Yahoo! Here it is! My first (and, at the rate I'm going, only) entry into the Made-by-Rae Spring Top Sew-Along!
|24 weeks pregnant and squinting.|
This is Megan Nielsen's "Rie Dress" shortened into a tunic/long top. Megan Nielsen offers a wonderful line of simple, wearable maternity patterns (she also makes lovely non-maternity patterns). Which is a good thing, because pregnancy transforms me into some kind of insane clothing freak.
I was wondering: Do any other women get super picky about clothes when pregnant? Anything too tight, too stiff, or, worst of all, synthetic, just makes my skin crawl and my expanding belly itch. I don't normally have these sensory issues - when I'm not pregnant, I run around in heels, tailored dresses, and scratchy wool separates - but the quick, um, expansion occasioned by pregnancy makes my skin extra sensitive and itchy.
This presents a bit of a problem, because a lot of ready-to-wear maternity clothes are made from stiff or synthetic fabrics. Even the stretchy panels on maternity pants drive me nuts (I have to fold them down under my belly, because I can't stand the sensation of snug polyester knit on my tummy, eeeeewww). I also have an aversion to anything too tight, stiff, or crisp on my upper half. These days, my primary goal in getting dressed in the morning is to find clothing that looks work-appropriate but feels like sweatpants and a t-shirt. Every day, I thank my lucky stars that I live in the age of soft, stretchy cottons and rayons. As much as I love vintage styling, this appreciation does not extend to vintage maternity wear. All of those crisp fabrics and tailored shapes! Shudder.
I told you. I'm some kind of freak.
With that in mind, I chose this pattern because it's flowy and loose, and because I thought it would look lovely in a soft light-weight knit that would meet my
|Extra points if you can spot Joe.|
What you can't see from these photos is how insanely difficult this project was. The "Rie Dress" pattern, which is labeled as appropriate for beginners, was indeed easy-peasy, but my problems began when I chose this tissue-thin, diaphanous, blue ikat printed rayon jersey to sew it up in. This fabric was almost the death of me, people. My sewing machine hates it, and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. Every other minute, my sewing machine would gobble up a chunk of fabric and and suck it into the throat plate. I actually had to unscrew my throat plate several times in order to fish wrecked fabric out of the workings of my machine. For most of this project, I was unsure whether my efforts would result in a wearable garment or a shredded and wadded up $25 reminder of my pain and failure (especially sad because you can get cute maternity tops at Old Navy for $15).
The relationship between machine and fabric remained strained to the end, but eventually, with the help of my walking foot and twin needles (two firsts for me on this project, and I am a convert!), I was able to reconcile my sewing machine to this fabric enough to finish this project. I'm not going to pretend I didn't have a few moments of whining and cussing. At one point I was heard saying: "What the? This is supposed to be my fun, relaxing, hobby!" But I must say I do feel a sense of accomplishment at having successfully completed what turned out to be a pretty tough assignment.
(If pain and suffering were taken into account in judging the Spring Top winners, I might even stand a chance of winning this competition!)
Yeah, okay, the end result is a bit muu muu, but it is soft, flowy, loose, and incredibly comfortable - like wearing butterfly wings. It looks good with a cardigan, jeans and boots now (we're finally getting our "winter" here in Northern California), and it will be cool and breezy when the weather heats up. And while it's hard to say for sure now, it may even be wearable after I give birth.
Apparently, the extreme comfort of this top caused me to forget most of the pain of sewing this stuff, because I found myself back at Stonemountain & Daughter this morning and some more soft, luscious, rayon jersey just might have made it into my purchase. Oops.
So, please tell me I'm not the only woman who develops strange fabric and clothing aversions during pregnancy!