I’ve been struggling to find time to sew recently, with a job and a toddler rushing around me constantly. Exhausted is just half of it! But I jumped at the chance when Jasmin was looking for pattern testers for her latest sewing pattern, The Daphne …
Tag: Sewing Tutorial
To get myself back into sewing again I needed a quick project, I chose the Twig and Tale Sunny Hat. It’s been a while since I’ve sewn anything, with a new baby I’ve been quite busy. She has just started napping for longer periods of …
Versatile maternity clothing, I’m really running low on this. I’m currently shuffling through two to three dresses on rotation. Quite a few of them aren’t weather appropriate but they fit and that’s a win for me. But I definitely needed another maternity dress.
Choosing a Dress
I’ve started digging deep through my drawers to find forgotten clothes, that’s when I found a really old, fast fashion jersey dress. It’s so stretchy and comfy that it became a new favourite. As soon as I saw this beautiful Meet Milk Tencel jersey I knew what I had to do. Make a copy of that dress and make it quickly!
As this fabric is a loose rib it has plenty of stretch, perfect for my growing bump. The sustainable Tencel is also brilliant as it creates a lovely drape so it hugs my shape without being skin tight. The colour! That was another issue, the colours available in this fabric are all so lovely. I narrowed it down to 3, and after making this dress I think I need to order the other colour ways!
Tracing the Pattern
I started by making the pattern for my maternity dress, it’s a really simple shape, just one simple column with neck and arm bands. As the dress is symmetrical and fairly simple, I realised I could trace this pattern on the fold. I folded my original dress lengthways and traced it onto dot and cross paper. I did this by simply lying flat and then drawing round the rough shape of the dress. After this I moved the dress and tidied up the lines. Using my pattern master and a long ruler I was able to get smooth curves and straight lines. Using this pattern piece, for both the front and back of the dress. Not forgetting to add seam allowance, I added 1cm to the side seams.
Remember to check the traced pattern measuremenst against the measuremnets of the original garment as you go along. I then adjusted the neckline for front and back. The dress is high neck, but not the same both sides. I slightly lowered it at the front and checked by measuring the neckline of the original dress I was tracing. After that it was as simple as cutting out the pattern onto the meet milk tencel rib.
Sewing my Maternity Dress
As I don’t have a cover stitch machine, I usually go for bands in self fabrics to finish the neck and arms. It ends up looking more professional than a folded over hemmed seam. For the neck and arm bands I needed to calculate the band measurements. I’m sure there is a mathematical technique for this, but I usually just measure hole and then take a few cm off to allow it to stretch and lay flat.
I made the entire maternity dress on the overlocker, so it was super quick to do. With pattern to complete dress in about 2 hours. I used a zig zag for the hem, and as I don’t have a walking foot it’s not the neatest. But after a good press it looks fine.
I am beyond thrilled with my dress and it’s become a firm favourite, I’m hoping that due to the stretch and drape I’ll be able to wear it after I’ve given birth too!
What do you think? Do you love a simple dress?
You can check out more of my maternity projects:
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Makerist Make It Yours Challenge As you all know I love making my own patterns and adapting others. My fashion degree taught me pattern cutting and I love refreshing my skills. I still turn back to my pattern cutting reference books for help with various …
Recently I was asked to be part of the pattern testing process for Anna Allen Clothing’s latest garment – the Pomona Pants. It is a versatile pattern that comes with 3 different views, shorts, wide trousers, and tapered trousers. I love Anna Allen’s patterns, they are just my aesthetic, relaxed styles that always have different views and are easy to hack. The previous blog post here featured the Demeter Dress, which I also helped test.
I feel like my sewing has generally improved so much due to testing patterns, I have to read the instructions carefully and follow along step by step.
When I agreed to test the pattern I had a holiday planned for the end of the week, which meant I had limited time to get the pattern made up and reviewed for Anna. I decided to make the shorts version so I’d have something new to wear on holiday. But of course, with Corvid 19 my holiday was canceled but I have a lovely pair of isolation shorts to wear!
Pomona Pants Process
As the Pomona Pants pattern has an elasticated waist Anna advised us to use the measurement chart and pick the size based on hip size, as our widest part still needs to fit through the waist, which stretches to the same size as the hips. So I decided on a standard US size 6, as generally my hips are a bit larger and my waist slimmer than average.
I chose to use this lovely vintage fabric that my mum found in the back of a cupboard. Because I was in a rush due to my booked holiday I decided to skip making a toile and start straight on the final version. I had so much fabric if it failed completely I had loads more. This pattern is a simple one, as it has no side seams and a grown-on waistband it is just one main pattern piece and then a piece for the pocket. Therefore it was a pretty quick make, and I completed it in under 2 hours. I love the run and fell style seams.
So size 6 called for 30 inches of elastic, I sewed the waistband and formed a casing for the elastic. I then fed the elastic through using a safety pin to create something to grip as I passed it through. This tool is also recommended for thread elastic and ribbons available here
Once threaded I pinned it together and tried it on. I then decided to take the elastic in and ended up taking about 3 inches out of it and now they fit perfectly.
One thing I would say is that as there are no side seams if you needed to make your own adjustments it would be a little trickier as taking in the inner seam is harder to do without messing up the crotch.
Would I make them again?
One of the design features I particularly like is the fake run and fell seams that have the 2 lines of topstitching. This looks great but the busy fabric I chose means it is lost. Since this blog post, I have made a version in plain fabric. This really showcases detail, you can see it on my Instagram here. Made using this denim with jeans-style topstitching.
I’d also like to try the trousers version, Anna Allen made a beautiful canvas version of the tapered trousers here. Also a lovely silk version here. The pattern is available now, you can purchase it on Anna Allen’s Website
I’d love to hear if any of you make the Pomona Pants or Shorts – send me links in the comments
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Thanks For reading
As soon as I got the pattern for the Nita Wrap Skirt I knew I wanted to make it straight away. So rather than wait to buy some fabric I dug into my stash.
Over the years I have accumulated quite a large amount of fabric, a mixture of vintage and quirky patterns that catch my eye. Most of them are natural cottons, silks and viscose which are much better for the environment than man made fabrics. This also means they are better to sew with.
Making the Nita Wrap Skirt
Luckily I had this fab heavy Ikea cotton on my shelves just waiting to become a skirt. The Nita Wrap Skirt pattern is a PDF and you can select the different sizes you want to print. This makes it really easy to use. I started by making a toile in size 6. But I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t read the instructions, therefore I added extra seam allowance to the pattern and made it way too big. But after realising and taking it in it fitted perfectly. So for me this pattern didn’t need any adjustments.
Another great thing about the Nita Wrap Skirt is because it’s a wrap it is very giving with the fit, so if you chose a size large or smaller you can just adjust the button or fastening placement to make it fit you. It comes with 3 different lengths, I went for the mini as its more flattering for me, and 3 different fastenings; D ring, button or tie.
For mine I chose the button fastening, I decided to add two button holes but 3 buttons so I can adjust the size for the days I eat too much and need to let it out, as we all do haha. The buttons I used are vintage, also from my stash and I really think they finish it off nicely
- Quick Make
- Selectable Sizes on PDF
- Multiple style options
- Easy to fit
- No page number printing guide for PDF
- No pockets
Will I make it Again?
Yes definitely, I’m already planning it, but I’m going to draft some pockets onto the next one. You can purchase the pattern over on the SewDIY website.
Have any of you made the Nita Wrap Skirt? Let me know what you think either here or on my insta