Little thoughts

Little thoughts: Knitting baby clothes shouldn't be this complicated!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Multi crafting

I've been keeping myself occupied since my last post making things for the sprout and the sprout's room. My latest project is a quilt made from some Cloud 9 fat quarters I won a couple of years ago. It was hard to cut into these fabric pieces because they'd been in my stash for so long they'd become almost 'too good' to cut into. Have you ever found that? I've made a makeshift quilt wall with a bedsheet hung against the wall from guitar hooks and pinned the hexies to it.

It's going to stay like that for a day or so as I'm not sure of the placement. I'm going to machine sew it because otherwise the sprout will be leaving home before it's finished if I hand sew it! 

I've knitted one blanket and am halfway through knitting another.
I knitted this in two sections as it was going to be too wide for my needles otherwise. The wool is self striping, I think I used about six balls of yarn for this. It's a Sirdar chunky but I've forgotten the name.

This is the second blanket that I'm knitting in moss stitch, it's addling my poor pregnancy brain sometimes and have had to unpick a few rows as got the pattern wrong and it was turning into a rib knit! I know, it's a simple stitch to do but I think it shows how bad my brain has gotten with disturbed sleep and worrying! It's Debbie Bliss Paloma alpaca and will be using two balls in yellow and two in green.

Back to sewing, I've made a gum drop pillow from an Amy Butler pattern that I've used many times before. I went through all my cushions and pillows and those that were too flat to use anymore got cannibalised to stuff this pouffe. It's stuffed within an inch of its life as I want to use it to prop my feet on when I'm nursing the sprout.

I've still got plenty of this fabric left so am considering making a matching pillow to go behind my back, possibly with a pompom trim because I can. So naaaaaa.

Oh, here's the latest scan of the sprout

I think it looks like the sprout is about to suck it's thumb or fist. I just hope it likes all the nesting I've been doing!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

These past few months I've been mostly making...

This little person!

We're really excited and scared and hopeful and overwhelmed by the whole thing! I've decided that I will try and make some of the soft furnishes for the baby's room but I'm not going to sweat it if I don't get it all done. I'm super busy in work as got a temporary promotion so everything has all come at once as it usually does. 

I'm just moving into my 17th week tomorrow, the baby will be due in January so I've knitted a hat in super soft baby alpaca as it's not hairy so there's no loose fibres to worry about. I'm going on a sock knitting course next month so will be able to put what I've learnt into practice and knit baby socks. I've already taught myself how to knit booties thanks to Ravelry but am still stumped on how to knit a baby cardigan as have no idea how to use circular needles and when I've tried I end up in a mess! The rest of the clothes will be bought because I'm not super woman and I've decided to cut myself some slack. 

As for maternity clothes, thankfully my three sisters had pooled their maternity wear together so my sister and I got to share it as one of my sisters is pregnant too! Our mum is having kittens as were only three months apart for giving birth! Our dad is just keeping calm as usual and making sure we're both getting enough to eat and drink and taking all the right supplements! Even mum was impressed he knew about such things! But back to the clothes, I've yet to make anything for myself, I'm considering a simple jersey dress as it's my new best friend along with leggings and free flowing tops! I know! Leggings! I always swore after being a child in the 90s leggings were firmly going to stay in my past but they are sooooo comfortable as I can pull them up past my bump! 

We won't be finding out the sex of the baby before it's born as think it will spoil some of the magic for us so anything I make will either be in a soft grey or bright colours.  So if anyone has any recommendations of simple maternity wear patterns or simple knitted baby cardigans or anything non gendered I can make then I'd be most grateful. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back to sewing

I've got this week off work, we've just had a new boiler fitted, bliss! So I thought I'd take the opportunity to get back into sewing clothes for myself. I've spent the past two days, well day and a half I suppose, making a modified Sorbetto as suggested to me in my last post. Instead of using the bird print fabric I used the Liberty peacock print voile I've been saving since my last visit to Goldhawk road. I've decided that I'm going to try and deplete my fabric stash and that no fabric is 'too precious' to cut.

I decided I wanted an inverted pleat at the front of the top instead of the full pleat it's just at the neckline. I've tried my hand at tulip shaped sleeves and I learnt to make my own bias binding out of necessity but am still bewildered as to how to make it in a continuous loop. (I think I need to see if I can find a video on You Tube or something as the diagrams look great until I have the fabric in front of me!) I'm proud of myself for getting back into the sewing habit even if I did cut a few corners *cough* machined on the bias binding on the hem on the side I should have hand stitched *cough*. Despite those misdemeanours though, it's a top I'll be happy to wear.

This is it hung up in the glorious sunshine we're having at the minute. I've already decided that I'm going to make another Sorbetto variant using the Liberty mushroom print voile I bought on my first excursion to Goldhawk road and to make another using the bird print voile. I'm also going to make a Prima pattern top I've made before but will endeavour to make a bow sleeve as I've seen a tutorial on Pinterest that's very good to use another voile I have that's an Anna Marie Horner print.

