Lucky Sew and Sew

Lingerie and Accessories for Badass Babes. Magic Maker. Leather Painter.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Our First Pin Is Coming! (And you can pre-order it now!)

What better way to start the new year than with new products coming? I've been wanting to dip my toes into the sea of enamel pins for a while, and we've had quite a few requests to turn our popular 'Mamas Lactate' patch design into a pin over the last few months.

Mamas Lactate Embroidered Patches by Lucky Sew and Sew

I sketched the design up one afternoon whilst in the midst of working on the launch of the Lucky Muthah nursing bras. I'd been hearing on social media a lot of stories regarding women who were breastfeeding their baby in public being ridiculed and verbally abused, and even asked to leave establishments for indecency. What the fuck is indecent about a baby being given milk. Milk from their mother. Milk that was MADE by NATURE for them to drink. What the hell?! It's the most natural thing in the world to see a mother doing, and yet in this day in age, some people seem to think it's wrong. I could go on about this subject as it's something I feel incredibly passionate about, but I'll save that for another day and another post, as I've digressed. Back to my nub...Whilst reading these incredibly shitty stories about today's dire society, I got angry. And the phrase 'Haters Gonna Hate, Mamas Gonna Lactate' popped into my head. Because to me, no matter what anybody else says, I'm gonna go ahead and give my baby the milk that my body has made for them WHENEVER and WHEREVER they want it, because that's my right (and pretty much my job) as a Mother. To make sure my baby is fed and looked after. And yeah sure, sometimes Mum's can't breastfeed or don't want to and that baby may get their milk from a bottle, and that's cool. But if that Mum can grab a bottle in the middle of  Primark to stop her babies hunger cries, then why the heck should I be frowned upon for giving my baby the boob in the same shop? A bottle is where milk comes from. So's a boob. And a boob was around a long time before a bottle was.

Mamas Lactate Badge by Lucky Sew and Sew

We have the Haters Lactate patch in 3 colour ways, and we also have it as a badge. For the enamel pin we decided to go with the black background and gold accents, because black and gold FOREVER. I literally can't wait to get the pin here, it's estimated to arrive between the middle and end of  January. The excitement overtook me so much so that I did spill the beans over on Instagram that the pin was being made when I was trying to keep it a secret...

Much to my relief our followers were really excited about it and wanted to buy one like, right now. So we went ahead and made it available in the shop on pre-order and they've sold like hotcakes over the last 24 hours (if it keeps going at this rate they'll be sold out before they even arrive!)

Haters Lactate Enamel Pin by Lucky Sew and Sew


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Simple Sew Smokey Tshirt dress

Ages ago I bought this ponte roma fabric from Ebay (The Textile Centre, obvs) and I just didn't know what to do with it. Also ages ago, I picked up a sewing magazine with a free pattern with it. It was a Simple Sew pattern for a tshirt, tshirt dress and sailor pants/shorts. I've searched their website but can't seem to find a link or a picture for the pattern, which is strange. Anyway, I digress...

I really need to start making a dent in my fabric stash (to make room for new fabric of course) and I decided a simple Tee-dress could be a wardrobe staple, and this fabric would work well for that. It's stretchy, but yet really sturdy. Nice and thick for the winter and easily worn with different colours to make it pop a bit.

I sewed up the largest size in this. As we all know by now, my relativity wide hips are a pain to fit into a graded size without making the top half too big. On this sort of dress I thought a baggier top half wouldn't matter so much. I could have gone for the size down to be honest, but I didn't want any tightness at all around the bum/tummy/hip area, so better safe than sorry I went with the biggest.

The dress was super quick to cut out and sew. The fabric was easy to work with too so this was a pretty enjoyable make. The majority was done on the overlocker and I used a lightening stitch to top-stitch the neck and arm cuffs. The fit is good and what I expected. And well, it looks OK on I guess. It's not one of my favourites and I can't put my finger on what it is. I actually found it really hard to pick a pair of shoes to go with it. My DM's look strange, as did my trainers and boots. I went with metallic brogues in the end, but I'm not sold on those either. I have worn it a couple of times around the house though, so it can't be that bad, I'm just not sure if it's totally 'me'.

So here's some snaps of me in the dress from a couple of weeks ago. on a lovely sunny day. Since then the weather has turned miserable and it's been chucking it down for days!


