Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Nursery Sewing - Crib Set

I've been doing some more sewing for the nursery... slowly, and as I've felt up to it.  Here's what I've finished in the last week or so.  If you remember, here was the inspiration picture for the crib bedding:

The crib that we have is one that Jim's mom found yard-saling.  It has these kickbars on the bottom as a mechanism for dropping the crib sides. 

Useful, but kind of ugly - and the way that they are positioned pushes the bedskirt out of alignment.  We were going to trade the crib for a different one that Jim's mom had also found, but I think that I figured out a way to make it work...  I added another panel to the skirt, making it look like a box pleat.  It covers most of the kickbar and makes it far less objectionable.

I also made a cribsheet out of brown gingham.  I'm not sure I like the gingham next to the ticking stripes of the skirt.  It might grow on me.  I'll probably make a few more fitted sheets out of off-white or dark brown fabric.  It was super easy to make... I just followed this tutorial, except I sewed lastin elastic around the entire edge, instead of just the corners.

The hardest piece was the bumper pads.  Yes, I know there is debate on whether you should even actually have these due to SIDS concerns, but I kept the padding to a minimum, and it was just too cute to resist.  If I were to make this again, I'd construct it a little differently to make the sewing come out cleaner, but an infant isn't going to know the difference, and most people won't even see what the issues are.  The monkeys in the fabric I bought seem to be smaller than the ones in the inspiration picture.  Maybe they came out with a different version of the print.  It still looks fine to me.

Here's the finished bedding. 

I think it turned out cute.  It was more work than buying a set, but I like the monkeys better than any of the sets I saw, and I was able to make it for far less than what the sock monkey bedding was priced anywhere I found it on-line.

I still have plans to re-stain or paint the crib.  My plan was to paint it white like the inspiration photo, and to match the glider.  But maybe a dark stain would look good too?...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Garage Plan Update

Jim was finally able to meet with the town building inspector this week.  He was able to give Jim an idea on what would actually pass variances and what wouldn't.  The outcome of that meeting was that while we could probably get a variance for the detached garage on the previous plan I posted, it would not ever be able to be attached.

So the current plan is to try to fit something within all the requirements so that we don't actually have to get any variances and the inspector will go ahead and give us a permit.  There's basically a couple of options:

-Move the garage in the previous plan to the right a few feet (must be 12 feet from the property line for an attached garage) and back
-Move the garage to the back of the house, slightly angle it so that it remains 12 feet from the property line and also makes it easier to pull into the garage.

Our current thought is to do the second option.  Here's Jim's plan for that:

Jim has more thoroughly thought out the pros and cons of both options (I had to work on a midterm last night)
But if I remember right, the pros for this option are
-get a permit quickly
-more streamlined look with the house

-larger driveway to snowblow
-have to find 3 carriage house doors now
-might be a little tight getting into the garage (either option becomes difficult when meeting the set-back requirements)

Anyway, this decision moves us along. Now Jim can go back to the architect and tell him what he wants drawn up. Then he can take the official drawings to the building inspector to get the permit.

The Biggest Refrigerator EVER!!!

OK, maybe not "EVER"...
When I bought the house several years ago, I decided I had to have a true vintage refrigerator in the kitchen.  I was in a time crunch to move in so  I started my search locally.  That came up empty, so I expanded my search on eBay and found my lovely little GE fridge I had shipped in from Wisconsin, of all places.  I had been living in apartments and hardly eating in, so I usually only had about 3 things in a mostly empty apartment fridge.  So my little vintage GE fridge suited me just fine.

Fast forward to today...  There's now 2 of us, and as I'm finishing up night school, we're trying to eat more home cooked meals.  The little GE fridge doesn't quite cut it anymore.  It doesn't even fit a whole gallon of milk.  So we've been making runs to the store every couple of days for a new half gallon, which, by the way, sometimes costs MORE than a gallon.  The thing is constantly jam packed. 

Then add in the little one on the way...  I'd like to actually try to cook at least some of my own baby food.  There's no space for that now.

Out of curiosity the other day, I measured the inside space of the vintage GE fridge.  5.5 cubic feet.  That includes the about 1-2 cubic feet that is wasted by the unusable and constantly frosted up freezer compartment.  hmm. 

Jim's has continued to troll Craigslist, and came across a lovely 4-year old Jenn-Air french door stainless steel number.  It was even "counter depth" - so it wouldn't stick out too much from our less-than-standard-depth counters.  Awesome.  The price was pretty good, so we snapped it up.

20 cubic feet.  Not the biggest EVER, but ridiculously big compared to a little vintage fridge!

Even more amusing is what the new fridge looked like once we transfered all the jam packed food over to it (and bought our first gallon of milk in a long time):

Just so you don't worry, I won't be throwing the little GE fridge out!  and I won't be selling it - I couldn't bear to part with something so cute!  It has a future in Jim's to-be-built garage...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jim's Garage Plan

Jim has been working on Google's Sketch Up to draft up ideas for the garage. We finally figured out how to format it to add to the blog. So here it is - this isn't an architectural drawing, it's just him playing around to see how it would look.

The size he's looking at is 24' x 36', large enough to fit 2 cars in the front, a project car or two in the back, and high enough to add a lift or two. Maybe more than a typical suburbanite would need, but what can we say, Jim's a car man.

We'd like to also make it big enough that we could finish the second floor one day if we like. Maybe a future workshop or playroom or something... But for now, it will be unfinished.

Then my favorite - The phase 2 of the plan will connect the garage to the back of the house via a *mudroom* and fix the back of the kitchen. (that's still the dream phase for now)

The actual drawings are in process.

So what still needs to be done?
-submit the plans & plot plans to the building inspector for a permit
-petition the zoning board for a variance to build closer to the property line & house than the code allows
-rent a dumpster to put the old garage in
-write a big giant check to the contractor

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Refreshed Glider

So about 2 weeks ago I went on "modified bedrest", so even the mild projects I planned on doing have been downscaled.  Now,  I really feel like the only project stuff I can do is sew.  It drives me a little crazy - especially when I see something that should be done, and I can't do anything about it for the next 3 1/2 months...  The curse of being a Type A!!!  But I can deal with it for the little one.

The good news is that I am now under doctor's orders to work from home, so that does give me a little *extra* time to sew - not to mention the money I save in gas (I normally commute 50 miles each way)

My fabric came in Tuesday, so here's what I did the last couple of days.  Remember this little Craiglist purchase:

Well, here it is now:

All ready to coordinate with sock monkey cribbing!

In brief, I didn't use a pattern.  I just took the old covers off and cut out fabric in that shape, adding a seam allowance.  Then I just kind of fit the fabric around the cushions, pin, and sew.  I added welt cording because I think that makes it look more professional.  And I made the seat bottom "box" style - because I think it's easier to fit the strange shape, it looks nicer, and that's the style I have experience making.  The seat bottom uses a zipper in the back and the seat back opens at the bottom, so both can be thrown in the wash when they're dirty. 

And I also added some ties to the seat back to attach it to the glider. 

Luckily, I had some extra cording and an extra upholstery zipper from a past slipcover project...  though it made me a little sad because it still had the Fabric Place tag on it - just a reminder of how fabulous that store was, and how junky JoAnnes (or Ho-Annes, as my husband calls it) is.

But in true Tiffany form, the seat back is only 90% done - well, maybe 95%...  I didn't use a zipper because it wouldn't construct quite right.  My plan is to just put snaps in it to close it at the bottom, but I don't have snaps or a pair of snap pliers yet.  I plan to get a nice pair & finish this, but we'll see how that actually turns out.  No one sees that part, and safety pins do the job for now anyway!