I have MOVED (sort of)

You might have noticed that I haven’t been updating much on activities with/for little humans. Nope I havent pop and we also haven’t been lazy.  In fact I am documenting them in a co-space with with another mama friend at 2mamas4kids.

  
Having reconnected with a ex schoolmate (it’s funny how macarons, crafts and motherhood connects us once again), we decided to come together to share about our adventures with our little humans on a common space. Sew What will continue to document my sewing and DIYs, while everything else on little humans goes to our new space. I am in the midst of migrating my posts so bear with us while we keep everything up and running on the other side.

We have lined up a mint series (updated every Monday for April) over at our newly minted blog. So join me and my mama friend on To Mamas; For Kids!

Blessings,
Tiffany

Takeaways from Parenting as a Mother of One

  
As we are preparing for the arrival of our number two, I took some time to think about our past 1.5-ish years with our first born. She is our happy pill, the goofy one who taught us that happiness comes from the little things in life. It is quite a joy to hang out with her. We are definitely very lucky that she is relatively an easy baby too.

There are so many things that we learned from her along the way by here are my three main takeaways on parenting.

One thing I learned is to observe. I think (or choose to think) I am not the very kiasu type who reads up in every single parenting book there is in the universe. Truth to be told, I only read “French Children Don’t Throw Food” (or “Bringing Up Bébé), which isn’t even a book on parenting in the first place. It’s about the American author’s parenting experiences in France, and she compares the French way with the Anglo-Saxon’s. This book has certainly opened my eyes to a different style/mentality of parenting that I am used to. I first learned about observing from this book. Don’t be too quick to attend to your baby at the moment he/she cries or fusses (not that you shouldn’t). Take a moment or two to observe and you’ll mostly figure out a pattern. As they grow older, I learned to observe the likes and dislikes, behaviors, character etc. I also enjoy observing our little friend at play and not be too quick to jump in to help or interrupt her ‘me time’ at play.

Another key takeaway from the book is the cadre which is essentially the framework that makes up the principles of parenting. The husband and I discussed about our cadre and figured other things out along the way. It is very important for both parents to be on the same page! There are a few things that we stand firm on: Christian values, happy responsible children, eat well/enjoy food, close relationship with them, independent etc. We want to minimise screen time, go out and play, and to introduce to her the things that the husband and I enjoy so that we can enjoy the activities together. We also agreed that values need to be taught. So within this cadre, it allows flexibility as and when the needs arise. It is important for us parents to know what we want and how to bring up our kid. Most importantly it is to strike a balance between bringing up the child that you have, and the child that you want. This is also where observation comes into the cadre.

Children can be taught at a young age. Children are never too young to learn. I don’t mean sending them to music and math classes at 1 year old and what not, but rather to learn about manners, responsibilities and other life skills/values. For example, I know I want her to eat at the table because I don’t want to be chasing the kid around the house during meal times. So as soon as she can sit up and support her back, we got her a high chair and have her join us at meals. We try to have her eat with us as much as possible. We also teach her to keep her toys. Though it may take us a longer time to tidy things up, we know our efforts did pay off when our little friend surprised us by keeping her toys in the bag and putting the bag back to where she took it from. Yay!

Manners and values can also be taught, albeit it may take a little longer as it also involves communication skills. Soon after she turned one, I found out about baby signing from a colleague and read up a little about it. I did not know when our little friend will speak her first words so I thought signing is pretty useful as a tool of communication for both of us. We started with scared, hungry, tired, delicious etc and moved on to thank you, please, I’m sorry. Now that she can speak a few words, we are also teaching her to say please or ask for help with simple words that she can manage instead of responding to her “baby talk” immediately. So far she can follow after us with some signing.

Now with another coming along, we got to make it a point to teach her to love her younger sibling and maybe to help around to. I’m also quite sure it will be an exciting journey with two little humans below 2yearolds! We shall see how things turn out 🙂

Besides lesson on parenting, our little friend has also inspired me to be better, more courageous to venture into the unknown. The husband and I have some exciting plans coming up, other than expecting number 2. Everything is still in the planning process and we hope to announce it soon!

Something Old Something New;

2015 is definitely a more productive year compared to 2014. I set a simple sewing goal at the beginning of the year: I want to get back to basics and sew 1 piece of garment per month in 2015. For the past 3 years I have been teaching the kiddos in my school to set SMART goals to help them achieve. So I decided to give it a try to help me make time to sew. Previous years I make whatever I fancy, most of which are dresses. The SMART goal helped me to be more focused and forces me to make time to sew in order to keep me sane amidst everything else. Here is what I have made this year:

January: Batik Pencil Skirt
February: Black Flare Skirt
March: Baroque-esque furry Blouse
April: Aprils in Paris Skirt
May: Perfect for Lacey Days Blouse
June: A Very Simple V-Neck Tank
July: Let’s Go To The Zoo Dress for our little friend
August: Rectangle Skirt
September: The Nursing Dress
October: White cotton blouse
November: Kaftan, Kimono Outwear, Maternity Leggings, Infinity Scarf and Black Smocked Dress
December: Scarf Sandals

For 2015, I’m pretty much on track, with a major bonus in November. I will be sharing my makes for the month of November as soon as I get the photos sorted. They are mostly speedy projects which I made in preparation for the holidays. I also attempted to make a shirt for the husband. Unfortunately it wasn’t a success. The sewing adventure has moved out of the workshop and this humble space. I participated in the Me-Made-May and started the Singapore Spoolettes with 2 fellow bloggers.

