i made ramona a new sun bonnet this morning.



it’s reversible & the brim can be flipped up or left down. i still need to add snaps so she’ll actually keep it on (otherwise she will just tear it off–she’s going through an anti-hat phase), but that requires a hammer & she’s napping right now, so it’ll have to wait. this one is a perfect fit on her right now, but i’m going to make another, larger one out of the raccoon fabric i posted about recently. i thought this would be tricky because i was working off a pattern i drew up myself & i wasn’t 100% sure how the construction worked, but it ended up being much easier than i expected! some construction elements are starting to become intuitive for me, which is really cool, given that i barely knew how to sew anything at all as recently as, like, april. now i’m making quilts & slipcovers, reversible baby bonnets, skirts with hand-gathered ruffles & invisible zippers!

ramona had her nine-month check-up the other day & is doing great. the only thing we’re changing is that we’re starting to rub her down with baby lotion after her evening bath. we never did that before but her skin is a little bit on the dry side. hopefully this will clear up some of her scaly patches & she won’t be such an alligator baby anymore.

she’s 27 inches long & weighs 21 pounds exactly. when she was born, she was 17 inches & four pounds, eleven ounces. i can’t believe how much she’s grown! i stopped by the baby consignment store yesterday to get a new elastic-bottom nightgown for her & they still had some of ramona’s old preemie-sized pajamas for sale. i remember when even preemie-sized clothes were big on her. now they look like doll clothes. for a very small doll. like maybe a barbie. ramona is already outgrowing some of her twelve-month stuff. i’m so proud of how she’s thriving.

she’s also starting to get more mobile. she’s still not crawling, but she just started being able to creep forward on her belly. previously, she was only creeping backward. it’s still a lot of effort for her to go forward, but she’s doing it. she is also trying to figure out how to stand. she got up into a tripod position, with her feet & her palms on the ground…& then she collapsed. but she’s trying!

most exciting is what she managed to do today. while i was making her bonnet, she was rolling around on the floor, like she does. she was scooting around on her belly, playing with her toys. out the corner of my eye, i saw her scoot away into the kitchen. i went to retrieve her because i didn’t think it was smart to let her hang out in a different room from where i was working. when i came around the corner, she was sitting on the floor, smiling at me! somehow she got from her belly back into a sitting position! she’s never done that before! i immediately put her back on her belly, hoping she’d sit again so i could see how she does it, but instead she just fussed. but still! i remember when seeing her roll was a BIG DEAL, & now she does it all day long. maybe it’ll be that way with sitting in just a few weeks!

but she has also been waking up in the night a lot. & then not going back to sleep. last night she woke up at 2:30am & stayed up until 5am. jared is still persevering in getting up with her, & he had to get up to go to work at 5:45am. he was absolutely dead on his feet when he came home. both he & ramona are having a nap now, & i’ll probably take her to the playground when she gets up so he can have some more quiet time. & also because it’s finally not a millionty degrees outside. it’s still close to 90, but it’s not OVER 90! more importantly, it’s not over 100 degrees like it has been! it’s probably technically too hot to wear knee socks, but i’m wearing them anyway, because style.

i finally bought fabrics for my upcoming gift baby quilt. it will have an animal theme. kind of a weird mix of animals…i started with bears, raccoons, wolves, foxes…forest animals. but then i found two farm prints i really liked, & so some cows, pigs, & chickens were added to the mix. & then i found an ocean print i really liked with a dominant theme of seagulls…i don’t know if the seagulls really go. but i really liked the fabric. no print is repeated more than like seven or eight times, & the quilt is made up of 300 squares, so even if the seagulls don’t go, they’re like 2% of the quilt. so i hope it’ll be okay.

i also started quilting the big bookshelf quilt i made for myself & jared. i decided to quilt around each individual fabric rectangle, about a quarter-inch from the seam. it’s a queen-sized quilt, so i knew this was going to be A LOT of work. it would be easier & faster to just do parallel lines or something. but i had this vision, with the negative space boxes on the other side…executed properly(-ish), it could look pretty cool.

unfortunately, my walking foot fell apart right in the middle of the project. it just pulled apart like taffy. i ordered an expensive name-brand walking foot to replace it, which will hopefully be a bit more hard-wearing. obviously the easiest thing to do would be to send the whole thing out to be quilted by someone with a long-arm machine. but i already sank so much money into buying the fabric…having it quilted by someone else would be another $100 or so. & i really want to do it myself just to prove i can. maybe someday i will have the money to buy my own long-arm quilter, but i know i can do it myself on a regular machine. it’ll just be a little extra work.

but i must say, after all this, doing a simple lattice design on the baby quilt i’m planning is going to be a walk in the park.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

12 thoughts on “sewtember

  1. Your sewing is awesome and ambitious and makes me jealous while it inspires me. I can’t fathom how you’ve learned a new skill while momming. And that makes it all the more awesome.

