Oh my goodness, I love this Rachel Comey Vogue Designer V1501 dress, and the Philip Lim print is divine. I seriously thought it would look like a sack dress as I was sewing it. I almost gave up on it. I had to take two inches off the waist after cutting it (my post-baby measurements keep changing, yay!) I made no other changes or adjustments. I even added the shoulder pads. The only tricky bit I found was sewing in the shoulder gussets. It took forever to figure out the pattern images… All in all a great make and I can’t wait to wear it on vacation!!!
I’m so excited about this dress!!! I saw this post on Dandelion Drift on drafting your own Swing Dress and thought…well, I guess I could do that. So I took my favorite t-shirt and found some black viscose jersey in my stash (that I don’t remember buying, uh oh) and away I went.
I love this dress. I mean, I reaaaallly love this dress. The material is super soft and drapey and the cut is perfect for running around in. I’ve been wearing it every week, sometimes twice a week. It’ll transition into my fall wardrobe perfectly.
We took these photos at the National Gallery of Canada on a family expedition.
That’s it for the self-drafted dress. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I’m super happy with the result!
I began sewing this Grainline Studio Archer shirt a week before having the little one. It was ambitious, but I had some time on my hands. Then, it sat on my desk for a few weeks, because THERE IS NO TIME TO SEW when you’ve just had a little one. Period.
A friend had told me that I needed to make it to week 6 and things would start getting better. Well, this isn’t a mommy blog (nor will it ever be), but suffice to say that things did get better and the Archer was dusted off and completed. I didn’t even try to pattern match every line, but it’s pretty close – pocket placement is intentionally off so they stand out more – and the side seams are matched. I’m very pleased with the collar stand.
The instructions were fantastic, as always with Grainline Studio patterns, and the sew along got me through any picky bits. I had just enough material so I had to flat cut it…and forgot to flip over the sleeve pattern, arghhhhhh. Thankfully, both sides of this cotton shirting from Fabricville ($3 a metre, people) were the same, yay! So I flipped it over and figured it was okay that the markings were already there, I would remember which was which, right, right?!
I also inserted the placket the wrong way and had to unpick and resew it, twice.
Then, I inserted the sleeves the wrong way. Because I’m sleep deprived.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The sleeves are going to stay that way. I’ve decided that it’s a design element and it reminds me of the first few weeks with the little one. So there, mistakes happen and all you need is to either ignore them and if anyone points it out (like your mom) you just nod and say, yes that’s the way I designed it.
We are still waiting for le bébé to arrive, so I’ve been sewing away. Beats watching TV all day, although I’m doing that too, hehe!
Here is the latest project. Since I’m 40 weeks and a bit pregnant, I can’t model my creation. I’m so excited that this is my first non-maternity make in 9 months. This April Rhodes staple dress turned out amazing.
I made it from a vintage 80s rayon I picked up at Ottawa’s Hintonburg Fabric Flea a few weeks ago. It’s such a crazy pattern, but I love it! I can’t wait to be able to try it on.
The pattern came together very quickly. I made a straight size Large and added one row of shirring (that’s what creates the gathers at the waist). You wind up elastic thread on your bobbin and away you go. It’s that easy.
I think the sleeves will drape beautifully. I’ll definitely repeat this pattern and try the drop hem version. So fun!!!
The School of Sewing by Shea Henderson (Lucky Spool Media) beckoned from the top shelf of my local library a few weeks ago. For some reason, they always have a great selection of sewing books. Perhaps one of the librarians is a secret sewist…
I had read about this book when it came out, but I already own two “learn to sew” books so couldn’t justify adding another just yet.
Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes (Krause Publications), and the Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp (workman) rekindled my love of sewing a few years ago. These books set me on the right path with new techniques and added confidence. I highly recommend them.
I was still curious about the School of Sewing since I love the images and the layout. If you are looking to get into sewing again or if you want to try your hand at a few easy projects, you should definitely try this book.
There are many helpful tips and the projects cover the basics and then some. The step by step images are a bonus.
I made the Zipper Pouch to test drive one of the projects, seeing as I tend to avoid zippers. It was really easy and I just love the result. I used my Theory Twill from Mood Fabric scraps, left over from the fabulous Colette Iris shorts I made last summer.
I should also note that the author is a very experienced quilter and the final project is a quilt, rather than a garment. I haven’t yet caught the quilting bug, but this would be a great way to get started if you were curious.
For me, it’s all about the clothes though. In the meantime, I have an awesome zipper pouch for my weekend getaways!
