Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

This is what I think about, sometimes.

This is what I think about (inside my head, not generally out loud like other people I know *cough, cough* LUCY).

Patterns, and pretty fabrics and the endless combination possibilites.

Here is one of  the two patterns I’m going to work on next:

I’m gonna make the dress on the left, but not with a flared sleeve.

These are the fabrics I have in my stash and am contemplating:


with a vintage pale blue with red and blue small little roses


I’m still thinking of how I’ll combine them all.  So many possibilities.

Here are some great examples of what other people have done:

As you can see, the variations are endless!  I’m branching out a bit on my own with my own fabric combinations, we’ll see how my finished product matches up!


The bag

I’ve been hunting on etsy for the perfect diaper bag.

I had the same bag for both Eli and Lucy and sold it at  a resale event in Portland before coming to Africa.  I think my line of reasoning went somewhere along the lines of “if I have another baby, it won’t be in Africa, and having another baby will probably happen after we return to the States, so that could be a while, so I better sell this.”    If I remember, I didn’t do so bad either when I resold that Petunia Pickle Bottom bag.

I’ve found a few bags on etsy that I really like.  But then I chicken out and don’t buy them because I run through my mind how much shipping to Africa will add (no, I don’t have one of those sweet embassy postal boxes that get me past the custom taxes added to packages coming into the county) and how long it might take for the bag to get here….and so on.

Then, today, I found it!

A bag that is functional, yet has just enough funk to suit my fancy and not SCREAM “Diaper Bag”!

I found it at Amani Ya Juu (see the link over on the right of this blog).

Here is a picture of it:

Kakuma Bag

 There are quite a few enterprising individuals here in Kenya that have made various items including purses that repurpose old rice sacks, coffee sacks and so on.  This purse, is named after the Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya where many refugees fight to survive and provide for their families.  They receive food from relief agencies, including grains and sugars.  The women of Amani have incorporated these empty sacks into their product lines:  thus my diaper bag that is lined and embellished on the outside with parts of a Saudi Sugar bag.  I love that the handles and entire lining are made of this waterproof plastic material, and that it adds durability to it.

The best part?  The price.  I paid $15 US for it, buying it on the spot, the same day I saw it, because in Kenyan if you see it once, you  might never ever see it again….so BUY, BUY, BUY!   Much cheaper than the Etsy bags I’d been eyeing, very Kenyan, and NO shipping or customs taxes! 

It made my day.  If I admit it, there is a tiny bit of American consumer left in me yet.  But not much.

Purl me

I love to knit.  Knit and purl, and slip one over. 

In the big process of packing up our house for Kenya, Ian inadvertantly packed my knitting….just in the wrong place:  a huge box and NOT my suitcase.  I thought about digging it out until I saw the box it was in the bottom of.  Ian replied, “I’m sure you won’t be knitting in Africa.”  Famous last words.

I even have a sweet case for all of my needles that my awesome sewing sister-in-law made that looks kind of like this except in pink and black (at least I think it’s pink and black, it’s in the bottom of that box you know):

Every once in a while I get the need to knit, and then I knit like a fool for a while, and then leave it for a while or longer.  I have started many a sweater only to finish it after my child is too big for it, and thus I have to find another use for it:  like donating it to the Women of Vision silent auction.  I took a picture of the “Lucy sweater”  before I sent it off, because I thought it was an especially cute sweater & I was especially proud of learning the new technique to get the lacey edging look:

Isn't it cute?

Isn't it cute?

I think I got the pattern for it from this book, but course the book is in that darn box, so now I’m not sure:

Needless to say, I thought it would be pretty easy to find some knitting needles here.  Not so.  I am sad.  I spent yesterday afternoon scouring the  Makongeni Market with Esther, my house help, but to no avail.  I could tell what the shopkeepers  were saying by their nonverbals and gestures in other directions. “Not here, no I haven’t seen them, try down that way.” 

I’ve googled about every different configuration of knitting and  Nairobi, and haven’t found anything yet.  I know that there must be women knitting here!  I see pictures of African women posted on the web spinning and dying wool for yarn.  And, they wear sweaters and knitted hats when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit out here for goodness sakes!  Our night guard (yes, they are different from the day guard people)  even has a sweet knitted ski mask that he wears, except that it looks like it was sized for a baby.  He’s not the only one I’ve seen wearing something like that.  I’ll ask him if it’s ok for me to take his picture some night.  It’s quite a sight:  him in his professional “security guard” uniform and then the baby ski mask thingy.

If I can’t find some needles soon, I might be having one of you back home making a run to the knitting store (if you craft, sew or knit–knitting shops are a visual paradise) to grab a couple pairs of needles and some cheap skeins of yarn.

I think I’ll be working on a pair of these to wear here in Kenya:

Or maybe these:

Or, I’ll just stick to this kind of thing (yes, I think this is cute):

“Make it pretty”

img_94013“Make it pretty” is the comment I have heard from Lucy for quite a while now when it is time to fix her hair.  Lately, Eli has become interested in this task, and the activity of making Lucy’s hair pretty captures the attention of both children for up to 30 minutes.  Who knew he would take to hair styling with such interest?






img_94091It has been quite some time since I have found the time to engage in an on-going fashion in hobbies, but in the past few weeks I have enjoyed getting into a few sewing projects.  This pinafore was my latest project during naptime.  It is reversible, so we get twice the wear out of it before it goes through the wash!





Today I am also thankful for good friends. We had a wonderful women’s group at our house where we learned more about our friend Jamie and today I was able to see my friends Eve (she’ll be having her 3rd child here in 2 weeks), Lindsey (the proud mom of 2 adorable kids), and Erika (the AWESOME friend who took Eli today for a play date).  It was nice to have some alone time with Lucy, she is a different img_94054child when she is by herself.  More mellow and compliant.  No older brother to egg her on!