Thursday, 30 September 2010

First ever tutorial - cozy baby trousers

Here is my first tutorial - super easy cashmere baggy trousers!

I'm not really into sewing jargon so excuse my lame explanations and hopefully you'll be able to understand what is going on and do it yourself at home.

1. Find your self an old woolly jumper with a turtle neck - I've used a cashmere one, they are super soft and snuggly, but unless you get them super cheap (or free from Charlie-at-the-market) you can use some other kind of woolly jumper. If the knit is very loose you might want to felt it a little by washing it on a warm cycle. Or maybe you've already done this with one of your jumpers by accident *wink* . The rest of the tutorial is after the jump (I think...) 

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

kcwc: day six and seven

Finally posting on the last two days of kcwc -it's been so much fun!

I made a new version of the harem trousers out of an other cashmere jumper. This time using the waist band of the jumper as the waist for the trousers, making box-pleats to make it smaller and to give it a nice baggy look. Leaving the sides un-pleated so that it would be stretchy to take on and off. There is lots of room for here to move around in them even with her cloth-diapers on.

And I had an other go at the hat I made on kcwc day two.This time it actually fit her! 

Doesn't she look nice and cosy on the quilt?
It was made for her by our lovely friend Sam. 

The only thing left to do now is post that tutorial that I promised!  

Sometinhg in the house that inspired me today!

This morning has been slow and sleepy. So today's inspiration comes from my french press:

 It from Menu and given to me for Christmas by my sisters. So while drinking coffee I watched Monster vs Aliens (it made me laugh out loud!) and played with my new Kindle. 

The kindle is a beauty!  

Best of all I can now carry the whole Summa Theologica by Aquinas with me (along with all my articles) and it doesn't weigh more than 241g - that's the same as three nappies! I can even copy quotes I want and save them, write down comments to the different sections, do searches and have it read loud to me while I do other stuff like sewing or feeding Aline! 
The joy of technology!

So the day that started out with me not wanting to get out of bed has now turned into a lovely day - and it's only just turned 11am! An other cup of coffee and I'll jump out of my PJ's -ah the perks of being a stay-at-home-mum.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Sometinhg in the house that inspired me today!

On a day like this -

my cozy slippers make me happy and warm

What makes you happy on a cold wet day?

kcwc: day four and five

Yes I'm somewhat behind schedule with the postings for kcwc - such is life.
On day four and five I made a pair of overalls from the arms of the jumper I used in day one. Here are the results:

Still not decided on the buttons yet...

Friday, 24 September 2010


First an apology to the (two) guys who read my blog - I love that you are here but you might find that this entry is not quite up your street.

After every pregnancy there comes several different occasions where there is a strong urge to wear jeans without an elasticated waistband again. 

The first one hit me 10days after Aline was born. Yes is was was not realistic at all that I would be able to get into my pre-pregnancy jeans - but in a desperate attempt to make my life normal, after the whirl-wind of change the arrival of Aline was, I did spend 15min trying to pull my jeans over my knees with little effect other than a flood of tears and dark thoughts of forever being banished to wearing maternity clothes. 

The second one crept up on me several weeks ago - just before going out to a party of course! In my mind a thought surely after three months my body must be getting back to normal so I pulled out my pre-pregnancy jeans again. After a lot of huffing and puffing and pulling sure enough I was able to pull them on AND just about button them up if I held my breath and didn't move (big change really -though not recognized at that moment). But the size of the muffin-tops made me want to go eat some cake. Poor Stefan had to pull out all his tricks to make me stop crying and get me patched together to leave for the party...

Normally I would consider my self a rather sensible shopper - never buy anything without a plan (except from Charlie at the market *wink* ) - you can see where this is going can't you... The other day I was in town and came across this offer for magic underwear (I do have some and they are normally my best friend) with my last disaster fresh in mind I was an easy target for the "Loose inches in seconds" and the "Get rid of Cellulite in 28 days" in big pink letters on the box. Stupidly I pick up two pack -one nude and one black- and even more stupidly -I don't know what I was thinking - probably in denial - I got a size smaller than I should have... When the lady at the till informed me that underwear could not be returned the thought did cross my mind to go grab a bigger size... but being in a good (and overconfident) mood I said nothing and swiped my card.

The next morning: Stefan's of to work, Aline's dressed and siting happily in her bouncy chair, watching me get dressed and there's 45min before we need to catch the bus. I unsheathe the magic underwear (MU) and happily get to work at squishing myself into them. 

1 min later: I'm happily tugging and pulling while Aline is smiling next to me. 
Progress: I've got them around my ankles.

