Ramona is a kid!

I have now sewn four out of five of my planned projects for January, & I’ve started on the fifth. It’s the first project I’m making from a pattern I haven’t used before, & it’s a full pajama set with a button-down top & a collar, so it’s taking a little longer. But I still don’t have pictures of me wearing anything so I haven’t blogged them yet, even though the sweater & both long-sleeved shirts are in regular rotation. It’s been too cold for the t-shirt. But the weather is supposed to be a little nicer this weekend, so I’m going to make it a priority to get some photos taken.

Important sewing question: what do you do with all your scraps? Garment sewing in particular generates so many scraps of fabric that are not really suitable for craft projects, but are too small or oddly-shaped to work into other garments. I harvest what I can to make headbands or underpants or whatever–small things. But I feel so guilty throwing fabric away.

I started keeping scraps, thinking I would use them as stuffing in draft stoppers or something, but we’re pushing February & that still hasn’t happened & I have like four big bags of tiny scraps taking up space in my sewing bins. I also have scraps of fabric that I hate & will never use, like super-itchy boiled wool (used to make a skirt that I eventually donated to the thrift store because it was too itchy to wear). Let’s be real: I’m never going to do anything with that stuff. So do I just throw it out? Can it be donated somewhere?

I would love to pare my stash down to just the lengths that are actually usable. I have a few boxes of fabric, but honestly, a lot of it is bits & bobs from previous projects that left me with enough extra fabric that I feel guilty tossing it, but not enough that I can really do much with it. I have seen some amazing quilting projects where people use the tiniest little scraps to make amazing string blocks or miniature log cabin blocks. I really admire the thrift & execution of these projects, but I don’t really see myself going down that road.

In other news, the new semester has started. Possibly/probably Jared’s last semester as a student! I’ve been trying to take Ramona out to kid things more, since now it’s just us hanging out all day, & I feel kind of bad that Jared so often turns into the fun parent who finds all the bouncy castles & I’m just the parent that does bedtime or whatever.

She is really blossoming into a full-blown kid! She has started joining the big circle when the kids do “Ring Around the Rosie” at story time. She used to only want to hold my hands & make our own two-person circle, & would cry if another kid tried to hold her hands. But on Monday, she coaxed a much younger kid into holding hands & she also sat on the rug for the first time ever, instead of wanting to be in my lap the whole time.

We went to nature school on Tuesday (the theme was “ocean animals”) & again, for the first time ever, she sat on the rug instead of climbing all over me & clinging to me for the entire hour. When the teacher brought out an animal or some shells or shark teeth for the kids to touch, Ramona joined the group & participated. I had been feeling kind of down about nature school because Ramona was so clingy with me, & the teacher kind of treated her like a baby because of that. She would skip over Ramona when bringing around animals for the kids to touch, she didn’t make any effort to engage her in the questions or activities. (A lot of the kids at nature school have baby siblings that are there with parents, & obviously it doesn’t really make sense to try to get a four-month-old to pet a snake or whatever.)

But yeah, this time she got involved & it was awesome.

& then on Wednesday, she had her first gymnastics class. I got her pumped for it by showing her a bunch of videos of kids doing gymnastics on YouTube. She was BEYOND excited about this class, & I was very pleasantly surprised when we arrived to discover that it’s a no-parents-allowed class! Like, we could sit on the sidelines & watch, but we actually weren’t allowed to be out on the mats, “helping” or whatever. They even have a parent room where we could sit & watch through a window. My closest mom friend in Lawrence has also enrolled her daughter in the class (though they had to skip the first one because the kiddo was under the weather), so this is going to be awesome for having some chatting time once a week.

& Ramona did GREAT. She was the first one to run over & try every new activity, she talked to the instructor, & she was the only kid in class that day who didn’t rush back over to her parent at least once for some reassurance. As far as I can tell, she is not a gymnastics phenom, but she had a great time & I actually had a great time watching her play. The independence she showed was SUCH a departure from her clingy toddler ways. She is really coming out of her shell, & while it’s kind of bittersweet to see it (how did my baby get so grown-up?!), I like it. It makes me think that maybe we will try preschool in the fall if we’re still in Lawrence (& if we can fit it into the budget).

Yesterday we just hung out at home because my friend Rebecca came over to chill while her daughter was at preschool. & yesterday was the first day Ramona napped all week.

Yeah, so hopefully I will have some time this weekend to photograph the garments I’ve sewn so far, & finish making my flannel pajamas, & do some reading. I had this weird dream the other day in which I allowed Ramona to work at a fabric shop in exchange for discounted fabric. Eventually I realized that Ramona was being treated as slave labor, carrying around heavy bolts that were twice as big as she is, & not being allowed to take naps. & I was like, “Hey, what gives, enslaving my child like this?…But the prices are so low…But you shouldn’t enslave three-year-olds!…Ooh, but this flannel is only $2 a yard…Okay, I’m gonna buy this fabric, but then we are going to have a serious talk about keeping toddlers as slaves!” My subconscious is such a dick.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. hoperoth says:

    I have 2 *enormous* totes full of scraps. I think some of them date back to when I started sewing 15+ years ago. At one point I culled the smallest scraps out (and I am now very strict about only keeping really big pieces). But, yeah… scraps go into the bins and they never come out. I think I’ve used a few pieces for applique projects. I really need to go through and sort it all, but who wants to sort fabric when they only have an hour or so a day for crafting. Not me! I think it would make me a lot happier not to have the 2 big totes mocking me every day, but I am terrified of what will happen when I dump it all out. :p I bought a book about how to use scraps for quilts and other projects, but I haven’t done anything except read it.

    1. ciara says:

      Yeah, I know I would feel a lot better if my bins only had useable fabric in them. But I can’t really dump everything out & start sorting when Ramona is romping around & her afternoon nap is becoming really iffy.

      Have you seen those “Scraptherapy!” books. I read them, & I was like, “Oh, clever,” but it’s really only applicable to “crafty” fabrics (like, not so much knits or wools or whatever, which are that fabrics that really trouble me).

  2. kaitlynssimplyvintage says:

    I am making an English paper pieced hexagon quilt, so the vast majority of my scraps get used in that. If you’re not interested in patchwork, I’d suggest using large enough pieces for muslins (my muslins often are made up of a motly bunch of fabrics) or making small bags, I use this pattern http://www.skiptomylou.org/how-to-make-a-lined-zipper-pouch-tutorial/

    Those ideas aside, perhaps bag them up and send them to the thrift shop, or sell on Etsy. I have bought bags of cotton scraps from both of these places.

    1. ciara says:

      Oh, trust me, I am VERY interested in patchwork. Mostly I am wondering what to do with scraps that are generated by garment fabrics. I wouldn’t include boiled wool in a quilt, you know? I use what I can for muslins, but it’s always a question of using the right weight for the right effect, & even if I’m cobbling together a muslin from a bunch of different fabrics (& I do), a lot of what I have is too small for even one small pattern pieces.

      I need to get over & just throw out the little bits, I guess. It would be nice to find a fabric recycler though.

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