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Noodlehead Road Trip Case

Sharing a bit of my Christmas sewing early this year (well, the kids won't see it so why not?!). I bought the Noodlehead Road Trip Case pattern LAST Black Friday. So over a year ago (in this blog post here). And I've only just got round to using it. Terrible.

I wanted to make the kids one each, so they have something to take in the car, or take with them when we go to visit relatives etc. This is the perfect pattern. It has a few different options for pockets, and mine are a bit of a mish-mash. I didn't have any clear vinyl to make the zip pocket, so I went with  the flap pockets, and then made the pocket slots on the other side up. I wanted somewhere they could pop their crayons and books, and it worked out well.

I used 4 different fabrics which matched pretty well, and mixed them up between the two cases. Cutting the first case gave me a bit of a headache, the options for cutting out alternative pockets I found a little confusing. But once I'd done one the next was quicker. The same with sewing them up. I used my walking foot to quilt the outer and linings, then they went together relatively quickly.

I'm pleased with how they turned out. I've filled them with colouring books, stickers, crayons, temporary tattoos and little chocolates. I can't wait to see them open their cases tomorrow!

I really want to make myself a few of these now, they're so handy! I could have one for my paints, one for hand lettering pens, one for colouring books....endless possibilities!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Punky Moms UK - PMUK - The Punky Mom Family

Anyone who has ever moved somewhere new in their life, will understand how overwhelming the feelings of isolation, solitude and loneliness can be. I've moved a lot of times in my life, moving countries, moving cities and towns. Starting a new chapter, leaving old friends behind. I've never found it easy to make friends in real life. My awkwardness in any social situation and resting bitch face doesn't give me the easiest start. I'm not confident enough to approach people,and I'm not ashamed to say I don't have that many friends. Moving around so much means I never got those deep rooted ties with friends that people have since infancy. Bring having a baby at 21 into the mix, and the isolation that that motherhood can bring, and I was pretty lonely.

Support Your Local Mama Gang Blue Patch

When you have a newborn and the feeding is relentless, social media can be an escape. 5 minutes not to think of the mountain of bottles I need to wash/breast pumps I need to sterilise/washing I need to fold. But with all of the comparing of my own life to other peoples seemingly perfect ones was making me feel pretty shitty. Social media can be a savage beast. Comparing your life to other people's can lead to a downward spiral of negativity. Especially the 'my baby can do this already', 'my baby can sing opera', 'my baby can recite the entirety of Poe's Raven word for word at 32 months'. I don't think hitting back with 'Well, my baby managed not to puke in my hair today AND we managed a trip to Asda' would compete really.

I was trying to be a good Mum. Trying to start a business. Trying to pay bills. Trying to figure out what foods won't choke my baby-led weaning baby to death. Trying to figure shit out. Trying to be myself as well as 'Mum'. Trying not to loose myself. Trying to not give a shit that the other Mum's at the baby group didn't talk to me because of my colourful hair and tattoos. Trying to figure out why the fuck everyone else seemed to balance things so easily when I was having a rough time. Trying to figure out why no one understood my struggles.

Punky Moms Coffee Mug - Gifts For Mum - Feminist Mama

In step Punky Moms.

I stumbled across a post in my Instagram search page. I can't even remember what the picture was of now, but something about it got me interested. I clicked on the picture which took me to the instagram page for Punky Moms. 'Come and join our facebook group' it said among pictures of Mums like me who are perhaps a bit 'alternative', Mum's who are breastfeeding past 6 months, co-sleeping, keeping their own individuality and trying to Mother as hard as they can. Desperate to connect with people that 'got' me, I commented saying how I wanted to join and please can I be added.

Paula added me right then. Paula. Paula the angel who gives Mums like me a place to go where they won't be judged. Won't be laughed at for being themselves, or for making a mistake, or for having a really shit day and needing to tell someone about it. Punky Moms gave me the confidence to truly be who I am. To find the balance between mothering and being myself. It's enabled me to talk to other like-minded Mums and seek advice when I'm unsure of something. That's not to say that every woman in Punky Moms has the same opinions. Definitely not, it's an incredibly diverse group of individuals. But nobody there will lie to you. Everyone's opinions are noted, valued and respected. Punky Moms has let me make connections and grow my business. I've met some truly inspirational Mums from all walks of life. Ladies who I would never have been able to connect with in real life.

