Nursing Friendly Maxi Dress

Nursing Friendly Maxi Dress

One of my favorite things about knowing how to sew is that it can solve problems. I’m a fairly boring and practical person, so if sewing can fix a problem for me or make something easier, I’m all for it! I’ve been frustrated with the lack of nursing friendly dresses in my closet lately, and finally decided to make a maxi dress that would still be easy to nurse Hattie while wearing. [Read more…]

The Knocked Up Seafarer

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During the first and second trimesters of this pregnancy, my Seafarers were definitely my most worn tops. They were roomy enough for my growing belly, and the long length was great. However, now that I’m in the third trimester, I thought it would be a good time to make a few adjustments to the original pattern to make the perfect maternity top!

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I bought the knit at Mood Fabrics last spring during Fabric Weekend, and it was fun to finally use it! I think I might even have just enough leftover to squeak out a top for Lola.

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Here’s a quick run down of the changes I made…

I cut my normal size medium for the top half, and tapered the side seams out to a large for the bottom half. I could have given myself even more room, but that’s the great thing about sewing with knits – the stretch is so forgiving!

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I also added an inch to the front hem (of the main body, not the waistband), curving down from the bottom of each side seam. The extra length should be plenty to get me through to the end of this pregnancy which will be nice.

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I ended up adding a bow out of the same fabric along the neckline after seam ripping a dang hole into the top. So frustrating, but in the end I liked the little bit of subtle detail that it added.

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Now I just need to make myself a few more of these. I have plenty of maternity shirts, but since this is my fourth baby, I think I’m just sick of them after wearing them so much. Know the feeling? Anyway, hope you have a happy Monday!

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DIY Maternity Jeans

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 If you don’t follow me on Instagram (@sewmuchado), you may be surprised to see the photo above, but it’s me! Yep, number four is on the way and due at the end of March. We find out the gender today, and I can’t wait! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted :).

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I spent the other evening in a maternity store, trying on every pair of maternity jeans that they have. Most of the maternity jeans I already have fit best later on in pregnancy, and I was sick of feeling frumpy in my regular jeans. I came home with one pair, but wasn’t thrilled with them. I was even less thrilled when I tried them on again at home.

The next morning I woke up and had another look through my closet and bin of maternity clothes. I came across a pair of jeans that I always liked, but had a broken zipper, and then it dawned on me that I should use them to make my own maternity jeans.

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I grabbed a pair of old maternity jeans that I had been given from my sister (who had been given them by her sister-in-law, lol), that were not exactly in style anymore, but had a band that I liked. I cut the waistband off as close to where it was sewn to the jeans as I could, and took it in quite a bit on one side so it would be snug enough on my mid-pregnancy belly to hold my jeans up. If you don’t have a pair of maternity jeans that you can steal a band from, you could use a belly band, or make your own with knit fabric. If making your own, make sure to add the curve for the front of the jeans when you cut it out, and I’d also recommend using knit with lycra or spandex in it. Without the lycra or spandex, the knit will likely stretch out and you’ll have issues keeping your pants up :).

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Next I cut the waistband of the jeans off, right under the waistband on the back, and dipping down into a curve in the front. I then stitched around the top, securing the pockets and belt loops to the top raw edge where I had cut.

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Right sides together, I pinned the band to the top of the jeans, adjusting so that the band would evenly stretch around the entire top of the jeans. I used a zigzag stitch to stitch them together, and they were done!

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The transformation literally took about 20 minutes from start to finish, and these are the best mid-pregnancy jeans I’ve had yet out of all my pregnancies. The band holds the jeans up well without me having to constantly adjust them, and the jeans themselves are comfortable. The best part is that they actually look like regular jeans rather than maternity jeans (because they are!), which makes me love wearing them even more.

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The top above is one of my Seafarer Tops – they’ve been so great so far with pregnancy, and I’ll be posting a tutorial soon on how to alter the pattern for a full belly! Stay tuned for some fun posts this week, including a book review and a fabric giveaway! Hope you have a happy Monday!

Pattern Blocked Top: Sewing the Trends

I’m so excited to be part of Sew Country Chick’s Sewing the Trends series today! I was lucky enough to hang out with Justine at Fabric Weekend, and she was so much fun in person. She is truly a creative soul, and I admire that about her so much!
There are so many fun trends right now, from bright neon colors to leather, but I eventually decided to make a project that takes advantage of the pattern blocking trend.
Haven’t heard of pattern blocking? Think color blocking but mixing patterns instead of color. I used the Seafarer Top Pattern as my starting point, but any basic knit top pattern would work!
My inspiration came from the Macaron Dress from Collette Patterns – I love the faux sweetheart yoke. Isn’t it cute?! I’ve wanted to make the dress for what seems like forever, but between being pregnant and nursing babies, I haven’t found the right time. I thought it would be fun to incorporate a similar yoke into a comfy, loose fitting top, and am really happy with how it turned out.
To pattern block, I used some leftover shimmery polka dotted knit that I also used for Lola’s top, and mixed it with a teal and grey striped knit. The polka dots were a Jo-Ann clearance aisle find, and the stripes are from Girl Charlee.
First I’m going to give you a quick run down on how I made the top, and then I’ll show some different styling options. I often hear that other’s are intimidated by color blocking and pattern blocking, but it can be so easy and fun to wear!
To adjust the pattern for the new top yoke, I cut out the front and back bodice pattern pieces and first drew the sweetheart shape I wanted for the front yoke.

