Tag Archives: nursing top

Twisty Dress

Ha ha! I sewed a dress! And I actually wore it (this is only remarkable given how rarely I wear dresses). And I remembered that knit dresses are pretty darn comfy. Perhaps this will inspire me to make (and wear) a few more of them.

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yes, my legs really are that pale

This is the dress version of one of my favorite t-shirts, from Butterick B4745. Having made a dress off this pattern once before I knew I needed to make some adjustments to the pattern.

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I lengthened it about 2 inches, and flared the skirt out. The original skirt is a fairly minimal A-line that doesn’t really have enough room in the hip area. I’ve had this pattern for a long time, and at the time I bought it I generally went ahead and cut the tissue instead of tracing. So, the pattern pieces are cut in the size that fits my bust, but not really my hips. Easy enough to fix though. I re-traced the pieces (there are only two!) with the extra length, and added some width from the waist down.

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Needs shaping in the back

The back of the dress is one piece, so I added a center back seam to be able to add to the skirt from the center as well as the sides. Also, it gave me the opportunity to add some much needed shaping to the center back.

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As drafted, the back hangs straight down from the shoulders. I’m sure it would be fine if I had a belt to wear with this, but since I don’t, the back really needed some help. I didn’t actually add any shaping until after I’d sewn it up. Then I put it on inside out and had my mom pin in the back to fit better.

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Pinned and ready to take in

Here’s a detail shot of the twist in the front bodice. The front is cut too low for my comfort, but looks rather nice with a camisole underneath. I may just stitch it closed a bit higher in the future, but for now the v-neck in a stretchy fabric make this wearable for nursing.

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The fabric is an ITY knit that’s been in my stash for a few years. And this dress used up just about all of it. I have nothing but scraps left. Maybe enough for a little girls t-shirt, but that’s it. And it’s sheer dumb luck that I was able to line up the pattern to get the stripes matching all the way around.

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Of course, if I hadn’t been able to fit the pieces, I wouldn’t have cut the dress out of this. As it is, it’s very satisfying that I could get the dress cut out with everything matching and use up the fabric.

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There really is a seam in there somewhere…

I used my serger for most of the construction. The hems are finished with a twin needle. It looks decent, but is messier on the inside. And I had to fiddle with the tension a fair bit to minimize the tunneling that so frequently happens when using a twin needle. This is the kind of sewing project that makes me wish I had a coverstitch machine.

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Magenta and black thread, just for kicks

I’m pretty please with the finished dress. Now that I’ve got the pattern re-traced with my changes it’ll be easy to knock out a few more of these if I want to. This would certainly help use up some of the knit fabrics in my stash!

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Me-Made-May Week 1

This is my first time participating in Me-Made-May and so far I love it. The challenge is forcing me to think a little more about what I have to wear and what I’d like to sew, and it’s already inspired me to dig out some old me-mades and modify one of them to be more wearable.

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Day 1 Me-mades: Long sleeved raglan t-shirt (Stretch & Sew #205), me-modified nursing camisole

It’s snowing here. Again. And apparently one of the holes in my me-made wardrobe is colder weather clothing. I found my options for getting dressed this morning a little limited.

The shirt is pretty old – I think maybe from the early 2000’s? Can’t recall. The pattern is the long sleeve version of Stretch & Sew 205. The fabric is some sort of lightweight knit, though not one with a ton of stretch. I like the shirt well enough, although I made it in the days before I started putting neckbands and hembands on most of my shirt, so looking at it now the finish seems a little rough. The modified nursing cami is hidden under the shirt. It’s not something I’ve blogged about, but I’ve made/modified several of these so far and wear them all the time. I should probably write something explaining what the heck a modified nursing cami is.

Good thing I don't take myself too seriously...

Good thing I don’t take myself too seriously…

Day 2 Me-mades: Ariadne tunic, modified nursing cami

While this picture doesn’t do much for it, the Ariadne tunic pattern by Tanit-Isis is fantastic. I made a few of these last year while I was pregnant. I loved making something with enough ease that I could get away with wearing it for a good chunk of my pregnancy, enough length to hide my maternity jeans, and it would still be wearable and look good after I had my son. The only thing I changed from the pattern was to omit the keyhole in the back, and to use one size larger for the hem band, to accommodate my hips.

IMG_1605Day 3 Me-Mades: Renfrew top (not yet blogged about)

I’m probably one of the last people on the internet to try out Sewaholic’s Renfrew pattern. Too bad I waited so long, as I really like it. This is the first one I’ve made, and I’ve since made a few minor modifications that I’ll post about soon.

