Ugh, postpartum body issues. I'm ready for you to go away. I don't want to be too negative because I am in absolute awe of what my body just did/is doing. It grew a person, birthed said person and is now nourishing this little being. The design is really amazing when you think about it. But man, it would do wonders for my self esteem if I could just drop this last fifteen pounds. I really want to wear my pre-pregnancy me-made things. All my fun skirts/shorts/dresses are taunting me from my closet.
I know I'll get there but in the meantime I figure I better try and make a few things. I wish I had thought more about clothes to wear while nursing during pregnancy. There are so many things that don't work while you are breastfeeding. I feel like I am in a constant state of undress at home. I joke that it's like Mardi Gras at my house. Is this TMI? Sorry, family :)
I googled sewing patterns good for breastfeeding and came upon this post at Toferet's Empty Bobbin. Molly, I thought you'd get a kick out of that. And Molly is right- Simplicity 2369 is the perfect pattern for nursing. Look.
Lol. Total access without undressing. Woo hoo! The design is ingenious for nursing moms even though I don't think the pattern was intended for that. I sewed up the longer view with no alterations. I actually made the top version first out of a cotton knit and it was horrendous. The knit I used had no recovery and all my seams ended up stretched out and wavy. I won't even wear it around the house. This version is much better. I used a rayon slub jersey from my stash. It's a little beefier than most rayon jerseys I've used which is nice. It has great recovery which I'm convinced makes all the difference when hemming knits. I'm awfully proud of my sleeve hems. I know I've lamented my wavy hems before when working with knits. This time, I upped the differential feed on my serger and serged the edge first. Then I flipped up the hem and straight stitched with a longer stitch length. I think they look pretty good. Not perfect, but good. I did the same for the skirt hem.
The pattern called for a facing around the neckline. I attached the facing as a band instead. I think the finish looks a lot nicer. I also attached a band at the bottom of the right front piece instead of hemming it. I hemmed on the first version and it looked wavy and crappy. I think the finish on this dress is probably my best when it comes to my work with knits. Hooray, Sergio!
The verdict is that yes, this is a great dress for nursing. I'm a little meh about the whole shebang but I know I'll wear this lots in the next couple of months. I think I may need to make another shorter version. Maybe a more exciting fabric would make me happier with it.
I decided to change up my blog header. I think I've changed it up every year since I started this blog. But I used an iphone pic and I'm a little worried that it's too grainy. It looks ok on my little laptop. Can anyone with a big monitor/display tell me if the photo looks really grainy and out of focus? I think I'll leave it for now. I like the paint palette and had fun playing around on Picmonkey. Maybe I can take a better photo later.
I really like this dress. I must admit that I'm a sucker for a wrap dress! I know you're not sold on it but I think it looks great and the colour really suits you. Your little one is as cute as ever too. XReplyDelete
Can I tell you how much I love the title of this post? Oh, and the dress is great too.ReplyDelete
Tee hee. Just calling it like it is. :)Delete
The header looks fine, you look great and the baby looks adorable! Honestly, with your skin and smile, nobody will be looking at your postpartum concerns.ReplyDelete
I love the way your side bar matches your header. Wish I could get onto revamping my blog, but struggling to blog at all at the moment.
I can see this dress on you in a shorter length in a totally wild fabric and you would love it! Go ahead, make yourself a postpartum wardrobe, because it takes most of us much longer than anyone wants to admit to get back to pre-preggers weight, and possibly never back to pre-preggers shape (2 years is not unusual, in my experience). Whip yourself up a few quick knits and you will get plenty of wear out of them without all the pressure to get back to shape, and then you will be more able to enjoy nurturing your adorable baby. Then you're going to need floor-play clothing, and playground suitable clothing and pockets everywhere to put your keys and stuff whilst you lug child and gear everywhere! Lucky for you, you can totally do this and look rockin' at the same time!
