5 posts tagged mama
Thank you so much for all the love and encouragement you’ve shown us since we announced that our family is growing! We are truly touched by each and every comment we received through the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and we are so excited that we can share these special moments with you!
This blog has not only been a portofolio of my crochet projects, but also a journal documenting things that I love and what I’ve experienced. In addition to my crochet projects, I’ve also blogged about my love of food and travel, and also topics such as maternity and nursing fashion since becoming a mom. I created a special tab in the navigation bar called “OTHER" to help document these blog posts and to organize them a bit better so that they don’t simply get lost in the Archive! To access ALL my previous posts, click the "ARCHIVE" tab where they are organized chronologically by month and year.
The new “OTHER" tab has the following sections:
- Food: I’ve blogged about some of my favourite recipes I’ve found on-line (e.g. the Red Velvet Cake pictured above) as well as some of our own recipes! My Lychee Frozen Yogurt and Layered Fingered Jello seem to be pretty popular :)
- Travel: We love visiting new places, and it’s been fun sharing our favourite restaurants and sites from destinations all over the world (e.g. the Black Sand Beach in Maui above).
- Maternity/Nursing/Family: On my journey to becoming a mom, I’ve adapted my style to accommodate my growing pregnant belly and need to nurse a baby (e.g. nursing tank above)!
- Cosplay & Craft Tutorials: We love making our own costumes and blogging about other crafting projects we’ve worked on (e.g. our DIY Yarn Storage).
- Reviews: I’ve enjoyed blogging about shops and products that I love (e.g. Clover Amour Crochet Hooks) and hosting giveaways as well!
Check out this “OTHER" tab in my navigation bar to see some previous posts that you may have missed before!
One of the things I love about my passion for crochet is being able to make beautiful, unique items for my little girl that cannot be purchased in stores and are handcrafted with a lot of love! For Myla’s 1st birthday, she was gifted with a pair of Padraig boots (see here if you’ve never seen them before) from some dear friends: these boots were crocheted with New Zealand wool, lined with sheepskin and had leather soles! Myla wore them for the next couple of months and they were great as they were warm and provided great grip as she learned how to walk around. You can see Myla wearing them in this photo I posted to Instagram below (don’t you love our matching parkas?)! As soon as Ryan and I laid eyes on these Padraigs, we knew we wanted to try and crochet Myla a pair of boots with a leather or suede sole that would be functional for our walking toddler (see my previous baby boots here).
As I was looking up patterns on different sites, I came across “Two Girls Patterns" on Etsy and absolutely fell in love with their designs! Kris and Lorin have so many patterns for cute and modern slippers, boots and hats, and I thought their "Furrylicious/Little Diva Boots" in particular really stood out! These boots are crocheted using the loop stitch which gives a beautiful and unique texture to the boots. I was very excited to get my hands on the pattern, and if you visit their Etsy store, you will see it being sold for $5.50 USD (you get a discount if you buy multiple patterns at the same time, and the pattern is also available for babies, toddlers, and even adults!). I knew it would be a great pattern because their store has rave reviews with everyone saying that their patterns are easy to follow and detailed with clear pictures!
The toddler version includes sizes 4-9 (you get all the sizes when you purchase the pattern), and I opted for a size 4 for Myla. Their pattern very clearly states all the materials needed, instructions on how to work the loop stitch and some notes that are very important to read before starting the project. For example, this boot is made by holding two strands of yarn at the same time! I started by crocheting the sole using a tan colour.
Next, I started crocheting the upper shoe with a white yarn (I used “Patons Canadiana” in “Winter White”).
Then the fun part began: the loop stitches! It was my first time doing the loop stitch, and I LOVED doing it! See this great tutorial and video that Fresh Stitches put together HERE that details how to do the loop stitch.
The loops are formed by wrapping the yarn around your finger! It’s important to draw both strands of the looped yarn through the stitch as just drawing through one strand will not work. For some reason when I began crocheting the loop stitches, I was doing them incorrectly by swinging my hook in the wrong direction- the loops seemed okay at first but as I continued moving on, the loops kept pulling inwards toward the centre of the boot and thus getting smaller. Thankfully, I noticed my mistake, undid my work, examined the instructions carefully again and continued onwards. Once I started doing the loop stitch correctly, they looked great! I need to figure out how to incorporate loop stitches in future projects as the results look so textured and beautiful!
