Monday, June 10, 2013

Lavinia May

It's hard to imagine how unique each of your children will be. As Edmund grew and I got to know his personality, it just made sense that he is the way he is. I couldn't imagine how my future children would be different, but Lavinia is very much her own person.

Lavinia May

She is much more cuddly and clingy to me than Edmund ever was. Sometimes I am tempted to feel tired or inconvenienced when she wants me and no one else, but then I remind myself that this is such a short time, and how wonderful it is to be loved so deeply by this little girl. Unlike her brother, she is a thumbsucker, especially when she is tired or holding something soft! Several months ago, I bought her a teddy bear "lovey" as a sleep aid, and boy does it work! As soon as she holds the bear, in pops her thumb and she's off in happy land.

Lavinia loves to eat a lot more than Edmund did at this age, too, but she is more picky about her foods. She is still not walking at nearly thirteen months, though Edmund was walking at ten months. She is strongly opinionated about her wants, but at the same time, is deeply sensitive. Douglas or I can tell her, "No, no, Lavinia" in the most gentle tones, and she will take a moment to process it, then purse up her face and burst into tears as if we had brutally wounded her feelings.

Lavinia adores Edmund, and he genuinely loves his little sister, too. Edmund likes to make Lavinia laugh; he talks to her and takes a lot of notice of her. Some of my happiest moments as a mother are seeing the two of them enjoying each other. Other happy times are when Lavinia throws her tiny, soft arms around my neck, or, out of the blue, Edmund says something sweetly thoughtful and beyond his years. Thanks and praise to my Heavenly Father for the chance to be a mama to these two precious individuals.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Make Do and Mend!

Now that I'm laundering and mending for four instead of just one, my pile of mending just grows and grows. I usually just ignore it, but I've developed a plan to try to put a dent in it. I'm going to make it a goal to mend at least one item every Monday (my usual laundry day). Some days the mending job might be pretty complex, and other days it might be as simple as sewing on a button. I'm going to try to share my results here, and I invite you to join me in "Mending Mondays" if you like. :) It is really satisfying to put an unusable piece of clothing back into circulation instead of tossing it or buying a new one.

I am so pleased with my first project. About two years ago, I gave Douglas some linen pants from Old Navy for summer wear, and just this month they developed a rather large hole near the front pocket (where he usually carries his wallet). I also later found a hole on the knee, too. They really do fill a hole (haha) in his wardrobe so I didn't want to just toss them or spend $30-35 on a brand new pair. I decided to try darning them, which I ended up doing by machine.

Linen pants, darned

First I snipped away the fuzzy threads, then cut out a square of muslin which I pinned over the hole, from the inside of the pants. I then hand-basted the muslin in place so I wouldn't be bothered with pins when I was darning. Now, my machine (Bernina Activa 240) actually has a darning program, which I used to go over the hole several times until it was completely covered (I also went beyond the margins of the hole, as I could tell the threads were weak there). My darning program starts the needle at the far left of the foot, stitches straight as far as you want, and then once you press the 'reverse' button, it will move the needle to the right a small amount and backstitch. When it reaches the original starting point, it will change direction again, and so on, until the needle is as far to the right as it can go. Then you can simply lift the presser foot and repeat as needed, until the hole is completely covered! Once that was done, I flipped the pants inside out and trimmed away the excess muslin.

Now, of course I took close-up photos to show you the results, so you can see the mending, but I guarantee you wouldn't notice it at all when my husband is wearing the pants. (I tested this by asking a friend if she could tell where I had mended them!) The thread blends in so well, and I believe that is key -- use a very exact thread match. If your machine doesn't have a darning function, you can still give this a try -- consult this YouTube video which basically uses the same method as mine, only zig-zagging back and forth instead of using the darning program.

Do you have any clothing that could see new life, given the darning treatment?