Down With Apathy Black Sweatshirt - PMUK

Punky Moms has made my move to Spain easier because I know that when I go into that group, I instantly have people who will laugh with me, cry with me, listen to me, delight in my happiness and offer support in my lowest of lows. I don't have to pretend to have tea ready at 5pm, or have given my children nothing but water and vegetables all day, or even that I haven't been sat in my PJ's all day. It's given me stability. When every other aspect of my life can seem to be crumbling down around me, Punky Moms always has my back.

Riot Mthrrr Gray & Black Raglan
Riot Mthrrr Tee

Those women are REAL women. Women who are owning their shit and building other women up and not tearing them down. Providing solidarity and support without judgement or agenda. These women are the shit, and I love each and every one of them. But especially you Paula. You made this possible and made the lives of so many Mums that little bit easier, and for that you are a Saint and I can't applaud you and express my gratitude enough.

A brilliant shopper bag to have. Kicking Motherhood In The Ass

Paula is the lady behind Punky Moms. She also sells the coolest Mama Merch in her shops - check out the links below.  I'm lucky enough to have the chance to meet up with her and some other special Punky's in London next month, and I can't wait.

Now, enough of me waxing lyrical - go and check it out for yourself!

The main website is full of amazingly helpful articles written by Mums. (If you look really hard you might see us mentioned in a few!).
Punky Moms
Checkout the merchandise - the best in town for all the best Mama Merch
Punky Mums Shop
This is the link to the Punky Mums UK website and shop
Punky Moms UK
And this is the link for the facebook group
PMUK Facebook Group


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Adventures in the Mountains - Family Hiking November 16

Last month we went on quite a few hikes. A mixture of cabin fever and sunny weather called for only one thing - adventure. We put on our hiking boots, strapped Rori in her carrier, filled up our water bottles and set off.

At the moment we are renting a strange old villa in a small rural town in the mountains of rural Spain, which is about 20 minutes from the land we are purchasing to build our house. Literally across the road from our front door is a little track leading up into the olive groves and the side of the Mountain. It's a well known hiking and mountain biking route and often have groups of people flock by our house at the weekends and on national and local fiestas. There are a few marked routes that take you way up into the mountain, but as we've had the little leg-crew with us when we've gone exploring, we've not traveled those routes yet.

At one point along our route there's an abandoned cluster or houses and buildings. Hardly a village by English standards, but by Spanish standards I guess it once would have been. The old crumbling walls show remnants of long-ago decorated blue exteriors with big chunky wooden doors. To me it looks like something straight outta Mexico and I love it.

Here's a few pics that I took on our last sunny excursion.


Monday, 19 December 2016

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Bites - Vegan Snack

As we entered the festive season full steam ahead, I was craving a snack that was sweet, savory, healthy and DELICIOUS. All. Boxes. Ticked. With Logan being a veggie, and Rori being such a hungry kid, I needed something they could both snack on that felt like a treat, but actually was pretty good for them. With chocolate and other sugar-ladened sweets being literally everywhere you look in the shops at this time of year, I needed something to balance out the daily consumption of advent calendar choccies.

Enter the Smokey Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Bites. Little bites of delight. This is the sort of thing you can make a batch of, have some in a salad, and snack on the rest of those sticky, soft, crispy cubes whilst watching a movie. They are that good, they rival popcorn.

Sweetness from the maple. smokey from the paprika, little crunchy salty crispy roasted edges, soft and buttery sweet centre. These remind me in flavour of bacon  - not in a meaty way, but in a smokey sweet way. A good way. Logan's pleased as the only meaty thing he misses as a veggie is the flavour of bacon. AND these are vegan too! Winner,winner. Mummy points times infinity. 

I made a big bowl of these and they were gone within minutes. Rori couldn't even keep her hands off of them long enough for me to take a picture. Can I blame her? Nope!

So if you are in need of some smokey sweet vegan  goodness, grab your sweet potato and let's get snacking my friends.

