38 week Beauty Marks

imageLast week I found a stretch mark on the underside of my stomach and I cried for about 10 minutes. Then I cried again an hour later because I was mad at myself for crying over stretch marks. Then I texted my younger sister and then one of my best friends who although they both live miles away, they were able to cyber-snap me out of it. Because the truth is, all I’ve ever wanted was this baby. And everything that comes with it: excessive weight gain, stretch marks, swollen feet, all of it! But for some reason I felt so pressured to have things go perfect. People constantly tell me how horrible their pregnancies were and then ask me how I’m feeling and expect to hear the worse. Or they ask me how much weight I’ve gained or how sick do I feel. It’s like people expect you to be miserable or expect you to hate being pregnant. So when I suddenly saw that stretch mark I felt like I’d failed. Like “they” were all right. And I was wrong. That it’s not all baby showers, new monogrammed blankets, and pregnancy glow. They said I’d hate being pregnant and here I was crying over how pregnancy changed my body. I hadn’t been true to myself and I’d let vanity get me down. And that was what upset me the most.

But you know what? I think they were wrong. Yes I do have a stretch mark. But I like to think of it as my new beauty mark. And I don’t need to compare my pregnancy (or my body for that matter) to anyone else’s. Everyone’s story is different. And every story is as wonderful as you choose it to be. And as women we need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and stop being so negative to ourselves and to others about such a wonderful part of life that I’m so grateful I was given the chance to experience.

So I decided to share this photo on Instagram today, even though this is probably a little TMI (hello bra). And I’ve decided there will be no more crying, no more #FML or #FOMO, and I will smile at what this wonderful baby has given me. The most grateful, hard earned, desired beauty marks I’ve ever had.

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Barres and Baby Bumps

When we found out last June that I was pregnant, both Will and I were ever so cautious about every move that I made. We had already lost one baby at 9 weeks and had worked/wished so hard for this baby that we were both being very cautious about every move and decision that we made. Which in turn meant several weeks of no more kayaking, no bike riding, no jogging, no using the stairs at work, no walking the dog (seriously) and basically sitting still on the couch and watching the days roll by.  Will basically had me under lock and key for the first trimester. Hey I am not complaining. Will took care of me, made dinner every night, and I got to catch up on more Netflix and sleep then I ever thought imaginable. But it was a very nerve racking first trimester.  But we got through it, and by around 13 weeks, I had the okay from my fertility doctor (and more importantly my husband) to start moving and being active again. And so I did. And that’s where barre comes in.

The studio in West Ashley is my favorite. Great teachers, lots of space, and next door to a Starbucks. And that lighting though!

I started going to Barre Evolution at the start of my second trimester. I am now 37 weeks pregnant and have been averaging 3-4 times every week since 13 weeks, with the exception of when we went on vacation to California for two weeks. And boy did I feel a difference when I got back!. Each time I go to barre, the instructors take such good care of me. They don’t push me into doing anything I don’t feel comfortable doing, but they take the time to show me compensatory ways that I can still stay active in my hamstrings, glutes, and even in my abs. I met with a few midwifes and nurses at a holistic birth center class to go over natural childbirth preparation (no jaw dropping, I am doing it all natural and that is all there is to it) and they all emphasize the importance in pelvic floor strengthening and they even showed some of the exercises that we should begin in our third trimester. Well luckily for me, I have been doing these same exercises in barre class since day one! For once in my life I feel prepared and confident that I have been making the right choices for my body by going to barre throughout this pregnancy. And I can’t think of another workout for pregnant women that can prepare you this way!

Here are some photos of my growing bump all while doing barre along the way.

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At 18 weeks I thought my bump was “so big.” Geez…if I only knew.

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At 19 weeks we somehow convinced the boys to come to the barre. And the sight of my husband shaking his hips will forever be engrained in my memory.

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By 26 weeks I was now using the wedge for all ab workout but still feeling strong in my core and thighs.