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Day 4 Me Mades: Kimono sleeve t-shirt, modified nursing cami

Another t-shirt. Nothing terribly exciting today, except for my awesome lime green converse. Yes, I love my shoes.

IMG_1618Day 5 Me Mades: Knockoff GAP t-shirt, Short sleeved raglan t-shirt (Stretch & Sew #205)

I started the day in one of my knockoff GAP t-shirts (as of yet not blogged about), but my son managed to spit-up on me before I took a picture of it. So, onto the next me-made shirt. The one pictured is what I spent the rest of the day in. It’s another raglan from one of my favorite patterns. I’m not sure I love the fabric though. It’s certainly comfortable, but the print is a little off from what I normally gravitate to. I may just need to warm up to it a little more.

IMG_1628Day 6 Me Mades: Stripey shirt

This shirt is so old I don’t even remember what pattern I used. Probably a Stretch & Sew pattern, if I had to guess. It actually had long sleeves up until Sunday evening. I finally realized that the sleeve length paired with the very lightweight knit is what had kept me from wearing it much. I shortened the sleeves and finished the cuffs with bands made from the bit of cut-off sleeves. It’s amazing what a difference that made. I actually like this shirt again! Which is good, because it’s just been taking up drawer space for several years now.

IMG_1642Day 7 Me-Mades: Knockoff GAP t-shirt, modified nursing cami

This is the “whoops, I forgot to take a photo until nighttime” picture. I’ve got four or five t-shirts made from my knockoff pattern. For a while it was my go-to t-shirt pattern. This version is out of a very soft drapey rayon blend knit. Doesn’t wear great (the shirt is already pilling a bit), but it feels wonderful.

So one week down, and I think the only me-made things I’ve worn are t-shirts and camisoles. Perhaps I should consider varying my wardrobe a bit more. I actually do have some me-made dresses, skirts, trousers, and jackets. I just don’t seem to wear them as much. Well, and there are still quite a few things in my closet that don’t fit my post-baby body. Might be time for some refashioning and new sewing.

Needs More T-Shirt

At some point over the last year, my style has changed such that most of my old t-shirts are now too short for my current taste. So I’m starting to replace them, one shirt at a time. Since I live in jeans and t-shirts the majority of the time, I’m trying to sew some variety into my casual wardrobe, with some different prints and patterns.

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First up is another raglan sleeve shirt. The fabric is soft and stretchy and I don’t have a clue what the content is. It’s leftover fabric out of my mom’s stash (yes, we regularly raid each others fabric stashes). As with my other raglan t-shirt, this one had the same issue with the sleeves sticking out at a weird angle. Instead of adding hem bands to fix the problem, this time I made a small pleat on each sleeve hem and secured it with a button. It’s a nice little detail that isn’t really visible in the photo, but I promise it’s there.

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Next up is a shirt from a long time favorite pattern, Butterick B4745. It’s hard to see in the picture, but the shirt has a cool twist detail at the front bodice.

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I have a few shirts made from this pattern already. Unfortunately they’re all too short for me now. I made them straight off the pattern, but that usually results in a belly shirt for my long torso. The length didn’t bother me at the time of sewing (this was several years ago), but like I said, my style has changed a bit. So this time I lengthened the shirt a few inches and added a bit of ease around the midsection. Much better.

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To note though, the neckline is low enough to be indecent (for me, anyway). I actually used a safety-pin to close it a bit higher when I wore this. On prior versions of this top I just sewed the v-neck closed an inch or so higher. For this version I think I might add a small snap to close it up a bit. That way it should also double as a nursing top. That’s probably too much information. But hey, if you’re a nursing mom looking for patterns to try, this one is a winner. The fabric for this one is a polyester ITY knit. It drapes beautifully and seems to have good stretch recovery (something to consider for a nursing top).

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Lastly, and most casually, is my own pattern. It’s very loosely based off a GAP t-shirt I found on the clearance rack a few years ago. I loved the way it fit and made a pattern off it, and this shirt is the second generation of that pattern. I added the hem band to this version and loosened up the fit around the midsection. The result is an amazingly comfortable t-shirt that is a bit nicer (I think) than your basic tee. It’s dead simple too. Front and back, and hem bands, that’s it. I’m not sure if the sleeves would be considered dolman sleeves or kimono. I should probably look that up. (Update: I did look it up, and according to Gertie I have kimono sleeves on my pattern.) The fabric is a very light weight poly/cotton jersey with a bit of rayon in it. Hopefully it will hold up well, as I think this shirt will be getting lots of wear once the weather warms up. Until then, not so much. I’m not sure why I keep sewing warmer weather clothes when there’s still snow on the ground. But I’m three t-shirts closer to ready for warmer weather!