peppermints & poppies

where life imitates art

New Year… December 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katherine @ 11:28 am

…new start.

Find me here from now on.

Yes, really this time x


Two Years and Twenty-Seven Days… November 21, 2013

Filed under: Baby,Sewing,Uncategorized — Katherine @ 11:22 am


…since that last post. Quite a lot has happened in that time. Quite a lot.

I am not the person I was two years and twenty-seven days ago. A lot of things are different now. Let’s recap.

October 2011. Mother to a 15-month-old and still working my way through a reasonable amount of post-natal bewilderment. Making a whole lot of baby shoes.

November 2013. Mother to a 3-year-old… and an 11-month-old. Permanently exhausted, but generally on top of things. Finding a groove. Feeling ok. I am back, and I am feeling ok.

IMGP5740 copy

I made a modest success of mamafactured. Sporadically sold shoes all over the world, sold at craft fairs, through small shops. I have stepped back a little just recently cause I have been overcome, once again, by the need to make. To create things for my little ones and for me. For a long time I have been sewing almost exclusively for other people’s kids, and it’s time for a change.

After all, a change can be as good as a rest. And there’s not a lot of time to rest these days.

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There’s a lot more, of course. A lot of things to catch up on. But just for now, this years poppy.


Technological devastation and other stories… September 11, 2011

Filed under: Sewing — Katherine @ 4:34 pm

A few weeks ago, just as I was on the brink of having LOADS of stuff to tell you, my ageing ibook kicked the bucket. Since then my online existence has been brought down to checking blogs and forums on my phone. Not the best. Although it does mean I’ve been doing a lot of sewing!

Then Mr p&p treated himself to a swanky new ‘puter, and every now and then I am allowed to use it! So here I am!

What have you missed? Well. It might be easier just to show you:

Skully shoes!

Skully shoes, available on my etsy.

Dotty Spotty Hippy One

Spotty nappy for Phoebe.

Felty shoes

Wool felt shoes, also on etsy.

Ladybird shoes!

Ladybird shoes for Cara.

Dinosaur shoes!
Robot shoes!

Dinosaur and robot shoes for Nathan.

Brown hippy tee!

Upcycled flower tee for Phoebe. Pattern from Growing Up Sew Liberated.

Blue flower tee
Lap tee detail

Upcycled blue tee for Phoebe. Same pattern as above.

Jeans cuff
Jeans pocket

Jeans for Phoebe. Pattern also from GUSL.

Bodysuit neck
Bodysuit snaps

Upcycled fruity bodysuit for Phoebe. Pattern altered from the envelope tee pattern above.

Phew! Hopefully I’ll be back soon to show you a couple of other things I’ve been up to!


Out of order… July 28, 2011

Filed under: Sewing — Katherine @ 10:33 pm

Missing again… sorry about that. Periods of teething, baby birthdaying, epic baby illness, some whole family illness and working on my shop have kept me busier than I normally like recently.

What’s that? My shop? Oh yes, did you like how I ever-so-subtly dropped that in there?

As of a few days ago, my etsy shop, mamafactured, has been open for business! It’s not much to look at right now, but I’m hoping to gradually stock it with lovely baby things and make a bit of spare cash so I can visit fabric and yarn shops again without my bank account bursting into tears.

Moving on…

Ruffle detail

Something that I’ve been wanting to get back into since Phoebe was born is sewing clothes. For both of us, but especially for her. Self-designed, self-drafted, teeny-tiny baby clothes. So today, when she took it upon herself to have a THREE HOUR NAP(!), I got down to exactly that.

Starting small, I drew up a pattern for little pyjama shorts.

Baby PJ shorts

The fit isn’t perfect, especially around the legs – they could do with a little extra room for chunky baby thighs, but not half bad for a quick-before-the-baby-wakes-up attempt.

Next, something that I’ve had in my head for a while, and doodled mindlessly a fair few times – ruffle bum baby leggings!

Ruffle Bum Leggings - front
Ruffle Bum Leggings - back

Now we’re talking! Next time I would add an extra ruffle between each existing one – five ruffle strips instead of 3. It looks nice laid out flat, but on an actual baby bum, the spaces between stretch out a little far for my liking. But other than that, not a bad fit at all!

RB Leggings - modelled!
RB Leggings - modelled!

I love leggings on babies this age – she always seems so restricted in jeans. She’s just learned to walk, and the constant plopping down and getting back up seems so much easier clad in something stretchy!

Anyway, there are SO many posts that I need to make – a month’s worth of blogging to catch up on, but that will have to be all for today. I’ll try not to leave it so long next time…


The elusive purple poppy and other stories… June 28, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Crochet,Photography,Sewing — Katherine @ 5:03 pm


It’s poppy season again. The time of year our garden actually looks halfway decent as we have quite a healthy poppy population growing back there. But this year brought something different. A single purple poppy sprouted among the red ones. I made a mental note to take a photo of it when the baby was in bed. 15 minutes before she went upstairs, a rainstorm washed all the petals off.

