Well, hello there! I didn't mean to be absent from this space for such a long time. But it seems my posts are fewer and far in between as time goes on. However, I have good reason for being silent for some time...
Baby! Yes, baby number 2 is on it's way. I found out I was pregnant the second day of summer vacation (I'm a teacher) and have spent the whole summer taking it very easy. It was fabulous. I thought my timing with my daughter was great before. I had her in April and got to stay out the rest of the school year. But I think this timing is even better as I got to spend my entire first trimester at home. I'm back at work now but it's going well. Baby is due early February. I will have to go back to work the last month of school or so (womp, womp - American maternity leave). But then I'll get all of next summer, too. I've felt like my baby bump is enormous this time around, but looking at these photos I realize it's not. Ha! It's just a little bump. I took these photos a couple of weeks ago so I think I was around 15 weeks at that time. I am a little bigger now! We still don't know it it's a boy or girl yet, but we'll find out in a few weeks. Jane says she wants a little brother, believe it or not.
Since I was home all summer thinking about my school year and new arrival, I spent lots of time sewing for a bump. I was actually making the orange dress in my photos when I found out I was preggo. And I thought it would be a great dress for skimming over a little bump, with a few alterations. So I made four versions! I figured this would be a great dress/top for a growing bump but also would be nice for after pregnancy. To the review...
Pattern Description: The pattern is Simplicity 8333, a jumpsuit/dress pattern with a crossover bodice for knit fabrics. I thought it looked like an easy pattern for summer when I first decided to make it.
Sizing: 4-20. I made a 12. I am typically a 14 but I usually size down when I make a knit pattern.
Fabric Used: All knits, of course, but different knits behaved differently. My favorites are the orange dress and the red/pink longer dress. Those knits are a rayon blend and had strong recovery. The black and white tie-dye top is a bamboo knit from fabric.com. I works well for a top but would be too drape-y for a dress. The green version is my least favorite. It's a rayon jersey (Dakota jersey from fabric.com) and is too thin and wrinkly. I think maybe it's a cotton/rayon blend? Can't remember. Anyway, I like well enough but I think it looks sloppier than the others.
Likes/Dislikes: I love the bodice with the cut on sleeve. It's the main reason I made these. The skirt is modified from the get-go. When I cut the pattern, I noticed that the skirt pattern piece was just a perfectly straight rectangle which does not work for someone with saddle-baggy hips like myself. So I used the top of the rectangle as a guide and made it in to a-line shape to accommodate my hip measurement. They all have pockets except for the top version. I know people don't like pockets in jersey, but I love pockets no matter what.
Alterations/Deviations: In addition to the skirt modification I mentioned above, I also added elastic in to the neckline of all versions. When I sewed on the neck binding, I threaded a long piece of 1/4" elastic through the binding like a casing. I pulled the elastic slightly and sewed at the shoulder seams so the back neckline is nice and taut. I just pulled the elastic ever so slightly at the front bodice to keep a little tension on the front neckline before sewing the bodice to the skirt. It worked well on all versions except the green one (because the knit is so droopy). I'm so pleased with the elastic in the neckline because that neckline is not going anywhere! I also sewed one snap at the front where the bodice pieces crossover to hold in place. My plan is to also wear these dresses after pregnancy while I'm nursing. The elastic should keep everything from stretching out and I can undo the snap easily. I cut all the back bodice pieces on the fold, too, except for the red/pink version due to amount of fabric.
All the dresses have hem and sleeve length differences, too. The orange dress is the shorter sleeve in the pattern and the skirt length is per the pattern plus one inch. So it's a pretty short skirt as is, fyi. The green dress I cut the longer sleeve and added several inches to the hem thinking I would wear this one to work. I made the top version next. And then the pink/red version is about ankle length because that was every bit of fabric I had. That fabric is one I bought when Hancock was closing down. I miss Hancock!
Conclusion: Nice, easy knit dress pattern. Perfect for a growing bump, but I stress growing. The elastic waist does hit the top of my belly and I know once my mid-section gets a little bigger I won't want to wear any of these as is. Maybe with a raised and curved waist it would work for an entire pregnancy.