Watcha Wearin’? Pregnant lady stuff

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Welcome to the closing of the Watcha Wearin’ January blog tour! Almost time for the rafflecopter giveaway (more on that below)! Today, I’m talking maternity makes. But first, a few words from Ti at Sewing by Ti about the tour:

So many people start the New Year with great big resolutions. If one of your resolutions for the year was to sew more this year, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve got an amazing group of bloggers that are going to share with you what they and their families are wearing this month. All day, everyday.

We’re going to talk about fabrics, patterns, and styles. We’re going to show you how to take Ready To Wear inspirations and turn them into reality. But most importantly, we’re going to show you how we REALLY use our handmades in our regular lives. Whether that’s lounging around the house, going to school, work, family photos even formal events, we’re going to show you how to make them work for how you live.

Alright, so sewing maternity gear. I have mixed feelings, I admit it. One the one hand, I want to wear the same custom fit me-made clothes I like to wear when I’m not sporting the semi-beached whale look (give me a month, then full beached whale will be achieved). On the other hand, I am exhausted and having some painful pregnancy side effects, and, as mentioned above, am getting quite large, and I don’t want to take all the time and effort to sew something that I can only wear while gestating. It’s a pickle. Here is my solution. I’m going to make a mini maternity capsule! (And then a baby capsule, but that’s another post.)

Requirements:

  • Maternity friendly, not strictly maternity wear – things I can wear while pregnant, but also postpartum. My goal is for these items either to work as is, or to require minimal mods to be belly friendly.
  • Semi-professional. Gotta be able to look reasonably put together for working with clients in my non-sewing life.
  • Not overly taxing on the noodle. Grad school + regular life + mommy hood + pregnancy brain = not a lot of brain power left for solving complex sewing problems.
  • Nursing friendly is a bonus, but not a requirement.

I’ll be working on these over the next month or two (see note about exhaustion and pain and being large and in charge above), depending on how fast I can go. Remember, I do sew like a sloth. 😉

My planned makes:

You’ll notice a lack of pants in this list. Refer to the first requirement. Pants for pregnancy are maternity pants. When you wear them after pregnancy, they are still maternity pants (but they are ridiculously comfortable, so why should they just be for maternity?!?!?!). I may make some leggings because I can kind of fudge those. IF I do make a pair of maternity pants, I’d probably do P4P palazzos or something like that.

So, what do you think of the list? Am I missing something? Feel free to share your ideas!

Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway! Look at these amazing sponsors!!! Some of my favorites are in here! 🙂

And, for anther chance to win a second prize pack with more awesome prizes, join the linky party! (Need help with the linky party? Ti’s got your back! Check out her handy guide.)

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It’s just a little pad, right?

FAIR WARNING! This post will involve talk of lady bits and period truths. Read on with that knowledge.

Alright, internet, let’s talk periods! What? This is a sewing blog. You are right, internet, it is. We’re going to talk sewing for periods. The first time I heard about cloth pads I was a teenager and I thought it was the strangest idea. I couldn’t imagine how one would reuse a pad. Well, I’m older and wiser and now I think they sound amazing. Why, you ask. I shall tell you!

  1. This is number ONE with a bullet! The cost of pads. No. Just no. It’s offensive. I don’t want to spend that kind of money (plus tax, thankyouverymuch) just for the “privilege” of expelling my uterine lining every month. No. Thank. You.
  2. Commercial pads are so wasteful. Convenient, yes? But just straight up bad for the environment. I want to limit my damage where I can.
  3. My periods are awful. They are a singularly miserable experience. Why not make them a little bit brighter with pads made from my favorite fabric scraps? Always good to add a little whimsy and humor to your life when you feel like your lower abdomen is being sent through a meat grinder and you want to kill everyone and everything. I think those that have to fend off my fire breathing hatred with a steel chair have to interact with me might appreciate it if I had a little chuckle during that wretched time each month. Laughter never hurts, right?
  4. I think I’m developing an allergy to commercial pads and I can’t use tampons. That’s no fun. I know I’m not allergic to fabric. Never to glorious, glorious fabric. I love you fabric.
  5. I have a lot of fabric scraps and not a lot of ways to use them.

Alright, so sew some pads. Well, internet, I have a confession. I’m afraid of sewing cloth pads. I don’t know why. I’ve wanted to make them for a long time. I’ve researched. I’ve joined groups. I made a plan for storage and cleaning. I’ve ordered special absorbant materials. I’ve gotten patterns. But I give it all the slanty eye from a safe distance for fear that it will bite me if I get too close.

You know you made a backpack, right? Why are you scared of making little, sassy, adorable pads? I DON’T KNOW, INTERNET! STOP JUDGING ME! 😉

BUT NO MORE! I am here to say that the time for fear is OVER. I am going to make my first pad. And then I am going to make my second one. And I will keep making some to build up a little stash. These are not empty promises, internet. Oh no! This is truth. Need proof? It’s on the internet, so obviously it’s true. 😉 And to keep me honest I shall report back here with my creation(s)!

But which fabric should I use for my first pad?!?! HELP! (These are all from my stash. They also all happen to be Star Dust & Moon Beam fabric, which I love.) Not pictured: LOTR and an embarrassing amount of other amazing geeky SDMB fabric to choose from. I’m leaning towards Star Wars or Alice because I have more of it…but I don’t know. Help me decide!

