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.



not over with blogging, just focused elsewhere

Last Friday morning I started out on my last trip to the office – one week ago today I officially started maternity leave.

leaving for work

It’s taken the passage of the week for it to feel actual and for me to gather my thoughts. For my thoughts have been truly all over the shop – it was a full pelt to the end! Now I’ve retrieved most of them (many down the back of the sofa), a little blogging is back on the schedule.

Since the last baby hat – good grief I dare not look ??? weeks ago – I’ve done a fair few things, just not many of them, and have not photographed. And as baby is due two weeks today, I’d better get a wiggle on if I’m going to share the fruits of my (crafting) labours!

To follow:

  • silk skirt → frilly scarf
  • huge size marimekko sale steal → maternity tunic
  • ikea curtains → moses basket cover & maternity pillow cover
  • knitted baby jacket
  • bedspread/door hanging
  • bag for RB

Thanks to those of you who’ve continued to read. More v soon.

The generosity of others

Why call these cute garments ‘bodies’? This terminology means the photo below is of twelve baby’s bodies on my bed. Not nice. I’m going to think of them as vests.

baby's bodies (clothing)No-one at all was harmed in the making of this post – but
a dozing cat was woken to take the photo.

Dey cute, no? And non-gender specific colour too. Our lovely friends, M&F, gave us much of their kiddies’ stuff when they moved house, and we squirrelled these goodies away in the hope that one day we’d get good use out of them. That day in mid-June is approaching fast and it’s dawning on me that I’d better get a wiggle on. Although M&F were enormously generous and have kitted us out with much, marvellous stuff – car seat, bath, moses basket and so forth -this child will be a chilly one cos the bodies* onesies is all we got in the way of apparel so far.

*Update: Gaidig kindly left a comment with the American term for these garments – ‘onesie’ – trickier to spell but MUCH nicer. Thanks Gaidig!

On the list to sew is

  • baby onesies – got (see above).
  • groovy bedding for moses basket.
  • daiper bag.
  • new/refreshed cover for baby rocker.
  • some refashioned tees – into well, heavens, what do you call these things? Baby clothes. Um. Small things with short sleeves and handily-placed press studs for quick-poo-access. That kind of thing.
  • scratch mitts and hats. Surely these can’t be terribly hard? Just make egg cosies, chicken and ostrich size, I reckon.
  • at least SOMETHING from the maternity patterns I bought on ebay.
  • something nice to wear in hospital, for me.

Better go find some patterns then… any clues/tried and tested, anyone? I’m taking recommendations along the lines of

  • must have
  • don’t bother because… [give reason – I am a complete novice at this]
  • only looks good in photos
  • only needed if you find yourself in situations x, y and z

Oh and THANKS M&F. You v cool friends. We ♥ you & your lovely children. And we *really* ♥ your instant starter kit for baby.

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.

Modest maternity mini skirt

Maternity mini-skirt

After a week of unsatisfying and slow sewing, my quick wins weekend (now a few weeks ago) took shape nicely and I finished a modest maternity mini that mashes up an unworn Reiss skirt with a primark tshirt.

I’m still trying not to purchase maternity clothes, but the challenge of refashioning my existing wardrobe is getting keener. Some garments are off the list for refashioning/cutting up because they’re just too nice and I’ll hang on to them until I get to The Other Side of Pregnancy. Other garments just can’t accommodate a jersey expanda-panel. But when tempted to just go shopping, much of the maternity stuff on the High Street I’ve found so far is ghastly! I may well elaborate in another post.

reiss skirt fabric close up

Where was I? Oh yes – this skirt was on its way to the charity shop. Although I like the colour and the sewn-in swirly pattern of the fabric, the shape just didn’t flatter – too tight. Hoiking it up over the knees, however, turns it into a modest-mini – perfect with tights, boots and a jumper. You can do it too, by adding a jersey panel at the front with an elastic waistband.  

Maternity mini front panel 2

maternity mini front panel

All you need to do is…

skirt with marked up bump

1. try on skirt and hoike up to hem level required. Mark lowest known point of baby bump, and desired waistline at back.

Reiss skirt cut for bump and waistband

2. mark out and cut waistline, following curve of original waistband at back, then general bump shape at front. I cut mine extra-low because I get terrible tummy ache if anything cuts in to my bump.

3. reaffix waistband to back. I put in a couple of small darts at the back to keep the shape for my remaining waist. Tiny bit left!

4. cut a thick piece of elastic – at a length that sits comfortably from your side seams over your tummy. Mine worked out about the same width as the tshirt I was using, and to be worn right up over the top of the bump.

5. tshirt – use whole body of tshirt. You will be using the fabric doubled up, and the body hem as your new ‘waistline’. Fold the tshirt hem (double thickness) over your elastic so it overlaps by 2-3mm. Stay stitch at each end, then catch hem edge and elastic in wavy zigzag stitch.

Jersey panel for Reiss skirt, cut and marked up

6. Fold the tshirt in half to give you the centre front, lay your cut skirt over the top of it matching up waistlines and mark out the curve given by your cut skirt. Then add 1cm seam allowance and cut. This is your jersey panel. 

Panel pinned to skirt

7. pin the lower edge of jersey panel to the cut out bump of the skirt (still double thickness),  right sides facing, matching centre fronts and stretching where needed. Stitch a single seam 1cm from cut edge, then finish raw edge with a zigzag.

8. sew the back to the jersey panel at the side seams, right sides together.

Reiss skirt with jersey panel, finished

9. It should look a little like this.

10. Now pull on your new maternity skirt. Get your boots on.

Which suddenly reminds me of King’s Love and Pride, and feeling a-flutter watching Paul King on TOTP in 1985 …

Cross posted on wardrobe refashion.

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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