Another new addition to the blog would be the little snippets of motherhood such as introducing solids series and the sensory bins. Motherhood has been quite enjoyable despite the hair-tearing moments. It has been quite a year of adventure with our little friend as she grows and learns each day. On a more personal note, our little friend has definitely allowed me to discover and grow a lot more as a person, daughter (in law), wife, and mother.

I am also thankful for the opportunities to travel. We had our first family trip to Japan, and another to South West Australia in December. The husband and I also managed to take some time off at Maldives. I will be sharing the latter two in the subsequent posts. 

On the last day of 2015, we also found at rabbit at the park and brought it home as it was going to rain. I never expect myself to ‘rescue’ an animal or even have a rabbit at home (I have always wanted a pet rabbit!). We are still deciding whether to keep the rabbit or not.

  

Looking foward
Seeing how productive 2015 was, I would love to keep up with the creative processes taking place in my workshop. For the past year, my wardrobe additions were mainly for practical reasons. I needed basics and separates for breastfeeding purposes. For 2016, I would love to indulge myself for my love of dresses. I only sewn a dress last year *gasp!* and I have also retired some from pre-preggie days with much reluctance and a heavy heart. In preparation for a body changing year ahead, I want to sew shift/nursing dresses this year. Yes soley shift/nursing dresses. I might also revisit other shapes and cuttings that have been tried and tested.   Production will still be at the rate of 1 per month, for the first 5? months.

If you have got the subtle hints from the post, yes we are expecting number 2. Hurray! Not sure how things will turn out in the second half of the year, both personally and on the blog, but I’ll take one step at a time. I’m also in the midst of figuring out how to balance between sharing my enjoyments and takeaways of motherhood and keeping some privacy for the little ones. Nonetheless, I would love to share more about motherhood, especially as a mother of two.

With that, I’m looking forward to the coming year!

Bonne année my friends!

 

 

Last Saturday;

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I love flowers! It has been a passion since young. I would stand by the market florist while my mum does her marketing, help out with the flowers at wedding in church (and conveniently take a few bunches/left over home after), and recently designed and planned the flowers for my wedding!

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I also enjoy playing with flowers for the home.

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So to up my floral game a little and for some pleasurable me time, I signed up for a Flower Boxette workshop at One Olive.

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The whole idea of flower boxette is to present flowers like a gift in a box, rather than a bouquet, which I thought was rather novel. It also makes an elegant accent for home. Through the workshop I learned the wiring technique, boxette arrangement basics, textures, ribbon tying and handled flowers that I never saw and smelt before. We also had floral tea and some yummy cookies while interacting with other participants. The workshop was kept, in an intimate setting at One Olive itself. It was time well spent, and I made and kitten friend.

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MeMadeMay15: A Summary

Oh yea! I got through Me-Made-May 2015! It was sure a really fun month, planning outfits around me made items. Here’s a quick summary of what I wore:

Here’s also my thoughts and takeaways from MMM:

1. I wear/have a lot of stripes!

2. I also have a lot of clothes in shades of blue, especially navy.

3. It gives me a clearer idea of what my wardrobe has and what else is lacking. I am really lacking in basics, which is my sewing goal for this year. I have made a couple of skirts and a blouse, so I’m continuing to add on staple pieces for the rest of the year.

3. I realized I need a lot more tops and blouses, mainly to go with my pants and other bottoms that are not me-made. These pants are just more convenient on weekends when we bring our little friend out.

4. I miss wearing dresses! I didn’t quite bother with making nursing friendly dresses and didn’t bother to buy any as well. I hope I will have time to do something about it while I am still nursing.

5. I hope to be able to do a me-made-everyday one day! It doesn’t have to be an entirely me-made outfit.

Moving on 2015;

Reflecting on 2014, it isn’t exactly a productive year in the sewing workroom. I have sewn mostly baby stuff, a couple of dresses, and a craftwork or two. I was also featured on national tv and Walking in May on my love for cheongsam. 2014 is definitely a year to be thankful for! One of the things that I am thankful for is my baby, who brings much joy (and frustration). She has taught me the simply joy in life. Motherhood is not an easy journey, especially that I have returned to work. It’s definitely a challenge to find a balance between work and home. Not to worry, I am learning every single day and I am really glad to have lots of mummy-friends around me to share with, to support, to rant to. Not forgetting the husband whom I am really thankful for. He has been a really great help with the baby, with the housework and every other thing.

Moving on to 2015, I hope to be able to sew. It was almost impossible to sew towards the end of my holidays. My baby’s nap time has shortened and she’s somehow more needy than usual. Maybe she knows that mummy will be returning work. Heh. I would also spend some time to nurse her to sleep at night, as that’s the only way to get her to sleep for now. It would be good if I can even manage to find time to sew after work, after settling my baby and a few other household chores. I hope to be able to sew a few dresses for my baby and to go back to basics for my wardrobe and sewing. Basics in terms of shapes that work for me and basic colours and prints. I also hope to improve on the quality of my workmanship. Let’s see how and where 2015 brings me.

Happy New Year!

Walking with May;

A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely comment from May of Walking In May to share my journey in making the Cheongsam. It was quite a pleasant surprise and to know that there are people who read my humble blog.

May is an avid vintage and cheongsam lover who is based in London. She also blogs about her love for cheongsam in a series called ‘Qipao Love (All about the Qipao)’. Following this series, she intends to feature one cheongsam lover a month in her new series ‘Qipao LoveR’. I was indeed honoured to the kickstart the series. You can read her beautiful post here

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