Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Maternity Style: My Mom-iform

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This post is sponsored by White Plum. Find all sorts of great fashion items for the every day woman at a fabulous price. Use discount code MELISSA20 for 20% off your entire purchase until 7/7/14. 

I’m officially 25 weeks along now (how is it flying by so quickly?), spending more and more time each morning scouring my wardrobe for comfortable items that will stretch with me throughout the day. I’m finding I reach for my stretchy dresses and leggings more than anything. I’m also finding that I’m running out of shirts that adequately cover my belly.

Funny how clothes that I thought would fit for my whole pregnancy are already becoming too tight/short.

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To remedy that situation, I sewed up Megan Nielsen’s ruched maternity shirt in a mint jersey. The mint color is a bit of a gamble for me since I’m prone to stain just about anything lighter than middle-grey. But it’s such a gorgeous color I couldn’t resist.

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It’s also such a neutral color that I can pair it with just about any of my pants (that still fit). This one-layer wonder is going to get a lot of wear this summer.

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As all of Megan’s patterns, this was a breeze to sew up and fit was spot on the first try. Adjustments made:

  • lengthened shirt hem by 1 1/2 inches
  • lengthened the sleeve hem by 1 1/2 inches
  • tapered the sleeve at the hem by 1 inch
  • raised the neckline by 1/2 inch

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I added a raw band to the neckline and sleeve hem, then steamed the bottom hem so the knit would roll nicely. I need to launder the shirt so the sleeve and collar roll a little more, but as the hem is now, it doesn’t bother me.

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Chris said he liked the ruching. I do too. I’ve tried to sew items that will work for both maternity and postpartum, but this may be the only exception. I don’t see how it will flatter post-pregnancy, because it’s ruched only in the front, but I’m more concerned about comfort at this moment. The leggings will definitely be great after baby arrives, though! I live in leggings these days.

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Outfit details:

What are your go-to summer items for comfort? Leggings? Tees? Skirts?

 

Maternity: Yellow Bridesmaid Dress

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Speaking of Eric and Margaret’s wedding, the girls were asked to wear yellow. Before searching online for maternity options, I knew I needed to make my dress. Afterall, chances are really slim that I’d be able to find a maternity dress that hits close to the knees with sleeves in yellow. A quick search confirmed it. NOPE. No problem though.

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I found this comfy bright mustard jersey, but it was so plain. I didn’t want a solid yellow dress, so I immediately thought of my friend Miriam and her magical stamps that she carves. She’s such a sweet friend and let me borrow her geometric rose stamp (here and here). Isn’t the design simply brilliant? Sometimes I covet her artistic genius, so it was fun to be able to borrow it for this little (ahem, big) dress.

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I’ve been living in my jersey shift dress that I made last year (it just stretches right with you), so I made another one with raglan sleeves. I used Hey June’s Raglan tee pattern as the base. I can’t get enough of that pattern. By the end of the summer, half of my wardrobe will have raglan sleeves, I just know it.

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The sewing was pretty quick, but printing took about 3 hours to do for front and back pieces. I was trying to get it done in time for Eric and Margaret’s first reception, but it didn’t happen. It’s one of those things where I have to let go of any previous expectations or I won’t be any fun. I’m glad I let go and took my time on this one.

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I paired the dress for the reception with cream and gold accessories. I feel like it toned down the bright yellow while still keeping it light and summery. I believe I’ve worn this exact outfit a handful of times since finishing the ensemble the beginning of May.

 

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Outfit Details:

  • glasses: c/o Coastal
  • earrings: Aldo
  • blazer: H&M
  • dress: handmade
  • belt: vintage
  • watch: c/o Tai Pan
  • shoes: Aldo

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I hemmed everything with a serged blind hem so it’ll stretch with me as I do. Can you tell my face and arms have started to fill out? I can!! There’s no denying that I’m pregnant anymore.

Tangent: I’m 24 weeks along now and I feel so much bigger at this point in my pregnancy than with the last two. I’ve certainly had my fun eating my way through Phoenix and Salt Lake this time around. I don’t feel bad about it though. I’m so stoked to be growing a baby again! Also, it’s been fun that Chris has kept the fridge and pantry well-stocked with ice cream and anything my baby belly desires. Since he’s been home (it’s been over a year since he left his job!) he’s been more involved in the pregnancy. I love that. I’m terrified of the transition from two to three kids, but if I’ve got Chris by my side I’ll be able to handle anything.

Sewing: 6 Ways to Wear Track Pants

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Pants are the first thing to become annoyingly uncomfortable to wear while pregnant. They’re too tight in the waist, they’re not flattering, they’re too saggy in the butt, the list goes on.