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This was an early 8am class on Saturday, so I am looking pretty rough. But I love how cute the changing rooms at the studio are. So I opted for a quick photo.

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Still able to fit into my non-maternity Lululemon top that I wore at 18 weeks. Baby is sitting real low but hasn’t gotten in the way of my workouts so far.

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Photo Cred: Gillian Ellis

This past November the Charleston Blog Society was treated to an after hours private class at Barre Evolution. Here is a photo of some of the gals after class. That’s me on the far right holding a ball as a prop, per usual. Gotta always have a prop. So much fun hanging with these girls at one of my favorite spots!

xxoo Priscilla

Disclaimer: I was not paid or endorsed by Barre Evolution for this post. I just really wanted to spread the word on something that I think otherwise would find useful. 

DIY Growth Chart

IMG_0664I wanted to share this quick little tutorial for how to make a growth chart for your home. Being pregnant really gets you thinking of things you did when you were a kid. Will and I have really had a lot of spare time to sit around and talk about what kinds of parents we want to be. Sometimes we get real deep. But that is another story for another day. But one day I was remembering how growing up my mom used to have us all stand with our backs to the wall in the kitchen and she would write on the wall how tall we had become. But when my parents moved in 2008, they lost all those markings, as my childhood home was bulldozed to the ground and replaced with a Harris Teeter shopping center or some other commercial shopping center. Luckily Pinterest saved the day and I found tons of inspirations for making a growth chart that we can take with us when we move houses in a few years and hopefully will stay with us for years and years.

Here are some of the inspiration photos I found on Pinterest:

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I liked the look of the ruler but then decided to keep it simple. And I wanted to add numbers that are more three dimensional. Also I knew I wanted to make it in white with gray numbers, as gray and whites has lately become my favorite colors for home decorating. So here is our finished project:IMG_3458 IMG_3459 IMG_3462

What you need:

  1. One 1x8x8 wooden board
  2. Six house/mailbox numbers
  3. white paint (or any color you prefer)
  4. sander or sand paper
  5. Flush mount wall hanger. we used these
  6. wood filler (optional)

Steps:

  1. Have the fine folks at Lowes (or in my case, husband) cut the board down the length you want. We shortened ours to 6 feet long. So here is hoping he isn’t over seven feet tall!
  2. Sand the board and use wood filler to fill in any crackers or holes. If you want to leave your wood distressed looking then you can skip this step. IMG_3182
  3. Paint the board a color of your choice. We painted ours white with leftover paint from doing the ceiling in the nursery.  Let it dry over night.
  4. Follow the instructions on the number packaging to attach the numbers to the board. Some take screws, or like me I used hot glue so that the numbers would be as flush as possible to the board. REMEMBER to place the numbers AFTER you decide where and how you will attach it to the wall. We decided to hang ours a few inches above the baseboard. So the bottom of our number “1” is where one foot starts, the bottom of “2” is where 2 feet starts, ect.
  5. Hang the growth chart on the wall using the flush wall mount.
  6. Enjoy!IMG_3464I think the plan for now is to add Will and I’s measurements and then we will add the baby’s birth height  once we bring him home and then re-measure him every six months (his birthday and half birthday). We hung our growth chart right in the living room coincidentally next to his toy box because his nursery has run out of room and wall space! Yikes! More photos of the nursery to follow soon!

xxoo Priscilla

 

Maternity Tee + Nursery Sneak Peeks

IMG_3411 IMG_3412 IMG_3413 IMG_3417So lately Will and I have been in total nesting mode. And not just getting the nursery  ready but total mayhem nesting. Cleaning out closets, selling shit we don’t need any more, and like lunatics, deciding to  scrape off the popcorn ceilings throughout the entire house. And I have had a few nights were I didn’t know what room I was going to be sleeping in because the house seemed to be either an episode of Hoarders or an episode of Flip This House. So alas my poor sewing machine sat useless for a few weeks. And not to mention my lack of creativity. I didn’t have any good ideas going on. Or I would start a project and then decided I was getting in over my head and pack it all up.

