sewing

{ MATERNITY } Dressing the bump…

Having recently gone through a pregnancy, I thought Id share with those of you interested in the clothes I found comfortable, practical & wearable especially during the last trimester when everything is a challenge.

To start off, I found maternity wear in the stores rather uncomfortable. I tried on quite a bit of it along the way just to see what looked good & to be honest, I never bought a single thing besides a pair of black jeans (which I wore constantly until spring hit) & a pair of blue jeans which I hardly wore at all. My sister however gifted me 2 pairs of maternity shorts she used a few  years back & I loved those. I could wear them postpartum too which was great. The rest I made and or wore regular clothes. That being said, I think I was fortunate to have my final months over spring/early summer so I could wear dresses & skirts which flared nicely over the bump.

For me right up until the end I was able to wear mostly regular clothes on my top half. I found t-shirts, knit/jersey tops really practical. The lower half I dressed in the aforementioned black jeans or the Megan Neilsen Ruched Maternity Skirt (now called the Erin Maternity Skirt). I made this in black & wore it alot. Easy to make & super comfortable. Also easy to dress up or just be casual in. I also made the Megan Neilsen Alissa Maternity top without the long ties, ie. just to tuck into the skirt but ended up making it too big so only wore it once.

Another item I made was Butterick 5796 top (view A) with the twisty detail and loved that paired with said jeans or ruched skirt. The detail on the top was super fiddly but once I got it right it went together really well. Would i make it again….probably not. B5796IMG_4028

I purchased a few other maternity patterns that I wanted to try but never got around to it. If Im ever lucky enough to be pregnant again I might try them otherwise I’ll gift those patterns to someone somewhere along the line.

So, what did I wear besides these pieces I made ? Well, I purchased maxi dresses in knit fabrics (boobtube style) for the summer which I wore endlessly especially right in the end. They were super comfie & gave bump the space it needed with no squeezing of the waist etc. Id highly recommend these types of dresses. I jazzed them up with a cardigan or kimono over if I needed…or as per below with a gold belt.19

I also wore alot of non-maternity pieces that Ive made but were roomy enough to accommodate bump…

Vogue 1027 which is the DKNY dress that I made back in 2013. Especially in the warmer months, this really was a go-to getup for bump & I. The fabric is a stretch & therefore fitted well, comfortably & saw me right to the very end. In fact, I wore this dress to the hospital & home again 3 days later. V1027

NL6150 in the floral. Real handy maternity tee. Its definitely all to do with the fabric I used for this because the protea one I made in cotton jersey did not fit over the bump after about 6 months.

I had made this Maria Denmark Kimono Tee (which is a free pattern if you sign up for the newsletter) in the beginning of my pregnancy & I wore it all the way through to the end. Love this Tee I have no words. Its super easy to sew together & so incredibly comfie. You’ll notice I used black & coral quite a bit over the pieces – wasn’t planned, just worked out that way 🙂Kimono Tee

McCalls 6751 made in a polycotton black with pink polka came in handy. Its slightly short in the front but paired with my black maternity shorts or ruched skirt, was a winner.

For special occasions, the V2091 DKNY black number proved stretchy enough to cover the bump for a function at 7 months but I doubt it would have stretched much more to accommodate anything much later.  Unfortunately the V2091 is OOP.

NL6254 I blogged about during my pregnancy so you can read about that top here if you missed it.

All in all, I dont think one has to spend a fortune on maternity specific items. Be sensible about what you purchase if you do & if you make anything, be sure to make wrap dresses that can be worn again or basics like the ruched skirt that can go with absolutely anything. That would be my advice.

So to all of you expecting, Congratulations & good luck with dressing your bump. Any questions, do shout.

xxAnge

 

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sewing

{ VOGUE } Spring has sprung…

I was wondering how long it would take Vogue to crack open the Spring collection but I have to admit, I was more intrigued by what they would offer us because lets be honest, the last couple of Vogue seasons have been duds. I bought two patterns from their 2013 spring collection & none from their autumn collection so I really had no idea what to expect.