In the last few months, there are a few new pants trends that have really piqued my interest: harem pants, trouser pants and track pants. I’ve teamed up with Merrick to share with you 6 ways to style track pants. Click here to see how Merrick styled her pants.

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What are track pants, you ask? It’s a sporty pant that skims the body, not tight, but not too loose. Sometimes they have a tuxedo stripe down the side, but usually they cuff at the bottom. Think sweatpants, but awesome.

Most track pants are out of a woven material with an elastic waist. Sometimes with a drawstring. The waist appeals to me on multiple levels: I have yet to sew a real zip fly on a pant and stretchy elastic is all I want around my growing waist these days.

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The novelty of these pants is that you can dress them up for a little high-low contrast, or dress them down without being frumpy or trashy (*ahem* like those track pants you see with “juicy” along the butt. YIKES!).

I made this particular pair (there will be more to come) with a lightweight tie-dye jersey (here). The description says medium-lightweight, but this is a full-blown lightweight knit. If it weren’t in such a dark colorway, the fabric would likely be see-through. I liked the drape and the softness of the fabric, so I opted to use this for pants. It’s funny how similar the print and color are from my last pair of pants.

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I self-drafted the pattern based off of the leggings block I made at Sewing Summit last year. I added a side seam and added 3.75 inches of ease to the pattern for a looser fit. I suspect that amount of ease will be perfect for a pair of woven pants as well. I didn’t do too much to the pattern beyond that, but I plan on drafting up pockets and possibly a tuxedo stripe in the future. The possibilities with this leggings block are endless!

The pattern was easy to sew, but the fabric was a little bit of a beast to work with. Cutting took forever and matching up the print on the seams was impossible. Big bummer, but they still turned out great. They’re my new favorite pants now!

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With Utah weather being indecisive, I decided to show you three ways that I have styled these pants to accommodate the changing temperatures. Last week we spent time in 90º, 70º and 50º weather. Seriously, a huge swing! But I’m convinced these light-weight pants are the perfect transitional wardrobe item for PMS-ing spring weather.

So here’s my unsolicited, expert* advice on how to wear the track pant through spring:

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Hot Spring Days

For hot spring days, I’ve added a lightweight woven tee, a sunhat and some strappy heels. Roll up the hem to show a little extra skin. This shirt isn’t as loose as it was when I first made it; but a loose or boxy top would work really well. If you’re afraid of looking shapeless, add a structured blazer. However, if you’re wearing a top in a light enough woven with lots of drape there’s no need to add any structure at all.

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Outfit Details:

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Warm Spring Days

When the weather is nice, but there’s just a little chill in the breeze, I add a light blazer. Here I paired it with a fitted v-neck tee, a boxy blazer and a chunky heel.

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Rolling up the sleeves of the blazer gives it a springier feel and keeps the boxy blazer from taking over the frame. The heel balances out the baby bump up top.

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Outfit Details:

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Cool Spring Days

Is it just me or do cooler days warrant a flat? I rarely feel like wearing heels in the middle of the winter. Perhaps it’s because of the snow, but likely because most of my heels are open-toed. Either way, my cozy day go-to is flats. The t-strap flat is dressy while still being low-key. The patent really makes these particular shoes awesome, in my opinion. I’ve paired the pants with a chunky knit sweater (interestingly enough this fits me better now that I’m pregnant because of the longer front) and a denim jacket.

Wearing a monochrome palette has been one of my favorite things lately. Mixing texture and textiles in the same color family adds depth and dimension.

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The other day, it was threatening to snow, so I sported my ankle booties with these pants. They worked, but I think a slightly lower boot shaft would have been ideal. A little bit of ankle peeking through is key with the pant, in my opinion.

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Outfit details:

So, will you be hopping on the track pant trend any time soon? You won’t regret it. They’re crazy comfortable!

Check out Merrick’s Art for how she styled her track pants!

* I am no fashion expert. I’m sure in some circles I’m viewed as a total wannabe. But I’m happy to share my opinions about style all day long.

Quick Sewing: Ruffle Raglan Floral Dress

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Sewing is perhaps one of my favorite Sunday activities. I try not to go all “Project Runway” by pinning, hemming and cussing as I’m walking out the door to church, I try to approach Sunday sewing from a more meditative perspective. Strange, I know.

Sewing can be so relaxing for me sometimes!

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A couple of weeks ago I was in one of those moods. I had the time and the energy and blue thread already in my serger. I picked up this leftover fabric from these leggings, the Recess raglan pattern and set to work. I literally squeaked out every square inch of the leftover floral fabric! I had under 10 square inches of fabric left when I was done sewing up this dress. Kind of a proud moment to use up every scrap. Usually what happens is I have an awkward amount of fabric left over and I don’t know what to do with it. Give it away? Throw it away? Try to recycle it to something else?

