Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Friday


Hi friends.  Wonder what I've been up to?

I've been sewing doll clothes.
Yeah.  Doll clothes.



Like a tiny little tailor I've made tiny little patterns, cut out tiny scraps of fabric and sewn them to other tiny scraps of fabric to make... you guessed it, tiny doll clothes.  For some reason, I find this extremely satisfying.  I have very little experience in pattern construction and I am completely floored by the process of figuring out the contours and cuts needed to properly fit the body.  Even a very disproportionate doll body.  I've been referencing these simple doll clothes and patterns from Dana of Made.  For me it's been a bit of a Goldilocks process.  The first pattern is too small, the next pattern is too big, until finally I make it just right.  At first it was just Lets see if I can actually do this, and now I'm all, I think I need to hand stitch itty-bitty flutter sleeves on that dress and Miniature peter pan collar?  Yes please.  

A couple months ago a friend pointed out that our version of nesting is making things (the quilt, the modern kids table, doll clothes) and while I didn't realize it at first I think she's right.  While the Christmas decorations have been up since the day after Thanksgiving and most of my shopping is finished, I have yet to deep clean the house and pack my bag for the hospital.  As I anticipate the life altering changes a newborn brings I think I can sense this most especially in the lack of creative time.  So I sew.  That coupled with the fact that the majority of these clothes are for the ugliest but most beloved baby doll in the world.  A simple cloth body baby doll that was gifted to us by a friend when Lamp latched onto it at her house one day.  The baby has never had any clothes and one of the eyes is half way rolled back in her head but somehow this baby is the number one, the alpha dog, the my girl Friday of all of Lamp's toys.  It's sweet really.  And since I was making clothes for ugly baby Lucy, I thought I should make something for the beloved and beautiful Susan.  (I really hope my 6 year old doesn't read/see this post.  She's a great reader, in fact we just found out that her teacher has her reading books to the whole class everyday lately.  Ha!  That's one way to get some extra grading time.)

And of course I really love doing this for my girls.  Buying gifts is fun.  Spending time and making these little clothes that I think they'll really enjoy is better.  And someday I hope their hearts will be warmed at the thought of their mother stealing their precious babies from their slumbering arms trying to make something special and homemade just for them.

Susan raising the roof and modeling her new dress.  See that Peter Pan collar?  Not easy.  



Wanna know what else I've been up to?
Retaining water.  This is not nearly as satisfying as sewing little doll clothes.
Baby watch 2013/2014 is officially on.

Happy Friday!

I'd like to get your opinion on the whole push present thing.  Opinions?  Is this something you do or do you think it's just plain ridiculous?  I have mixed feelings on the matter.  However, my husband is firmly in the "push presents are ridiculous" camp.  

26 comments:

  1. Would you please take a picture of Lucy in one of her outfits? I'm curious. My mom used to take me shopping for special occasions, and if (when) we couldn't find anything to fit, she'd just end up making me something to wear. I loved it. It's one of my favorite things about my mom.

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    1. So cool...I've made some clothes for my kids in the past, but I'd like to get to the point where I could just "whip" something up...someday.

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  2. This is amazing, these little doll clothes! I live in California, but do you know of a really good sewing class I can take to learn out to make (everything really) from skirts (probably easy) to, lets say leather jackets...any tips are appreciated. Thanks.

    ps. I love your blog so much, I don't have any children yet (my youngest sibling is 16 years younger than myself though), I know Ruth - she has a daughter Davy (I think you've talked about her before...) I also read Mara's blog, ablogaboutlove

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    1. Aubrey--I bet if you just google local sewing shops and make some calls you could find some sewing classes in a snap. That being said, I pretty much just bought a sewing machine one day and taught myself from there. It was definitely baby steps and I just asked a lot of friends to show me how to do little things, or I'd look up online tutorials, etc. I actually did a lot of hand sewing in college (like cutting up old t-shirts to make new ones) and just experimented that way because sewing machines intimidated me. But they're quite easy to get the hang of, and even a very basic machine can do a lot! Good luck!

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  3. I had to Google" push presents". I'm with your husband on this one.

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  4. After I married a man raised in the third world I began to educate him on all the many occasions he was supposed to think of and present me with a gift. Even as I said it it seemed ridiculous and excessive. He educated me. I rarely get gifts from him for any occasion, but when I do they are thoughtful and genuine not obligatory. (Neither of us have the discipline to apply this to the kids, for good and ill)

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  5. I've always thought that the baby is the push present! We do give big brother and/or sister a gift from the new baby. Love the doll clothes.

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    1. So push presents--yes! I agree there is something quite distasteful about the whole thing. Like we're taking one more sacred, amazing thing and commercializing it. And yes, what could be more precious and amazing than the BABY? Nothing.
      BUT... here's the flip side of the coin for me. First my primary love language is gifts/surprises/special occasions and second, like what MJ said below, because I've had some pretty bad PPD I sorta like the idea of being recognized for being willing to do something that yes has a great reward on it's own, but has historically put me through the worst personal hell(s) I've known. In the long run the PPD seems like a drop in the bucket compared to every blessing my children are to me...but in the moment, wow...it's been very difficult.

      Thanks for chiming in ladies.

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  6. I love the clothes! So sweet, so heartwarming! I had to google push presents too. I think family is a gift.. time together is a gift.. the way the community comes together to celebrate a new baby and support the mother with food, visits, laundry folding, etc. is a gift.. the idea of using birth to get some material object is bizarre. Go with your heart, as usual.

