Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Friday, 21 November 2014

Baby Love

I was going to start this post by apologising for my lack of posting over the last few months, but that would be predictable and cheesy, right?

As the majority of people who read my blog are friends or family that I have on facebook, instagram etc, you will already be aware of my lack of blogging recently, but to those of you who are far away people who I have never met (if there are any of you...?) I guess I better spill the beans...

My last blog post was on Friday 15th August, the hot weekend we decided to do a bootsale. The whole time we were at the bootsale I felt like crap, I'm not gonna sugar coat it. Not that i'm a drama queen, but I thought I actually might be dying. No, not really, but I did feel like utter rubbish. It was on the Monday morning that I was sat with my Mum, not eating my toast because I felt sick (So unlike me, right?!), that Mum, in her infinite wisdom of motherdom, proposed that I should take a pregnancy test, just in case.

Well, I did. And of course, she was right. I was shocked, Rich was even more shocked. It was a BIG surprise, we weren't planning on extending our brood just yet. Timing was bad, I was feeling rubbish...But...we had somehow managed to fall pregnant, and although it was a shock, this was the next big step in our lives, that we had to deal with.

Don't get me wrong, I was over the moon to be expecting another bundle of joy, but i'm just going to be real with you. When you haven't spent months planning and trying and making the big decision that 'Now' is the right time, when it just kinda happens out of the blue, its....well, it's a bit of a shock, and you have to get over that initial 'OgMyGodImHavingAnotherBabyAndImGoingToGetFatAgainAndOhMyGodAmIReadyForTheNightFeedsAndTheEndlessNappies?!' feeling of panic.

I got over the panic, and of course, started to plan the future with immediate affect, as any woman would do. Rich, he took a little longer to wrap his head around the whole thing. I don't know if I've mentioned it before on here or not, but Rich is the president of a Motorcycle Club, and needs to spend time with his club, and now that Logan is getting older, it's easier for him. Having another baby will mean he will need to be at home more, helping me with the kiddies and things. Any of you that know my husband will know that he HATES surprises. I mean HATE HATES them. he hates surprises so much that he demands to know what he has for birthdays and Christmases because he would rather know than have a surprise. I know, weird right (i'm the complete opposite). So this was a pretty huge surprise to him, and I think he was a bit taken aback for a little while.

When it started to sink in that we would be having another baby, we decided we needed to move. We needed a 3 bedroom house. So we bought a house, and we moved in 2 weeks ago. We got the best house for what we could afford, and yes, its not the perfect dream house in the perfect dream road lined with oak trees, but it has potential, and for us, now, it will do. It needs work doing to it, and we have started slowly, to chip away at the long list of 'Need to Do'.

There are a lot of other things that have happened in the last couple of months since we found out about the baby, but for now, this will do, otherwise I will end up writing the longest blog post in history and there may be a hazard of falling asleep at your computer, and I can't be held responsible for that.

So for now, my lovelies, I will leave you with this picture of baby #2 that is currently wriggling around in my ever expanding tummy.




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Friday, 15 August 2014

It's been a long week...

...and boy am I glad it's Friday!

Not that I have a relaxing weekend planned, quite the opposite in fact. Rich and me are doing a bootsale tomorrow. Luckily for us it's a late starting one, so we won't have to be up at the crack of dawn, thank god! I hate bootsales. Well, I actually LOVE bootsales, when I am buying things. But I hate doing the selling. Blerrrrrgh. If we didn't need the money I wouldn't bother, I can think of some much nicer ways to spend my Saturdays! Needs must, I suppose, and to be honest, we could do with the space too. Logan's clothes and toys are trying to take over the world.

Speaking of Logan, he has become obsessed with the Toy Story films, and I have watched mixture of the 3 films at least 5 million times over the last week. Bless him. I bought him a t-shirt the other day with Buzz Lightyear on the front, and now everyday when I ask him what he wants to wear, he says 'BUZZZZZZ!' very excitedly. Unfortunately today it was in the wash after he covered it in chocolate mouse yesterday, so after a very grumpy look, I promised him I would have it ready for him to wear tomorrow.