Are you looking for sewing ideas for your sweet little baby or maybe as a gift for a friend? Look no further, here are a few easy pieces you can quickly whip up.
A word of caution, though, these are super super cute and you will be tempted to want to make them all, right now! As usual, when I started sewing baby clothes, I wanted to make everything, which got exhausting…so even if the temptation is there, don’t try to do it all.
Pick a few easy patterns and make a few special pieces. Here is what I made:
Butterick 3405: I made these with my Liberty print scraps from Purl Soho (similar here). I have a matching skirt and dress, so we will be able to wear the same clothes!!! (I know, I know…)
Shwin&Shwin Baby Knit Pants: I made these with some lovely knit material (I think it’s April Rhodes) that I bought at Fabrications. They are just too cute. In my opinion, it’s worth it to take the extra few minutes and make the elastic casing.
Rae’s Basic Baby Pant: This is an adorable woven material pattern by the fantastic Made by Rae and again, super easy. I french seamed it all, which is overkill, but looks amazing. These will be great with a little onesie this summer.
Well, my third trimester is almost over, yay! That means it’s baby time in two weeks…OMG. Life is going to get a little crazy around here. I thought I would update you on my maternity makes, since making a few things when pregnant is actually super fun. I’m pretty surprised that I stuck to my massively over-ambitious sewing list, considering I fall asleep at 9 pm…so here it goes.
I made this Burda 6957 wrap dress thinking I would wear it to the baby shower my two amazing sisters organized for me, but it ended up being two sizes too big on me. I made a size 16, I think, which corresponded to my measurements at the time, but it looks like you have to use your pre-pregnancy size when making this pattern. It’s a great pattern, very flattering and comfortable. The material was fun to work with, but I never wear ITY stretch knits and it was just a little too polyester-y for me. I’ve worn this dress maybe 5 times now.
Next up is my favourite maternity dress EVER. I wore this dress at least once a week from week 15 onwards. The material is a poly-wool crepe blend with a slight herringbone pattern. It’s drapey, with a bit of stretch and just looks gorgeous. I made the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dresswork as a maternity pattern by adding 3 inches to each side. I started with a size 12 for the bust and at about 1.5 inches below the bust line, graded it to add the 3 inches at the hips.
So, it was extra flowey at the beginning of the pregnancy and near the end you could see the bump, but it didn’t cling. If you’re thinking of making this, just note that I’ve been told that I’m carrying very high and because I’m 5’9″, my bump doesn’t look huge, more like a big basketball, and I don’t look very pregnant from behind. So if you’re carrying lower or this is not your first pregnancy, you might want to add even more ease to the pattern.
A side view shot…
And from the back…
This was my first attempt at making the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress as maternity wear. Let’s just say that I was in denial as to how your body changes during pregnancy (complete denial, people). I added 1 inch to each side at the hip line only. This lovely polka dot poplin from Mood Fabrics was perfect for the job, but doesn’t have all that much stretch. I wore this the day I made it, to go to the theater, and then it did not fit 😦 I’m hoping I can get a lot of wear out of it this summer once le bébé has arrived.
Here is the lovely Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirtin a black ponte knit from C&M Textiles. I never wore it…my fault though. I made the right size, but the ponte knit only had 25% stretch, instead of the 40% the pattern recommends…I’m keeping it for the post-partum phase and will probably cut it to knee length. This is the world’s easiest make and the instructions are fantastic. My sister is also pregnant and I made her one for her birthday, in a stretchier knit, and she loves it!
I also made the Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings. If you are pregnant, you need to make 3 pairs of these NOW. I made 1 pair and with the Canadian winter and my aversion to pregnancy pants, I wore them every other day. They were a life-saver and more comfortable than the maternity leggings I bought.
Here is my finished Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamastop!!! I’m so proud of these pajamas. I’ve been wearing the shorts, as they fit me now and I get a kick out of the french seams each time I put them on. This came together relatively quickly, considering I made the bias tape and then the piping, but it was worth it. The result is quite crisp and Spring-like. I cut a size 16 for the shirt and a size 18 for the shorts. The top is not big enough for a 9-month baby bump, so I’m looking forward to wearing it around the house all of the time, once the baby arrives. And now for some close-ups.
Ohhhh, let’s all look at that pocket detail…
…and the contrasting thread for the buttonholes!
I hope this inspired you to sew a few maternity dresses or leggings. It makes getting dressed that much easier when you have something to look forward to wearing.