One thing I find difficult about having a baby is dressing them. Literally, in the sense of getting those wriggly legs and arms in the correct holes but also how many layers and what to dress them in! My son was a summer baby and spent the first few months of his life in not much more than a vest or short sleeved/legged onesie. My daughter is a winter baby and it’s been a pain having to dress her…plus snowsuits – how annoying are they?!
Luckily, in terms of WHAT to dress them in, I was offered an opportunity to work with Catherine from Chaos and Cushions who makes the most gorgeous baby clothes, along with a lot of other products such as oven gloves! Before she was born, I said that Spud would live in onesies however I do feel that she looks like she’s in her pyjamas during the day (not that I should care about that considering my pyjamas are my favourite attire no matter the time of day). I wanted something to dress her in that would be comfortable for her, not get in the way when holding her (hate it when dresses end up around their midriff) but also look cute too. Cue Catherine, who needed a model for her new baby clothes that she cleverly makes. Spud and I were happy to help and I asked her a few questions to get to know her and her brand…
1) Tell me a little about yourself…
I’m Catherine, a 41 (just 😬) year old secondary school teacher. I’ve been teaching Design and Technology Textiles for 17 years. I’ve worked in 2 schools and have loved my time in teaching much as it’s changed over the years.
I have a 22 year old daughter and a 2 and a half year old Grandson. I feel like the youngest Grandma in the world ever, at first I was panicked but now he is my life and world. I thought I loved my own babies but those Grandbabies give you an even deeper obsession. They both live with me and we are bumbling along in the best way we know.
I’m a single Mum and have brought my daughter up with the support of my parents, and now I’m doing the same for her.
The name of my business is Chaos and Cushions. The chaos comes from our busy, crazy lives that are challenging and hard work….but we are doing the busy crazy challenges together.
2) Why did you begin Chaos and Cushions?
Obviously, being a Textiles teacher, sewing is something I’ve always loved. In fact I’ve always sewed from being little. I’ve watched my Mum sew and got the bug from her. I pursued it as a career and I’ve had 17 years of teaching it. During the first decade I lost interest in doing any sewing outside of work but in recent times my passion has been reignited. I have my love back. It’s now taking over my life. Things at work got tough and out came the sewing machine to calm me , to soothe the chaos of life. It worked and I began making a few things here and there for people. Then I progressed to craft fairs, made a Facebook page…..and although it’s still early days I am loving this.
3) What are your long term goals for Chaos and Cushions?
Ultimately I would love it to be my full time job. At the moment I have to teach still, it’s my natural skill. However as a Grandma I need to take time out now for me and my gorgeous boy. Teaching consumes you, I would like a balance, I think my own business that I can run to suit me and him would be perfect.
4) What do you like the most about your work?
I love sewing and creating. I love when someone is overjoyed with something I’ve made. I’m a doodler , always have been, used to get told off at school. My brain just works in a way where I can make stuff. I don’t know my times tables or anything like that, but I can look at something and work out how it’s made. I just enjoy creating.
5) What’s your favourite part of being a Mummy?
Where do I start. I’m baby obsessed. Their little hands on your neck. Their milky snuggly cuddles. Their faces when they sleep (which by the way never change – my 22 year old looks the same now as she did as a baby when she’s sleeping). The way you love them so much it hurts. Watching them grow and change. I could watch my Grandson do mundane things all day with such pride. Today he was drinking out of a cup and I just watched him , look how clever he is drinking out of a cup and how gorgeous he looks drinking out of a cup. I loved being a Mummy and I love being a Grandma it’s all just so overwhelming but joyful at the same time.
Catherine kindly sent Spud some of her products so we could test them out. The package was beautifully wrapped in brown paper with a cute little “Chaos and Cushions” sticker. There is something about brown paper parcels that I love – so traditional and classy!
Inside the paper was tissue wrapped gorgeousness: a snuggly blanket, made in a grey fabric with little sheep on, with matching bib and some cute pink pants, with mice on, and a matching dribble bib. It was all tided with string and a tag saying what the product was and who it was for which was a lovely personal touch.
Grey is my favourite colour so the blanket and bib combo was already a winner with me. I was immediately struck by the thickness of the cotton which made it feel luxurious and the underside is white minky which is cosy and so soft I can’t stop touching it! I immediately put in it the carrycot of our buggy which is a dark green colour so the grey compliments is perfectly. We went to the pub for lunch with my Mum and before I could say anything she commented on the blanket and how lovely it is.
Spud isn’t using bibs yet but will be soon enough. Reflecting on the bibs I used with my son, I didn’t like the plastic backed ones, preferring the softer type, which this is, so I know I will like it. The backing is a towelling material which is perfect for soaking up milk, juice or other baby mess.
The ‘Chaos and Cushions’ pants and dribble bib combination are ideal for babies, fitting my criteria of being comfortable, practical and cute. The pants are made from brushed french terry cotton which is soft, thick and full of quality however she also has cotton jersey and organic cotton jersey available so if you would like a certain type of material, all you have to do is ask! My son LIVED in dribble bibs for over a year and I love that they match the pants. I’m all about things co-ordinating and matching. I think S looked uber cute, even if I do say so myself.
We went out for the day for a play centre play date, shopping/lunch in town and picking big brother up from pre-school. Spud received lots of compliments about her outfit and the pants were comfortable for her but also made it easy for me to hold her and change her. Our little girl is a little rotund around the middle, like most little baby’s, so it was nice that the waist band was thick and didn’t dig in at all. Despite wearing them all day, they didn’t lose their shape at all so she showed them off the following day too…which is where they got their ultimate test – the poonami. It’s like my daughter wanted to push them to the extreme by making a huge mess of herself. It had seeped through every side of her nappy and soaked one leg of the pants completely, along with myself who ended up with it smeared down my jumper…nice. They went in the wash as soon as we got home with some Napisan and I’m pleased to say they look like brand new!
In all honesty, I would love loads of these in different colours/patterns and would dress Spud in them all the time if I could – convenient, cute and cosy! The blanket is our new favourite and having the minky side next to her face soothes her and helps her nap which is a huge bonus for me! The finish on all the products is perfect and I can’t wait to see what else Catherine creates!
You can find Catherine and her lovely bespoke products on Facebook and Instagram, or you can email her directly firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices range between £10 and £18 for the pants which, considering the bespoke nature of the product (you pick material, print etc) and the quality of it, I think is a bargain!
*This is a collaborative post however all opinions are my own.*