Friday, July 11, 2008

SEW cool!

First I have to explain that two weeks ago we bought our kids the BEST summer outdoor toy ever. It's the Little Tykes Sand & Sea Play Table. It's two sections of table, one filled with sand, one filled with water in a moat. There are little shovels and strainers, and a water wheel that makes little boats move around the moat. Good stuff. There's even an umbrella overhead.

We bought this because my kids always wanted to be outside but there was really nothing for them to do. Well, this was the best money we ever spent. They play with it four HOURS. I don't mean 5 minutes or even 20. I mean, literally, hours on end. I have to practically tear them away to go potty, eat, sleep, and breathe. And because I put it on my deck, right outside my kitchen door, I can watch them while I get on the internet get really constructive things done around the kitchen. There is a downside to this fabulous toy, though. It's messy. It only takes about 2 minutes before the kids get sandy, and another 2 before they're wet. So I've been changing their clothes as many as 4 times a day. (And sweeping the floor numerous times a day as well. Because as much as I like the feeling that I'm in Cancun every time I walk across the kitchen, I don't like the feeling that I'm sleeping in a sandbox at night when all that sand magically ends up in my bed.) I knew it was time to think of a new plan when I was on my second load of kids' laundry in two days, every outfit they own having been doused in gritty water.

Enter my mom. One of my mom's most impressive skills is her ability to sew. As far as I know, she can sew anything. She sewed a lot of our clothes growing up. She sews curtains, bedspreads, furniture upholstery. She sewed my sister's wedding dress, my baby's Christening gown, my dad's 3-piece suits in the 70's. And I'm pretty sure she sewed her own diapers as a child. So when I told her I wanted to make some waterproof aprons for my kids to play at their sand table in, she waved her hand and looked skyward as if to say "Oh, that would be a cake walk."

Next stop, the fabric store. Our only fabric store in town is pretty small, dark, and cramped, kind of like a seedy bar but with bolts of cloth where the mugs of beer should be. Stil, they managed to have about 8 different patterns of plastic coated (i.e. table cloth) material. The John Deer tractor fabric was tempting, as was the Relief Society luncheon plastic-coated lace. But in the end I chose the blue checkered Winnie the Pooh pattern. Not my favorite. I'm generally opposed to my children wearing cartoon characters. But my husband would not have appreciated my kids wearing plastic lace.

So here's how they turned out. Oh, and I should add that I actually did 90% of the sewing MYSELF. I figured it was time I learned. Yeah, I did sew my own jams in 1987. But I'd forgotten all that sewing brilliance since I began stooping to store-bought clothes.




Now if I can just figure out how to keep all the sand from ending up in the water side of the table, and arrange for a daily delivery of sand to replace all the sand that gets dumped on my deck, my happiness will be complete.

20 comments:

Koreena said...

Those aprons are smart! Matty would love a table like that. Maybe someday...

Jen said...

wow!!! Im serously impressed. Those look great. and what an awesome idea. Keep up the good sewing work. ;)

jennie w. said...

Mom hasn't come up with some sort of system for keeping the sand in the table? Give her a few days . . . . Maybe you should put it on a clear shower curtain. At the end of the day pick it up and funnel the sand back into the table. it sounds like it would work (the execution might be crappy, though.)

Chelsea said...

Great job on the aprons! I think I might have to get one of those tables for Sawyer. His cousin has one and LOVES it. And we don't have a yard so it would be something for him to do out on the deck. Thanks for the idea!

CaraDee said...

Super fabuloso!! And nice on the aprons!

devri said...

maybe put a tarp or something underneath, so when the kids are finished, just pour it all back in. I love those but hate the mess.

Kristine said...

You did a great job! It is so nice having something for the kids to do outside! I've seen that thing before but never knew how long it would keep Josh's attention. Maybe next year so Ian can play too ;)

MiaKatia said...

Great job on the aprons! Looks like your sewing skills and still as awesome as they were in 1987. My neighbor has one of those too and my kids love to play over there.

Mindi said...

are you KIDDING ME?? you are not supossed to to domesticating things like sewing aprons and things if your mom does that--it shakes my world a little. only cuz i SUCK at sewing.

you should get a patent since you straight up invented it. genius.

Becky, yep said...

the aprons are BRILLANT! We have a sand and water table and I say it requires a swim suit!

As for keeping the sides seperate...GOOD LUCK!

Karyn said...

That sand and water table is one of the most popular ones out there. It looks like you are using regular sand though.. check out the white sand Toys R Us carries.

Omgirl said...

Actually Karyn, it is (or was) the Toys R Us white sand. That's where we got the table, and we bought some sand too. But either it's so wet in that picture that it looks dark, or it's been mixed with the sand from our sandbox. That's why I need a daily delivery of new sand!

nicolefurness said...

you are my new hero. i just took a sewing class a few weeks ago and made a pair of pj bottoms. my husband tells me that when i wear them, it makes me look like i have male genatelia. i cant win.

Erica said...

It looks like wet toys r us sand to me. (Only cause that's what in my sandbox.)

I love the aprons. Not sure on Jennie's idea... in theory it works, but I use that with the indoor rice box, and I still have masses of rice to vaccum. If you figure out a good way, I'd love to know!

Erica said...

Hey, want not write up a how to make those aprons? I think I'd love to get my boys train themed ones (and or Blue's Clues) for Christmas...

Omgirl said...

I actually don't care about the sand on the deck. I can sweep it or spray it off really easily. It's the deficit of sand in the sand box after they throw it all out that bothers me. It's about 2/3 empty now. But we do have a big sandbox now, so I can refill it with slightly lower quality sand from that.

Tiburon said...

Great work! Very well done! :)

Christie said...

Those are great! I swear that I commneted on this post once . . . weird.

The Monsen Fam said...

That's why Landon doesn't have one yet. I didnt want to deal with the mess, but what a great idea for the aprons! I may have to look into that!

alex dumas said...

You always come up with these clever titles for your posts. Mine are just...obvious.