You Will Need:
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into smallish cubes
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika (normal paprika will work too, but smoked paprika gives that lovely smokey quality)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- big pinch sea salt

What you need to do:
Heat your oven to 180  degrees. Grab your sweet potato and peel it. Cut into smallish cubes, roughly uniform in size. Get your roasting dish or tray, You'll want one large enough to have the cubes of potato more or less on one layer so they go nice and crispy. 
Pop the cubes into your roasting dish. drizzle over the olive oil, maple syrup and smoked paprika. Get your hands in there and give the cubes a good mix, rubbing them all around and getting them evenly coated.
When well coated, use your fingers to spread the cubes out, giving them a little space to make sure they roast and not steam. Sprinkle your salt over the coated cubes evenly.
Chuck your dish into the middle of your oven. They will take 20-30 minutes to roast depending on how large your cubes are and how crispy you want them.*
Stir every 10 minutes to make sure they roast evenly and don't stick, and that they aren't getting burnt.
They're done when they are soft in the middle, nicely browned, with little crispy edges of hsppiness happening. 

Serve in place of croutons in a lovely salad with rocket and sun dried tomatoes, as a side in your favourite lunch bowl, stirred through quinoa, or my favourite - in a big bowl in front of the TV.

*If they are cooking, but not going crispy, knock your oven temperature up a little. 
*If they are colouring but not cooking, knock the temperature down a little.

So give these a try and see for yourself how this humble vegetable can be turned into this winner of a vegan snack. Then tell all of your friends about your new favourite healthy snack and have a Smokey-Maple-Sweet-Potato-Bite-Movie-Night-Party and spread the happiness!


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Shipping Log - Free Downloadable Printable

As I mentioned in this blog post here, I created a shipping log printable. I've used this so often, it's really made life easier for me with Lucky Sew and Sew. We all know being self employed and running a small business ain't easy, and it's good to have something make life a little more simple.

Although Etsy is relatively easy to keep a track of shipping, I find it easier myself to have things written down and filed away. What I do is each day I'm making a trip to the post office and posting off orders, I fill in these sheets with the date of posting and the location I have posted them (there's two post offices local to me) and all the other details. Then if somebody messages me with a query wondering when their order will arrive, I check which date i posted on Etsy, then go to my file and get the shipping log for that date. I can then see which post office it was sent from, and also check the other orders that were shipped on the same date and see if any of those have arrived yet. 

Here in Spain, we don't get itemised receipts in the post office, so it's also good to keep a track of costs etc.

So, if you're an Etsy seller, or a seller through any other online platform, hopefully this printable may be able to help you like it's helped me! 


Monday, 12 December 2016

Last Order Dates for Christmas and Gift Vouchers

Happy Humpday!

So the big C-word is approaching quicker than I'd like. Obviously I'm talking about Christmas. I've put in the blurb of the Etsy shop and on social media what the last order dates are to get your goodies in time for the big day, but I thought I'd pop it on here too.

For nursing bras and all other lingerie, the last day to order is Sunday 27th November
For all gift vouchers, patches and badges, the last order date is Sunday 11th December.

So, if you want to get your baby mama a nursing bra for Christmas, you have until this Sunday to order! Or, if your mama hasn't finished baking the baby yet, a gift voucher is a good option - they're valid for 6 months and can be redeemed against anything in the shop.

We currently have 20% off across the whole shop, including gift vouchers! So you can bag a £50 voucher for only £40. BARGAIN my friends. We also have knickers from £10.

Right ok, now you e been updated, it's time for my to crawl back into my sewing cave and carry on chipping away at the order list. I'm hoping to be caught up by the end of next week - we shall see!


Gurgle Magazine Feature and Special Offer!

YAY! So I went and got my copies of this months Gurgle magazine this morning and I can't believe it! I never in a million years thought something I made would be featured in a nationwide magazine. It's INSANE! I wanted to buy a hundred copies but there were only two left in the shop, so I got those and will buy some more another day.

After I bought the mags I took the kids to the local ice-cream shop which had a soft play area so that they could play and I could celebrate with a scoop of Espresso Salted Caramel and a flick through the pages.

Here's a couple of pics of the page. The write up is lovely - although I am a Mum of two, not one as they have mentioned. It shouldn't really make a difference but it does to me. Those of you with two kids will understand how much HARDER two kids are than one!

In celebration of being featured in Gurgle,we have decided to do a little special offer on the Lucky Muthah nursing bras. There's £10 off, making the single bras £30, the two-pack £50 and the full three-pack £80.

