Browsing Category: baby

Pattern: Picture Perfect Ladybug Photo Prop

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Sometimes, you just want to dress up a newborn baby like a ladybug and take a photo of her all curled up, looking ADORABLE.

Back in 2012 when my daughter was born, the newborn photography craze was just starting to take off, so I took it upon myself to crochet ridiculous costumes for her while I was pregnant and miserable. And photos like these were my reward. 😆 Now that the newborn photography craze is in full effect, here’s the Picture Perfect Ladybug Photo Prop pattern for free!

To get the PDF, click here: Picture Perfect Ladybug

Enjoy and Happy Crocheting! 💞🐞💞

To All the Moms Who Need A Laugh Today

This Mother’s Day, my husband is out of town (and has been for over 3 weeks now–boohoo!), one of my sons is sick (double boohoo!), I have a giant heap of clean but unfolded laundry sitting on the floor of the living room, a sink full of dishes, and a pile of recycling that has overtaken the entryway… And when I woke up this morning to my little boy crying that his tummy hurt, I decided I needed some Mother’s Day humor to get me through the day.

So to all the moms out there who are feeling overwhelmed today, these are for you!

Mother's Day Humor 7 Mother's Day Humor 8 Mother's Day Humor 6 Mother's Day Humor 5 Mother's Day Humor 4 Mother's Day Humor 3 Mother's Day Humor 2 Mother's Day Humor 1

And if you’re looking for something to make you laugh on the other 364 days of the year, put these awesome little handmade gifts on your wish list: (Click on pictures to see items in their Etsy shops)

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Funny Mom Pilow Funny Mom Mug 1 Funny Mom Card Funny Mom Mug 2 Funny Mom Mug 3

 

baby_head_mothers_day_card-1And here’s a little fun tidbit of information: We’ve all heard of “pregnancy brain,” right? Well, scientists say that pregnancy brain really does exist, and our memory loss actually lasts for years. Nice to know that our forgetfulness isn’t just a myth. But that’s not it. I came across this article today. Apparently, our brains deliberately make us forget things in order to preserve our sanity. So if you think about it… Pregnancy brain, or momnesia as I like to refer to it, is really a defense mechanism. To prevent us from losing our minds. So next time you walk into a room and can’t remember why… It’s God’s way of protecting us from going crazy. You’re welcome.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Shopping for Kid’s Clothes at Namdaemun Market

namdaemun children's market

Namdaemun Market (English website) is either a shopper’s paradise or your own personal purgatory. Just depends on how you look at it! 😉 It’s the oldest and the largest traditional market in Korea, and it seriously has everything–clothing, shoes, accessories, bedding, cookware, art supplies, toys, paper goods, food products… The list goes on. If there’s something you want/need, Namdaemun Market probably has it. For a really great price. But chances are, you’ll get lost, trampled, shoved, yelled at by an old Korean lady, and you’ll probably need to resort to sign language somewhere in the process… So here are some tips and helpful hints to make your journey into my shopping paradise just a little bit easier!

The Best Times to go Shopping:

Koreans dress for all four seasons, meaning that they have designated Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Wardrobes. As Americans, we generally combine our spring/summer and fall/winter wardrobes, dressing in layers and wearing scarves, cardigans, jackets, and coats as necessary. Also, because a vast majority of the places we go are temperature-controlled, we don’t really have a need for thick, fleece-lined jeans, for example. But Koreans like to be warm. Very, very warm. So I never buy winter clothes here in Korea–for myself or for my children. They’re just too thick, and we’d pretty much turn into a giant puddle of sweat in Korean winter clothes. However, that being said, be prepared to be told that your children are cold by every Korean person you pass.

I limit my shopping to summer and fall clothing for my kids (because spring clothes fall into my winter category and winter clothes are unnecessary for my sweaty children). Here’s a general timeline of when each season’s lines are released, so plan your shopping trips accordingly!

