Thursday, 22 September 2016

Maternity Makes #3..The Trousers...

No, I'm not trying to fob off an old make. Yes, you have seen these pics before. This is more of a refashion I suppose. Mostly out of desperation but it's a sewing move I'm glad I made.
So these are my Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers from last summer. 

I've really enjoyed wearing them, the only niggle was the waistband facing didn't fit perfectly (I wasn't quite sure how to adjust it once I'd made changes to the waist of the actual trousers so it didn't sit perfectly, but wearable none the less) 

So I'd been happily wearing my own jeans for a few months into being pregnant, I even went a month with a waistband extender as the bump grew. Now I say 'waistband extender' and it sounds like a legitimate thing, what I should have said was HAIRBAND. Loop it through the button hole and round the top button and you are good to go lady! Well, good to go until you really can't get away with it any more. That was when I had to admit defeat and get myself some actual maternity jeans. Unfortunately much easier said than done. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, most maternity clothing is just awful. Why you can't get your hands on every day garments that have been adjusted for your growing tum is beyond me. Everything is much poorer quality, very off shapes-do they even try these clothes onto pregnant women?! and I just don't like about 80% of any of it. Same goes for maternity jeans. I tried ASOS, M&S, H&M and then had a hissy fit and gave up. I just couldn't find a pair that fit well or felt nice, that's where these me made trousers and a pair of scissors came into play.

I really just wanted my own jeans with an added stretchy front part to accommodate said bump. So I tried on my denim trousers and marked either side of my tum and the bottom of the bump with pins (careful!) Then chalked a rough curve from either side to the centre.

Then I held my breath and went for it with the scissors. Eeep, no going back!

I forgot to take pics form this point on but basically I used a bit of black jersey from my stash. Pinned it right sides together around the edge of that curve and sewed it together. Folded the jersey up towards the waist band, stitched the sides and along the bottom again for strength. Added a piece of elastic across the front and secured either side to the denim waistband. Folded the top over to make a waistband casing for the elastic and that was that.

I have been wearing these loads and they seem to have enough stretch that should last the next few months too.

I imagine these will be pretty comfy to wear for a couple of months postpartum too and then I'll have to say goodbye as I don't think I'll be able to refashion them back! But I need to sort out that facing problem anyway so it'll force me to make a new pair. 

Know of any other maternity refashions that would be useful?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Crazy cat baby....

I was on a fabric buying ban when I, ahem, bought this fabric. Husband reminded me of that fact, 'But has cats on!' was my VALID response, 'aaaaannd it was only a couple of quid per meter from Regency Rags!' .....NFG.

I bought this jersey specifically for another project (soon to be blogged) but as I bought 2 meters I had more than enough to reel off another a few bits. I've been pinning away quite a few baby bits, although I am actually reluctant to tackle many of them. I just don't want to put in loads of effort for things to then be sicked up on and outgrown within a few weeks, fair enough I think. But there are a couple of bits that seem to be minimal effort and this is one of them.

I used this pattern and tutorial from Toddah. The sizes range from 6 months to 2 years, so there'll be life in this pattern. I actually decided to make up 3 sizes as the first pair were so quick and easy. I've gone with 6m, 9m and 18m which were actually a present for a friends cute little girl.

Obviously I won't be using these for a while, unless I have a giant baby (please don't be giant!) but I'm not sure about where sewing will fit into the next 6 months or so of my life so thought I'd get going with all of the lovely free time I play around with. I mean I'm sure I'll make time but honestly I sometimes think I'm never going to see daylight again once spud arrives if I were to believe everything some people told me. But my rational mind tells me that everyone does still manage to have a life of sorts at some point, I feel sure that the sewing machine will feature again one day :)

These sewed up well with a zigzag stitch (just excuse the few skipped stitches, I must remember to buy some fresh needles) I even remembered to add a label (well to one pair anyway) and then, on a cat baby roll, I printed off this pattern and tutorial and just LOOK HOW CUTE!.....

has cat EARS....

I wondered if I'd be able to get away with wearing matching leggings and hat but a general consensus brought back a firm NO on that one. Shame. I'll come back soon with what I did make though, safe to say I love it already.

Monday, 12 September 2016


Of course, I made this a few weeks ago but have left it to the last minute to actually talk about it and just get it entered into Karen's #Ginghamalong, but here we go.....

