Where I Buy Fabric

June 10th, 2016 - 

Textile Center Garage Sale

I can’t remember how or when I learned about the Textile Center’s annual garage sale, I just know the knowledge has been life changing. Basically, I can stock up on awesome patterns (new and vintage) and fabric to last me the whole year.


The sale includes donated fabric, yarn, patterns, and machines for sewing, knitting, and weaving. (And there’s a lot of it.)

2016 was the first year I donated to the sale, mostly patterns and fabric, and it’s also the first year I paid to attend the the preview night. Not something I’ll do again, most likely, but there was free nachos and a DJ so that was nice.

Mostly, on the preview day, you’re confronted with so much, for someone with my approach to shopping—AKA “JUST GRAB IT”—it was not a great benefit to be there with so much available. Basically, I ended up with a HUGE pile of fabric and patterns and had to really reason with myself on how much I should spend on, ostensibly, my back up stash.

Some examples of my Textile Center Garage Sale fabric finds:

7_img_3269 73_image

I also won an auction on a knitting machine in 2015, but I still haven’t taught myself how to use it!

SR Harris

This is my fabric home. I kind of live at SR Harris. It’s the best in town, IMHO.


All of the fabric is 50% off, so usually $3-6 for most of the things I buy. I’ve bought a few higher end items too, usually designer or name brand wool coating and such.


I just love the variety, and the experience of snooping through the reams of fabric  to find something perfect to stash or use for a specific project. This is where I bought the pink shantung for my wedding dress, among other things.

They have a new second location in the south suburbs, but I still prefer their northern location tremendously. It’s one of my top favorite places in the world, probably.

Hancock Fabrics

The nearest fabric store to my house is Hancock Fabrics, so I’m there a lot for pattern sales, fabric remnants, and discounted fabrics.


This coat is basically a Hancock Fabrics production. From the woven houndstooth material, to the fleece binding and exposed zippers, and even the pattern it’s based on (Butterick 6255).

I used to go there a lot (too much???) but hadn’t been in months because, since the baby, I haven’t really been sewing.

I dropped by last week and learned they are going out of business! All of them! Every Hancock Fabrics is closing across the country, reportedly due to financial mismanagement. I can’t even believe it.

Vogue Fabrics

This is an online fabric retailer. I’ve bought mostly from their clearance section, multiple yards of cute synthetic fabrics to use when trying out new patterns.

Some examples:



I try not to shop at Jo-Ann, except from their remnant bin. They don’t have many good items for garment making in my opinion. Otherwise, I like to visit fabric stores in other cities when I’m visiting. LA had some of the best shops, for sure, but I’ve also bought fabric in Nashville and Austin, that I can remember.

I do like Crafty Planet in Minneapolis, but, despite how cute their fabrics are, they’re better suited for quilters and crafters and not exactly what I want as a garment-maker. So I don’t stop in that often.


Baby Growing Up

June 9th, 2016 - 

The longest shortest time is right.

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on

Six months ago my baby fit in the crook of my arm and now I can barely contain her on my lap.

She can crawl and laugh (a big, joyous laugh, sometimes for no reason) and she loves to eat. Sweet potatoes, strawberries, peas with mint, and carrots so far.

She has stood for three minutes with barely any help from me.

She loves going out places and staring at whatever is in the room. IKEA, Target, and the Mall of America mostly. Also, SO MANY restaurants. (We have about as much time and energy for cooking now as we did before she was born, unfortunately.)

She’s very alert and interested in her surroundings. She falls asleep by 8pm and starts waking up at 6:30am.

I think she’s really smart.

She doesn’t like pacifiers. Instead she sucks her tongue. She keeps it between her lips. Sometimes she moves it around so I know she’s hungry.

On Tuesday morning this week she woke up blowing raspberries for the first time. On Monday, she woke up knowing how to crawl.

I think she must dream about growing up, and she’s excited to get to it first thing in the morning, like it’s her job.

She’s six months now, wearing 9 month clothes. She is generally in the 80th percentile for her size among babies nationwide. I think she is the perfect size all the time.

She’s teething now and has one tooth, at the bottom in the front.

She is a very sweet person and I love her very much!