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  7. I used to think "push presents" were pretty ridiculous. And I guess I still think lavish jewelry would be way over-the-top, but then again I'm not into jewelry. However, two kids later and two post-partum depressions later and it's like yeah maybe I wouldn't mind if somebody got something just for me to remind me I'm a person. Not for the pushing part so much as the baby blues-and-a-half part. But really what I would want is just a chance to go on a walk every day or something.

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    1. Yep. I get that. See my response above...

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  8. Anonymous8:17 AM

    Here's how we handled push presents. My husband presented me with a small diamond ring for our first, pearls for the second. Then I had a second trimester loss. Then another child. He offered push presents for both of those children but I opted to donate the money he would have spent to a children's charity that treats children born with the condition that caused my loss. For my loss, no gift would have helped me feel better and the money certainly is more useful to the charity than on my hand. More than anything, I feel like my last child was the biggest gift in the world and did not want a thing. In retrospect, I think of my naive, silly self before my loss and realize that the baby, truly, is the best push present of all.

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    1. Anon--I appreciate your candor and honesty in this. Thanks for sharing your perspective...and I agree (and think most people do) that nothing could be better than the baby. :)

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  9. I am firmly in the camp of no push presents. To me, a baby is the BEST gift one could get. I also look at is as a way to negate the birth of a child. I have heard so many women say 'Oh look at what I got as a push present" The push present becomes the focus of having a baby, not the birth of another miracle.

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    1. Ugh! Agreed...that is silly and ridiculous. I guess I hate that it has this official name 'push present' and has become a thing. For me, if my husband chose to get me something during that difficult post partum time just to say I love you it would be meaningful to me, but yeah...I guess this idea of associating it with birth and like there should be some payoff just because you did it--well I don't like that at all. See my comments above for more clarity.

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    2. If you are looking for something to get you thru postpartum you could ask for a coupon book of things he could do to help you out after you give birth. Like maybe he could get up with the babe in the middle of the night, send you off to the spa for a massage, take the kids for a walk so you could nap. I know I sound super old fashioned. I think it's just the term that drives me insane. The ones that really drive me insane is when I am reading a magazine and it's like "so and so got a 10 carat ring as a push present" blah. really? Letting your hubby know what he can do to help you out postpartum is AMAZING!

      Whatever you decide to do is right for you and your family.

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  10. Aw, doll clothes! I totally agree. I got hooked a few years ago making gifts for friends' kids. It is so satisfying to work on something so tiny. Of course, the frustration level can be pretty high, too, but in general it is fun to see something come together so quickly. I started making dolls, too-- watch out it is a slippery slope! :) (some of my work is on etsy... etsy.com/shop/MilkPailCrafts) Your girls are going to be thrilled to receive your handiwork!!

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    1. Kara--yes--the fact that these little clothes come together so quickly is definitely part of the thrill of making them. Absolutely! I'll check out your shop.

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  11. HeidiAnn3:23 PM

    Here's my opinion on push presents: People who will never have to do the pushing don't get to have an opinion on push presents (within reason, no one should break the bank, of course). I say if you want a push present, you should have one. I've had terrible PPD with all five of mine, and yes, a present does help me a little bit. Not everyone is like that though. My firm belief is if you are a new or new-again mom, you should have some special treatment, and if for you that's a push present, so be it. You've grown a freaking human for the better part of a year, for Pete's sake!

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  12. Im still trying to get my husband to remember my birthday, so push presents probably wouldnt work, but I dont see anything wrong with it. To me it would just be acknowledging and appreciating the hard work and pains you went through.

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  13. Forgot to add, I love the dress that Susan is wearing, it has a sweet retro look about it.

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  14. Anonymous9:50 PM

    Back before "push presents" were a thing, I had a one year old son and was pregnant with my daughter. Back to back pregnancies were a toll on my body and my fingers were too swollen for my wedding ring. It made me sad to not wear it because of what it represented, so my sweet husband bought me a ring to wear while I was pregnant. It was a nice ring, but not an expensive ring, and what I love most about it 10 years later is showing it to my daughter and telling her the story. She loves to look at it and knows when she gets old enough I will give it to her. I love having that "something" that was special to that pregnancy and that I can look at and remember that time - because time flies! So I don't know about a "push present" per say, as mine was more of a "fat lady pregnancy gift", but I love having that ring as a reminder of that moment in time. I probably treasure it more than if it was something I got after the baby was born (other than the baby itself, of course). I am so excited for you and your new addition! -

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  15. My hubs is amazing and, honestly, spoils me rotten all year long. However when I've just had a baby? He struggles and if he remembers to ask me how I'm feeling I call it good. So, no push presents or flowers or anything much for new babes at this house. He just told me to hit up a "secret" VS semi annual sale tomorrow, so I guess he makes up for it ;) .

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  16. No ring or present could ever take away from the special time of having of a baby! A push present is a thank you and an acknowledgement of all having a baby does to a woman's body and soul, during and after birth. My push present is a ring of my son's birthstone, a peridot-- and I love it. It is so precious to me, because it reminds me of him, and of our birth story, and of the very day I became a mother to him.

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  17. I feel like a push present should be a High- Five and a touchdown dance after the labor is over!!! You know, that moment when you realize that YOU JUST PUSHED A FREAKIN' BABY out of a tiny little hole (c-sections included!!!). You Rock. The End. Do a Happy Dance. And then go take a nap.

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  18. I'm all about presents all the time, but the term "push present" is what I find off-putting. The few people i know who expect push presents asked me what i was getting way before i was even showing. It seemed more like another component of the hot, young moms competion rather than a loving gesture. How about, "here's a surprise bc I love you gift"? After my last baby, my husband brought me my favorite dinner and an iTunes gift card bc he knew how much I missed running. And I didn't go call anyone up and tell them about it bc it wasnt like that at all. (Steps off soapbox)

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