Late February/Early March – Spring line released
Late April/Early May – Spring clearance
Early May – Summer line released
August – Summer clearance
Late August – Fall line released
Mid-November – Fall clearance
Late-November – Winter line released
February – Winter clearance

The market is open from 6am to 6pm, but individual vendors may have different hours. On Sundays, most of the open/street-side markets are open, but the vendors inside the buildings that make up the market are closed. Weekday mornings from 10am to noon are best for shopping if you have certain purchases you need to make in a limited amount of time (which is the case for most moms I know!). It starts to get pretty hectic and crowded around noon, so I try to arrive at 10am and leave by lunchtime. This way, I don’t have to shove past hordes of people to get what I need!

How to get there:

I’ve only ever taken the subway there, but I know that there’s parking in Samick Fashion Town and in Shinsegae Department Store. If you take the subway, go out Exit 6 of Hoehyeon station. This is what you’ll see:

namdaemun directions

You probably won’t see the man who walked right into the middle of my first shot, but who knows! 😉 I usually take a short-cut right up to the children’s stores by making an immediate right towards the KB Kookmin Bank, turn left in the bank’s tiny parking lot, and go through the small “gate” to the left (pictured in the far right photo). That puts you right on the street/alley with all the children’s stores. And there are buildings and buildings of children’s stores!

namdaemun childrens alley

There are many, many street-side shops along the alley with children’s shoes and accessories, but the real magic happens inside the buildings–hundreds and hundreds of stalls of absolutely adorable children’s clothing. The best part is that just about every stall has a basket of clothing marked 5,000W. This is where the treasures are to be found!

namdaemun children's clothing

Children’s Clothing Size Conversion:

But finding the children’s clothing market is one thing. Selecting clothes and purchasing the right size in another. If shopping in a foreign country isn’t difficult enough, there are two sets of sizes to keep in mind. Korean children’s clothing at Namdaemun Market (Korean Size B) are sized differently from clothing you would find at a department store (Korean Size A). So here’s a handy chart to help you out!

*Keep in mind that like American manufacturers, there are differences in sizing between various brands so this chart is meant to be a general guideline to children’s clothing sizes. It’s best to know your child(ren)’s height in centimeters so if there’s any confusion, the vendor can help you purchase the correct size.

Korean Children's Clothing Size Chart

Other Helpful Hints:

  • Clothes for babies and toddlers tend to fit fine, but if you have a child who’s on the tall side, purchasing pants may be an issue beyond 3T size. I don’t purchase pants in Korea for my 5 year old boys who wear American size 7 because the pant legs are too short.
  • Your Western fashion sensibilities may make shopping for boys, especially older boys, a bit of a challenge in Korea. 😉 But that may just be me.
  • Korean clothes aren’t made for American dryers. Although the construction of the clothing is fine, my problem is with the fabric pilling (usually stretch cotton blends). Your best bet to keep them in good condition is to hang dry. However, if you’re like me and A) have too many darn kids/articles of tiny clothing that need to be washed, folded and put away, B) your kids are constantly spilling/staining/ruining their clothes, and C) your kids grow at a rate that you just can’t comprehend and clothes just don’t last that long anyway–just toss them in the dryer with the expectation that they won’t last more than one season.
  • If vendors ask you how old your child is to help with sizing, they’re asking for Korean age. It’s far more confusing that just tacking on another year, so it’s best to just tell them how tall your child is in centimeters.
  • Some items will be clearly marked with pricing (usually a handwritten sign), meaning that particular item is on sale. For most items, you’ll have to ask the price. And despite what you may have heard, there is very little haggling that happens now at the markets. Vendors may lower prices if you’re purchasing a large quantity from them, or they may only have a handful of sizes left and are willing to sell at a lower price, but if you tell them it’s too expensive and ask them to lower the price, chances are, they’ll refuse on principle. Then curse at you as you walk away.
  • Some of my favorite children’s shops are in a building that’s not dedicated to children’s clothing. Samick Fashion Town is located across the street from Mama Children’s Wear, and the 1st floor (one floor down from where the main entrance is) is all children’s stuff (2nd and 3rd are women’s clothing, 4th is accessories, 5th is men’s clothing, 6th is shoes, and 7th and 8th are “discount clothing” although I haven’t really figured that one out…).
    samick fashion town
  • Cash. Cash. Cash. Most vendors do not accept credit card. Bring Korean Won.
  • The children’s clothing buildings ARE NOT stroller friendly. If you must take your child with you, and s/he is not old enough to walk, use a carrier.
  • There’s a handy interactive map IN ENGLISH on the Namdaemun website. Super useful!

