1 May 2014

Island time

Wow, can't believe it's been a whole month since my last post... time flies when you are having fun and I very definitely was - just got back from 10 days in the stunningly beautiful Rarotonga. Living on Island time has been bliss but back to (cold - literally) reality now. Prior to our trip I was so busy trying to fit in work, finish a swimsuit and get cracking on my April Monthly Stitch challenge garment that I didn't get a chance to finish a post. Oh well.

This is the Bombshell swimsuit that everyone in the sewingverse seems to have made! I really wanted a maternity swimsuit but balked at the $100+ price tag that they all seemed to be. I bought a couple of cheap bikinis in a bigger size but they weren't a great fit. When I checked out my local warehouse they had only maternity tankinis and none in my size so I decided to give swimsuit making a go, with the added headache of adjusting for a constantly expanding waistline.

Purple bombshell swimsuit
Purple bombshell swimsuit

I kinda went with my gut feeling on how to alter it and not sure if it will successfully see me through the entire pregnancy but it worked for what I needed it to do and doesn't look too shabby if seen from a distance. Yes, some of the elastic went in bumpy and the edges of the cups aren't the best but I made a freaking swimsuit, that fits my bump and didn't fall to pieces when I was swimming and snorkelling. It also held up at my antenatal aquarobics class. Oh, and it cost ~$50 which I feel is pretty good considering the trouble I had finding swimsuit fabric locally (thanks to the monthly stitch facebook group for helping me find the fabric!).

Purple bombshell swimsuit
Purple bombshell swimsuit

Le bump is around 23.5 weeks in the swimsuit pics so still got a ways to go, if it keeps growing at the rate it has the past couple of weeks I have no chance of still getting into these togs at the end.

Second Laurel
Yesterday on my last day off work, I finished off my sewing double (April) challenge dress - I made my second version of the Colette Patterns' Laurel dress. Excuse the pictures - I took these quickly at work (first day back and not particularly enthused about anything) and I think my camera is on the way out... My first Laurel (below, left) I made this time about 1 year ago and was the second dress I'd ever made. I feel like I've definitely improved, however, making modifications to woven patterns for maternity is a whole 'nother area I need to work on.

Laurels side by side
This recent Laurel is my first attempt at a non-knit dress for my maternity wardrobe and fitting it was a pain. I wanted it to be loose fitting so it gently skims over the bump but what I first cut out was massive and had huge pooling of fabric at the back - not a good look. I already had had to make significant alterations to the original Laurel, so making further adjustments for the bump and expanded ribcage/bust this time around was a nightmare...

Second Laurel

Meh, it's wearable, has pockets (POCKETS!) and I don't know how to fix up the neckline (might be to do with the denim being a bit too rigid??) so I'm not gonna fuss around with it anymore. I'll still count it as a success. Hahaha, can't seem to stay away from the polka dots!

Second Laurel

Oh yeah, and this counts as my first day of Me-Made-Maternity-May 2014 :) Since I've been sewing kind of consistently for the past year I felt I could probably get away with contributing to the Me-Made-May challenge: I aim to wear one item of me-made clothing each day for the month of May.  I will probably have to resort to "Mum-made" items (hello knitwear weather!) as my me-made wardrobe is still pretty small, especially with me well into my second trimester. We'll see how it goes....I'm now 24.5 weeks so will be hitting my third trimester by the end of the month, eeeeeek!

Anyone else out there participating in MMM-14? For those of you who don't know, Me-Made-May is a challenge created by Zoe from So, Zo... What do you know?, a blog I've followed for a while now :)

31 March 2014

Bossy results - stripes overload

Well, I actually managed to complete a challenge and with time to spare! I completed both the maternity top and skirt basically within the first week of March, but it's taken me this long to replace the battery in my camera to get photos uploaded... when the photos were taken I was about 17 weeks along - now at 20 weeks I've actually popped and look pregnant rather than I've eaten all the pies. Can't believe I'm already at the half-way point!


As a reminder about the March challenge, some of The Monthly Stitch contributors voted on what I should be making this month and the overwhelming winner was the Megan Nielsen maternity skirt and top. Not surprising really!

Both patterns were simple to understand and sew up, especially now I have use of an overlocker. I was a bit gung ho with the top and inserted one of the sleeves inside out, but I think that was the only issue I had. Looking back at the photos just now I remembered I also had to take in the arms as they were quite baggy on me - I usually have the opposite problem!! I made the top up in a size M, based on the recommendation to use your first trimester/early 2nd trimester measurements.

I think for the next time I make the top I need to narrow the shoulders/go down a size as they seem to be sitting too wide? There is plenty of room for the belly to expand so I'll stick with that sizing. I'm not really sure about the shoulder fix though so suggestions are welcome!


