April Rhodes Staple Dress in Vintage 80s Print

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.

Staple dress 2 side view
Side view

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.

Staple dress 3 back view
Back view

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.

Staple dress 4 detail shirring
Waist shirring…not too shabby!

I think the sleeves will drape beautifully. I’ll definitely repeat this pattern and try the drop hem version. So fun!!!

Staple dress 5 sleeve detail
Love the sleeves!

Maternity Sewing Ideas

May 8, 2016

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.

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Burda 6957 Maternity Wrap Dress

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.

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Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

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 Dress work 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.

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A side view shot…

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And from the back…

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Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

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.

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Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirt

Here is the lovely Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirt in 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.

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Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas

Here is my finished Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas top!!! 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.

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Ohhhh, let’s all look at that pocket detail…

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…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.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day: I made a silk slip!

It’s February and that means it’s time to sew something sexy and sassy! Collette’s Seamwork issue is out and has some lovely ideas for lingerie sewing. It inspired me to sew a slip. I have a RTW one made of stretch polyester and thought, hum, I can do better than this.

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I looked through my stash and decided to use some black silk and lace that I had found at a bridal designer’s fire sale. I had never worked with silk and it was a dream to cut. I used Sewaholic’s slip tutorial, which was easy, and even sewed my first french seam (I don’t know why I’ve always hesitated to try it out-now I’m hooked).

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Yes, people, I stitched all of the lace, that I cut out from a large piece…

I cut out the lace, sewed it on by hand with a running stitch and slipped it on. Oh, la, la, it’s soooooooo pretty and silky smooth. I think I could sleep in it. I now need to make silk pyjama bottoms.

I’m so excited about sewing lingerie that I’m reading Orange Lingerie’s Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction. After seeing Lladybird’s post on her new bra, I bought Cloth Habit’s Watson bra pattern and ordered a bra and panty kit from TailorMadeShoppe on Etsy. Yay!

None of my bras seem to fit for more that a few months now, so this will definitely be a good investment.

Have you ever thought of sewing lingerie? What have you made?

Maternity Sewing for 2016

One of the best things about sewing is that you can daydream and plan your sewing. You get to pick your patterns, find your material and make it happen. It can also be a little overwhelming because, let’s face it, you want to buy ALL the material and make ALL the patterns. So here is my attempt at bringing it all together.

I’m 5.5 months pregnant and I need clothes, especially dresses, and I have to get on the home decor for the nursery and make some baby clothes (OMG so fun!!!!):

  1. Sew Over It: Ultimate Shift Dress (and a slip)

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Ultimate Shift Dress

Full confession on this, I’ve already finished the first one using the Mood Fabrics polka dot cotton poplin I bought last summer. Sew Busy Lizzy made a beautiful skirt out of it.

The second one is almost done. I love this dress! I bought the material in Montreal last year and I thought it was a cheap black polyester crepe (it was dusty, in a corner and $5 a metre). It turns out it’s a lovely wool blend crepe that is super soft with faint herringbone stripes. I made the dress 2 inches wider at the waist and 4 inches wider at the hips. It now has a soft A-line swing dress shape that gives me room to grow and it looks amazing. It’s a little see through in the light, so I’ll make a black silk slip from my stash.

2. April Rhodes: Date Night Dress

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Date Night Dress

I think the loose fit and the butterfly sleeves are going to be so pretty. I’m using some vintage 40’s rayon I found on Etsy. Ah, Esty, I love you.

3. Burda maternity dress 6957

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Burda 6957

Not the greatest pattern photo, but it has the potential of a DVF wrap dress. This awesome geometric knit print will be so funky and it was only $3 a metre at Fabricland, yay!

4. Burda maternity dress 012015

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Burda 012015 Maternity Dress

I’m worried she’s laughing so much that she’ll have a little accident. Nevertheless, it’s a nice pattern and I’ll use a rayon I bought at Fabricland that I’ll need to line because it’s see-through. I think the drape will be beautiful and the pattern is very office friendly.

5. Closet Case Files: Carolyn Pajamas

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Carolyn Pajamas

Because let’s face it, when I get home, all I want to do is curl up in my pajamas and read a book.

6. Megan Nielsen: Viginia leggings

I only have one pair of maternity leggings, so these will come in handy. I ordered a nice black knit from Girl Charlee that I can’t wait to try.

That’s it for now and it’s a pretty long list. I hope I can get through it and start some baby clothes too!

What are your sewing plans for 2016?

10 reasons to sew

I often wonder why I love to sew so much, so I thought I would start this blog by listing the top ten reasons that come to mind:

  • I can see something in a magazine or have an idea and create it
  • I can make everything fit (I’m 5’9” with insanely long arms)
  • I don’t need to buy as much clothes and can spend the money on shoes and handbags!
  • I’ve discovered all kinds of cool indie pattern companies like Sew Over It, Named Clothing, Closet Case Patterns, April Rhoades, Colette Patterns
  • I can be creative, drawing and designing or modifying a pattern, and picking the right fabric from my (ever growing…) stash
  • I now know what it is to be passionate about something, obsessively pouring over anything sewing related, visiting thrift shops for vintage sewing gear or tracking down obscure japanese fabrics
  • I can finally use my button collection
  • In a few short hours, I have a new dress, or top, or skirt
  • There’s an amazing sewing community out there that you can connect with
  • My mother, my mother-in-law, and my grandmother all love to sew and we can talk about it for hours on end

I’m excited to start this blog and share what I’ve learned. Are there other reasons why you love to sew? Let me know!

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