Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sweater Refashions

This past fall, I really wanted a sweater dress for Keira. Let's face it, comfy, cozy, cute, what's not to love? But nothing in the stores caught my eye. At least, nothing I was willing to pay reasonable money for.

I decided I'd make her one instead. I checked out Pinterest for some tutorials, but in the end, just went to our local thrift store to see what they had.

I found these 3 in the women's section. I liked the green for the cozy-comfy and the black for it's sparkliness (I really think I'm just making up words sometimes). But when I saw those pockets and buttons, it was instant attraction. I knew that was the one.

Since Thanksgiving was going to be coming up (yeah, I know. Babies, remember. Blogging takes the backseat), I started with the green.

First things first, cutting off the neck & sleeves. (While my late night snack waits patiently).

This was my first attempt at adult sweater to toddler sweater dress. I didn't take many pics because I was paying attention to what I was doing (totally not me, right?) The design of the sweater allowed me a good amount of leeway. I brought in the sides, then shortened and reattached the sleeves and neck piece.

Since it was also my first time working with knitted fabric, it never crossed my mind to allow for the extreme directional stretch. So the shoulders went a bit wonky. Other than that, I think it came out pretty good.

Of course, I got no good pics of her wearing it on Thanksgiving. I snapped these of her brushing her teeth before taking it off her for the night.

Next up was the black. I loved the silver mixed in and had an idea of what I wanted as an end result. This time, I was more aware of stretch and used the cutting mat to trim it down and cut off the neck trim.

It ended up cute but not at all what I was going for. The neckline drooped and bowed out way more than I wanted. I haven't decided if I want to attempt a fix or another refashion with it.

Now onto my fave. I knew I had to include those pockets but my little bean is just so skinny. I did a ton of drawing and erasing before I did any cutting. I decided to go with an A-line shape.

And if you know my sewing, you know I rarely use patterns, but for this one, I wanted it to come out perfect. I wanted a puff sleeve and having never done one, I gave in, went online for a printable, and did a ton of marking before taking out the scissors.

I can't even tell you how thrilled I was that it came out so good.

I again shortened the neck piece and reattached. I am so in love with it. Well, not that bottom ribbing. Plus it made it too long for her. Off it came!

I had some pretty good sized scraps so I decided to attempt a little hat to go with it and got another pattern off the web.

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough fabric for the pattern, which was sized for an adult. So I used my computer to shrink the pattern down a bit. There was a lot of pin usage.

I don't even have words for how adorable this is. I really don't.

Such a ham, this kid.

The hat ended up being just the slightest bit too small so it didn't end up fitting fully onto her head after all.

What could be cuter for some dancing with her daddy? Sorry about the horrible pics. Low lights, toddler dancing & a cell camera do not make for a fantastic photo experience.

For less than the price of one sweater dress from the store, she's now got 3. And I've got some items in the back of my closet that I'm looking at in a whole new light.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Chicco 360 Hook-On Chair

When Keira was still a tiny little babe, I fell in love with the Chicco 360 Hook-On chair. Of course, back then, it was the idea of being able to easily bring a high chair with us. Most of our friends and family had older children, not babies, so if we went over for dinner, we'd have a spot for her.

I never imagined how much we'd truly love it, nor that we'd end up getting another to use as the primary seats for our boys.

We used it for Keira at a large number of restaurants. We'd get all manner of admiring looks and quite a few inquiries.

We also used it at a number of places besides eating out. Like painting, ...

At Great Grandma's house...

And for her birthday, we even decorated it.

I love that it has a weight limit of 37 pounds. At (almost) 3 years old, she only weighs 28 pounds. At this point, she generally prefers to sit in a regular chair, but on occasion, she'll gladly hop in.

One of my favorite things about this chair is it's washability (is that a word?). The tray is dishwasher safe and small enough to actually fit without taking up the whole rack. In fact, it barely takes up more room than a dinner plate.

The seat itself can be taken off the frame and, with the support piece removed, can be thrown into the washing machine. Ours has been washed a few times. Generally after spaghetti, frosting, and a few other messy meals. It's always come out looking great.

Another fabulous thing, and it's namesake, the seat rotates 360 degrees. This is before the second seat arrived. We had to displace Keira from her high chair if we all wanted to be in the kitchen.

Soon enough, 360 #2 arrived and we had them both attached to the end of the table. Can I say how thrilled I am that they both fit? And yes, for those of you who noticed, we got a different table. A Craigslist find. With all the baby stuff that has made it's way into our home, we needed a better game plan. We decided a smaller table would allow us to fit everything better. So far, so good.

Now. Check out these angles. 

And because he's so darn cute.

They love their chairs. And so do I. Since we've started solid foods, I can turn then so that they're facing away from the table and pull a chair in front of them. It makes double feedings a world easier.

How crazy is this size difference?

I also love that they're at the table with us. Whether it's facing us as we sit down to eat ourselves....

Or letting them play and watch us do things, like load the dishwasher....

or turning them so they can watch a game of hallway soccer.

Since there's already a ton of videos on YouTube, I figured I'd save myself the effort and share those with you instead of attempting to make my own.

Gear Daddy Review Video - short & sweet clip showing some of the features.

Chicco's actual product video - short clip sowing features, but there's no sound (don't bother adjusting your speakers).

PainterMommy blog video review - She goes trough all the features in depth (ish). She does have some trouble undoing the seat, but it's because she's holding her son. It really is as easy as the previous video.