Thursday, 31 July 2014

Maternity style ::: 25 weeks

...I used to be a hare, but now i'm very much a tortoise

Slow and steady wins the race but god is it frustrating! There is no such thing as 'nipping about' when you're pregnant (unless you're on wheels, which quite often is my preferred method of getting about these days). You just have to get used to being overtaken by EVERYONE as you walk down the street. I'm seriously considering buying a pair of roller skates.

Still maxing out the non-maternity wardrobe as much as poss...quite surprised this little tea dress from trusty M&S still fits. 

Off home to London for a couple weeks tonight and cannot WAIT to catch up with family and friends. Plus i'm squeezing in a little girls' weekend in Valencia...last one before the bubs arrives - party time!

See you in August x

The breakdown
Dress: M&S
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins
Bag: vintage

Friday, 25 July 2014

DIY: Baby Blanket

Baby blankets. Soft, cuddly, sleep-inducing (fingers crossed) and super easy to make. If you can cut out a rectangle and sew a straight line you're winning. I've made a few of these for friend's babies and each time i've adjusted the measurements to make it slightly smaller. The first one I made was at least four times as large and more suited to a large adult (or as I liked to think a blanky for life). Anyway, I think I have the dimensions just about right now. This was the first thing I made for little BB and I love it. The material is minky on one side and flannel on the other, so super soft and snuggly. And this is how you can make your own...

Cut 2x rectangles each measuring 33in x 43in (this is allowing for a 1.5in seam allowance, so your finished blanket will be 30in x 40in).


With right sides together match edges, pin and sew the two long sides and one short side. You want to leave one short side open to allow you to flip it the right way later.
N.B the below illustration is to show the right sides of the fabric are together...not how to align the fabric. You want to match each side so it's flush, not off-centre, as pictured.

Cut off each corner...this will allow the seam to sit flat and give you nice sharp corners. Flip the blanket inside out so the right sides of the fabric are now on the outside. You might want to use a knitting needle or the like to push out the corners.

Sew the open short edge closed. And you're done! Some people like to top stitch all the way round the blanket. I don't a) because I can't be bothered, and b) because I never end up with a completely straight line so the finished blanket looks a bit wonky.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Maternity style ::: 23 & 24 weeks

...and my back hurts, and my front, and my head. 

Yup, pregnancy can be one big bundle of joy. I feel like an old woman, clutching my back and hobbling around. But the little one is bumping around inside lots these days and it rocks. Just as I get settled on the sofa, or the bed, to ease my creaking back i'll suddenly feel a little kick. It's the best.

And we just celebrated a whole year in DC - crazy! So naturally we had an all-American weekend eating burgers, drinking milkshakes and taking in our first baseball game. Go Nats! I lovely love our new home and am so glad we took the plunge to move out here. I just wish there was a little portal so we could nip home and see everyone more often. Missing friends is the worst, but thank god for Skype and Facebook!

I'm still trying to max out my existing wardrobe as much as possible although the selection is dwindling by the day. I did cave in and purchase a pair of maternity leggings last weekend. Holy crap these beauties are life-savers. So comfy, and stretchy, and comfy, like a little pair of heaven. I just wish i'd read the label that said 'wash before wearing' as I ended dying my legs (and my chairs, sofa, toilet and bedsheets) a lovely shade of indigo. Whoops. x

The breakdown
Skirt: Dorothy Perkins
Shoes: Topshop

if you look really close you can just see two little bambies behind their mama. cute.

