don’t be a grumpy cloud

March 28th, 2014

So we sometimes have cases of “the grumpies” in our house. When ordinarily cute and sweet tiny people find themselves in a grumpy mood. When it first started, i didn’t really know how to combat it – i tried lots of things – but one day, because hey, i’m an intrinsically silly person, I told Bunny to stop being a grumpy cloud because she was my happy sunshine. And then i threw all the socks in her sock drawer at her. We called them grumpy raindrops. And we literally pelted each other with socks until she was giggling.

That was about two years ago, and that’s how grumpy cloud was born. Since then, whenever our kids are grumpy we ask them if they’re grumpy clouds, and the game begins again. It’s gotten to the point where if Chris or I seem a bit off the kids will ask “are you a grumpy cloud?! DON’T BE A GRUMPY CLOUD!”. so awesome.

After a while i thought it would be fun to have a little reminder of our game. I love all the cloud cushions i’ve seen popping up all over, so i thought it was a perfect marriage! I quickly whipped together this little cloud out of some leftover fleece i had lying around, embroidered “don’t be a grumpy cloud” on the front” and then stuffed it!

It was instantly a family hit. Like i think i need to make another because sharing is an issue hehehe. These days instead of pelting my grumpy kids with socks, i chase them round the house with this pillow, and have a grumpy cloud pillow fight until everyone is giggling and happy, and my happy sunshines are back. Best accidental parenting solution ever :)

(Meanwhile, i asked Bunny to look grumpy so i could take a photo of her – and i totally love the progression, from good acting to “Oh i give up i can’t do it!” hehee. The second photo of her is what we call her “happy mad face” which is literally her trying her hardest to act mad when she is actually happy. It’s so silly and i love it!)

Ruched maternity skirt with ruffle hem

March 25th, 2014

Ruched maternity skirt with ruffle hem

Well my dear friends, it’s another Ruched Maternity Skirt! hehehe are you tired of these yet? I hope i’m not boring you!

This is one of the new variations i created before release the PDF version of the pattern. I really like how the ruffle turned out! I feel like it’s quite a different look from the midi skirt.

I must admit that it was kind of hard for Chris to get a photo of me with a semi straight face… as just off camera the kids were on their jungle gym and Bunny was yelling at Buddy “can you say, MOMMY HAS A GINORMOUS BELLY?!” hahaha yeah… i kind do :)

the make room for baby sale!

March 22nd, 2014

Well my dears, as you know baby number three will be arriving soon, and i’ve officially entered that nesting panic stage where i want to set up her little space and know i’m prepared and it’s making my brain all kinds of crazy. The only problem is, i kind of use the babies future room as stock room… uh oh. So i’ve decided that since i’m taking everything slow right now, and plan to keep doing that after she arrives, it makes sense to have a little sale and clear out that room! So here it is, my make room for baby sale!

I’m clearing out some of my beloved stash fabrics, ready to wear design samples, and of course sewing kits! I even found i still have some stock left in my US warehouse, which i’d love to clear out so i don’t keep paying storage. And because it’s just darned fun having sales, i’m also going to have 20% off PDF patterns for the next few days (use code BABY).

Everything is pretty discounted, so there are a tonne of bargains to be had. Happy shopping and happy sewing!

(Here’s a little peek at a few of the items in store)

SHOP [  SEWING KITS]

SHOP [ FABRIC ]

SHOP [ READY TO WEAR CLOTHING ]

Megan Nielsen Crescent Blouse & I make fashion tote bags on sale!

SHOP [CRESCENT BLOUSE PATTERN (PRINTED) originally $20, now $12 on Amazon // I MAKE FASHION TOTE BAG originally $15, now $5 on Amazon]

studio peeks: sample making

March 20th, 2014

Megan Nielsen Studio peeks// sample making

It seems that in the midst of pregnancy, moving and general slowing down i haven’t shared any studio peeks for months!

So here’s what i’m working on right now: pattern samples for the next 2 patterns i’ll be releasing through Simplicity! I’m trying really hard to get these finished and sent off in the next few weeks – as i really don’t want to leave it too late and find that this is the pregnancy where i go into labour early. What am i saying, that’ll never happen hehehe.