Once I've done all of that I've got a pair of high waisted button up trousers to make myself! I found on eBay a seller who does them like the old cloth kits that were available in the 70s and 80s. The kit comes with all the fabric pre cut, the tailors tacks in place, the tread, buttons, even the interfacing has been ironed on, and most importantly the instructions! I'll trace all the pattern pieces before I start sewing and altering so if anything goes wrong I can start again with new fabric or just make myself another pair!

I'm hoping to make myself all these items in time for our holiday at the end of June. I'm not setting it as a target or a challenge as I don't want to hinder myself this early on in getting back to sewing. I want to enjoy the experience as much as I can without the pressure of a deadline. It would be wonderful if I could get them all done in time for our camping trip but I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I don't.

So what do you think? What summer sewing plans do you have?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hoping to be a happy camper

Quite literally! Last year we went glamping for our honeymoon and I loved it! Which surprised me I can tell you. I'm not high maintenence all the time, don't get me wrong I do love glamour and sparkle as much as I can, but can be happy with my hair in a pony tail jeans and shirt combo. So this year we've decided to do it properly and get a tent and go camping! Don't believe me? Here's the trial pitch of our tent

We snuck up my father in laws and put it up in his back garden as thought it would be big enough. But as you can see it's a bit of a squeeze. So I've been happy with this new project squirrelling away things as I see them from my list that I made using good old Pinterest! - on a side note, I may need to go to addicts anonymous for that addiction- Then I got to thinking, "whatever will I wear?" And so my crafty little brain has been whirring. I've treated myself to some new hair accessories (as let's face it, sometimes I may not have chance to wash and dry my hair properly) so I bought some beautiful headscarves from Vintage Mamma on Etsy and as a bad hair day/cold night saver a turban from By Frankii on Etsy.

My favourite butterfly headscarf that I nearly lost this morning as I ran for the bus! Thankfully hubby went looking for it as he left after me. Nearly in tears I can tell you!

My lovely kitty print scarf that I've yet to wear, I also have a rose print one but no photo yet.

And last but not least my turquoise turban with sparkly brooch, feel all 20s flapper in this!

So that's the head gear sorted, now the clothes. I bought a meter, and it's a generous width, go cotton voile from John Lewis the other day in this gorgeous bird and flower print and am thinking of making a top with it. I'd like it to be a style I can wear tucked in or out as love my high waist trousers.

It's lovely and soft and drape-y. I don't think I have enough for the Colette Taffy blouse and probably not enough for that new vintage inspired PDF pattern I've seen doing the rounds on the blogosphere sadly. Any suggestions? I'll be trawling through my pattern stash this weekend as have next week off to have a new boiler fitted! Hurray! Hot water whenever I want!!! First world problem I know, and even more hysterical when you consider that I'll be paying goid money to pretend I'm homeless...well, we're not that flush and it means we can have a cheap holiday, but still the irony isn't lost on me!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Shameless selfies or the recording of my forays into vintage hair and make up

In an attempt at making myself feel better I've tried to make myself look better. I've always loved old Hollywood glamour and the thrifty stylings of the 1940s and the fabulous 1950s hence why my wedding was vintage inspired. Getting my hair and make up done for the big day and doing the research for it beforehand reminded me it's fun to play with make up! So here's a quick run through of some of those play times!

These photos will be in no particular order, this is me the other day, just in from work. I've used an elasticated hair band from Primark in the sale for £1 and tucked my hair in all the way round. I pulled a piece of hair either side of my head around the elastic first and pinned in then tucked in the rest. It's quick and simple and gives a nod to the Gatsby glamour of the 20s. It's also good if your hair won't cooperate or if you're pushed for time as it's quick.

Here I'm wearing the fascinator I won from Bit on the Side - Vintage Inspired Fascinators who can be found on Facebook and Etsy. I've done a full face of make up, lining my lips and using lip brush to put on lipstick, I've used Arch de Triumph eyebrow pen, blusher, cats eye eyeliner and highlighter. And teamed it all with my 50s screw on earrings. 

Here's the fascinator again. I really should take photos outside but the weather has been prohibitive recently. The top is from Voodoo Vixen and feels fantastic on. I treated myself to another top from them here

I love the little hearts and the sheer bits with red polka dots. Again I've done a full face of makeup and I've put my pearl pins I made in my hair. I made the pins by threading wire through the bead and then wrapping the wire round the end of a bobby pin.

I was chuffed to find different sizes of pearl beads, again a bargain refashion from Primark sale. At the moment I have more beads than pins so will be getting some more pins shortly. I made little sets of these at Christmas as a present.

The pearls here are all the same size but I personally prefer the mixed sizes to wear in my own hair. 

