The One with the Fall Essential Sew-Along 2013 – Maternity Edition

sew along

I’m an Autumn colour type so naturally it’s my favourite season. So naturally when I came by the “Fall Essentials Sew-Along 2013” I had to join in. Mine will be the “Maternity edition” obviously 🙂

So what is this sew-along about?

(I’m copying this directly from Rhinestones & Telephones blog)

“Fall is often a very busy season for many of us, filled with activities that often have us running hither and yon. Making your items should be a form of relaxation; a time to slow down and enjoy the creative process. You can make as many items as you like. Some participants create from each category and others from only one or two.

Goal: Stock your wardrobe with quality pieces that you will wear again and again.

Benefit: A group of creative people who will encourage and inspire you, not to mention talk you off the ledge when you need it!”


There are seven categories and you can choose how mant items you make out of whichever number of categories you’d like. For the explanation on the categories I refer you to the original blogpost.

My list

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather

Burda 7165 + Self drafted jumpsuit
Burda 7165 + Self drafted jumpsuit

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates

Megan Nielsen Briar + Ruched Maternity Shirt
Megan Nielsen Briar + Ruched Maternity Shirt

Fabulous Frocks

Moxiepatterns Verity Dress + Ruched Maternity Mash-Up
Moxiepatterns Verity Dress + Ruched Maternity Mash-Up

Underneath It All

Self drafted Maternity undies
Self drafted Maternity undies

Those Cozy Nights

Megan Nielsen Maternity Lingerie Set
Megan Nielsen Maternity Lingerie Set

I will probably only make one of these seeing I like to be toasty warm when I sleep and because I need something ‘sexy’ for my wedding night 🙂 Regular sleepwear will be leggings and tshirt… Which then will double as house wear.

Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity Shirt + Virginia Leggings
Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity Shirt + Virginia Leggings

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Burda 7024
Burda 7024


So this is my list. I’m already working on some of them and I’ve got fabric for all of them 🙂

Are you entering ‘Fall Essentials Sew-Along 2013?’ You really should! Just check out the Flickr pool and try to resist. Resistance is futile.


The One with the Autumn Coat (2)

The ‘making of the coat’ is going slower than I thought. But that’s mainly due to life getting in the way. But it gave me time to treat my outer shell fabric to become waterproof and to reconsider the pattern I was about to use. I had bought the Amy Butler pattern when I just started sewing and I had cut out the pattern. Somehow it turned out a tad too small, well, wearable in a thin spring/summer fabric, but not in a winter appropriate fabric. I wanted to do some adjustments to make it a bit bigger and then adjust it to the growing bump, but in the end it would have meant so many alterations that it was crazy even thinking about it.

So with the help of some Sewcialists I found a new pattern. The lucky pattern is Burda 7024 and the only alteration it needs is that I need to add a hoodie. But I can use the Amy Butler pattern for that. I’ll keep you posted!


Right before school started I went out and bought some pants. Why? Because my belly doesn’t fit my previous pants anymore and somehow I didn’t feel up to sewing pants while being pregnant.

I came home with regular non-maternity pants because somehow I look aweful in maternity RTW pants and these were all quite low cut. They fitted like a dream and I felt that I could just keep on wearing them.

Well, guess I had it wrong! 2,5 weeks later and they don’t quite fit anymore. The bump has suddenly gotten a lot bigger and the pants aren’t comfy when buttoned up anymore.

So here is my dilemma: Do I turn these into maternity pants or do I make maternity pants?

1. I really like these pants and I would feel bad for cutting them up and not being able to wear them again next winter (unless I’m pregnant again)

2. I really like these pants and I would feel bad if I wasn’t able to wear them anymore this winter plus I would have to sew completely new pants, because maternity RTW still looks horrible on me.

What should I do?

PS Before you say: Just don’t wear pants: I know I could do that and I even prefer skirts and dresses but I bike to school so sometimes you just want pants.
PPS If my students could read this they would kick me because I teach them that the proper word is ‘trousers’ and I don’t even use it myself 😉

The One with the Fabric Fair!

