Two dresses in one

Another go with a Sew Sweet Patterns pattern! This one is the Harper dress. Again I found it easy to print out (though I did have to learn about layers in acrobat) but then I had a few problems. The pattern states that the 6-12 month size fits on half a yard of fabric, following some shopping at an American retailer on Etsy I had some half yards rather than half metres, and it doesn’t!
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It only works if the back is cut out length ways on the fabric, which I did in the end but does cause slight pattern direction problems, and probably other ones I don’t even understand.

Anyway, it was easy to sew up and soon it was time to learn a new skill – buttonholes! I struggled to buy buttons, I can’t quite believe the local fabric shop had a whole wall of buttons and they were all nasty plasticky crap. I got some in a charity shop in the end. After taking advice from my mother in law, and a couple of trial runs on scrap fabric, I was ready to take the plunge. I am no longer scared of buttonholes!

I am so pleased with this dress I already have plans and fabric for a couple more. She’s going to look so cute in it!
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There’s just one slight problem. .. Mindful of all the mums at baby groups who tell me she’s huge I tried it on her. It fits now at four months! And the armholes are a little tight. I see some hacks coming on.
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A first go at patterns

All the sewing I’ve done before has been household stuff (cushions, peg bags etc) and the couple of forays into clothing have used no-pattern internet tutorials. With the exception of the little girl skirts these items haven’t turned out looking very polished.

So, as I continue to build up the summer baby wardrobe I thought I’d have a go at a real pattern. I came across Sew Sweet Patterns via Pinterest and they didn’t look too hard and are very reasonably priced plus they are downloadable so I took the plunge.

I had some suitable fabric from the stash building sale I went mad in from StitchStashDiva (American site via Etsy but even with postage fabric is still cheaper!) So I demanded a day “off” baby care. NB, for the breastfeeding mum of a ravenous baby this does not allow leaving the house. First up, the Summer romper. It was so easy! The only tricky bit was when making the tie, getting it to turn the right wsy out as it was so thin. It ripped from the pressure of fabric trying to push through the channel, so it’s not as neat as it could be, but probably not very noticeable.

I can’t wait to try out more!
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A skirt for spring

Recently I have been sorting the 3-6 month baby wardrobe.  Yes I know that sounds like I am one of these crazy people who have a ‘look’ for their baby, but actually this is for purely practical reasons.  She needs enough to wear but not too much seeing as it lasts only a few weeks before she grows out of it. One of the things I’m learning about having a baby girl is that the shops are packed with the sweetest little outfits and you really have to resist!

Sewing can be pretty useful in these circumstances; no need to pay shop prices when you have a stash of fabric. Baby skirts need so little of it too. I thought she could do with a girly but not pink spring skirt, so here it is!

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A reluctant model

I used the tutorial from Dana Made It that I have used once before, the only thing I think I’d change is to make it a little longer – cloth nappies give quite a large bum!

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Martha’s tiny woodland nursery

Hello again everyone. As expected the blog is taking a real back seat. We met a couple in the village pub this week who are imminently expecting and said they had finished the nursery so were ready for their arrival. Two months in we have a finished nursery too! I can’t take much credit really, if it was only being done in the time my daughter is not feeding or sleeping on me it would never be finished! Mr Han must take all the plaudits, along with his mum who helped with the wall.

So, here it is….

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If you want more details here is what everything is, and where it came from:

“Martha” door letters, from http://www.woodenletters.co.uk painted by Martha’s Daddy

Cloud mobile, made by me, previously blogged about in this post. Sampler by Martha’s Great Auntie Deena.

Origami cranes, liberated (with permission!) from Laura’s crafty wedding. Wall stickers from the Nursery collcection at http://www.wallboss.co.uk

Ceramic owl nightlight from http://www.whiterabbitengland.com. Martha’s soft toy collection are all gifts, but did you spot the moose?

Owl lampshade, from Homebase.

Sampler by Great Auntie Deena.

Chest of drawers, John Lewis. Cot, Saplings. Shelves, Ikea.

Acorn cut out, this was a present to me that I thought fitted in well but my poor tired brain can’t recall who gave me it, I think Laura?

Wooden blocks, notonthehighstreet. A gift from Auntie Beth. Yellow rabbit, came in a kit to build and was given to me by Laura.

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One row at a time, and the ultimate WIP

I cast on the baby blanket on 1st August. I can’t quite believe it took so long to get it done, and wish I’d been a bit more dedicated and got it finished earlier, there were whole weeks I never picked it up. I used the Pine Forest Blanket pattern, found here. It uses gull lace and was really easy. I picked a yarn from Rowan – a washable pure wool worsted – in a forest green to go with the woodland theme of the nursery. It was nice to knit with and has produced quite a squishy blanket.
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The reason that this took quite so long to finish was that the ultimate work in progress was finally ready! Our daughter Martha Rose entered the world a week late on New Year’s Eve. She is (of course) perfect and beautiful but in addition to the normal sixth sense babies have for when you pick up a fork, she also wakes up as soon as I pick up my knitting needles!

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She’s very well endowed with hand knit items – so many from her grandma I can’t even list them, a stylish cardigan from Laura (of the amazingly handmade wedding), blankets from friends and the wife of a work colleague (knitter: “someone I’ve met once for 30 seconds is having a baby? Get me yarn right now!”) and even a blanket my own granny knitted for me when I was born. So I really shouldn’t have knitted a blanket but hey ho.

* I apologise for the fact that the photos on this blog are going to get even worse, they all now have to be taken on my mobile with one hand *

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Gingerbread House!

So this is what we got up to on Christmas Eve!

Front of gingerbread house

Back of gingerbread house

Boiled sweet windows, After Eight roof tiles, Tunnocks caramel wafer chimney, Matchmaker doors and windowsills and a Cadbury’s chocolate finger log pile. I think Mr Han’s log pile is my favourite bit! It was a lot of fun to do and didn’t actually take that long, maybe 2.5 or 3 hours. Just need some help eating it now…

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Foxy baby accessories

The blanket is still continuing, and the baby is still in, so there’s going to be time to finish that before the new year I think.  I’ve also been back at the sewing machine to make some things I needed for the baby.  I am planning to use cloth nappies as I was so horrified to find out how long disposables take to biodegrade, so when we are out and about I will need somewhere to stash the dirty ones until I can chuck them in the wash.

I bought some waterproofed fabric, known as PUL, from Plush Addict which is also anti fungal and anti bacterial.  I used this as the inner for a wet bag, and used the cool fox fabric I got from Fabric Rehab the other week as the outer (I can’t find the fabric on their website, they did say they thought it would sell out really fast and in fact it seems to be unavailable in the UK now, but it’s from this collection) – just because it’s going to hold dirty nappies doesn’t mean it can’t look cool. I didn’t really use a pattern, I’ve made zipped pouches before so just did the same things this time, but larger. If anyone wants instructions these and these could be useful.

Fox wetbagOne of the benefits of this PUL fabric is that is has a fabric feel on one side, not plasticky, and is also washable to 60C.  I needed a travel changing mat for out and about and decided to use the polyester knit side so it will be less cold for the baby to lie on.  This time I ironed some vilene fleece onto the fox fabric first so that there was a bit of padding too. Again I didn’t really have a pattern, I took some inspiration from here and here but pretty much made it up as I went along.  Still rubbish at mitred corners, but I doubt the baby will notice!

Folded mat Change mat

I’m hoping that tomorrow we will be making the ultimate Christmas make in the kitchen – a Gingerbread house! So I’ll try and put some pictures up, this will be a joint effort with Mr Han who has made a very impressive one before.

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