Tuesday, September 8, 2015

DIY Nursery Bedding Part 1

My striving efforts in becoming a domesticated runner/wife/mom started around the time I became a live-in-girlfriend. I knew how to do laundry (my mother always ensured that my 3-showers-a-day had clean underwear to accompany) and I could cook just about anything in the microwave.. but thats as far as my survival skills went. I did not have any interest in learning how make a 3 course meal or sew cute outfits for the children I couldn't imagine having yet. You can say that I was the girl who was anti-homemaker and expected my future partner be thoroughly involved in running our home (I may have been a little bit of an extremest before I met my husband).

But somewhere along the line, all of that changed. When I became a live-in-girlfriend, Brad did primarily most of the cooking (besides my occasional mac and cheese and blueberry muffins from the box). I took an interest in learning how to make particular foods and it was fun to follow new recipes together. But when I decided I wanted to try something new, he taught me how to avoid fear in the kitchen by reading the whole recipe and cutting up all of your ingredients before turning on the stove; and when I did burn something or it didn't turn out as well as I expected it to.. he had no problem picking up my PapaJohns pizza 20 minutes later.

I will admit that his approach at making me feel comfortable with learning new things around the home is the only reason why I took it a step further... I started this blog and asked Santa for a sewing machine for Christmas. And although Santa knew that the machine would probably sit in it's original box for 6 months before I found the courage to actually open it... be bought me one anyways :)

Santa (my hubby, Brad) never gave me a guilt trip about that sewing machine sitting in my office closet collecting dust or nudged me to start the office-chair-cover I promised to start in February (which it's now September and I still haven't started it... ha). And I realize that this post is probably beginning to sound like a brag about the man who never expected me to learn how to be a domesticated wife and mom... but I just needed to express how it all really started.

Back to the sewing machine! My MIL came up with the thoughtful idea to gift us a nursery set (blanket, bumpers, sheets, canopy, the whole nine-yards). By the way, my MIL is very domesticated (as I've probably mentioned before). She can cook, sew, paint, work a full-time-job and still have dinner on the table by 6pm (or at least that's the legendary story she has left behind). So, when she said she was going to sew our entire nursery decor from scratch... I was excited and relieved. I quickly asked her if I could help and if she could show me how to use my sewing machine. She quickly said "Yes!".

So this is basically how that adventure went....

1. Picking a Pattern

MIL: Have you looked around at nursery themes and decided what you want the nursery to look like?
Me: Yes! We want to paint the room grey and incorporate little "pops" of pink throughout.
MIL: What about the bedding? Have you found anything that you like?
Me: Yes! I saw a few at (insert baby store name here) that I liked and also (insert more store names here).
MIL: Okay great, make a plan to go to Joann Fabrics and pick out a pattern
Me: Okay, I can do that this weekend

(1-2 weeks go by)

Me: Hey mom, I've been meaning to go to the store to find that pattern you told me to pick out. But, can you explain to me what a pattern is?
MIL: Fabric stores make "patterns" which are basically plans to help you sew what you want to sew from scratch. It gives you a photo of what your project will look like in the end with the dimensions of your materials and instructions on how to create your project.
Me: Oooh! Kinda like a project plan but for sewing?
MIL: Yes, just ask someone at Joann to help you find the baby patterns when you go - they should be able to help you

(I'm sure she sounded a lot nicer than this but I was too busy laughing at myself during the conversation to really hear the words)

So, I spent the afternoon at Joann's and I found a pattern that I liked. I LOVED the little flowers and MIL assured me that we can make the colors of fabric whatever I wanted them to be. It wasn't so hard after I admitted that I had no clue what I was doing and needed a little bit of guidance.. isn't that always how life works out? Why do we pretend to know things? Why do we let our ego sometimes get in the way? I'm constantly learning about this thing called life... but here is my pattern:

2. Picking out fabric

This wasn't so difficult! Although, I must make you aware that when I am given too many options to choose from, my default answer becomes "yeah, that looks good". I'm usually a pretty decisive person when I only need to choose from 2-3 options MAX. Anything more than 3 just makes me very confused.

So, MIL and I made a trip to Joann to spend the afternoon discussing future plans (more on this later), baby plans and fabric plans. I'm a planner, okay? Literally that is what I do for a living - I'm a Project Manager, which is just a glorified planner who makes sure that everyone is doing their part to adhere to the plan :) so, naturally.. I like to talk about, make and execute plans (although at home, Brad is the one much better at execution than I am).

...and there I go off on another tangent!

So we picked out the fabric. MIL tried to keep the options to a minimum as she knows I get distracted easily. I wanted pink, white and grey. I thought the colors went well together and she helped me make this final decision...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the grey fabric so we decided to use this as the "center". Now all we needed to do was decide where exactly the pink and white was going to fall using the pattern above (okay when we did this part, I did get distracted with all of the options). It was a little difficult to envision how exactly the grey, pink and white was going to come together for each of the pieces we were going to make. The bed sheet was easy - that was only one fabric at a time. But the quilt, bumpers and organizer (the little thing on the right middle of the pattern photo that holds baby items) was another story. By the end, I probably sounded like "yeah, that looks good".

In my attempts to not make this post excruciatingly long, I am going to stop here. The next big step is the actual attempts at sewing (which was like a weekend-sweat-shop at MIL's house) and our end product (which I'm very excited to share!).

Catch you guys next time!


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