But then along came Kate. I love when I get the opportunity to work with fabric designers or to be a pattern tester because I am a girl who needs a deadline. Kate from See Kate Sew recently created a new pattern called the Blair Maternity Top (release date coming soon) inspired by her own baby bump. And I was eager to give this a try. I sewed up a size Large and used a crepe knit that I bought in the LA fashion district on my last vacation (so I have no idea who makes it). It is a thicker knit but still has a slight stretch to it.  Paired with my black leggings (which is all I wear now, tomorrow, and probably forever) and a pair of tall boots. IMG_3395

This is a quick sneak peek of the nursery too, showing off our ships wood wallpaper (Lowes.com) and photo ledges (Ikea). Can’t wait to take more photos of the nursery once its all done!

xxooo Priscilla

Farewell to 2015

Farewell to 2015! This was the year we went swimming with manatees, hiking with elk, and watched baby owls take their first steps only days after being born. The year we spent 2 weeks attached at the hip in a Volkswagen Beetle driving up the Pacific Coast Hwy, being silly, mocking Californians, and creating a slew of new “Priscilla and Will inside jokes.” The year we saw Ghostbusters on the big screen in Marion Square and re-watched all six Star Wars films in order. The year we celebrated our anniversary in Chicago and ended the year with a trip to San Francisco.  And the year we were told we could stop being cautiously optimistic and start being excited about the baby bump that grows bigger and bigger each day and who already brings us such joy as he kicks in the belly when Will reads to him each evening. This year we turned our tears of frustration into tears of joy and hope. And learned that we really needed to stop worrying so much and start listening to what life was telling us. And as I type this, it is 6:30pm on New Years Eve.  Will and I are both couch side with our pajamas on watching the Clemson Tigers play football. And I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be. (well, that and I don’t fit into much but PJs these days anyways!) So from our growing family to yours, we wish you a new year that is filled with love and joy!

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swing tee turned maternity top

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I found a FREE pattern on Pinterest for a swing t-shirt (Check it out here!) but I have been putting off giving it a try, not knowing what my body is planning on doing. Last week I decided to give it a shot and I am glad I did. The pattern is so easy and I was able to use a scrap piece of Art Gallery woven fabric (The same fabric that the pattern designer used) and less than a yard of white ponte-de-roma knit, that I keep on stock at all times for last minute projects. (I also keep 4 yards of black stretch jersey on standby at all times. I am borderline hoarding knit fabric at this point in my life). As for the shape, the a-line pattern is perfect for the baby bump without having to add the elastic down the side that you see in most box store maternity tops. The neck band could use another good pressing and top stitch, but I was rushing to beat the sun for these pictures.  I did finally break down and buy a pair of maternity black skinny jeans from Nordstroms. It’s been my only maternity clothes purchase thus far but I am wondering why I haven’t been wearing these my entire life. They look exactly like regular jeans but have a stretchy yoga-pants-like piece that goes high up above my belly. It’s kind of like having Spanx attached to the top of your jeans and there is no fear of plumbers crack. Yes I do believe I will wear these forever. 29 weeks down, 11 more to go!

xxoo Priscilla

 

DIY Silhouette Pillows

imageIMG_5419I am a big fan of handmade presents. And with the holidays approaching, I thought I would share one of my favorite DIY gifts: Silhouette pillows. A year ago or so, I was over at a friend’s house and saw the most beautiful custom made silhouette prints of her children that she ordered on Etsy. I quickly decided I would combine this idea with my love for fabrics.  And the voila! The DIY Silhouette Pillow was born.

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The first time I made these, I used my parents as guinea pigs (not telling them what I was really doing) and it worked out so well that I gave the pillows to them as Christmas presents that year! I have since made the same for my inlaws for Christmas gifts and two sets of friends for wedding presents. Here is a quick run down on how you can make some for your own.

