summer sewing daydreams

Well, here we are…about 2 1/2 weeks before my due date. Sadly, I’ve reached the point where it’s just too physically difficult for me to start any new sewing projects, other than the hand-stitching I’ve been doing on a second quiet book. (Thanks for all the kind words on the last one, by the way! It was fun.) Between my back refusing to let me sit comfortably anywhere for longer than 5 minutes, and my belly getting in the way of both the sewing machine table and my ability to get the leverage needed to work the foot pedal, I’ve just had to accept that I’m just going to have to wait and see what sort of time I can carve out to delve back into this with a newborn. I have managed to finish a couple of things this month, which I’ll show soon. But I’m coping in the meantime by playing around with pairing patterns and fabrics in my stash to figure out some potential projects that will be forgiving of the changes in my figure that will still be happening/easy to adapt to my new lifestyle of mostly stay-at-home mom. I do plan on picking up the music/sewing lessons I teach again, hopefully around mid-to-late August. So teaching-friendly clothes are ok, and I don’t have to do all yoga pants. I don’t even own a pattern for yoga pants, anyway. So there’s good incentive to not even go there!

(Honestly, I’ve managed to stay within the recommended range for pregnancy weight gain, even though it sounds like Hobbit is going to be a bigger baby than I’d expected–not a 9-10 pounder, thank God, but still bigger than either of us or our siblings. I guess all that nausea has been good for something after all! So I’m hoping that means that maybe all of those Thurlow pants will fit again this fall, since I didn’t have to give them up until almost the second trimester. That would help sooo much.)

Anyway, here’s some of the potential ideas I’ve been bouncing around:

IMG_25131. Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress. This one is at the top of the list, honestly. I’ve had this pattern/fabric combo bagged up with notions for about 2 years now, with the intention of sewing it for the summer-to-fall transition. But other projects kept getting in the way. I still really like this rayon challis print, though, and I’d like to see it become something. The bonus is that there’s so many colors to pick from in the print that it’ll be easy to adapt to fall layering with boots and leggings. Plus, it’ll go great with the next cardigan I plan to make for myself, whenever I finish the quiet book and can get back to knitting instead of hand-stitching! The gathered/tie back waist should make it forgiving for whatever’s going on with my waistline, and the button front means it’ll be great for nursing.  I am thinking that maybe I should wearable-muslin this first, since I do have some bedsheets in the muslin bin with a similar drape to this fabric, and my bust measurement is already a whopping 5″ bigger than it used to be! (Good thing I hadn’t traced this one out yet, right?)

IMG_25062. Sewaholic Rae skirt. I bought this one kind of on a whim during one of her past sales, since it looked like it would be a more flattering fast skirt to sew than some of the older patterns that I had. I’ve never made it, but elastic waists are sounding pretty good right now, since they’ll be a little more adjustable as I lose some of these pounds I’ve put on. Also, I could use some bottomwear, since I have basically zero shorts that will fit me this summer, other than a couple of elastic-waisted pairs I picked up at the thrift store recently that I’m just hoping will fit–not like I could try them on to see. I’m also not sure how many of my skirts I’ll be able to squeeze into, or how quickly. That’s what I get for generally preferring the fitted waist aesthetic, right? I probably won’t do quite this many, but here’s a couple of things I found in the stash that might work. (If I combine the black linen-looking stuff and the camel linen, at least– I don’t really have enough of either to make anything, since they’re both leftover pieces, but have been thinking for awhile that they might pair nicely.)

IMG_25123. Seamwork Adelaide dress. I was really excited to see this one in the current issue, because it looks like it’ll be a really forgiving make as far as sizing goes, though still a little more flattering because of the belt. And, again, it’s a really nursing-friendly option. I do have a pattern subscription at the moment, so the pattern is safely downloaded and awaiting printing. I’m thinking maybe this twill for it–it was given to me for free and I have quite a bit of it, so it’s not a huge loss if the pattern doesn’t work for me. My one debate is whether to hunt down those snaps, or to just use buttons, since I do have a lot of buttons. Particularly, I have these sparkly red ones that I got to make a Beignet skirt that never happened–I later ended up deciding that a red skirt isn’t really something I’d use much, and swapped the fabric–and I think that and maybe some red topstitching could provide some much-needed interest to this otherwise rather boring fabric. Thoughts?