Today I had an impromptu fabric fair visit. The day before yesterday I found out that this giant travelling fabric fair was coming to Antwerp and it seemed the perfect opportunity to get some fabric for winter maternity wear.

I asked Anneke to join me and she invited the rest of our Brussels meet up, but sadly only Hanne could make it. (She’s awesome though!)

We met at Starbucks and took the tram to the fair. We wanted to get there bright and early so we wouldn’t have the big rush of people, too bad it seemed like everyone had the exact same idea.

Plenty of people and plenty of fabric. So naturally I walked away with some of it 🙂

I tried to stick to my own colour palette (on top) and the one Gillian made for me (at the bottom), because I’m trying to be more coordinated.



So here’s what I bought!


On the left: a sweater knit in a lovely deep dark teal colour. The picture doesn’t do it any justice.
On the right: a warm thick jersey knit. I bought enough for leggings and a dress, but I’ll have to cut it single layer to get the stripes to match.


On the left: a thin jersey with what looks like a lace overlay but isn’t.
On the right: a rich stretch velour. It’s cotton on the inside so it’ll be a great winter dress



Seriously! It’s a knit! With foxes on it! How could I resist!

Do you think I behaved? Do you like the colours?

The One with the Maternity Mash-Up

This is kind of a special post. Why? Because it’s the first garment made in my new house, in my new sewingroom and the first pictures taken in my own backyard!

But on to more important stuff!


I wanted to recreate the dress on the right, but seriously… $159 for a jersey dress!!! No way I was going to pay that amount of money. But I think my $10 version on the left worked out perfectly!

So how did I do it?

I went through my pattern stash and pulled out these two lovely Megan Nielsen patterns. (I love her patterns!)


I decided to line up the two ruched parts and blend them together. Funny thing was that both patterns called for me to make a size M, but the shirt patternpiece ended up 5cm wider than the skirt. So I took a drastic decision and decided to cut the size closest to the skirt size, which was a size XS.

The dress came together fairly easy. I basted the gathers so the front and back side seam of the dress were the same length. I pinned it all together to keep the gathers from shifting. That’s were I made a mistake. Normally I wouldn’t use pins when sewing knits on an overlock and it was late at night so to my horror I got my blade stuck on a pin. It was horrible! Luckily, I stopped my serger right on time so my blade seems a bit chipped but still cuts smoothly.


To finish it off, I decided on a neckline band to keep it from gaping. It’s not gaping, but next time I’ll pull it even more flush. I even hemmed the bottom and the sleeves! I never do this on knits, but I wanted it to be finished nicely this time. So I used fusible webbing on the hems and then stitched it down with a twinneedle.

Overall I’m super happy with this dress and size wise it’s even a little loose. Fortunately it’s not too loose and I’m just going to keep it this way so that it still fits when I get bigger.


I’m already getting quite big even if I haven’t gained any actual weight. I’ve already picked out fabric for a next dress and I might even add a cowl.

What do you think? Did I nail it by recreating the expensive dress or not?

The One with the Autumn Coat (1)

It turned cold really fast, well not cold perse, but a lot cooler… And a lot wetter. It’s too hot for a real winter coat but my raincoat is getting too tight 🙂

So I went through my stash, matched my favorite coat pattern with lovely stash fabric and tomorrow I’ll be good to go. Should be finished by the end of the week 🙂 And since everything came out of my stash, I consider this a freebie!


Pattern: Amy Butler Rainy Days Hooded Raincoat
Fabric: Floral velours – Polytex / green fleece for bodice lining / green acetate for sleeve lining

The One with All the Outfit planning

I was reading Tilly’s latest post and it hit me! Having ideas about my wardrobe isn’t enough. I’ve started colour coordinating, but I fell short when it comes to outfit coordinating. I usually like quick instant gratification when it comes to sewing (remember the August challenge I set myself and clearly failed), but that results in single garments without an actual outfit to complete them and make them all special and truly wearable. This needs fixing.