Anyway, I must stop procrastinating. I need to leave for work in 45 minutes, and I need to get changed yet. Wish me luck!
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Small Steps...

I feel that lately, there have been lots of small steps being made in different areas of my life, all leading towards a final goal. This makes for a happy Carly. A busy, exhausted, but happy Carly.

On the Lucky Sew and Sew front, we have finished gathering fabrics for the new collections (Autumn/Winter and Bridal) and have started cutting out the new sample pieces. This is a long process, but it is a small step to the finish line. We have also been getting more orders through Etsy, which is a step in the right direction to making our online business take off.

On the life front, I have put away savings this month, and have surpassed my savings goal for the month. We are saving up a deposit to buy a house, and are really proud of us for saving well. It's not easy, especially with a toddler! 

I made a very difficult and and grown-up decision last month and decided to find some part time work. This isn't because I don't want to work on Lucky Sew and Sew as much, the opposite of that, in fact. It really boils down to the fact that we REALLY want our own house, and if I can find a few hours each day to do some work for a reliable income, then why not? I was really lucky and managed to find a job the same day I started looking. It's not glamorous and it's hard work, but I did it. I now work 5.30 til 7.30 every Monday-Friday evening.

My days are now pretty full. I am with Logan during the day, working on Lucky Sew and Sew when he has his 2 hour afternoon nap. I am then leaving home to go to work when Rich is on his way home, usually passing on the way. I get back home at half 7, shower, eat dinner then get to work on Lucky Sew and Sew again until I decide I can't do anymore and fall into bed. 

All of these are small steps on the long road to success in one area of life or another, and I just wanted to share a little determination with you. You can do anything if you set your mind to it, whether it's saving for a house or a car or a holiday, starting a business, or even small things like nailing that brownie recipe, or finishing a piece of work on time. 



You are the key to your own success.
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Monday, 11 August 2014

A July Wedding

I recently attended my Grandad's wedding at The Old Rectory at the end of July.

It was a scorching hot day, and the ceremony was held outside. Boy am I glad I had decided to go for an up-do...hair stuck to sweaty head is never a good look!

I went to the Vanity Box for my up-do on the morning of the wedding. I didn't have a specific style in mind and let Verity go with the flow. She really took everything into account, including the length of my hair and the colour. As you know, I bleach my hair and colour it lilac with La Riche Directions hair colour. I dilute Violet and Carnation Pink with conditioner to get a pastel shade, but I always inevitably end up with a few bits darker than other areas, which doesn't bother me. Verity really used this to my hairs advantage, as she said she wanted to add in as many small details as possible to really show the tones of colour off. 



For the occasion, I decided to go for a 50's style of dress. I always try and wear dresses that nip in at the waist, as this my smallest part. I spent forever searching online for the right dress and in the end I chose to go for a Lindy Bop dress. 

I was a bit apprehensive of wearing such a bold and bright dress, as I thought it might look a bit much with my lilac hair...but in the end I just figured 'sod it' and go for it anyway. I seem to be thinking this a lot lately!

I kept accessories minimal, opting for nude shoes with a few sparkles, and no jewellery other than the earrings I wore for my wedding.




 It really was the most beautiful wedding. My mum was a bridesmaid for the day and looked absolutely stunning! I hope I got a lot of her genes! The bridesmaids wore yellow, with the maids of honor wearing grey. The men wore coordinating grey suits with yellow accents.



Logan wore a cute outfit from Verbaudet, which was trousers and braces with a collarless white shirt. I even managed to get Rich to wear a shirt with some pink in it and a black Dickie Bow! They both looked so cool!


I can't wait to see the official wedding pictures, the photographer was like a ninja, hiding behind trees and such to sneakily snap pictures of guests that were unawares!

We all had a fantastic time, especially Logan who loved running around with the little girls!

Congratulations Grandad and Kim, and welcome to the family! X
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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

New Stockists - The Vanity Box Salon and Shop






We are so excited to announce that we will be stocking the brand new Vanity Box Salon and Shop housed within the Antiques centre in Battlesbridge!


For those of you who haven't heard of Vanity Box (have you been living in a cave?!), they are a company that offers vintage hair and make-up. Pretty much the whole package! They have worked with some amazing companies and models over the years, including Vivien of Holloway, Outerlimitz, Bettina Scarlett and even on the West End!


I have been fortunate enough to get to know Verity (the Hair half of the Vanity Box), over the last few months. She is an absolute doll. She is opening a salon at the very picturesque setting of the Antiques Centre in the very quaint village of Battlesbridge, which happens to be about 10 minutes from where I live! As well as the salon where Verity will work her magic creating amazing hair do's, there will also be the shop where, as well as our lovely lingerie, you can also purchase things from around 12 other companies, including clothing from Bernie Dexter and jewellery from Bow and Crossbones.

I was lucky enough to have my hair done in a very retro up-do by Verity recently for my Grandad's wedding and I fell in love with it! Even my Husband said I should have my hair done at least once a week by Verity. From my husband, this is probably the nicest compliment my hair will ever recieve...I am going to do a special blog post to show you all my amazing hair very soon, and also the Lindy Bop dress that I wore for the day.

As well as the Vanity Box Salon, the Antiques centre also houses Rock the Frock, which is an insanely awesome vintage bridal boutique and I wish it had existed when I was getting married! It is run by the lovely Karen, and she sources the most amazing and unique wedding dresses and accessories, vintage inspired and true vintage to boot.


Battlesbridge really is a treasure trove of amazingness. There is the Battlesbridge Custom Culture show on in a few weekends and I am really hoping to go....but I know i'll just end up spending all my money! #worthit

So what are you waiting for?! Head to Battlesbridge and go and visit this treasure trove of vintagey goodies housed within!

  • Maltings Road
  • Battlesbridge
  • Essex
  • SS11 7RF 




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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

My Sewing Want List: Merchant and Mills and Colette Patterns

I have a very long list of things that I would like that are sewing related. I am constantly seeing fabrics and sewing patterns that I am dying to turn into something amazing. My wardrobe is looking pretty bare at the minute, and none of the clothes on the high street seem to be catching my eye. The more time I spend sewing, or thinking about sewing and designing, the more I look at the clothes in shops like Primark and H&M and see how badly they have been put together, or how rubbish the fabric is.

The thing I love about sewing your own clothes is that the garment that you make is completely unique to you. You can  use one sewing pattern for one type of dress, make 10 dresses from it with different fabrics and notions, and end up with 10 completely different dresses.

So, without further-a-do, here is my Sewing Want List...

Merchant and Mills Patterns:

Merchant and Mills patterns, if you haven't come across them before, are to die for. From their website:

Our patterns are developed by Carolyn Denham over several months and go through many tweaks and changes before being deemed fit for your consumption. After approving the final cut, the pattern is then graded before production begins. You will find very few fastenings and no unnecessary difficulty when working from our patterns which start life with an idea and a domestic sewing machine. In our experience, the classic, simple designs that Carolyn favours, place emphasis on the cut and silhouette whilst intentionally avoiding detailing and fastenings which can make even the best dress look homemade.

I have found it really hard to pick favourites, as I am in love with all of them! But I really love the Factory Dress, the No.64 Top, and the Dress Shirt

Factory Dress multi-size Top 64 multi-size  Dress Shirt multi-size


I really love their style, and how the pieces are minimalist, and yet still manage to show off the skills needed to make them. Perfect wardrobe staples, and can be made in a hundred-and-one different ways to suit any occasion.

I have a vision in my head of the Dress Shirt, made out of a black cotton, with a white bib section with pin tuck details. And a Dickie Bow, just to finish off the tuxedo look.


Colette Patterns:

I, quite often, drool over the divine subtle vintageyness of Colette Sewing Patterns.

My favourites are the Hawthorn Dress, the Lady Grey coat, the Cooper bag,  and the Violet Blouse.

 

 

I Particularly like the Cooper bag pattern, and the fact that it is unisex, and can be used to make a backpack, a messenger bag or a satchel. The picture of the couple wearing them is so cute too. I have bag envy. I am totally in to back pack's right now too, and the fact that I could make one myself appeals to me.

The Lady Grey coat I can see made out of a nice light nude soft woolen fabric, the perfect Car Coat.

Watch this space!






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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sewing new pieces


We've been busy beavering away, working on a new collection for Autumn/Winter and also a bridal collection. We've been trying out some new pieces, including these high waisted knickers and a new style of bikini knickers. The bikini cut are great for everyday wear, but the high waisted style or my FAVOURITE!!!



They are sooooo cute and comfortable. We're making them out of lovely soft stretch Jerseys. We are going to do a mix and match pack, so something like buy 3 and get a discount.


We've been gathering lots of super soft jerseys to make these knickers and matching bras from for the new collection.



I am in love with the navy and red rose fabric, it's so soft, it feels almost brushed. So warm I the winter!

On another note, we took Logan with some friends to a pick your own farm on Sunday, and I made two jams yesterday. One is Plum and mixed Berry, and the other is Rhubarb and Vanilla (which tastes like Rhubarb and custard sweets!).


I've only made jam once before and I am really pleased with how these come out. Buying fruit from the pick your own farm was so much cheaper than the supermarket, and the fruit tastes so much better. It's very satisfying to make a preserve out of something you have picked yourself. Then again, preserve making is satisfying in general. I normally make a chutney around October time, so it will be ready for Christmas, but I'm not just going to leave it to one a year this year. I picked up a massive marrow at the  farm, so I am going to make a marrow chutney tomorrow. I've also been growing 2 tomato plants and 3 cucumber plants this year, so I will make some chutneys out of my glut of vegetables too. 

Preserving makes me feel virtuous!



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Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Fling Festival and Simplicity 7626



From the Facebook Page for The Fling Festival:

"The UK's largest yet most intimate outdoor festival for adults only.
Saturday 28 June 2014.
Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex.
www.chelmsford.gov.uk/fling
Description
Essex’s premier boutique performance event, The Fling Festival, is reappears this summer and a multitude of improvements are on their way..."


There was caberet, comedy, food from all over the world, a Pimms Tent, fairground rides, live music from Rock to Ska, and of course, the Vintage Marquee hosted by Bobby's Girl Vintage!

Due to the success that we had at our launch at Bobby's Girl's Easter Fair, we decided to have a stall at this event too. It sounded amazing, exactly the sort of event we would love to go to ourselves!

The weather started off brilliant sunshine, and we posed for obligatory pictures in our new handmade dresses before setting off.



Mum's dress is made from an original 1960's sewing pattern, Simplicity 7626.



Mum went for the sleeveless view, and picked this gorgeous fabric that is also from the Remnant House. It also contained Spandex. Unfortunately, the fabric is not on the website anymore, so it must have sold out, but they do have a lot of other fantastic fabrics, so do take a look.

When we arrived at the Fling, we had a bit of a palaver trying to find out where we needed to go to, as the park that the festival was set in was HUGE! After a bit of toing and froing, we managed to finally find the Vintage Marquee, and I didn't take us long at all to set up.















There were a lot of fabulous traders in the Vintage Marquee, and even Ruby's Tea Rooms had a stall selling fabulous cupcakes! I had  Rum and Coke cupcake! It was amazing!


The day was very busy, and although we had lots of people look, compliment and take our leaflets, we didn't sell as much as we hoped. It's such a disheartening experience when you put your heart and soul into something, and it doesn't go as well as you hoped. I think there were several reasons why perhaps, this wasn't such a great platform for us, one of them being the festival setting. There were no cash facilities on sight, and it was, really, in the middle of nowhere. People seemed to only come with a certain amount of money to spend on a few drinks, dinner etc, and hadn't planned on shopping while they were there. Quite a few people said they would love to buy some of our things, but just didn't have enough cash on them. We could, of course, maybe think about getting a card machine, however, at the moment, it's not really a viable thing for us to do.

As the day turned into night, we decided to go for a wander and try and make ourselves feel better, so where better to go than to the fairground rides!



We also hit the Pimms tent, and got some AMAZING noodles from 'We Will Wok You'. Best name ever! We wandered some more, listened to a band on the main stage, and then stumbled upon the Ska band 'Skamite' stompin' up a stage in a little tent. That was the highlight of the day! I took many videos to show my dad of us stompin along with the skinheads, my Dad loves Ska music, and so do I.



In conclusion, we had a brilliant day, and it was such a great event to be a part of. Although we didn't do as well as we hoped, it was worth it just for the experience! We also woke up on the Monday morning to some amazing feedback on our facebook page from a lady who bought one of our blue tulip sets on the day. She wrote: "Bought a set of your gorgeous underwear at the Fling - got it home and it fits perfectly and makes me feel like a goddess! Will be searching you out on Etsy for some more x"

Now that really was, the Icing on the Rum and Coke Cupcake!








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Monday, 7 July 2014

Simplicity 4744

It's been a long time since I decided to do any selfish sewing (sewing for myself). In fact, I haven't really ever done any selfish sewing. (!)

There are a few important dates coming up in the diary, so I decided to sew myself a dress. I used vintage sewing pattern Simplicity 4744, which is from the late 50's or early 60's. I used this pattern when I sewed up my first ever dress a few years ago, but I made the view with sleeves. This time I decided to try out the sleeveless version, with the fancy back tie.

The fabric I bought from the Remnant House online. They have a brilliant range of fabrics at really affordable prices. I had not ordered from them before, but I can't wait to put in my next order! I went for this Cotton Spandex fabric, with a beautiful water colour flower print. I hadn't worked with any cotton spandex before, and to be honest I didn't get it because it contained spandex, I just loved the print. However, because this pattern was a tiny bit too small for me, I guessed that by using this fabric with a stretch to it, I could get away with not grading the pattern up at all. The fabric is slightly sheen, and has a wonderful hand.

To start with, the pattern was fairly easy to follow, all going together nicely. I got into a bit of bother when it came to attaching the back ties and facing, but with a bit of patience, it worked out nicely.





The pattern instructions call for under-stictching all of the facing, however, as this was a rather heavy fabric, I also top-stictched around the neck and arm holes. I think it finishes it off and makes it look a bit more professional.



When it came to pleating the skirt, I could not make head nor tail of the instructions. Eventually, I think I managed to get it right, but as I marked my pattern markings on the wrong side and not the right side of my fabric, I think my pleats point outwards rather than inwards. However, I think I prefer it this way.




As I am only small (at 5ft 4"), I was pretty sure that I would end up having to take up the skirt quite a lot. When I made this dress the first time round a few years ago, I hacked off quite a lot and it ended up above the knee. However, as I tried it on, I really quite liked it. Keeping it this length as intended, is much more authentic, and flattering, I feel.





Lastly, I had to put the zip in. The zip on my previous attempt at this dress is horrendous, but I had never inserted a zip before and didn't even have a zipper foot! Now with some knowledge from the college course earlier this year, (and a zipper foot!), this one actually went in OK.


Et voila!




I am so happy with how this dress turned out! I wore it recently to the Fling Festival and got quite a few compliments on it. I love the back of the dress, and the ties on the scoop of the back. It's such a simple, beautiful detail that you just do not see on dresses these days.

All in all I ordered 3 metres of this fabric, which at £5.99 a metre, means this dress cost me less than £20!!! And I have tonnes of fabric left over! I think it's definitely the fabric which makes this dress. As it has a stretch to it, it really hugs me in the right places, and the sheen on it makes it look like a very expensive garment. Plus, the floral pattern in so on trend right now. 

I think this dress will be making a regular appearance, and can't wait to move on to my next sewing project!



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