Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

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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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Time to Spill the Beans...

Those of you who follow me over on social media may have noticed that there's been something happening on the sidelines. We've been a little behind and a little quiet and although I've thanked you all for your kindness and patience, I haven't yet explained what's actually been happening to take up so much of my time lately.

So it's time to spill the beans so I can start sharing what's happening with you. I should have written this post ages ago, but I've been a bit stressed and didn't really know how to word it and kept putting it off. But now it's time.

Rich and I have decided to move. Not just move house...move country. We're upping roots and starting a new adventure for our family in Spain. Those of you who know me well or have read previous posts on my blog will know that I lived in Spain from the ages of 11-17 and it's where I met Rich all those years ago, so it's a place where we both feel a strong connection to. I'll start at the beginning and explain our dream, our vision, our reasoning.

It all started on Sunday morning earlier in the year. Rich had come across a post online which exclaimed that old, abandoned villages in rural Spain were being sold for silly money. Both being a little fed up of the daily grind our lives had become, this of course piqued our interest. We drove over to my parents and told them that morning that we were moving to Spain, and would they come with us. We decided this would be a 5 year plan, and we would spend the next 5 years working towards our dream. In the mean time we decided to have our house valued to see where we stood and were pretty damn amazed at the valuation. Our 5 year plan could indeed end up being much, much sooner a reality than we ever thought.

Rich hated his job. He is not the sort of man who is satisfied by being sat in an office for endless hours each day with no windows, no sunlight, no connection to the earth. He is full of life, hands on, passionate, caring, nurturing. The complete opposite of what his sales job wanted him to be. Watching him come home from his job each day being a little more broken and down heartened each time was horrible. He was becoming down, grumpy, snappy. Not the man he was or wanted to be.

Logan joined pre-school in January. Being an extremely bright kid, who loves to learn and play I thought this would be good for him. I was wrong. My happy little boy did not thrive in that environment. Watching him cry and be upset and angry and miserable just at the thought of going to preschool was killing me inside. If he was like this at preschool what would he be like at big school full time? As someone who personally didn't thrive in a traditional educational environment, I understood and sympathised with his feelings. Home schooling was the best option. Yes this can be done anywhere in the world, and what better way to do it than with both mummy and daddy at home?

And me? Well I want what's best for my family as a whole. And I want to live the life I enjoy. I want to spend more time with my children running around, and I don't want to spend hours in front of the TV or buying our food from the supermarket because that's where it comes from. I want a more natural life, to be more active, to take more control of our health and our learning. I want my kids to feel free and be open to new experiences.

When we first toyed with the idea of buying land, Rich signed up to a 6 month Permaculture Design course. And jeez, did he love it. I'd not seen him so content, so vivacious in a long time. It gave him that little sparkle in his eye again. We all, as a family, love the outdoors. We love growing, exploring and just being with nature. I knew this was going to be good for us,

I'm of course not saying any of this cant be done here in the UK. But we would not be able to afford to do what we are going to do in Spain, in England.

With the equity from the sale of our house we are going to be able to buy a 5 acre plot of land. We are going to build our own Eco-home and start a small permaculture farm. We will be as self sufficient as possible. We will build earthen yurts to rent. We can host workshops and courses. We will meet new people and take on new knowledge. We will be our own masters. We won't have a mortgage. Our time will be our own.

As well as all of his I will FOR SURE still be running Lucky Sew and Sew. I'll be able to have my own studio and work during the day and not only in the evenings when a rich isn't at work. Yes!

So long story short, it's been a few turbulent months culminating in the sale of our house in the UK falling through at the last minute a few days after Rich, my Dad and the Lorry full of our belongings went off to start our new life in Spain. We've managed to resell the house very quickly and we booked the flights today for myself, the kids and my mum to join the lads in our temporary rental place in Spain at the end of he month.

It's been extremely tough not having Rich here, the kids miss him so much. On top of that Logan is sleeping on a mattress on the floor and Rori is in a travel cot. It's not been an easy few weeks to say the least! My sewing machines are in Spain (bar one back up!) along with my fabrics and pretty much everything else! So I've been trying my best to keep up with work but it's proving a hard task at the minute.

I'm so appreciative of all of the support our nursing bras have been getting, it's overwhelming. As soon as we get to Spain it'll be WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK, as Rhianna so perfectly put it.

For now, I'm still catching up on a few orders that I can, trying to keep the kids entertained with no toys here, cook with hardly any kitchen equipment and try to evict a baby mouse that had somehow moved into my living room and is a master of hiding.

Phew. That was a long post. It feels good to explain exactly what's happening. I'm really excited about what the future holds. More time for Lucky Sew and Sew that's for sure. More blogging in general and about self building a house, moving country, home-edding, DIYing and a hole host of other good stuff.



























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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Lucky Muthah in Gurgle Magazine!

If you happen to come across a copy of this months issue of Gurgle Magazine, you might notice a little mention of our Lucky Muthah Nursing bras. I say a little mention...it's actually a FULL PAGE!

We were contacted last month from the magazine, who said they would like to mention us, and of course I said yes and was over the moon. Never in a million years did I think we'd get a full page just for our bras!

I haven't actually seen the magazine in the flesh yet myself - it isn't available in the shops until tomorrow so I'm going out in the morning to buy a copy (or 5). However, from my understanding, if you have a subscription to the magazine, you receive your copy in the post a couple of days before it's in the shops. I've had a flurry of messages and tags on instagram and facebook over the last few days informing me of the full page from friends and customers who do have a subscription to Gurgle and were excited to see our bras in their copy.

I'll update tomorrow with some pics of the magazine, and also with the details of a special offer that we are running in celebration of being featured in Gurgle!
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