If you have treated your milk-makers to a Lucky Muthah nursing bra, make sure you use the hashtag #luckymuthah on any of the pictures that you share on Instagram - I love seeing them!

Have a great week lovelies!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Roberts Collection Redcurrant Dress

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have heard me wax lyrical about this pattern by Marillia Walker before. The Roberts Collection is a set of patterns for a jumpsuit, dungarees, a Dungerdress in two lengths, and a top.

Before now the only thing I've made from this pattern are the dungarees - and I've made no less than 4 pairs to date. My first pair I made from the dark denim that Marilla suggests in her blog post here and wore for my birthday surprise trip to London in February. I added pockets and contrast top stitching for a retro feel.

The second pair I made from a floral stretch twill (which unfortunately shrunk in the wash after one wear - I've now learnt my lesson to pre-wash!). 

The third pair I made from a gorgeous floral crepe jersey from the Textile Centre on EBay. I didn't know how these would turn out in jersey, but they are actually my favourite pair, they're so comfy! 

The last pair I made in the summer were from a 6oz light wash denim from my local fabric shop at the time, Kayes Textiles. I wanted a pair I could wear on sunny days without getting too hot, and the lightweight denim was perfect. I distressed the fabric in places with sandpaper and I really loved how they came out.

When Autumn started rolling in, I stocked up on some autumnal fabrics from my favourite online fabric shop - Fabwork Mills. One of the fabrics I got was the redcurrant sparkle wool/silk suiting fabric. I wasn't too sure what exactly I would make with it at first, it's a far more saturated colour than I would normally wear. I thought I'd try stepping out of my comfort zone completely and make the shorter version of the Dungerdress. Seeing as I loved the Dungerees so much, I figured I couldn't go too wrong with the dress.

In regards to construction, I made it as per the instructions, which are very straightforward and easy to follow. I self lined the front bodice and back bodice. For the pockets I lined them using this gorgeous cotton which is actually from a duvet set that I got from a charity shop. The colour is the percent match for the Redcurrent suiting. The Redcurrant suiting itself is really lovely to work with, it has body but is still lightweight enough to get a good drape on the skirt. It'll be perfect to wear with a roll-neck, tights and boots in the colder months, and with a tshirt and Birkenstocks in the summer. Far more versatile than I originally banked on.

A note on sizing. I cut a size 5 which is what I normally cut in the Dungerees (bar the lightweight denim pair which I cut as a 4 as I'd lost a little weight in the summer). It is a little more snug around my hips than I would normally like, and the front of the top seems a little big. I think this is just down to my body shape really. I'm slightly pear shaped (my hourglass was compromised after growing two babies!) and with this type of garment I don't think it would look right to grade it in at the waist. Maybe I could have chosen a size 4 on top and graded out to a 5 on the bottom half? I also could have gone with a heavier fabric. If I'd gone with a denim, it would perhaps sit better on the top and hang better on the bottom. Maybe it's just me being overly self critical. I never wear a-line skirts, or skirts of this length, or colours like this, so maybe it just needs some getting used to. For the photos I wore my cat print Rio tshirt from my previous post (the photos were taken in a rush on the same day and didn't have time to think about a different top), but I don't think it's the best choice to go with the dress.

Overall, I like this dress. I still prefer the Dungerees, but that's just my personal preference of trousers over skirts. I will probably try this dress in a denim at some point in the future and add pockets, which is more my usual style, but it's good to try something different. One thing I love the most about sewing my own is that I get to play around with fabrics and styles and really work out my own personal fashion vibe.


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Me Made - Woven Hudson Pants & Seamwork Rio Tee

The best thing about having a separate sewing space is that I can fit in little bits of selfish sewing here and there between sewing orders and before I know it, I've managed to finish up whatever it is that I'm working on.

This week I've managed to sew my first pair of woven Hudson Pants and a cat print Rio Tee. Here's the details:

So let's start with the top. The Rio Tee is a pattern by Seamworks. If you're not familiar with Seamworks, it's a monthly online sewing magazine and each month they release two brand new patterns. I subscribe for around 6 dollars a month (I think) and for that I get to read the new issue each month and get two credits to downloads any patterns from the Seamwork collection. This my friends, is a bargain. You can of course purchase the Seamwork patterns without subscribing to the magazine, but why miss out on such a great read?! I got the Rio tee pattern a while ago and haven't gotten round to using it yet, but figured it would be a great staple. The fabric I used is a cotton jersey from EBay (the textile centre to be specific) which is a nice neutral colour with a black cat print. 

