Friday, June 12, 2015

Me Made Maternity - Week 38: Lucky Last

Wearing - self-drafted PJ pants and a Maternity Bronte Top

Firstly, thank you all so much for your comments and well wishes on the early arrival of Oscar. We are slowly figuring out our new normal as a family of three, which changes every day, but we think he's pretty neat and wouldn't swap him for the world.

This was my final Me Made Maternity outfit. We took these photos at 38 weeks and 2 days, my waters had broken the night before and I'd been having mild but sporadic contractions ever since. Oscar was born in the evening the following day...

I had had the first Braxton Hicks I could really feel on Sunday morning. They weren't painful, but I completely understood why you'd need to concentrate on breathing through an actual contraction - your middle gets so tightly clenched, completely out of your control, that you naturally want to breath quite shallowly because anything else requires effort. If you want to get some idea of what they feel like, clench your stomach muscles as tightly as you can and try breathing deeply, it's a bit harder than your average breathing!

Even though I had been having Braxton Hicks, I still thought that I'd have plenty of time to photograph and blog my new pj pants and maternity Bronte top, but babies come when they feel like it and I had literally just finished making these pj pants when my waters broke that evening. All I could think about (after a mild freak out that I was going to have a baby really really soon) was that I hadn't taken photos of either of them and that my Bronte top just wouldn't look quite the same without the all important bump. 

So, erm, yes, I was in labour and I still took outfit photos - that's dedication right there, huh? *wink*.

Actually, it's not really since I wasn't in active labour (and wouldn't be until the next day) just the very early stages and I spent the majority of that day doing normal things anyway. I went out for lunch, did some grocery shopping, went for a long walk to try to get things moving (it's so strange being out in public in labour, breathing through the contractions and trying not to let on that you are having contractions, lest anyone freak out on you - that's the last thing you need!) and into the hospital twice for monitoring.

So, while we had to stop every now and then for a contraction to pass during the photo taking, we tried to go about our day as normally as possible, since little Oscar obviously wasn't planning on coming within the next couple of hours, and what else was there to do? No point sitting around twiddling our thumbs, right?

I'll be posting more details on my new PJ's as well as a tutorial on how to make your very own Maternity Bronte Top in the next few days...

Until then, I need to attend to my little Snuffalaffagus (nobody tells you how noisy new borns are when they sleep - I swear he sounds like a little old man 90% of the time!) and try to figure out where the past 3.5 weeks have disappeared too.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Introducing Our Newest Family Member...

Oscar, 6 days old...

Mr Oscar James Edward was born 11 days early on Tuesday 19th May at 5.13pm weighing 3.59kg.

We've spent the past week rugged up at home (today it snowed!) getting to know each other and settling in. Everybody is happy, healthy and well and I'll be back with my last Me Made Maternity outfit soon... In the mean time, you can find me over on Instagram.

Stay warm!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Me Made Maternity - Week 37: Winning

On Sunday when we took these, it was so windy that I spent half the time trying not to eat my hair and the other half of the time trying not to flash the camera!

I am now officially considered 'full term' albeit early full term, which means the little dude could come at any time now and should be fine navigating the big wide world on his own (well, in terms of being able to breathe with no help etc. I am well aware that we can't just leave him to fend for himself while we go out for a pizza or something, hehe).

We also finish our antenatal classes this week and I have to say, I'm relieved. They don't finish until really late and by the time we get home it's around 9.45pm and I'm always surprised that I've not turned into a grumpy pregnant pumpkin on the way back (though David might disagree, but he'd never say anything... wink).

As always, the heartburn continues, the kicks to my right ribs get stronger and when he moves, those little stabby pains in my bladder are a regular occurrence. When I told my midwife about those stabby pains, her response was an excited 'GREAT!!" to which I replied "NO!! They hurt!!".

Only in pregnancy are stabby-bladder-pains a good thing (unless you've got an infection, in which case, get it treated ladies!!) because it means the baby is moving on down. And as he moves on down, and the birth gets closer, I'm starting to think more about it and therefore, getting a touch more anxious. I think it's more fear of the unknown and not knowing when exactly that unknown thing will start or how long it'll last for, more than anything else. I know many people say you don't tend to remember the actual birth itself, but still...

