Monday, 31 January 2011

Vintage Nappy Bags

Nappy bags ... it's a minefield out there people. This piece of luggage may hang from your pram for many, many months and yet so many out there remind me of naff early 90s P.E. bags before the arrival of Cath Kidston and the Top Shop revamp.

I've been looking out for changing bags with the following criteria:
  1. Funky, ideally vintage inspired print
  2. Not too girly - Mr B might be a proud metrosexual but I think it's unfair to force him to carry around a floral print when I'm not there
  3. Not too bulky
  4. Ideally waterproof and wipe clean. Having just read Maggie O'Farrell's description of a poo disaster in The Hand That First Held Mine, I think wipe clean is a must!
  5. Not too expensive
Here's what I found.

Of course, there's always good old Cath K with her lovely prints, plus her products are very well made. A bit bulky for me though and it seems every other new mum in Bath has one of her bags so don't want to get confused and end up wheeling home the wrong baby. Her bags are all around £60 but perhaps a little too girly for funky fathers out there.
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Definitely worth checking out is the website Angels with Dirty Faces which makes lots of different baby and child accessories in an array of funky, vintage-inspired fabrics. 

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 Their changing bags are £60 and made from water resistant oil cloth.

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The company also makes Angels Changers which are fold up changing mats with handled and pockets - a much less bulky alternative to nappy bags and only £24. And they also sell terry towelling changing mats at £12 which you could easily pop into a normal bag instead of buying a specialised nappy bag. (If you like the fabrics used by Angels with Dirty Faces, many can be bought from Fabric Inspirations)
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Looking through Etsy, I spied this gorgeous changing mat and pouch from Little Pigeon Crafts in Portland, Oregon. This is $36 plus $9 postage to the UK which is a bargain compared with some of the UK ones. I love the Japanese Echino fabric (I have the blue version with helicopters on in my fabric pile - you can buy this fabric from Seam Star).

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For any new parents who grew up in the 1980s, here's a nappy bag which will appeal to you - and I think young dads would be particularly happy to carry this around. It's made by Heiress Apparent on Folksy and is £65. Just the names Fragglerock and Rainbow Brite take me straight back to being 5!

Image from Heiress Apparent on Folksy
All this talk of fabulous fabric might have stoked your appetite to make your own nappy bag - there's a lovely pattern by Amy Butler for a diaper bag, changing mat and storage case which looks simple enough and means you can go wild with your choice of fabrics. You can buy this pattern at Backstitch.

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So which nappy bag have Mr B and I ended up with? In the January sales I stumbled across this one, in Paperchase of all places! It was reduced to the minute sum of £17.50 and I adore the retro alphabet illustrations. It's not at all bulky, it's wipe clean, Mr B is happy to carry it around and it includes a changing mat too. What a bobby bargain.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Site for Sore Eyes: Jane Foster's Blog

I keep coming across fab websites and blogs featuring gorgeous things for little people which make me want to whip out the sewing machine or the debit card in an attempt to replicate. So I'm going to start featuring them, every so often, as Sites for Sore Eyes. Here's the first one.

Jane Foster is an illustrator based in Devon, who combines screen printing skills with a love of vintage fabrics, especially from the 60s and 70s, to create beautifully bright and bold toys, cushions, cards and prints. There's a real Scandinavian influence to her work and it's not surprising that companies such as Clothkits and Habitat use her designs.

All images taken from Jane Foster's Blog
I love the above green house print cushion - my sister and I had this same early 80s Habitat print in red in our bedrooms as children. My sister still has the pillow cases so I might have to steal those when she's not looking to run up some cushions for Baby Biddle.

I love Jane's use of vintage Dick Bruna fabric in her work. I love the simplicity and style of his drawings so I'll be keeping an eye out for second hand Miffy duvets in charity shops from now on.

This is such a lovely layout of fabrics for a quilt. Quilts are so often created in pastels and pale shades, or twee, old-fashioned prints, so this has inspired me to have a go at a much more bold design for my future quilting.

The contrast of fabrics in these bunny rabbits is such fun. They make me smile. If they make you smile, Jane also has a website, an Etsy shop and sells through Not on the High Street too.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Vintage Dungarees

Is there anything cuter than a little boy in dungarees? There's something so innocent and old school about that look - far cuter than a pair of jeans. So I've been looking for vintage-style dungarees to dress the future Baby Biddle in.

First to come up trumps was the BabyGap sale where I picked up the following two pairs half price. I love how vintage these knitted cream ones are - so traditional yet with the added modern advantage of being machine washable and having leg openings. (If you hurry, I saw these BabyGap again today and they had now been reduced to £2.99 but there were only a couple of pairs left).

The navy cord dungarees are also adorable and I'm thinking of possibly changing the buttons for another colour - perhaps red or yellow - to make them a little less plain. Again they have poppers on the inside leg.

I've got my eye on the following pair from John Lewis with a Hot Air Balloon motif - I love Hot Air Balloons and now we live near Bristol, we'll be able to watch the Fiesta of balloons each year with the little nipper. These cost £18.
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I've also got my eye on these dungarees from Vintage Kit with their lovely duck print highlights.
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My other plan is to make some dungarees from my own stash of vintage and retro fabrics so I've been doing some research into patterns online. And I have to say my findings aren't great - there are so many more patterns out there for little girls clothing than little boys. But I managed to find the following unisex dungaree patterns from New Look and Burda, all of which are rated as easy, so I'll let you see the results of my sewing in due course.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

To get us started

When we initially discovered that we were expecting, our first gift for the baby came from my wonderful friend who will now be known as Aunty Lawton. Starting us off as we mean to go on, she gave us these gorgeous, hand knitted, vintage inspired baby booties bought from Caravan in Shoreditch. 


Taking a look at their website, Caravan stocks a great selection of gifts for people of all ages but I was particularly taken with their Little Metal Tea Set and Melamine Dinner Set both of which would make great presents for a vintage play box or meal time.

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