Post-partum sewing plans

Like every pregnant woman ever I’m dreaming of being able to fit into my high waisted pants again and my sewing list is ever growing. I actually have two lists – one for right now which I can sew and wear whilst pregnant and another for afterwards.

1. Megan Nielsen light denim Dawn jeans

These were actually on my list when I found out I was pregnant. I’d just bought the pattern and denim from the Village Haberdashery so it’s all there ready to go!

2. True Bias Nikko top

I could probably get away with making these now but hopefully we’ll get some warm weather soon so I’ll wait until autumn

3. Zadie jumpsuit

The ubiquitous jumpsuit that seems like everyone on Instagram has made. I’m not fully convinced it’s my style but the more I see the more I want to try it!

4. Persephone pants

– another Instagram favourite and again probably not my style but I really want to try them. I’ve got this outfit of rust coloured pants and a black blouse in my head.

5. Sirocco jumpsuit

I would’ve bought, made and worn this over and over if I wasn’t pregnant!

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Loungewear

So if you’ve been reading my last few posts you’ll know I’m pregnant and due in October. When I thought about what I’d want to be wearing whilst pregnant/postpartum I immediately thought of sweatpants and a slouchy jumper.

I don’t have any memade loungewear – not even a pair of pyjamas! But I’ve got to the point in my handmade wardrobe even when pregnant that I don’t feel the need to constantly make new clothes. These are actually inspired by a pair Gary bought recently. Apologies for the rubbish photos but it’s really hard to take pictures of black pants!

The Named Alexandria pants are probably one of my most made garments – this is my 5th pair! I know they work well with pregnancy as I had a pair when pregnant with Emily. The only adjustment I made was to increase the rise as I tend to have to pull my other pairs up all the time.

I used the same jersey I used for my recent Linden LOVE sweater which is from Fabworks. I only bought 2m but I’ve still got enough leftover to make another Linden!

I used leftover eyelets from my Kelly Anorak as my machine couldn’t cope with buttonholes in the jersey and the cord I bought from eBay (home of every sewing/craft supply you could ever need!).

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve worn them everyday since I made them. Despite garment sewing for 5 years I’ve never made any kind of pyjamas or loungewear but my god it’s so satisfying to make and wear because of the amount they get worn!

Speaking of Lindens I bought some grey jersey from NewCraftHouse for the sweatpants but it’s really thick and has a loop back so I thought they’d maybe be too thick for the Alexandrias. I decided to make another Linden instead.

I left off the neckband and cuffs and left the fabric to fray. I’m debating cutting into the neckline a little more for it to be truly off the shoulder and cutting the arms down to be 3/4 length but otherwise I love it! Although not as much as those pants because they get some serious wear.

Making the best of a bad (sewing) situation

All of sudden 3 days before Christmas I needed a new outfit to wear. The fabric I’d bought in the Black Friday sale from blackbird fabrics arrived and I thought about making the corduroy Fiona dress I’d been obsessed with but as it’s fairly fitted I figured it wasn’t the best for the dinner situation. After checking my sewing to do list (in the notes on my phone) I decided on the myosotis dress, but to make it more winter friendly I decided it needed longer sleeves and added the roscoe sleeves from the True Bias blouse.

I did this by folding over the top of the roscoe sleeve and placing the myosotis sleeve head over the top. It worked perfectly!

I used fabric I bought from John Lewis at Sew up North, it’s a lovely flowy viscose and “very me”.

Unfortunately because I’d already make the myosotis dress I didn’t read the pattern pieces properly and only cut out one of the front skirts. I didn’t realise until I was nearly done with the bodice and about to attach the skirt. I checked and the skirt just about fit the bodice with no gathering so I figured I would just cut the skirt in half and attach it to the bodice. Which I did. And it wouldn’t go over my hips! Meanwhile it’s Christmas Eve and I reeeeally want to wear something new.

