Monday, January 11, 2010


Several people have asked what I made each of the kids for Christmas... With trimmings untrimmed and school underway again, I thought it was about time you got to see the pictures. First, some background: After moving from house to house for a few years we had a bizarre assortment of bath towels in varying states and shapes. The ones we were given at our wedding more than 10 years ago are still around, but used as bathmats for now. We bought some nice ones given for someone else's wedding when they moved out of Africa in yet another shade of blue. And then Wycliffe's linen closet gave us nice new ones last year. Anyway, every time I would have 3 kids rotating through bath times (which can personify the word chaos), I would be scrambling around the house in search of towels and often end up grabbing a bright beach towel or just dry one off and use the same towel again on the next one - gasp! This is a house with no linen closet to date, one closet total to be exact, which houses mostly medicines and other things that must be 'out of reach'. So some borrowed bamboo shelves hold all the sheets, towels and table linens in our bedroom. True colors for you!

I saw a really neat 'how-to' blog post and adapted her directions for cute lined baby hooded towels, to cute lined kid-size hooded towels. Even cooler, those towels that were someone else's wedding gift? They matched the kids' bathroom tile! AND they are part of a set with oversized hand towels as well as itty bitty ones (still bigger than a washcloth). Why on earth anyone would need three things smaller than a towel in the bathroom is beyond me. But it worked really well for me to use one oversized hand towel for the hood and we can still use the itty bitty ones for guests to dry hands. Should work. So I knew which blue towels I wanted to use for the boys, and then we happened upon some sheets for sale and there was a cute striped pattern that matched. It was like God put that sheet there just for me! It was a twin fitted sheet with the Value Village tags still on it. Fitted sheets are really hard to come by overseas, another American invention, so it hurt a bit to be cutting up such a useful sheet (then again, I didn't have a pair, just the one). Good elastic is hard to come by too, so I pocketed that part for another project and cut the sheet to bits, kicking myself all the while for not splurging on a rotary mat and cutter while I still had my high school Fabricland discount... I wasn't sure how my machine would handle terrycloth, but it was a non-issue. I love this Janome, thank you Mom!

Lots of sewing and wrapping later. I got this:

...which is pretty much priceless.

And it reminds me of this from 4 years ago, ages 3 and 1:

So there is the story of the handmade boys' gifts.

As for Anna, she has been trying to wear her brother's old castoff bathrobe that is much much too big for her (and covered in race cars among other boy things - snails? puppy dog tails?). So I had in mind to make her a bathrobe. Sounds simple enough. One of our friends in town had experience with this - go Kathleen! - so we were off to the piles of bargain bin towels along the market street to find a couple towels that could be remade into a bathrobe for Anna. Once again, God provided. We found not only a cute towel, not only a beach towel (lots of room to work with!) but a Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet beach towel! For $4. Can't beat that! Then we paired it with a soft white one someone had cast out for paint spots. We were able to work around the paint spots and had lots left over. Anna is in love with pockets these days, so I threw one of those in too. It's nothing like flawless workmanship. Nothing. I promise. But using the boys robe I was able to copy the design more or less. Sewing without a pattern usually works for me, but when she unwrapped it I still had no idea if the sleeves would go past her elbows or not! Anyway, Anna finally has her own Piglet bathrobe (and it fit!... and she likes it!):

Piglet IS the best one you know. He's pink!

Even cooler is that everyone now knows where their own towels are, and can hang them up or get them down independently.

Peace for a busy Mom?


Linda said...

You are so creative! Those are great robes! Loved the pictures, too.

Hugs, LT

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Michelle said...

Nice work! I'm impressed. And the smiles are priceless too. :)