5 min later: I'm singing to Aline to keep her happy, while still tugging and pulling -now with an edge of aggression at the pants. 
Progress: mid-calf 

10 min later: I've stopped singing and given Aline a toy. The hauling and yanking has become slightly more energetic and the regard for my nails had gone.
Progress: just over the knees...

15 min later: Aline is now board of her toy and has started to whine and wriggle. I've worked up a sweat and am too tangled in the MU to be able to do anything. One nail has broken, I've managed to make a hole in the MU (!).
Progress: half-way up my thighs.

25min after first starting: Aline's whining is getting louder. I am now lying on the floor wriggling like a worm trying to get the dam MU's over my hips. Two more nails have thrown in the towel and let's just say my happy mood from earlier that day had gone.

35 min after staring (10min before the bus leaves): Aline is crying. So am I. But the MU are finally on (yes I'm stubborn when I need to be). Well that is I've managed to pull most of it up, but the crotch is still half-way down my thighs making it very uncomfortable to walk...

36 min: I give Aline her dummy and hobble as fast as I can up stairs, pull out my jeans (-yes I have become a mad woman on a mission...), step into them and pull them up only to find that the button is just as hard to fasten and the muffintops are still there! What I disappointment! I'm sure you could hear my "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" in Headington.

40 min: I managed to unfold myself from the MU -that alone took 3min - throw on my maxi-dress - throw Aline into the pram (not literally of course) and run out the door to catch the bus only to see it just leave the bus stop...

Here is a picture of the dam thing:

Lesson: Be gracious towards my self, celebrities that are back in shape after 6 weeks are not human and getting your hair done can make up for wearing maternity jeans... healthy eating and exercise and time are now my good friends. After all Aline is worth it! 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

My friend.

My friend Ingvild is opening a  new shop 'Drømmehjerte' (Dreamheart) at epla (-the Norwegian version of Etsy). This is very exiting! You should go have a look.

Hope it goes well Ingvild!

- I love the stuff you make.


My collection of circles for headbands:

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

kcwc: day three

I must admitt I didn't do a full hour of sewing today...but I did do some crafty stuff.
I finished off this dress - which now fits more like a top - for Aline. 

This is what happens when you wait forever before sewing on the snappers... 

I finished and posted invites for Aline's christening

And I finished three of my bird necklaces - and yes they are for sale :)

kcwc: day two

A little less time to do stuff at home to day as I went into town this morning, but an hour of sewing had to be fit in... it was a question of going for a run or sewing. Such a hard decision to make! Not...

Today I decided to make Aline a hat. She has a big head (after her Dad) so I went for a size 6months. However the jumper I used to make the hat was very stretchy and I cut too much seam-allowance so it turned out even bigger than planned....oops! I think it is the experience of making the dresses too small that has now made me make everything too big. At least she'll grow into it.

kcwc is so much fun!

kcwc: day one

After a week-end that did not go according to plan as Aline had a fever, Monday was a day of catching up.  Aquinas had to be read, christening invitations were to be made, a little exercise had to be done and some tidying could not be avoided AND of course there was an hour of sewing to do too! 

Most surprisingly of all in some miraculous way I managed to get it all done - and have fun!

For day one of kcwc I lifted down my box of clothes that are up-cycle material - found a lovely dark purple (the photos don't do the colour justice) cashmere jumper, given to me by Charlie-at-the-market.

This I turned into a super easy pouchy trousers for Aline. When I put in the effort to sew clothes for her I want them to be versatile in size so that she can use them for a long time so these should fit her from now until she is 18 months. Now as baggy trousers with the 'neck' up under her arms, next year they'll fit more like Harem trousers.

Here are the results:

I even had time to make myself some wrist warmers with some of the left over scraps!

(- I know my hand looks kind off limp here...)

Hopefully by the end of the week I will have been able to post this as a tutorial so you can make some of these too!

ps. I still have the arms of the jumper left -should I make another pair of trousers or a little hat?

Friday, 17 September 2010

What I would like for Christmas...

Today I had a lovely little magazine from plumo come trough my door and I completely fell in love with the Fiba rings. They are so gorgeous! You can see one of them on the in the photo below (alongside the midnight earings - also stunning!). The others are beautiful, but unfortunately I failed at adding a photo of them here...
These are going on my Christmas wish list for sure ; )

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Unedited - My favorite moment of the day!

Evening has come, Aline is sleeping, the teacup is steaming, Stefan is reading out loud for us from G.R.R. Martin and I'm stitching up some circles for headbands - a perfect end to the day!

Tidying can wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Sometinhg in the house that inspired me today!

