cooking and is bright with the sun reflecting off of the snow and ice outside our windows.  And it's embarrassing how giddy I feel when our housemates are called off work and snowed in with us, allowing for impromptu snow walks and sledding adventures.  

The slowed pace this time of year is palpable and keeps us all a bit more insular. Despite some serious feelings of cabin fever (for myself and my extroverted mini-me), the truth is that interspersed between a few long weeks of hibernation we've hosted many friends, baked and cooked until our hearts and stomachs filled with oh so much good stuff, and focused lots of time and energy on creating.
Wren has been an avid artist during the month of January, and I am just amazed to see her natural affinity for activities like painting, drawing, coloring and working with play dough.  We keep her art supplies in a place where she can access them herself (all except the contraband paints and markers which at this point are supervised-only tools), and it's so much fun to watch her create little masterpieces at her own behest.
Luke is busy creating a new desk and seed flats, using fallen tree branches that were casualties of the recent ice storm and antique tools he inherited from a neighbor moving into retirement.  And me?  Of course all this hibernation means plenty of time at the sewing machine.  In between stocking the shop with old favorite and brand new onesie designs, I am trying to stretch myself and learn some new stuff.

Last week a friend of a friend asked if I'd be up for the challenge of doing some alterations on a 18-24 month baptismal suit to make it fit a 3 month old.  True to form, my initial response was something like "Ahhhhh!  No!  That sounds like something I'll swiftly destroy and leave hacked into pieces on my sewing room floor!"  BUT of course I realize that if I don't take chances or experiment I will never get to the point where I feel confident enough to take on a terrifying sewing project.
Honestly, after one afternoon the entire suit was in literal pieces on my sewing room floor, and I went to bed that night trying to decide how to tell this sweet baby's mother that her precious baptismal suit more closely resembled a jigsaw puzzle and couldn't be salvaged.  But the next day I tried again and for  some reason everything came together much easier.  I took the button holes and buttons directly from the original suit and sewed them down the center of a onesie.  I also cut the onesie's collar to make a "V" (instead of keeping it rounded)  and sewed on little collars that made.  I made a new pair of pants using a pattern right out of Growing Up Sew Liberated from some white cotton in my stash.  And the vest came together fairly easily, as I drafted a new vest pattern using the dimensions of the onesie.  I kept as many of the finished edges as possible (especially at the buttons down the front) which helped it look more tailored.  I was incredibly elated and relieved to see it all come together.  
This week I revisited the Simple Skirt tutorial that I used last summer, this time for another niece's birthday.  I picked up a fun, brightly striped Old Navy tank top at the thrift store to applique.  A certain someone out there may recognize this floral cotton that was chilling in my fabric stash, and just happened to match the tank perfectly.  Wren has already let me know that she's expecting a matching skirt sometime soon.  And seeing as I'm trying to sew up a bunch of things for her before the baby arrives, it's incredibly likely that I will oblige.
And finally, what would a Chirp & Lullaby post be without some obligatory onesie photos?  

One of my new personal favorites is a design I made for my good friend Sam, who is red-headed and soon to be a 1st-time uncle.  My amazingly talented artist of a housemate helped with the Uncle Sam sketch, and I was pleased how well it translated into fabric and thread.  
Annnnnnd a banjo.  Because I love them. And as I told the Facebook world a few weeks ago: In my first of many attempts to live vicariously through my daughter, I am trying to convince her that she wants to play the banjo someday. She insists (adamantly) that the tambourine is the instrument for her, so now I'm living vicariously through my sewing machine instead.


  1. :) love to see the fabric being used! it was one of the very first pieces of fabric i ever bought. i bought 5 yards of it clearly having NO idea just how much fabric that was. love your applique!
    the uncle sam onesie turned out to be incredible! yay for artistic collaboration!

    1. 5 yards :) I definitely have done that before. What did you make with it?

    2. sadly not all that much. bibs...early mess up skirts and honestly i can't remember what else. my love for it ran out pretty quickly. although, seeing it again makes me appreciate its cuteness once more!