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Monday, 4 May 2015

A little rascal called Charlotte

My three older girls were very excited to hear that a royal princess had been born. "YES!!! It's a girl! It's a girl!" they leapt up and chanted in triumph, like it was somehow a personal achievement for them. I should point out, that this is how they celebrated in the scanning room at the hospital when the radiographer broke the news they were having another sister (and not a brother).

Well. Now the Duke and Duchess have announced what they will be calling their new little bundle of joy, may I congratulate them in having such fine taste?! Ha, ha. Whilst Charlotte was too young to understand this as a potential gloating opportunity, five year old Elizabeth was of course delighted, and wasted no time in rubbing it in with her two big sisters (who are now self-confessed republicans).

Here is my little rascal called Charlotte. A princess she is not!

I made her this dress a few days ago. It's already been worn and washed, and here it is, back in action today (wrinkled, and with evidence of all the things she'd been eating and the dirt of the play ground covering it).

It is a pattern from Funky Little Dresses designer, Kirsty Hartley - she's promoting her book that is coming out this week, and I think this is probably why the current issue of Love Sewing Magazine features this pattern of hers. Can I just say, I haven't been asked to write this - I don't have a copy of the book, but will definitely be buying one, as I absolutely love Kirsty's fun packed approach to children's clothes - check out her fox and badger designs. I defy anyone not to wish for those dungarees in their lives. It would make hanging out the washing a bit more joyful, no? Having done a small amount of digging about on the website, Kirsty deserves to be celebrated amongst us crafty types - she has created a business off the back of her fab designs, and now employs British makers to carry out the clothing orders she receives. Someone committed to selling stuff that has been lovingly made in Britain - let's celebrate the woman and (if like me, you can sew and so wouldn't buy her clothes) buy her book and make your own versions of her smile inducing designs.

The dress was super simple to sew - I did it in a couple of hours, including the applique. Because of Charlotte's size, I got it out of half a metre of linen type cotton from Fabric World by the bus station in Bedford. With the buttons and Bondaweb, and using scraps I already had for the rainbow, the whole thing cost me less than a fiver. Win!

I plan to make a black cat dress next, inspired by another Wild Things pattern that was featured in a Mollie Makes I have from aaaaages ago.

Having got sucked into National Trust membership over a year ago, not used it at all for the first year, and then stupidly allowed the automatic renewal via Direct Debit (through my own general lack of paying attention to my banking), I am now determined to use the flipping family membership.

So, with a Bank Holiday approaching, I hatched a plan with my friend Gis (who is also a member) to meet for a catch up at a place roughly half way between the two families. Being far more knowledgeable about the good places to go than me, Gis suggested Belton House. As a little public information aside, this place is blooming brilliant on a sunny day like today, as there are lovely gardens and fountains to admire, and a fabulous adventure playground to impress even the most complaining (`How much longer is this car journey going to be?') of six year olds. But, had it rained, we could have sheltered in a cafe, whilst the children played in an indoor playground complete with astro turf and other fun stuff. Oh, and tours of the house were on offer, too (but let's face it, our children were not remotely interested in doing that when they had spotted the ginormous curly slides and a zip wire).

So here is Charlotte. Disobeying instructions. She spent at least half an hour picking up handfuls of stones and lobbing them into the pond. She showed absolutely no signs of slowing down during this time (which, to be honest, was quite nice, as the older chidlren were busy hiding behind the bushes, and this all allowed the grown ups to have a decent chat in peace). Who knows what goes on in her little head, but she went about her important task with a busy pace as though the Queen herself had requested that she put all the stones into the pond. It took a repeated offer of the bribe of an ice cream to finally convince the girl to step away from the stones without causing a scene.


  1. Congrats on having two princess names in your family!!

    Love the rainbow dress - Charlotte looks like she is having a great time. I've got one at a similar stage: he loves chucking stones in places where they don't need to go. And he loves tramping on the freshly dug garden - now with seeds in!!

  2. Ha! Yes, isn't it funny to watch them getting on with mindless things they find so very amusing?! Charlotte is also a terrific menace in the garden, using a lollipop stick seedling label to poke at the new seedlings.

  3. Looks like a great day out. Fabulous little dress. I have a little girls dress on the blog today too. No beautiful applique though sadly.

  4. Such a cheery dress! And your little one looks rather happy in it... or maybe it was those pebbles. Look forward to seeing what else you make out of this gorgeous looking book