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I opted for simple finishings with this dress. The sleeves and hem are raw with a simple band for the neckline. The knit on the sleeves is curling up ever so slightly now so it looks like it was left that way on purpose. The un-hemmed ruffle seems to finish off the bottom without an actual hem.

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When I was sewing it up, I actually just eyeballed the length of the dress, assuming it would fit. And it did. But with Penelope growing so much, she’d be able to wear this as a dress for about 3 days before growing too tall for it. The ruffle adds the perfect amount of length to the bottom, letting it graze right at her knees so she’ll have the whole summer to wear it alone, and the fall and winter to wear it with leggings.

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The floral fabric is a 25% stretch cotton knit that I scored at the thrift store a couple years ago. I may have gotten the yardage for somewhere around $2 for 2 yards. $2 for leggings and a dress? Major win. :) I also love that this print has a lot of masculine colors incorporated with the feminine print. It just fits Penelope to a T. She’s a girly girl getting more obsessed each day over hair, makeup and clothes; but there are only boys her age on our street. And she not only keeps up with them, but she keeps them on their toes. It’s pretty cute.

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One of Penelope’s preschool teachers a few years ago told us, “She’s the girliest tomboy I know.” Which I think is the best of all worlds!

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When I surprised Penelope with her new dress, she gave me the world’s best reaction. Seriously, this girl knows how to make her mama feel loved and appreciated. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have time to sew her a fancypants Easter dress this year. I’m hoping to put something together after the holiday, though.

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I told Penelope to strike her most adorable pose. This girl is ridiculous.

Do you have an Easter dress tradition in your house?

Sewing: Maternity Raglan Circle Tee

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YUP! Another baby bump!

We’re so thrilled to announce that we will be welcoming Esplin #3 into the world the beginning of October. The news wasn’t completely real until I heard the heartbeat last week (at 14 weeks!). That first listen to the heartbeat gets me so choked up every time.

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All the discomfort and nausea is for something. Although, I must confess this time around has been much easier than with Felix or Penelope. As long as I’m consuming a steady stream of soda water, gummy bears and pot stickers; I seem to be just fine. It’s mostly been my energy and focus levels. They’ve been at an all-time low lately. I’ve been working on clearing my plate of extra work, slowly but surely that’s happening (as you can tell with the lack of posts here).

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Penelope is thrilled with the news. She’s hoping for a girl. And secretly, we all are. We only have a girl name and girl clothes! Felix destroyed all of his clothes, so we’d have to start completely from scratch if we had a boy. I don’t know why, but my heart has been set on a girl from the beginning. We’re happy with a baby, boy or girl. But I still want a girl. ;)

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I’m about 15 weeks along and quickly starting to show. I’m at this awkward point where I still fit in my old clothes, but I feel like if I wear anything too form-fitting; I’ll look like I ate a giant burrito, not pregnant. That’s pretty much what I’m thinking all the time. Can we blame those crazy thoughts on hormones?

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Besides that, I’ve been thinking and sewing up various pieces that I feel may be versatile during and after pregnancy. I don’t want pieces that make me look like a giant tent; but things that I can wear alone, with a belt or a blazer and feel perfectly comfortable in my own skin.

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Inspired by this look, I used the base of Hey June’s Raglan tee, did a little slash and spread (I use the same technique in the maxi wrap tutorial) and lengthened the hemline by about 7-8 inches and created a slight high-low curve to the base.

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The funny thing about this fabric is that it seems to stretch vertically as the day wears on. I steamed the shirt not long after and instantly added 4 inches to the hemline! Strange, right? I’m thinking this hemline will work for now, but I won’t know for sure until after I have washed and dried the garment for the first time. I’m tempted to keep the longer hemline because my belly is only going to grow 10 fold, too.

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Adjusting the pattern of this top took about 20 minutes and sewing up the top took just under an hour. I used a slightly different method for hemming the sleeve and neckline. instead of sewing the bands with folded side out, I sewed them with the raw edges out. So the top is finished with all raw edges, but it looks more finished than if I had just left it as is. Given the pattern on the shirt, this detail is incredibly subtle, not something that the camera could pick up really well.

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I’ve got Penelope to thank for pictures today. She was such a doll, beaming with excitement to help me in the studio. It’s fun to have my own little assistant in-house!

Outfit details:

  • glasses: c/o Coastal.com (use code SAC1PE6T for 25% off)
  • necklace: c/o Cambria Cove
  • earrings: etsy
  • bracelet: THP Shop
  • skinnies: Forever 21
  • shoes: Forever 21
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