Next, the upper boot is worked up as you add more and more loop stitches! I really love the look of the overlapping and cascading loops!
The boots are designed so that buttons can be sewn on one edge while there are button holes on the opposing and overlapping edge. The buttons give such a cute look to the boots!
Finally, my loop boots were complete! I was so happy with how they turned out, and the pattern was very easy to follow and understand. I love how Kris and Lorin laid out the directions very clearly, and they always offer support for their patterns if you need it and are more than happy to help :) These boots are very well-designed and I really admire designers who can think out patterns such as these (I myself find designing boots and shoes daunting, especially since the shape and sizing is so important!). This pattern is well worth the money, particularly since it includes the pattern for so many sizes…I can keep crocheting boots for Myla until she reaches size 9!
Here are Myla’s boots from the bottom! We let Myla wear them on carpeted surfaces such as our church sanctuary, but she would be slipping and sliding all over the place if we let her wear them on a hardwood or tile floor. Thus, I looked up many tutorials, videos and posts about how to make crocheted slippers non-slip. Moogly has a great post on “7 Great Ways to Make Slippers Non-Slip”- some of these ways include adding fabric paint or silicone sealant. One method that I was particularly interested in was using a rubber spray called “Plasti Dip” which would apparently make the sole rubbery (see video HERE). [UPDATE: I tried using “Plasti Dip” on another pair of boots and it worked very well- see the full blog post HERE!]
However, we really wanted to try using leather/suede for the soles as we loved the luxurious and very functional look of Myla’s Padraigs. And so, we purchased some scrap suede and excitedly began Myla’s Loop Boots, version 2.0! I crocheted a sole using some scrap yarn following the pattern for a size 4.5 boot so that Myla would have a little more room to grow into them. We then traced the sole onto the suede and made tick marks at every stitch with a pen so that we knew where to add holes (e.g. if you have 42 stitches in the last round of the sole, you should have 42 tick marks around the suede!). We then cut out the suede sole and punctured the holes around with a utility knife.
Here is a more detailed picture showing how we measured the suede sole. We knew we had to account for the fact that the stitches crocheted into the suede would pull upwards so we cut the suede sole a little bit bigger than the actual size of the crocheted sole. The inner edge is the actual size of the crocheted sole, and we added 0.5 cm all around for our suede sole. The slits were made close to the inner edge. It was somewhat difficult wiggling my crochet hook into the slits when crocheting around but it was definitely possible and I was so excited to start the upper boot!
We ended up using the same white Patons yarn as we loved how it looked (Sidenote: After multiple wears, Myla’s boots have pilled and fuzzed up a bit. You could experiment with different yarns in case you don’t want them to fuzz up as much!). In the end, I was able to crochet two pairs of loop boots with two skeins of the white yarn! After completing the first round of the upper shoe, this is what we had! We loved how it was looking already :)
You could add some faux fur or fur to the bottom of the boot for some added warmth and comfort! We glued the fur to the suede and then I continued crocheting the upper shoe.
After following the exact same pattern from here on in, these were our finished boots! We decided to go for some pretty gold buttons for this pair! Aren’t they beautiful?
Here is a picture showing the difference between the crocheted yarn sole and the suede sole!
I was incredibly excited to have Myla try them on and walk around our hardwood floor! Much to my delight, she walked around with no problem at all….no slipping or sliding as the suede sole provided her with plenty of grip!
She was pretty happy to wear them too! I love her sweet smile :)
The shaggy, loopy look of the boots are absolutely adorable! She always gets compliments whenever she wears them, and I can’t help but smile when people ask where I bought them and I get to say that I made them :) I never would have imagined that I would be able to crochet my daughter such functional, luxurious, and stylish boots a few years ago, and it’s amazing having her wear something I crocheted for her with so much love!
