Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teeny Tiny Toddler Back Pack

Did you know?

That I won 2nd place in my High Schools Art Show in sewing, for a dress I made in my beginning sewing class? I am pretty proud of this small tidbit/accomplishment in my life. I didn't win very many individual awards in high school, so this was sort of a big deal to me, and something completely unexpected.

I remember my teacher told us we would be bumped up a letter grade if we entered any of our projects from this class, so I did. I mean that is an A- to an A folks, I would have been a fool to not.

THEN I got 2nd against all these crazy talented advanced students, who made some pretty spectacular things, I was so surprised! At the time I never thought sewing would be such a big part of my life, but it is, from there I worked on small projects here and there. I sewed pillows for my bedroom as a college student and made other small things.

But it really wasn't until I became a mommy that I really got into it. There is something about being a mom and creating things for your little ones that just seems natural and almost instinctual. I remember when my maternal clock started screaming it was almost as if my sewing one did too. Suddenly I had all this energy to make things for my friends who were having babies, and I would just day dream about all the things I would make for my own babies. Fast forward three years, and I am living my dream, and it wasn't at all what I had gone to school for 25 years to do.

I have always loved sewing. I loved going with my mom to the fabric store to pick out fabric for outfits, and dresses for me and my sisters. I loved watching the clerks measure and cut the fabric, to this day its probably one of my most favorite sounds. One day when I am an old lady maybe I will cut fabric for a living. :)

I also always loved hearing the sound of my moms sewing machine humming away as she worked on projects in her bedroom, while we played, and tore her house a part. And I am sure she was thinking just this one last piece and then I will go check on them... Right?

I find it interesting that of all the things I did in my high school and college career it was that beginning sewing elective that I took to "relax" that I use mostly in my day to day life now.
(When I work on projects I can still hear my teachers instructions on pressing our seams flat, and having 5/8" seam allowance.)

But what really has brought me to this post was an article I stumbled across earlier this week. Anyway, some feminist writer had gotten caught up in what she calls "Mormon Mommy blogs" and while she tries to be objective on the subject, she really isn't. I tried to pin point what it was that bothered me so much about it, and I think it was her attitude that no one could be THAT happy doing crafts and taking care of small children all day, and that she, a wise and studious PHD, should be ashamed that she is so fascinated with this type of life style, and that mormons have everyone fooled into believing that this type of lifestyle could bring so much joy, and that we're faking it.

And while she is entitled to her opinion on her own forum, I am also entitled to my own as well. Being a stay at home mom is a privilege that I take very seriously. (This is not my upbringing or the pressure to stay at home from my bishop talking) I could be sitting behind a desk right now staring at a computer looking at the clock waiting for it to be 5, and I would be feeling the same way. I am home with my babies, and this is something I choose to do, and I enjoy it. I don't feel like I am less than my husband or that I have given something up to do this. I haven't been brainwashed into thinking this either. This is something I have chosen to do all on my own. When Kory and I started talking about having kids, I told him, I don't want to do if I can't be there. That was just me, I saw too often my mom's pain and both my older sisters for having to be at work when they wanted more than anything to be at home. I didn't want that to be me. Don't get me wrong a career can be very fulfilling and rewarding, but to me, I like being home with my baby, and if I can do that, I choose to do so, and It is happy and rewarding and everything these woman describe on their blogs and MORE.

I don't feel like this is something our church ingrains in woman, I know our leaders see what is happening to families and this is their way of teaching us how to help protect our own children.

Serving in the YW before I had Axel made me realize even more just how important it is for moms to be there. Don't get me wrong, you can be a mom and work, and have happy kids, I know lots of women who do that, my mom was one and she did it well, and I couldn't be more proud of her. Was she happy with it? No not really, but that was her situation and she made it work for our family. I view being a stay at home not as an obligation but a privilege, and I pray every day that I get to keep doing so. My grandmother once told my mother "these are the best days of your life" I couldn't agree more grandma. You can read the article here, but like I said I don't mean to be a hater of her opinion, I just had to get that out of my mind and voice my own opinion on the matter. So please be respectful :)

Lately, I have been able to do a lot of sewing, and I am in heaven. Something about sewing that just makes me content. Maybe its the bond with my own mother, or perhaps it is just a therapeutic activity, but either way I am at peace when I sew.