    Did you make your own bonnet pattern or buy one or internet freebie? I looove it and I need to make a hat that will fit over my kiddo’s plagio helmet….

    1. the bonnet is based on the UB2 bonnets (google search it). i bought one for ramona when she was little, before i got into sewing. i liked that it had a big brim to keep the sun out of her eyes & that it was reversible. but it was really expensive (almost $40!) & she is starting to outgrow it. i was looking at it one night & i was like, okay, i am really intimidated by the idea of sewing something reversible because i don’t understand where the unfinished seams go, but i think i will try it. so my pattern is based off that hat. i still need to perfect the fit a little. the hat needs to come down lower & tighter in the back. but i have some ideas on how to do it. i just need to carve out the time to draft a new pattern & maybe get some more babies involved so i different head shapes/sizes to practice on. if you want, i could try making one for your daughter (i forget her name! sorry!). if you let me know her head circumfrence in centimeters with the helmet & let me know if i’ve posted about any fabrics you especially like, i can whip one up & you can see what you think.

  2. That hat is super adorable! I totally want to commission one from you, but Lilian is going through an anti-hat lifetime. :p

    I was about to send you some more hand-me-downs, but I don’t think that they’ll fit! She only weighs about 19 pounds. We’re only just now starting to get rid of some of her 9 month clothes. And a bunch of them still fit!

    We have to go back for an extra weight-check, because she went from 75th percentile to about 5th percentile. I’m not too concerned, though. My husband was apparently pretty tiny at her age as well. She’s just a peanut like her papa. 🙂

    I hope Ramona is sleeping better!

    1. ramona haaaaaates having the hat put on & snapped under her chin. she screams like she’s being murdered. but then she usually forgets it’s there & is cool. sometimes she flips out & tries to tear it off. i guess she’s turning into a big kid. i miss my compliant little sack of potatoes baby!

      we’re going to have to start sending along ramona’s hand-me-downs for LJ if this reversal of sizes keeps up! i’m sure LJ is just stalling out on the weight now that she’s mobile. ramona is STILL not crawling (though she is getting better at scooting forward), so she is continuing to pack on the pounds without burning anything off. i’m sure her weight will even out once she gets moving. we still stuff her into some of LJ’s stuff though! she still fits in the pink lion onesie, the striped leggings (although they have bypassed capri pants territory & are swiftly turning into shorts), & the cat print nightgown. i think it’s because she’s not that tall.

      ramona is still not sleeping well. jared actually had to tap me in last night because he couldn’t handle the hours of wakefulness. he hasn’t done that…ever, maybe? not in months & months, at the very least. i don’t know what it is, but it’s not fun. she naps fine during the day & usually isn’t that difficult to get to bed. but then, somewhere between 11:30pm & 4am, she wakes up screaming & just won’t go back to sleep. teething, maybe?

  3. I have tried to tie hats onto LJ, but then she just pulls on them in an alarming manner and I give up because I don’t want her to strangle herself. She doesn’t like her sunglasses either. Apparently she just prefers to be blinded by the sun. Go figure.

    We’re at the point with our hand-me-downs where my sister knew I was having a girl and started saving everything from my niece to give to us. And my sister-in-law sends us big boxes as well. I keep everything pre-washed in tote bins, sorted out OCD-style by size. The 18-month bin is pretty full. And the 2T bin is literally overflowing. So LJ is pretty much set until elementary school. At which point I will let her start picking out her own clothes. Because I was that weird kid who went to school in the 80s, but wore hand-me-downs from the 70s. In old school Somerville. Yeah, if I have 2 nickels to rub together, I will be sparing my daughter that particular brand of torture.

    In other words, when you guys are up here for Christmas, you should come over for a play-date and I’ll see if there’s anything that we don’t need that I can pass on to you. LJ appears to have inherited my nickel allergy, so if there’s anything with metal snaps on it, we can probably just hand it straight on to you.

    I love seeing Ramona in the stuff we sent you on Facebook! The lion onesie was from my sister (shhh don’t tell her, I think I was supposed to save it along with everything else she gave us) and those striped leggings were an impulse purchase at Target. It’s so great to see them continue to get used.

    If Ramona has tiny feet, I have a pair of pink cowboy boots that are an infant size 2. Lilian literally wore them twice before her feet had a growth spurt and she outgrew them. I felt super guilty wasting the $17 I spent on them at Target.

