Thursday, October 7, 2010

Improvisation and Inspiration

I'm fond of a good pinafore dress, especially since having a little girl baby. On my 'most coveted' list for when M is just a little older is this gorgeous number from Oliver & S. As it happens, more inspiration came today from reading this blog- it must be a pinafore sort of day!
Anyway, I'd had some pretty spotted babycord ever since I accidentally ordered it when choosing fabrics for P's quilt. Only having a fat quarter it wasn't going to make any sort of garment, so I thought I'd improvise a little using some old cord trousers from the scrap pile and some leftover Liberty print from making last year's Christmas presents. I bodged a pattern together using existing garments and the Picture Frame dress pattern in Handmade Beginnings and came up with this little number. Then I found it wouldn't fit over M's head, even with a popper at the back, so I had to unpick a shoulder seam and add a button loop.
To be honest, while the finished result looks okay (it's all about the model!), on closer inspection it's rather a testament to what happens when you try to sew stuff with a heavy cold and in a hurry because the baby's grumpy. There are some unfinished edges inside, some upside-down linings and some decidedly wobbly seams. However, the process of making it has given me some inspiration for something I want to come up with based partly on this pinafore and partly on the trousers I made (more successfully I might add) a while back.
Meanwhile I have a cardigan and scarf off the knitting needles and ready to block. Which means I have nothing to knit over the weekend. I feel a baby hat coming on...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Meet my nemesis. Okay, that's over-egging it a little, but this slide and its brothers and sisters elsewhere do give me more than their fair share of grief. All mummies have their particular fear- their child choking, getting lost, poisoning themselves, cutting themselves etc. etc. Of course I worry about all the aforementioned and more, but my special thing is P falling off tall things. I'm like my own mother in this respect but who knows if it's nature or nurture. All I know is that I end up on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand I find it nerve-wracking to let my little explorer clamber up ladders, balance on walls, scramble up banks and so on, and it makes me want to stop him or hold his hand all the time. On the other hand I know that the only way he'll learn to negotiate heights safely is to clamber, balance, scramble and yes, even occasionally fall. Also, I don't want to pass my own fear of heights onto him. So most of the time I work really hard on appearing calm, try to keep my steadying hands to myself and let him take (controlled) risks. I've found our recent repeated viewings of 'Finding Nemo' (the only way we could get Baptism preparations completed in time) quite inspiring in this respect. At one point a character points out that if you don't let anything happen to your kids, then nothing ever happens to them. Of course, today, having persuaded myself that maybe I should stand back when he tackled the slide ladder pictured, his foot slipped on the rain-wet second rung and he tumbled straight off. He was fine thank goodness and I managed to be matter of fact and encourage him to climb up straight away again. Of course, he didn't need any persuasion, as he's not scared of heights. No, my little toddler, with a pet chicken at home and Granny with a friendly dog who lives on a farm, who goes on country walks through fields of livestock, has suddenly decided he's scared of...animals! I really hope it's a phase, and a reasonably short one at that.