Happy shopping! And stay tuned for future posts on shopping at Namdaemun–women’s clothing, art and craft supplies at the 5 story Alpha, and the best Korean street food!

Gah! So busy!

It’s been quite some time since I last posted, but I do have a crafty excuse for not having time to blog! I have been absolutely overwhelmed with custom orders lately, and I’m continuously working on projects for my shop. This is, of course, wonderful, and I’m so grateful for all the love that people have had for my designs!

Here’s a glimpse at some of the things I’ve been working on.

I was also recently a vendor at my very first event, so when I wasn’t working on custom orders, I was busy making things for the sale. I will have 2 more coming up in November, so I am certainly feeling blessed these days.

I am also in the process of transitioning back to a patterns only Etsy shop. With so much work locally here in Korea and via Facebook, it’s a bit much to also maintain stock for my Etsy shop. On the bright side, I am working on several more patterns, including a FREE PATTERN for the Iron Man faceplate that I promised nearly two months ago. I apologize for the delay! It’s all typed up, but I need to turn my chicken-scratch notes into something slightly more professional (haha!) and I hope to have it up by the end of the week.

A couple weeks in review!

It’s been nearly a month since my last post–I have absolutely no idea how the time flew by so quickly! We’ve had a lot going on here at the jkwdesigns household. A leak in my daughter’s room that I reported to the landlord over a month ago turned into a massive mold infestation that I didn’t even know was there because apparently, silk wallpaper holds it all in. The wallpaper just looked like it had water damage, but when the contractor finally came over to deal with it, he ripped down the wallpaper and there was SO MUCH MOLD. I almost started crying, knowing that my baby girl had been sleeping in that room all this time. I took her to the pediatrician, and luckily, because we have no history of mold allergies in our family, the doctor said she was fine. However, with all this mold nonsense, we’ve temporarily had to move Princess Penelope’s crib to my sewing room–something neither of us have been happy about! 😉 She doesn’t want to sleep there, and I don’t want her to sleep there! Haha… I’ve had to put my sewing machine in the guest bedroom, and at times, I’ve had to sneak into the sewing room for all the random things I need while working on a project. With Miss Penny Penny’s super-sensitive bat-hearing, it’s better to just not work on anything!

However, not working on stuff has not really been an option lately. I’ve had quite a few custom orders come my way the past few weeks, which is awesome. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to…
I’ve worked on a few sets of the bow tie onesies–seems the ladies like bow ties on their little guys!
A baby shower gift set for a little Atlanta Falcon’s fan – blanket, bow tie onesie and bibs.
A crochet Captain America hat for a teeny tiny Avenger!
And every itty bitty Captain America needs a Big Brother Ironman!
I’m considering writing the pattern for the Ironman mask portion on the front (there are enough free hat patterns floating around the internet) if there’s enough interest. Leave a comment and let me know if you’d like me to post a free pattern!

Post-Birthday Craftiness

With Penelope’s first birthday party behind me, I’ve had a chance to dabble in some other crafty projects. Most of the projects have been little ones, mostly because the house isn’t entirely unpacked yet and I can’t really justify pouring myself into large projects when there are still boxes stacked up in the far corners of the house where I can continue to ignore them without feeling too guilty. 😉

Anyway, I’ve been practicing with the sewing machine, mostly working with scrap fabrics so I don’t feel bad when something doesn’t work out. This has happened quite a bit. Haha!

