SWAP Project 2: The ´7 muslins´cover-up

My quest continues. I´m still looking for the perfect tunic pattern to wear over all my black leggings.

I thought my search had ended when I saw Lekala 5772

I bought the pattern, taped it together and made a muslin. I initially wanted to swap the front ties for a front button placket so I could wear the entire thing closed over a pair of leggings. In the end it took 7 muslins to get to a point where I liked the thing on me and apart from the arm scye, there is really nothing left of the original pattern.

Screenshot 2016-04-30 at 20.51.02Screenshot 2016-04-30 at 20.51.28Screenshot 2016-04-30 at 20.51.55

In short:

  • Didn´t like the gathered neckline so I folded them up into a pleat
  • Didn´t like the pleat, turned it into a dart
  • Weird place for a dart, rotated the dart to the waist. Split it into 3 darts.
  • Didn´t like the 3 darts, swapped it for one pleat.
  • Decided the pleat looked off so swapped it out for a dart again, but making the dart wider, shorter and curvier. Added a button placket,
  • Didn´t like the round neckline with the button placket so changed it into a curvy V-shape.
  • Added an all in one cut on button band/facing, lowered the V and lengthened the centre front.

After that I was finally happy and decided to make a last ´wearable´ muslin in a stiffer cotton to see if everything added up and which way I wanted to finish everything.

Screenshot 2016-04-30 at 20.52.15

I took the time to drape and pin this bodice on me until I was happy with the fit, each time transfering changes to my pattern pieces, I had never done this before and it made me feel so peaceful to just be able to use my body and adapt whatever I was making without worrying about the sizing. I´m my own fit model and I let go of trying to fit into industry standards. Very freeing!

 

I used a light blue cotton shirting from my stash with a white floral print. The fabric was quite crisp so I decided not to interface the facing/placket. I finished the sleeves, bottom hem and back neckline with store bought bias tape in a slightly darker blue. And I added a pearl snap to keep it closed.

The stiffer fabric showed me that the angle on my button placket wasn´t right yet and that my facing was too wide and got caught up in the sleeves.

Screenshot 2016-04-30 at 20.52.30

Initially I had wanted to turn this into a tunic or a dress but I wasn´t sure about it yet, so decided to keep it as a top and thought it would make a lovely cover-up for something sleeveless.

It turns out to be a perfect cover-up for my favourite night gown. My night gown is a navy blue silk jersey with navy blue lace on top. It has narrow straps and a low neckline. I bought it right before I gave birth and I feel lovely wearing it. The straps pull down easily to nurse and it´s really comfortable. It is however, not modest at all and while I don´t mind my husband seeing the goods, sometimes it gets a bit cold running around half naked and my in-laws tend to show up for unannounced visits in the evenings.

(If you are wondering why I often take pictures at night, this is what happens when my toddler is up 🙂 Sunday mornings are the best, obviously!)

I used to just cover up in a sweater but now I can wear this blue top and feel great. It´s not too warm, covers just enough and unbuttons easily for nursing. It´ll be perfect for Spring and Summer!

Mission accomplished!

IMGP2441

My little princess!

 

 

Advertisements

Pink sparkly Pineapple Linden

Sometimes when you´re wandering through a fabric store,  fabric just jumps into your arms and it would be rude of you to ignore its pleas to go home with you.

That´s exactly what happened when I saw this heathered grey sweatshirting with pink sparkly pineapples printed on it. I took home 1.5m and just knew I wanted to make a Grainline Linden sweatshirt.

IMGP2398

Continue reading

Maternity make – Cute Cara

In November I asked two of my closest sewcialist friends (Hanne and Caroline) to take pictures of all my maternity makes at once. I didn´t get round to taking photographs by myself due to the horrible weather and the lack of indoor location. I also never got round to blogging about the makes BUT because I really enjoyed looking at other people´s maternity makes while I was pregnant I´ve decided to blog about all my (favourite) makes now. You´ll see more maternity makes popping up in the upcoming weeks while I edit pictures and write posts.

Continue reading

Paprika Patterns – Opal Cardigan: Review

It´s not a big secret that I like Lisa. I like her as a person, her lifestyle and I´m a big fan of her patterns. I´ve made the Jade skirt, the Jasper sweater and now her Opal Cardigan. I want to make her Zircon sweater/dress so badly, but since it doesn´t (really) agree with pregnancy or breastfeeding, I´m putting on hold for next year.

