Go pink or go home

Another baby project today, in the form of a dip-dye baby blanket. A little while ago my friend Mel gave me a white cotton blanket for our baby, which was lovely, but I planned to spruce it up a bit. Knowing the sex of our baby has definitely given me free reign to go a bit more girly than usual when making things – but then again, I’m a fan of pink anyway. So after a bit of Pinterest inspiration, I decided to try my hand at dip-dying the blanket a very bright and bold shade of PINK! I chose Dylon’s ‘Flamingo Pink’, because, go pink or go home, right?

There are loads of DIY ombré dip-dye tutorials out there, and they all tend to suggest slightly different hints and tips at getting the perfect ombré dip-dye. After doing lots of research and reading, I realised the best thing to do was probably just to go for it. I covered our kitchen table with copious amounts of newspaper, and, following the instructions on the dye packet, filled a bucket with water and mixed in some salt – a lot of salt, actually, as this helps the dye to take to the fabric.


First off, I rinsed the blanket in cold water so it was damp – one great tip I read was that any bits you don’t want dying should stay totally dry, as the dye will only spread up the wet parts. So as I wanted the top of my blanket to stay white I kept that part as dry as possible. Generally, with dip-dying, I found that you can either submerge the fabric in the water and then pull it out a bit at a time, or go the other way and feed the fabric into the dye. I decided to submerge the blanket and then gradually pull it out, onto a towel on the table. Each time I left the blanket for around 10-15 minutes, as I wanted as really good, dark pink at the bottom. Another good tip is to sway the fabric slightly in the water, to avoid getting a rigid line of colour between the sections.


Once the dying was complete, I emptied the bucket and gave the blanket a rinse in cold water in the sink, then washed it in the machine to set the dye. Then hung it out to dry. Done! Although I really enjoyed the whole dying process, I would have preferred to have a longer fade from white to pink, whereas I ended up with a huge dark pink section and not much pale pink/white at the top of the blanket. I did wash the blanket again to see if this would help it to fade, which it did – but only slightly (probably all that salt). Considering this was my first attempt at ombré dip-dying I am pretty pleased, though!

To complete the blanket, I continued with the all-out pink theme and, inspired by this great blanket, made some bright pink tassels and sewed them onto the corners. And there you have it – a full-on girly baby blanket! Just hoping they didn’t get it really wrong at the scan and a boy pops out…


Maternity style: 35 weeks

I’m a week behind with the maternity posts, as these photographs are from last week, when I was just over 35 weeks pregnant. Today I am 36 weeks pregnant – officially 8 months! Over the Valentines weekend we took a trip to Betws-y-coed, for a night away and to eat all the delicious food. On the way home we stopped off in the tiny village of Carrog to snap a few maternity photos. Sunday was bright and clear, if rather windy, and the view was stunning. We also happened across a chance passing of a steam train!

This is my current uniform of late: comfortable trousers or leggings, and a loose smock top or dress. This Topshop dress isn’t maternity, but it has served me very well over the last few months (although I think wearing it as a dress nowadays would create a bit of scandal). I’ve lately began to get bump-and-back pain when I stand up for too long. Still, I love knowing that my bump is growing steadily and these are all good natural pains, telling me that I’m getting bigger by the day. My stomach has been making some very odd shapes lately as our baby moves about, which isn’t painful but a bit uncomfortable and odd! I have enjoyed whipping my top up to show friends when it happens, haha.

I finish work for maternity leave this week, hooray! I’m looking forward to having a few weeks of knitting, relaxing, Netflixing and finishing off a few baby projects. That is, as long as the baby doesn’t have ideas about coming early!

My rad jewellery is by Loela, a wonderful jewellery and clothes-maker based just down the road from us, in Manchester. I have designs on her beautiful silk mustard shorts and coral trousers – perfect for the summer, post baby-bump! I love the colour combination of this necklace and bracelet, great for jazzing up an everyday outfit.


Wearing: vintage aran cardigan, eBay | dress (worn as top), Topshop | maternity jeans, Topshop | boots, Sainsburys | jewellery, Loela

Dog days

More baby stuff today (sorry – this has become a baby blog! for now at least), in the form of presents for friends’ babies. If you’re a sewing fan, you may be interested to know that you receive a free pattern when you sign up to the Purl Soho newsletter. When I did this last year, I chose the pattern for the Purl Soho pup, an adorable sausage dog made from cotton and wool felt. When cutting out the pattern pieces, I knew it was going to be fiddly, but the accompanying tutorial (with photos!) was really easy to follow and I actually enjoyed the whole sewing process a lot. Rather than, ahem, other times when sewing makes me stressed and sends me into a rage. I just took my time and followed the instructions, and before long, I had a pup!

I love this little sausage dog, the cute face and ears, and the squishy body is the perfect present for a little one. The first pup was made for Jim’s cousin, who had a little girl in the summer. Hence, pink and florals. The next one (sewed up a lot quicker) was for my friend’s little boy, born in October. I love the combination of beige and polka dots on this one – and, of course, the pom pom trim for a collar! I die.


I often think I’m not very good at sewing (I certainly have yet to master curtains or dressmaking) but achieving small projects like this – and for them to actually look good – is really satisfying. It’s definitely helped to build up my sewing confidence. They’re not perfect, but in my mind that’s what makes them special: the little bits of handsewing, the slightly wonky ears! Of course, choosing the fabric combinations is one of the best parts, but seeing the faces of loved ones receiving a gift you have handmade with love – well that’s got to be the best part of all.


Maternity style: 34 weeks

We’re nearing the home stretch now, so these days I’m all about comfort. It is in equal parts interesting and frustrating to find out how little of my wardrobe I can still fit in – and I am very grateful that I have a penchant for oversized smock dresses! I have also recently fallen for maternity leggings. Obvious, I know, but SO COMFORTABLE!

I wore this outfit this past weekend for lunch – I love a good striped dress, and this one is still comfortable enough to throw on with tights, and great for layering in the chilly winter weather. My awesome necklace is from Benu, and I love wearing it to add a fun pop of colour to my outfits. It’s also a good talking point!

Our little one is wriggling as much as ever, and she must be getting pretty cramped in there now as I’m feeling some of those kicks and rolls quite sharply nowadays! Our nursery is coming together, and we are ticking off the last few baby things from our list. I can’t quite believe how quickly the last couple of months have gone and the excitement/nerves are starting to kick in. How am I almost 8 months pregnant!? I’m still loving it, though, and am trying to savour the feeling of carrying our little one around with me as much as possible before we get to meet her. In around 6 weeks! Come on time, give me a break.


Wearing: jumper, Zara | shirt, Topshop via eBay | dress, H&M | vintage moccasins, Beacon’s Closet, Brooklyn NY