A few weekends ago we had Madison the nursery rabbit to visit (you can see her properly here). These were the pages I made for the book.
We went to Dovecot studios again last weekend. The first time we went, we were a bit short on time so I didn’t take many pictures, but I made up for it this time.
Dave got this Lego head to put his lego in. As storage, it’s absolutely useless, Ellis likes knocking it over and rolling around in the contents and Milo wants to carry it around on his head, empty. So for now, it’s got the brio trains in it which are a bit easier to collect up again.
I wasn’t sure if this warranted a post of its own really, but I’ve decided to take part in this year’s Me Made May. I tried this once before, but I didn’t have enough clothes then. Now I do, I think. Doing washing all the flipping time due to two children helps a lot. I’m going for the standard pledge of one handmade item a day, which hopefully should be a bit of a stretch but not too much. I’m actually not doing it to make me wear my handmade stuff, because I already do a lot, at least some of it. And that’s really the point. I’ve got some handmade stuff that’s really old from what I couldn’t really sew and had no idea about fit, but that I haven’t let go of, because I MADE IT, for god’s sake! So this is a chance for it to get worn one last time before it gets donated, so it can stop taking up space.
Apart from that, I’ve got no particular plans. I’ll maybe aim to sew the lino print dress in May, but we’ll have to see, because I’ve already got an assessment centre for promotion coming up at the beginning of June and prepping for that will obviously take priority. If anyone’s keeping track and thinking oh but she just got promoted in January, you’d be right. But that was a temporary promotion and in their infinite wisdom they’ve now advertised a round of permanent promotions and if I don’t pass this, I might get booted out of my new job even though I seem to be doing a pretty awesome job and my policy area is already at near crisis point without having to train up yet another new person. But there you go, that’s the civil service for you, fair and open recruitment. (Sorry, that was quite a long aside. Back to the clothes now).
Randomly, the start of MMM has coincided with a group of wardroberemix old timers regrouping on Facebook so I’ve started taking outfit photos again so that’s easing me into MMM documentation. It’s actually really fun when you stop trying to get pictures to be the best quality and just take a picture quickly. I’ve mostly taken them downwards selfie style, because the light around my mirror for some reason is terrible and my work bathroom is yellow, and I am vain enough to not want those out there for public consumption. But then top down pics don’t really show the clothes that well. I may try to persuade Dave to take pictures of me instead, we’ll have to see!
Incidentally, outfit here is memade top (sleeveless onyx), fragile (belgian maternity brand) cardigan, sainsburies jeans, gifted necklace and earrings. Was wearing Clarks brogues but picture is my slippers.
It was a lovely day on Monday and we just had time for a quick run around the beach before Milo’s gym nippers. He immediately found this stone and insisted we put it in the car, and now it’s been lying around the sofa until I hid it in the garden after he’d gone to sleep. This happens a lot, yesterday he’d picked out all these small pebbles from nursery and put them in his locker to take home.
Ellis is quite happy standing up without falling over and has started pulling himself up as well. He can commando crawl as well, but doesn’t do it much, and at this pointbI wouldn’t be surprised if he just bypasses the crawling completely.
A new sewn thing! And of course, it’s the thing I always make, aka paprika pattern onyx shirt, this time lengthened into an oversized dress. The reason doing this (rather than tackling my many many other planned projects, I do have them) was that I wanted something with minimal shaping to use my hand printed fabric I made in my Lino printing class for.
When Dave first saw it he want ‘oh a tent’ and then said he thought it looked like a dress Little My would wear. Which is actually kind of what I was going for, a Marimekko type tent thing, so I am not taking it as the piss take it was supposed to be. It actually looks exactly how I want it from the front.
The back is another measure and maybe more experienced sewers will some advice for me? Let me tell you what I did! I started off with the tunic length onyx and added 7cms to the hips (on top of whatever I’d already added for the tunic which I didn’t write down) on both back and front pieces. I then drew a straight line from just under the bust to that 7cm point and drew parallel to the bottom edge (so keeping the slight hi-lo-ness, which you can’t see due to the size of my bum) at a point that seemed sensible.
The problem was the back. There was just way too much fabric and it did look pretty questionable. My fix was to add an inverted box pleat at the back. I sewed together around 10cms starting from waist level upwards. On the dress form this looked pretty good, and it is definitely an improvement when I’m wearing it as well, it provides some shaping and works well with the Kim Kardashian style bum I’ve got these days. The problem is the top above the pleat. Once on, this just all started crumpling into a big mess, as you can see from the photos. There is still plenty excess fabric, and I’m not 100% sure why that is. Obviously I did add width, but only below the bust, and even then it only starts being substantial amounts by the time you get to waist level. And I never had this excess at the top of the back in any of my tops, and it should be the same? I’m really unsure what to do. I could maybe extend the pleat up further the back, I think there’s enough extra there that I would still be able to get it over my head. Or maybe the problem is that I tried to add a length of pleat in the first place, and maybe it would have been better to just sew if down at one point, and not try to have the top more closely fitting? Can you tell I have no idea what I’m doing? But I’m giving it a shot! Any advice gratefully received!