This has been an interesting post for me as when I've looked at these photos again I've realised I'm not sure I'm really smiling and I look tired. If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know I'm doing the 100 days of happiness challenge whereby you have to take a photo every day for 100 days of something that makes you happy. It's been an interesting experiment as I thought 'hey, this'll be easy. One photo a day' boy I was wrong. It's not that I can't find even one small thing that makes me happy, but it's usually something I can't really capture on film. Then there's the whole thing I have of not wanting to repeat things and not wanting to show too many things I consider as 'mundane'. I've come to realise that no matter how mundane I may think people may label it, if it makes me happy, it makes me happy. That's all that matters.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's been a long time

Life's been tough the last year or so and something had to give and sadly it was this blog. I think I'm ready now to start blogging again, but there's going to be some changes round here. For starters I think I'll try the short and sweet approach, so you'll probably see more post but they'll be a lot shorter compared to what I used to write. There will be less sewing posts. I'm sorry folks but my sewing mojo has gone for now. At one point I felt a crushing pressure to turn out home sewn clothes and it's killed my joy for sewing for the moment. I think I'll go back to just showing you guys the random stuff I make to keep me happy and my forays into teaching myself vintage hair and make up. There will probably be a lot of outfit posts as I love dressing up still and value the opinions of those of you who followed me regularly and hope some of you may like what I'm wearing and feel inspired to go out and buy, sew, whatever. I'm guessing that not all of you will like the change but at this point I'm trying to keep myself happy. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to sew myself some outfits.

Take care everyone, speak soon! Xx

Sunday, July 21, 2013

And so I'm married

After much virtual prodding from Allison from A Fabric Fixation, here's the ins and outs of the wedding! 

I didn't make my wedding dress and I'm glad.  I tried to knit a bolero for the day in lace knit and got bored halfway through the back and in any case it was too hot to wear anything like that, so I think if I'd tried to make the dress not only would it have been stressful but I would have run the risk of falling out of love with it and giving up.  I bought my dress online after seeing it on Pinterest.  I LOVE Pinterest.  I spend hours on there if I'm not careful, but I have to be thankful for the beautiful things I've found on there.

This is my plum coloured wedding dress, copy write
This dress was cheap as chips but made me feel a million dollars with the underskirt and seamed stockings and my Irregular Choice shoes, even if I did have to take the shoes off as soon as we'd been married!  It was so hot my feet swelled and I'm not used to high heels of that vertiginous height and had to admit defeat.

My bouquet was the talking point of the day and I was very sad to dismantle it yesterday so I could start giving back the brooches to those who had lent them to me.  I have to warn you though if you're thinking of making your own brooch bouquet for your wedding, lift some weights first.  Seriously.  These things weigh a LOT.  However, they do come in useful in crowd control!

My hair and make up went perfectly, my stylist for the day Sophie was so excited, I think she had more enthusiasm than I did at first as I was just nervous.  She made sure I got the look I wanted and we were both thrilled with the results.  She's now got her own page on Facebook if you want to check her out under the name Rusty Cherry, she was working for Emily Rose Vintage at the time though.  I cannot recommend her enough as she talked me through everything giving me hints and tips so that I could try and recreate the look in my own time. I say try as I'm a bit useless as I'm still learning!

Here's the three taster shots I've had so far from my lovely photographer Kate Carrington:

Me and J copy write Kate Carrington photography

My beautiful if painful Irregular Choice heels and J's stripy socks!  Copy write Kate Carrington Photography

Me looking out the window at our beautiful grade II listed venue. Copy write Kate Carrington Photography
I'm so very happy with the shots I've seen so far and can't wait to go through the rest.  I know I was there and everything but she does such wonderful things with light and composition, I just beam every time I see these!

I have such happy memories of the day; I didn't fall, everyone turned up, the weather was perfect and the food was delicious!  I've had nothing but compliments about how relaxed the day was, which is what J and I wanted.  Nothing too fussy, just family and a few choice friends to share our day with good food and good drinks and fun and laughter.  Speaking of good drinks...I as the bride got to have a VERY special welcome drink!  C'mon see who can guess what I had waiting for me??  Have you guessed yet? 

A margarita!!!!  Woo Hoo!  Everyone else had Pimms or a non alcoholic version of Pimms and I had the lovely lime, tequila, salt mix that is a margarita!  Can you tell I like being spoilt?

And then we went on our glamping honeymoon.  If you've never tried it go for it.  I'd never been camping before but this was bliss.  It was a bell tent with a double bed in it and furniture and enough room to stand up in and a little stove and everything!  It was so peaceful and luxurious...yes you read that right, luxurious!  We were both so relaxed and had such a wonderful time, it really was the Seventh Heaven it goes by the name of!

Outside of the tent looking in

Inside of the tent looking out

view of the tea light chandelier
I would go back there in a heartbeat.

So that's it.  I'll have to show you pictures of the bouquet and cakes another time as I didn't get photos of them myself and am waiting for pictures from friends and family who attended.  Thank you all for your lovely comments leading up to the wedding, you all kept me going as sometimes I thought I would loose the plot!