When I came back from my parents’ house, my mom sent me home with a stack of fabric samples. The people who lived in her apartment before her owned a curtain business and left tons of fabric samples in the storage room. With the little squares of fabric, I made new couch cushions for our couch. I would have loved to put in zippers, but A) I don’t really know how to do that and B) the squares of fabric were BARELY enough to make the cushion covers. I’m pleased with how they turned out, and I figure that if the cushions get dirty, I have a whole stack of fabric to make new ones with!

I can now officially say that I can sew in a straight line. Woohoo!

During various naptimes, I’ve worked on some small items such as this cute little headband. The headband was made using a pair of tights that Penny’s grown out of. Cheers for upcycling fabric! The crochet flower is something that I’d made quite some time ago. It was easy enough to stick it right on.

I also put together this dapper little bow tie:

 A couple pairs of baby leggings, which I’m obsessed with now since the weather is getting warmer and baby leggings with a onesie are such a convenient way to dress baby. Makes diaper changes and getting dressed to go out so super easy.

 And finally, the biggest thing I’ve worked on lately is this crochet R2D2. Charlie has been asking me for a yarn R2D2 since before we moved… He’s finally stopped asking. 😉

Ruffles and Ruffles

I’m feeling particularly proud of myself today. I started and finished something on the sewing machine–something terribly cute! I used the tutorial available at Dana Made It (a site that I’m loving these days), and here’s the finished product:

There are definitely quite a few mistakes in it, but the nature of the ruffles helps hide them! I can’t wait to try it on Miss Penny when she gets up from her nap–not that I want her to wake up from her nap… 😉 What I love even more about the skirt is that I upcycled an old crib sheet. I only used a small amount of the fabric, and since it’s a crib sheet from the boys’, I have two of them! What to make next with this great fabric???

Digging myself out!

In the past few days, I’ve managed to dig myself out from beneath the mass of boxes, packing paper, damaged furniture, sweat and tears that a move the the other side of the world with three children under the age of 4 inevitably brings with it. Our house still needs a lot of work, but it’s now our home, which after two months of travel and living out of hotels–I couldn’t be happier.

With the new house in its various states of unpacking chaos, I haven’t really had a chance to work on much. I did find time, however, to design a new hat, cowl and fingerless mitt trio. I still have a few finishing touches to put on the pattern, but here are some photos of my handiwork!
I’m really excited for this pattern to go live, mostly because I haven’t had a chance to put anything new up in a while. I’ve had so many ideas swirling around in my head and not enough time to really dedicate to it.
Also, in the early phases of pattern writing is a hat I worked on with leftover yarn for Miss Penelope. Penny really needed a hat that she couldn’t pull off because she pulled a hat off while on my back in the Ergo. It’s so sad to lose something that you spent so much time making. Anyway, Penny can’ t just have any little hat. It needed to be extra cute to match the ridiculously cute hats her brothers go out in! 😉 So I worked on this bunny hat, and I worked especially hard to get these ears to stand up.
It still needs so work, but I’m hoping to have it all worked out in the next couple of weeks.
And finally… I managed to get my new sewing machine out of the box, and best of all… I actually sewed something!
It’s just a tiny little thing for Penny, but it’s a start. And I’m happy to say that I made it out of a pillowcase. I now have all these new ideas for how to use old sheets and clothes that the kids have grown out of. If only I could sew better. 😉
Anyway, I suppose it’s time to call it a night. There’s a load of laundry to fold, and my bedtime is fast approaching…

Finishing Up Projects!

It’s so frustrating when I’ve got a million different projects going at once… But so satisfying to get things done! Recently, I’ve not only finished the entire Star Wars amigurumi collection I was working on, but I’ve also completed a newborn monkey costume for a friend expecting any day now (pattern to come!), a Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf costume for a friend expecting boy/girl twins, and a star afghan for my SIL, who is due in December. I’ve been busy! And I just received some beautiful alpaca yarn as a gift from Harvest Moon Hollows Alpaca in Dallas, PA… So I’m trying to decide on a cute winter cardigan pattern for Penelope. I’m so sad that she won’t fit into the things I made for her when she was a newborn…but those items will be really nice to give to her when she grows up. 🙂

Anyway, here are my recently completed projects: