Lucky Sew and Sew

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Friday, 21 July 2017

2 Years of Breastfeeding

Rori turned two in April. TWO?! If you'd have asked me this time two years ago if I would still be breastfeeding now, my answer would have undoubtedly have been 'Hell No!' 

Two years ago, Rori was 2 month old baby. My days and nights were filled with endless cluster feeds, sticky boobs and hours and hours of sitting still to feed. I was too anxious to feed in public back then. For the first few months we didn't venture out too much. Then when the cabin-fever got too much, we would go to the park or a somewhere not too far from my car so I could feed in peace and I would definitely always have a nursing cover on. Rori was born at the end of April and boy, was that one hot sticky summer under that cover, sweaty skin on sweaty skin.

I didn't know what was normal. I didn't know that her hour-long marathon feeds were for her to build up my supply. I didn't know that she could scream with hunger 10 minutes after feeding. I didn't know a lot. My I did know that I wasn't going to give up like I did with feeding Logan. I would master this boob-milk thing, and life would be perfect. 

Things are never that simpler are they? By a few weeks old, Rori would scream in pain during and after feeds, curl her legs up and cry until she was hoarse and purple in the face. She would hiccup and heave like she was being sick but nothing would come out. By the time she was 6 weeks old and I was a zombie of no-sleep and anxiety, I went to get answers. Silent reflux was suggested but trying to get Rori to take any medicine was impossible.

I worried. Maybe it was allergies. So I cut everything that might have been an allergen from my diet. I gave up meat, dairy, and gluten and for 6 months I kept up a gluten-free vegan diet because I was so worried that everything I ate could potentially pass on to her, through my milk. 

By the time she was around 5 months old, things had settled and we were in a routine and we got the swing of things. She liked to be close to me, so I wore her in a wrap to get jobs done. Logan started pre-school and I would walk the 20 minute walk to nursery and back twice a day with Rori strapped to my front. She liked to sit up when feeding, and so we made pillow forts on the sofa and rode those cluster feed sessions out. We started co-sleeping because it's the only way we could both be happy. Rori could feed as much as she wanted without waking me up, and we had the closeness that she craved.

The first 6 months of our breastfeeding journey, was a haze. I really wish I had known then, what I know now. I wish there was more information out there available to new Mums about the early days of breastfeeding and what to expect. 

Looking back now, I don't think Rori had allergies. She probably did just have some reflux. If I had been aware of what the symptoms were and the best way to treat them (without medicine), I would have been prepared. I would have had an easier, less stressful time. I could have enjoyed it more. 

Nobody tells you that relentless feeding is normal. That not sleeping through the night is normal. Cluster feeding is normal. Closeness is normal. Baby not wanting to be put down is normal. Instead, we are told that our babies should sleep all night, only feed every 2 hours, and don't hold them too much because you'll spoil them, and definitely don't let them sleep in your bed. If I'd have listened to that I certainly wouldn't be where I am now on our breastfeeding journey.

Rori feeds first thing in the morning most days when she gets in my bed for a cuddle. Then she has a feed at bed time. Occasionally if she hurts herself or wakes in the night, she'll ask for milk then too.

This is normal too. No, having milk doesn't stop her eating foods, in fact she has a better appetite than Logan and he's 4! It's comforting for her. And to be honest, it's comforting for me too.

Here's a few pictures that were taken last month when we went to visit my brother on the coast. Rori got too hot and so I fed her sat on the side of the marina. My husband put one of these photos on his blog a few weeks ago and although most people had lovely things to say, some of the comments left a sour taste in my mouth. That I would be 'arrested' for doing that in some countries. That it's surprising to still be breastfeeding after 6 months as most Mum's go back to work by then (even though I haven't stopped working at all since Rori has been born!). 

To me, breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. My breasts are made to produce milk that is specifically for my baby to drink and is tailored to nourish her exactly as she needs. How people are still finding it strange in this day in age is beyond me!

I will continue to breastfeed as long as Rori wants to, and I will continue to share my story and photos because this is my life. This is motherhood. This is natural. This is what my body is made to do. I will continue to be open and honest because if we can't use platforms such as our blogs and social media to promote real life, then what's the point?


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

In The Folds Peplum Top

Ok, so I know I said in my last post that I was going to stick with more muted fabrics, but I've had this viscose in my stash for about 2 years now and figured I best use it. (It is pretty cute too I gotta admit).

In the Folds have a great FREE (yes, really!) pattern for a peplum-vest which you can find here. Scoop front neck and v-neck back. I've never worn anything like this in my life. I seriously love how sewing your own clothes gives you the freedom to experiment. I never thought a peplum would suit me, so I've never worn one. But, fired with the idea of pushing the boundaries of what 'my wardrobe' should look like, I've decided to sew more outside my comfort zone.

I went with my bust measurement and I think I cut a size G (but don't hold me to that). I was pretty happy to get the whole vest on just 1m of fabric, which was lucky because that's all I had. There were a few techniques in this pattern that tested my skills. It has bias binding facings on the neck and arm holes. I've used bias tape before, but never on an opening like this. I cut my own binding from the same fabric. Ironing it was a pain, perhaps I should get one of those bias-binding pully-things. Anyway, the bias binding was a bit of a faff, and it's not perfect. The width of the binding is a bit uneven.

If memory serves me, I cut a size G based on my bust measurement. It's actually too big for me. It's wearable, but there are some changes I would make next time.

I will go down probably 2 sizes and I'll also extend the length of the peplum by a few inches as it hits in a strange place on me (#hobbitlife). I think next time I'll also forgo the bias binding (unless I try pre-made binding), and probably try a double rolled hem. I'll have to convert the 'V' on the back neck to a scoop to be able to do this, but I think it'll be quicker and easier overall.

To sum it up, this is an awesome free pattern and a great place to test a few skills and stash-bust. I've already cut out a second version, with the changes I mention above and I'll see how that one comes out. I also think that By lengthening the peplum quite a bit, you could have an excellent summer dress!

So, what do you think? Have you tried this pattern before? What did you make of it?

In the Folds Peplum Top Free Pattern


Friday, 14 July 2017

Named Ninni Culottes

I've noticed that I've been much more conscious about the clothes that I sew, the fabrics I use and the patterns I buy lately. I think that working towards making a sustainable, capsule wardrobe will be beneficial in more ways than one. I want to talk about this in more detail at some point, but for now here's a recent make.

I've coveted culottes for a long time, but being short at 5ft 4" and rather generously framed in the hip department, I've never managed to buy a RTW pair that flattered my figure or fit my waist and hips well. Not to mention the leg-length dilemma. It is not easy to buy trousers the right length when your inseam is 27 inches! So, when I saw the Ninni Culottes pattern from Named Patterns newest collection, I new I just had to give them a go.

The pattern calls for jersey fabric, but I've had 2m of this delicious viscose from the Goldhawk Road sat in my stash for months. It's lightweight, which is perfect for this deliriously hot weather we're having in Spain. Plus the colours and simple pattern appealed to me.

Even though I was using a woven rather than stretch fabric, I didn't size down as the finished garment measurements are really roomy. The pattern is super straight forward and easy to sew up.

I am in love with these culottes. I took them to Amsterdam in May for our anniversary getaway and they were SO ridiculosly comfortable. They look great with a top tucked in, or with it over the top too. Versatile, Easy to style, lightweight, comfortable, easy to sew. Everything I could have hoped for in a pair of culottes and more.

I've already got a another pair cut out in grey ribbed jersey, and have plans for many more pairs too. This pattern is going to be on constant rotation in my sewing room, that's for sure!

'Look. they're high-waisted!'


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Coven of Mothers Collection - Coming Soon!

It's been a little quiet here on the blog lately, but there's a good reason behind the silence...

We've been super busy working away on our first EVER clothing and accessories collection which is called 'Coven of Mothers'.

The new collection is going to be released on Friday which is the Rose Moon - 9th June at 8pm UK time.

I've wanted to do a clothing collection for a while and it actually came together pretty easily, which is encouraging! over a couple of weeks, I wrote down and sketched out some ideas in my design book. I then spent a day or two drawing up the designs and getting them digitized in photoshop, et voila!

I wanted to keep as much of the process in-house as possible. It's important to me to utilise the resources we have here and so I decided to embroider rather than out-source screen printing. Definitely not the easiest, quickest or less-stressful way of doing things, but I can say that all of this has been a labour of love!

Once the designs were down, products that I couldn't make myself ordered (pins, prints etc), and a cohesive idea was together, we needed to sort out a photoshoot. I called on the power of the internet and my online girl-gang Punky Moms, and managed to pull together a really amazing shoot. Alex Wilkinson of State of Love and Trust photography is a fellow Punky Mom, entrepreneur and designer  ( check out her music-led lifestyle brand Haus of Mono), and I've been dying to work with her forever. She agreed to take on the task of photographing the Coven of Mothers look book, and with the help of some more Punky Mom babes, we managed to pull together the most amazing shoot.