Can I say Im pleasantly surprised…..

I mean look at these beauties

V1381_pic_dwg

Vogue 1381 is a Ralph Rucci. Lovely detail, great silhouette. Cant wait.V1389_pic_dwg

Vogue 1389 is a DKNY. Im kinda into the DK patterns. I love her manipulation of darts & tucks to create shape. I find the majority of her patterns timeless, understated chic and Im pleased that Vogue has introduced some more DKNYs.V8973_pic_dwg

Vogue 8973 is a Vintage Vogue pattern. {PLEATS}. Need I say more! Im such a sucker for punishment when it comes to pleats.V8974_pic_dwg

Vogue 8974 is another Vintage Vogue that kinda reminds me of the Lonsdale dress but with a little more structure perhaps. I like the little button detail and the crisscross back straps, with belt. Super cute.

There are a few others in the collection that caught my eye too but these 4 really were my favourite. Ive “wishlisted” them so now just to wait for the sale. Im not sure I know anyone that purchases these patterns full price…..or do I??

So what do you think of the new Vogue spring collection? Have you had a chance to browse them…any ideas ???

 

pattern review · sewing

{ McCALLS 6173 } Missoni madness…

I made leggings.

Missoni-inspired leggings.

& guess what peeps ? They are super comfie.

The only pants you will find in my wardrobe are jeans { PLENTY } and leggings. I have no other pants…oh no wait I lie, I do have a pair of navy pants & a pair of floral pants I purchased late last year that Ive never worn, but besides those random pairs, I prefer jeans or leggings.

Now Im not one of those girls who flaunts her ass to everyone in sundry when wearing leggings ok. Im quite conservative when it comes to showing ass actually. I dont like to see butt crack, on me or anyone else, & I certainly dont like seeing camel toe! So I keep my privates rather layered over because Im a good girl like that. Call me Old School if you’d like but thats how I roll so leggings only just make the grade in my wardrobe & even then, they have to be super cute & fit really well otherwise they { OUT }.

I like to wear leggings because they layer so well & you can get such awesome leggings these days to brighten up any wardrobe, especially during Autumn and Winter. A little peek-a-boo colour between your boots & a knitted dress is pretty cool IMO. I love to browse the Black Milk website for inspiration. I particularly like their Galaxy leggings as well as their Mermaid variety.

So when I saw this Missoni-inspired fabric, I knew I had to purchase a metre in order to squeeze out a pair of leggings for Autumn. These are the first leggings Ive ever made, but certainly not the last!!

Here are the deets peeps : McCalls_6173_tights2

{ DESCRIPTION }  McCalls 6173 Close fitting pants with various finishes ie. View A has waistband with mock fly front zipper and exposed zippers at the ankles, View B is straight up normal, View C has a normal elasticated waistband with gathered/ruched ankles. I made the straight up B’s.

{ FABRIC USED } 1 metre of viscose jersey purchased via Buttinette.

{ SIZING } Hmmm….I read all the reviews on PR but it was hard to judge on the sizing because stretch fabrics have various degrees of stretch(iness). Based on the envelope sizing, I cut a large but once I sewed the legs together I knew immediately I would drown in them so I cut away & then cut away & cut away some more. Im guessing I cut right down to a small! This is a picture of the leggings laid down under a pair of my store bought leggings. This was { AFTER } the first cut so I still had a way to go before they fit. McCalls_6173_tights1

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Since these leggings are pretty much one piece for each side & a waistband, I didnt even look at the instructions. { SIMPLE SEWING }.

{ ALTERATIONS / CHANGES } Absolutely none..unless you count the sizing issue an alteration.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } I know over the summer I branded many a pattern super easy, for instance the McCalls 6751 and the Vogue 2091, this really is the simplest, easiest thing Ive sewn to date & perfect for beginners.

{ TIME } No time at all. An hour at the most providing you dont need to do numerous size adjustments.

{ SUM IT UP }  Highly recommended pattern for a basic legging that you really cant go wrong with. Super comfie if you use the right fabric & easy enough for a real beginner to make. I have short-ish legs so I managed to cut my leggings out of a metre fabric with a nice size offcut down one side. I always keep my offcuts because I know I can use them for something along the way. McCalls_6173_tights3

Have you made leggings ? If so, which ones? Id like to try leggings with some detail next time, not just at the ankle ie. zips or ruching. Id like to give it a go at some point with pleather strips or combination fabrics – could be really fun.

Whatever you do, or wherever you venture this weekend, stay safe x

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8827 } Ready for Autumn…

She’s done. Finally.  Autumn can now begin. Vogue8827_front

Many of you have probably already seen my previous posts on the journey thus far with the Vogue 8827 and while Ive had my fair share of hurdles from the “ready steady”, I have quite enjoyed the process.

After sewing multiple no-brainers all summer, like the McCalls 6751 (eerhm twice) to the DKNY LBD and the New Look 6150 (again twice), I decided it was time to dig into something a little more advanced. Vogue8827_back

So without further ado, here are the deets on the pattern :

{ DESCRIPTION } Very loose-fitting, wrap dress. Has front extending into collar with various draped fronts. Self-lined yoke back, inside ties & belt. I sewed up a mash-up of all three versions. I sewed View C with only one draped collar front, 3/4 sleeves & knee-ish length.

{ FABRIC USED } A beautiful berry coloured viscose jersey for €6/m. The colour is perfect for Autumn but the fabric did have me cursing a little.

{ SIZING } After ready a few of the previous reviews on PR I decided to cut my dress 2 sizes smaller.The fabric I used was super stretchy so I knew Id have room. The lovely ladies from A Challenging Sew and The Slapdash Sewist  have extremely helpful reviews on this dress so taking all the measurements into account, I knew I wouldnt bugger up.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } The instructions are not bad overall however the complicated collar area could have been a little better explained IMO.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } The instructions call for slip stitching of the yoke facing inside. I was able to pin & sew my yoke on the inside which I was happy about….less handstitching makes me a happy camper. I did however have to slipstitch the shoulder yoke facings down but this took no time at all.

I made quite a big change to the way the belt ties work. I sewed one tie to the left side which passes under the right side so you dont see the stitch line. I then made a small-ish hole in the right side seam for the tie to pass through & wrap right around my waist & meet in the front. For the right side, I opened a small gap in the seam & sewed in the tie (which is another reason I left this side faced). In other words, I made the wrap dress a proper wrap dress with ties that wrap around the entire body. I feel its a little more secure this way & I feel like I have more control over how loose or how tight I want it to be. Vogue8827_tie Vogue8827_tie_hole

When I first sewed the collar (which is self-faced), I didnt like the drape of the extended front piece & I was debating on whether to remove the facing. Some of you lovelies urged me to leave it the way it was which I decided to do & Im glad I did. Thanks for the advice. I think if I had changed the collar to a single, unfaced piece, it just wouldnt have felt or looked right. While the second layer of fabric adds bulk, its not terribly heavy & gives the much needed body around the neck. Here is a pic of the collar extended…. Vogue8827_front_collar

For the hemming of the dress & the sleeves, I zigzagged my edges & turned them over once & stitched really close to the edge. Its not the best finish in the world but it works.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY }  Vogue call this pattern Easy…I beg to differ. I wouldnt call it easy but I wouldnt call this pattern intermediate either. Its more a combination of the two. The dress is easy if you didnt have that complicated collar. I would not recommend this pattern to a beginner unless I knew they had someone who could guide them through the collar. The rest of the dress however is pretty straight forward.

{ TIME } I didnt keep my usual time card on this dress unfortunately but I would say from layout to finishing took around 6 or 7 hours in total. I stole moments here & there to get this dress finished & made a few stupid errors along the way ie. the one yoke is a little off grain. Not sure HTF that happened!