I got very excited when I saw Karen's Instagram announcing this wonderful idea. It's no shock that I love a bit of gingham, there's more than a few items on my blog, and I always seem to have some in my stash in various colours, so I knew I'd be taking part in this sewing fun and knew exactly which piece of stash to use. Come on down gorgeous blue and white check double duvet!

It's also old news that I love a duvet dress. The fabric of this one is particularly soft and I love the shade of blue, it's very Wizard of Oz but thought I'd try to steer clear of going full on Dorothy... 

Instead I wanted to recreate one of my favourite shop bought dresses, this pretty from H&M about 3? years ago....

I'm off on holiday soon and in need of a new dress to accommodate the growing baby bump I now have. This dress fits well, the empire line is perfect, but it's just a smidge short and also has been worn so much that up close it's a little bobbled, I'm sure I'll be wearing this until it literally falls apart though.

The bodice has bust darts, an empire tie waist and the back has a cute keyhole detail. However this cute little detail has left me a with a little circle of burnt skin on numerous sunny days so I'll be leaving it out of my new dress pattern :)

I decided to take advantage of the silent studios at work over the summer and cut this out on my lunch break. It was so nice to use a high table! It's the little things hey?

I decided to be super lazy and draw off the dress bodice straight onto the fabric. I added a 5/8 SA around the edges and actually decided to leave out the bust darts. As the drawstring pulls in the waist I didn't think it needed to be too perfect around that area.

You can just about see my pencil marks below...

I cut 2 of each back and front bodice (1 for lining) a long waist tie and rectangles for a simple gathered skirt.

I actually decided to use bias binding out of my stash for the neck and arm holes instead of lining the bodice and added button holes to the front bodice for the waist ties to go though. The channel for the ties was just the SA where the skirt was attached to the bodice, folded up and stitched down from the outside.

And here it is, my entry to the #Ginghamalong...

I think I'll add this to my list of successful maternity makes too. I really enjoy copy cat-ing shop bought clothing, especially with pieces that are so simple. It's great to be able to take your favourite elements and make your ideal clothing, I love this maybe more than the original just because of the little bit of extra length in the skirt.

'Scuse the off lighting in all of these pics, it was the end of a sunny day and the clouds/intermittent sunshine wouldn't cooperate but you get the idea...

Can I pack for holiday now?!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Maternity Makes #2....The TShirt....

I made this up earlier last month along with my Cashmerette skirt but it's only now that it's really starting to fit and I can show how it's meant to look rather than the saggy fronted garment it looked back then.
I treated myself to an actual maternity pattern and picked up this Megan Nielsen Cara Tshirt

I did want to try and get through the next few months making a few pieces where I just adjust the patterns I already had in my stash but it turns out I actually am in need of clothes that fit properly so I caved and thought I'd go for something designed to actually fit a growing bump. It bothers me that I might have clothing that is no use to me soon but I read a blog post where someone has just unpicked the side seams of their Cara Tshirts and sewed them back up without the ruching....SOLD!

These lovely stripes are a cotton jersey from Girl Charlee uk. I love the brightness of the blue. the fabric was a little thinner than I anticipated, but it's super soft. It rolled a bit when cut and the sleeve hems have puckered but I think that's more to do with my dodgy twin needle skills. I'm going to stick with super neat zig zags for a while, or maybe I should actually sit down and get that twin needle doing as it should......

As you could guess this is a really simple pattern. Easy to fit well (once the bump has grown into the extra space) and sews up quickly. I left the hem raw, I'm not sure if I mind that or not. I've been doing it more lately with stretch fabric, and especially as this has a curved hem I couldn't be bothered to try and hem it. 
Just in case you didn't spot it, I've highlighted my massive DURRR moment below. I was trimming down the inside seams and managed to slice straight through the fabric *CRY*

I didn't really think too long about how to fix it and just overlapped the fabric slightly and zig zagged over it. I figured it's where my arm will be or I'll wear a cardigan, or even if it is on show, I can't actually see it so it won't bother me. Is there a bit more of a subtle way I could have dealt with that?

I'll try to get a couple more of these sewn up for autumn. It's still steaming hot at the mo but I'm sure October/November will call for me wearing a few more layers.