Supplies:

  • a pillow-  get one that has no embroidery, buttons, sequins, or other decoration. (If you live in Charleston, I have had great luck finding inexpensive pillows at Tuesday Morning.) My first set had a rough texture to them but the appliqué still adhered pretty well. I have also found solid white pillows that had a longer nap but, again the appliqué still adhered and last I checked still looked good!
  • black felt- You can pick this up at Michael’s or any craft store for super cheap.
  • No-sew Heat-n-Bond adhesive – I have used both the spray and the iron on adhesive and I HIGHLY recommend the iron on. Heat-n-Bond is my go to, the one in the red pack. And again you can find this at Michael’s, JoAnn, or any craft store.
  • an iron
  • small, sharp set of scissors
  • a printer

Now here is how you get it done:

  1. STEP ONE: Take profile photos of your victims. This step is the hardest because you want to make sure you have enough backlighting that you can make out all the details of the face. And this step can be sneaky if you are trying to surprise your gift receiver! As you can see below in my dad’s photo, the top of the head is blacked out. So that is a good example of how more lighting may of helped me catch a more detailed photo of his hair line.IMG_5346  IMG_5353
  2. STEP TWO: On your computer crop the photo so the face is the filling up the entire 8×10 page. This can be done on any photo editor or even in Word if that is all you have access to. If you wanted to make it bigger you could play around with your margins, but I have always done 8×10 simply because this is the largest size paper my printer can handle. Once printed, use your fine tooth scissors and cut out the photo very carefully, making sure to include small details such as lips, nose, glasses, and chin.  IMG_1014
  3. STEP THREE: The photos below show the paper once it has been cut out and then turned over to show the backside of the paper. I always do this to see how my photo turned out.  I also flipped my mom’s photo in Photoshop prior to printing so the silhouettes would be “facing each other” on the sofa!   IMG_5355IMG_5375
  4. STEP FOUR: Without using steam, iron on the Heat-n-Bond paper to the back side of the black felt. The felt does not really have a right or a wrong side so either side will do. DO NOT peel off the backing of the Heat-n-Bond, you will get to that later. But for now you will want to use keep the paper on the felt.
  5. STEP FIVE: So once the felt and Heat-n-Bond has cooled from being ironed, head to a table with good lighting and lay the felt face down. Next, take your cut out photo and place onto the  paper (the backside of the felt). If you need to use a few pieces of double sided tape to hold it into place, that is a good idea. Now using a pencil, trace around the photo directly onto the Heat-n-Bond paper. Note- your photo will be reversed when you go to iron it on. So if you really want the face going in a certain direction, make sure the photo is flipped the opposite way when you are tracing onto the back of the felt. Does that make sense? Still with me? ok, good!
  6. STEP SIX: Use your fine point scissors again to now cut out the newly traced image on the felt.
  7. STEP SEVEN: Now you can peel the backing paper off the back of the felt.
  8. STEP EIGHT: Place your new felt appliqué with the sticky side down directly onto the center of the pillow. If you can take the pillow out of the pillow case, do that. If there is no pillow case, you can iron directly onto the pillow. I do not use steam but I get my iron very hot and press over my appliqué several times.
  9. STEP NINE: put your pillow in the case and you are done!IMG_1013

Here is the photo and the finished pillow case for my mother in law:IMG_5366IMG_5376

I recently tried my hand at some lettering and an image from my friend’s wedding. This took a lot more detail but I love how it turned out in the end. IMG_0132

This is a great way to make a gift that is personalized and from the heart. And they are so easy to make once you get the hang of it. And no sewing required for those of you who fear the needle!