Babies on TV

March 3rd, 2016 - 

They say when you’re pregnant, suddenly everyone in the world is pregnant too. Meaning, you don’t really notice pregnant women until you are one. I certainly found that to be true — I was noticing pregnant women almost for the first time — and it felt nice to be part of such a large group of women all experiencing mostly the same thing.

Then, once my daughter was born, babies seemed to appear as if from every direction. Celebrity babies, family babies, and Facebook friend babies were born by the dozens. The baby boom of Winter 2015/16 has been endless.

Even more improbable, every TV show I binged on my maternity leave seemed to feature a baby storyline as well. Weird, right? Let’s examine (P.S. spoilers!).

The Leftovers

Dynamic cult leader impregnates dozens of girls. After one birth mother commits suicide, her multiracial child finds its way into the life of a white woman whose entire family (husband, daughter, son) were lost in “The Sudden Disappearing.”

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Kourtney gets pregnant, gives birth with lots of people in the room. Kourtney gets pregnant again, considers water birth. Khloe can’t seem to get pregnant (doesn’t ovulate). Kim gets pregnant, suffers from pre-eclampsia. Kourtney gets pregnant again. Kim struggles to get pregnant a second time, tries in vitro (doesn’t work), gets pregnant naturally (learns it will be the last pregnancy she can carry).

Jane the Virgin

Jane waits for sex until marriage, meanwhile is accidentally inseminated, gives birth to beautiful child, has incredibly realistic modern mothering experience (pressure to breastfeed, etc.).

The Mindy Project

Mindy gets pregnant by accident with boyfriend Danny. Disagrees with Danny over having more children, possibly leading to single motherhood.

Mr. Robot

Joanna uses her pregnancy to manipulate her husband, reveals she gave up her first child for adoption at age 15.

Halt and Catch Fire

Donna finds herself in an unstable relationship and an exciting new career, has an abortion.


Alma (a widow) is impregnated by the love of her life (who is married to someone else) but is sadly unable to carry her child to term.

Six Feet Under

Nate impregnates his ex, marries her, then she’s murdered–leaving him a single dad. Re-marries with a different ex, impregnates her, then he dies. Meanwhile, David and Keith (a gay couple) struggle to adopt their first child until they are suddenly blessed with two children.

Exceptions that didn’t feature babies still featured interesting mother-child relationships.

The Gilmore Girls

Lorelei gets pregnant at 16, raises the child as a best friend away from her overly-precious family.

Making a Murderer

A highly impressionable boy is manipulated to confess a crime he didn’t commit while his mother struggles to understand the truth of his involvement.

The Jinx

Son cozies up to a family friend only to uncover the truth that this person is his mother’s murderer.

I guess it’s not weird in any way that something so core to human experience — birth and motherhood — is such a major part of storytelling. Just that, I never would have noticed it before. And if I was looking for clues in any of this, in terms of how my experience related to others or ways I should be raising my baby, I’m not sure I “learned” anything except that no person’s experience will ever be the same as anyone else’s. There are many ways to make a family!

South Dakota

November 18th, 2015 - 

An interesting video was recently shared by a few people I follow on Facebook, highlighting the glories of my home state.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.03.15 AM

I was equally enticed by the crazy still image that accompanied the post (above) and the headline “If You’re From South Dakota, This Will Be The Most Jaw Dropping Thing You See All Day. Guaranteed.” What could it even mean? I honestly assumed Bigfoots.

Instead, the video features a bunch of aerial footage of Western South Dakota. Telling a story of our our state I never really knew and kind of always believed to be sentimental BS. I don’t know anybody living this wide open plains, cowboy lifestyle. It’s part of South Dakota’s identity, somehow, but I’ve never met anyone who really fits the narrative. Most people live in South Dakota’s major cities, which are gross, and don’t really drive into the badlands or go outdoors a lot.

Here are some photos that summarize my South Dakota:

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Nearly identical blonde girls, getting married/drunk

Video lottery in bars catering to sad people

Video lottery in bars catering to sad people

Houses that look like this, owned by everyone

Houses that look like this, owned by everyone

Brown and lifeless landscpaes

Brown and lifeless landscapes



Elaborate displays for Jesus

Elaborate displays for Jesus


Strip malls, everywhere

Not photographed:

  • Terrible traffic on city streets
  • Long, boring drives on the highway
  • People you recognize from high school, mutually avoiding you, everywhere you go

babies are fun

November 16th, 2015 - 

Things I have read in my pregnancy app…


I wonder how many times, as a fetus, I licked a placenta or gnawed on my umbilical cord? Was there a twin I absorbed? So many questions I’ll never have answered.

