I never did get back to you on my New Year's Resolution. I do have one of sorts I promise, it's just a bit fuzzy around the edges. It could probably best be summed up as 'Just Do It'. Part of this is an organisational aim; it's incredibly easy to procrastinate as there are very few things as a stay at home Mum that can't be put off for a little bit if you want to (feeding and changing/providing the where with all for humans large and small being about the only exception) so I'm trying to push myself to do the odd jobs that always get left while I can still make the time to do them. Things like finding a new drawer oprganiser for the kitchen cutlery drawer that actually fits the drawer for example.
The other side of my New Year's coin is more crafty and therefore infinitely more fun. There are so many beautiful and lovely things that I've flipped past in books or bookmarked on blogs and said to myself, I must make that/ bake that/ do that someday, and then something gets in the way and I never do, so this year, and particularly these last few months of maternity leave I'm going to start turning some of those dreams into reality.
That's not to say that I'm simply giving in to a raging bout of startitis - everything in my stash was bought with a view to becoming something more than simply a pile of fabric or yarn; but I'm going to re-look through my books and magazines and bopokmarks and start working out what I have and what I'll need for any project and then as I work through them, and as means allow, I might start finishing a few things this side of the next decade, or even better, before Kitty grows too big for the raw materials to cope.
So with all of this in mind I started re-reading my birthday crafty books which have lots of baby sewing patterns in them. I want to get better at my dressmaking and what better way than to practice on my very own tiny person. Now four months of parenting a our wee princess has taught me some very crucial things about little-girl wear. Aside from the boring practicalities such as it's useful if a garment will fit over her head and be big enough so that she doesn't outgrow it after only one wearing, there must also be:
(a) Some element of pink.
(b) Some cute animal. Preferably of the baby or teeny tiny variety.
Check (and bonus points for more pink)
Check. Well sort of, I know I said bows plural and this is a bow singular, but it is spotty. I'm claiming substitute credit for the spots. We also have funky little turned up cuff sleeves.
Put it all together and what do we have:
An Empire-Line top from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. Graded at level 4 difficulty and possibly the most complicated piece opf usable clothing that I have ever made. Seriously peeps there are gathers, and elasticated bits, and those very cute cuffs, and a lined bodice and zig-zagged seam allowances (note to self: add 'learn to use the overlocker' to the to do list).
I spent a couple of nursing sessions reading the pattern and trying to visualise how it would all come together, and just took it nice and slowly. The pattern was well written and the diagrams were really useful so that's definitely a positive first experience of using this book, and there are a few more things thst I'd like to try now.
And to demonstrate my commitment to my re-appreciation of my stash I can tell you that the only thing I bought was a fat quarter of the bird fabric, everything else was stash. The orange spot is a Kaffe Fasset print which we bought in Liberty's a few years ago. I had a 60cm length which was just enough for all the pieces for this 6-9 month size with a bit of jiggery pokery. The bodice pieces came easily from a fat quarter as long as you don't mind cutting out the backs separately.
Oh no, I forgot, I did buy a button.
Well every girl's dress should have a pretty button right? It still makes the total spend on the dress under £3 (I had thread and elastic in the sewing box), which isn't bad for a pretty little top for Kitty to posset down.
And now for the final test. Question number 1 - Does it fit?
Yes - although without quite as much growing room as I was hoping for.
Question number 2 - does Kitty like it?
Success all round. All hail the sewing-machine conquering hero. Next up - world peace. Or not.