Feel free to comment with any questions or if you need further guidance in making your own! Good luck and happy holidays!

xxoo Priscilla

Tight Dresses + Big Bellies

So recently I got all dressed up for a dinner party in a flowy, boho, A- line shaped top. Lace on the neckline. Racer back cut. Super cute. Super comfortable. But when I walked out the door, Will said “hmm you don’t look pregnant in that shirt.” To which I replied “How is that possible, look at my big belly!” “Oh you still look like you have a big belly, you just, errr….don’t look pregnant.” Which was man code for “that shirt makes you look fat.” And as I looked in the mirror I knew he was right. There was no telling where my boobs ended and my pregnant belly began and I really couldn’t tell you if my shoes were tied because I couldn’t see past the shirt to my feet. Turns out flowy tops, while logistically sound good when you are pregnant, do not always look the best.  So the next weekend I went onto Pinterest for some inspiration. And turns out you can still look cute in non maternity clothes that are form fitting, as long as they have a little stretch to them. And to that I made a tight fitting knit dress for my big 25 week baby bump. IMG_3144 IMG_3156 IMG_3161 I didn’t use a pattern for this dress. Instead I used my favorite T shirt dress as a template to create my own pattern. I have used this before: see here. But this time I added about 6 inches to the length and I shortened the cap sleeves by about 1/2 an inch. This was because I was originally thinking I would make a long sleeve dress . Then I remembered oh yeah its still 85 degrees here in Charleston. Lets go with short sleeves. IMG_3162 Trying my hand at blind hems. Not as “blind” as the last time I attempted this method. Maybe it was the use of a thicker ponte knits but still a nice little touch to the hem line.  If you have never done blind hems, check out this Youtube video for a nice, easy tutorial. IMG_3164 The fabric is the latest knit in April Rhodes’s Bound collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. It  is so soft yet thick enough that I don’t feel too “exposed” or risqué. IMG_3170 Here is the baby bump in all its glory! I’m hoping my belly will distract you from my unkempt hair and my oh so pale legs. IMG_3176

I am hoping to roll out a few more sheath and body con type maternity dresses soon as now the baby shower invitations are getting sent out. Yipee! I could just celebrate this baby every day! So anyways, stay tuned for those.

xxoo Priscilla

all the baby things

Like all of Charleston, Will and I were rained in all weekend with little access off of the island that we live on. Many folks on James Island (and throughout the rest of the state) dealt with some devastating losses due to the flooding and my hearts go out to these families. Fortunately for us,  cabin fever really was the only issue we dealt with. But we made the best of the rainy weekend and  I took it upon myself to try out some different sewing techniques and finally tackle some random sewing projects I had long ago pinned on my Pinterest board.  IMG_2785Over a year ago, I found this free pattern for top knot baby caps. I saw it first as a guest post from Erin of Sewbon, who is my soul sister when it comes to sewing with knits.  (check her out at Sewbon.com). Her post linked to the original tutorial from Ashley of Make It and Love It.  Check out either of those links for other pics of adorable baby hats, fabric inspiration, and for the free pattern piece to make this top knot baby cap! IMG_2778I have been drooling over the strawberry fabric that Erin used for her baby cap. But instead of buying new fabric I decided to take this opportunity and clean out my knit scrap drawer. So since I used left over scraps for this project, I basically spent $0!  IMG_2784Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, just click here for the step by step tutorial on how to make these cute little baby hats. I was able to make four in under 2 hours. Not to shabby for a rainy afternoon!
IMG_2783I tried out different band sizes just for fun and to see what I liked best, so you will notice that no 2 bands are the same width. And of course the knots were the easiest, and my favorite part, of the project.IMG_2782I love that the seams are tucked away within the band so that there is no seam scratching on the inside of the baby’s head. Very clever! IMG_2780 Looking forward to popping one of these bad boys on my new niece, baby Zoe, as soon as I get the chance to meet her. And then of course I may keep a few for myself…. color to be determined :)

Its a great beginningers project so even if you are a newby to sewing but looking to make some handmade presents, give this a try!