I wonder what my baby will look like?

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on

The last time I saw her, she was pretty cute, I think. First she was a little duck the size of a gummy bear and then she was a smiley person with a button nose. They tend to limit ultrasounds though, for everyone’s health, so I just have to assume she’s been progressing normally for the last 15 weeks.

I hope all of her works. I am mostly afraid that she might be deaf, because I don’t notice her responding to noise. Of course, I’m not around a lot of sudden weird noises either, and actually like things pretty quiet, so hopefully I’m just worrying for nothing. I just want her to have a good life with all possibilities before her. And is it too much to ask that I really want her to have the lead in a musical someday? Because I love musicals, I’m sure she’ll have a beautiful voice, and it would warm my heart.

Dog Update: This morning when Ripley might have gotten mad at Minnie for being under the covers first, I just petted her and told her she was a good girl for not growling and then I moved her into spooning position so she was on the other side of me from Minnie, and she seemed more relaxed. Maybe we can figure out this dog thing with a little coaching. And later they were playing like good girls, so that’s always a comfort.

Lazy AF

November 16th, 2015 - 


I have entered a new phase of my pregnancy which is Lazy AF. Most of the heavy lifting was done before November, intentionally, to give us ample time before our due date to a) enjoy each other one last time b) enjoy relative peace one last time c) welcome the baby early, if that is what it’s into.

Yet to do:

  • Prepare the guest room (Dad’s coming in a few weeks)
  • Pack the delivery bag
  • Install the car seat
  • Receive the glider and get that in place (it’s been purchased, just no idea when it’s arriving)
  • General clean up of house
  • Open/inspect/clean used baby stuff (pack and play, car seat, baby tub, some toys, stroller)
  • Sanitize baby chew toys (is it okay that I call them this?)
  • Sew the curtains (found some IKEA curtains that work for our track system but they need to be sewn together to work, and hemmed…ANNOYING)
  • Name the baby (THIS IS A WHOLE THING)
  • Remove Halloween decorations from yard
  • Rake (UGH yah right)

Doing instead:

  • Napping with dogs
  • Playing Civilization (board game, and on the iPad)
  • Catching up with favorite sitcoms
  • Driving to Wisconsin for BBQ

Baby is engaged at zero, and has been for a few weeks. Her back is facing my left side and her little legs and arms are facing my right side. When she has the hiccups, it is the worst thing I have ever felt inside of me. When she kicks, it’s kind of cute and I can watch my belly move and that’s cool. I am convinced she is going to be born this week, but that’s just because now is when it would be most convenient for me and I’m sick of watching my stretch marks grow.

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on

Lately our dogs have been very naughty. It started with Ripley being aggressive during meals and trying to eat Minnie’s food. So we had to watch them. Then Ripley and Minnie both started wolfing down their food too fast, to protect their share, and barfing from it, so we had to buy them special bowls. Ripley still gets into Minnie’s space sometimes, but it’s a lot better.

The worst is that, in the past few weeks, Ripley has been very angry with Minnie if she catches her snuggling with one of us. After breakfast, both dogs hop back into bed with me for a bit and Adam goes to work, but Ripley likes to nose around the house a bit, looking for trouble, whereas Minnie just likes to come straight to bed and start napping. This has started to drive Ripley’s jealousy and she starts fighting with Minnie when she gets to bed, slightly more than play fighting, and with little respect for me. This makes Minnie very defensive and a little uneasy, and it’s making me nervous too. We remembered our puppy play time training recently, and have started to pull them apart and keep Ripley on her side until she calms down. But today on the couch while trying to pull them apart I got a bit of Ripley’s bite on my arm, which left a mark. Kind of concerning, in any case, but particularly concerning when we’re about to bring a baby home.

