I’m Back!

Hey there! I had a baby! Amazingly she’s already 10 weeks old. I’m so glad to be able to wear some of my handmade wardrobe again. Happy to say the maternity t-shirts I made have been getting plenty of wear. Here’s a favorite combo now that our weather is warming up: a Linden top and a knit half circle skirt.

linden_front

The Linden top is made from a printed knit from Stonemountain. I love the way the print works with the raglan sleeves. I’m tempted to try this pattern in a woven next – maybe a Nani Iro double gauze?

linden_arms

The skirt is made from my favorite eco bamboo knit, also from Stonemountain. It is a little bit clingier than I would like but otherwise lovely. I used Megan Nielsen’s free circle skirt pattern to make the skirt but instead of a full circle I made a half circle.

linden_back

So, sewing with a newborn… Over the last few weeks I’ve sewn a t-shirt and cut out a skirt. Not the speediest sewing but it feels great to squeeze in a little creative time. Now I’m off to wait for the next elusive baby nap to put together my new skirt.

Details: Grainline Linden view B, sz2 graded to 4 at waist, removed 1″ from center front & back, shortened 1″, used 3/8″ SA, Megan Nielsen Veronika skirt sz S, used 1 1/2″ elastic and only 1/2 circle

Maternity Hemlock

Another basic to see me through the last few days… The first Grainline Hemlock tee I made is one of the few things that still fits so I decided to make another. Gotta say, Inder was right about the Hemlock tee being a great maternity top. And I know that it will gets lots of wear later.

maternity hemlock side2

I’ve made this pattern several times in both woven and knit fabrics. After the first version I took a few inches out of the center front and back and shortened it by a few inches. But for this one I went back to the original. And since it is nearly spring and starting to get warm I went with short sleeves.

maternity hemlock side1

Just to make things a little more challenging I pulled out a striped rayon knit from my Mom’s stash. The walking foot on my Bernina was great for keeping the stripes lined up across the seams. I somehow managed to get off by 2 stripes on the back but it’s not too noticeable. In fact, I can’t see it at all when I’m wearing it!

maternity hemlock back

Off to see if I can squeeze in one more project before the baby arrives!

Details: Grainline Hemlock tee, one size, shortened sleeves, double needle hems

Spring Maternity Scout

The weather is getting warmer, my belly is getting bigger and I needed a new t-shirt! The knit Scout Tee I made a few years ago fit pretty well up until recently so I decided that would be a good pattern to start with. When I pulled out my Scout pattern I realized that for the last woven version I made I added a curved hem and lowered the neckline. Both modifications seemed like a good idea for a maternity t-shirt so I decided to go with it!

green scout front

The only other change I made was to add 3 inches in length. I also tried out a different neckline finish – Megan Nielsen’s binding technique. I like the way it turned out and will definitely use it again. I think it’s a particularly nice choice for heavier knits.

green scout back

The fabric is a cotton knit from Stonemountain. I don’t see it on their website, but it’s a mid-weight knit and I believe the color is moss. Love this bright spring green. My mom and sister kindly did a little fabric shopping for me on their last visit to Stonemountain – thanks guys, good job!

green scout side

Only one month to go! I’ve started browsing baby patterns and thinking about clothes that will work for breastfeeding. If you have any favorite patterns please share!

Details: Grainline Scout tee, sz 0 with lowered armscye, lengthened 3″, added curved hem and lowered neckline

Gathered Plantain Dress

This dress was inspired by two things: a favorite non-maternity dress I made a few years ago (and wear all the time – even now!), and this dress made by the fabulous Megan Nielsen. I wanted something comfortable, expandable and that still felt like me.

gathered_plantain_front

I started with the plantain top by Deer & Doe and used a sz 38 with a little extra room added to the bust. I shortened the bodice and added a slight curve to the front. The skirt is just a gathered rectangle that is a bit higher in the front so it matches the curve in the bodice. I made the skirt panels as wide as I could and then gathered them by sewing them on to some 3/8″ elastic I had handy. The fabric is heavy and has a lot of stretch, so I hoped this would keep the waist from stretching out of shape. The dress has short sleeves and I finished the neck with a narrow band and the skirt with a double needle hem.