Aw, thanks! I am glad I can sew. It's nice to be able to tailor clothes to my needs instead of trying to find something rtw that works.Delete
Great dress, and it ideally serves your current needs! Easily you could have a few of these in the wardrobe, as you said in different patterns and colours. Your little one is so gorgeous, and growing quickly :)ReplyDelete
Your new heading is a lovely splash of colour, and not grainy at all on my monitor. The only small detail is that the 'ne' is a little hard to read on the yellow - but that could just be my older eyes playing up...J
The header looks great! Your dress is amazing too! I think you should definitely make another shorter version.ReplyDelete
Love the gorgeous baby, dress and you! You may love the dress a bit more if it were a little shorter, unless this is your style. You will reach your goals, though you may look a bit different. Enjoy these times with your cutie!ReplyDelete
Nice dress - it's so practical that I almost forgot that it's in my favourite shape AND colour.ReplyDelete
I also like the new header - I have monitor 1600 wide and it looks good and focused.
Dude, you are a BABE!! You look fantastic. Furthermore, you are totally right about the amazing way that we are made! You made a person. Give yourself some time to celebrate that shit! LolReplyDelete
Also, I was always super modest about nudity when I was growing up. After I had my oldest, I had so much trouble breastfeeding. I was swollen and a mess. Even the lightest shirt felt like it was squeezing me. I just stopped covering up! This is totally acceptable nakers time ;o)
The dress, baby and header all look great!. I think try the dress again in a darker colour if you are bummed about your body. It will feel like it's hiding more. Also don't stress about the weight. It will drop off eventually and seriously you look pretty fab right now anyway!ReplyDelete
You & that doll baby are looking great! I thought of you the other day when a little girl came up to me at Saturday Market & said, "Hey, I know you - you came to my school." Her tee shirt had your school name on it so a dead giveaway ;-) Enjoy the time off with your precious family!ReplyDelete
First the header looks great - not grainy at all! I'm looking at it on a 22" monitor and it's lovely!ReplyDelete
Second, Baby Jane is getting so big and adorable!
Third, you need to make several versions of the dress along with a couple of tops with coordinating skirts and a pair of pants or two. You would have an entire wardrobe to wear while breastfeeding and to start school with...cause that opening day is going to be here before you know it...and an easy knit wardrobe to start school with will making leaving home in the morning so much easier.
Thanks for sharing this pattern. I'm breastfeeding right now too, and you're right, this works perfectly! Your dress looks fantastic, and so do you and your little angel. I can totally relate to your eagerness to get back to pre-baby shape, but I have found that sewing new things (in a new size) has done wonders for my self-esteem! Some pre-baby clothes already fit, and some still taunt me from the closet. But you know what? Whatever! Last week I sewed a dress in a size I never thought I'd wear, but once I put the dress on, I was thrilled with the result! Size and weight are just numbers, and Mommy's body is just still in transition. :) Enjoy your great new dress!ReplyDelete
Ha! That's really funny since I don't have kids and don't really know anything about nursing! It looks great on you and I hope it's functionalReplyDelete
I thought it was funny, too. But it was a good observation about the pattern!Delete
love the dress you've made here! i totally get how hard it is to accept the post baby body. i've read that your body hangs onto the weight for about 9 months regardless of what you do. it will shed though! and frankly, i think you look amazing! plus that adorable baby completely distracts from whatever you're uncomfortable with.ReplyDelete
Nope, all fine on the banner front and my monitor is huuuuuge :)ReplyDelete
I certainly haven't gotten around to procreating as yet, but I find myself nodding all the through your post here. Purrfect access for bub without having to go to a huge fuss. Isn't it crazy how much of our self-esteem comes from looks, even though logically we know the incredible feat our body has jsut gone through? Keep on feeding baby Jane, and you'll be there soon. I've always been flabbergasted at how quickly my nursing friends have seemed to shed the kg's - it's better than any exercise ever invented, for sure.