{ SUM IT UP } I recommend this dress & I would even recommend it in a crepe or something drapey but not necessarily a jersey/knit. Ive seen a few made in cotton which work well too so dont feel obliged to make this in a stretch.  Super comfortable & incredibly flattering which reminds me of a DVF classic wrap dress, without the price tag of course. Even if I counted all my beans & decided I could afford an original DVF, I wouldnt need to because I have this gorgeous piece of berrylicious loveliness. I will get plenty of wear out of this over Autumn but I know nearing Winter I will need to layer it with some other things to make it wearable over the colder days. In hindsight, I could have gone with a much thicker jersey which might also have been easier to work with.Vogue8827_side

Would I sew this again ? Maybe, but with there being so many other superbly drafted wrap dresses I doubt it. I also have that queue to get through…

Am I happy with the overall result? Yeah, mostly. This isnt my best sewing due to the fact that the fabric is fairly troublesome but overall its a great finish.  Im super chuffed with my new dress & I cant wait to make tons of use of it over the coming cooler seasons.

Thanks for popping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6150 } Autumn ruching…

Ive been doing a fair bit of jersey/knit sewing recently & this top caught my eye when I saw Annika’s version in a stripe. Before my pattern even arrived, I had selected fabric from my stash. I went for the floral matte jersey I had left over from the Butterick 4788 dress I made a few years ago. Can I just say until now Ive always loved seeing twin needle work & Ive always had a twin needle (three in fact) but never used them. I wasnt scared of trying it, I was just lazy to try it I guess. While I was sewing the DKNY LBD, I made a promise that I would make use of the twin needle whenever I sewed my next jersey/knit. Boy am I glad I did. How easy does the twin needle make sewing knits???  { INSANELY EASY }NewLook_6150_front Anyway, I used the twin needle for the first time on this top & its { LOVE AT FIRST STITCH }. I cant get enough. It was in no way perfect but DAMN it looks sooo much better than a single stitch. Now I just want to sew everything with a twin needle. I need to tweek my tension because I think its making too much of a welt between the 2 lines of stitching. The curse of the computerised machines means Im battling to figure out how to adjust my bobbin tension but I will conquer. Ok, moving along…

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6150 knit top with various options. I sewed View E which is a basic crew neck with ruched sleeve detail

{ FABRIC USED } A floral matte jersey

{ SIZING } For the most part pretty spot on. I do have some loose fabric around the upper arms but I will get to that…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } For the view that I made, instructions were not necessary but I browsed them over anyway.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } Initially I sewed in the exact length elastic they advised via the elastic guide however I didnt think it gave me sufficient ruching so I removed the elastic, cut it slightly shorter & stretched it more to give a nicer, fuller ruching. I still would like the upper sleeve to be poofier but hey ho, I know this is not the last one Im going to make so I will make the adjustment on the next. At the underside of my sleeves I have some baggy-ness so next time I know to cut the whole sleeve slightly smaller. I did not use binding around the neck as advised, I ironed on some bias tape & then turned it over & stitched it down using the twin needle. Again, its not perfect but for a first timer using the twinny, I think its good! Also, Im not entirely sure this top needs a seam down the back to be honest. I think the next attempt will have no seam & maybe a size smaller…lets see.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ** Easy, however anything with sleeves automatically gets another *.

{ TIME } A couple of hours – I didnt really check on this one.

{ SUM IT UP } Such a basic T-shirt pattern but the ruched sleeves give it a little kick in the ass & I like that. To make this top fit the last of the fabric I really had to do some genius cutting which had me scratching my head for a bit but it worked & Im so glad I took the time to find a solution. I reckon I can wear this summer & winter but I am looking forward to layering this with scarves & light jackets for autumn. NewLook_6150_back Sewing has been a little slow of late because we are having an awesome summer. When I sit & sew I feel bad because the sun is shining & I should be outdoors enjoying but then when I sit in the sun & think about sewing I feel torn – first world pains huh !!   { PFFFT }NewLook_6150_sleeve

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 2923 OOP } Clouding around blouson…

Another one of those patterns I have been wanting to make for ages but I was fraught with fear to cut into the “real” piece of fabric until I saw what it would look like on me so I decided to make a wearable muslin…I know, { ME MAKE A MUSLIN }…so I used this poly-cotton blend that I have love for..but not that much love for ifyouknowwhatimean. The pattern specifies a “moderate stretch only” & since rules mean absolutely blow all to me, I decided to wing it with the polycotton which doesnt give as good an idea on the final drape, but definitely gives me enough green light to go on & cut the real deal.