Anyway, I do actually like this dress as it is and will be wearing it! I just want make sure I get it right before I start cutting into the handprinted fabric. The fabric I used here is a Lucille Day print for the John Lewis 150 year anniversary, and it’s a nice medium-light cotton. The handprinted stuff is a slightly heavier cotton, which probably makes the edges of the pleat even less workable.
P.s. I am not asking Milo to be in my pictures, he is just obsessed with the self-time!
And here’s the photos from Milo’s 2015 album. It took me ages to find a ‘traditional’ album (that’s the ones you glue in the pictures yourself) with enough pages! It’s a goldbuch album, its excellent quality and comes in loads of colours, though the place I bought it from was pretty terrible. It took about a month to arrive, they were having problems with their supplier, but at no point did they think to inform me of this. And none of the phone numbers on their website actually led to anything. I’d actually got to the point of asking for a refund, and getting ready to dispute the purchase on my card, and they only told me it had finally been sent in response to that email. NOT the way to run an online shop! Hopefully by the time 2017 comes round and I’m doing the 2016 albums, I will have found another source.
But anyway, the album. I used fewer of the tiger papers in this, and quite a lot from the scandi christmas paper collection I’d going from one of my craft groups ladies and some from some advertorial magazine about ‘building your stash’ (as if ANYONE needs any help with that!). Obviously with an album that size, there is a lot more pattern per photo than in the one I used, so it might have been nice to have a bit of writing or numbers of something, but in the end I was lazy and just left it except for the one page I used some stickers for. And it looks fine!
A little while ago I was contacted by Say It Ain’t Sew (love it, though can’t believe there are any sew:so puns left that aren’t taken) to try out their sewing kits. It’s mainly a thing for free sewing classes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, but Iona Barker, the person behind it, is selling little sewing kits on etsy to fund the classes. Don’t ask me how that works (they’re only £5, so not a massive profit margin I would have thought), but I guess she’s going it figured out.
Anyway, the kits are super fun! The things you can make are all so cute, and they’re nice little projects to do over a couple of evenings. They’re made from precut felt shapes and there’s lots of options. I was cheeky and asked for two since I thought I might be able to do one with Milo, though in the end I decided it would be quite a bit beyond his skill level, so I made one and Dave made one.
My choice was the doughnuts, to fit with all the play food Milo’s got (mainly from my mums awesome advent calendar). In particular I thought they would fit in with the tea party tray, which we bring through to the living room for the teddy bears tea party. They fit on the wee dolls plates just perfectly. The pack comes with three doughnuts, and a massive bag of beads and sprinkles so you can choose how to decorate. One drawback was that there wasn’t even enough stuffing for two doughnuts, although that’s ok because we had a bag of left over stuffing from something else so all was good.
The other thing was the cute little fox which was Milo’s choice. Since I couldn’t do it with him as planned I gave it to Dave to do and he showed me up for the sloppy crafter I am. I used whatever thread matched best from what we had, which happened to be yellow for the light brown, and I didn’t pay any attention to stitch size or distance. Whereas Dave went and bought matching thread and did those tiny precise stitches!
Milo got ‘star of the week’ at nursery this week, which doesn’t really seem to be on account of anything in particular, but means he got to take Madison the knitted rabbit home, and we have to record her adventures in a special book. I took a million phone photos, some of which are on instagram, but thought I’d do the weekly photos with her too, because why not.
Both photos were taken in the Dovecot studios cafe (which I highly recommend by the way). Ellis finally fell asleep after about an hour and a half in the rucksack, five minutes before we go there, and then of course promptly woke up about twenty seconds after this picture was taken.
He was good though, which is good after the week and a half he’s been having. His sickness bug dragged on and on and on Friday I took him to the doctors who told us that sickness bugs often result in temporary lactose intolerance. We stopped the dairy and got lactose free formula and the difference was instant! We’ll keep him off it for two weeks and then slowly reintroduce.
I almost didn’t go to the doctors because when Milo had his epic starting nursery vomfest, the doctor told us there’s nothing we could do and just had to wait and keep trying so I wasn’t expecting anything, but man am I glad I went. I don’t know if this is a new discovery or what, or if I was just lucky to get a better doctor this time (we are at a massive multi-GP surgery so rarely see the same person), but man am I glad we went! So just putting this info here for any parents or future parents because I certainly didn’t know about it.
And here’s Milo about to throw Madison off a ledge in the cafe.