Planning ahead? I can’t see my own feet…

I was filled with good intentions not so long ago of making a stylish and comfortable maternity wardrobe. Bolstered by some fabulous donated patterns and a haul from Walthamstow market I dreamed big, BIG I tell you. But then my abdomen swelled and my ankles swelled and my waist disappeared and heartburn and back ache began and I thought ‘sod it – I can’t be arsed’.

Massive respect to those bloggers who post glama mama pics throughout each trimester, but that’s not for me. If I can lace my own Converse up in the morning without emitting 100 decibel OOOFs I’m high-fiving everyone on the way to the train station.

But I’m not stressed or frustrated by my slight lack of sewjo. It’s just a gentle winding down in my opinion. It’s my body reminding me that bending over a cutting table or sitting at a sewing machine for a couple of hours in a hard-backed chair just isn’t the way forward. It gently leads me to the sofa where I settle with a cup of tea and a slice of something sticky and do a bit of crochet instead. Which is so much easier to do when your mind has zoned out. (I zone out regularly now into some kind of catatonic state, unable to recall what I was thinking about just a moment ago. I think it’s a coping mechanism for impending childbirth. At least I hope so.)

I would like to make a few more things though – the Renfrew with Zoe’s maternity adjustments is calling out to me as a third trimester must-have, as is an easy maxi skirt with elasticated waist for going over the bump – a la Megan Nielsen.

DIY Maternity maxi

DIY Maternity maxi

I think the winter coat project will see me through the next six to ten weeks at a leisurely pace. I plan to do a fairly robust muslin beforehand and I’ve ordered the teal wool and had it dry-cleaned in advance. I just have to … peel myself… off the sofa…

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a little pic of these booties I’ve crocheted to match the apple-button cardy I completed a couple of weeks ago, using the leftover yarn. I want a pair in my size!

Crocheted baby booties

I’m just loving this book, Cute and Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes. It has a selection of gorgeous projects like the booties above, plus blankets, cardigans, hats and toys rated at three different ability levels: beginners, improvers and enthusiasts. I’ve just started on another cardigan (this time at improver level) in a muted blue-grey cashmerino wool which features the most adorable shell patterning and it seems to be working out just fine – fingers crossed.

I can definitely recommend crochet if you want to try something new. Here are my top tips for getting started (and why you should):

  • The easiest way to learn is to watch someone else doing it and copy them, whether it’s a willing friend or a youtube tutorial.
  • Granny squares are probably the easiest and most rewarding project to begin with. You get to try out lots of stitches and styles, have loads of fun with colours and put them all together for a unique and cosy blanket.
  • The thicker the wool, the bigger the hook, the chunkier the project. Most yarn will have a recommended hook size printed on the side of the yarn wrapper but if in doubt ask a sales assistant.
  • Crochet is portable! You can take it anywhere – the tube, the plane (yes – hooks are allowed), the park…
  • It’s a conversation starter almost everywhere you go, people just can’t resist leaning over and asking you about it.

Finally, I mentioned in an earlier post about some news I received a while back which took some getting used to. Now that it’s all sorted I can reveal what it was; I was made redundant a few weeks ago! I know, it all seems rather bad timing given that I’m almost seven months preggers. But actually, I think I’m fairly happy and relaxed about it all (or maybe I’m just zoning out again?!) and I got a fairly good package that should keep me and the baby in fetching fabrics for a while yet.  My only concern will be coming out the other side of maternity but to be honest with you that’s so far away it’s not worth worrying about right now. I quite fancy a change of direction in any case, so the time off will come in useful for deciding where I want to go/what I want to do next. Hey everyone, let’s move to New York! Just kidding… what about Portland instead? 😉

P.S. Must just give a shout out to my fellow pregnant sisters in sewing – there’s something in the water! Huge congratulations to Pincushion Treats, Casey, Julia Bobbin and True Bias! Watch out for some serious maternity style.

35 thoughts on “Planning ahead? I can’t see my own feet…

  1. I’d love to learn to make Granny squares. I think it might be a little less stressful than knitting…maybe?

    “If I can lace my own Converse up in the morning without emitting 100 decibel OOOFs I’m high-fiving everyone on the way to the train station.” Funniest sthing I’ve read in a while!

  2. Yay! I applaud anyone who doesn’t try or pretend to be Super Mum – life is stressful enough without that silliness. (Dibs and the Machine springs to mind as a stalwart of honesty on the topic of motherhood.) You sit back and take it easy, girlfriend – you deserve it! Those boots are just too cute. I have a few friends pregnant right now and would love to make some projects for them – maybe I should order that book. Yeah, I’ll move to Portland with ya! Shall we set up a sewing commune? There’s definitely something in the water and I can’t wait to see all these new babies, should people choose to share. Wow, are you really already at seven months? I can’t quite believe that. I’m getting excited for you!

      • Really??? Is that all?? Gosh! Do you know what, I’m also in a jealous state…being pregnant and all that it allows you / lets you off can be so liberating whilst you know you are doing something über important. I’d forgotten. You enjoy this time Joanne, I remember I was knackered all the time and just wish I crocheted in those a pregnancy craft it’s portability is also a benefit when negotiating the ever growing bump. Cute booties!