IMG_25074. Grainline Archer blouse. I’ve had this pattern, and this Japanese linen fabric that I specifically bought for it, for about a year and a half now. And since this is a looser shirt by nature, I probably won’t have to size it up quite as much as I would other patterns. Which will make it more forgiving for (hopeful) weight loss, too! The pattern is printed, but I do need to assemble it.

IMG_25115. Colette Mabel skirt. Another pattern I own/have printed, but haven’t tried yet. It’s not like I haven’t gotten plenty of practice sewing knits lately, but I do have a couple of interlock jerseys from Joann’s that are a little on the thick side for tops (I know, because I’ve used them for a couple of tops), so this could be a good candidate for fast, easy bottomwear. This color is the only one I have that’s large enough by itself, but I do have some brown as well that might work if I pair it with something else. Or just buy a little more fabric. I bet Joann’s still has it.

6. A nursing top or two. I think I could make one pretty quickly from Simplicity 1469, since I’ve already used that one and I have some knits that would work well together for a sleeveless version. (I just might want to reduce the width of the back a little, since I won’t have to make it quite so maternity.) I’ve been advised by a couple of helpful sewcialists that the smaller nursing openings will probably work better than I thought, so thank you for that tip! Another option is to play around with altering one of my more basic knit top patterns. I’m thinking maybe the Deer & Doe Plantain to start, since I won’t have to worry about the waist sizing, given that it fit me as it was until probably month 6! Also, Heather was kind enough to pull out some of her old nursing tops awhile back and Instagram a few pictures for me so I could get some ideas, and the Plantain looked like a very good candidate for some similar hacking. (Thanks, Heather!)

IMG_2514Other possibilities already in my stash for maybe a little more down the road, when I have a better idea of sizing…Some, but not all, pictured here: a nursing-hacked Renfrew, the Granville blouse, the Yaletown blouse, the Maria Denmark Edith dress/blouse, the Espresso leggings (because I’ve decided I like leggings for layering under skirts, and definitely not because I’ve decided I like leggings as pants!), this random Simplicity shirtdress that I forgot I had, Butterick 5084 looks like it would be fairly easy to hack for nursing based on tutorials I’ve seen, and I could possibly adapt Butterick 5206 to be a real wrap top instead of a faux wrap top. I’ve been wanting to revisit that pattern for awhile anyway, and I think one of my Paris fabrics could be perfect for it!

I’m trying to look at this as more of a list of ideas, and not an actual project list. After all, I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to sew anything, especially if I can only grab 10-15 minutes here and there. It’s hard to predict, without knowing how well this baby will nap and things like that. I know I’m prone to overly ambitious lists of what I think I can get done in any given season, and I don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m frustrated about how little I’m finishing when I’m already going to be sleep-deprived and trying to learn a whole new skill set to enable tiny human survival. At the same time, Future Zombie Me will probably benefit from having a more narrowed-down list of possibilities for when I do have some time here and there to work on something. It’s going to be hard for me to not have a concrete list of plans, but hopefully I’ll be able to adapt and go with the flow a little more for now.

Have you ever had a season where you knew sewing time was going to be a rare commodity, or you were going to have some serious measurement changes? How did you deal?


One thought on “summer sewing daydreams

  1. Ooh, those are some lovely choices!
    I'm currently at a point where sewing time also feels like a commodity. Working at the hospital is much more time-intensive than at the practice worked at before, plus my commute is about an hour each day instead of twenty minutes, plus I work two weekends a month. There would still be a good amount of sewing time left, if it weren't for time spent with friends, or just decompressing and reading a book. After not sewing anything for six weeks now (May was just so incredibly busy!) I think the way to go is small steps. 😉


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