I read about it and it’s possibly my fault, too, which is annoying. I obviously want to have my baby and I realize I may have been preferring Minnie a bit because of it, since she is adorable and pint-sized. I took her to work with me one day and Ripley’s outbursts really started happening after that. SO. I guess I wasn’t respecting their hierarchy and we’re trying to correct that now. Adam’s going to start taking Ripley on some special walks and we’ve both been trying to engage her more. Still, *kind of* worried about bringing baby home, being exhausted, etc. And we really haven’t really committed to how we’re going to sleep them, either. If we can keep them in the bed or need to find another solution. This is chief among things I totally don’t want to think about right now. :/

I also have laundry the dryer I don’t want to fold, and dishes in the washer I don’t want to put away, and I wanted water for at least an hour but waited for Adam to come home and bring it to me from the kitchen. I am full on Lazy AF.

Perhaps partially impacted by the fact I had a huge itching spell on Friday night and a little bit on Saturday, and my baby is low and all movement is challenging or slightly painful, so I don’t want to push myself too far. Keeping my legs shaved and wearing cotton seems to help the itching, but basically I don’t want to stress myself out over anything right now, just in case, so I am committing to not thinking about things, for better or worse. Surely I did enough worrying and prepping for the last 9 months I can coast a little bit now…?…?…?

I did take the dogs to get their holiday photos taken today, rewarded them with a little dog park time, stopped at Walgreen’s for some delivery bag supplies (which remain unpacked with everything else but at least I have it!) and got some dinner. So, little victories. But mostly I just want to lay around and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine for infinity.

If it’s true what they say about nesting, I’ll know when the baby’s about to be born because I’ll have a sudden urge to do…anything.

Driving an Electric Car

November 12th, 2015 - 

A recent email from the Union of Concerned Scientists reminded me of something…

I drive an electric car! Here’s why and how and what I think about it.

With a baby on the way, and Adam’s car payments ending soon, it seemed like a good time for our household to have a second car that I could drive.

Kind of a big deal considering I haven’t had my own car in 9 years.

I had one for awhile that was mine, then I shared it with my boyfriend (which really just meant he drove my car). When we broke up, I had no car, because he had already traded mine in for something else, which he kept. (That story includes more details than I’m listing here, things that still really make me mad, but it’s not worth getting into.) Anyway, when I started dating Adam, he had a car but I never really drove it.

So, I’ve been car-adjacent, but not really an owner or frequent driver for a very long time.

Another interesting fact is that I had never paid more than $2000 for a car before making this purchase. I didn’t really understand the idea of car payments and feared I wouldn’t be able to afford one over the long-term. The fact that we already had a car payment built into our budget, for Adam’s car (which was getting paid off in January) made the decision to go with a newer vehicle much easier.

Once we sold the Airstream, we used some of the money to pay off his car completely and use as a down payment for my electric car, a 2012 Nissan Leaf.

I never would have thought to buy an electric car, but some friends of ours had their car break down at the time I was looking for something and they mentioned a used 2012 Nissan Leaf was going for $11k. People around the table remarked that it seemed like quite a deal, so I took a look. They couldn’t get one in the end because they didn’t have a way to charge at their apartment. We had an outlet perfectly placed in our garage, and it all just seemed to fall into place. Now, having driven the car for 2 months, I feel like I have some decent insight into the EV driver experience.