gathered_plantain_back

The fabric is a really soft bamboo jersey from Stonemountain. I love this fabric for the softness, recovery and drape. In fact my favorite pair of Watson bikinis are made out of scraps from a previous project and I was hoping to make some more. Sadly, there were not enough scraps left from this dress…

gathered_plantain_side

I wore this to my baby shower a couple weeks ago (thanks to my awesome sisters for throwing it!) and am very happy to have this dress in my closet now. It’s nice to have something that fits my current proportions – amazing how good that feels. I expect it will be with me to the end now that there are just 2 more months to go! I’m linking up with Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic – check it out.

Bump-Friendly Plantain Dress

Hello! Here’s my first go at a maternity dress. My goal was pretty simple: something that fits! I was hoping to manage something comfortable, that felt like my style and would continue to fit for a bit longer. Also I wanted to shop my stash, sew something easy and make it between naps.

grey ponte plantain dress front

I dug out this grey ponte knit that I bought at Stonemountain over the summer. It’s a poly-rayon blend, and has excellent recovery. So glad I scooped up a couple yards. And to keep things simple I decided to revisit a favorite knit pattern for the top – Deer & Doe’s Plantain.

grey ponte plantain dress side

I quickly sketched out a wide trapeze skirt starting at the bust. I went for a hem that angles down at the sides thinking that as my bump continues to grow it would look intentionally shorter in front. I second guessed this a few times while sewing but looking at the pictures now I think it turned out pretty close to what I imagined. Simple bands for the neck and sleeves and a twin needle hem. I did manage to misjudge my bust measurement. It’s a bit unsettling to have measurements change to quickly. So glad there was enough seam allowance!

grey ponte plantain dress belly

Here I am looking rather pleased with my bump and new dress. Not sure why I’m so smug but at 5 1/2 months along I am feeling well and enjoying being pregnant, so there’s that!

I’m joining Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic Monthly Linkup for December. Check it out!

Maternity Tunic

Thank you for the congratulations on Baby Pinned and the sympathies for sewing my finger! Over the last few weeks I started to outgrow many of my favorite handmade clothes and I really miss them. My enthusiasm for imagining and planning maternity sewing projects has definitely been greater than my energy, but I have managed to make one maternity top. And I have been wearing it A LOT!

gathered tunic front

This top is based on the Rachel Comey inspired peplum top I made last fall. I modified it in two ways to make it maternity friendly. First, I curved the peplum in the front like this Megan Nielsen dress. I raised the center of the bodice and peplum up 2 inches and drew a curve to connect back to the original length at the side. I might try raising it a little more next time although it’s kind of tough to decide how much room my belly needs and how much room my boobs need! Second, I added 4 inches in length to make it long enough to wear with leggings now and hopefully accommodate a growing bump for at least a couple more months. Other than that the only changes were to go sleeveless and top stitch the gathered peplum.

gathered tunic side crop

The fabric is a linen-rayon blend, I believe the Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer blend. It’s soft and has some body and a nice drape. Also it was handy in the stash! As before the back of this top is not gathered which makes it great for layering and keeps it feeling a little sleeker.

gathered tunic back crop

I’m taking advantage of my blog to track my growing bump, so here’s a glamour shot of the belly at four months. Not too impressive yet, but it certainly feels different than normal!

gathered tunic bump

Details: Butterick 3383 sz XS, cut at the shorten line for the bodice, gathered rectangle added to the front, flat rectangle added to the back – both lengthened 4″, bodice/peplum both curved up 2″ at the center front, neck and arm scyes finished with bias binding, top stitched peplum seam allowance

Bloody Shift Dress

Hey there! I’m back to show you a dress that I made several weeks ago. On the hunt for my perfect shift dress I have stocked up on a few patterns – and am tempted by so many more especially Deer & Doe’s new Arum dress.

