Mine just turned 3 (4/2004). And he's a boy, and very boy.
here's our tips.
1) We have crafty activities in my workroom that we only do when we're down there. Watercolor (he was only allowed to use paint with my supervision until I was sure he knew to use it on paper only, but we use only watercolor when I'm working because it comes out of pretty much everything), homemade clay, scissors and scrap paper. I usually get him started, we spend 10-20 minutes together, then I get to work.
2) We also have non crafty activities that are only in the workroom. Some educational toys, some just fun toys.
3) I have a small cabinet of drawers where I keep thread, scissors, notions, whatever. The bottom two drawers are for him, and I try to rotate what's in them.
4) Our favorite, and has been since he was about 1. Those small cheap spools of thread like you find in travel kits. I bought a bag of 100 on clearance at Jo-Ann a while back for $5. he loves them. he can unwind the thread, he can stack the spools, he can count them, he can line them up, but best of all, he can stick them on the ends of his little fingers. I don't know why that's so much fun, but it is and has been for 2 years.
5) I make sure to break whenever he wants my attention, or as soon as I can. I have him wait right next to me while I finish up, then he has my full attention for a while.
6) My son is allowed 1 movie or 2 TV shows per day if he wants it, and about half the time, he doesn't ask. He usually watches them on my computer while I sew at the machine right next to him. We can chat while I work and he watches his movie. I don't feel bad about this movie time mainly because the child does not sit still and watch TV, he acts out the movie/TV show along with the characters, so I figure he's getting exercise and some practice at pretending, as well.
7) When he was younger, I let him sit on my lap while I sewed. He liked to watch the fabric feed through the machine, and I'd let him push the thread cutter button when appropriate. That stopped being a good idea just past 2. He was suddenly much faster and more accurate with his fingers, and I was afraid I'd hurt him.
And of course there's nap time. I sew like a mad woman when he's sleeping.
I just make a pull-on style diaper, PUL on the outside, something soft on the inside.
Alternatively, there is no reason the diaper has to be pull-on. A snug-fitting velcro or snap cover would work just fine, too. Many parents I know put their kids in a diaperless cover for swimming rather than buying actual swim diapers.
Well, I'm totally disgusted with myself. I put the buttons on the summer outfit - it's this totally awesome 40s playsuit with a bra top, shorts, jacket, and overskirt. I assumed that before I cut the thing out, I had measured/adjusted the pattern to fit me, right? Oh, but apparently I didn't. The bra top and shorts were easy enough to smaller-ize, and the skirt is probably salvagable if I want to remove the pockets and waistband and take in all the seams. But I don't know that there's any way to adjust the jacket at this point. It's so big. It looks like I'm wearing my older sister's clothing. oooh, I'm so mad. I still need to get the bra inserts for the bra top and then I'll take/post pictures. In the meantime, I might try adding a seam in the back of the jacket. It needs at least 3 inches off the front and the back. ugh.
No pictures yet, but so far I have finished up the summer outfit I mentioned before (yay) except for the handsewing, which is actually just 10 buttons, and I should be able to finish that up Thursday evening. It might need, uh, built-in boobs, too, since I have none and it's a bra top, but we'll see about that.
I also made myself a summerweight robe using some nice cotton knit that my mom bought me when I was pregnant to make one of those tent dresses that she thought were just wooooonderful. I "ran out of time" <cough cough> to make the dress, but have had the 3 yards of material sitting around ever since. That's been over 3 years.
I also - gasp - took about 6 yards of fabric to JoAnn's the other day (where I work 1 day/week) to give to coworkers. Then talked myself into keeping some of it, but still...
I also sorted through all of our attic storage and got rid of a bunch of clothes that we don't want/need, and about half of those got tossed into my "reclaim the fabric" pile, as if THAT pile needs to be any bigger...
klynslis - I, too, think the shirt looks great. But what's important is that YOU like it. Since this is a use what you have thread, it seems within the spirit of things to not hang on to things we don't like. It does you no good to keep it but never wear it because you're self-conscious about how it looks.
I'm actually currently working on a summer outfit that I cut out, gosh, a few years pre-children and I have a three year old now. It's been sitting in its bin, pattern pieces still pinned in place, since I cut it out. I'll post when I have it done!
I have always been leary of buying old patterns in fear that some of thoes pieces will be missing. How often do you find that to be the case? Or do you feel like you can tell if all the pieces are there?
If I have time/desire, I just pull out the pieces and count them. But generally, I don't worry about it unless I"m paying a lot for the pattern. I am such a bargain hunter, I think the most I've paid for a single vintage pattern was $5.
I have found, though, that if I am missing pieces, I can usually find something similar from my collection to substitute a piece for. I'm currently sewing a 40s pantsuit and the pattern was missing one of the larger pieces. I have a similar pattern in my collection, and was able to use the piece from that pattern with a few adjustments as a substitute for the missing piece. Not a huge deal! Mostly, though, missing pieces are like facings or pockets, which are REALLY no big deal, and can easily be drawn out.
LOL, well, I have a collection of about 150 patterns, all pre-1955, and another probably 30 that are 1955-1960. I won't post pictures of the collection, but I'm happy to sew along! I have the fabric for an awesome early 40s pantsuit that I have on my list for this month or next (hopefully).