That said - I do love the green - it suits you wonderfully. But prints will always trump solids ;)
Gorgeous dress! Love the colour on you. I totally get you on the body issues thing. You try not to be too negative but it's hard when you don't feel like yourself. But trust me you'll get there! And it'll be a very happy day when you do.ReplyDelete
The fabric for your dress is really pretty! I love the pattern. I have started hemming my knits with a knit stay tape (1/2"). It keeps it from getting wavy and since it's a half inch, it's easy to just flip and press your hem allowance. No pins necessary and then I stitch my hem. I've been using it on my hems for my sleeves too.ReplyDelete
I've never seen knit stay tape before but I have heard of it. I'll have to look it up online.Delete
I love the new header! i agree that the "ne" is hard to read, but it is so colourful and joyous! the dress looks great to! (and i am making mental notes to my future self. i'm not quite there yet with having babies, but...) the amazingness of what your body just gave you is far more important than a few kilos, so keep your mind on that!ReplyDelete
I tried to get back to my original weight while breastfeeding one of my babes once. Total waste of time, I think I lasted a morning I was so hungry! So with my last I just relaxed and enjoyed it, and being active afterwards it all sorted itself out. I think it's admirable you have hardly stopped sewing and your new dress looks great. Perfect fit & flattering colour!ReplyDelete
Yes, that is the problem! I am starving all the time-- I guess from all the nursing. It certainly does make it hard to not eat so much.Delete
You look fantastic! I love that dress and the colour really suits you. Thanks for the tip as well, maybe I should be thinking about post-partum sewing already, or things that will work now as my belly expands, and afterwards for feeding. Thanks!ReplyDelete
That is an excellent dress for nursing a baby, very clever. A new wardrobe for baby life sounds like a good idea to me, much better for the self esteem than thinking about dull things such as pounds and the waistband of pre-pregnancy jeans. Feeding a baby requires having a few spare pounds around anyway ;), just think how hungry she would be if you were thin and scrawny. I was a fan of the shirt dress with A line or full skirt at this point in my life.ReplyDelete
I was thinking about making a shirt dress. Making something not in a knit sounds enticing...Delete
You and baby Jane both look stunning! For what it's worth, I hear that lots of women hang on to 10-15 while nursing to keep up the supply, then lose it when they wean. And I found that was true for me, although it took six months or so after weaning to really see a difference. You have a good perspective on it though--our bodies are truly amazing creations! Just think about how much more cocky men would be if they could grow, birth, and nourish a new human. ;-)ReplyDelete
I think your dress looks great too! I like reading all your tips and insight into sewing with knits because I don't feel as confident working with knits as I do working with wovens. Of course, there is some adorable pink stripe sparkly knit on its way to my house to be made into a top for my girlie's birthday next week, so I'm sure I will be back to this post to see how you managed not to have wavy hems.
Ok, that really makes me feel better!Delete
This does look like the perfect nursing pattern. You could also check out Jalie--they have several t-shirts that are good for nursing too, while still being cute enough to wear when you're not nursing (and you can make matching shirts for baby Jane when she's a bit older!) :-) Anyway, this dress looks great on you, and I think a shorter one in some fun fabric would probably be a staple for you over the next few months.ReplyDelete
And your blog header seems fine on my 14" laptop screen. :-)
You look beautiful! I always think it's a shame that there seem to be all these fancy stores popping up with boutique clothing for pregnant women, but few of them carry over into nursing/postpartum! Where are all the cute nursing clothes?? I love this color green on you - and the dress looks comfy and flattering and, hey, gotta love that easy access!! Definitely a win! Also - you're new header looks totally pro on my screen!ReplyDelete
I love wrap dresses ~ love the color and length of yours. It looks great. You and baby both look beautiful :)ReplyDelete
hehe, permanent mardi gras :) that's one nice looking dress, you should make more of those :) and new header looks awesome on my monitorReplyDelete
You look gorgeous, and the dress looks lovely! I definitely think you should make yourself a few more happy things that fit you well right now. You've got so many new things to think about and take care of that you don't want to lose any time feeling awkward or uncomfortable in old clothes, ya know?ReplyDelete
PS-- I love baby LJ's hair... it's so cute!
