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.
I love Instagram. I love the way we use it to highlight the beautiful parts of ordinary days. I love the way that it makes me view the world differently. And most of all I love this wonderful community that I have discovered, of people who love to sew as much as I do. I think there must be few industries in the world which are so positive, supportive and caring as this one that I feel so lucky to be part of.
For me sewing is about more than just being creative. It's about slowing down, stepping away from the culture of frantic consumerism that has become the norm and practicing mindfullness. I believe that taking time to make something by hand, pouring love and effort into creating something unique is the ultimate antidote to everything that has gone wrong with our modern society.
I am so very grateful to have discovered the joy that sewing brings and to be on the road to making it a much bigger part of my life, that I want to give something back. I want to say thank you to all the people who inspire and encourage this passion in me and I want to begin my new venture with a wonderful bang!
The Gumnut dress is the first graded dress pattern that I've designed and developed. It has taken a lot of my time and effort and love and dedication to get to this point. It feels a little like my baby - I love it dearly and I'm so proud of it and I am a little afraid of letting it out into the world alone. So this has been a difficult decision for me and it's a little bit scary too, but I have noticed that the scary decisions are often the right ones don't you think?
I expect that by this point you're thinking 'Enough already! What ARE you on about?!' It's a fair question. I've decided that I'm going to give this pattern away for free. Totally free to anyone who registers their interest before the pattern release: 9pm Australian Eastern Standard time on the 6th May (7am EST if you're in the States.) In other words you have 24 hours. When the pattern is released I will send you a free copy.
This is the first pattern that I've put out there for sale so I'm hoping that you will all act as reviewers for me. I know there are a lot of Indie designers out there and I'm well aware that the quality can vary dramatically. You don't know me yet and I don't know you so I want you to know that my patterns are good. That they work. That they are easy to follow. That the end products are great. I want to earn your trust.
All I ask in return is that you don't distribute your free copy amongst your friends and family. I rely on your honesty to protect my business. Knowing what a great community we have I feel confident that the majority of you will respect this. If you love the dress and the pattern please tell people about it. Most of all I just hope that you have fun making this and that the little one you are sewing for loves it!
UPDATE: The free dress pattern giveaway is now closed. Sorry if you missed out. Why not subscribe to my newsletter anyway (link in the side bar) then you'll always be the first to know when there's a special offer.
If you'd like another chance to win a free copy then you can enter my 'Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day' promotion. See previous blog post for details.
This was our day today, exactly as it appeared on Instagram. Or rather, exactly as it would have appeared on Instagram, IF I could have been bothered to post all of it.
We had such a great day! We played with stamps and ink, we painted, we got a wonderful harvest of delicious 'lemon raindrop tomatoes' as Jacob calls them, from the garden. We planted out the peas, sweet peas and the spaghetti squash. We got to taste the very first raspberries from the canes that we planted in spring. We went to the park and climbed and swung and laughed with friends. We built train tracks and marble runs. We baked a delicious pumpkin bread and indulged in a bit of art and crafts with a cup of tea.
We had a great old time today. Today was FANTASTIC! Wasn't it? Well, yes and no. There really were some lovely moments, but the Instagram photos don't really tell the whole picture. They don't show you the moment where Jacob wet himself for the second time because he didn't want to stop playing and go to the toilet and I got cross because our washing machine is broken and the laundry pile has reached a ridiculous height. They don't show you the kids melting down in tears when it was time to leave the park. They don't show you the 15 minutes that I spent trying to comb the knots out of Ella's wild hair. They don't show you the 100th time that I had to tell them to "STOP SWINGING THOSE STICKS AROUND - YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE SOMEBODY'S EYE OUT". They don't really give you much insight into what our day was actually like. Sometimes I think that this is a problem. I am being fraudulent. I am deceiving you. I am editing my life. Removing the ugly bits and painting a false picture.
That's one way to look at it anyway. Do you want to see the tantrums? The wet undies? The mess? I'm not sure you do; not all of it anyway. You're smart enough to know that this Instagram feed is not the whole story. That of course there are times when we are all grumpy, times when the kids cry and whine and drive me crazy, times when I loose my cool, when I yell and whole weeks where the house looks like it has been hit by a particularly violent tornado.
The photos that I put on Instagram aren't an attempt to con you into thinking that my life and my children are perfect. They are my attempt to find and recognise the beautiful moments in the most ordinary of days. A way of focusing on the positive and taking pleasure in the smallest things. Of practicing mindfulness and noticing all the tiny things.
At the end of the day, my Instagram photos make me forget all the crap. They are a reflections of the things that I choose to remember. They make me smile at the world and I hope they make you smile too.