So here we have the progress on some Ruched Maternity skirts in some lovely grey ponti knit. Oh ponti, i love you so. Definitely one of my favourite fabrics for sure. Once these are done and dusted and the pattern is reformatted, i’ll be moving on to the Ruched Maternity tshirt. So exciting!! I’ve loved seeing how well received the previous two patterns i’ve done for Simplicity have been, so i’m dying to get these out. I believe they’ll be available for purchase towards the end of the year.

So what are you working on at the moment?!

collection scrap quilt //1

March 18th, 2014

Collection scrap quilt //1

I like to call it nostalgic, but i might just be a hoarder. I’ve been keeping fabric scraps from the very first collection i released back in 2010… for no reason that i can explain. Finally i decided i had to do something with them or get rid of them, and for some reason i was emotionally attached to all those little pieces of fabric. So i decided to make a quilt!

It took absolute ages but i really love it. I cut all the pieces of leftover fabric into either triangles or strips for the binding, and the quilt backing is a vintage sheet. It’s so big thats its kind of hard to get a good photo of, but these are a few from our old house (below). It’s been really useful as an extra layer in winter, and as a nice thin blanket for summer – even better its become my kids comfort blanket of choice for when they’re sick, that kind of melts my heart. It even found it’s way into my maternity lookbook as a picnic blanket prop!

collection scrap quilt //1

I’m so glad to have found a way to use up all those special pieces of fabric and to have a special memento of that very first collection. I like how this idea turned out so much that i would really like to create a collection scrap quilt for all of my collections.

Any suggestions for good quilting patterns?

the gathered waist briar dress

March 16th, 2014

Megan Nielsen Briar pattern + gathered skirt

Back in December i showed you all a gathered dress i had made using the Briar crop top as a starting point – well this is the first version i made of that dress! It always feels kind of weird when i blog designs out of order, but oh well, such is life! Anyway, this dress was the original inspiration for the dress i’m wearing – it’s not exactly the same obviously, mine isn’t as billowy and the inspiration dress has drop shoulders, but i’m pretty happy because i feel the vibe is close enough.

I really love this dress, but unfortunately it’s just not quite right for maternity. As you can see it hits me a little bit weirdly. The waist seamlines are just a little too low. I think it’s most noticeable in the back as the gathers hit just above my backside, making it look well, kinda big hehehe. Not really my life goal i must admit! The length of the waistline also leads to a lot of fabric pulling in my lower back – which you can see in the photo below.

So when i went to create my next one (the first one i blogged) I raised the waistline by a few inches, and that solved a lot of the weird fit problems. I could have solved it by widening/spreading the entire bodice and making it as loose as the original inspiration, but i don’t know, i couldn’t bring myself to make something super baggy during pregnancy, i feel big enough already. I think once baby girl has been born i will probably make another version like this one, but with a looser top. I really can’t wait to wear this one when my body is a more normal shape as i think it’s going to look wayyyyy cuter. But even having said that, i have literally worn this dress to death this pregnancy. Even with the fit issues, i can’t stop wearing it :)

Ooooooh remember the tip i shared for getting great gathers in jersey fabric – the below two photos are a good example. The front of the skirt was gathered using that tip, but by the time i reached the back of the skirt i had run out of elastic thread, so i had to gather it the usual way. You can see that the gathers in the front view are much nicer and more uniform than the gathers in the back.

AND last thing – i’m now 33 weeks!! So just over 7 months, which means i have a maximum of just over 7 weeks before this baby arrives. Eeeek! so excited!! I’m like a nesting maniac at the moment, i should probably start sharing some of the things i’ve been making for baby girl! But until then, you can always catch up with what i’m doing on Instagram.

Megan Nielsen Briar pattern + gathered skirt[Make this look]

Dress: Megan Nielsen Briar crop top + gathered skirt // pattern + similar fabric
Shoes: Zomp
Necklace: Thrifted