Back to the Opal Cardigan. When Lisa asked for testers, I was bummed because being pregnant I wasn´t the right woman for the job. So when she asked for reviewers* afterwards, I jumped at the chance because a buttonless cardigan is wearable whatever state you are in 🙂

Continue reading

Jungle January Faux Fur Vest

For the last few months, I´ve been guest blogging at Sew It Up, a Belgian sewing community, aimed at the Dutch speaking sewists among us. Each month they have a theme around which to sew and this month the theme was ´Baby, it´s cold outside´. That theme together with #JungleJanuary going around just screamed FAUX FUR to me 🙂

I had some faux fur in my stash which I´ve wanted to sew up for a while but never really had a good enough reason to. I was mostly hesitant because I didn´t want our shared office to look like a Yeti exploded. But I did some research and I´m happy to report that my new sewing room was Yeti free after it was done.

Continue reading

Mini Post Partum Capsule Wardrobe

With my pregnancy nearing the end (maybe by the time you read this, I will have had the baby), I decided to make a small post partum capsule wardrobe. Because I don´t fit into them yet, I´ve used my mannequin as a stand in.

The clothes I was going to make had to be:

  • warm
  • comfortable
  • adapted to weight fluctuations
  • nursing friendly

Solution: STRETCH!

Continue reading

I never knew I needed you but now I can’t live without you! Or yes, I made a Nettie!

It took my best friend and a lot of convincing to get me to pose for these pictures but in the end I’d do anything for the sewing community 🙂

I’d been eyeing the Nettie pattern ever since Heather Lou released it, but due to limited funding I held out. Until I swear, it just fell into my inbox! Oh.my.god you guys, sewcialists are so amazing. And especially Hanne who bought this pattern for me as a belated baby gift 🙂 She figured this pattern was just what a new mommy needed and boy, was she right!

I immediately got to it (3 Netties in 3 days) and this seriously sewed up superfast. Apart from the snap placket it was all serger all the way!

Nettie 1:
For my first version I used a floral double knit I had in my stash. I didn’t make any alterations and this is the result:

20140731-213409-77649824.jpg

As you can see I still needed a few modifications:
– The overall thing was a bit too long.
– I needed a swayback adjustment
– I needed a narrow shoulder adjustment

But it was definitely wearable! And it goes so well with all those bright coloured skirts I have in my closet but that just looked to dull with a white top.

20140731-213746-77866498.jpg

Nettie 2:

On my second version I made some alterations:
– I shortened the bodice by 3cm
– I did a 3cm swayback adjustment
– I pinched out the excess on the shoulder which resulted in 1,5cm at the top to nothing at the underarm.

20140731-214022-78022713.jpg

I do think this version fits a lot better 🙂

I have made a Nettie dress as well, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s post to see that one.

All in all, Nettie is a pattern you didn’t know you needed until you have it and then you can’t imagine your life without!

PS Hubby’s comment was hilarious: “Oh, you made a onesie like the baby! But you’ll just wear this around the house right?”

The One with The Perfect Fleece Cardigan

Every girl or woman is guilty of wearing her husband’s/boyfriend’s fleece sweater at least once. We all know it, they’re comfy, they’re warm, they’re even a bit comforting. However, what they are not is flattering or attractive.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a fleece that’s just as warm, just as comfy but flattering at the same time…

I found the perfect fleece cardigan! (This is a word heavy post so for pictures, scroll down)

I finally gave in and ordered a bunch of Style Arc patterns. Not just one, I ordered 11! It was totally justified because shipping rates are insane so it was better to bulk order. (I’m trying hard not to think about the fact that they lowered their rates two days after my order)

Anyway, I ordered only post maternity patterns. Knit dresses, button up tops etc. One of the patterns I ordered was the Nina Cardigan. I just wanted a real cardigan pattern so I could use one of my gazillion sweater knits. I loved the shape and the fact that I would be able to wear it before giving birth.

NINA-CARDI

I’m very lucky that the only thing that got bigger while being pregnant is my belly so I could just order my regular size. For those of you who don’t know, Style Arc works with single size patterns. It scared me at first, but then I thought “what the hell, just order it already”.

Review:

The packaging: +/-
The pattern comes in a clear plastic envelop, I didn’t care for it because it had creased the papers. It is ‘re-sealable’ though, so that’s a plus. They insert a swatch of recommended fabric which I find a great help especially since English and Dutch names for fabric are so different.