The breakdown
Tee: Gap maternity
Leggings: A Pea in the Pod
Cardigan: Forever 21
Shoes: Topshop

Friday, 11 July 2014

DIY remote / nursing / snacks holder

Our first baby is due in November. We currently live in a small one-bedroom apartment in Washington DC so instead of a nursery we'll have a nursery nook i.e. the corner of our bedroom. We can just about squeeze in a moses basket and an extra chest of drawers, but it doesn't leave enough room for a comfy chair for the midnight feedings. We picked this one up at Ikea to go in the living room and were pretty pleased...and then we had some friends stay with their gorgeous five month old. And quickly learnt a few lessons:
1. Babies drool, spew and when teething gnaw anything in sight
2. You always need a burp cloth handy
3. It can be difficult to move once you're all in a comfy position so you'll want remotes/snacks within reach

And so came the idea for this all in one remote / nursing bits & bobs / snacks holder. Thanks William for being my inspiration! Added bonus - it protects the chair a bit too so I can wash this when it gets covered in ?!*&?%^?! rather than washing the whole chair cover. I hope. Well, it'll help a bit i'm sure! After searching online for some starting points I found this tutorial which I then adapted to create the following...

Cover fabric - I chose an upholstery fabric to give a bit more endurance
Quilting fabric for the underside (same size as your cover fabric)
Pocket fabric

This will depend on your chair but your aiming for a rectangle based on:

Width (length of the arm of your chair)
Length (distance from bottom of where you want your cover to hang, up and over the chair to the bottom of the seat cushion + 10cm)

You want the final cover to go under your cushion as this will hold it in place nicely, hence the + 10cm.
My fabric measured 60cm x 90cm.

To create a nice edge for your cover turn the seam over 1cm, press, and then turn it over another 1cm and press again. Clip your corners (cut a diagonal as shown below) so your corners lie flat.

Line up your quilting over your cover fabric, matching one short and one long edge and pin. Then trim the other long and short edge to match. Unlike the cover fabric you won't need to finish the edges.

Open up the pressed seams of the cover fabric, tuck the quilting inside, pin in place and sew.

Measure the width of your finished cover - this is how wide your pocket needs to be + 1.5cm for the seam allowance. How high your pocket will be is up to you! My pocket measured 60cm x 30cm, which included an extra 5cm so I could fold over the top of the pocket to give a smooth edge (you don't need to sew this down as you'll do this when you sew the seams and pocket dividers).
Pin and sew in place, ensuring to leave the top open :-)

To figure out how wide your pockets need to be place some items inside and mark dividers. For me I wanted it to hold my remote, burp cloths and iPad. I'm guessing these will all become essential items for nighttime nursing! Sew.

And you're done!

I'm actually pretty pleased with how this turned out. We've decided not to find out what we're having much to my own surprise. I'm not exactly a patient person. My "case" for finding out was being able to sew some dresses if we were having a girl. Not the best case I know. But it turns out there are loads of things I can make without knowing what we're having. And i'm actually kind of loving not's got to be one of the best surprises in life, non? Anyhoo, i've been on a DIY mission the past couple of weeks and so far i've also made a blanket, nursing shawl and some burp cloths (pictured below). I'll share those DIYs soon.

Thanks for reading!

Clara x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Maternity style ::: 21 & 22 weeks

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Baby who?
Baby Child

Yes, the kicking has begun! It's such a sweet little feeling, like a little knock from the inside. The only - not so sweet - thing I can liken it to is the bubbles you get in your tummy if you suffer from IBS. But way nicer. It's not the best analogy I know. Anyhoo it's nice to know there is something going on in there!

Empire line dresses and high-waisted elastic skirts are my standard uniform these days. This denim dress was a thrift store find that just needed a little adjusting (how-to on that later), as was the green skirt. At $8.99 and $3.99 a pop it's a great way to add some maternity pieces without breaking the bank.

Life right now is pretty darn good. We celebrated our first 4th July watching the fireworks from our rooftop with some friends from New Jersey and despite the unbearable heat DC has come alive for the summer season. We went kayaking on the Potamac river last week and keep discovering new bars and restaurants. Hoping to check out a few outdoor movies and a baseball game too. Basically we're cramming in as much as we can before the babs arrives!

Laters x

The breakdown
Dress: thrifted
Shoes: Kate Kanzier
Belt: Primark
Sunnies: M&S
Bag: vintage


The breakdown
Top: old H&M
Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: Primark