I then drew a straight line across the back piece, making sure that the line would match up with the front piece at the sleeve.

Next, I cut along my drafted lines and cut out the front and back pieces, adding 1/2″ for seam allowance along each edge where the pattern was split.

Once my pieces were cut, I stitched the top and bottom pieces together (it was helpful to use a lot of pins and a walking foot). After topstitching, I assembled the rest of the top as normal.

I liked both prints on their own, but I think I actually like them both a whole lot more when they’re together! Oh synergy…
And since we’re talking trends today, I also wanted to share a few ways to style the top.
First, how I’ll probably wear the top most often – a casual look with a military jacket. With flats and shorts, it’s simple to wear and easy to put together for everyday while not looking frumpy.
Another option is to take the pattern blocking up a notch and pair it with yet another pattern! I love the floral mixed with the polka dots and stripes.
You can also add a belt over the patterned cardigan to change the look up a bit.
If you don’t have the perfect patterned cardigan, try styling your top with a solid cardigan. I like how the scalloped trim on this orange cardi adds texture to the outfit.
Whichever way I wear this top, I love that it’s easy and comfortable to wear, but still unique and on trend. My favorite kind of clothing :). Thanks for reading!
Make sure to follow along with the rest of the Sewing The Trends series!
Mon June 17 Bethany from Lil’ Bit & Nan
Tues Jun 18 Marie from A Stitching Odyssey 
Wed June 19 Shannon from Little Kids Grow 
Thurs June 20Melissa from I Still Love You
Fri June 21Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings
Mon June 24 Abby from Sew Much Ado
Tues June 25  Stacey from  Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts!
Wed June 26 Mercedes from Aventuras de Costuras
Thurs June 27 Mie from Sewing Like Mad 
Fri June 28 Alida from Alida Makes

 

Tulle Skirt Tutorial

Tulle Skirt Tutorial
Tulle skirts have become a huge trend for both the young and young-at-heart ;), and it’s not hard to see why! What’s more fun than feeling a little princess-y? Today I’m sharing a tulle skirt tutorial that is easy and fun to make, and that you’ll love to wear!
I love that frilly, femine skirts like this are in style – they can be both fun and elegant at once, and can make us feel like little girls again. I never thought I could love a skirt as much as a maxi skirt, but I may be mistaken…
I set out to make a tulle skirt that was easy to make, with an elastic waistband. The trouble is that if you simply stretch the waistband elastic to fit the tulle and lining layers, as with a basic elastic waistband skirt, you’ll end up with a huge poofy skirt, more dress-up-ish than elegant. Pleating the tulle rather than gathering will help the tulle to lie nicer, but then you have to deal with a closure and opening of some sort on the back of the skirt in order to get it on and off.
With this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to combine both methods to get the perfect tulle skirt – it’s easy to make and looks beautiful. The best of both worlds!
Ready to get moving?

*I’ll give the exact tulle measurements that I used for my skirt, but since we’ll be making lots of pleats and gathers, the measurements will probably work for most sizes from small to large. You can of course adjust for a smaller or larger size by adding more or less width of tulle. For the lining and elastic, you’ll want to measure yourself and cut as described below.

Materials:
Satin for lining – 2 yards (45″ wide)
3″ wide elastic – enough to comfortably fit around your waist plus seam allowance
*Seam allowances are 1/2″.
Directions:
1. We’ll be using the full 108″ of tulle width for the circumference of the skirt. You’ll just need to cut 4 pieces 108″ by the length you’d like. I cut 4 27″x108″ pieces. I’m 5’6″ and this was a perfect below-knee length for me.
2. For the lining, you can cut it the same length as the tulle (I originally cut mine a couple inches longer to be on the safe side), and as wide as your hips plus about 10″.
3. Sew the short sides together of each tulle layer and the lining as well. A serger works great, and if you don’t have a serger, you may want to use a french seam to keep the edges looking nice.
4. Matching up all of the seams and top edges, baste all 4 layers of tulle together. The most taxing part of this tutorial is matching up so much tulle – it’s hard to see when it’s all layered on top of eachother, but be patient and the rest will be a breeze!
5. Now that the tulle is basted into one piece, pleat and pin the top edge until it’s the same width as the lining. I like to continually pin on opposite sides to keep my pleats even. It’ll take some adjusting as you go to get the pleats right, and if they’re not perfect it’s not a huge deal :).
6. Matching top edges (with lining inside of tulle and both right side out), pin and baste the tulle and lining to eachother.
7. Stretch your elastic around your waist and cut a comfortable but snug length (plus 1/2″ for seam allowance). Tulle skirts are usually worn fairly high on the waist so keep that in mind as you measure. Sew the short ends together.
8. Open seam allowance and stitch each side down, 1/4″ from the seam.
9. Use pins to mark half, quarter and eighth marks around top of skirt and around elastic. Making sure elastic waistband seam is in middle back of skirt (you can choose whether to place skirt seams on center back or on one side), pin waistband to skirt, right sides together, at marks. The skirt will of course be larger at this point than the elastic.
10. Stretching the elastic as you go, use a zig zag stitch to join the elastic to the skirt.
11. Remove any basting/pleating stitches that may be visible from the right side.
12. Trim lining hem to same length as tulle or about an inch shorter if needed (it will then be 1-2″ shorter than toole when hemmed). Press bottom raw edge of lining 1/2″ toward wrong side, and 1/2″ toward wrong side again. Stitch in place.
Great job!
Grab your favorite flats and some pretty jewelry…
And enjoy your new skirt!