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

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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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Christmas Recap

When I was little, my mom always made me a special Christmas gift. The year Zac turned one, I started that same tradition myself and made him a sock monkey. Last year, I upped my game and made him a truck quilt. This year, I really struggled as to what to make. I wanted it to be something useful, and the child did not need another blanket. It was over Thanksgiving, while I was packing his stuff to go visit the grandparents, that I realized Zac didn’t have his own suitcase. There was my answer! I spent the drive to my parents’ house browsing the web for patterns. A friend shared a link to Sara Lawson’s page, Sew Sweetness. My friend has made a few of her patterns before and assured em they were great and easy to follow. After browsing the different patterns she had on her site, I decided on her Aeroplane Bag, and immediately went to fabric.com to pick out fabric. Sara’s pattern was great and gave exact dimensions for your stabilizers and fabric pieces, and I was able to order it all at once. Because this was a bag for Zac, I wanted something fun. He loves trucks, and a quick search led me to the Riley Blake, “On Our Way” collection. It was perfect!

My fabric arrived about a week later, and I let it sit while I finished up Etsy orders and t-shirt quilts. Like last year, I greatly underestimated the amount of time I would have between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get work done for others. I was a bit of a crazy lady, and apologized to my husband daily for the disaster that my office (formally known as our dining room) had turned into. Exactly one week before Christmas, I got started on Zac’s bag.

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My friend was right, and the pattern was incredible easy to follow. I consider myself a pretty advanced sewer, but I’ve never done anything like this, but I think I did pretty well, if I do say so myself! I messed up once while adding one of the inside zipper pockets, and I’ll confess- I was too frustrated to fix it, so Zac’s bag has one pocket instead of two. But, I finished the bag in about two days, and for a rookie, I don’t think I did too shabby!

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This bag is the perfect size for a weekend trip away. It holds all of his clothes, plus books, a blanket, and bedtime essentials. It’s soft, but with the stabilizers, it holds its shape really well. I hope that this bag lasts him for years to come.

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