I thought all of my dreams had come true when Maaike from MaaiDesign contacted me and asked if I'd like to play with some of her beautiful, beautiful fabrics! I was completely spoiled for choice but eventually chose to make this amazingly soft, completely adorable, beach / swim cover up from the fish print of this See You at Six french terry.
Wow. Well this is very late, but here is the second outfit that I made for Kids Clothes Week. I honestly did make it during Kids Clothes Week but have been struggling to getting any photos as we are seriously lacking in natural light at the moment – its dark when we get up and dark when we get home. I’m really very envious of all of you in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment, enjoying sunshine, swimming pool and ice creams. I shall have to console myself with stew and mulled wine and other winter goodness (fruit crumble, hand knitted scarves, open fires, frosty mornings and hot chocolate).. am I making YOU jealous yet? - I doubt it somehow!
With the ‘Travelling’ theme of Kids Clothes Week, one of the first things that sprang to mind was our recent trip to Europe and I wanted to find a way that I could somehow capture some of those wonderful memories in an outfit.
One of the things that I love most about England is the countryside and on this trip we took many walks through beautiful summer meadows. This amazing field of Buttercups was one of my favourites.
The colour was just magical and the kids had an absolute ball wading through, skimming their fingertips through the flowers, running around and frolicking generally.
I wanted to capture the essence of this beautiful field and when I saw this gorgeous Leah Duncan - Art Gallery knit fabric I though it was perfect. I paired it with this amazing remnant of yellow wool flannel that I found in the Fabric Store. The skirt and top are both self drafted. The tee is a batwing top with banded cuffs.
The skirt is a simple gathered skirt with a waistband and cute little rounded pockets. I didn’t quite manage to finish the button hole on the back before my sewing machine packed up – possibly in protest at being made to work so hard! I suppose this is the first problem I’ve had with it in 5 years of practically constant use so I won’t curse it too much. Still, it means that the Mama Clothes Week that I had planned for this week will have to wait!
I also managed to finish off this blue tee which has been sitting in my WIP pile since before we went on holiday. Happily it also goes very nicely with the new yellow skirt.
Not much of a one for standing still this one....
"Enough photos now mum! I want to go and watch Star Wars!"
We had such a beautiful afternoon down by the creek yesterday. It was one of those heavenly days where the sunbeams turn everything gold.
The girls had so much fun playing in the bush. Running, jumping, twirling, turning their skirts into butterfly wings, feeling like princesses and playing like tomboys! What could be better?
Pattern release is set for Wednesday 6th May and I can't wait!
We just got back from a lovely weekend away at Blanket Bay in the Otways. It was the first time we've camped with the kids and it was really great to get away for a few days. Yesterday morning my friend and I went for our usual Sunday morning run and on the way back I got a little lost. Not literally lost, just lost in my own head. I've had this while running before, and I know that many people say how they get into 'the zone' and stop noticing that they're even running. Well this morning I got so completely lost (metaphorically speaking) that I think I could have kept running for days, Forrest Gump style.
It was rather like being in a meditative state - or at least I imagine it was, I'm hopeless at meditating usually - but for some reason I went back to the house I grew up in. It was a huge house (or at least it seemed that way to me at the time) and while I was running I took a little walk through it, remembering the rooms and the furniture, the memories I have of each little space. The bay window in the dining room where Mum would do her sewing and fix my favourite toy (Mouse), the breakfast bar in the kitchen where my sister and I would sit eating our cornflakes and watching 'Barry the lodger' eating his bacon and eggs. The cellar, dark and damp with the secret door into it from the drive way, which used to be for delivering the coal but which was now hidden under a honeysuckle bush and which we could climb in and out of if we ever found ourselves locked out. There were so many things which came back to me on this mental tour of my childhood home, things I hadn't thought about for such a long time. 'Seeing' the wardrobe in the spare room took me back to a birthday party where we played Sardines, 'walking' around the garden reminded me of early morning Easter egg hunts in our nighties, wellies and hand knitted jumpers. The air was so fresh, there was dew on the lawn and the wood pigeons' soft calls carried through the still air - it felt so real that I could have been back there.