Simplicity 1609

For my first attempt I decided to go with Simplicity 1609. I like all the darts – bust, french darts to the waist, and fish eye darts in the back plus darts in the back neck. Combined with the center front seam this made it pretty easy to get a good fit while sewing. I even like the facings in this pattern and for once didn’t substitute bias bound neck/arm holes. I used a linen-rayon blend fabric though next time I may try something a little heavier. So – this was a pretty easy & satisfying project. But I still managed to make things interesting…

red_shift_back

First a near disaster. This is the first whole garment I sewed on my new Bernina (yay!) and I was still learning to coordinate the knee release and pedal (uh-oh). I was feeding the fabric through and my finger got too close to the needle and I managed to sew right through my index finger! The Bernina handled it much better than my finger. I guess they should add that to the sales demo? Glad that the dress is red since I managed to bleed on it quite a bit… In case you’re wondering I’m fine now, but have gained some respect for the power of this machine.

red_shift_bump

Second I’m pregnant! I managed to survive the first trimester (boy that morning sickness totally kicked my butt). Now that I have some energy for sewing again I’m thinking about things I can wear for the next several months. Any suggestions for maternity patterns or ways to adapt existing patterns? I’ve got my eye on a couple Megan Nielsen patterns, but would love your ideas!

Details: Simplicity 1609, graded from sz 10 (shoulder) to sz 12 (bust) to sz 14 (waist) with corresponding darts, removed additional 3/4″ of width below each arm scye, narrowed back neck at zipper by 5/8″ on each side, and took in the front neck at the center seam 3/8 on each side, removed 2″ in length

Silk Sway

At long last I finished sewing my Papercut Sway dress. Swingy trapeze style dresses caught my eye this spring. Lots of examples on my summer dresses Pinterest board. I especially liked the idea of black silk, so I decided to make one for my birthday.

Silk Sway front 2

The fabric is a sandwashed silk that I bought back in February. I wasn’t sure what I’d make with it, but figured it would easily work for about a million different garments. Actually, I’m surprised I’m not still trying to decide! And yes, I should have bought more…

Silk Sway front

I made the dress using the same modifications I used on my muslin. I cut between an XS and S, used 1/2″ SA and french seams throughout, and did an easy rolled hem a la Grainline’s tutorial. I skipped the facings and used bias binding for the neck and arm scyes. I made it a length between the long and short versions provided with the pattern – since I’m only 5’3″ I thought the long version would be too long, but I wanted a little more coverage than the mini. The only new technique I tried was cutting the fabric out between layers of paper – also courtesy of Grainline. This worked really well. I’ve never had such a crisp cutting line on any fabric!

Silk Sway front 3

I let the fabric hang for several days before hemming. Then I used Megan Neilsen’s simple trick to even out the hem. Added bonus – since I waited to hem it I got to use my new sewing machine! It’s a Bernina 350 and was a birthday present – so exciting!

Silk Sway back

The fabric has great drape and a ton of movement – especially on a windy day. I am tempted to try this in a fabric with more body, perhaps Linen like the Papercut mini version. Linking up with Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic in a Week – check it out!

Details: Papercut Sway dress, sz XS/S, used 1/2″ SA, used bias binding instead of facing, length between the short and long versions included in the pattern

Pajama Party!

The Sewcialists have declared July lingerie sewing month and I’m more than happy to participate. I’ve been busy making pajamas and loungewear for several months now. Despite this I haven’t managed a single blog picture! So I enlisted the help of my Mom (who has also been sewing up PJs like crazy) to document all of our pajama sewing.

PJ_turquoise

Up first… I’m wearing True Bias Hudson pants and a knit Scout tee. My Hudsons are in a poly sweater knit. For this version I stuck close to the pattern. Love it! Mom is also in a Scout tee and her bottoms are Butterick B5829 View E. This is her perfect combo so all of her sets are B5829 and Scout. These are in a rayon jersey.

