Sunday, September 27, 2015

Markomiles - Babywearing jacket review and giveaway!

Markomiles is the passion of New Zealand mother and fashion designer Aleshia - and you should bookmark her website as the place to go for your bespoke custom jacket that will take you all the way through a pregnancy to baby wearing, toddler carrying and child  lugging - and right back to one body in your beautifully fitted jacket.  

Aleshia crafted me a gorgeous charcoal grey jacket in 100% wool, lined with cotton (body) and acetate (sleeves), and the option for wrapscrap-lined hoods (she makes both college and flat sleep hoods to fit your baby/child body panel. They even snap on at two different heights inside the panel to ensure a safe and tailored fit, regardless of your child's age and size. Clever toggles inside the coat (waist and hem) let you tailor for an exceptionally snug fit as your needs change. Are you ready for a crazy amount of photos?! 

Without any cinching :) Audrey is 15kgs/34lbs and nearly fills the wide extension panel.

Baby college hood attached.

You can see I have the hood snapped on on the highest/tallest setting. It can easily be clipped in a little lower to fit a shorter child. Panel is beautifully lined with wrap scrap collar to match hood. 

Chilly? Toggles set at two heights on the body panel allow you to customize the snuggest fit for your small person. 

My own hood zips in and is pretty sleek ;) 

So here you can see the pocket detail and note the waist toggle (you'll see e inside in the next photos) 

With jacket laid flat you can see the waist toggles inside and the back zip. Note that the back remains intact, with a solid shoulder. Really easy to get on when solo and simple to put back together. 
 Acetate-lined sleeves are SO good for allowing smooth ons and offs.

Hem toggles! 

The toggle across the body panel is brilliant. Stops draughts under baby's bottom and gets a great fit under smaller babies especially. 

Just because I appreciate detail... The lining and trim has been so impeccably done and really puts the finishing touch on a sleek design inside and out. 

See those little socks?! 

Audrey desperately wanted her arms out, but I wanted to try out the sleep hood. We compromised. Yes, the length of hood and corner loops to secure it are long enough that you can reach behind and up to secure it yourself! 

Coat in the wild. We zipped up, left our friend's house on foot, and five minutes later... Zzzzz

When we were fooling around making our little video ;) 

I can't recommend Markomiles highly enough. Material is top shelf and has a really... GENUINE feel - I am a fan of natural materials and to have a wool/cotton jacket that breathes well and transitions seamlessly between smart casual single-wearer and highly functional babywearing is fantastic. The fit is excellent and - as we all know ordering a custom/made to measure item can be a bit stressful - Alyshia's communication was absolutely faultless. She could not be any lovelier to work with. I'm delighted to recommend her brand and SO pleased I get to give one away! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mokosh-wraps - Eywa Nephredil review!

When Amata contacted me about testing a Mokosh wrap, I wandered over to her Facebook page to see what was what (go have a look: and my eyes just about leapt from my head. 

Luscious color. Completely saturated and rich, in citrus, sherbet, jewel tones that pop. And the blends sound pretty tasty too- Mokosh is incorporating cashmere, merino, linen, mulberry silk and cotton into a variety of jacquards at varying price points, so don't be scared ;)

After using one of their silk/cotton/linen blends in a size 4, I can assure you of the following: you don't need bulky/thick/heavy wraps to wrap a heavy child. 

Stunning Eywa Niphredil is tagged as 
35% mulberry silk/16% linen/49% cotton, and I make it to be about 230 gsm post wash and wear. 

Carrying 15kgs/34lbs of child, I expected dig, but what I actually got was a great second-skin ruck that was divine on warm spring days and had a lightly spongy texture that stretched veeeeeery nicely into taut chest passes and snug top rails. 

The pattern doesn't have a lot of loft, and second passes glide easily (hey, thanks silk!), but the linen holds firm and I never got sag, just a nice feeling of stretch and accommodation. 

Although there was a little stiffening after subsequent washes, this was easy enough to break in and friends with smaller babies (under 6mo) have liked its ease and supportiveness. 