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on


  1. NO GAS :: One of the things I hate about cars is putting gas in them. Especially in the winter. I DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT NOW! Ever!
  2. TRAFFIC :: Highways are a power-suck but not in slight traffic! It’s so good for my mileage when traffic is moving under 40mph that I don’t even mind it. I relish it.
  3. SEAT WARMER :: My seat warmer seems to use no power at all. I love my seat warmer, so this is good news for me.
  4. FREE CHARGING :: There are a few free charging stations on campus and I love making use of them. Unfortunately, they’re in paid parking spots, so I’m still paying for something, but it’s nice to recharge my battery a little bit if I know I’ll be traveling quite a bit
  5. ACCESS TO THE TWIN CITIES :: I went to IKEA last weekend and back and made a few other stops along the way. I can’t drive all over the cities like crazy, but taking one big trip a day is totally doable, and it’s been heaven for running errands before baby.
  6. ELECTRIC ON A BUDGET :: I didn’t know how much additional power I would draw to run the car, and worried it would be as much as gas ($60 or more per month). But, at least for now, it’s really not bad at all because we’re on a budget plan with our electric company. Maybe our rates will rise slightly next year, but it’s “basically free” right now, which is awesome! Most days I just drive to work and back, which takes about 3-4 hours to charge. So I really only expect our bill to go up $20, max, per month once the billing is reset.
  7. THE NOISE :: I don’t really notice the “lack” of noise until I’m in another car, but EVs are very quiet. They don’t rattle or vroom. They do kind of buzz. It’s a nice, clean sound. I like it.
  8. CHARGING AT HOME :: I thought for some reason that I would have to buy a stand-alone charging station that would cost like $1k to install, but the car actually just came with a cord that plugs into the car and a totally normal grounded outlet. Very easy. People even pack up their cords and will plug them into “free” light poles and stuff, usually in big parking lots. I haven’t done this, I’m afraid someone will steal my cord and it’s annoying to pack up and move regularly, but in a pinch I might (or for peace of mind).
  9. MY DAUGHTER :: I guess I kind of think it’s cool that she’ll grow up with an EV? I hope she’ll be proud of us for transitioning to EVs early on. Adam wants his next car to be a Tesla, there’s some model coming out down the road he’s very interested in, but my car has to get paid off first, so it’s not like an immediate thing. But it’s nice knowing the whole family is into it.


  1. FORGETTING TO PLUG IN :: This has only happened to me once, where I totally drove down the battery at night then tried to take it out to work the next morning (for a big work event, mind you, of course) and found I didn’t have enough projected mileage to get to campus. Had to stay home an extra hour and that still only gets you about 3 miles more.
  2. ANYONE ELSE DRIVING MY CAR :: It’s “normal” to accelerate until you break. But when you do that in an electric car…you’re not being very economical with your power if you’re slamming the breaks all the time. It’s about “the sip” and it takes a little time to learn how to coast well, gauge traffic patterns, and even recharge your battery while you drive so you use the least amount of power to get from Point A to Point B.
  3. MILEAGE MEANS NOTHING :: Projected mileage really means nothing. I can drive 7 miles and use only 4. I can drive 18 miles and actually use 30. It just depends on how fast you’re going.
  4. HEAT AND FOG :: We’re just entering winter so I’m only starting to learn the ropes here. Basically, any time I have the heat on, my windows fog up pretty badly. When I use the defrost it seems to use a lot of power and take too much heat off my feet. I still don’t know how to negotiate this one. Basically, getting the heat right is a button mashing game.


  1. CHARGEPOINT :: I did not understand how this worked at first, it was very confusing. I thought maybe I had to pay money for a service? Chargepoint “owns” a lot of stations, and you need their card to use them. These are the free ones around campus, for the most part, and you can’t access the plug until you swipe your card or download the app and create an account. Supposedly the first time I use a paid station, I’ll be charged $40(?) which will go on the card, and be available for use after that like a pre-paid gift card or something, but that hasn’t happened yet.
  2. MAINTENANCE :: I haven’t had to deal with anything maintenance-wise yet. Evidently replacing a battery is like replacing your transmission, kind of pricey, but I shouldn’t need to do that for a few years. Overall, EV owners can expect to pay less in maintenance, is my understanding.
  3. DRIVING AN ELECTRIC CAR :: I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about being someone who drove an electric car. I felt *kind of* cool when I first bought the car and was able to finally attend some maternity yoga classes. It felt like playing yuppie. And I like seeing other Leafs, though I do sense some slight competition with them if I’m in an area with a charging station. One time I was parking and the guy next to me gave me a card to join a TC EV driver Facebook group, and I felt a little uneasy, but then I thought it was cool? I haven’t joined yet, I lost the card, but it’s neat there’s a little community out there if I had questions. IDK. I like it, and it works for my lifestyle, but anyone who would be embarrassed to drive an EV (is that even a thing?) would be kind of dumb.
  4. CAN’T LEAVE TOWN :: It’s a little risky to drive too far out of town, but we’ve pushed the boundaries a little when possible. We’ve driven as far as Bayport BBQ and that was a stretch. Made it home with barely a few miles left. Would not do again. But overall, it’s not a big deal at all that we can’t road trip in this thing, and it’s done surprisingly well just around the big metro area.
  5. GLOBAL WARMING :: This is a dumb thing to feel “neutral” about but I didn’t know where else to address this. I don’t do a lot to halt global warming but buying this car has made me think about it more. It honestly wasn’t a political or environmental statement to buy the Leaf. It was very economical and practical for me and when I hear things like “we need to expand EV ownership in the next several years for the technology to have a real impact on oil consumption,” I do feel like my choices were validated in other ways as well. I can’t be too haughty because I don’t really know how all the energy that makes it to our house is produced, but I did learn that through our provider CenterPoint I can elect “blocks” of our energy to come from renewable sources as well as choosing to go 100% renewable. But it is an opt-in process. I changed us to one block so far, just because I don’t yet understand what that means or how it will affect our pricing, but it feels good knowing I’m more engaged in this conversation than I was before going with an EV.

