Maternity Wrap dress

Maternity clothes and corporate wear seem to be at the opposite extremes of the clothing spectrum but sometimes you just have to look the part even though you feel like a whale. Especially when starting a new job at 34 weeks pregnant! (I tend to make my life more complicated than it needs to be!).

After complaining to a friend about the lack of maternity wear options, she mentioned that her mom had made her some great dresses and offered me the pattern. Burda 5860 is a great pattern that looks like a wrap dress but it has a sneaky ‘safety’ feature in that the inner front piece is sewn into the side seam to avoid those awkward flashes in the wind! Brilliant!

The pattern is a maternity pattern (although the models on the cover hardly look pregnant at all!) but I’m hoping that I can continue to wear it as I get back to a normal size.

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The fabric is a poly knit with very bold geometric patterns. In the pattern placing and cutting, I tried desperately to align the big triangles down the bodice and skirt back. This was only partly successful because with limited fabric I had to shift things a bit off centre. Luckily the design isn’t totally symmetrical so you can’t really tell.  The fabric is quite slippery so pinning and cutting was a bit tricky and because I could only steal a few minutes at a time (mom of twins!), it felt like it took forever to get it finally cut out.

The dress came together easily enough. I used my overlocker for most of the seams and sewing machine with a double needle for the hem etc.  I was a little rushed (surprise suprise) so wasn’t as careful as I should’ve been with marking out sleeve vent locations and the waist band eyelet. In retrospect I should have taken the time to do it right, but it worked out all right!

Pattern: Burda 5860

Fabric: Poly knit. I think I got it from the Remnant Warehouse in Sydney but it’s been in the stash for a looong time.

Alterations: None

Do it again: Wrap dresses are always a win but I definitely don’t need another maternity one!

Renfrew Maternity Hack in floral

Our exciting (read: overwhelming, a little scary and physically uncomfortable right now) news is that we are welcoming another member to our family…any day now!

Besides the mental preparation, financial and logistical considerations and general nesting, what it has also meant is that I’ve had zero clothes to wear especially since my first pregnancy was during a very hot Sydney summer and this one was mainly through winter.  I have borrowed most of my wardrobe and bought some key pieces but, of course, couldn’t really justify spending much money on clothes I’d only wear for a few months when I have piles of fabric that are aching to be made into something wearable.

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First up:  The Floral Renfew Maternity Hack.  I love this pattern from Sewaholic and have made a few versions that have been well loved.  I decided that this was as good a place to start as any.  I then did a bit of research on how to adjust a pattern for maternity.  There are differing schools of thought on this one and the clearest tutorials I could find were from Melly Sews.  She provides two options with the first probably better for a more flowing style and the second option I decided would suit the Renfrew better and work well with the waist band under my belly.

The fabric I chose is a nice light-weight cotton knit I had left over from my Beach Dress.  It’s a fun floral and although probably more suited to summer clothes, worked well for this in-between season top.  I chose the three-quarter sleeves from the Renfrew pattern which means the top can swing to the warmer or cooler side depending on what’s needed.  Versatility – woohoo!

I followed Melly’s steps and caught the main gist but my pieces didn’t quite line up like they were supposed to.

Any way, I made it work and then set about cutting it out and sewing it up.  Once again, with the help of my trusty old lady overlocker, this came together pretty easily.

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I reinforced the shoulder seams with swimsuit elastic.  I also added rouching in the side seams so that the extra length of the t-shirt is taken up on the sides but sufficient to get over the ever-growing belly.  I created the rouching by just stretching elastic through the lower portion of the side seam and letting the elastic create the rouche. This is probably the lazy way of doing it and really you should sew channels along the side seams and then thread a long tie of fabric through the channels so you can gather as little or as much as you want.  I also should have measured the stretch of the elastic a bit better because the sides aren’t 100% even.  Oops!

This has been a great go-to top during my pregnancy and even now at 38 weeks I can JUST fit into it!  But phew…I’m ready for baby to arrive now!

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Pattern: Sewaholic’s Renfrew adapted for maternity thanks to Melly Sews

Fabric: Lightweight floral cotton knit originally from a fabric store in Marrickville, Sydney

Alterations: Maternity adaptions to the pattern plus side rouching

Do it again: Always room for another Renfrew… Not another maternity one though!

