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Monday, May 21, 2018

My Top Clothes to Sew for Pregnancy - DIY Maternity

I hate shopping for clothes. I can try clothes on all day and leave with nothing that fits me well or is the right fabric. I find it's easier to make myself an entire outfit than shop for one. I also really enjoy buying fabric so naturally I should use it and not just collect it. I am a mother of 5 precious children. When I got pregnant with my last child, I was well on my way of sewing a handmade wardrobe. I have definitely learned what has worked best for me when it comes to dressing the bump and staying comfortable in pregnancy. Today, I am excited to share with you a roundup of all the patterns that I enjoyed wearing the most over this past pregnancy. Surprisingly, most of my favorite patterns for pregnancy are not maternity patterns. I have broken this post down into two main categories: Tops and Bottoms. The patterns within each category are not in any special order. 


Wrap Tops

The LAVitality Wrap Top was a top that I made in my second trimester because it looked like it would be great for breastfeeding. I was due in January so I knew I needed some long sleeve tops that would be easy to nurse in. The pattern has a regular length and a longer length. I made the longer length, and the special surprise was that it ended up working great for maternity and was so nice for breastfeeding in once baby arrived. I blogged about this pattern here when I first made it.  

I never got around to blogging about this pink wrap top that I made using Simplicity 8424. I wore this at least once a week in pregnancy (once it was cool enough outside). I made View E and added 5 inches to the length and added extra to the ties. I planned on wearing it postpartum for easy nursing access. However, once my baby belly was gone, I felt it had too much fabric, and it swallowed me. I plan to shorten the ties back up and wear it again this upcoming fall. 

Fitted Shirts 

I wore a lot of Greenstyle Green Tees and Greenstyle Centerfield Raglans this past pregnancy. I used a really easy maternity modification to make them work for pregnancy, and then, once pregnancy was over, I un-modified them and am still wearing them. I blogged about how to hack a t shirt pattern into a maternity top here. This black top is the Green Tee, which is free with a code in the Greenstyle Facebook group

This is the Greenstyle Centerfield Raglan I made using that hack. The first photo was early in my second trimester, and the next photo was at the gym in my 3rd trimester.

Shirts with a Bottom Band

The Hamburg Dolman by Shwin Designs is the one shirt that if I found out I was pregnant, I would make like 10 of them ASAP before first trimester exhaustion set in. This is not a maternity pattern, but in the tunic length using rayon spandex, it had all the room I needed until the very end. This top was extremely comfortable! I have since given it to a friend who had no more room left in any of her maternity clothes and needed more tops that would last through the rest of her third trimester. 

The Stitched Upon a Time Spoxxy Top was also a favorite of mine. I wore this one to work out in or go on walks with my kids. Unfortunately, this pattern was retired so it is no longer available for purchase on their website. My friend Aimee found a similar (free) pattern that would work just as well, if not better because it has a bit more ease in it. You can read her blogpost here for the details.

I had a bunch of Patterns for Pirates Pumpkin Spice Dolman Tops that I had made the winter before this pregnancy that fit me great during pregnancy. I was so happy that they fit so wonderfully when our weather turned colder. This is one in rayon spandex that I wore at 36 weeks pregnant. 

Here is another Pumpkin Spice Dolman in a loose weave sweater knit at 38 or 39 weeks pregnant. This pattern does not have to be made with the band, but I loved how the band at the bottom brought it in and made me look like I still had hips.


I wore my Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dresses all the way to the end of this pregnancy. This is me at 32 weeks in a sweater knit swing dress. 

And here I am at 38 weeks in a brushed poly Scarlet Swing. I had no intentions of getting pregnant when I made these dresses so I used my not pregnant measurements and made these the winter before I became pregnant. Even though my bust size went up 4 inches during pregnancy, they still fit great. You can read my blog post that I wrote when I first made these dresses here

Simplicity 2147 is a very sweet woven dress that I made before pregnancy that just happened to fit (as a tunic) until the end of my pregnancy. I wore it all the time and blogged about it here


Leggings and Yoga Pants

Leggings are the ultimate staple in every pregnant woman's wardrobe and for the postpartum period when your body is still adjusting to normal. I don't usually wear athletic tights when pregnant; rather, I am talking about pants that feel like pajamas while being stretchy and slim fitting so I can grow without realizing it. Two of my favorites were the Hey June Mountain Pose Pants, cut at capri length, and the See Kate Sew Capricorn Leggings with the maternity rise.

The Mountain Pose Pants are flared at the bottom, but I cut them as a capri length and wore them as capri leggings. I made two pairs in cotton lycra, a solid black and a charcoal, and wore them constantly. The waistband was so comfortable on my growing stomach and the ease in the pants was perfect as my hips got wider as well. I blogged about the Mountain Pose Pants here when I first made them, and I was still wearing them here at 3 weeks postpartum.

