Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby trews!

I've been making baby trousers again today. The pattern is a free download from Made By Rae and is ridiculously easy and quick to put together. I made the first pair of these before Theo was born, but I've made a couple more after realising how much cheaper they are than store bought clothes. Even Tesco charges £7.50 for a pair of baby trousers, these cost about a third of that to make.

Today's pair are made from brushed cotton, which seems to be strangely hard to buy in the UK (if anyone knows different, please tell me!) I have also made a pair in lightweight cotton and another which are lined for colder weather. 

Made by Rae newborn pants

One of the really great things I'm discovering about making clothes for children is that the patterns start very simple and get progressively more complex as the child gets older. After baby pants my next challenge is making dungarees... Boden seems to be the only place you can buy them from and they are £24 a pair (!!) Fabric costs will be about half that to make them, how hard can they be?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday (28th September)

Theo's play mat quilt

I'm not sure if this really counts as a post for Work In Progress Wednesday, as it's actually very much about finished work... but anyway, it's Wednesday, so I shall jump on the bandwagon!

I have finally completed the playmat which I made to go under Theo's baby gym, it's taken me the best part of 10 days just to do the binding, but I guess that's life with a 4 week old!

As those of you reading in the UK will now, we had unseasonably warm weather today - even amazingly in Scotland! So whilst the boy was resting in the Silver Cross, I took the quilt outside to try and photograph it in the daylight.

No sooner had I laid it on the grass than Bella the Beagle appeared, quite obviously delighted that I had laid it out especially for her to sunbathe on...

Bella and drunkard's path quilt

And when she vacated it, the Big Dog decided she'd try and fit on it...

Macy on the Drunkard's Path quilt

Now obviously I couldn't throw either of them off it, because Little Dog had a tragic start in life and always manages to convey this with very sad eyes, and a recent trip to the vet revealed that Big Dog is a bit bigger than she should be, so I couldn't give her a complex and tell her to move...

But eventually they shifted and I photographed the quilt...


And finally a word about that play gym! When I posted a photo of the quilt in progress, my wise old (but not really old) friend Gill pointed out that the baby would need quite long arms to reach the toys on my nice wooden play gym. It actually turns out there was a far bigger problem, because as nice as that wooden gym was, it was just dull!

Despite the fact mummy likes wooden toys, Theo is a traitor to my cause! He stubbornly refused to be entertained by the wooden gym, but when it was replaced by an obscenely expensive, hideously plastic one with flashing lights and calipso music, he loved it! <sigh> So now the play mat quilt is going to be spending time under a slightly different play gym to the one I envisaged...


Another lesson learned by the amateur parent! Don't forget more quilts to see by clicking the link below!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A quilt NOT made by me!

Theo's raggy quilt (made by Kim)

There have been quite a few surprises over the last three weeks since Theo arrived, and one of the nicest ones has been receiving quite so many cards and gifts from family friends, old school mates, colleagues and neighbours.

I really really hadn't had any idea how the birth of a baby produces so much post! I think when you get to your mid-30s you get so used to milestones being marked with greetings from just from your close family, that you never imagine you'd ever see a mantelpiece over run with cards or a postman who is still knocking on your door 3 weeks after the big day.

Yesterday, just as we were starting to believe the flow of post had tailed off, we received two lovely gifts for Theo. The first was a copy of one of my favourite childhood books, The Hungry Caterpillar, and a toy caterpillar that clips on to the pram, and the second was a wonderfully soft and snuggly raggy quilt made by my old friend Kim, who taught me to quilt in Canada.

Theo's raggy quilt (made by Kim)

Kim used to make quilts for all the new arrivals in the village where we lived in Alberta and I often joked I'd have to have a baby whilst we were there just to ensure we got one. Well two years later, Theo may have been a Scottish rather than Canadian baby, but he still got the quilt... lucky boy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The coming home photos....

Home!Back home with Theo

My mum has just sent me copies of some of the photos she took last week when we brought Theo home from the hospital. I love these two shots she got of my sister and I.

They'd both arrived on a flight from down south the night before, so as well as meeting Theo, it was also the first time my sister and I had seen each other for 4 months.

And proving that you can never have too many cameras being used at once, my mum also took this one of us making Theo look his best for his first photoshoot. That big silver disc is just throwing a bit of natural light back on him, not quite as menacing as it looks!

Photo session

Poor boy has a lifetime of this ahead of him, so he had better get used to it...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birth... announced

Birth... announced

Theo's birth is announced today in the Daily Telegraph, as my birth before him was also announced 35 years ago.

Over the last few weeks this section of the newspaper has been well read by my family. My mum and I would discuss it daily as we struggled to settle on an option for a girl's name. It was also the Telegraph that first made us aware of the huge number of Isla's that are being born at the moment, so it's nice to think that like us, other prospective parents will also be reading it today.

Birth announcements in newspapers in the UK have fallen out of fashion a little lately, but they are still popular among traditionalists. If you are reading this elsewhere in the world, it would be interesting to know if births are announced in your newspapers too, or if it is (as I suspect) a very British thing...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 5


Wow, what a week it has been - It seems incredible how much the world has changed for us in the last 7 days.

We've had a bumpy first few days (and nights) at home, but today we seemed to have turned a corner and at this precise moment the house is quiet (2 dogs and a baby fast asleep) and tidy. (Why does tidy matter? I don't know.. but somehow order on the outside, reflects growing order on the inside)

My sister and mum have come and gone, their arrival on long ago booked flights ended up being timed to perfection. I am thankful in so many ways for their sharing of knowledge, and the many many practical ways they helped us get on our feet. In my dizzy hormonal state I could all too easily shed a tear of gratitude thinking about the gift of family. No one else can really support you so solidly.

I won't bore you too much with baby photos, but if you are interested, there are plenty more on Flickr in a set which will be regularly added to. We have yet to get one of him and me together, let alone one of the three of us, but we will soon.

Thank you all for your wonderful warm comments on the last post, it is lovely to celebrate his birth with friends old and new, far and wide.

We'll be back soon, in the meantime, have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

He's here!

Theodore Stanley Richard Mansell

Theodore "Theo" Stanley Richard Mansell arrived safely on Tuesday 30th August 2011 at 22:05 weighing 8lbs 11oz.

Home from the hospital today and enjoying some family time.

Will be back soon with more photos...
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