    1. i have no idea what size feet ramona has. it’s still pretty hot in kansas, like in the 80s most days, so i haven’t been bothering with shoes. i mean, ramona isn’t even crawling yet, let alone trying to stand or walk. so why bother? i say, pass the cowboy boots on to someone who will use them. much as is the case with baby-sized jeans, i just don’t see myself wrestling her into cowboy boots, even if the results are likely to be very cute.

      i wish we knew some girl babies like maybe a year older than ramona so we could get their hand-me-downs. but all the girl babies we know are either several years older or around the same age. oh well. i’m a bit nervous about the winter because ramona’s growth is not slowing down any & she’s going to be too big for EVERYTHING we have by the time the weather gets cold. i bought her a new pair of pajamas literally less than a month ago & she is already busting out of them incredible hulk-style. i really hope she starts crawling soon just so her growth plateaus a bit.

      ramona will not wear sunglasses. & she’s not wild about hats, but the hat i hade for her has a chin strap with snaps. it takes some effort for her to tear it off, & because the straps are pretty short compared to strings i’d have to tie, i am less worried about her strangling herself. then again, i chuck her a ball of yarn as a fun toy, so maybe i’m just a terrible mom. (i keep an eye on her when she’s playing with it. mostly she just pets it like it’s a cat. she has yet to wrap it around her body in any way.)

  4. I didn’t really want to get shoes for Lilian, but daycare insists that we send them. I tried to be all “la la la can’t hear you” but we got increasingly stern notes sent home about shoes, so I finally gave up and bought them. I know the recommendation is to let them stumble around barefoot unless they need the protection outside. But, after watching the kids there crawl all over each other, I guess she kinda needs to have her toes protected.

    It turns out the shoes still fit, we were just using the wrong kind of socks. So I guess we’ll get more than two days out of them after all!

    I don’t know if you have Target near you, but I buy all our PJs there. They have these sets that are two tops and two bottoms, all interchangeable. And they’re pretty cheap. We go through a lot of PJs on the weekends, because we let LJ feed herself breakfast and she tends to smear it all over herself. :p

    1. what about robeez? i guess baby-sized cowboy boots from target are probably cheaper than a brand-new pair of robeez. ramona has three pairs, but i got two of them used for way cheap. i like them though! cute, pretty easy to put on, surprisingly difficult for her to pull off. i didn’t use them much over the summer because it was so damn hot, but now that it’s finally getting cooler, they are good for keeping her socks on.

      i saw those pajamas you mentioned during our last trip to target. we like to keep ramona in footie pajamas though (even though the mix & match sets are less of a pain in the ass to put on) because jared takes her on a lot of pajamas walks in her stroller to get her to sleep & obviously her feet are covered in footie pajamas. what i really need are footie pajamas with plenty of extra room in the butt for a cloth diaper & a wool soaker. i’m hoping ramona’s weight gain will plateau a bit now that she’s so much more mobile, but…she’s bigger every single day. she literally has two long-sleeved shirts right now, i think. i can’t even get stoked about her needing to go on a baby shopping spree because it’s so discouraging to spend money on clothes she’s just going to outgrow before the winter is over.

      1. I don’t think Robeez would cut it, because they want her to have shoes to protect her feet from getting stomped on by the other kids. The pint-sized boots have hard soles and some protection around the toes. They were like $17, so I didn’t really mind buying them. My mom got her a pair of black marhy-janes at a consignment shop and we just rotate those two pairs.

        LJ has her follow-up visit this week where they’re going to check up on her weight gain. I think she’s a little bigger, so hopefully it’s going to be good news. I wasn’t too nervous about it, but I’m starting to get a little more worried about the whole thing. It’s nice that she can still wear all her cold-weather gear from last year, but not if it means there’s something wrong. 😦 She has an umbilical hernia that has mostly healed, but not 100%. Anytime there is the hint of an issue about how she’s eating/pooping/gaining weight/etc, it tends to freak me out more than it should because of that stupid hernia.

        1. hopefully LJ is gaining some weight! good luck at the appointment! i know what you mean about getting (perhaps unreasonably?) worried sometimes due to past health issues. mostly i don’t worry much about ramona…but she was a premature infant & the jury is still out on her lungs. she could be at risk of contracting RSV if she gets sick this winter. & i also occasionally worry about her gross motor development & wonder if there are delays there. had she been born on time, she’s be almost nine months old. she JUST started crawling last week. she’s trying to pull herself up on stuff but hasn’t succeeded yet. she doesn’t try to walk when we help her stand. this is all within the range of “normal,” i guess, but…it’s hard not to worry sometimes.

          1. Kristian took her on Thursday, and it looks like she’s back where she’s supposed to be. He can’t remember what percentile she was, but the doctor said we don’t really need to be concerned. Of course, that was before she and I both got the world’s nastiest stomach virus. I don’t think that either of us have eaten much since Friday. We spent a good chunk of the weekend forcing fluids down her throat with a syringe. Fun times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: