Friday, May 31, 2013

Maternity Top and Capri

More maternity... can you stand it?

For starters I made this top using pattern #104 from Burda Style magazine, 05/2010 issue. It's actually not a maternity top but has plenty of volume in the belly area to accommodate the growing bump. Although I do have a handful of projects using maternity specific patterns to make, I'm leaning toward the non-maternity patterns that still work for the bump. I know I'll still be able to get wear from these garments even after the baby is born.
This pattern is rated "easy to sew" and I would agree. I wish I could put up a picture of the line drawing- the design lines don't photograph well in this print. The top has a deep v-neck, with several lines of shirring in front to create a very pretty gathered look. It's also what gives this top the volume you will need if you are expecting. I did not make any pattern adjustments or changes.
The fabric is a lightweight, gauzy piece from my stash. It may actually be the oldest piece of fabric I own. It's been in the pile for at least 10 years, maybe more. I really like it, but never found the right design to pair it with. I do love how it looks done up in this top- it's just the right amount of sheerness for warm weather.
I made some minor changes to the construction of the top. Instead of cutting a bias strip to finish the neckline, I used seam binding (only because I ran out of fabric... lol). It worked out great though. I did french seams. I did a very narrow designer hem instead of a typical narrow hem. Also, I sewed in the elastic for the shirring AFTER attaching the bodice to the bottom front. The instructions would have you sew in the elastic before you attach these two pieces but that didn't make much sense to me.
I am very pleased with this top. I love the feminine lines and it is very comfortable to wear. I hope to make at least one more this season.
Next up are the denim capris. I used Burda Style 7165 (envelope pattern). This is also rated "easy to sew" and I would agree. Of course it is more time consuming than the top but nothing too difficult to sew.
This pattern is a maternity pattern, with a stretchy knit belly band to grow with you.
I used a nice stretch denim I had purchased online. Unfortunately I have a few pieces of denim in my stash and I do not remember exactly where this one was ordered from. It is a very dark blue. I used a ribbed knit for the belly band. The topstitching is done in a contrasting, heavy duty thread for a more RTW look.
I'm not so happy with how these capris turned out but I think I can deal with them for the next four or five months. My major complaint is that the designer(s) of this pattern obviously did not test the attached belly band out or think it through. The pattern pieces for the belly band do not have any negative ease- so the band is loose and serves no purpose in keeping the pants on. I think four inches off per side- 8 total to give some negative ease. I stretched the band during sewing to fit the pants. The fit was better but probably could have been taken in some more. The first time I wore these, the band had stretched out midday and I was constantly tugging them up to keep them from slipping down. So, if you venture to make these, definitely play with the fit of the band before sewing it into the pant.
Other than that snafu- they are a decent pair of capris. I would recommend testing out the back pocket placement too. I don't think mine look quite right (didn't think to get a butt shot for you- sorry to disappoint). But most maternity tops are longer and cover the pockets anyways so I didn't bother to adjust them.
Love the top... the capris- not so much.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Pair of Sundresses

This isn't really sewing... it's cheating. But after seeing the always stylish Mimi G's version, I knew I had to have one... or two.

I have to admit, after being exposed to the vast variety of quality apparel fabrics that are available online, I've become somewhat of a fabric snob. I do still score some fabric finds from time to time at Joann Fabrics, but more often than not I just go there for my notions and patterns. They have carried these pre-shirred fabrics for years. I've never given them a second look because they usually have a more juvenile appeal in length and print. However, this season they have introduced a maxi length version in some great prints. Last time I checked they had four prints available in this length. They are a bit pricey- but you really don't need much in yardage. You just need enough to wrap around your body with a few inches extra for straps. In the end you still get a bargain compared to a shirred maxi dress that you would find in the RTW stores.
So I cut the width four inches smaller than my high bust measurement. Then I sewed the back seam using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This makes for a circumference that is 5 inches smaller than the high bust. It is comfortable to wear without any slippage.
I had to take up the hem about 3 to 4 inches. I'm 5' 4",  so even taller girls can get a maxi length dress with this fabric.
Each dress took me about an hour to complete.
I have worn the blue and green version out once and received tons of compliments, even from strangers! Not bad for an instantly gratifying project that's practically sewn for you already. Plus- this is totally maternity appropriate. There is plenty of volume in the midsection to allow for a growing belly. Mine is 15 weeks in these pictures.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

April Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who participated in the Shabby Apply Giveaway!
I used my high tech random winner selector as demonstrated below.

Congratulations Grace!!! You are the winner of the giveaway. I have emailed you and the rep from Shabby Apple so you should hear from them soon!
More sewing on the way. Neither the weather or my photographer's schedule has been on my side this week so I have not been able to take pictures yet. Hopefully within the next few days!