Babyshower! A letter for Jenya

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

STOP PRESS - Don't miss the Big Paris Sew Social Giveaway! There are 16 patterns on offer. It's here 

Have you met Jenya yet - over at While She Was Sleeping?

Jenya is just the sweetest blogging friend. We stumbled upon each others blogs about two years ago, when we were both just starting out on this online adventure.

Since then she's been a wonderful online companion. Not only is her sewing impeccable, but she's also funny and friendly, makes me laugh and keeps me going when I've lost my sewjo....

Which is why when Renee of the Nearest the Pin and Alisa of A Stitch in Between

asked me to take part in her online Baby Shower I said YEEESSSS....

And then....oops....

I don't know what happened to June. It disappeared in a flash. And I had a few other sewing commitments, and the summer weekends have all been busy, and before I knew it I had missed the deadline for Jenya's Online baby shower....

So instead Dear Jenya,  all I can offer is a  few thoughts on the imminent arrival of Baby Number two - some transglobal wishes and love for your growing family...

Here goes....

Dear Jenya

When Missy was born, my son was four, I guess a similar age to your sweet Little Monkey. I'd had four years as his constant companion, he filled my soul, made my heart leap and my world fresh.

I was so busy with him and everything, that my pregnancy with Missy whizzed by...then she arrived with such speed and ease that she shocked us all. (Note to Jenya, second babies can be quick - don't delay in calling the midwife!)

And then all of a sudden there were two little people making my heart leap and I didn't know where to turn. I couldn't be my son's constant companion any more. He would ask me to play, and I'd be feeding the baby, or cooking dinner, or cleaning the kitchen. 

And here's the strange thing, I adored my little girl, this funny dark-haired tiny baby. Because when you have a four year old, you really HAVE FORGOTTEN what a tiny baby is like. And then suddenly it's like DOH! I remember this now! Those sleepness nights, that little head nestling on the shoulder...

But, yes just as I adored my little girl, I also felt sad. I missed my boy. I couldn't be with him like I used to be, and I tried, but somehow I always felt like I was not in the right place, like there wasn't enough of me to go round.

My midwife explained it all to me. She said when you have one child your family is like a triangle, now you are a square and everyone has to readjust to their new position.

So it took a  bit of pulling and tugging to make that  triangle a square. 

It was a tiring time, but also it was all ok too.

And there were the many moments when I could see that my son was finding his place in that square, perhaps ahead of me. 

And now, Missy follows him and adores him. They argue, and chat, but they also play at Roman Soldiers, at Harry Potter, at being animals together. They've learnt how to make this square be strong.

I remember him watching his sister trying to walk, aged 13 months.

"Come on Missy!" he called. "If you can walk, you can dance!"

And you know, that's how it's been. A funny old dance. It took a while for us all to learn the steps, and we're still learning. To learn how to make a dance for four people, when once it had been three, and before that just two, and even how to make room to be yourself in that four-cornered square.

But we've found our rhythm. It may have involved a year (or two) of at least one of us not waking up in the same bed that they went to sleep in. And it may now mean that I dream of the day when ALL the clean washing is put away, and there isn't a pile of laundry that needs to be SOMEWHERE ELSE.

But I can live with that.

And it is such a joy to welcome a new little person into the world. There is nothing bigger, better, or more exciting.

I'm massively excited for you Jenya and your family, and honestly I fully intend to get sewing to welcome new baby little monkey very soon!

Victoria xxxx

Now some of my sewing friends have been much more organised than me, and have managed to sew something for Jenya's baby. Hop around the blogs to take a look...
Naeh Connection- A softie
Straightgrain-Doll's Lua sleepsack
Siskobymieke- Baby Jacket
Threading My Way - Baby Wash Cloth+fabric basket
Lil' Pip Designs - Boobook owl taggy toy Sew Delicious- travel nappy pouch
Things For Boys -Mega bibs
Sewpony - A softie
Made By Sara- Baby fabric toys
Sew n Sow- Baby Hat
Nearest the Pin- Leather Baby Shoes

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Paris Sew Social Giveaway!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Back in April, our gathering of 14 bloggers in Paris was  wonderful way to meet  dear online friends in real life.
And now we're sharing the sewing love with a Mega Giveaway across all 14 blogs!
It's your chance to share some of the Paris fun, thanks to our generous sponsors!
All of the Paris Sew Social bloggers are running a giveaway, starting today, offering a bonanza of free patterns.
Hop across all the Paris Sew Social blogs today to discover a bucket-load of goodies...
And now back to my Paris memories....

And, apart from a lots of wonderful fabric, I have two lasting souvenirs...  

Firstly, I've discovered the colour mustard.
Secondly I've discovered the joys of sewing with knits. 

We left  Paris with heaps of fabric, and lots of sewing patterns, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.   I was full of ideas and plans - and sketched out this little outfit before I even started cutting - a rarity for me. 

My sewing is usually 'feet first'. 

But I had some gorgeous organic mustard  jersey, a gift from Nosh. 

Now mustard, or ANY yellow, is a new thing for me. I always think that  brunettes with olive toned skin can't wear yellow. 

But I spent three days in Paris with An of Straightgrain, and her love of gold must have rubbed off... And...What do you think? I love it! It looks like little Missy is wearing a ray of sunshine!

Now this little cardigan was a real 'first' for me. This is only the second time I've sewn knits - and it's my first ever blog post of a knit creation! And it's really not a perfect sew..Expert eyes, please don't look too closely - this is babysteps ok?

