Somehow J is half way through his first year at school. Time flies by so quickly and before I know it he’ll be asking to borrow my car. School holidays are a tricky one for me, I’d love to go out everyday and do all the local farms and attractions but this is hard to do on a budget and it can be tricky to make sure both kids are happy and enjoying themselves as they inevitably run off in opposite directions. With this in mind I decided that for half term we would take a trip to visit family in West Yorkshire. Having never travelled with both of them before this was a bit of an adventure. I booked 3 nights in a hotel for the 3 of us, packed a crate of food for breakfasts, snacks and drinks while out and filled a case with more clothes than we would have needed for a fortnight (but then you can never be over prepared with kids!!).
In the weeks before leaving I made a list of selfish sewing that I wanted to get done. I had a couple of patterns that had been sat on my table for a while and also a new one I wanted to buy. First up was the Rivage Raglan t-shirt from Blank Slate
Patterns. A quick and simple make, and my first attempt at a twin needle hem. The jersey from Sew Over It London sewed up like a dream and this shirt is wonderfully comfy, just perfect with jeans and boots.
Next was a little bag for me to carry my essentials. Generally I am not one for ity bity bags. I am usually the one with a shoulder bag the size of a shopping tote. At any one time I usually have nappies and wipes, change of vests/pants, first aid kit, snacks and drinks, and all of that comes before the essential purse, phone and lip balm (which I never go out without!). After finding a little backpack to carry the kids things I wanted something for me. A bit of searching and I happened on the Clematis Wristlet from Blue Calla Patterns and best of all it was a free download. I tinkered with the inside pockets a little but followed the rest of the instructions to the letter. I found some fabric in my stash for the upper but was unsure of what to use for the lower part of the outer fabric of the bag. Many of the ones I saw had used cork or vinyl but I didn’t have any on hand. What I did have was an old leather coat, something that had sat in the back of the wardrobe for years and even attempts to sell it had failed but as fabric it would instantly become useful again so hacking off an arm I cut out and got sewing. I’m really happy with how it came out. Just the right size, a handy strap, and a couple of inside pockets just right for cards etc!
The last thing I wanted to make for myself was a Toaster Sweater. These have been showing up all over Instagram and I instantly new I wanted to make one but needed to find the right fabric. After seeing this post using a ponte roma from Fabric Godmother I was off. I ordered the same fabric but in navy and got to work piecing the pdf pattern together. Its a great pattern and comes with a second style as well that I’m hoping to try out soon. I took this from the machine and wore it for three days straight (which is kind of a miracle when you have kids who always have sticky fingers!). I did end up taking a few inches off the arms and I think if I was making it again I might reduce the neck and cuff bands and thin out the arms a little but its a very easy sew, especially on the overlocker.
I had intended to make a few more bits for B to wear but time ran away from me and I didn’t quite get round to it. It was good to be able go to her wardrobe and pull out some handmade items for her, she does have more than I thought and with spring around the corner I’m sure I’ll be making some more to add to it very soon.
The other benefit of travelling it looking up fabric stores that you wouldn’t normally get to visit. I knew of a couple within range of where we were and managed to visit both. You can see my haul here! More details on that next time! If you don’t want to miss it please add your email on the right side of the page to be notified of all new posts!