For the skirt, this fabric came free with the pattern, which I got off Trademe, already cut to a size S. The previous owner never got around to making it up and sent it to me for free (yay) so I figured based on my measurements I could probably get away with using it. I think it's fine for now, but not sure how far through I'll be able to wear it - I'm planning on making up the medium for my next skirt. I think I'd like a bit more ruching down the side as well so might need to find some stretchier elastic or just increase the length of ruched portion...

I used a twin stretch needle for the hems on both the skirt and top: my first time trying it. I like the finish but need to play around with the tensions some more because it comes out with a bump so I think the bobbin is pulling too tightly.

I actually also made a maternity dress based off these patterns (one of the suggestions that comes with the skirt pattern for modifications) but haven't had time to get pics of it. Next time I wear it I'll snap some and might even do a wee tutorial of how I joined the two to get the dress (the widths of the correlating sizes in the top and skirt don't match up so I had to do a bit of finangling) - would you be keen to see how I did it?


Lastly, I used a tutorial from the Megan Nielsen blog to make this two-seam tunic top - I kinda stuffed up the neckline measurements (was cutting on the fold and forgot to halve the diameter, whoops!) so it's now an off the shoulder top. I also braided the tie with matching fabric.

All in all, I think I only paid for the patterns (second hand - $22 for both) and the fabric for the last top ($4.80) so for all 4 makes this month I'm doing pretty good! Yay for an inexpensive maternity wardrobe :)

12 March 2014

Getting back into a sewing groove

Maya making herself at home in my sewing corner

It's been a while coming but I have finally managed to find a few weekends and afternoons to get reacquainted with my sewing machine. I have been feeling ok for at least a month now but the thought of starting a new project (even a quick one) just seemed too huge so I kept putting it off. Anyone else get like that once they've had a break from sewing of at least a couple weeks?

So, as you may or may not know I am attempting to follow all of the challenges over at the Monthly stitch but 2014 hasn't been easy so far. The February challenge was 'smarty pants' and I actually did make some 'pants' that month but failed to get any good photos.


What you can't see is that these are the harem pants from Ralph Pink. I figured they would be nice and accommodating for my growing belly. These were the perfect thing to ease myself back into sewing as there were only 3 pattern pieces and it was really simple to put together, even on my regular sewing machine. My only issue was that the fabric I used was way less stretchy than what was recommended for these pants, so I had to redraft the waistband and leg bands to fit. This resulted in a waistband that is too wide for me currently (the pants only juuuuuuust stay up) but shouldn't be a problem in the near future at the rate my waistline is disappearing!

I will try get better photos of the harem pants and I will update you on my March Monthly Stitch challenge makes later on this week. Here's a wee peek at what I've been working on.

In other sewing news, my friend Erin, currently living in England, was back for a brief visit a few weekends ago and turns out she has an overlocker sitting at her parent's place not being used. Guess where that baby has ended up? Yes, that's right - in my care!!

I had never used an overlocker before but Erin gave me a real quick run down of how it works so I've been getting myself familiar with it. I think it will come in handy for all the cute baby clothes I want to make!!

Yay for getting my sewing mojo back :)

19 February 2014

March challenge: Miss Bossy Patterns

Hi all!

This is just a real quick post to get YOU to vote for what I should be making for the upcoming Monthly Stitch March challenge. The idea is that I pick patterns from my stash that I have yet to make, and you tell me which one I should sew. It was a wee bit hard for me to choose patterns from my stash, even though I've got heaps I haven't made, as I have one very specific criterion for any future sewing: must be a maternity pattern or able to be made pregnancy friendly!

Yes, I am pregnant, roughly 14 weeks and have just got a teensy bit of a bump :) I found out at the start of December and absolutely no sewing was getting done, hence the silence on the old blog. I'm feeling almost 'normal' now, albeit a lot more tired, but should be able to keep up with challenges (fingers crossed).

So onto the patterns:

Simplicity 8497

This is an evening dress but I would make version 4 (short, sleeveless dress but with gathered skirt), probably in a cotton or maybe something warmer as we are heading into autumn soon.

McCalls 6282

Would probably make version B, undecided whether to do sleeveless or with short sleeves. I already have a slinky black knit fabric picked out or a crazy spotted patterned knit in my stash, either of which would work well with the drape of the cowl. Would need to add ruching to the sides and probably remove some of the waist shaping to get this preggo friendly, but confident I could make it work!

Megan Nielsen maternity shirt and/or maternity skirt (really easy patterns so will make both if this wins!)

Luckily I bought these maternity patterns off trademe just before this challenge was announced so they are still unmade. I was going to make both the top and skirt any way, but have held off to include in the challenge, so if these don't win I'm not too fussed; they will definitely get made up soon :) Also have stash fabrics that would work for both.

So please, boss me around :)

Which pattern should I make?

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