Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making Painting Smocks

Over the summer, the school gave us an extensive list of school supplies to pick up. I literally went all over the city hunting down supplies and still didn't manage to get everything. Luckily, I put the word out to a girlfriend who helped me pick up two of the missing articles (who knew project style exercise books would be worth their weight in gold?). Thanks so much, L!

One of the items on the supply list was a painting smock. I had a look at what was available and then thought that I could make something just as nice - perhaps nicer - on my own. I found this gorgeous pattern and tutorial at Kellie's' Don't Look Now blog. The tutorial is wonderfully simple to follow, even at 2:00 in the morning when I do my best sewing ;)! I work best on a very, very tight deadline. Iain's first day of school being the deadline in this case). I copied the pattern pieces onto my USB stick and brought it to Staples. The pattern pieces were printed on 20 X 30 sheets at actual size. They printed beautifully and cost just under $10. Most everything else I needed was on hand due to many years of hoarding collecting bits and pieces of fabric and general sewing supplies.

I only made a couple of changes to the pattern. First off, I had some leftover nylon from when I'd made change pads for our first baby (Iain!) so I cut a solid piece to go under the front of Iain's new painting smock then basted it to the muslin I used for the front (and back) of the smock. This ensured that the smock is a little more water proof than when using just cotton.

The other change I made was to make up my own pattern for the front of Iain's smock. I found this super cute fabric at Walmart and couldn't resist buying it. Iain has been obsessed with going fishing this summer (and horrible parents that we are, we still haven't taken him out) so I thought that this fabric was perfect for him.

With that in mind, I designed a fish themed appliqué pattern for the front of his smock.


I am thrilled with how it turned out.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to get a picture of Iain modelling it before he headed off to school and the smock went with him.

When I decided that I was going to make Iain a smock, a friend of mine asked if I could make one for her daughter, G, as well. She and Iain are great friends so this also provided me with the opportunity to make G a 'Happy First Week of School!" present.

What a treat - sewing with pink! Due to the serious lack of pink in this house, the opportunity to sew something using pink was great fun.

I more or less followed Kellie's appliqué pattern for G's smock.

My appliqué technique needs a bit of work but I am pleased with how it turned out overall. This style of appliqué is inspired by Maureen Cracknell, whose blog is a constant source of delight and inspiration.

And an actual modelled picture. By the look of those sleeves, I will be repeating this process come Christmas!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rite of Passage

In what seems like a ridiculously short period of time, Eldest headed off for his first day of Kindergarten this past Thursday, September 6, 2012. He was thrilled!

WOO HOO! Says Iain!
Though I didn't end up shedding any tears at his school, the week prior to Iain's first day saw me in short fits of tears. To me, school is a huge rite of passage for both children and their parents and I was crying over the fact that 'this is it'.

From now on, we will have few days when I have all three boys home with me, days when we can stay in our pyjamas all day if we want or get up and get ready to hit one of the many programs or locations that have become so important to maintaining my sanity as the kids tear around enjoying themselves. This is the start of the big world having more of an impact on Iain than his family will. The start of an outside agency having a huge impact on our family schedule (can you say 'homework'?) and lifestyle. The start of significant peer influence. The last day of all boys being at home together.

Middlest wasn't quite as happy as his big brother about Iain going to school. He wanted to go to school TOO!

At the ripe old age of three, Aidan seemed to know exactly what
impact Iain's first day of school would have on his life.

Outside Iain's school.

Because Aidan was so upset, we didn't manage to capture all three boys in a a blog worthy picture at the school.

Iain was too cool. We found his class room and teacher, dropped his things off into his locker and got him changed into his indoor shoes. The teacher took a first day of school family picture of us all and Iain went to his desk calling out "See ya!" as he sat down.


I am so proud of you my big boy.