This is the Aster Cardigan by LBG Studio, and I have wanted this pattern for a long time, and it was Vanessa's of LBG's kind sponsorship that made me take the plunge and sew up knits.
The Nosh jersey and the Aster cardigan are a match made in heaven - in fact I've seen a few other mustard Aster cardigans around blogs recently. Mine has a teal blue contrast collar, cut from an old t-shirt. This is the Aster cardigan's clever trick - faux-piping. I love piping, but the idea of piping knits is terrifying - except Vanessa has devised this beautifully drawn pattern trick to create a 'piped' collar. And I think the teal blue really lifts the mustard gold.

For a novice knit-sewer, the Aster cardigan was straightforward.  It's a slim fit, this is size seven on my five-year-old. 

 I've paired it with a little blouse, made from this stunning double gauze, a sponsorship gift from Nutta. Missy adored this  fabric, and sketched out her own outfit vision

Missy  called it her Rainbow Blouse, and  wanted me to make a dress but I only had 50cm of this double gauze. 

But I just about managed to eek out a 'pin-tucked blouse' from Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids, by Tuttle publishing, also a gift from our sponsor.

This was a fabric-cutting challenge!. I made the sleeves much shorter than the pattern, and one of the sleeves is actually pieced together with two pieces!

 I also love the subtle pleat detail on this blouse pattern.

It's the type of easy piece that Missy will wear a lot this summer - in fact I could only take one picture before she ran off - to play her favourite game, Hide and Seek,  (or hide and sneak as she calls it)...

 I was going to make a full outfit - I wanted to pair this with Compagnie M's Charles Pants. In fact they are cut out and ready to sew... but I've run out of spare hours...

And now, thanks to the generosity of LBG Studio , there's the chance to win the pattern of your choice from her lovely collection. There's the cute Aster cardigan - but also the Senna tote bag looks amazing!

Just Click on the raffle copter below to enter the LBG Studio giveaway (Thank you Vanessa). 
And look ! These are the stunning creations made by all the Paris Sew Social bloggers - and everyone has a different giveaway today. Click on the pix to discover the links, and some great prizes. Open until July 10

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Molly Makes magazine! And being transformed into a beautiful French woman

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

In my other life, I am a journalist and, while I love this whole blogging thing, I really, really love paper. 

You know, real paper and particularly newspapers and magazines.

Ever since I was little I have read newspapers. We would have The Scotsman delivered to our home in Edinburgh , and I loved it dropping through our letterbox.

I always wanted to know what was going on, and read stories, and look at beautiful pictures.

And now I work as a news reporter, and I still love newspapers, the proper printed paper version. I love seeing my stories transformed by designers, and photographers into pages of print.

And now my blogging/journalism/sewing worlds have collided thanks to beautiful magazine Molly Makes, and our Paris Sew Social.

The July issue of Molly Makes full of creative ideas is now on shelves, and online.

And I'm in it...or at least the slimmer, blonder, French version of me is...

I was thrilled that Molly Makes wanted to share a little bit of our wonderful Parisian get together with bloggers from across Europe.  So thrilled that when I wrote a few words and inundated them with photos, somehow the pictures got a little garbled, and look! There's lovely Sophie of C'est La Vie, pretending to me....

These things happen in busy, bustling newspaper and magazine offices, and I think it's rather funny, flattering even.... I  mean who wouldn't want to pretend to be Sophie...

Do  look out for me/Sophie in  Molly Makes magazines on shelves throughout the UK and flick through the rest of this lovely magazine!

The easiest excuse to sew Nani Iro: Sewing for Paris #3

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Sometimes you just want to have some Nani Iro fabric, just want to touch it, gaze and possibly wear it. And what to sew is almost irrelevant. 
This is the solution to those moments;
My very easy Nani Iro scarf - which also doubles up as a subterfuge excuse to buy more Nani Iro. Be warned this scarf is dangerous - "I can always make a scarf" my sewing addict brain whispers as I scroll through Nani Iro prints.

Nani Iro scarf

In sewing terms, there's barely anything to say about this scarf. It's one metre of Nani Iro, cut in half lengthways, so that I had two strips 50cm x 1m. I stitched them end to end, then folded the whole long strip in half, and carefully stitched mini-pompom trim into the long seam and both ends, leaving one narrow end open to turn it right sides out, which I hand-stitched closed.

Nani Iro scarf

Et voila! One lovely summer scarf ! 
I sewed this in time for our wonderful Paris Sew Social trip as a little something to liven up my 'neutral' Paris dresses. And am blogging it now, in time for Nani Iro month hosted by purveyor of the finest Japanese fabrics, Miss Matatabi. The fabric is Nani Iro's Spectacle in shun, from Miss Matatabi.
It's a beautiful ethereal print a kind of dreamy landscape, in fresh spring colours of pink and green. 
Nani Iro scarf
I love the print but I have slight reservations about the colour on me. I'm used to stronger darker colours and this is perhaps a little pale on me.  I think perhaps it will look best later in the summer, with a floaty dress. I'd love to hear your thoughts? I'm trying to venture away from wearing blue all the time, but struggle to find step out of my comfort zone...

Nani Iro scarf

Nani Iro scarf

Now I apologise if I have just provided you with the easiest excuse to go shopping for Nani Iro double gauze. I know, I know, it's going to be hard to resist!

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