We used to take monthly family photoshoots up until Myla turned 1, so it was interesting trying to plan this shoot since Myla can walk so well now! Gone are the non-mobile days when she would stay wherever we plopped her down! And so, we did some of our favourite activities, like playing with bubbles!
We also did some reading (love the beautiful “Little Miss Austen” books)!
And some fun puzzles :)
If you’re interested in the beautiful prints that we’re wearing, check out Vonbon, a children’s line based in Vancouver, Canada. They specialize in organic cotton items (e.g. cowls, leggings, blankets, hats, bib bandanas, and headbands) that are all designed and handmade in Canada with gorgeous, sophisticated colour palettes. I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Vonbon’s creator Jen (who started the company with her sister Kristin) and it’s been wonderful getting to know another handmade artisan who is so passionate about her craft and what she does!
[On Myla: Polkadoto shirt: H&M, Gray Antler Leggings & Blush Triangle Infinity Cowl: Vonbon. On me: Cape: Aritzia, Leggings: American Eagle Outfitters, Gray Antler Cowl: Vonbon]
We had to include this hilarious picture of Myla posing by the wall as I was blowing bubbles- she is a born model, haha :) Myla photobombed our last photoshoot for the “Cabled Wrist Warmers" but this time she had the whole stage to herself!
I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in making these boots and also learned about some options on how to make your own crocheted slippers or boots non-slip by adding a suede sole! I really enjoyed crocheting them and am so delighted with how they turned out! You can purchase the toddler pattern for these loop boots HERE.
Kris and Lorin of “Two Girls Patterns" have partnered with me to offer a GIVEAWAY [now CLOSED- congrats “Pinkrebunny”!]! One of my readers will win a FREE pattern from their lovely shop! There are two ways to enter: please visit their Etsy store HERE and browse through their patterns. Then, leave a comment below on my blog and/or on my Facebook page here (must be a follower of “All About Ami”) stating which pattern you would most like to win! I’d love to hear what you think about our boots too and if you’ve tried making your crocheted footwear non-slip! This contest is open worldwide and will close on Sunday, January 26th at 8 PM, MST. If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering. Also, in case anyone is interested, Kris and Lorin allow people to sell their finished products made from their patterns as long as credit for the original design is given to them in the listing! If you are interested in purchasing completed loop boots for your own child or as gifts, you can check Etsy as I’ve seen them being sold there! Thank you for reading, and happy browsing and crocheting!
A couple months ago I was very close to buying more bibs because Myla was drooling like crazy due to teething (our little sweetie now has four teeth)! Then it suddenly hit me: why don’t I try and crochet some? Hehe, this question now frequently comes up since you can crochet pretty much anything nowadays! I turned to trusty Ravelry to find a great free bib pattern, and I settled upon this “Cutie Bib" by "The Knitless Knitter Crochets" HERE.
It is a very simple pattern, and I love the shape and size of the bib as it provides a lot of coverage. I also like how it has button closure (beware velcro that can latch onto blankets and clothing when doing the laundry!). I used cotton yarn and found a set of beautiful wooden buttons from Michaels to add embellishment in the corners. Love how you can crochet things instead of buying them! They would make great baby shower gifts too :) Once again, find the free pattern HERE.
I’m so happy that I’ve been able to share other areas of my life on this blog besides crocheting, such as our travel adventures and my pregnancy and nursing style! To find out a little bit more about my style and life as a new mama, check out my feature as a “Style Mom" on Natalie Zee Drieu’s “Coquette Maman" HERE! Thanks for the lovely feature, Natalie :)
Once again, this blog post is somewhat of a departure from what I typically blog about (crochet, baking, travel), similar to when I blogged about “My Maternity Fashion" here. At first I was hesitant about whether I should blog about this, but I decided that other mamas and mamas-to-be might find it helpful, so I decided to go for it! I will highlight two Canadian companies that have made items that I’ve loved so far as a new mama :)
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed Myla from the very beginning because of all the health benefits for both Myla and I (not to mention it also burns 500 calories a day!). I must say that I’ve really been enjoying it for the past 4 months and I’ve found our nursing sessions to be precious bonding time. After getting the hang of it in the comfort of our home, I was nervous about taking our little newborn out and having to feed her in public settings.