Floral Turn About the Room Dress

In a final burst of maternity sewing energy (and a serious need for bigger clothes), I had a go at Miriam of Mad Mim’s Turn About the Room Dress. I really like how Miriam’s version turned out and thought it would be a great addition to my maternity wardrobe.

IMG_1974For my version I used a red and black floral knit from Remnant Warehouse. My first try had the empire band in floral too but it was a bit much so I tried it in black and I think it works much better.  The black band at the bottom was also not in the original plan but I ran out of fabric to make the dress a decent length.  So in the spirit of Amy from Sew Well’s Twisted dress, I added a band along the hem line for extra length but I think it also adds to the dress by framing the crazy floral outburst.

I made the sleeves shorter on account of the sweltering weather we were having in Sydney at the time. I also added extra volume over the bump area because my double bump just seemed way larger than life. Even though I cut the medium bodice it seemed a bit big (even for my expanded bust line) so I had to take it in on the sides.

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I was pretty happy with the final product although I still think the floral might be a bit much especially with all that extra real estate out the front!  Oh well.  It’s a fun summer maternity dress.

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The front hemline still rides up over to compensate for the bump.  I’m not sure if I should take this into account by scooping the front hemline or just saying “Hey it’s gotta go over a large bump – of course it will ride up!”.

I think that’s the last of the maternity sewing for me!!

Pattern: Miriam’s Turn About the Room Dress

Fabric: Floral knit and Black Ponti from Remnant Warehouse

Do it again: Not this time round!

A Confession and the start of something Big

I have a confession to make: The last few posts used pictures from a few months ago and I no longer look like such a lean, mean machine.  In fact I’ve become rather large.  And not only because I’ve been eating too much cake (although that has been happening too) but because I’m pregnant :-).  And not with just one little munchkin but two!  That’s right folks – we have twin buns in the oven!  In the long time that I had to think about “when I’m pregnant I’ll do  x, y, z…” I had imagined that I’d be sewing up a storm and designing the ultimate maternity wardrobe that would be comfy and super fashionable.  But truth be told, the energy to do just the absolute minimum is hard to come by some times so sewing has taken a bit of a back seat. I’ve done a bit of (very utilitarian) sewing for the babies but more on that later.

These are two items that I have managed to stitch up and the skirt at least has been indispensible. I think I have worn it at least once a week throughout my pregnancy (so far).

DSCN3012Black maternity skirt:

The skirt is a simple pencil skirt of my own design made from a lightweight black ponti from Remnant Warehouse. I used my pencil skirt block and then added a thick waist band that I folded over in the beginning and now need to maximise as my belly has become so huge.

I used the overlocker for most of the skirt and had to actually take it in at the hips because while my belly is huge my hips haven’t expanded as much. The hem is just done using a double needle.  I’m pretty happy with the results and had intentions of making multiple iterations in various colours but somehow the energy to do that evaporated.

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Maternity top:

For the top I used Simplicity 2029 pattern and added little flutter sleeves so that I could wear it to work.  I have made this pattern before out of a lovely bird fabric.  This time I used a silk remnant that I found on the Tessuti remnant table and have had in my stash for a while. This seemed like as good a project as any to use it on, particularly as I am overheating in just about anything so lightweight fabrics are the way forward!

DSCN3010I added a few centimetres to the front to hide some of the bump but realised that I hadn’t fully taken into account my already long body so really should’ve added a bunch more.  Any way, the top has worked well so far but I think soon the belly will outgrow it!

DSCN3008The imminent arrival of our double trouble also means that I will be even less active in the blogosphere.  I am apologising in advance and will try to provide updates every now and then as I will try my best to keep sewing through the chaos.

Skirt

Pattern: My own pencil skirt stretch pattern

Fabric: Black Ponti from Remnant Warehouse

Do it again: Wish I could say yes but right now I’m just focusing on growing babies – everything else is falling by the way side

Top

Pattern: Simplicity 2029

Fabric: Cream coloured silk from Tessuti

Alterations: Flutter sleeves added and longer in the front.  For next time I would add even more to the front.

Do it again: This is already number 2 of this pattern…but we’ll see

One of the next things I’d like to make (for me) are some nice lightweight cotton nighties that button down the front (nursing friendly). Does anyone have any great patterns for such a thing?