My midwife has also let me know that there is officially no where else for him to grow now except outwards, so I'm watching and waiting to see how this all progresses, and how much shorter at the front my dresses will get. The high-lo hem is still on trend, no?

Speaking of dresses, I'm still wearing these Vogue ones. Sorry if it's at all boring, but comfort wins over anything else these days. If I'm not in pj's or occasionally in a RTW stretchy knit dress, I'm wearing one of these. I'm so happy that I can still wear things I made that make me feel slightly normal and like myself.

Speaking of Me Made, it's Me Made May (as if you didn't already know!!). I struggled with whether I'd participate this year and came to the conclusion that I didn't really have the time nor the energy nor the me-made wardrobe I've had access too in the past to take part. All you'd be seeing are these dresses, my Miette Cardigan and some me-made pj's and maternity Bronte Tops everyday (tutorial coming!).

But, I am currently sponsoring a prize for MMM'15 this week! Make sure you head over to Zoe's blog to enter to win your choice of one of my patterns and hopefully next year, I'll be back with a Me-Made-May bang!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Me Made Maternity: Week 36 - Tired and All That Jazz...

Wearing - Vogue 8728 & vintage cardigan

Wow, week 36 already huh?

I'm not going to lie, I'm not entirely sure I'll be looking like the Duchess just hours after I give birth. But then again, I'm not planning on inviting my hairdresser to the Maternity Ward afterwards either, so, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Speaking of hair dressers though, I'm in pretty desperate need of a wee chop this week me thinks...

Thank you so much to everyone who chimed in with maternity bra advice in my last post! It seems you all have pretty much the same advice, which is to buy some soft maternity sleeping bras and then just wait and see. So, I have my marching orders - soft sleeping bras, here I come.

In other news, I feel like all I do is complain lately, but I am so-tired all-of-the-time. And I know it's not going to get any better, but hey, just like grunting like an old man helps, so does complaining, hehe. And it's really not all bad, promise.

If you're Felicity Sewing Along, er, you may have noticed a slight lapse in posts (see above paragraph). Apologies for that, I'm in the process of getting everything photographed, written up and scheduled so that I then don't have to think or stress about it too much any more. I anticipate being back on schedule early next week. I'm slowly ticking things off my long 'To Do' list. Slowly but surely.

Anyway, I'm rambling - I have absolutely no written cohesiveness today, and I honestly don't really mind.

Talk soon,


Monday, April 27, 2015

Me Made Maternity: Week 35 - Hello? Is it Me You're Looking For?

Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these, and as you can see, the bump has most definitely grown in the past five weeks. He's very active, wriggly and is not a huge fan of my ribs (I, personally, am rather attached to them. Ha ha, geddit? I haven't lost my (bad) sense of humour just yet...).

My slippers are knitted, but not by me AND I'm hanging out on our new deck to take these!!

I haven't meant to leave it this long between bump shots, but we've been so busy around here that we tend to forget about them until it's too dark to take any photos. 

To be fair, you haven't been missing any new 'Me Made' clothing action, considering I'm still wearing essentially the same things I have been for the past few weeks. These dresses have been on pretty much constant rotation - I'm way too tired and round now to care if I'm wearing the same thing day in and day out. If it fits and is comfortable, I'll wear it.

Other 'baby' related things over the past 5 weeks that I meant to talk about:

1) Maternity bra shopping - my head is about to explode on this one. How am I supposed to know what sizes to buy when I have no idea how big they're going to get? Any tips? Bras are expensive and I don't want to end up with a draw full that never see the light of day.

2) We've been attending regular antenatal classes, and no, you don't sit around in a circle and learn to breathe (they assume you know how to do that, considering you've been doing it quite successfully for a few years now). David and I were both kind of disappointed...

3) As I learnt on Saturday, don't scoff your cereal in the morning, because when your stomach has limited space and is squashed somewhere where your lungs should be, and there is a small foot using it as a kick boxing bag, your cereal will want to make a reappearance if it's gone down too quickly. Slow and steady wins the 'food staying in your stomach' race.

4) Heart burn, please-go-away, I'm trying to sleep.

There are still quite a few things David and I need to do before the Bebe arrives, mostly house related things (but also lots of loose ends for my business so that it keeps running at least semi-smoothly while I take some time out), but I'm trying to give myself a bit of a break from this (long) self-imposed list.

