Normal is boring

I’ve said it a million times… I’m an awful blogger. The longer I go without making a post, the tougher it is to sit down and write. Part of what’s added to the craziness is that I went back to work this year. I was a teacher in my former life, and became a stay-at-home mom when Zac was born. Teaching is a passion, but with a pre-schooler who needs me, working a traditional job (teaching public school) was impossible with our schedule. Instead, I’m teaching pre-K at my son’s former church pre-school. I am still able to drive Zac to school every morning, go teach my kiddos, then have an hour (sometimes more) in the afternoons before the bus brings him home. It’s the best of both worlds and I love it.

Working in a pre-school is great in so many ways, but one benefit (for me) is a relaxed dress code. When I taught in the public school system, I dressed up most days. Now, my uniform consists of jeans, a graphic tee, and comfortable shoes. Because I’m me, I’ve enjoyed designing my own t-shirts for work. It’s expanded into selling them to friends and followers.

My newest (and favorite) t-shirt design was actually inspired by my son. Zac was officially diagnosed with autism a year ago. I know every parent reacts differently to receiving an autism diagnosis for their child, but for me it was a relief. Zac was already in an autism preschool program for a year at that point, but once we received the diagnosis we were able to get help for private occupational therapy. A few weeks ago, while I was in the waiting room at his therapy office, one of the speech therapists asked me if I ever made an autism shirt. April is autism awareness month, and she hadn’t found anything she liked. A couple days later one of Zac’s old OTs reached out to me asking the exact same thing, so I decided to draft something up.

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I love this shirt. I love bringing awareness to autism. When I had my suspicions about Zac, I actually had somebody (a professional) tell me there was no way he could have autism because he smiled, laughed, and enjoyed being hugged and tickled. If you’ve met one kid with autism, you’ve met one kid with autism. No two kids are the same. When you hear, “it’s a spectrum” people tend to to think of a linear line where autism is categorized mild to severe. It is a spectrum, but there are many spectrums- verbal communication, nonverbal communication, social awareness, sensory integration, cognition, and adaptability. My son didn’t talk until he was 3, but now at age 5 is VERY verbal. The kid never stops talking and asking questions. Zac struggles most with sensory integration. He craves movement and touch, but is super sensitive to certain noises. I am amazed at the progress he’s made through school and private therapy. We’re now at a place where he can say, “mommy, it’s too loud in here.” It’s saved him (and us) from struggling through a meltdown. Pic Jointer.png

Autism has brought some wonderful people into our lives- teachers, therapists, fellow moms… I’m thankful for every one of them, and the impact they’ve had Zac.

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Tuesday Tutorial, sizing down a t-shirt

Hello friends and happy 2016! It’s been a (long) while since I’ve posted. Quick recap, we moved the week of Thanksgiving, and life has been crazy ever since. I’ve used the past few months to catch up on a few projects that have been pushed to the side, and I can’t wait to tell our story of the move, and show pictures of my new sewing space. Until then…

Zac is now obsessed with Star Wars. When he started to see previews for the new movie in December he asked to watch it. My husband jumped at the opportunity, so we ordered the original trilogy off Amazon, and watched episode 4, 5, and 6 over a long weekend. He was hooked and has probably watched them 100 times since then.

Last week, I was walking through Khols and they had adult t-shirts on sale. I thought, how cool would it be to get matching shirts for Zac and Patrick. To my surprise, my husband thought that was an awesome idea. Only problem, the smallest size they had was an adult small, and my son is a 4t.

Sizing down the shirt seemed easy enough, but this is the first time I’ve attempted to do it. First, I cut the shirt down the side seams, but left the neck intact. I cut the sleeves around the seams as well, and you can see that beside the shirt. IMG_6172.JPG

Next, I used an existing t-shirt pattern to ensure I sized down appropriately.

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This would actually make an adorable tank top. I’ll have to remember that for summer… After I cut the body of the shirt, I did the sleeves. I used the sleeves I had cut off from the t-shirt, and kept the existing hem. Because my pattern had you hemming the sleeves, I just folded the bottom up about an inch to account for the difference.