Yes I know it's a little geeky - but yesterday Stefan picked up a book for me from the library - "Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature" by Robert Pasnau and that has inspired me today. I can do my PhD and be a mum!

Should I continue reading or wake Aline to feed her? It's 30min passed her normal feeding time... 

p.s. always light a candle or two- it makes any day cozy. But don't leave it burning when you leave the room.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Autumn look

Here is the new autumn look! Hope you like it!


Aline is a dribbler - lying on her tummy she's like a running tap!
Solution? Mummy's super easy, super absorbent bamboo bibs!
Here is the newest collection: 






I think my favorite is the last one with the vintage silk with iris from liberty on one side and blue fabric on the other side because it makes Aline's eyes seem even more intensely blue than they do normally. 

Which one is your favorite?

Kids Clothes Week Challenge


Elsie Marley has given a challenge and I have decided to say yes!
The challenge is to sew an hour each day from the 20 - 26 of September. And what are we sewing you ask? Kids clothes - I plan to turn some of the Kashmir jumpers I have been given by Charlie into winter clothes for Aline and other people her size. Wish me luck! 

The plan is to post a tutorial on making a cozy trousers out of a turtle neck jumper at the end of the week. 

Will you keep me accountable please? 

Saturday, 11 September 2010


The other day I had a spontaneous tea-party with my lovely friends Sharon (an amazing fine art photographer who's just finished her MA at Uni. Westminster: go look at her beautiful work here), Mary (who really needs to start a blog, addressing the topics of this post) and Michelle (who now is back in Louisville).

Our conversation entered the realm of images (Yes we live in Oxford and are therefore inherently geeky - which shows in our topics of conversation...). 

Everyday we are bombarded with so many images of how our homes and our bodies should look - What clothes we should wear and how we ought to decorate our living spaces. And yes I must admit, I really enjoy looking at stunning interiors and well dressed people - taking every bit of inspiration from them that I can. 

When our resources such as time, money, space are limited such inspiration can make me thrifty and creative. However, a lot of the time such images give me false aspirations of what I think my life should be like. 
Let's be honest - my house is going to look lived in, there will be dust in the corners and on the bookshelves, the laundry pile will probably never completely disappear - neither will my stretchmarks and cellulite, bills will continue coming through the door and I might never be a size 10... 
There will never be enough hours in one day to: make everything in the house from scratch - be an amazing creative mum - do my PhD - be a caring friend - a loving wife - have flawless make-up - have a little business selling stuff I make - and change the world - ect... (randomized order of course...*smile*)

But I can do a lot, if I don't try to do all at once and most importantly if I stop trying to shape my life after the edited and perfectly styled images that surround me. 

So to sum up my rather long rant- 
YES to appreciating what we have and where we are, rather than wanting to be somewhere else.
YES to seeing the heavenliness in the unedited, mundane and messy lives that we actually live in.

The challenge? 

Bring out and nurture forth the beauty and potential in our surroundings, without editing away the messy and broken. 
As an exercise in this, and hopefully an encouragement to you, I want to regularly post a photo from my life - no tidying, styling or editing (apart from light and contrast after the photo is taken) as a different kind of inspiration from the images we normally are bombarded with.

Here is the first one:

  The table the day we talked about these things.


Sunday sewing - nearly a week late...

After having a lovely lunch with our friends Claire and Stephen I had a great evening sewing. 

The vintage clothes man - Charlie - at the Thursday markets sometimes gives me a bunch of cashmere jumpers with the odd hole or two in them. So the plan has been to re-design them into babys clothes. Like I did to the yellow cardigan in this post. This Sunday a red turtleneck jumper met with the scissors and was turned into two snugly trousers for Aline. 

One using the neck as a waistband:

And an other using the arms as legs:

She is rather swamped by the overalls, but I'm sure she'll grow into them soon enough.

Let autumn begin - Aline at least will be nice and snug.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

From before the summer

Here are a few photos of things a made just before Aline was born, but that I haven't got around to posting until now. 

 We were told by several midwifes that we could expect a small baby - but when she came Aline was not little at all so she only got to wear the light blue dress twice and the green one once before she had outgrown them...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A new shop in town!

Let me introduce you to Darn it & Stitch.

This is officially my new favorite place in town! It makes me happy and nice inside just to even think of this lovely haberdashery and the gorgeous Jo who stands behind the counter. I'm on a (not so) secret mission to become friends with her. 
So Jo - Thank you so much for opening up this adorable creative space in Oxford! It was sorely needed! I hope this adventure goes well for you! 

Here are some photos from her shop:

So to all of my friends in Oxford - go visit Jo at Darn it & Stitch (on Boar Street by the Town hall), buy something fun and let's make pretty things!