PJ_camo

Mom is in True Camo cotton knit featuring a wheat print. These prints are kind of a cross between nature photography and camo, aren’t they? Anyway, they make awesome pajamas! I’m in another pair of Hudsons – this time in a cotton terry. I left out the drawstring but otherwise stuck with the pattern. Paired with my favorite Plantain muscle tee.

PJ_moths

I’m in another pair of Hudsons but this time I mixed it up with a rayon. I used the woven variation that Kelly posted. The fabric is Anna Maria Horner’s Sinister Swarm. The first time I saw this fabric I thought “must be pajamas…” Mom’s are a rayon knit. And I think we both scored our fabric on sale from Stonemountain.

PJ_yoga

Our final pairs. Mom is sporting Anna Maria Horner now. And this time my Hudsons are a size smaller and made without cuffs or drawstring. Recognize the fabric? Same sweater knit as the contrast color in the first pair. And worn with a Plantain tee.

PJ_rack

So what can we conclude from our pajama party? First, it’s great to sew your own lounge wear. Obviously don’t be shy about prints or colors. And once you find your perfect pajama pattern you may not want to stray! What about you? Do you make your own pajamas?

Details:
Mom – Butterick B5829 View E sz S, Grainline Scout Tee sz 0
Me – True Bias Hudson pants sz 6 waist graded to sz 10 hips (light grey pair is sz 4 graded to sz 8), front crotch shortened ~1″, woven pair are sz 10 waist graded to sz 14

Everyday Sway

Hi there! I’ve got a couple of new things to share today. One is a wearable muslin for a new pattern and the other is my third attempt at a pattern I’ve tried a few times. Together they feel like summer!

Papercut Sway Dress (as top) & Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt

Let’s start with the new pattern. This is the Sway dress by Papercut Patterns. I wanted to test the fit of the neck/arm portion before making the full dress since it uses quite a bit of fabric. I fell between an XS and S on the size chart, so I cut between an XS and S. I wanted to do french seams, so I used a 1/2″ SA instead of the 3/8″ included in the pattern. I also decided to skip the facing and bias bind the neck and arm scyes. The fit seems spot on with no adjustments. And I’ve already cut out a dress.

Papercut Sway Dress (as top) & Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt

This is made in a fabric that’s new to me. It’s a nylon-tencel blend and comes in a wide range of colors at Stonemountain. Although I think it’s only available in their store. Obviously I couldn’t resist buying a yard to try out. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so decided to risk using it for the test version. And I’m glad I did – it’s a good fabric for a full swing shape! It’s really light and a little crisp and doesn’t seem to wrinkle as much as rayon. It is a little shifty to sew – more like silk than rayon. It feels really nice to wear and I’ve already bought a couple more yards, though I haven’t decided what to make – ideas?

Papercut Sway Dress (as top) & Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt

The second garment is an Everyday Skirt. I bought this pattern shortly after it was released because it looks a lot like an old favorite J Crew skirt. The sizing on this pattern is really generous. My measurements put me at a size S, but it was just way too big. I tried again in an XS. Better, but there was still a lot of extra fabric. This time I removed an extra 2″ from the front panel and the back panel. I was a little worried about there being enough room to pull over my hips, but it’s fine. In fact, I could probably take out another couple inches. I also shortened it by 4″ and I hand stitched the front waistband for a cleaner look. I suspect some of the sizing problem is because I like to wear skirts just below my natural waist and this skirt is intended to be worn lower.

Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt

This is made in a 100% woven ikat, also from Stonemountain (and available online). The print varies a bit since this is handwoven and I definitely didn’t want to mess with lining it up across seams. So I cut the sides, waistband and pockets on the cross grain. It’s very satisfying to finally realize my vision for this skirt and I’ve already worn it several times!

I’ll end with a question for you. Have you tried Liesl & Co. patterns and have you found that they run large? Or do Papercut Patterns run small? What about other designers?

Details: Sway Dress, XS/S, shortened to cropped top, used 1/2″ SA, bias binding instead of facing; Everyday skirt, XS, removed 2″ from front & back panels, shortened 4″, hand stitched waistband