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Once those were cut, I assembled my shirt just like you would if you started from scratch. I attached the sleeves with my serger, and then stitched the sides together. Finally, I hemmed the bottom. I love how this turned out, and using the existing neck binding saved me time. My son woke up this morning and even though it’s currently snowing outside, insisted on wearing his new Star Wars shirt to school. I can’t wait to get a picture of him and his daddy in their matching shirts when my husband gets home tonight.

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I hope this inspires someone else to tackle this quick sewing project. 🙂

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UP

As a family we started Saturday evening movie nights with Zac. For my husband and me it’s been a great chance to catch up on children’s movies we’ve missed over the past decade. A couple weeks ago, the move we watched was Up. Seriously- this movie needs to come with a warning to parents that it’s a tear jerker, and now in the typical Disney movie way. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now- spoilers ahead! From watching previews I knew the old man’s wife wasn’t going to make it, but was not prepared for the topic of infertility/miscarriage. Before Zac was born, we suffered two losses so this part of the movie (while brief) hit close to home. Thankfully Zac didn’t ask questions about why the couple was decorating a nursery and then the wife was crying in the doctor’s office. My husband and I just glanced at each other and then he went and got me some tissues.

The next morning, I was going through my stash of knit fabrics, and Zac saw my Up fabric. He was pointing out the balloons and characters and he asked me to make him a shirt. How could I say no to that? Zac always gets excited when I make him outfits or pajamas out of character fabrics, but I think this is the first time he specifically asked for something. I got right to work.

I decided I wanted to make a hoodie. Previously, I have made the all ears hoodie by Max & Meena and knew I could do the hood easily (not sure why that was intimidating to me), but I wanted to add a pocket and this pattern doesn’t offer that option. I then remembered I had a hoodie pattern from Brindille & Twig (free btw) and decided to merge the two. The Up fabric is really colorful, so I wanted to use it strategically.

I decided on using grey fabric for the body of the shirt and the Up fabric for the pocket, but first I added an appliqué. IMG_3668 IMG_3676

I decided to do the arms and the inside of the hood out of the Up fabric, and make the outer hood grey to match the front (and back) of the shirt. I went back and forth on what to do for the arm cuffs and the waist band, and decided on a dark grey and I’m glad I did. I absolutely love how this hoodie turned out, and Zac does too.IMG_3682 IMG_3689

The following day was Columbus Day and there was no school. My friend and I decided to take the boys to the Yellow River Game Ranch. The weather was gorgeous and it was a great opportunity to take some pictures of Zac in his new hoodie. Earlier this year my husband and I purchased a Sony a6000 camera and a 50 mm lens. It was a splurge, but I absolutely love this camera and the pictures I’m able to capture with it._DSC3092 _DSC3101 _DSC3127 _DSC3092

I’m back

Happy Sunday friends!! It’s been awhile. I’ll do my best to post a recap this week as to what’s been going on with us. Summer with Zac home from school was busy. At 3 and a half years old, he was constantly on the go and spent the majority of our days at the swimming pool. In August he went back to school and I though life was going to get back to normal, but it didn’t. While my husband and I were out for a drive one weekend, we found a house just outside our neighborhood that was for sale. We looked it up, fell in love, made an offer and it was accepted! In two weeks’s time, we were able to get our house ready to list, and it was on the market a day before we had an offer and were then under contract!

Our dining room has acted as the headquarters of Sew Sassy Creations for the past few years, but for the purposes of selling our house it needed to be transformed back into a dining room. All of my stuff was packed and taken to storage. Now that we’re under contract, out of due diligence, and past the inspection and appraisal, I’m able to bring some stuff back (happy dance!). I’m super stoked because in the new house I’ll have my very own dedicated workspace, with a door! I’m spending my days now searching pinterest trying to decide how to set up my new space.

Attached are some pictures from the summer, Zac’s first day at school (fabric from Peekaboo fabric shop), and a picture of him sitting on the porch swing at our new house the day we went to see it for the first time. I literally carried him away kicking and screaming because he didn’t want to go back home. We took that as a good sign that he approved.