Myself and Mum flew to Leeds on the Friday afternoon, and spent the Saturday shootin' and hangin' with the coolest bunch of babes I could ever have the pleasure of being in the company of. Literally, I had a BLAST! I've spoken previously of my love/hate relationship with the internet and also my love for my online support-group Punky Moms, and I am so grateful to have my life full of so many strong, beautiful and powerful women.

So after basking in the babeness of these incredible women on Saturday, we flew home ridiculously early on Sunday morning and waited with bated breathe to get the proofs back from Alex...

I knew Alex was good but NOTHING could prepare me for the unbelievably amazing pictures Alex captured that day. I cannot thank her enough!

It's apt, really, that this collection has been made what it is by the incredible women who have played a part in it. Sisterhood. That's exactly the heart and core of the Coven of Mothers Collection. It's about supporting each other, understanding that each woman is strong and powerful as hell and that we all have the power of the divine within us. In our tummies and wombs that can grow a baby, that cycle with the moon. Our bodies that can produce a liquid that nourishes a new life. The energy to do all of these phenomenal things. We are magical, baby!

So, without further a-do and to save you from my waffling on, here's a few sneak peeks from the Look Book.


Friday, 21 April 2017

Mini's Swimwear

I've been a little AWOL lately, and it's because I've been working SO HARD! So this week I thought I'd show you some pictures of my newest collection to be released - Swimwear for your Mini-Me! We released our bikinis last year and they were received really well, and so I figured it was about time we offered up maximum summer twinning opportunities and made swimwear for kiddies too.

Our new range includes swimming costumes with ruffle cap sleeves and leg ruffles, a low scoop back joined with a bow, and also trunks in contrasting fabrics. Both come in ages newborn-12 years.

We went to the beach in Alicante last Friday and armed with my camera, I attempted to take a little photoshoot of Logan and Rori modelling the new swimwear. I'm actually pretty pleased with how the photos came out! You can view the Mini'sswimwear collection in my shop here: Lucky Sew and Sew

As well as the new Mini's Swimwear range, I've also been working away on a BIG new collection too, but it's still super top-secret at the moment.

Tomorrow is Rori's 2nd birthday and we have planned a little get-together. I've still got to finish sewing her dress and baking her cake. There's literally not enough hours in the day or days in the week.

So, without further-a-do, here's some snaps from our beach photoshoot!


Friday, 7 April 2017

Five Pictures From My Week

Ok Friday, you need to stop coming around here so quickly, I can't keep up!

It's been a bit of a crazy week, and my working schedule has been a little off. Therefore I'm a little unprepared for this week's Five on Friday, and so I thought I would cheat a little and just share five pictures from the past week.

It's actually been quite enjoyable to see the highlights of this week in snapshots!

1. We went on the weekend to pick up two new chooks to add to our current four. We picked up two cute little bantam girlies and named them Sansa and Khaleesi (can you tell we like GOT?!).

2. Logan drove the car. Not really, but he did pretend (the engine was off!) and he loved it.

3. I took part in a lovely pin swap with Maybe A Duck, and I received this awesome pin! I love the sentiment of it, fits right in with our new life!

4. I made a new best friend. We went to visit my Father-in-law and his wife and they have the cutest dog called 'Rambo'. Look at his face!

5. I made something new. I've taken a few deliveries of some beautiful fabrics this week to make into a few new products over the coming weeks and get them listed in the shop. This leaf-print is giving me life right now.

So, that's it for this week! I promise I'll be back on the ball next week...hopefully!


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

We Are Enough Co - Project Enough

In January I got to head back to the UK and be part of a goddamn awesome photoshoot with the amazing Lauren (of Dilan and Me fame) and Adam, photographer extraordinaire and Lauren's lovely bearded man-friend.

Together they joint forces to start up a new venture - We Are Enough Co. They've just launched Project Enough, in which they are going to be bringing you the words of some seriously cool an inspirational men and women and ask them about what inspires them, what keeps them going and what makes them feel like they are Enough.

I'm lucky enough to be their first interviewee, which I am incredibly humbled and grateful for. Lauren and Adam are the nicest, kindest people I have met in a LONG time.

The words in my interview also inspired their newest product. Would you just look at this?! T-shirt of dreams! I wore mine for Mother's Day and felt a million bucks.

Click here to read my interview over on the We Are Enough Co blog,and then make sure you go and check out their shop. Be prepared to wave your money goodbye!

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