Maternity Shirts to Baby Dress!

I had a few maternity shirts with those lovely belly stains on them… 
in other words “not fit to donate or sell.”  
Looking at the shirts I thought that there was a lot of nice, soft, material in a maternity t-shirt, and the backs of the shirts were perfectly fine
so I started searching for free patterns on Pinterest.  
  
Now, I am not an expert at sewing so I wanted something very easy to get back in the swing of things.  

Found this one for a baby Cap Sleeve Dress on Shwin & Shwin that was adorable and thought I’d give it a try.

Cutting out Bodice from Maternity T’s
(was debating putting those molas on the dress)

Aimee is 4 months old tomorrow, but large for her age.  She’s about 15# and 29″ long so she’s wearing a 6 month size in most everything, even larger in some because of her height.  This free pattern was a size 12-18 month, but looking at it I didn’t think it was that huge so I made it to size.

I used the backs of two maternity t shirts in the end, a teal green one and a purple one.
For the skirt I didn’t follow the pattern because it didn’t fit on any of the shirts right.   I ended up taking the purple t shirt and just cutting off the bottom of it all the way around (about 10 inches long) and then gathering that and sewing it on the bodice.

My first attempt revealed that the bodice was way too long as well as the skirt, but width was fine.

“Mom, this is too big!” 

So, I cut the skirt off the bodice and cut length off of both, then resewed.

This was perfect.  BUT, my stitching wasn’t very straight and seam showed on skirt…
SO
I used the binding that had been around the top of the teal v-neck t shirt and cut it off to make a belt of sorts.  I stitched it on using a decorative stitch on my machine and black thread.  I left the ends hanging like a real belt, and then made a fabric flower out of the purple fabric.

Floppy Flower and Belt Detail 

To make the flower I just cut the end of a sleeve off at about three inches
then folded it and sewed a basting stitch and gathered it into a rough flower.  Then I stitched those stitches together on the back and hand stitched it on, gathering where I thought it needed it.

I think she likes it! 

It was really quite easy to work with jersey.  I’d been scared to try but think making t-shirts for her would be so simple.  I have several other dresses cut out from patterns I’m making myself, so I’ll keep you posted!

On 39 Weeks (Birth Stories Condensed) & Giveaway!

If you know me you know I am huge advocate for natural childbirth.  
Having given birth to three healthy kids I thought I’d share my experiences.

It was so hard for me to carry to term.  Due to a hyper auto-immune
system and crazy hormones we’ve suffered seven losses.  Just last year we
had a tiny son born before his time come into the world and leave it
before his first breath.  We were given a 4% chance of ever having a baby, so my children are like precious gifts.

With our first- I wanted to have a home birth, but our family was too terrified, so we went with a hospital and doctor.  We did the Bradley method classes with a wonderful midwife, made a birth plan, and went to a doctor that claimed to understand it all.  Ha.  (I won’t go into details on that one but let’s just say he wasn’t ideal and kept saying to hurry up so he could go duck hunting…)
The ONE good thing he did was let me carry my girl to term. 
“Don’t you want to pick her birthday?”  he asked.  “Everyone is doing it.”

Emily, true to her nature, was stubborn and at 42 weeks still wasn’t going anywhere (despite castor oil and daily long walks.)  So, the doctor induced (which I don’t recommend- Pitocin makes for horrific contractions when you are opting for no pain meds) and twelve hours later a beautiful, healthy, stubborn girl was born.

Second birth- we were going with a midwife/hospital birth but insurance changed and we had to switch to a doctor/hospital birth.  The baby was breech.  Also being stubborn he refused to turn when the doctor (yes, a different and wonderful one) tried to point him in the right direction.   At 40 weeks I went to my acupuncturist to try and get him to turn and while on the table he moved into the “ready” position!  The doctor decided that he wanted to induce at 41 weeks (again, I have to say Pitocin is not fun – I did have a epidural for him which I also don’t recommend because it was scary and didn’t help pain) and 12 hours later Max was welcomed into this world.

Third birth- I wanted the whole natural route with midwife at home.  At 39 weeks I went to the acupuncturist again to start inducing me to prevent another hospital induction.  It worked!  A week later during one of the worst ice storms in ten years I went to bed with a little tummy ache, woke up thinking “Am I in labor?” and then decided I couldn’t be because- a) there was almost no pain,  b)My midwife was in Japan and c) The baby wouldn’t come on Christmas eve, right? But… “honey, call the midwife chain just in case and put on the Hypnobirth CD…”
Sweet baby Jacob was born in the most beautiful, comfortable birth I can imagine.  At home, at 40 weeks.  Healthy and happy.