I did not make the See Kate Sew Capricorn Leggings until my 3rd trimester. I was a tester for this pattern and wished I had made a few pairs earlier in my pregnancy. Since I was in my 3rd trimester, though, I needed to go up a few sizes on the maternity waistband to get it all the way over my stomach. This floral is a cotton lycra as well. These pants are perfect for someone who prefers a band that goes over the belly. 

Joggers and Lounge Pants

The Greenstyle Brassie Joggers are a huge staple in my wardrobe. I have made them out of so many different types of fabric to be suitable for so many occasions. I made a pair of Brassie joggers and shorts in the same distressed denim knit that I had gotten from Mily Mae. They worked for pregnancy and I still wear both of them now that I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. They are truly a staple for me. You can read my initial blogpost on them that I wrote earlier in pregnancy here

I don't know how I never got a great photo of the Portlander Pants by New Horizons while I was pregnant, but I do have one of me still wearing them postpartum. I made the waistband out of supplex, and I made the waistband a little bigger than the pattern called for. These pants worked out great throughout my pregnancy.

I was a tester for the Diane Joggers by 5 out of 4 patterns, and I wore the shorts, capris, and pants that I made during testing throughout my pregnancy. I used the maternity rise, and they all fit very well. Due to how low the front dips for the belly, though, they fell off of me once pregnancy was over so I have not worn them since. I am hoping that I can salvage some of them to wear in the future. Here is my initial blogpost on them

Last, but definitely not least, I loved wearing my Greenstyle Chelsea Pants this past pregnancy. I made the Chelsea's out of several different types of fabric during testing, and blogged about the pairs that I made here. The pair that I made out of a sturdy cotton French terry made it all the way to the end of pregnancy and felt like secret pajamas. I also got a ton of compliments every time I wore them and always felt put together in them. The knit waistband was also very comfortable postpartum. 

What did I not wear in pregnancy? Jeans. I cannot stand the feeling of a non-stretchy thick fabric pressing against my stomach when I am pregnant. Even though maternity jeans have the stretchy waistband, my stomach couldn't handle the top part of the jean material where it met the stretchy fabric on my lower stomach. It hurt. SO BAD. So, that means that when sewing for maternity, I need the entirety of the fabric to be forgiving. So, if you make the Chelsea pants for pregnancy, stick to fabric with ample stretch, do not use stretch denim.

I hope you enjoyed reading my maternity roundup. I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Photo Credit: Many of the photos in this post were taken by my awesome friend, Aimee Wilson. If the lighting was off, or it looked like a cell phone selfie, then it was taken by me or one of my kids. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Itch to Stitch Nottingham - a Classic Knot Top Sewing Pattern

A big part of my wardrobe revolves around the word COMFORT. I love a comfortable knit top that can be sewn in about an hour and makes me feel put together. I am a stay at home mom and some days are filled with lots of sweaty work. I am up on my feet most of the day and really only sit down to nurse the baby, sew, or write a blog post. I have to be able to move and work in my clothes and not feel like they are touching me too much!

PDF Pattern Knot Top

My latest sewing project has been two knot tops with the breeziest of butterfly sleeves. I was so excited to get to test the Nottingham Top by Kennis Wong of Itch to Stitch. She is a wonderful pattern designer, and her patterns always go together very easily and have beautiful touches and finishing techniques. The last time I had the opportunity to blog about one of her patterns was the Lago tank a year ago. A lot has happened in that year, but here I am, taking pics again with my wonderful friend Aimee. I just love when we get to test a pattern and take photos together! She is a scientist by day so she is showing how dressed up her top can look for work. I think she looks fabulous and love that this pattern is so versatile for so many lifestyles. 

She always makes me laugh. Everyone needs to find a sewing BFF. 

This white top was made with a very lightweight and thin sweater knit with specks of silver throughout it. I found it on a remnant table at Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. I could not quite figure out what to make with it so it set on my shelf for quite some time. This pattern is designed for fabric with at least 75%, 4-way stretch. You want those soft, drapey, stretchy fabrics for this top. This fabric was exactly that, and I am so happy I had it in my stash. 

Knot Top Sewing Pattern

Sleeves. How have I never had a top with butterfly sleeves?!? I think it is now my new obsession. It is so airy and perfect for hot weather. The pattern also has the option of a long or elbow sleeve if butterfly sleeve is not your jam. I will definitely be making this top again in the fall with the long sleeve. The sleeve seam is offset from the body so you attach it in the round. There are lots of markings on the bodice and sleeve so everything matches up well. I have to admit that I missed this on my first top (the camo top), and somehow it all came out ok thanks to stretchy forgiving fabric.

The twisty knot. In addition to butterfly sleeves, I have not made a top with a knot in it yet! It is very on trend at the moment, and my 7 and 9 year old daughters have been telling me how cool I look with a knot in my shirt. So, I feel like I am winning! I just love the knot in this Nottingham. Haha.

You will want to use fabric that does not have an obvious wrong side for this pattern because the sleeves have such wonderful movement that sometimes the wrong side will show.