I waited two weeks for the other bud to unfold and the SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN! What are the chances?! Obviously the purple poppy and our garden were not meant to be.

This morning I noticed the universe had arrived at a compromise, and a half red, half purple poppy had snuck up in the night.

In other news, there are two babies due within a week of each other at work, so I’ve been working on baby ripples.

Baby Ripple 1

One of the girls has found out the flavour (pink!) and one doesn’t want to know. I’m doing the girly one first, cause it’s easy, and allows me time to ponder unisex-but-still-interesting colours.

This yarn is new in at my local yarn shop and I am in love. It’s Katia Merino 100%, and it’s amazing. Soft, squooshy and machine washable! What else do you need in a baby yarn?


The other thing I’ve been working on is baby shoes. I got a big bag of leather scraps from my local mill shop, and they’re just right for making those soft slipper-type shoes. Even Phoebe, who at one point was militantly anti-shoe, will keep them on and had now started waving them at me and pointing to her feet.


I’m making a few up to sell after the lady in the cake shop round the corner saw them and got very overexcited. They sell handmade things in the shop, and she thinks they’ll do well. Everyone loves baby shoes, after all.


The ones I’ve made so far are a 6-12 month size, and I’ve given them leather or suede soles so little movers and shakers have a bit of grip. I’m planning to do some 0-6 month sizes in softer fabrics for less mobile, more delicate tiny babies, and also 12 month + sizes in slipper-type materials. Cute.

Speaking of little movers and shakers, our little one will be one on Friday. I’m not sure I can believe it.


long silence, then something different… May 30, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Sewing — Katherine @ 7:49 pm

Well, it’s been a while. I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw that the last time I posted was the 19th March. Forgive me.

Lots has happened in that time. I went back to work. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. We had the hottest April since the beginning of time (or something), a royal wedding – you heard about that, I’m sure, a new baby in the family and one amongst my friends, two pregnancies announced, two new teeth and a word (for Phoebe, not me) and a whole lot of sewing (for me!).

Many of the things I make are born out of me being an utter cheapskate. I see something I like, get a major case of the wants, then, nine times out of ten, decide that I can probably make it myself for cheaper. This was definitely the case with my latest project.


We thought about using cloth nappies with Phoebe before she was born, but my pregnant lady research was rubbish, and only turned up commercially made, boring and pretty expensive choices. So the idea was put into hibernation. Until a few weeks ago when, having a conversation with some friends who use cloth, one simply said, ‘you’re quite crafty, why don’t you make your own?’. And so an obsession was born.

These are a few of my favourites:

DDU side snapping

Happy Snap - smallest


Oriental Bum

Since then I have turned most of my old clothes pile and a chunk of my stash into a nappy of some description. I have been experimenting with ideas and looks and I’ve been planning.

I’ve got a few more plans up my sleeve. Hopefully it won’t be too long this time before I can share them with you.


three decades and the return of the yarn fairy… March 19, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Sewing — Katherine @ 9:44 pm


At the beginning of the month I turned thirty, and thanks to the lovely Mr p&p this lily and her friends graced my dining table for the best part of two weeks.

The occasion also saw the return of the yarn fairy, only this time she sent ribbon. Lovely, spotty grosgrain ribbon in three delicious coordinating colours that was just utterly perfect for a project I’ve had in mind for a while.


Like a lot of babies, Her Drooliness has a big thing for laundry tags. She likes to stroke them with her tiny little fingers, rub them on her nose, suck them, chew them and generally ignore all other, more interesting parts of a stuffed toy in favour of them. So a taggie blanket was an obvious choice.


The aqua ribbon on the corners was a last minute addition, and came from my birthday cake. The brown fleece and Moda cotton were in my stash, and I sewed a square of plastic carrier bag in the middle so it’s lovely and crinkly. So far it’s a big hit!

Taggie Blanket - fleece side

(Modelled by the bark chips in the back garden!)

Taggie Blanket - print side

All in all, a very quick, cheap, satisfying project. It probably took all of about 20 minutes to make and consists entirely of gifted, free and stash materials. Just how I like it!

There’s also a tinge of sadness here because this will probably be one of my last projects as a free woman. My maternity leave is over, and from Monday I’ll be back at work. To say I’m dreading it is probably an understatement. I’ll only be working three days a week, so it could be worse, but three whole days a week away from my little person seems like so long. I’m feeling a little bit blue just thinking about it.

The kind of blue that is probably best remedied with a lovely, new, big project? Watch this space…