My measurements are a little hit and miss and don't usually fit into one size. My waist is small in comparison to my hips and my boobs are big in comparison to my waist. Bit of a nightmare. I went with the size that fit my bust and then graded out to the next size up at the hips. This was my first tshirt, and I was really surprised at how simple it was to sew. I used my over locker on most of it and a twin needle around the neck, sleeves and bottom hem. 

Overall I really like this pattern. It's a little long for my liking, even though I have a long torso, it's still reallllly long. Next time I'll chop a few inches off. Other than that it fit well, it's quick and simple to sew and I can see myself making more of these!

Now onto the pants. The Hudson Pants by True Bias is one of my all time favourite patterns. I've made a few pairs in jersey already and live in them. When I went fabric shopping on the Goldhawk Road a few months ago I fell in love with a navy moleskin fabric which had a lovely stretch to it. I instantly thought that they would make a gorgeous pair of smart Hudson's. It was more pricey than I would usually go for at £14 a metre, but it was worth it, it's such a nice fabric! I bought 1.5 metres and it was the perfect amount.

As I was making from a woven fabric I sized up two sizes. I forwent the cuffs as I wanted to be able to roll the trousers up, and I added in self drafted pockets to the back. But other than that I made them exactly as per the instructions. In hindsight I needn't have sized up two sizes because although the fabric was woven, it did have quite a decent stretch. When I tried them on they 'bloomed' a bit under the waistband, so I decided to add in a couple of pleats in a very unconventional manner. I literally folded in a pleat and hand stitched it down along the waistband seam so it was invisible. Not perfect but it worked and I really like the pleats there. I didn't hem the legs and just over locked the raw edges because I knew I'd be rolling them up anyway. 

All in all, I really like these trousers. They're super comfy and they're a little smart looking which is exactly what I was after. The fabric is lovely and thick and feels really expensive. I'll have to carry one of those lint rollers with me whenever I wear these though because all the fluff sticks in the pile! 

So here's my Me Made outfit, complete with a Lucky Muthah nursing bra peeking out, and my obligatory socks and flowery DM's. 


Monday, 7 November 2016

Growing and Learning

In the last 6 months, Lucky Sew and Sew has really grown. I don't just mean on a monetary or social media level. I mean it has matured and settled into itself. Perhaps that's an echo of how I'm feeling, as I guess I sort of feel the same about myself. As a woman, a mother, a business owner - I feel comfortable. Lucky feels comfortable. I feel like it's found it's feet, and so have I.

I've learnt a lot in the last 6 months. Running a handmade business isn't all about the making of the product, a massive part of it is the stuff that you don't even think about. I've never thought of myself as much of a business minded person. I'm not very good with numbers and technology. Or maybe I'd just never flexed those muscles much before. From the conception of the idea for the Lucky Muthah collection to now, when I sit and take it all in, I'm pretty amazed at how many different skills I've had to learn and utilise along the way.

Aside from the bits I'm used to (designing the bra, pattern grading, sewing etc) there are so many new things that I've had to learn/blag along the way with this collection. Working direct with factories and wholesalers to order large quantities was new for me. Sourcing suppliers and dealing with them as a business owner was new. Designing products in Photoshop was new (and something I actually really enjoy!). Setting up photoshoots, modelling, editing photos, typing and distributing a press release...basically treating Lucky as a business and not a hobbie.

There's also the technology stuff which I still struggle with such as a website. I've finally worked out how to host my blog on my own domain. I've just set up a new email address for the website ( and I've been looking at how to get a new layout for the website. Something more simple and sophisticated. It'll probably take me a while to figure it out! The aim is to merge the blog and a shop on the website so that I can sell direct through the website as well as via Etsy. I'd also LOVE to create a PDF sewing pattern for the Lucky Muthah nursing bras so that people can sew them themselves. But unless I find someone who can help me do that, it probably won't happen as it seems a bit too involved to be able to teach myself! (Shoutout to all techno wizards to get in contact now).