The old me would’ve thrown it in the corner of my sewing room, flounced off and been in a mood for the rest of the evening. After some thought and checking my pattern pieces (I had absolutely no fabric left over, it was literally scraps) I used the second part of the skirt – the bottom ruffle which is a bit wider than the main skirt, and gathered that to the bodice.

It worked really well, I now have a new top instead of a dress but the top will probably get worn a lot more and will work for school and the weekend. A happy accident!

Orchid Midi dress

The Orchid midi dress looks deceptively simple but when I started to cut into the pieces I found a whopping 19 different pieces!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining but I started this dress 2 days before my birthday hoping to have something new to wear. Spoiler alert: I got it done 👌🏻 We went to Betty’s in York for afternoon tea and had a little wander around.

There’s some really interesting construction methods with this dress and I actually had to read the instructions! Which was nice for me, I’d been sick all week and needed to flex my brain cells. The drafting and instructions are impeccable, which from sewing the Fringe dress, I’ve come to expect from Chalk and Notch. The instructions are incredibly detailed and she also does a shortened list without any pictures which is fab for an intermediate sewist.

The fabric came from America, when browsing the Instagram hashtag I saw more than one dress made in this particular fabric and I had to have it. I’m a total sucker for a dark blue floral, it’s very me! I found it on fabric.com in the end and was expecting it to take a month or more to deliver. I’m not exaggerating when 3 days later UPS dropped it at my door! It didn’t even turn out to be anymore expensive either considering I needed 3 yards for the dress.

I cut my usual size (4-6-8) except I accidentally graded to an 8 at the waist instead of the hips, no big deal considering I need the bump room but I’m a little concerned it may make the dress too big post partum. It’s an easy fix if so! This pattern is brilliant for maternity, there’s loads of ease built in (5 inches at the bust) and the length means it won’t get too short as the bump grows. I lengthened the slit because when I held the skirt up to me the top of the slit was around my crotch area 😳

I didn’t use any interfacing because 1) I’d run out and 2) I hate interfacing and 3) the fabric is pretty beefy without. I had no problems sewing this dress except for my own stupidity when reading instructions – I’m not used to doing that now so it took some time to engage brain again! Sewing has become so automatic for me now.

Maternity Yanta overalls

I’ve made dungarees before – the Pauline Alice Turias but the rise was too high, I split the back seam and the straps too short. To summarise they were just too uncomfortable. In my last pregnancy I made the Marilla Walker Roberts collection but they came out really oversized and once I went back to my pre pregnancy size they were far too big. I’d been looking at modifying maybe the Mila dungarees or the Turias again to make them maternity friendly. I do like a bump in dungarees!

In comes the Yanta overalls by Helen’s closet – they’re very similar to a pair I’ve seen advertised in some gorgeous drapey linen and I put them on my post partum list.

Then I lost my sewjo, despite buying new fabric I just did not want to sew and I realised it was because the patterns I had in mind (Myosotis and Fringe) I’d made recently and was totally uninspired. I decided to make the Yantas after seeing Rachel’s gorgeous version and thought perhaps they might be maternity friendly if I lengthened the straps.

I cut my pre pregnancy size (6/8/10) and tried them on. I couldn’t even get them over my hips! I had some doubt about how they’d look considering they’re oversized and was having project anxiety (anyone else convinced they’ll hate their garment in the middle of sewing it?!).

Also the eagle eyed of you may notice that I turned the front pocket upside down – I just wasn’t feeling the triangular top. Also I wish I’d added inseam pockets as those front pockets are pretty useless with a bump!

After some brainstorming I decided to add a piece of jersey at the side seams which would be easy to remove after the baby arrives which would accommodate my bump.

The instructions are impeccable, as is the drafting and they came together surprisingly quickly. My denim isn’t particularly thick but not very drapey so I reduced the side seams by another inch. the denim came from my stash as I didn’t want to buy yet more fabric for a project which might not work out. Luckily I love them!