  3. I was going to say how cute those booties are and how I couldn’t agree more with youtube learning, when I got to your news! Blessing not-so disguised, I say!! All the best new business ideas come out of late pregnancy and early motherhood in my experience… and not to have the stress of going back to work cramping your family style, you’ll have plenty of time to let the ideas come to you!

    Consider me on board for the Stateside move… although I may have to swing by the South. And stay there. xxx

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your redundancy, but glad you got a decent severance package. Those crochet booties are absolutely gorgeous! I haven’t done as much maternity sewing as I thought I might, either. Just a skirt and a dress. My mind is on other things to be honest and pregnancy is over so quickly it doesn’t seem worth the effort! x

  5. Glad to hear you’re taking it easy my friend. Sometimes I wish I crocheted, ah the things I’d make! Including those ADORABLE baby boots, oh they’re so gorgeous I could cry (and probably will in a minute). x

  6. Can’t believe you are so far along – it only seems five minutes since you broke the news! Sorry to hear about the redundancy, but you are right not to worry too much now. Who knows what life will be like once the baby comes. Take time to enjoy things before the baby arrives, cos life will be very different afterwards, whatever you decide to do!

  7. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. And thank you for coining sewjo – made me laugh very hard since I worried I had lost it these past few weeks (it’s returned, thank god). And getting laid off sucks but at least you get to enjoy a nice mat leave!

  8. I’m in…when are we moving to Portland?!?

    Really sorry to hear about the redundancy Joanne, but I’m so inspired by your can-do and relaxed attitude. I know it must have taken a while to get to, but everything will work out wonderfully when you have a positive attitude. I’m absolutely loving your crochet updates (those boots are too adorbs) and it’s great that you’re doing what you feel you can – why force sewing if it’s not making you happy right now? I wish I ‘got’ crochet :o( I had lessons and everything, but I just couldn’t get to grips with it. I made one granny square and in a week forgot how to do it :o( Maybe now I’ve had a long break from it I should give it another go!?!

  9. Hey lovely lady! I think you’re right, there is definitely something in the water. It seems like everyone in the bloggosphere is pregnant at the moment! It’s nice to see and hear about what others are going through and to know I’m not the only one who struggles to find the energy to even brush left over cake crumbs off my swelling boobs.

    I LOVE those little booties you’ve made! It’s inspired me to take up crocheting too. (If I find the energy of course). Might have to check out that book!

    Sorry to hear that you’ve been made redundant, but I think it sounds like it’s a blessing in disguise. Hope you’re taking care of yourself, and I look forward to reading more 🙂

  10. Ooh, my sewing mojo disappeared for a good eighteen months after delivery – but it came back all bouncy and full of joy, so don’t fret 😉

  11. oh, I’m so sorry, that you lost your job. I didn’t thought that is possible to fire someone during pregnancy and even in the time after birth. (Not possible here in Germany). But I love your attitude about it. Anyway being a parent to a newborn is a full time job on its own for the first months 🙂
    And thank you so much for beeing honest. I’m almost a bit scared of Blogs with super unnatural glamouros pregnant women in high heels. I had had the luck to have a wonderful pregnancy and I was very comfortable and considered myself more beautiful than ever, but this blogs raise such high expectations in women – its awful. The most important thing when you are pregnant is that you make yourself comfortable and wearing heels with a big belly and swollen feet can’t be very joyful.
    I wish you all the best for everything that will come soon

    • Heheeh thanks Yvonne. Between thee and me I cam’t wear heels anyway (my sisters tell me I walk like John Wayne in heels) so it doesn’t bother me too much now 🙂

  12. It is ILLEGAL in the UK to make you redundant during pregnancy – your employer cannot do that!
    I am feeling ouitraged… even if it suits you as an outcome, your employer should not be allowed to break the law!
    Sorry. I feel strongly about that.
    Moving on… hooray for simple maternity wear solutions and having a rest while you can!
    And if you move to Portland we can all come and visit you! 😀

    • Hey Roobeedoo don’t worry it’s actually not illegal. I’ve taken legal advice from my solicitors and I’m happy with the outcome – it’s fine! Bless you for getting outraged but really it’s all above board. I have had friends who have been made redundant during pregnancy and whilst we’d all like it not to be legal ideally, it is possible to make someone redundant.

  13. The booties are simply delightful- such perfect little buttons!

    I always say that things always work out for the best – and happen for a reason, not always apparent. I’ll bet you are seeing the truth in this already…

    And – you’re certainly not redundant to all your faithful readers!!

  14. So sorry about your job lovely, I got made redundant recently too so I know the feeling, I also wanted to say thanks for being truthful about not wanting to sew, I get guilt ridden so often about not blogging about stuff but the truth is sometimes life gets in the way.
    Take it easy lady 🙂 xx

  15. Oh I can totally relate, having recently lost my job of seven years as well… but like you I think change is a good thing and it often happens for a reason 🙂 I think Baby might be glad to have you at home a little longer anyway 😉

    I have often thought about taking up crochet at some point – I am REALLY impressed with what you’ve accomplished so far!! Those baby booties are amazing! So professional looking!

    If you’re gonna move, come to West Coast Canada – I need an IRL sewing buddy & you’re gonna need a babysitter! 😀

  16. Pingback: Meet Pete: Crap Ted | Stitch and Witter

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