Quick and dirty. Those are the two words I'm using to describe the making of this dress. It was a fast make. Super fast. Which makes pregnant-me very happy. I'm winding down my maternity sewing. There are still a couple of things I'm planning to sew. Only one definite. But I think from this point forward it's smarter to focus on getting ready for baby. We are busy working on the nursery. I've started collecting various types of baby gear. It kind of makes me panic when I think about how little time there is before she's here. Three more months! Ack!
I bought this particular pattern, Butterick 5679 and some double knit at a Hancock sale after seeing Carolyn's version a couple of weeks ago. In fact, I even picked fabric close to what Carolyn used. The highest form of flattery, right? ;) It looked like a pretty easy pattern and I liked the raglan sleeve and cowl. Like I said before, I'm all about the quick and easy right now. I've also never sewn a raglan sleeve before and I was curious. With a little modification it made a great maternity dress (thanks for the tip, Carolyn!). The double knit is not the best. Some of those double knits they have at Hancock are really nice, and some not so much. This one is extremely synthetic and has a slight smell after drying in the dryer. But it's fine for winter time wear. And pregnant girls can't be choosy when it comes to clothes that fit.
I made view B, but I did a quick and dirty full belly alteration (that's for you, Valerie!). I'm not really sure if that's what it's called, but I like the description. The lengthen/shorten line was just above the waistline on the front piece. I cut straight across the lengthen/shorten line and stopped right before the side edge. Then I pivoted out both pieces and added about two or so inches right where my belly would be. I lengthened the entire piece by adding about four inches beyond that silly point on the original pattern piece and connected the side seams. I ended up redrawing the side seam and smoothing it all out. Actually, I didn't draw anything. I made all these changes while cutting out my fabric on the fly. Shame, shame. But it worked. I only altered the front piece. I did not sew a center front seam. I cut on the fold instead. I cut the back on the fold as well and added length to accommodate for the alteration I made to the front.
I didn't have enough fabric for the full cowl piece. The original cowl must be huuuuge. I cut down the depth by half. I think I'm happier with a smaller cowl anyway. I matched my stripes but all the seams are still pretty obvious because it's impossible to match snowflakes, too. I am not a perfectionist, if you can't already tell. When I tried it on (after only about an hour and half of sewing!) I loved it but it was just a leetle bit too short for work. So I added a hem band to add more length. It took me about as long to add the hem band as it did to sew the whole dress. I cut the band slightly smaller than the hem to pull it in a bit. As a result, there is a little bit of misshapen-ness going on there at the side seam. I can't make myself fix it. I've worn the dress three times already. I keep hoping it will work it's way out :) Lazy, I tell you!
I actually made a muslin, can you believe it? Well, sort of. I made up view D (minus those silly hem points again- what is it with sewing pattern companies and pointy hems?!) to take a break from my jacket sewing over the holiday break. I had high hopes that it would turn out wearable. Meh. It did, but I had to majorly modify the back piece. The neckline was so incredibly wide at first that it slipped off my shoulders completely. I pinched three or so inches out of the center back piece and re-cut the side and sleeve edges. Then I resewed the sleeve on to the narrower back to fix it. It's not the most flattering top ever, but it is comfy. It sort of reminds me of a nightgown. I'm planning on re-purposing the knit after baby comes. I used a nice drapey rayon knit from my stash. It's so large that I'm hoping I can cut another regular knit top from it later on. Or possibly a baby onesie ;)
And this is the belly at 28 weeks. Seven months! I still feel really good. I was never thankful for my long torso until now (I could never find shirts long enough when I was younger). I have plenty of room through the middle. I don't feel too squished yet. Yet being the operative word here....
I think I'm going to write a separate blog post about this one day (maybe not), but I'm getting to the point where I'd like for my sewn knits to be a little more polished. I love knits. I sew a lot of knits, but I do it on my regular machine and use a narrow zig zag. I don't have patience for the stretch stitch. My finish is lacking. I leave most seams raw. I overlock occasionally-- if it's an edge that will be seen. My hemming sucks most of the time. My machine hates twin needles. What are my other options? Are there other techniques out there I don't know about? Is it time to look in to a serger? And are there sergers out there that are affordable for a poor teacher with a brand new baby? I'd love a Babylock, as recommended by a coworker, but I don't buy cars that expensive! Anyway. Just wondering if you guys are pro-serger or not. Is it really worth it? And if you are- what do you recommend? Any advice is appreciated.