I think running a business is a constant learning curve. I'm going to share anything I've learned with you - I don't see the point in being selfish with knowledge. We should help each other out, right? I made up a little thing in Photoshop last week which is a print out for a 'Shipping Log'. I use it each time I go to the post office to keep a track on what I've posted and when. I'll upload it onto here next week for you to download and use as you wish. Hopefully it can help you organise your shipping like it has helped me!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Viva España

Hello (or should I say 'Hola'?) from my new life.

I'll tell you a secret - I did actually write a blog post last week and then I forgot to share it and now it wouldn't really make sense...typical, really. Never find the time to blog and then when I do I forget to share it. Doh!

Anyway so a little catch up is in order. Myself, a Mum and the kids are now in Spain with Rich and my Dad in our rental place. We had a few days off when we first got here as it was Logan's 4th birthday and we wanted to settle in and enjoy it. Then straight back to it on Monday with a trip to Ikea so we could buy some furniture for our new home studio, plus obligatory meatballs. Home studio sounds so fancy but let's be real - it's just one of the back rooms of the cave part of the house (yes I said cave - this house was originally a 400 year old cave house but now it has been modernised with an extension and stuff. This means our room and the kids rooms have no windows and are made for tiny people. Rich is forever bumping his head. I however, am finally thankful for never growing taller than 5'4") with super bright light bulbs in. But a studio it is none the less!

The special offer we run last month to celebrate being in Gurgle magazine was massively successful and we had more orders than we did in our pre-order month which I never thought would happen. So we started work Tuesday morning with over 80 bras to sew. We managed to sew 16 and ship them yesterday. It was a bit of a weird week to be honest and we didn't get through as many orders as I'd hoped. We spent a lot of time moving things around in the studio and getting into the flow of things. I had a lot of admin type things to do as well which seems to be taking over life right now. I literally go to sleep thinking about work, dream about it, wake up in the night and make notes on my phone, then wake up in the morning and start work before I even have breakfast or brush my teeth. Intense.

Postage is a little more than I originally thought so that is something I need to look into. I'm also in the process of adding gift certificates to the shop ready for the festive season,no just need to finish editing the pictures.

Currently thinking about:
-fabrics for bikinis/swimsuits for summer next year
-bringing in a nude/light choice for the nursing bras
-PDF sewing pattern of the nursing bras (which won't happen unless I magically become less of a technophobe)
-the collabs I have coming up (which are very exciting)
-new patch designs I've been sketching up

I'm off to finish up watching The Secret Life of Pets with the wildlings and hoping I can sneak into the studio later to finish the dress I've been sewing up. Enjoy your Sunday!


Monday, 17 October 2016

Inspiration for the Lucky Muthah nursing Bras

Even though I've been selling my own lingerie creations for a few years now, I never really thought of myself as a designer. I don't know why, it didn't really cross my mind. When someone asked me what my job was I'd always mumble a bit and sound off something long winded and slightly incoherent along the lines of 'I sew lingerie and I design it too and I sell it online'. Why couldn't I give myself a normal job title like everyone else? I think I was worried it would come across a little self-inflated and egotistical. I'm humble and a little shy, and I didn't want to seem like I was bigging myself up, I suppose. I'm not a horn-tooter, at all.

When Rori came along the thought to make myself a nursing bra didn't actually cross my mind for a reaaaaaallly long time. Because I didn't think of myself as a designer yet. I hated all of my nursing bras and would moan about them not being what I wanted and being uncomfortable and frumpy, but I didn't do anything about it. I bought a lot of different nursing bras in the hope that I would find one that I liked and one that worked for me, but that bra remained elusive. 

One thing I have always loved about sewing my own lingerie is that even though I have a large bust, using certain fabrics and techniques, I was able to make myself bralettes that supported my melons, quite the contrary to popular beliefs that bralettes and big busts won't work. This meant that I made myself styles of bras that a few years ago I would never have imagined wearing. When strappy and cage bras came around, I pretty much fell in love. The majority of bras and bralettes with these strappy parts that I loved weren't quite right for me, and I got to thinking about if I could make my own, and then Life got in the way and the thoughts got lost in the thick jungle of thoughts that is my brain.

