Thursday, December 13, 2018

May 2018 in Review

May was another good month for sewing garments. I participated in Me-Made-May and made four pieces of clothes: another pair of maternity Seamwork Shelly Leggings, some maternity Seamwork Kaye Shorts, a Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Tee and a Seamwork Julia Tank. I also made four In Color Order Lined Drawstring Bags to wrap Mother’s Day gifts in. 

I liked my gray pair of maternity hacked Shelly Leggings so well that I made another pair, this time out of Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey in Heather Navy. They were an essential piece in my maternity and "fourth trimester" wardrobe. 

After making the Shelly Leggings, I had enough fabric left to try my hand at the Seamwork Kaye Shorts pattern. I drafted a new waistband piece and cut two to make a maternity panel like I had done with the Shelly Leggings. The resulting shorts were perfect for wearing under maternity dresses. I’m planning on making more regular Kaye shorts in the future since they’re the perfect pattern from using up scraps leftover from bigger projects. 

The only actual maternity pattern that I tried during my pregnancy was the Givre Maternity Tee by Deer and Doe. I made the Version B top in the third trimester size and made two disastrous mistakes. First, I messed up the PDF printing. I printed it at Staples since our home printer broke, and used the complimentary ruler to measure the test square. It was only a couple millimeters off, and rather than trying to fiddle with the Staples printer, I decided that was good enough. It wasn’t. I also let too much time pass between when I took my measurements and when I made the tank top. During pregnancy, it’s not just your bump that grows! I ended up with a shirt that bunched weirdly in the shoulders (due to the printing error), and was a little too small in the bust (due to the measuring error). I was so frustrated with the end result that I threw away the pattern pieces and washed my hands of the whole pattern. Ironically enough, this was one of the few shirts that still fit my bump at the end of my pregnancy, so I ended up wearing it a lot, even though it wasn’t perfect. 

After my failed Givre Maternity Tank, I grabbed a Seamwork Julia Tank that I had cut out the previous summer, before I was pregnant. Even though I knew it wouldn’t fit, sewing it up was soothing. Who knows, maybe it will fit by next summer. Even if it doesn’t, it was nice getting it out of my WIP pile. I’d like to give it another try sometime, because it’s a nice basic, and I enjoyed sewing it. 

At the last Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat I attended, I won a bundle of Karen Lewis fabric. I broke into it to make a few Lined Drawstring Bags for wrapping Mother’s Day presents in. The pattern is by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

April 2018 in Review

This year, April was all about making maternity friendly garments. I finished two hacked Shelly Leggings and one Ebony Dress. 

When the Shelly Leggings came out in the January 2018 issue of Seamwork, I thought they looked super comfy. After I found out I was pregnant, I decided to try to hack the pattern. I used a ready-to-wear pair of maternity leggings to draft a new waistband piece. For my black Shelly Leggings, I cut one waistband piece and hemmed it, like my ready-to-wear leggings. The result was okay, but not as comfy as I was looking for. Also, I cropped the leggings too much, and the bagged weirdly around the knees. I used Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey in Onyx, and I think a different fabric may have worked better at that length. It was a good first try, but needed improvement. 

For my second pair of Shelly Leggings, I used Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey in Onyx in Heather Grey, which was a little bit thicker than the non-heather Onyx color. I cut two waistband pieces so that the waistband was doubled, and cropped the leggings around mid-calf. The result was just what I was looking for! I lived in these leggings throughout pregnancy, and even into the “fourth trimester.” I even made a pair in Heather Navy the following month. Someday I’d like to make more Shelly Leggings, this time with no alterations. 

While not specifically a maternity pattern, the Ebony Dress by Closet Case Patterns is very bump friendly. I sewed version A and customized it by shortening the sleeves considerably. It was very swingy and fun to wear, but the lack of pockets bothered me. A few weeks after finishing this dress, I went back and added patch pockets, using the pattern piece from the Seamwork Sadie Sweatshirt (not pictured). I wore this dress often throughout my pregnancy, and it’s something I can wear next Spring as a non-maternity dress.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

March 2018 in Review

In March this year, I managed to finish two things: a Sessoms mini quilt and a quilted Weebrawbag. 

When Carolyn Friedlander re-released her Sessoms quilt pattern, it caught my eye. I’m usually not a fan of paper piecing, so I decided to do a small mini quilt version to figure out if I wanted to make a larger quilt or not. I grabbed a bunch of scraps, printed out a few copies of the template and set to work. enjoyed making the blocks, and would definitely like to make a larger version of this pattern sometime. For now, I sewed together what I had completed and made a fun mini quilt. One thing I learned is that I should print out more templates than I think I need to account for the inevitable mistakes I’ll make, since my paper piecing skills still have room for improvement. 

Speaking of things I enjoy, I really like the Weebrawbag pattern by Laura Zuckerkuss. I changed it up a bit by using a quilted slab left over from the Improv Composition Book Cover I made years ago, and by making four little pockets on the inside instead of two on the outside. I’m really happy with the end product, and it felt good to put the remnant from my other project to good use.