Would I recommend an electric vehicle? Hell yes. If you can do it, do it!!! Ownership of an EV is a very positive experience, that’s what I learned from blogs I read when I was doing my research, and it’s what I’ve found as an owner.

Maybe I’ll give a little update at the end of winter, too, when I have more experience driving the EV in bad weather or with a baby in the backseat. Stay Tuned.

Being Donald Duck (a real man)

November 3rd, 2015 - 


Being pregnant on Halloween presented a welcome sartorial challenge. I spent some time researching options and decided I wasn’t crazy about anything that had been done before. I settled pretty early on Donald Duck but wasn’t sure I could pull it together until just last week, so I was also considering Ursula or Miss Piggy. I just kept coming back to Donald Duck though, so I’m glad I went with it and had some success.

A few months ago I was thinking about my new body shape and what to do for Halloween. I had just listened to the first Brad Hammerstone appearance on Comedy Bang Bang (where Brad and all his “real man” friends like to waddle around, eat bread, and wear sailor suits…they are ducks) and it really made me laugh to think about dressing as this character, especially since Donald Duck has a fat bottom just like my pregnant body would.

I was just a *little* disappointed to be pregnant this year because I really wanted to be the tightrope walker from Haunted Mansion for my next costume, but hopefully I can do that another year. Would love to actually dress as the tightrope walker for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween sometime, but we’ll see.

Anyway, I thought about the best approach for being Donald Duck and couldn’t get it going. I thought I’d do a weird hoop skirt or paper mache bottom worn kind of like a barrel with suspenders, but it was just overwhelming to get started and I wasn’t sure I could sit in something like that or be comfortable for a whole night.

In the end I went all fabric with nothing to shape the clothes but me (which seemed to be enough!) by cobbling together a bunch of already existing patterns. Pretty pleased with the results!

Here’s what happened from top to bottom.


I cut fabric for the hat after I’d already cut the shirt, and didn’t think I have enough. I made as much of a circle as I could, then gathered the edges. I measured my head where I wanted the hat to go and cut a 2.5″ band of black fabric to roughly that length (23″). I sewed that into a circle, doubled it over, and serged the gathered edges from the blue fabric along the open fold of the black fabric. I then cut two identical pieces of black fabric into a forked tail shape, for the top of the hat, and sewed it along its edge. Then I flipped it right-side out and ironed it flat. I found a button that would work to accompany the little tail, and sewed that on top to connect the tail. I decided to wear my hair in a high bun and put the hat around it, cinching it to my head as much as possible. I think it gives the hat a nice lift like cartoon Donald has, and it managed to stay on my head all night, which was a miracle.


I bought this from Amazon. It’s a whistle that looks like a duck bill. It’s very like the official ones you’d get at Disneyland but much cheaper. I kind of wish I’d gotten something that was always on the face instead of this one, which needs to be held in the mouth, even though the shape was very realistic for the character.



The main body came from McCall’s 6793, a loose-fitting top with no bust marks. I made this last year, grading from a L at the top to an XL at the bottom (I think?) and found it was WAY too large to be flattering. It sort of fits now that I’m pregnant, but I still graded the front bodice out at least an inch at the waist since the broadcloth I used for the top had no stretch. I kept the pattern pieces the same length (just didn’t add the peplum), lengthened the arms, and shaved about .5″ off from the sleeve cuff, since it had been gathered in the pattern. I think I could have added 1″ more length to the sleeves and maybe lengthened the front pattern piece a little bit to help cover my belly a bit more, but it’s fine.

