Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sew Happy

Last night Mitch had a poker night. Tami and Kristin came to keep me company in my sewing room. :) I had a couple projects I need their help/advice on. I know that Kristin likes to adjust and mend clothing (I hate both), so I looked forward to getting her input. First off, I had some beautiful polyester knit fabric I'd picked up at the fabric store for ridiculously cheap. It has a beautiful floral print and some poetry written in Italian or some other language that is really unreadable. I was going to send it off and have it laminated for diapers (it would have been beautiful for that too), but decided to snatch this piece for myself. The pattern that I wanted to use only had short sleeves. So we pulled out a different pattern with long sleeves and worked on combining the two. I laid that aside and then turned to a pants pattern. This is a pair of pants that I made the last time I was pregnant. It's a nice weight twill with a classic over-belly panel in the front and elastic all around.

There were two problems with the otherwise GREAT pants: the over-belly pattern is annoying, and it was a little snug over the butt/hips (even now when my hips haven't spread yet).

I wanted to modify the pattern to have an underbelly elastic waist band. Doing this would also allow me to wear the pants earlier in my pregnancy (when I'm not big enough for the over-belly style, but too big for regular jeans) and postpartum. We all brainstormed together and figured it out. I drafted a new pattern based on the old, then dug out enough scraps of twill to test it. It turned out I had enough to make some knee-length shorts. I won't be able to wear them during this pregnancy most likely, but it's possible I can use them for a little while afterwards (since I'm due in late April). I LOVE long shorts.

So a couple things happened that haven't happened in a LONG time. First of all, I drank 6 oz of Pepsi last night. Fun! :) Then I stayed up until 2:30 am. FUN! Then I woke up at 6:30 am and my mind was racing with all the things I wanted to sew today and how I wanted to make more pattern adjustments. I managed to lay in bed until 7:30 when Malachi had pooped in his diaper and the older kids called me to come do the duty.

Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Last night the girls also helped me rearrange my sewing room. Mitch gave me some gray shelves for stacking fabric on. We had fun cleaning and organizing (where Tami found among the heaps of dust bunnies my missing stud die to my die press--much to my joy and amazement!).

There's so much floor space now! Crazy.

Ok, so this morning I headed straight to my sewing room. The first thing I worked on was designing pockets for the pants pattern we modified last night. It's really complicated but I came out with some PERFECT pockets. Whew--I was so jazzed. Then I turned to the shirt. I worked on it and it went really well (except for the part that it's really hard to sew knits...the neck didn't turn out exactly like I want it too, neither did the hem on the bottom). Once Mitch got up I was released to go to Joann's to buy some fabric for PANTS. Then I could try my pockets out for real! Waiting for that fabric to wash and dry was really really hard. I spent the time finishing the shirt and cutting out a diaper (yep, I actually cut one out!).

Another modification I added to this pattern was a tie in the back. Maternity shirts look so much more flattering when they are not just "baggy" hanging out there. I bought a neat little tool at the fabric store today to help me turn these tiny tubes. :)

Finally the fabric was out of the dryer. I bought 3 pieces: a stretch twill, a stretch corduroy and a stone-washed denim. Which one to make first??? The corduroy was the cheapest of the 3 (got it for $2.99/yard at Mill End), so I started there (might as well make a mistake on the cheapest, right?). I couldn't wait to do the pockets. And the waistband (with modifications to the steps of construction). I made it all and only had to use my seam ripper once--right at the end--when I forgot to leave an opening for the 3" wide elastic band. I am going to do that differently next time too. :) Here they are (you can click to see it better):

And I tried it on and Mitch took a picture for me. The shirt fits great even now. Since styles today are so similar anyways, I could possibly get away with wearing the shirt anytime, pregnant or not. It's really extra long, so I can easily "change things up" by shortening the pattern. I can get solid cotton knits really cheap (sometimes around $1.50/yard), so I may make myself 3 or 4 of these shirts. The pants are a *little* big, but that's fine since I'm still wearing my regular pants. I'm sure when those get to be too small, these will feel *just right*. The stretch fabric is perfect. It gives me even more room in the toosh/hips, and they look great.

The next picture is just to prove that I don't intend to make all the clothes I need. I love shopping at the thrift stores. Mondays at Savers are 99 cent day on a certain color tag. Sundays and Mondays at Goodwill are 1/2 off on a certain color tag, and Tuesdays that color tag goes down to $1.49. So I did go digging this past Monday. I found a gorgeous Motherhood Maternity dress (marked $9.99) at Saver's and snagged it for $0.99. Well, no matter how good of a seamstress I try to be and no matter how cheap I get the fabric, I just can't beat that!

Finally, the picture that doesn't belong. A brag for Micah. He went fishing with Papa (Mitch's dad, Paul) on Friday night on Big Birch Lake. He caught a 13" Bass. :) He was using a bass hook. He loves fishing.

Alright, alright. I admit that to survive today I had a little more Pepsi. About 12 oz. Since I have 24 oz bottles, I'll probably finish off the other 12 oz tomorrow. What else can I do? I still drank LOTS of water! I'm exhausted. I was overtired to begin with, and by the time I decided to go to bed I remembered that I had to go to the grocery store. So I had to drag myself out and do that chore (Sams club, Walmart, and Cashwise). Now I'm totally bushed. It's WAY later than I want it to be...9:47 I am DONE editing this blog post and I'm going to bed!!


  1. Nice work :)

    I think I'd shorten the shirt a bit if you're going to wear it even when not pregnant, but that fabric is BEAUTIFUL!!

    Tell Micah great job on the fish :)

  2. My goodness you've been busy!! I'm so jealous. None of my friends around here sew. I'd love to have sewing parties! My Bernie would love it. I'm sure the girl is getting lonely since I've been neglecting her.

    I love the shirt you made! While it looks like it could be shorter now, I'm amazed how many of my maternity shirts require a long cami under because otherwise they are too short now that my belly is getting bigger. You'll grow into that before you know it.

    One suggestion I'd have on the pants(from my present experience). Stitch a vertical line in a couple places. One on each side and one in front maybe. I LOVE my underbelly pants, but the elastic has a nasty habit of rolling inside the knit casing and it's a pain in the butt to straighten back out.

  3. Wow! I'm impressed with all of your sewing! Especially the new waistband...I can't stand those over-the-belly ones. I have that exact same Motherhood dress. I got mine at Goodwill, and it was cheap, but it wasn't that cheap. Great find!

  4. Oh such a beautiful maternity top! I have sewn many a cloth diapers, but I am very intimidated by clothing. I love the fabric and the length...very modest and slimming!

    Congratulations on your upcoming blessing!