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So, you know that little break I was going on where I was going to do all these amazing crafty jobs and spend time with my two beautiful children? Well, the time just flew by in a flurry of fabric and thready scraps as I refashioned some vintage linens into clothes.
Here is a little overview of what I made…
My first day of holidays was searching through heaps of online tutorials to find something that I liked. I found two projects:
A nursing dress from Shwin&Shwin (here).
And a high-waisted skirt from This Big Oak Tree (here).
I am absolutely hopeless at following directions about things I know a little about so I only used the tutorial for the nursing dress as a loose guide. I do the same thing with recipes. It’s great for creativity but hopeless for troubleshooting! And I had lots of trouble with this dress. It was the first time I had sewn with stretchy fabric. A quick Facebook chat with my Mum, the sewing genius, got me started with a few good tips. I launched myself in and just had to fix things along the way. I’m pretty happy with the result and the breastfeeding capability is great! I am going to try it again but using a cotton for the skirt to make it easier to sew.
Next it was time to attack my vintage linens. I had never gathered before so I decided to use a pillowcase from a vintage Sheridan set to make a simple gathered skirt as a practice before I cut into the big guns – my beautiful yellow vintage sheets.
This was much simpler. It was just a simple skirt with a lining and elasticated waistband. It’s so pretty, feminine and super twirly! I love it!
It was time. My holidays were fast running out and I had not yet touched the vintage sheets. I ironed them carefully. Laid them out on the dining room floor. Took a deep breath. Measured. Measured again. And then finally heard that sweet and satisfying sound of good fabric scissors cutting through cotton. Terrified of making a mess of my vintage find, I decided to follow the tutorial as closely as possible…ok, so I still did a bit of my own thing, like making the seam go down the back because the width of the sheet was exactly right, and I cut out the pieces so I used the lovely wide hem of the sheet as the hem of the skirt (one less seam to iron and sew)…but it was pretty close. For me. I also did not attach the sash to the skirt as I wanted the versatility to wear it with a belt.
Here’s the end result. I’m absolutely in love with it – the 1950s feel and how it makes me want to have high-tea followed by a frolic in a field of wild flowers (or maybe the other way around – one probably shouldn’t frolic on a stomach full of tea and delicious cakes). I can’t wait to wear it!
And you know the best thing? This skirt used just half of ONE sheet and I have TWO! Ooohhhh…what else shall I make?
My littlest one is almost 6 months old now. He arrived two weeks early. Not so early as to be worried but early enough to scrap my plans of getting everything organised before our lives entered the haze of newborn-ness again. For this reason I returned to my business as soon as I came home from hospital to organise donations for the charity auction I was holding for beyondblue. It never slowed down.
I am now at a point where I can finally take a breath. I have decided to take a week or two after the Coffs Coast Craft Expo I am exhibiting at this weekend to stop, recharge and get my head together before the rush of Christmas. It’s a sort of belated maternity leave.
So now I am busy, preparing for the expo, catching up on correspondence and finishing custom orders. But in one little corner of my mind, the plans for my break are already forming…
*cue daydream music*
I love op-shopping. I recently found a little stool that I am planning on painting white and fixing up to make a lovely addition to my daughter’s room. I also discovered a set of vintage sheets in a gorgeous buttery yellow floral. Dress and skirt designs are swirling around in my head as I make plans for sewing projects with the sheets. I also found a little tutorial for making your own breastfeeding dress from a top and some fabric here, so I’ve bought the necessary bits and pieces to make that too (I’ll let you know how it goes)!
I am also picturing trips to the park with the kids. Painting together in the sunshine. Play-dates. Building train tracks around the coffee table.
Then there are the odd jobs around the house. Sorting and storing the kids’ clothes that are too small now. Vacuuming out the car. Backing up all the photos on the computer. Updating the budget. Finally hanging up those last couple of pictures that have been leaning against the wall since we moved in January.
All this (and probably much more) in just one week or so. Hmmm…
Sometimes in all the planning we (or rather, I) forget to just be. Stop. Smell the roses. Savour the moment.
This is a skill I’m not very good at. I’m the kind of person who’s always doing. Multitasking is a natural way of life for me. Even as I’m writing this I am feeding my son and trying to prepare for bath time!
So, as I prepare to take my break I will plan to…take a break. The only way for me to remember to take a moment and stop is to plan it. Schedule it in. Then maybe it will actually happen.
So, I’ll be back in a little bit. Maybe with a new dress or skirt to show you. Maybe with a nicely restored stool to borrow from my daughter for photo shoots and markets. Maybe with a nicely organised house (ok, maybe not….I am mother to a toddler and an almost-on-the-move baby). But hopefully I will return relaxed and refreshed and happy in the knowledge that I had taken time for me and my family.
Fingers crossed. x