If you’re pregnant (or thinking of it) please remember that a baby carried to at least 39 weeks has a much better chance of making it without complications. 

What can you do to prevent a pre-term (before 37 weeks) birth?

From my midwife:
“Best way to avoid preterm labor is eat enough protein,
especially deep sea fish all through pregnancy and most importantly
avoid infections of the vaginal canal. Smoking and bad nutrition can
lead to preterm labor also.”

What are my suggestions?
-Get pre-natal care right away.  (Doctor or midwife)
-Eat right
-Ask friends, nurses, midwives, ladies on the playground, who they suggest as an OB
-Make sure to check out the Healthy Families website for wonderful information on pregnancy, early childhood development and more.  You can also order a paper copy if you are someone who likes to have a book to highlight!  🙂  I can remember using this book during my first pregnancy and highlighting every step of the way!

Now for the good stuff…

Enter for a chance to win this great basket containing:
– Graco baby bag
– Pampers Swaddlers for newborns
– Winnie the Pooh baby blanket
– Thermometer
– Nipple cream
– Two pacifiers and a clothes clip

HOW DO I ENTER?

  1. Leave a comment below and remind me what you did to enter (A must!)
  2. Follow my blog! (1 entry)
  3. Tweet about this give-away #HFNow @ThePanamamama(1 entry)
  4. Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
  5. “Like” my Facebook Page  (1 entry)
  6. Like “Healthy Families Now”on Facebook (1 entry)

You can do most of the above by clicking the cute buttons in the top righthand corner too…
After seven years of blogging this is actually my first give-away so I’m going to be actually drawing a name the old fashioned way!  Good luck!

*Disclaimer… I am not an expert and don’t claim to be.  I was given this great bag of goodies to give-away by Healthy Families of Arkansas.  None of the opinions expressed above are influenced by anything other than my own experiences.   Winner will be drawn on Friday, 9th of November! 

Table for Six, Please?

We’ve had a secret/surprise since around New Year’s Eve…

After dance and guitar lessons (Manic Mondays) we decided to tell the kids the news so that they wouldn’t be wondering why mommy’s been so (grouchy, sickly, tired, tired, tired.)
*Note- we were at a restaurant since we eat out almost every Manic Monday night.


Scott said “Guess what?”
“What?” say the kids, mouths full of cheese sticks and marinara.
“Can you guess our surprise?” he says.
“Not really.” they say.  (Hoping secretly that it’s another Disney trip I’m sure.)
Well, Jac’s going to be what Max is!” he says.
“What?” they say.
“Well, what is Max to you, Jac?”  
“Bigger?” says Jac.
“HuH?!” says Max, wide-eyed and choking on his mozzarella.
“Oh, no.”  says Emily, laughing and hiding her head.  “I knew it.”
“What?”  asks Jac.
“A big what?”  says daddy.
“Brother?”  Max asks.
“Yep.” 
“What?”  says Max, “You ARE kidding, right?”
“Nope.”  I say.  “You’re going to be a big brother again too!”
“No way.”  he says.
They all start laughing hysterically.
“Yep, we thought we needed to fill in the extra chair at the table.” we say.
“You ARE kidding?” Max says.  “Let me see your belly, mom.”
“Kid, it won’t be big for awhile.”  I say.  (Hoping.)
“Where will they sleep?” the boys ask.
“How about in your room if it’s a boy and if it’s a girl Emily will finally have to share a room.” I say.  
Emily gasps.
“No way.” says Max.  “Babies break stuff.”
“They can’t even crawl for awhile, honey.” I say.
“I think I might push the baby down the stairs if they break my toys.”  says Jac (still not realizing what we are saying, I think.)
“What?!” I gasp.  “What if Emily or Max had pushed you down the stairs when you were little?  You didn’t push Max or Jac did you, Emily?”
She smirks “No.  But I probably wanted to.”
Wow.
“I’m just kidding.”  Jac smiles.  “I’ll be a good big brother.”
“We know you will.”  daddy says.  “You’ll be awesome.”
“Well,  we need to get a baby gate right now.”  says Max.  “I can’t have the baby ruining my Lego creations.” 
“Don’t worry, there is one in the garage from when you were a baby.”  we say.  “So you wouldn’t ruin Emily’s Barbies.”
“Oh,  I guess it’s okay then.”  he says.

Wow.  Sibling love.



They are all brainstorming baby names already so I guess they aren’t too upset! 


*Side note:  I found out Max had told everyone at school the day after this conversation! Yikes.  I am not out of the danger zone yet so was hesitant to post this, but hey, I think everyone knows already!