So, yes. I confess it’s been a little while since my last blog post….like, 2 years or so. It’s difficult to blog about sewing adventures when you’ve hardly stitched anything together. And the reason for the lack of sewing? I had a baby!
In my vision of pregnancy, I imagined I’d be in a flurry of creativity – sewing up tons of teeny-weeny outfits in preparation for the little one’s arrival; knitting up a storm and making my own soft furnishings and heirloom pieces for the nursery. All while sporting my own thrifty yet stylish hand-made maternity outfits that had a lovely vintage vibe and minimized the use of stretch fabrics.
Ha! This, it turns out, was nowhere near reality. The very thought of craft, knitting or sewing, for some bizarre reason, made me want to throw up. So did everything actually, when I think about it. Combine this with the unimaginable fatigue that accompanies pregnancy, full time work followed by an unexpected 10 week hospitalization before our baby was eventually delivered, via emergency C-section 4 weeks early, and there wasn’t much chance of getting my craft on, let alone do the whole ‘nesting’ thing.
And, I confess, if pregnancy has taught me anything, it’s that stretch fabric is a godsend. However, the amount of pregnancy clothing that is completely polyester is so incredibly frustrating. And ridiculously overpriced. I did make two maternity dresses from vintage patterns, thanks to Enid Gilchrist’s maternity book. They were great, and I would have loved to have made more items from her ‘collection’. I highly recommend it, if you can be bothered drafting out all the pattern pieces. Here’s one of them. It was a silk/cotton fabric, and it was my ‘good’ maternity frock for work functions. I made up a little matching ‘hat’, which was pretty fun. In these pics, I’m wearing it at a dear friend’s wedding. The next day I was hospitalised for 10 weeks – I’m so glad that I was able to attend the wedding before everything went pear shaped.
So, now, 18 months on, and I feel like I’m only just beginning to feel vaguely ‘normal’ again. I’ve moved house and I’m back at work part time, and these days, sewing is more of a luxury than ever – something I sneakily do at night, or when a certain someone is napping. And always with the guilt and knowledge that I should be cooking or washing or cleaning or doing something else! Projects these days tend to be quick, achievable low-fuss items designed to give ‘instant’ gratification, and be more ‘mum friendly’ than before. I also feel like I’m always in a hurry when I sew these days – everything is a rushed-job, often with sloppy execution. While I still love all things vintage, the reality is that it’s often just not practical when hanging out with a toddler.
I love sewing for our little girl. It’s fun, usually quick and very satisfying. Kids’ clothes are so cute – and there aren’t too many fitting issues to worry about. I swear I have never used so much elastic in my life since I started making things for her! Again, I thought I would be making dozens of little things all the time, but the reality is I’ve only managed to sew a fraction of these things. I have so many patterns in my stash that she is now too big for and which I never got the chance to make her she never got to wear.
Here are a few of the things I did manage to make:
First up, a few knitting/crochet projects
Some general sewing bits and pieces
And my mum even taught me how to smock!
Sewing for myself has been a bit more sobering. Let’s just say that my body shape has changed – learning to sew and adjust for this is still a challenge, as is accepting that it will probably never be the same as pre-pregnancy. I hope that over the coming months I can crank up the Bernina a bit more often, and actually manage to create some outfits that aren’t too shabby. To get back into it, I dove in the deep end and made a full-length evening gown in less than a week. Probably not the best tactic, but I’ll tell you about that next time.