Freddie.

Ten days ago, on 8 April 2014, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, known to the world as ‘Freddie’.

We are completely and utterly smitten, although he can make a hell of a noise for someone so small.

As labours go, I think I had just about the best possible birth experience; it was no more than 12 hours start to finish and I managed to have the waterbirth I was after, but good god it hurt. I was somehow unprepared for that (I know!).

Despite that, there’s no doubt Freddie is the best thing I have ever made. I am still blown away that it’s actually possible to create such a perfect being, I can’t stop staring at him.

We also can’t stop taking photos of him so both my and Tom’s Instagram feeds are full of baby pictures if you’re as much of a sucker for them as me.

Lambing.

Today we visited Wimpole Estate and it was filled with lambs and calves and piglets. There were also several enormous pigs that looked like they were going to explode. 6 days from due date, I’m feeling pretty similar myself.

I know being pregnant is an amazing journey, and I repeatedly tell myself it’ll all be worth it in the end, but goodness me I’m starting to get fed up. I can’t wait to feel fit, lean and healthy again – and meet my baby boy of course.

I’ve been extremely lucky with a very complication-free 9 months but I’m definitely ready for it to be over, and for all to be well. I still find it incredible to think there’s an actual new human in there, with his own personality and thoughts – I’m not entirely sure it’ll properly sink in until he’s arrived.

Out of Town.

A couple of weeks ago, we packed up our London flat and headed up the M11 to Cambridge. It was only mildly traumatic, but did require about twice as much van space as we’d originally envisaged (oops).

The week before the big move, we thought we’d make the most of the quite frankly amazing weather, and make a final trip sans baby to Kew Gardens.

As it was so warm, the rest of London had also apparently had the same idea, but after queuing for about 40 minutes (!), we were in, and free to explore the gorgeous greenery. And daffodils. I love daffodils.

The greenhouses at Kew are one of my favourite places in the whole of London. I could normally spend hours wondering round them, but at 35 weeks pregnant and wearing a fleecy dress and tights, a very short run through is about all I could manage!

I bought this dress from Monki towards the end of last summer but it’s had hardly any wear because it was pretty shapeless. Turns out that shapeless is exactly what’s required when your stomach contains an ever growing child. Hurray!

So that’s all from the capital for a while! We’re pretty much unpacked and sorted again so now that I’m on maternity leave, and my sewing machine has a brand new home, I’ll hopefully be back very soon with some new makes.

Flora.

My love for the By Hand London girls is well documented. I may not have blogged them all, but every one of their patterns has been lovingly made at my machine and my fan girling knows no shame. It helps that they’re also some of the nicest, funnest, funniest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet.

So I was completely honoured to be asked to test the pattern for their new Flora dress. I am just very sad that at the moment my waist will go nowhere near the zip. It does however mean that my sister has a new dress!

IMG_0983

I made view B with a square neckline and dipped hem circle skirt, and I absolutely love it. The fabric came from the wonderful team at Ray Stitch, and although the beautiful Liberty lawn was a smidgen on the narrow side for the full circle skirt, I simply took the sides in a little, which I don’t think detracts from the skirt at all.

The fabric was a dream to sew with (as lawn always is), and I am overall a major fan of Flora. I can’t wait to make a whole range of them for summer – and the faux wrap of view A has to be perfect for breast feeding, surely?!

Another Week, Another Archer.

Yeah, I know. I should really sew something else but goddamn it, I love this pattern. I also love this fabric, which I’ve been hoarding for ages. I think it came from The Cloth House several months back. It’s a really lovely weight and has a beautiful drape.

There’s not much more to say about this shirt really. I can’t do it up, but it’s a beauty, and I’m dreaming of tucking it into high waisted jeans with rolled up sleeves in late Spring. It’s certainly going to get lots of wear (although depending on just how quickly I can get back into my high waisted jeans…. it might be late Autumn!).

Most of my current sewing time is spent making miniature sleeves and bodices, rather than anything I can actually get myself into. As you may or may not know, I am currently about half way through a year long course in Pattern Cutting at Kensington and Chelsea College. It’s been excellent so far, but I need to get started on my final piece soon, especially this baby is due to make an appearance in the middle of the Easter holidays. It’s been so nice spending Thursday evenings completely submerged in such a fun course, particularly with people who obviously enjoy it so much – the very lovely Hannah being a case in point.

I’m also a total sucker for learning. I seem totally incapable of going 12 months without attending some form of school.I’m not sure whether I’m ever going to grow out of that, although I guess the next major learning curve is going to be parenting….! Eeeeek!

xx

Maternity Clothes.

As this little baby grows, and my waistline continues to expand (currently 10″ and counting), I am struggling more and more with getting dressed each morning. Having spent many years trying to understand and dress for my figure, and finally having got the hang of it, I’m finding the emergence of a bump quite difficult. A fan of nipped in dresses and high waisted trousers, my pregnancy appropriate wardrobe is somewhat small.

Added to that is the fact that I really resent spending money on clothes that will only be worn for such a short period of time. To be honest, I’d much rather be spending it on a Paddington Bear coat.

As a result, I’ve tried to limit myself to a few ‘maternity’ clothes – in particular these black trousers, these jeans, and a couple of stripy tops have done me well.

I’ve also not really managed to sew anything maternity-specific as yet. Although I invested in several Megan Nielsen patterns, it took me a long time to think about making them. For quite a while I was worried I was going to jinx something, and now I think it’s mainly to do with the love, time and effort that’s poured into sewing clothes. I love doing it, but I want to be able to wear them for more than a few weeks.

Instead I’m hoping that dresses like this one from Topshop will get me through to the end and beyond! It is amazingly comfortable and although starting to fit a little more closely around my bum than would be ideal, it makes me feel more put together than my other current go-to of leggings, a t-shirt and a cardigan. The only problem is that it’ll be hopeless for breastfeeding, d’oh!

Has anyone got any brilliant maternity dressing tips? I’m a bit worried I’m going to get massively bigger still – there’s still almost 10 weeks to go!