Do you remember me talking about the not-so-great March stuff bubbling on into April? Well, as it turns out, it's decided to stay for the whole month (well, pretty much, considering it's May this week!!). It's not the same annoying stuff, it's more of it in different forms, that seem to be compounding and growing and just being, well, poo-ey. I do tend to err on the half-full side of the glass, but, I am ready for a little break...

Luckily, David is home for most of the week, so we're going to tackle as much as possible and then, we'll just take it as it comes. And eat cookies. Mmmmmm...cookies. And admire the autumn leaves before it gets really cold. Though, we've already had a small amount of snow, so, I guess that doesn't bode well for a mild winter...

How are you lot?


*I can't believe I wrote 'poo-ey' on my blog. I suppose you might need to get used to it, considering I've heard babies have a lot of it!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Felicity Dress Sew Along - Grading at the Hips with Yoke Pockets

The hips on both versions of the Felicity Dress are free, but sometimes, you might want to grade up (or down) for whatever reason. This is generally a pretty straight forward process, but when it comes to yoke pockets, they require a few extra steps.

The Felicity dress comes with all-in-one yoke pockets, which means you don't have two separate pieces. Instead, you fold them in half to get the full pocket. You can see on the diagram below that once folded in half, the pocket fits exactly into the skirt pattern piece.

Yoke pockets (and actually, pockets in general) are usually designed to fit exactly into each graded size without the pocket size itself changing as above (though the top of the pocket shape changes slightly per size for View 1 of the Felicity Dress, since the waist curve changes as it grades up). This means while it's still simple to grade the hip on the skirt as usual (by following the grade out to the next size), you'll also need to alter the pocket pattern to fit the new grade (and since it doesn't have any individual grade lines on it to follow, this is what makes it a tad more time consuming).

In this example, we're going to be grading from a size 12 at the waist (red pattern piece) to a size 14 at the hips (green pattern piece).

1. Lining up notches, tape the 'back' of your yoke pocket piece into the size you want to keep consistent at the waist, in this case, it's the size 12. This means we now have a complete base to work off when grading at the hip (since the 'back' of the pocket makes up a section of the total waist line).

2. Place some paper under your pattern at the hip and starting from the end of the waist line (or the end of the pocket) grade out to the next size at the hip as you normally would, as indicated by the black arrow on the diagram.

Continue down until you reach the bottom of the pocket along the side seam (indicated by the red arrow). Fill that extra bit in with spare paper, and you have now graded the 'back' section of your yoke pocket piece.

3. Now you need to grade the 'front' of your pocket piece to fit the back and new side seam. The first thing you'll need to decide is which pocket curve you want to follow. I'd personally follow your original pattern piece (the size 12) since it means you won't end up needing to change the pocket curve to meet down the bottom at the new size.

Mark where your pocket curve ends on the adjusted pocket piece (indicated on the diagram with a black arrow).

4. Remove your pocket pattern piece and fold it in half along the dashed line included on the pattern.

Now we can see how much we need to add to the 'front' section to make it match the back. Fill in that section with some spare paper (marked in orange).

5. Now you can grade the actual skirt pattern pieces at the hip to match with the pocket. Tape some spare paper underneath the front skirt piece, then tape in the 'back' side of your new pocket piece into the front of your skirt piece (as in step 1), trace along the new pocket line. The last step is then to true up your back skirt piece to match.

And there you have it, graded hips with yoke pockets!!

Next week we are finally doing some sewing! So if you're following along in real time, make sure you wash your fashion fabric this weekend :) If you still haven't bought your fabric, you can read all about selecting appropriate fabrics for Felicity here.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Felicity Dress Sew Along - How to Remove Yoke Pockets

Removing yoke pockets is a really easy flat pattern adjustment to make to the Felicity Dress and you can also use this tutorial to remove yoke pockets on various other patterns...

1. Tape the pocket pattern piece into your front skirt pattern piece, matching notches along the waist line.

Note - for Felicity, since the yoke pockets are all-in-one, you'll be taping what is essentially the 'back' pocket section into your skirt to make up the total waist length.

2. Place some paper underneath your pattern and trace around the outside of the yoke pocket - indicated in the diagram below with red arrows.

3. Remove your yoke pocket pattern to reveal your newly traced waist line.

4. Cut out around the traced pocket pattern and Ta Da! A skirt piece without yoke pockets!