4

Packaging and recommended fabric

The instructions: +/-
I wouldn’t advice Style Arc to an absolute beginner as the instructions are quite limited, but since this is such an easy piece, it could work. There are however some helpful diagrams to clarify the more difficult parts in construction so even if I’m not that experienced yet (I would call myself intermediate) I’m confident I could tackle their patterns.

5

Instructions and diagrams

The pattern: ++
The pattern is just one very long piece of paper. The weight is somewhere between tissue paper and regular printer paper and what’s more, is that it is neatly folded so it’s super easy to fold back up. That is a very definite win in my book. Since it’s a single size pattern you could opt to just cut all the pieces since they aren’t printed on top of each other but I decided to trace anyway since I’m afraid I might lose pattern pieces in my mess of a house (construction going on and all) The markings and notches are very clear on the pattern and it even included some extra instructions. Since this was such an easy pattern I didn’t transfer the notches. (and guess what: I messed up)

This particular pattern only comes with a 6mm seam allowance, which is fine by me because I sew all my knits on a serger and this way I didn’t have to trim them down. It could be a bit tricky to do this on a regular sewing machine though. I, for one, am not going to try.

The construction: ++
I’ve never come across a pattern that was this well drafted. Every seam aligned perfectly. Seriously, I almost never pin knits and this didn’t need it either. I just pinned the places where seams had to match (which is where I messed up). This was probably the fastest make ever (even with the messing up part) and it’s due to the fact that it’s such a great pattern. It took me about two hours (including tracing and cutting) to get this done, so next time it’ll be even faster. And yes, there will be a next time.

The alterations: ++
I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern, the size was perfect and the fit as well.

Overall conclusion:
I would give this pattern an 8/10. But the 2 points lost are due to the Style Arc packaging and instruction style, so have in fact nothing to do with the pattern or make itself.

The actual cardigan:

As I said before, I wanted to try this in a fleece. I have been wearing my hubby’s fleece sweaters but it’s cold and he needs them as well. What’s more is that those sweaters date back to the days he was 15kgs heavier, so they are even on the large side for him. At first I didn’t mind all the room for my expanding belly, but with each kg I gained I felt less and less attractive and the oversized sweater wasn’t helping.

I’ve had this fleece in my stash for a while. I initially bought it to make a hoodie for a Craftsy class but when it arrived it turned out the be regular fleece and not sweatshirt fleece, so it was banned to the corner of my sewing room. Then I wanted to use it as interlining for my maternity coat, but that took too long so I bought a coat and still hadn’t used the fleece. I came across this pattern and it felt like a match made in heaven.

It was very easy to cut and it didn’t fray or shed all over the place. I like the green colour and it goes with a lot of my stuff. I knew it wasn’t as stretchy as the recommended fabric but I wanted to give it a try anyway. I cut this using my rotary cutter and I must say that this is probably for the best as to not mess up the 6mm SA.

Every seam went smoothly through the serger until I arrived at the neckband. I had glanced at the instructions so I knew what to do. I decided to pin the neckband to the rest of the cardigan as the keep the center back seam aligned. But somehow the end of the neckband didn’t match the end of the bottom pieces. Whatever I did, it wouldn’t fit. I thought it might have to do with lack of stretch so I tried to stretch it as far as I could and pin along the way. This is were the drunken monkey messed up my mind even more. I pinned the neckband and couldn’t help thinking that it was weird that on side the neckband was too short and on the other side it was too long. I could’t figure out why since these were all identical pieces. I stretched my fabric as well as I could to get it even. When it was finished and I opened everything up, I realised my very very very stupid mistake (I blame the backache, the lack of sewing these last few weeks and the kicking baby inside of me). Can you spot the mistake in the top picture?

3

Top: Mistake
Left: Finished Front
Right: Finished Back

Yep, that’s right. Instead of matching the center back seam on the neckband with the center back seam on the bodice, I match the center back seam on the neckband to the freaking shoulder seam! I still don’t know how that happened. I didn’t bother with unpicking (unpicking serger seams are HELL) but just cut the seam off and sewed it on again and suddenly it fit perfectly… Go figure.

In the end I just finished everything off with a rolled hem (or my attempt at one at least) to keep things nice and tidy. It wasn’t really necessary but this way all the seams were locked in place.