I try to not use my favorite fabric for the very first shirt that I make in testing so that I am not upset if I end up needing to scrap it. I had a bunch of camo rayon spandex that I also found on the remnant tables at Wherehouse fabric. I bought it to make something for my boys with, but I had enough of it that I thought it would make a good tester version of this pattern. I have to say, not only did the camo grow on me, but I LOVE IT. Maybe its just this pattern?

The neckline included in the pattern is a crew neck. After testing, my plan is to make another top with a lower scoop neckline for easier breastfeeding access. I love how forgiving this pattern is in the bust and hips. My bust measurements changes a lot during the day due to breastfeeding, and I did not have to worry about making fit adjustments for my bust to accommodate when I am fuller. The shirt also has enough ease that it is pretty easy to pull up to nurse in my tops that have the crew neckline. 

The Nottingham Top pattern is on sale for a week for $8. Grab your copy here. Also, bundle discounts apply when purchasing this pattern so you may want to grab any other Itch to Stitch patterns you have been eyeing too. 

That's it for now, and thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Disclosures: I received a copy of this pattern for free so that I could help test, proofread and assess fit before release. Also, this post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Photo Credit: My awesome friend, who is such a wonderful photographer, Aimee Wilson.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Summers Coming Blog Tour with 5 out of 4 Patterns

This week 5 out of 4 Patterns is having a blog tour to kick off sewing for our summer wardrobes. I am excited to join the tour and show you what I have made! When I think of summer, I immediately think of swimming. We have a pool in our backyard that gets lots of use, and I need lots of swimsuits to keep up with how much we swim. I used two different patterns from 5 out of 4 to make my bikini, and I will be reviewing each of them. You are going to want to read all the way to the end because I will be giving away a free pattern to one lucky winner! 

The Top Pattern - The X-Factor

For the top of my swimsuit, I chose the X-Factor Bikini top pattern. This pattern has lots of options! It can be made as a sports bra, swim top, nursing top, and a regular or maternity tankini. I made the nursing option included in the pattern. The nursing option has holes cut out of the front for boob access with an overlay that attaches with a snap or nursing bra clasp at the shoulder to keep those holes covered. I ruched the front piece in the middle and used removable swim cups to avoid uniboob. The pattern has instructions on how to do both.

Sizing: The size range on the X Factor goes from a full bust of 31 inches up to a 50 inch bust. I made an XS for a 33 to 34 inch full bust. My overbust is 31 and my full bust can range from 34 to 35 inches, depending on when the last time was that I fed my baby. Since my full bust can fluctuate, it is much easier to select my size by just adding 2 inches to my overbust. The XS fit just right for me, and I did not need to make any fit adjustments. 

My thoughts - Everything matched really well and fit just as expected. The pattern had an excellent section on fit adjustments so that you can get the perfect fit for you. The instructions were very clear and thorough. The pattern had so many options that at times I felt like I would get lost trying to jump around to the options I wanted to make. I think it would have been easier if I would have read the entire pattern first and had a plan of attack going into it. Thankfully, the seam ripper did not have to make an appearance. Also, this top has lots and lots of binding. The hardest part for me was inserting the elastic band at the bottom. The instructions had you sew the band to the bottom of the bra with the elastic already encased in it. If I make this top again, I will put the band on first, leave a 1-inch opening at the back, and then insert my elastic with a safety pin.

The Bottoms Pattern - The Ultimate Bikini Bottoms

For my bottoms, I used the Ultimate Bikini Bottoms pattern. This pattern is a reversible bottom with 4 different rises (high, mid, low, and maternity) and 2 leg heights (high or low). I made the low rise with a high leg opening. The bottoms are fully reversible, so I have a very fun print on the inside of my suit. 

Sizing: The sizing of this pattern is mainly based on your high hip measurement and the size range goes from 33 inches to 52 inches. I made the XXS. The sizing for the XXS was just right for me everywhere except I had to use a different leg opening elastic measurement. I added 3-4 inches to the suggested length of elastic so that it set comfortably on me. 

My thoughts - I love how these bottoms are constructed. Since they are reversible, you can get 2 different looks in one pair of bottoms. They came together pretty quickly and the instructions were very easy to follow. My only tip when making them is to never skip the basting stitches!

Now, I am ready to jump in the pool in my new swimsuit, and I am also ready to nurse the baby whenever she needs me to! Have you started sewing for summer? To get your summer sewing plans started, this week use code "summerscoming" in the 5 out of 4 Patterns shop to get 30% off your entire order! This code will expire at midnight on May 11th. 

Here is the fun part! Let me know what your summer sewing plans are in the comments of this post. I will select one winner at random this weekend to win their choice of 1 free pattern from the 5 out of 4 Patterns store!!

Don't miss out on the blog posts from the other bloggers on this tour. Below is the schedule. 

5 out of 4 Patterns Summer’s Coming Blog Tour Schedule

You can grab your copy of the X-Factor Bikini and Tankini pattern here, and you can get the Ultimate Bikini Bottoms here. That's it for now, and thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: My awesome friend, who is such a wonderful photographer, Aimee Wilson. I also borrowed her lovely pool for the photos. Thanks Aimee!

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.