My favorite carry with this was DH rebozo - so easy to finish with a slip knot and I got a secure and nicely spread carry every time. 

If you are a fan of color without wearing a whole rainbow, this is definitely one for you. (Audrey has asked me many times for the "Tur-kwoo-oise spirals"...)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Liliputi Mama Coat review

Liliputi is my friend! Check out their amazing mama-coat - and it looks just as good WITHOUT a child enclosed as with - fitted, fleecy, waterproof, and with handy-dandy zips for easy onning and offing - very, very smart! 
(If you would like to see it in action, click here and watch a little video)
Folk birds is a rich burgundy ox-blood kind of brown that just says autumn. The pockets and hood are  lovely contrast and can be fastened open or shut as you prefer.

Check the construction!

What's the deal with those crazy underarm zips? Well, I can tell you that they make getting a snug fit in a back carry MUCH easier - and if you're walking briskly and feel yourself getting a touch warm, you can add a little ventilation ;) The invisible zips extend from the elbow to the bottom of my ribcage, and made a BIG difference to snug tailoring. Nice feature - and if you don't like it, simply don't use it!

What's this? The inside view. Micro polar fleece inside water resistant, windproof and breathable soft shell makes this absolutely snug and perfect for freezing winter nights in the middle of a paddock while a fire blazes (us crazy Australians and our idea of "fun"...)
Here you can see the way the back comes apart - solid collar and top panel, and a fully baffled zip that means no cold spine with baby is snuggled on your front or just absent. 

Note the double-ended zip ;)

I don't do hoods. Except when it's raining, and then this type of hood that actually STAYS on one's head is very useful. I seem to be incapable of carrying an umbrella, so the adult and baby hoods that work with this are a great practical design.

I road-tested this with a 4kg newbornish demo doll and check out the cinching in the front panel! No-one is getting cold feet. If you are REALLY planning ahead or find yourself with a baby on the way, you can also purchase a maternity insert which cinches beautifully around your bump and has a much narrower top so you (a) don't look ridiculous and (b) stay warm. 

Check out the longevity - same panel, 16kg 3yo in a front carry. No cinching required now!

Same child, different day, BACK CARRY! Yup, child in a ruck, coat on, bolt across town to story time, warm, dry and only 2 minutes late. 

I had to include this last terrible photo because as I took it Audrey was declaring how much she liked being snuggled in where it was warm. 

What's the verdict? Completely classy, fantastic quality. Great investment that will last you across your whole baby wearing life and still look good sans panels when you're not carrying a small one. Very tailored and sleek cut; I would size up if you are a fan of buckle or soft structured carriers, especially if you like bulk in your padded straps. Does exactly what it says - great for blustery walks along the beach paths in the middle of winter, and very adjustable to accommodate small/young babies safely. I very much like the baby hood and neck warmer for older babies but I forgot about it BEFORE putting coat on, and travelling solo it's a bit impossible.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Nunamoochie handwoven - diamond weave Sea Glass

I've had the pleasure of meeting a few plain weave Nunamoochies now, so when they mentioned a diamond weave was in the works... Happy days! 

In cool tones of mint, coral and light pearl grey with a natty weft, sea glass is lovely and thin in hand while having the kind of sturdiness and tensile support I've come to expect from Nunamoochie. 

Diamond weave often feels a little more open and breathable to me, and I hunk this would make a lovely lightweight woven for summer months - it really didn't need any breaking in and was quite workable after a single wash, perfect for small babies and (with a bit of spreading the passes) quite fantastic for 15kg 3yos too ;) 

This has a light grippiness and the weave
fluffs enough to cush shoulders a little. I was careful to tighten strand by strand and spread tension evenly. Thin wraps often ask a bit more of our wrapping technique, but the snug and precise wrap jobs you can create are fantastically comfortable.
In conclusion: Nunamoochie are producing great quality handwovens at value-for money prices. The consistency of their weave is very good and I've only come across a couple of skips and flaws - normal handwoven beauty marks - in the bunch I've encountered. Sea glass is a gorgeous neutral that will serve warm climates perfectly.