Review: Bella Bambini Crocheted Sweater Coat

 

During my “resting” period after Violet’s birth, I decided to fill some of that time being useful. I crocheted her a warm sweater! After browsing my Pinterest board for ideas, I went with a pattern that I used when I was pregnant with Abigail. It is a free pattern from the Bella Bambini, the Sweater Coat.

The pattern was easy. It needs to be if I can do it! I am no pro at crocheting. I tend to do it when I am bored and need to fill some time. That means I rarely do it. Ha! It also means I don’t make much progress in my skill level. Anyway, back to the pattern. I ramble. The fit is spot on for a newborn. I used two different yarns for some color contrast and interest. I shortened the length by a couple rows and added a scalloped bottom instead of a plain single crochet edging. The sleeves were adjusted for a slightly smaller scalloped edging. The scallop pattern came from ” 5 Crochet Edges You Should Know” on Craftsy.

For the buttons, I cheated and didn’t make button holes. The buttons I used fit nicely between the double crochets. They came from my vintage buttons stash. Picking out buttons for an outfit is always fun! My girls hear me rooting around in the buttons and come running. They can’t resist running their fingers through the buttons, either!

This pattern would work well for a boy or girl depending on the yarn you pick out. If I had to do it over again I would have crocheted up another sweater on the blog that isn’t too far off from this one, “Sam’s Sweater” . The bottom has a more feminine stitch. It is probably getting too late to make another newborn sweater. Violet probably only has another week or so in newborn sizes. She is growing so quickly!

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Birthday Sale!

Readers who followed my journey through abdominal rehab for diastasis will know I am a big fan of the Tummy Team. Every year on her birthday the founder, Kelly, has a sale! Yay! I bought my program 2 years ago on during this sale and have never regretted it. It really has helped me feel stronger and look better. I could tell a big difference between this pregnancy and the last. ( and the births!) The work I did with the Core Foundations made that difference. ( I may post about that later if there is an interest!) If you want to read about my 8 weeks with the program, the posts are here: Tummy Talk

This isn’t a fitness program- it is REHAB. So many problems stem from a weak core- pelvic floor weakness/leakage/prolapse, back pain, digestive issues, hernias, and many other issues. I am thankful not to have dealt with a lot of those- mostly back pain.

There are five programs to choose from depending on your needs.

Core Foundations- 8 weeks that focus on strengthening your core and other areas that are connected.

Prenatal Core Training- 6 week program that focuses on pregnancy and birth prep.

Core Preparations for Cesarean- 4 week program for mothers who will be getting a planned c-section

Core Preparations- program for those who will be needing some sort of abdominal surgery. ( hernia, etc.)

Core Integrations- 6 months access to integrating your core into every day life. It is for those who have done the Core Foundations or Prenatal Program.

Use the code “HAPPY44″ to get the birthday deal!

I hope that those of you who are having issues with how you look or feel will look into these programs. The Core Foundations program really helped me learn that I needed to take care of myself to take care of my family. God bless!

 

Post contains affiliate links, because I think Tummy Team is awesome. ;)

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Pattern Testing: Autumn Grace Expansion Pack

When the original Autumn Grace pattern came out I was unable to test it due to having morning sickness/fatigue. I was so pleased when the expansion pack came up for testing, and I got to pick an option to test! The tunic version with pockets caught my eye right away. My girls always love something with pockets! The Expansion Pack from Pollywoggles has 5 options that were not in the original pattern-  tunic, pockets, cowl, hood, and sleeveless.

I chose the cowl option for the neckline. The cowl had some tweaking done with it after I tested it. Mine doesn’t sit quite nicely to the bottom. That was fixed in the final version. I didn’t end up making the final version since Lillon did not need more clothes, and I was getting close to my due date. I needed to do baby prep! I suspect I will be sewing up lots more of these in the future since it is cold weather pattern. It is hard to find patterns for warm clothes, and this one has so many options!

It was a fun pattern test and a quick sew. I made it up right after Christmas. I don’t usually work much with fleece, because it really isn’t my style. This really caught my eye, though, and I am so pleased with the pattern! The tutorial is clear and well done. The fit is good. There are instructions on how to mix  sizes together for the perfect fit. Lillon’s tunic is a 5 width and a 7 length.

I enjoy working with this designer, because she is great about taking suggestions from the testers to make a better pattern for everyone. The Autumn Grace is on sale for a short time. It is only $5.13 US, so it is a good deal!

 

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Introducing…

the newest member of the family: Violet Faye! We are both doing great.

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Every Girl Needs a New Pair of…Curtains?

Ever have one of those projects that you put off for an embarrassingly long amount of time? I hate to admit it but I have quite a few. I crossed one off my list today, though! My girls have been without curtains for a very long time. I didn’t really like the lace ones that were there, and they were not not the same length.

About a year and a half ago I picked up some fabric at the local Humane Society rummage sale to make them. ( I told you this has been put off for a LONG time!) It was a roll of sheer, pink meshy stuff. At a buck, it wasn’t staying there. I probably used about 8 yards for the curtains and 1 yard for an earlier project- part of the skirt of a princess dress, if you must know. I have barely made a dent in it yet. Good deal.

The curtains are pretty basic. I cut the length I needed from selvage to selvage to save time hemming the sides. I left a couple inches for the hem and about another three inches for the top. Each of the four panels is two of these pieces sewn together. I hemmed the bottoms, basted the tops together, and then sewed the top that runs through the rod as one piece. The tie-backs are a wide lace that I picked up at the thrift store on half price day.

Price of curtains:

.50 for fabric ( being generous here)

.50 for lace

$1 for thread ( approx.)