I absolutely love how this turned out. It’s the perfect size, it has slight shaping in the back and it drapes nicely. I initially meant to only wear this at home but it looked so good I just wore it to work today. It’s warm but not too warm and it doesn’t get all sweaty and clingy like some fleece sweater can. It’s roomy enough so I can close it over my expanding belly, but it’s not meant as a maternity pattern so I’ll get a lot of wear out of it afterwards as well. I can use a belt if I want to close it or I can just let it hang open. Because of the shaping in the back, it doesn’t look like a potato sack and actually gives you a waist 🙂

1

Look at how big the belly has gotten… 9 more weeks to go 🙂

2

Tried the tripod and remote for the first time 🙂

My famous last words for this cardigan: If you ever decide to buy just one pattern for a cardigan, get this one. Seriously, you won’t need any others. This one fits ever need you’ll ever have 🙂

PS The entire outfit was Me-Made: A Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity T-shirt + Sew Liberated Simple Skinny Jeans

The One with All the Maternity sewing

So, I’m back and I need to get some posts out of the way. I’ve decided to stop waiting for good pictures before I blog about all my past makes. Winter is coming and we still have no central heating so changing clothes once a day is painful enough, let alone go through it several times to pose for pictures. I do have a remote and a tripod by now, but I feel guilty using them for new pictures before I’ve blogged about everything else.

Overthinking it much?

Before I start showing you all the pictures I feel pretty confident in saying that I’m totally over maternity sewing. It SUCKS! It’s great when you need a new dress for a party, but basically you end up sewing a whole lot of stuff that won’t even fit you after a few weeks. And I know that I told myself that I would be wearing them after I gave birth but that’s one option I got over quickly.

Second of all, when I sew something I want people to be able to see. And it’s so freaking cold that I have to layer it with not one but multiple items so I end up wearing my home made garment but with nothing to show for.

So I decided that I would just try to get through the rest of my pregnancy with the clothes I already had. This includes my giant stash of sweater dresses which made me look chubby before, but now make me look pregnant. And that’s a win in my book.

Last of all is that I just looked at some pre-pregnancy shots and I can honestly say that my body wasn’t all that bad before, I just hope to get it back. I can’t really complain as the extra weight is only on my belly. Which doesn’t make me look pregnant from the back, but does make me look (and feel) like a whale when I look at myself from the side or the front.

So here goes…

1

All made using Megan Nielsen’s Ruched Maternity Shirt pattern

All Washi dresses (hacks) - I made the yellow one this summer and finally decided to shorten it to a tunic.

All Washi dresses (hacks) – I made the yellow one this summer and finally decided to shorten it to a tunic.

The skirts I made with a wide knit band and an outfit I was able to wear before it got cold.

The skirts I made with a wide knit band and an outfit I was able to wear before it got cold.

Before you say “you don’t look like a whale”… These pics were all taken a few weeks ago.. You should see me now.

I’m not saying I won’t make anymore maternity clothes but I’ve given in to buying a coat and buying some long camis and some pants. With everything going on I just didn’t have the time to make all of them and I really needed them because it’s that cold.

I’m already planning my new post-maternity wardrobe, I’ve got lots of patterns and fabric at the ready. I might have to stick to knit dresses and nursing friendly tops for a while. But at least, it’ll be (almost) normal sized me again 🙂

That being said, I love my little baby so much!

(Unless it kicks my stomach or ribs, which makes me nauseous)

The One with The Darling Ranges Peplum Top

I bought the fabric on Friday because fabric with threadspools on them is just impossible to resist for a Sewcialist 🙂 I wanted to make a Darling Ranges dress out of it but I also wanted to add a collar (I love collars!). Because I was afraid it would be too much, I decided to try my first peplum top ever.

peplum top

Alterations:

I shortened the sleeves, made a round necklineadded a collar, shortened the skirt (25cm).

This is probably the nicest thing I ever made. This might possibly look even better on the inside than on the outside. French seams everywhere! Every fricking seam!! I pressed, I measured, I unpicked until it was completely perfect! I had never made or worn a peplum top before but I really love how it looks (I’m keeping the reveal for a Me-Made-May’13 post)

My boyfriend didn’t really like it though. He thought it made me look pregnant and he wants me to sew less print. Too bad for him then, because I love it and I love the fact that I’m finally brave enough to wear prints!

details

Some of you may have noticed that I have a new dress form. It’s a vintage dress form that they were going to throw out at the school were I work. I saved it from the dump and took it home. I need to recover it because the cover has some tears and some waterstains from a leak. But seriously this is what I wanted and it already makes my clothes look nicer than the adjustable one.

Any ideas for a name for my new dress form. She deserves it!