Until next time! xxoo Priscilla

Selfish Sewing Week: Three Ways to Style a Laurelhurst Cardigan

IMG_2726I am happy to be kicking off this years selfish sewing blog hop, hosted by imagine gnatsIndiesew, and Kollabora! The timing of selfish sewing week was perfect since last weekend Will went on a “dudes hiking trip” up in North Carolina, leaving me to do all kinds of selfish things such as eat all the pizza, watch the entire first season of How To Get Away With Murder,  and do lots of late night sewing. I decided to first sew up the Laurelhurst cardigan and I am going to be sharing three different ways I have already worn this piece, from morning, noon, to night.

A little background about this pattern. For those of you who follow my blog, you may have noticed I love sewing with knits. And now that I am well into my second trimester of pregnancy, any thing with a stretch or relaxed feel is what I am currently digging. When I saw the Laurelhurst Wrap on Indiesew.com, I knew this was perfect chance to use some knits and this would be something I could wear for the entire fall season and not have to worry about my baby bump outgrowing its use.IMG_2728I decided to go with a beautiful olive green knit that I picked up at my local fabric shop. It is a thick ponte de roma, which still has a nice drape but is not as “slinky” as say a jersey knit or a knit blend, so you don’t have to worry about the fabric getting pulled or stuck in your machine, which some knits have had a reputation of doing. The Laurelhurst is a quick project, I was able to start and finish the entire garment in only one evening. In order to accommodate my long torso and cover up my bum, I added an extra six inches to the length, but otherwise I made no changes to the pattern or the instructions.

STYLE #1: On the way to work out: IMG_2772In the mornings I try to squeeze in a workout at my local barre studio. (for those of you who are looking for a good workout, pregnant or not, you should definitely check out Barre Evolution. Good times). The Laurelhurst is casual enough to wear with workout clothes and, with long sleeves, it is just heavy enough here in Charleston to wear like a light jacket or sweater.   I threw on the Laurelhurst wrap overtop a pair of workout leggings from Victoria Secret and a Lululemon work out top. Nice for a chilly morning and also as a good way to cover up my bum when I am walking across the parking lot. IMG_2773

2. STYLE #2: Wear with jeans for running errands around town: IMG_2753When I am not at work, I am usually running around Charleston from one place to the next with my never ending to-do list. On these days I am definitely a jeans and tee shirt kinda gal, even though I fear my jeans days are slowly coming to an end. On this day I paired my Laurelhurst Wrap with my favorite pair of wide leg Lucky jeans, Sperry boat shoes, and an oversized boyfriend tee from Target. IMG_2743 IMG_2751

3. STYLE #3: Dress it up for a night out on the town:IMG_2727 Ok don’t laugh that my “night out” photo is black leggings and some costume jewlery. I haven’t gone shopping for maternity dresses yet. So yes this was as dressed up as I was getting for a night out on Saturday with friends and a birthday party at a local brewery, in which I threw back not one, but 3 Sprites. Lock up your liquor cabinets, I am a wild one. I have been shopping at Nordstrom’s Rack lately and I found this flowly silk top which I paired with my favorite self made black leggings and my favorite Mossimo boots. I am obsessed with olive, brown, and black for the fall so be prepared friends to see me in this outfit on repeat. A lot. Maybe I will just change up the necklace. Who knows. Like I said, I am wild. IMG_2732 IMG_2733For those of you interested in making the Laurelhurst Wrap for yourself, check out Indiesew.com for the pattern. There are so many ways to wear this piece and it will definitely be a staple in your closet for this fall. Looking forward to making a few more myself!

For the rest of this weeks Selfish Sewing Blog Hop, follow along here:
9/28: Priscilla | Fashion andfishing.com (thats me!)
9/29: Lucinda | Sew-wrong.com
9/30: Heather | Feather’s Flights
10/1: Abbey | Sew Charleston
10/2: Teri | Fa Sew La
10/3: Jess | La Mercerie

 

 

indie sew selfish sewing

xxoo Priscilla!