I knew that wearing certain clothing items and outfits would make nursing in public very cumbersome, and I hadn’t even thought about how my wardrobe would now be somewhat restricted since I was breastfeeding (I thought I was already past the “wardrobe limitation” phase of being pregnant!). Button-down shirts, v-necks, and tank tops + cardigans were now the way to go as I would scan each item in my closet and assess how easy/difficult it would be to feed Myla in it. I decided to research what different nursing clothing options were available to facilitate breastfeeding in public.
I came across a Canadian company based out of Montreal called “Momzelle" that was founded by a mom named Christine Poirier. Christine made her own nursing top after having her baby daughter and started Momzelle after all her friends were asking about her tops. As I browsed the different Momzelle clothing items, the items that stood out to me were the tank tops. I knew having a nursing tank top would be a good investment since I could layer different pieces ontop of it (cardigans, shirts) in addition to wearing it on its own. I ended up ordering two black tank tops: the "Original Nursing Tank Top" and the "Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top”.
I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived shortly in the mail. They felt like they were very good quality! These two black tank tops are made out of 94% cotton and 6% spandex. One of my tank tops was made in Canada while the other was made in Peru. Momzelle states that all of their nursing clothing is ethically made.
Both tank tops have these openings for discrete breastfeeding. It makes breastfeeding a lot easier as you do not have to lift your entire tank top or shirt up to feed- your belly and back remain covered and the baby has easy access for feeding! If you would like to see photos of some Momzelle tops in action with nursing moms, click here. For you “Dragon’s Dens" fans out there, Christine was actually featured on the show and got funding for Momzelle- check out the clip here!
I was excited to try them on right away as it’s always a little scary ordering clothing online as you can never guarantee a perfect fit. I was so happy that I had chosen the right size as they fit me very well! Both tank tops were incredibly comfortable and had a sleek look. This is the “Original Nursing Tank Top”!
You need to wear a nursing bra with these tops and I love how the thick black straps of the tank tops cover the bra straps. There are nursing tank tops available on the market that have built-in bras, but in my experience, I found them to either be too low-cut, less supportive or less comfortable. The flaps are quite discrete, especially since these tank tops are black and when items are worn ontop of them. This is the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top”!
I am particularly happy with the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top" as it can be hard to find tank tops of this length, especially a nursing one! It’s nice having a tank top that doesn’t ride up with such great coverage (perfect for extra tall mamas too!). I’ve worn this top so much ever since receiving it in the mail, and it’s stretched a bit since it is 6% spandex. Overall though, it’s held up well. I thought I would show you how I styled some of my outfits featuring this long tank top…
Here I paired it with an oversized cardigan, a scarf, and jeggings!
For a bit of a dressier feel, I paired it with my peach blazer and jeggings. A simple black tank top is so versatile…
I absolutely love wearing leggings since they are so comfortable. I practically lived in leggings while I was pregnant and I wanted to continue wearing them post-partum, particularly since I still could not fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans! This long tank top works perfectly with leggings, and I am so happy that I don’t have to lift up my long tunics or tops in order to feed Myla. Here I layered a chambray shirt and long cardigan overtop my long nursing tank top with leggings and a colourful scarf. This has been a perfect winter outfit on those cold days. Keeping all the layers open facilitates easy access to the nursing tank top and easy breastfeeding!
Haha, we happened to go grocery shopping this same day we were taking these shots, so I thought I’d show another typical outfit I’ve worn out and about. Here is my Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top paired with my high low sweater, jeggings, circle scarf and over-the-knee boots. I really love the length of this tank!
Here is a picture of my sweet baby girl Myla and I at a baby shower! I am wearing the same long tank top paired with leggings and a crocheted sweater ontop. Both this sweater and the above sweater are light and can be easily lifted away for breastfeeding. I just love Myla’s big smiles and adorable laugh…melts my heart!