I was bombarded with an avalanche of memories; eating tiny wild strawberries from the rock garden at the front of the house, pouring salt on slugs (forgive me- it was at my mum's encouragement), crushing tin cans for recycling with my dad, building castles of stones in the puddles that formed in our back yard, watching my mum digging the veggie garden from my swing, the 'Dolly Tree' in the middle of the lawn where my sister would perch all of her soft toys, writing letters to the Queen, to Santa, to Blue Peter and posting them in the letter box in the wall of our garden. I remembered making rose perfume from petals and water, and pots from dried mud that we tried to sell to the unsuspecting ramblers who walked past the end of our drive.
So many memories, of so many seemingly inconsequential things. Such unimportant things that turned out to form a huge part of who I am. Things that have almost accidentally shaped me into the person I have become. My parents could never have imagined how important to me they would turn out to be, they were just ordinary, everyday things. There are probably a hundred other things like that from my childhood that we used to do which I have forgotten. I have no idea why these are the ones that come back to me so strongly.
Once this flood of memories had subsided I naturally moved to wondering what the things that my own children remember will be? I imagine that even if I tried to guess I could probably never even come close. In a way it's a frightening thought, it's certainly an overwhelming one, to know that every moment, good or bad, may turn out to be one of those key things that your child remembers, a moment that shapes them in one way or another. It doesn't do to think too much about it, you could drive yourself crazy that way, but the occasional reminder of just how much influence we have over them with the things we say, and, probably more importantly, DO, can only be a good thing. Particularly if it causes us to be a little more considered in our actions.
It's a strange thing how your children have the ability to bring out both the best and the worst in you. I hope that it will be the best that shines through when they look back, I hope they won't remember the times I was grumpy, the times I yelled, but I'm going to try to be less like that, just to make sure. I'm sure I won't succeed, not completely anyway, but even if I manage to be just slightly better I think it'll make a difference.
I have no idea what the most significant memories for my own children will be but I hope very much that weekends like this will be among them. I hope they will remember exploring rock pools, collecting shells and noticing all the tiny things; that they will remember cooking dinner on the fire and toasting marshmallows, remember the sensations of the warm sun on their backs, the coolness of the waves lapping around their feet, the salt on their skin, I hope they will remember the perfect quiet of the morning before everyone is awake, the awe-inspiring wonder of a sky full of stars, and the joy of being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the ocean. Sorry if I've gone way too poetic for you, the great out doors does that to me - I don't get to experience it nearly enough these days, and that's something that we're going to try to improve on now that the children are old enough to enjoy weekends away camping!
What are your favourite childhood memories? What memories do you hope your children will treasure when they are older?
The weekend before christmas we took a trip down the coast to stay at a little beach house with some of our friends. I wasn't sure if we should go with it being so close to christmas and with so many things to do to get ready for it, but i'm so, so glad we did. We had such a great time - the weather was hopeless but it didn't matter in the slightest! We spent our time playing on the beach in the rain, building sandcastles and flying kites, splashing in the waves and swimming till our lips turned blue. We went on adventures through the sand dunes - climbed them, jumped off the tops, rolled down the sides, even surfed down on body boards. We went beach combing for shells and rocks and seaweed. We walked through (seemingly) gale force winds and rain and returned home for hot chocolate and mince pies. My friend and I went for a run along the beach every morning and then then impulsively plunged fully (well, semi) clothed into the icy sea and had to walk home soaking wet - although since it was raining anyway it made little difference!
In the evenings we cooked lovely dinners and ate far too much, then played cards and drank too much wine and sat giggling like school kids (apparently!) We watched purple sunsets and thunderstorms from the deck. We got woken far too early by the little ones and drank copious amounts of tea to try and get our sleepy heads functioning each morning.
I could quite literally go on and on listing all the little things we did - suffice to say that we loved every minute. Best of all though, our little weekend away reminded me that christmas isn't about the cooking and shopping and gifts, but about friends and family and this year I am feeling particularly blessed on that count.
So today I want to say a big Thank You to Annalise, Jordan, Fin and Brea, not only for inviting us to join them on their holiday but simply for being our friends and enriching our lives in lots of tiny ways.