Total- $2

I did put quite a bit of time in- maybe 4 hours? If my services were $20 an hour the curtains would be an investment of $82. That makes them some pretty snazzy curtains! My girls sure are in love with them. I happen to think they are pretty, too, but I may be a little biased.

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Let It Snow!

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. Job 37:6

This year’s weather has been a little crazy for December. Usually, our first good snow comes sometime between November 1 and the 3rd week of December. While we did have a very faint dusting of snow a couple times, it never really covered the ground and was gone in a day. Apparently, whoever is in charge of the weather decided that they had been shirking their job and dumped us with 10 inches of snow in a 24 hours period! We hunkered down in the house and watched the snow come at a fast and furious rate. We also watched the scanner report accident after accident on the local roads. The interstate and a couple main roads were closed after a while. A friend got stuck in the MIDDLE of the road on her way to care for a neighbor’s animals. Whiteout conditions were reported. It was a good day to stay home!

Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail? Job  38:22


Now it is no longer ugly brown outside out windows. It is a beautiful white- pure and clean.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa.  1:18

The kids are very excited to have all this snow. They have been sledding, building forts, and throwing lots of snowballs! It has kept me busy making sure they all have an appropriate amount of hats, mittens, scarves, snow pants, and a warm coat. Before it snowed, Richie was convinced that it was not cold enough to wear a coat. With the snow he seems to get that it is actually winter!

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. Proverbs   31:21

 

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Aches, Pains, Stretches, Babies, and Other Ramblings

Hello, it has been a while! Sometimes life has a way of taking over. I am still here plugging away at my normal things I do- homeschooling, sewing, caring for my goats, and raising my little monsters…I mean darlings.

In news that I haven’t announced here, I am expecting baby #5 at the end of January. That is part of the reason things have been quiet around here- the other part is that I lost my writing mojo. It really takes a lot of time to put together a presentable blog post! I spent the first 5 months of my pregnancy feeling like dirt. Exhaustion and nausea were my unpleasant companions for far longer than expected. Thankfully, I feel pretty good most days now. This me last week at 30 weeks along.

I thought it would be fun to post a picture of me at roughly the same time in my last pregnancy- before I did a lot of rehab for my falling apart body.  I am about 28-29 weeks in this picture.

My pain levels are less this pregnancy. I have no sciatic pain, and I have had sciatic pain through at least part of the previous three pregnancies.  My posture is better. Baby is head DOWN and not transverse. In my last two pregnancies, my babies hung out sideways until 35-36 weeks. This one has been head down since 28 weeks.  I have a LOT more energy this time around! I felt half dead last time. I was so tired!  This time around I am having trouble with leg cramps, and I feel like I have tried everything to get rid of them.  I am hoping to be able to try going to the chiropractor soon. This has been going on since before pregnancy, but pregnancy does not help it at all. My hips are tight, too, but walking helps with that. Anyway, I am sure you have heard enough of my ramblings on pregnancy pain.

I thought I would quickly go over some things I am doing differently this time around in case they help someone else. One of the big/ little things I do to be more comfortable this time around is stretching. I stretch my calves and hamstrings several times a day. I usually do this while I am waiting for my goats to finish eating their grain. I have a piece of pipe and a freezer that works perfectly for that purpose. Walking is another thing I have started this month, and it helps with tight hips and glutes.  I have heard that birth is like a marathon. We need to train for it.

Link for the calf stretch

Link for the hamstring stretch.

These are just a couple of the helpful stretches I do. I hope that you have some that you do each day. It can make a big difference in how you feel each day!

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School Desk Make Over

About a month ago I unexpectedly ended up at a school auction. I thought it was a school rummage sale, but , no, only about two tables were rummage stuff. Things were going CHEAP, so I stuck around. I can’t resist a good deal. I ended up coming home with a short but long table- 8ft, a half dozen chairs for little people, a rolling table, and this…

I thought it would make a cute sewing table for the kids to use. Mine is too tall. We end up having to put the foot on a stool for them to sew. It was also only $1.  How could I resist???

Admittedly, it is no beauty queen. I could see potential there. I would turn it into something beautiful! Believe it or not, I actually got to doing something with it. After a trip to the hardware store for some spray paint in the perfect color I was ready to start…a couple months later.

The weather forecast for this week was showing a few warm days before the COLD sets in. This meant I needed to do my painting soon. Today, I pulled the little desk out to my driveway where the ladybugs had not taken over yet and gave it a light sanding on its rusty spots. It also needed a wipe down. I wanted to keep the lovely top and feet, so I applied newspaper and masking tape to them. Then I sprayed away to my hearts content.

Eden watched the whole time, exclaiming over the color I chose and the beauty of the little desk. I love a good audience. She is easy to please and loves anything shiny and new. I will have to agree with her that it is much improved. What do you think?

This was it with the paper still on it.

 

Here it is in its own little spot. The flowers in the mason jar were from a friend’s wedding and match beautifully!

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Remember Those Who Have Given All

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Fun Deals and Steals

I have run across a few deals and freebies this week, and I thought I would pass on to all of you!

Creative Video Workshops on Creativebug.com

 

CreativeBug is having a a promo where you can get 2 months free with the code “Michaels” if you subscribe to their newsletter. Creativebug is crafty type classes- sewing, knitting, crochet, arts, paper crafts, and canning.  I have done a month of their classes and really enjoyed it. They have some fun crafts for children, too.

 

Boca Beth is having a going out of business sale. She cd’s and dvd’s to teach children Spanish. I ordered a few. All cd’s and dvd’s are $3. The sale lasts until the end of March when she closes business.

Join Fit2b.us

Fit2B has a sale on their products until tomorrow. (3/20) Fit2B has some really great fitness resources for moms! It is work at your own time and pace online workout videos. The “14 days to a Better Neck” course is very tempting…

 

 

 

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