I wear my “Original Nursing Tank Top" with shorter cardigans, like these two below:
Did you notice the feathers scarf in the above outfit? It’s no ordinary scarf….it’s actually a nursing scarf!
CoverBoo Couture is a line of nursing scarves from Edmonton, founded by a mom named Maria who wanted to nurse discretely in public. These scarves are perfect for moms who want more coverage while nursing or for those who have distractible babies! Just how does this scarf turn into a cover? Let me show you!
You can wear the CoverBoo doubled up like I am here, knotted, or as a long circle scarf. It’s neat because these scarves serve as a fashion accessory in addition to a nursing cover, and it’s very convenient whenever you want to nurse since you are already wearing your cover! They can be easily stored in your purse too since they are so lighweight.
When you’re ready to nurse, you unwrap the scarf…
So that it’s a single layer like this!
Then you look for the neck hole…
And slip your head through it!
Pull your arm through…
And you’re ready to nurse your sweet baby! You get great coverage and baby is less distracted by what’s going on around them :)
These CoverBoos are all designed and manufactured in Canada, and they come in an array of patterns and fabrics. Their lightweight, airy feel are perfect for the upcoming spring and summer months, and Maria just released her Spring Collection last week! These nursing scarves look very different than the other nursing covers currently on the market, and they are such a clever and simple design. They don’t offer a rigid neckline as others do (see here), but you can always lift the opening at the neck hole to peek and make eye contact with your baby!
I love that both of these companies are Canadian and founded by real moms who were making products to help them on their breastfeeding journeys. I also love scoring good deals, and I managed to purchase all of these products when they were on sale! Momzelle had a great Black Friday sale (tops up to 40% off with an additional 10% off) and CoverBoo Couture had an amazing Christmas Eve sale (50% off all CoverBoos). Thus, if you are interested in any of their products, I highly recommend liking their facebook pages so you can get their notifications and keep up-to-date with their products! You can find the Momzelle Facebook page here and the Coverboo Couture Facebook page here.
I approached both companies and told them how I would be writing about my positive experiences using their products. I asked if they could provide any discounts for my readers in case they were interested in purchasing their products right away! Both companies replied incredibly promptly and were very generous.
Maria of CoverBoo Couture is offering a 15% off discount for readers of “All About Ami” with the coupon code “AMI15”, and it expires on February 28 (Canadian shipping is $5, international shipping is $10, and free local pick-up is available if you live in Edmonton). Check out the CoverBoo Couture website HERE and see if you want to order any for yourself or for your friends!
Momzelle is offering a $5 discount for readers of “All About Ami” with the coupon code “AMIGRMI5” (no expiry date) and a $30 gift card as a give-away! ***To enter, please leave a comment below stating which nursing top you would buy if you won the $30 gift card!*** Check out the Momzelle website HERE. This giveaway is open worldwide until Thursday, February 28. I will randomly choose a winner and announce who it is on my facebook page HERE. For your information, shipping is $5 per order in Canada and the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and is pricier to other countries (see shipping costs here). [NOTE: The giveaway is now CLOSED: Congrats to Sarah Clymer, the winner of the $30 gift card!!!]
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my nursing fashion and how these products have made it a lot easier to breastfeed my baby girl. I think the nursing tops and nursing cover are a good investment, especially if you consider how long moms breastfeed for and if there are plans on breastfeeding more children in the future. The tank tops and cover also work well together for those who want a lot of coverage while nursing in public as absolutely nothing is exposed. They would make great gifts for your friends or family who are expectant or new mamas who are going to nurse (particularly the CoverBoos since they’re one size fits all!). Thank you to Momzelle and CoverBoo Couture for your great products and for providing us with coupon codes too! I love how they both made the coupon codes based on “amigurumi" [the Japanese art of knitted/crocheted stuffed animals, which is what my blog is all about in case you’re new here!]. I had fun putting together these outfits and showing you my style and how I’ve adapted my wardrobe in my new role as a nursing mama!
Please feel free to forward this post to your pregnant or mama friends as well so they can enter the giveaway and access these awesome discount codes too :) Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you think about this post!
~ Stephanie ♥