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In honor of this life-changing decision, nay, self-commandment, I want to share a little giveaway with you that’s going on over at The Happy Hippos Patterns. (And can I just say that this group is so kind and supportive. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.) I recently joined the group and got a couple patterns that I’m really excited to try out.  I want to be a happy hippo! (I assume the hippos are happy because they’re menstruating into soft, delightful, custom-made pads.) They are giving away some awesome prizes over the next couple of weeks, including:

Bugaboo fabric Art Gone WIld pad panel set of 6.
Wanderlust fabric 1 yd store credit
NR fabrics fabric 1 yd art gallery and 1 yd solid c/l
Rad patterns Lucky undies pattern
Kimmy Snabric 1 yard bamboo lycra fabric
Pickle toes patterns 1 pattern of choice
THH pattern bundle of 3
Pad cuts of THH fabric bundle of 3
The Happy Hippos 10″ Suprise Print Pad
Sahara fabrics pad maker’s padded fre pack
Emma bomb fabrics scrap pack
Beanpop Diapers $25.00 store credit

Whoa! If you love giveaways or if you’re a devout cloth pad lover or if (like me) you are a cloth pad making wannabe, head on over to the Happy Hippos Facebook group (linked above and if you click on the pic below) for the chance to win these awesome prizes!

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Greenstyle Sybil Robe

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Look at that wind effect!

Don’t let the name fool you. This pattern can be SO MUCH MORE than a robe. (But it also makes an awesome robe.)

I was lucky enough to test this lovely new pattern from Greenstyle. I love testing. I like helping designers and I like being a part of the process. I also like having a deadline  – it helps my poor grad school, pregnancy, overwhelmed little brain focus on sewing. 🙂 Somehow, even though I have been kicked in the teeth by this before, I ended up using a thin sweater knit for this test. And though I love the color and the feel of the fabric, sewing with it made me want to stab myself in the eyeball with a fork. It’s like I have some kind of sewing amnesia. I have fought some devil fabric during tests before. And I’ll be honest, the devil fabric wins…or maybe it’s a tie, but either way, I come out cursing like a pirate and throwing things and swearing I’ll never sew anything again and looking up how much I can get for my sewing machine on eBay.  Stupid sewing amnesia. No more mystery thin sweater knits during testing! (Wait…in a few more blogs, I’ll post about sewing with a mystery thin sweater knit for a test. I never learn.) My battle with this thin mystery sweater knit was not as epic as some, but I did have to put my creation in time out for several days after completing it. It needed to think about what it had done. And I needed to eat some cookies and calm myself before putting it on again, so I could look at it objectively.

Onto the Sybil. This is the second Sybil sewing pattern love in my life. My first is the Love Notions Sybil skirt (affil link), incidentally the first pattern I ever tested. I love that collection to pieces. And I love the Greenstyle Sybil robe nearly as much. It has several options. View A is a straight bodice with several ties down the front that creates a lovely vintage robe look. View B is a crossover bodice (this is the one I did). It also has multiple sleeve lengths. And it is so very awesomely hackable. (I think I made that word up. It’s mine now. You can’t have it.) 😉

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Side view. Hello belly! (And I appear to have been slightly off-balance.)

I tested the 2XL size in the crossover bodice. (For reference, I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt underneath in these pictures, so there’s plenty of room for layering.) I left a raw hem because evil mystery thin sweater knit deemed it so. Also, I liked how it looked. Let’s just say I planned it that way, okay? 😉 I also did a decorative band on the sleeves instead of hemming. I shortened the bodice by about 2 inches to give space for my growing 5+ month pregnant belly. I also did a button instead of a tie sash for the crossover. I’m happy with it, but will probably raise the bodice another 1/2 – 1″ next time I make it. I will say that I was pretty grumpy after finishing this because the fabric gave me such fits. But as soon as I put it on my husband beamed and exclaimed that he loved it.

 

 

Greenstyle Sybil Robe: The Rundown

  • Size range: XXS – 3XL
  • Fabric needed: about 2 yards (depending on size and length)
  • Recommended fabric: knit fabric with 20% stretch – scuba, ITY, cotton lycra, french terry, etc.

Pros: 

  • Different bodice views and sleeve options for versatility
  • Comfortable AND fashionable. I’m kind of a I-want-to-look-g0od-and-feel-like-I’m-in-my-PJs kind of girl. This totally fits the bill.
  • Versatile with a capital V. I love a pattern that inspires me. And this one definitely does. I look at it and just see possibilities. I love the pattern as is, don’t get me wrong, but I also love knowing that I get a lot of bang for my buck. Testers did all kinds of hacks (I even did a little one) and they were all awesome. Plus, you can use a variety of fabrics: sweater knit, cotton lycra, micro fleece, fleece, brushed poly, etc.
  • Princess seaming in bodice. This is a personal pro – it’s just one of my favorite things in a pattern. Princess seaming is just flattering. The end.
  • Maternity friendly!

Cons:

  • The gathering can be variable depending on your fabric, and gathering is not always the most flattering thing around your waist (if you have a waist like mine). I was grumpy with my aforementioned mystery thin sweater knit from hell when I went to all the trouble to do the gathering and you can barely see it in the finished product! But that’s the fabric, not the pattern. It’s just something to be aware of when choosing fabric for this pattern.
  • I’m not 100% happy with the fit I got in the armscye. I need to make it again in a different fabric to know whether this is something I need to do a pattern alteration for, or if it was just the evil mystery thing sweater knit from hell thumbing its nose at me.

Bottom line

For me and my body and my personal preference, I give this pattern two thumbs up.

I already have more planned for myself – a birthing robe, a sweater not made from evil mystery thin sweater knit, and maybe some french terry. I also have a cozy micro fleece version planned for my grandmother, who has be in a rehab facility for a few months after an injury.

Thanks for reading! If you haven’t tried it, I hope you enjoy the Sybil. If you have tried it, hooray! I hope you’re loving it!  🙂 Get the pattern here.