I took the sailor cape from McCall’s 7141 and made adjustments to it and the body fabric inspired by this tutorial. Rather than inset the yellow stripe on the cape, I just bound the edge in yellow, to save on time. I did inset and top stitch the yellow stripe on the sleeve cuffs, however. I used a blue and yellow broadcloth for the top and hat. This was my first time making binding tape. I probably could have bought some pre-made, but I liked the golden color of this broadcloth, it seemed more authentic than what I found in the store. (The black fabric used on the hat was just leftover from some other project, I can’t even remember what I bought it for specifically, but it was also used on my pilgrim dress.)

Again, as a time-saver, I just used my hem roller to finish the sleeves and bottom of the top. This went much smoother with the stiff broadcloth than it has with my other more silky projects!


I used an old timey bloomer pattern from Simplicity 2777 for the duck bottoms. I went with view E, in the largest size, and dropped the crotch by several inches. I thought this would leave enough fabric to cover my belly, but I was wrong! I should have added a few inches to the top front of the shorts.

I made a channel at the bottom of each of the legs and inserted some 1/4″ elastic. Then I gathered the top of the shorts and took a 1″ band of white elastic cut and sewn into a circle to the length I wanted, and sewed it to the gathered top of the shorts.

I noticed the top and shorts gaped a bit at the belly, so I did decide to add some big yellow buttons to the front. I sewed them to the shorts and made button hole openings on the shirt, so once they were both on, I could button them together and hopefully keep everything in line.

I decided not to add a tail to the rump. I just wasn’t sure how I’d want that to look, and thought it might add too much weight and make the duck bottoms less fluffy.


I tried very hard to find a pair of tights I could dye or wear that would fit my pregnant belly and be yellow. It was basically impossible, so I made a pair of tights using McCall’s 6173.

I made a muslin of these leggings ages ago and figured they would work. I made them long enough to cover my feet, then did a little bit of adjusting to get them to fit more snugly around the foot. Still pretty loose, but not bad.

This is my last big project before the baby comes, glad it’s over! It was fun to wear and piece together, but I’m ready for a break.


October 26th, 2015 - 

The hardest part of the pregnancy so far has been deciding on a name.

I’m 35 weeks right now and we’re not entirely on the same page when it comes to naming our daughter.

I obsess about it daily. I want her to have a good name!

Today is our two year anniversary. We don’t remember how we spent the day on our first anniversary, but we did take a trip to LA in early October that year to celebrate, and that was totally memorable! Loved that trip. Tonight we’re going to Manny’s for steaks right after our appointment with the midwife, where we’ll get to hear the baby’s heartbeat again. What a difference two years make! Can’t believe how changed our lives already are, and how much they’ll change even more very soon.

This morning we woke up in bed with our two little dogs, in our house. We just celebrated the one year anniversary of adopting Minnie and next year we’ll have a nearly one year old daughter. It’s so amazing. I’m so excited and lucky and happy.


October 21st, 2015 - 

These are some milestones in life that I am looking forward to:

  • Meeting my daughter
  • Paying off my house
  • Celebrating a major anniversary with my husband
  • Retiring
  • Returning to Disneyland

I think about paying off my house a lot, like that’s the golden ticket to Happy Town. Sometimes I think if we hadn’t gotten pregnant this year I would have liked working a second job for the holidays to make “mortgage money” specifically to pay off the house as quickly as possible. The thought of making mortgage payments until we’re 60 sounds like a sad trombone. We don’t even have the world’s biggest mortgage payment, but I still only feel comfortable making small additional payments each month because we have so many outstanding house projects we need to save for (roof, fence, tree removal) so at this rate we’re only saving ourselves 4 months of payments down the road. It’s not nothing, but I’d love to do better!

I think the major goal is to get our monthly costs low enough that one or both of us can work part-time. Wish we could achieve that while we’re still raising kids!

One month to go before she could literally be born any minute…AH!