One nightie = hat, dress AND panties

I bought a couple of giant nighties from Primark while pregnant and, hating to see these swathes of perfectly acceptable cotton jersey go to waste, I got my sewing mojo working back in April.

Now it’s July and my blogging mojo is slightly revived, here I am to tell you all about how from one UK size 22 nightie has come…

marina standing in stripey dress

one dress, from McCalls M5916 pattern. I used the existing frilly placket and cut the rest of the dress around it. Sizing slightly skew-whiff – it’s big on Little Miss but that’s acceptable as these baby-people keep growing, don’t they? It’s a super-easy pattern and I’m sure if I keep making it, I’ll be able to bash out a dress in an evening before long. Motherhood, sadly, has not taken away my capacity to sit and stare into space instead of sewing.

baby in pants

one matching pair of panties, from the same pattern. The weather in London was unseasonably hot in April, and if Little Miss is out and about bare-legged, I didn’t want her nappies on show – just seems a bit wrong.

At this point I had to start piecing the fabric – thankfully only once, and the stripes hide the seam perfectly. I used jaunty fuchsia satin binding on the elastic casing, which may not show but *I* (and now you) know it’s there. Hopefully they will be silky soft against pudgy thighs.

marina in stripey sunbonnet

one floppy brimmed sunhat. The pattern is by Enid Gilchrist, who I’d have remained ignorant of but for the Internet – an australian who wrote excellent books on DIY pattern drafting. I’ve resisted the VERY strong temptation to buy her books – yet another major distraction from reducing the pile of projects still needing finishing. So quaint to work in imperial measurements (inches)!

This sun bonnet just tickles me – cute but practical, AND rocking a somewhat Amish/dutch nun vibe. It was great fun working out how to eke out the remaining scraps and only piece them twice! I recommend giving it a try – the pattern doesn’t have instructions but it is do-able.

Lovely to be sewing again.


my latest creative project


Radio silence due to most recent creative project – which is MASSIVE, delightful and ongoing. May I present our daughter, Marina Honey.

Arrived at home, as planned 7.33am, Tuesday 22 June 2010, weighing 3.37kg. 

Thrilled, knackered, looking forward to when I can start sewing, knitting and blogging again, but in the meantime, from the frontline on Cloud 9 – more soon.


Look at me, look at me, look at me!

crow pose
A few months back, before stout-with-child set in, I had a moment during a yoga class that was vv yogic and deeply UNyogic.

Instructed to get into crow pose (Bakasana), I followed instructions, got into crow and much to my surprise, actually held the pose for about eight  l o o o o o o o o n g   seconds

Totally unable to stop myself, I cried out “Look at me, look at me, look at me!”, reducing everybody in the class to giggling heaps on the floor. Held the pose for a further two heroic and blissful seconds then joined my colleagues chortling on the floor.  Not quite the crowing that Nicki, our teacher, was after, but fitting, nonetheless – why not crow about your crow?
I’m going to follow up with a little more crowing, if you don’t mind: found out my wee tutorial on a maternity skirt refashion is featured on luvinthemommyhood. Needless to say, I’m quite tickled by this. I’d not been to the site before and am really looking forward to pottering about getting familiar. Not only does it offer me inspiration & tutorials by the bucketload, but in a lovely aesthetic too. I feel quite proud to be in such company – and grateful too. Thanks!  

And it’s not the only site this tutorial found its way to – Anne featured it on craft gossip and kindly mailed me to let me know, think liz picked it up and featured it in a list of free sewing patterns, and it appears again on What a gift! Not only does each of these sites offer a whole new bunch of blogs and sites to browse through, it’s given me a real confidence/ego boost. Go and have a look – there’s good stuff out there! 

This unexpected bit of acknowledgement has given me a timely kick up the arse:  feedback and response is one of the great benefits of the interwebs that I enjoy receiving and engaging in. But I’ve been a little lax and ungracious in giving much response to you peeps who’ve taken the time to pass on comments or compliments on my blogging and I’d like to make amends.   

So without further ado, and following the lead of Kristy ‘loweryourpresserfoot’, who is VERY good at acknowledging her commenters and got me into blogging in the first place,  big thanks and acknowledgements go out to…   

  • Pam – Cool. I hope your skirt for your daughter works out – I’d  love to see a picture!
  • misscraftyfingers – go for it. I carry my knitting bag around In The Outside Like A Real Bag and it works a treat. The only thing I’d suggest is if you live in a city/commute, pop some feet or a reinforced bottom on it, or it gets a mucky bottom. See, my maternal instinct is already being put to good use.
  • Trisha, anna.drops, Lindsey, Isra – thanks for the compliment. The top, although a thrifted (heehee – £5, not £69) Isabella Oliver top, is very similar to Meghan Nielsen’s maternity wrap top. Utterly comfortable and totally pregnancy-friendly. Highly recommended – both simple to make and bloody brilliant to wear.

There’s more, much more – but soon. Tonight’s Madmen and I’ve got a sofa space to go and claim. Feel thanked, you guys.

Just stepped outta the laundrette

Over Christmas, the flat got gradually sorted through – well, enough to give the feeling of knowing what’s where, that the rubbish is actually in the bin/recycle/on its way to someone else’s house and that things are generally in order.

Unsurprisingly, there’s now a long to-do list. All the usual suspects: grow salad vegetables, refashion more clothes, finally make husband some pyjama bottoms (I’m determined he’s NOT going to put my sewing- and getting-on-with-it-skills to shame me by buying some from Marks and Spencers), sort out photos, blah blah blah.

Starting small and easy, with a bit of upcycling, in liquid format. I bought a litre of Aveda Shampure Conditioner without trialling it first. My hair smelled amazing but felt and looked like coir matting. Hubby has gamely been using it when he can, but he ain’t got as much hair as I do and there’s still 1/2 litre to go.

fabric softener ingredients

So hair conditioner is becoming fabric conditioner, with the help of some vinegar, water and an easy to follow recipe. They say it’s cheap and easy – so here goes…

  • 2 parts hair conditioner (180ml)
  • 3 parts vinegar (270ml)
  • 6 parts water (540ml)
  • Mix and use in fabric conditioner thingy of washing machine

This makes 11 parts altogether, and I have a 1L bottle to fill. So each part is 1000ml divided into 11 (90.9ml) – hence the bracketed figures.

Photo of sweet-smelling laundry follows… but how will I share the heavenly scent online?

Four months more refashioning

WR094mthsHoo-bleedin-rah. Just signed up to Wardrobe Refashion for another four months. That means  by Christmas, I’ll have spent half this year on the pledge.

Ahead of me lie four more months of sneaky photos in changing rooms and shopfloors of clothing that I like, but could make myself.

Another four months of having increased motivation and drive to get projects ACTUALLY done instead of just running a virtual roster of ideas that never see the light of day or the glint of my fabric shears.

Four more months of blogging, and getting the biggest kick out of being in a global gang of needle-wielding ideas-fiends.

Four more months of getting really amazing feedback from you lovely folks out there. Bring it on.

Right that’s enough of that – I think I might have been close to having a ‘feeling’ there!  Mustn’t dally. There’s an invisible zip waiting for attention followed by some overlocking.

About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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