Im quite keen to sew the little jacket included in this pattern too – I like the wavy extended collar down the front & I love that its unlined with a two-piece sleeve…right up my alley. With all the success Ive been having with DKNY lately, Im convinced the jacket will be a hoot.
Anyway, here’s the deets on the blouson – V2923_top_front

V2923_back

{ DESCRIPTION } V2923, now OOP, DKNY loose-fitting, blouson, pull-over with keyhole back opening, thin shoulder straps and elastic waist.

{ FABRIC USED } Poly-cotton blend in black with print. Can you see these are flowers ? Sure you can…then why do I keep saying cherries….dang, must be because Im eating cherries in copious amounts at the moment!

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size for this & it absolutely fits like it should. It is loose-fitting & adjustments can be made to straps.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I did not use them…therefore I completely forgot to make the keyhole feature to the back – alas, I couldn’t care a less I forgot it.  I sewed the sides using french seams which worked really well & gave such a clean finish to the inside.

{ CHANGES }   Besides the change in suggested fabric, the only other change I made was using black satin ribbon for the straps instead of making it with the same fabric.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Super easy!

{ TIME } Start to finish, 1 hour.

{ SUM IT UP }  Easy, comfortable, simple – can be made with your eyes closed to be honest.  A great little top that can be worn alone or under a blazer for work – quite versatile really. Because I used the poly-cotton instead of a stretchier, more drapey fabric the blouson is a tad billowy at the bottom but I kinda dig that I can really eat in this & not have to worry about tummy bulge..or at least thats my story!V2923_front_blazer

Also, I think this top could quite easily fit into any maternity wardrobe…with the elasticated waist & the lovely drape, it would absolutely make space for growing tummies & boobies.

Oh & before I forget – I know Ive been reviewing a lot of OOP patterns recently & if your’e anything like me, I have choice words when I cant get hold of an OOP – drives me batty…something to do with being a gemini I think. So if that is the case with you, here are my sincerest apologies { SORRYYYYY }. There, now I feel better.

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 2091 OOP } “Hang my head in shame” dress…

I am embarrassed to say Ive had this V2091 pattern, now OOP, since 2001 & never made it…hence the title!

But the shame ends there peeps. V2091_front

This little number is gorgeous in every way – comfortable, easy to sew & versatile. What more could we want from a pattern right. & since this is my first me-made LBD, I couldn’t be more satisfied with the result.

Im not sure why it took me 12 farkin’ years..since it requires no zip or button or any of that crap, it really is probably one of the most rewarding 1 hours Ive ever spent in front of my  Sapphy.  { YEEHAA }. The last DKNY pattern I sewed was the V1027 & I fell head-over-heels for that one so Im thinking I may be developing a serious crush on these DKNY numbers.V2091_backSo below, the details of whats & hows :

{ DESCRIPTION } DKNY Pullover, tapered dress with right side pleats

{ FABRIC USED } Black cotton knit jersey – 2 way stretch

{ SIZING } I cut the 12 & decided to wing it. Sizing turned out great – no thanks to the stretch & the spanx!!

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Easy, simple. Had me snookered for a second at the construction of the darn cap sleeves but otherwise A-OK.

{ CHANGES } None – however next time I do plan to increase the width of the shoulders slightly.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Super easy, this is beginner frockery at its { BEST }

{ TIME } 1 hour, no serious!

{ SUM IT UP }  Easy, comfortable, simple, classy, casual but can be dressed up ….in one word { MAGIC }.V2091_boatneck

V2091_front1

I look forward to making many many many more of these. Im thinking I should be trying View C next.

Thanks for visiting lovelies…trust you all had a fabulous weekend x