Lustre - from our 2015 collection. The pattern i adapted from a vintage 60's bra and adapted for the Lucky Muthah nursing bras

One evening, when the house was quite and the children asleep, I had a bit of an epiphany. In our previous collection I'd worked with a vintage 60's bra and adapted it into our 'cut out' bra pattern. That shape worked so well for me, I much prefer the seams on this cup over princess seams. Like a lightening bolt to the head, the idea came to me. I could combine the strappy bras that I love, with nursing clips and make myself the nursing bra of dreams. I was in a sewing frenzy for the next hour whilst the idea poured from head and through my fingers and as if by magic the most amazing nursing bra was forged. I tried it on and instantly fell in love with it. The next day I sewed up a sample in a different pattern fabric, in lighter colours, so I had a light and a dark. I wore them for a few days and it was confirmed that these were the best nursing bras I'd worn and I never wanted to take them off. Always a good sign. 

This was the first 'light' sample that I sewed up.We wasn't able to get anymore of this fabric so it didn't feature in the collection. We went with the 'Tropical Fall' print instead which I prefer!

The first leopard print sample. The straps are made from an elastic which I had lying around, which wasn't the best quality and wasn't wide enough.We sourced elastics straight from a factory for the collection, which was a first for us!

Aside from the functionality, what made me fall in love with these bras was how different they are. They're a bit edgy, a bit sexy, a lot awesome, and made to be seen - to be worn with a little sass and a lot of pride. These are the nursing bras for the oddballs, the 'alternatives', the weirdos, the unusual, the outlandish, the different. And I fucking love that. 

I had designed my perfect bra. I guess it's really been from the conception of the idea for this bra that I started to think of myself as a lingerie designer. I've learnt to trust my instincts a little more, embrace the odd, and dance to my own beat. Because that's what makes me who I am, and I think that's why people love these bras too.

When you become a Mum it's so easy to loose yourself because you are completely consumed by Motherhood. And we all know it ain't easy Sister. You can feel so lost. Like you're not 'Mumsy' enough (what the fuck even is that anyway?!) and like you need to conform to the general idea of being a Mum and loose touch with who you are as an individual.  I speak from experience when I say that shit is hard with a capital H my friends. Along with all of that, when you're breastfeeding, you have to make sure you choose an outfit based on how easy it is to get your baps out and not on style. When the thought of the local coffee shop catching sight of your ugly beige monstrosity that is barely containing your milk-full boobs fills you with dread. I was done with that. Over it. Being able to wear a nursing bra that looks cool as fuck when it peeks out of my top was actually pretty life changing. I might be exaggerating a little, but indulge me for a minute. Now when I get dressed I wear my nursing bra with pride. It gives me more options for wearing vests and v-neck tops and dresses too. I'm not going to lie, I even wear it on a night out without the kids because I wear it like part of my outfits. I get comments all the time when I'm wearing my bra that people think it looks awesome, and I think that's amazing. People are always so surprised when I tell them it's actually a nursing bra.

So, the nursing bra of dreams had been designed and tested. I posted a sneaky peak on Instagram and the reception it had was overwhelming. I was received message after message from girls asking me when these bras where going to be available to buy, so I knew I'd better work on getting them released. 

I contacted a photographer who I've used a few times before for previous shoots with the kids, and asked if she old be open to working with me on my idea. She's young and cool, and I thought she would get the overall look that I wanted to put across. I sent her a Pinterest board that I'd put together which was a collection of images in the sort of style that I wanted to go for. Dark, grainy, edgy, cool (and all those other cheesy descriptive words too). We were doing this shoot on a budget, and we only had the 2 nursing bra samples that I had made up in my own size, so I decided to model the shoot myself. I am totally not a model, I HATE having my photo taken and I'm so awkward. But luckily Laura managed to direct me and get some great pictures which were exactly what I wanted. I wore my leather jacket and my denim jacket which both have various patches on. As I've mentioned before, we're a biker family and it just seemed natural to me to wear these. Plus, the biker lifestyle is quite alternative, so I figured it would work well with the alternative style of the bras.

Rori was also a little model for the shoot. She was wearing her vintage denim dungarees and her denim cut, which I sewed patches from the Lucky Muthah collection on to. I am so in love with the pictures from the shoot with me and Rori together. I hope it puts across that you can be whoever you want to be as well as being a Mum, which is something that is so important to me.

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