Like many of my projects I was going to make this into a tutorial and I started out really well, photographing each step, but then I got into this mode, and I just started to create and I just got lost in what I was doing and then pretty soon I was finishing it all up! And since I created the pattern all the steps where just in my head, it was one of those lets see if this works type of patterns. I do have the pattern pieces I made tho so if anyone would like to make one I would be happy to pass it on, and I will try to make up some decent instructions :)

So the story behind the back pack.


is what I drag to church each week. (Not to mention holding the hand of a toddler, and the growing ball of baby girl in my belly, all while juggling boards, making copies and walking around the entire church twice to deliver and pick up rolls)

Needless to say I am one big ball of pregnant exhaustion when we leave. So I decided to do something about it, the thought of having to add to all that a car seat with a new born and somehow throw in two feedings makes me want to just throw in the towel. So, one day my dear friend Ash and I were wandering the outlets in Park City, and we came across some mini back packs (think early 90's folks) and I said THIS is what I need to make my life easier! (How many times do we all say that, I was for real this time) I then looked at the price tag, $20 bucks! (Sheesh!) maybe to some that seems worth it, but to me anything that I feel like I could make for under $5 I can NEVER justify spending the money on, and Kory would kill me if I did so.

So I have been waiting to find time and of course the space to tackle such a project. And such an occasion finally arrived! And not a minute too soon, he goes to nursery this week! So it's perfect timing to downsize his stuff and make my life easier.

It is of course not perfect in anyway, and no way could I be one of those posh mama's that sells it on her Etsy store, but it was quick, easy and most importantly my little guy loves it! Which makes me smile and oh so proud.

So all in all a successful project, that maybe, when baby girl needs one I can perfect it and make her's a little better.

He is going out to meet dad and show him how cool he is. The lunch pail holds all his toys usually. (It's the most coveted item at church, and probably the most germ filled as well, it gets toted around by every toddler)

Trying it out for the first time, he thought he was pretty cool
Greeting dad at lunch today
Applicae on front pocket
The frontThe backThe Pocket inside for all his books
What I was particularly proud of with this project was I made up the pattern myself, and it was my first time using Piping (the gray stuff around the edge) I think it gave it a more professional look, although its lopsidedness counter acted that, but hey I did my best. :)


Jess~ca said...

I love it! Awesome job! I have to say, I think you are one of my most talented friends!! Axel is going to be the envy of all at church this Sunday :) Shane just started Nursery about two weeks ago and he has done really well, and I'm really glad, because Sky was getting tired of chasing him around the church for three hours!!

KaSs MiLeS said...

K that is so stink in cute! I really love the piping. Yu are a fantastic seamstress!! Nursery is so awesome, it's nice to let them go play and be happy and enjoy the lesson with your spouse rather than fighting your toddler in front of everyone.
I agree that staying home with your kids is a privilege, one I hope to have one day, but It definitely is not an easy calling. It takes some major patience, not just with your children, but with finances and material things. A lot of the time staying home with story would be more work than going to a 9-5 job. Not saying it wouldn't be worth it tho.
The back pack is so awesome tho. Really love it!

Kelli and/or Kyle said...

That is so great. When you texted me about it I was imagining more of those tiny backpacks girls wore in jr. high that scrunched up on the top. This is so much better. I do want to make one now!!! I love it! And I'm so glad you sew, or I'd never have courage to try any of these projects.

Erinn and Ryan said...

That is an awesome backpack - there's no way you could buy something that cute in a store. My solution to the baby/papers/bags/toddler load at church has been a (good) baby carrier. As soon as Sacrament Meeting ends, I take the little one out of the carseat and pop him in the carrier - it lets me have my hands free. Kelli has one of them (a Kozy Carrier), which I know you could easily sew.

rain said...

That is a way cute backpack. Because I'm clueless as to what it takes besides money for supplies and patience, I don't know if I can fully appreciate the hard work you put into it. However, I do know what adorable is, and I will say that it IS adorable. I would BUY one. Cause that's the only way I do it. ;)
And, I read that woman's article. And I agreed with a lot of what she said. I mean, I'm a stay at home mom, but I have no interest in re-upholstering furniture, or sewing my children's or my outfits...yet, I haven't a PHD in anything except natural Know-it-all-edness, and lazy techniques. So where do I fit in there? I haven't decided yet. Perhaps that's my new blog post.

Kyle said...

That backpack is fantastic. And Axel obviously loves it. I'm amazed by what you can make out of fabric. Kelli too.

I just read that article, by the way. I hadn't heard tale of it anywhere except on your blog. I thought she touched on a bunch of really interesting points. And I think it's a testament to how much the feminist movement has done that staying home really has become a possible decision for women, and not a foregone conclusion. Thanks for linking it!

maida said...

That is soo great, it turned out so cute and professional.

Jessie Eyre said...

Loved this post.

I totally agree. Someone who has never experienced a day with a baby of their own has absolutely no idea what kind of joy it brings. It is hard, no joke, but isn't any job? Seriously.

What an awesome opportunity to be a mother......whether it be AT HOME or AWAY all day. Either way, it is so irritating that someone could judge so harshly against something so wonderful and so life-changing and so IMPORTANT when they have never experienced it for themselves.

P.S. Killer pack. Wyatt LOVES back packs. Make me one!? :) Kidding.

Ashley said...

Wow great job! That turned out so cute. You will have to let me know how much it ended up costing you to make?
Sometimes i find it costs more to make than buy, but like you its definitely more rewarding doing it yourself.