Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Necessity is the mother of invention

Better late than never... And I promise that's the end of the clich├ęs. 

Aside from learning at school and a rather rushed attempt at the cowardly lion at university I didn't start sewing until I had children. I found solving the conundrum of clothes I liked vs clothes I could I afford impossible and when combined with the extra challenge of cloth nappies producing particularly bulky bottoms, learning to make my own seemed like the obvious choice. Although my first attempts were a bit rough round the edges, I managed it and indeed the very first pair I made serviced all three of my sons between the ages of 10 and 18 months without falling apart so I'm pretty pleased with that result. Especially given none of them walked til 16 months so the knees had a lot of wear!

When the boys were 3 1/2 and 18 months we went to a ski resort for a few days and being me, I refused to buy them ski gear. Instead, I adapted my trouser pattern to create fleece lined, waterproof trousers with a drawstring waist and also drawstring ankles so they could be tightened around wellies to stop the snow going up. With a pair of long johns and track suit bottoms underneath they were spot on for the -12 degrees conditions of Cardrona. 

Here they are...

The smallest pair and the middle pair are the originals, and the littlest, having been worn by three of mine and a friends' little boy have now been passed to a cousin - they are still going strong! 

These days we use them when we're dog walking, winter beach trips, snowy play, wet playground excursions, muddy camping and most of all Forset School. 

My youngest goes to the completely wonderful Free Rangers nursery (www.freerangers.org.uk) where the free range ethos translates into whole days spent outside, learning through play and nature. And this is where this week's (or indeed, last week's) make comes in... I decided that now the weather has got a bit colder and wetter it made sense to have a pair of trousers for each day. Sticking to my pledge to use things from the stash, I used left over waterproof from previous trousers and some bamboo fleece from my only partially successful attempt to make cloth pull ups. 

The result, a rather smart looking navy and cream pair with natty red elastic.
All ready to get completely filthy at forest school tomorrow.