So I started thinking about my own style. What type of clothing do I actually like and wear?
My favourite season would be somewhere between summer and winter. Let’s call it autumn, for argument’s sake. I like the fact that it calls for layers but without making you feel like a trifle.

If I look at what I like I would say ‘almost everything’. As long as it is feminine. Too bad I can’t go round looking like a Mad Men character 24/7. Outfits like Joan’s in Mad Men are (for me) ‘cake’ outfits. Those are outfits which will only get worn on special occassions because those are not the clothes I feel comfortable in while teaching. It has mostly to do with the fact that I don’t feel like a grown-up yet, so each time I wear high heels and fancy dresses, I kind of feel like I’m in disguise.


I totally admire (read: daydream) about people who aren’t afraid to pull off the Joan look. I would consider the best example the ever lovely Julia. I’m so not going to show her pictures to my boyfriend, because he’ll want me to look the same. Heck, even I want to look like her. But it wouldn’t be me. She graciously allowed me to show you her pictures to stake my argument 🙂


So now that you know which style I wish I was, let’s talk about the things I tend to reach for.

I like ‘short’ dresses but I hate that my legs are always pasty white so I only wear them at times that I can pair them with tights or leggings. That’s why you’ll see me wear skirts and dresses in winter, but pants in summer. I’m weird like that. (This summer was a bit of an exception as it was sweltering hot!) So I normally go for short dresses (short for me is above the knee) or longer tunics with tights or leggings. I like slouchy boots with a little heel because they are comfy but add some much needed height. To top it all off I just put on a cardi, preferably a long knitted one and a scarf.

Due to my changing condition – the little thing inside me grows a little bit each day – I’m not able to wear the dresses I was wearing last year.

So now that I had decided what my style is and what I want to wear, it was time to go through my wardrobe and see what was lurking there.
We are still in the middle of doing construction work in our house. Part of that is waiting for the new windows to arrive, so while we’re doing that I can’t set up my large wardrobe yet. Which means my entire stack of clothing is packed into boxes. Because I can’t really unpack all the boxes yet, I decided to just take out the clothes I can still fit into (being pregnant and all) This has been an overwhelming disappointment. If it starts freezing tomorrow, I’ll be good to go… But until then, I’ve got a serious problem… My first plan was to work with what I’ve got and add the necessary garments to make everything work, but after reading the blog post by Jenny about ‘Sewing a Wardrobe and defeating the monster in the closet‘ I realised that making it work with stuff I don’t like to wear isn’t going to give me a great wardrobe, it’s going to give me a shitty wardrobe filled with things I’ll never wear outside my pregnancy and it won’t make me feel good about my pregnancy.

So I’m very much looking forward to Jenny’s next post because believe me, reading the first post in the series was like someone writing down exactly what was in my mind. Kinda scary 🙂

Lots of people keep telling me that they went through their whole pregnancy with only a few items. That’s nice for them, but that’s not me. I love clothes, I can make my own clothes, why not feel pretty for the next 4,5 months! Besides, I’m working with a very though crowd each day… Teenagers… I seriously could not and would not get away with only three outfits for the rest of my pregnancy.
Luckily for me, I already loved wearing dresses which give my belly room to breathe, so if I do this the smart way, I’ll still be able to wear most of those clothes next winter or next pregnancy (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself)

So for the first time in my sewing ‘career’ I took the time for planning. Now that I have my iPad it’s a lot easier. I use the OneNote App (the only good thing Microsoft ever made) to plan my garments. I use it as a scrapbook for inspiration, possible patterns to match, alterations I need to make etc. It feels good to have it out of my head and into writing because now I can just take the right page and do as it says 🙂 This keeps my sewing time open for actual sewing stuff instead of wasting it on thinking stuff 🙂 I ordered swatches, am planning time to make muslins… Yes, yes, I’m turning over a new leaf!

And now that my sewing room is finally set up I’m good to go. (it’s temporarily in the future nursery, but still, it’s a room and there will be sewing…)

Sneak peek at what I'm planning
Sneak peek at what I’m planning

too damn high