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Got Dirt?

Recently, I discovered the wonderful world of knit fabric, and the secret society of knit Facebook groups. In these groups, you get fabric for cheaper prices by placing (and paying) pre-orders and then waiting anywhere from 4-10 weeks for your fabric to arrive. These groups sell fabric by the yard, but many also sell panels. I wasn’t sure what these panels were at first, but OMG- they are fabulous, and compliment the fabrics they’re designed to match perfectly. Last month, I ordered a yard of the mighty machines fabric from Peekaboo Pattern Shop and a matching panel. The panels from this shop are different from most others because they’re twice the size of most (20″ by 28″), providing fabric for the front and back of a shirt. IMG_0515 I mentioned this shop in a previous post, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you must. I purchased the Maui Muscle Tee pattern to use and both Zac and I are in love with the finished product. The shorts are from Brindle & Twig, and are one of my favorite patterns at the moment. They work great for boys and girls, and use no elastic- only lycra/cotton jersey fabric. Super comfortable and I think we’ll get 2 years wear out of the 3t/4t size for Zac. IMG_0474 IMG_0477 (1) If you want to try out any of the patterns from Peekaboo Pattern Shop, use my referral link for 15% off your first purchase. Happy shopping!! IMG_0512

Shop Small September

When I was pregnant with my son, I discovered Etsy. I loved the idea of getting unique one-of-a-kind items that you couldn’t find in retail stores. Some of my first purchases were knit hats that we used for Zac’s newborn photo session. 399436_10100252257321431_856788793_n 381116_10100252259691681_1861366990_n

As he grew, I continued to shop on Etsy (especially for photo session outfits). It wasn’t until I opened my own Etsy shop I realized how important shopping small really is, and the value in supporting small businesses.

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These days, I make a lot of Zac’s clothes, but I LOVE buying items from small shops too. I’ve also had the joy to participate in a few trades and love swapping items with fellow Etsy shops. Recently, I got the idea to challenge myself to dress Zac in only items made either by me, or from other small shops. It will take some planning, so I’m starting now- today actually, with this blog post. This year, I want to make the month of September, the month to encourage myself, friends, family, and followers to shop small. I’ll be using the hashtag: #ShopSmallSeptember on Facebook and Instagram to help advertise, and I encourage you to do the same.

I realize that a month is a long time, but you have time to plan. Can’t commit to a month? I get it- try a week, or maybe just the weekends. This summer we are in survival mode, but once school gets started again I plan on offering some coupon codes and promotions for Shop Small September, so stay tuned!

Here are some of my favorite shirts from some of my favorite small shops. Miracle Baby tee is from Tink & Key, Why fit in? and Forever Young are from The Blue Envelope, and the Independent tee is from Riverband Threads. The Pete the Cat pants, triangle pants, and stars and stripes shorts are made by me. 🙂10553695_10101677430537881_1723020070927117835_o-1

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The launch of Maxaloones

Today is the day!!! Maxaloones are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop. I love these pants. Seriously, they’re the best. My son is tall and skinny, and the size 1’s (with some added length) fit his skinny bum perfectly. They’re designed to be adjustable in size, where the ankle bands fold and unfold, providing additional length.

I have issues where I like my son to be the best dressed one in his class. There is no competition or award, but I feel like I need to be the winner. A few weeks ago I found this shirt at Walmart, and then splurged on this organic jersey knit fabric from Spoon Flower. I thought together they’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day, but would work for pajamas too.

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The fabric arrived Saturday and I wasted no time cutting it up to make pants. I’m in love. Seriously, this fabric is thick, stretchy, and oh so soft!! The pants are darling and they’re now up for sale on Etsy.

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This weekend, my son brought home his class pet, Pete the Pony. He came with a notebook for us to journal about his weekend with us, so we took him to the park on Sunday. Zac wore his maxaloones that I finished up earlier that day. They were great for climbing, running, jumping, and sliding too.

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