She does have awesome hair :DDelete
Nice dress! I wound up buying a nearly identical style at three weeks post-partum for a wedding I needed to attend.ReplyDelete
My experience was pretty much just that the weight will come off when it's ready, and that my body pretty much knows what it's doing in that regard. But even though my weight is where it was pre-pregnancy, my shape is totally different in ways that go way beyond breast size. So what clothes I wear, what looks good, which styles I like...it's all different. Though the shirtless-all-the-time/breastfeeding-friendly thing does get a lot easier with time - once the kid has enough motor control to help you out a little bit with positioning, you can get away with a much wider range of possible outfits. Button down shirts (kid will wait long enough for buttons!) stretchy shirts with medium-low necklines, looser tops with a nursing tank under...these things become possible. Before that I pretty much just kept a baby strapped to my chest at all times and didn't worry about my shirt because no one could see it anyway.
Anyway, sew for what works now, and you'll get a bunch of wear out of it. The rest will work itself out!
Gorgeous!!! I bought Simplicity 2369 recently and was just waiting on the right fabric to make it. Glad to know that it's useful for breastfeeding. i will not be using it for that purpose - not anytime soon!!! =) Love the green color and the fit looks great! You should definitely do another in a print and knee length.ReplyDelete
Also your new header is cute and it looks fine on my extra wide display (maybe just darken the yellow pot so the end of your name shows up more against the yellow)
Hey girl! I'm on a gigantic monitor and your new header looks great. I think the high contrast eliminates the graininess. You and your dress look beautiful. You'll be back in your wardrobe before you know it, but I'm glad you're making yourself some nice things in the meantime!ReplyDelete
mamazing. (not a typo.)ReplyDelete
i love your header, i love your dress, i love your body, i love your bebe!
You look great! Don't worry about it! I hated breast feeding because I had to go sit in another room while everyone else was having fun....I wasn't too confident about it obviously! I didn't do it for very long...I also wanted to "share" in the work too....getting up at night etc.....the dress looks cute!! I just remembered about the leaking too! haha..AWFUL!!!ReplyDelete
Oh how I would love the "share" in the night time feedings... one day!!Delete
You look amazing (as does your blog header). I wish I had a dress like that when I was nursing, mostly I just wore T-shirts and jeans and probably looked like a slob. By the way, you will drop a lot of weight nursing, but your body will hold onto an attractive all-over fat stockpile as long as you are baby's main source of food. It's nature's way of making sure that if you miss a few meals there will still be some calories stored up for both of you. So don't worry about your size and keep rocking the goddess look.ReplyDelete
Oh yes, what a fab new blog header!! Awesome. Then moving eyes down, loved the title of this post! And your dress is lovely, even if for you it's a transition dress, it's fulfilling its purpose with bells on- when I was breast feeding I was restricted to button up shirts, and really didn't look this glamorous! So make more I say! Out of inexpensive fabric so that you can ditch them when your 'Bristols' need less room and less airtime.ReplyDelete
Baby Jane looks like she's thriving too. :-)
Ps use of 'Bristols' is so old fashioned and who knows, might even be a word we used locally, not sure!!
You look wonderful, the cut and colour of that dress is gorgeous. High five for finding the time to sew a whole dress, too!ReplyDelete
First up - love the new banner. That's colours are amazing! Great, easy to wear dress. I can see you pulling this off in a range of lengths. It might be worth whipping a few of these up. Budging the pregnancy weight is a tougher gig then most remember or realise....and not to be rushed. Hilarious post title by the way!ReplyDelete
Good for nursing or not, this is a lovely dress - and that's probably my favorite green. I think the silhouette is very flattering, and I imagine the wrap styling will make it wearable even as you shrink. I never went with the nursing tops available when I was in this stage - they were horrible! Cardigans were my friend.ReplyDelete
Yet again, your sewing skills pay off!
i'm completely in awe of your ability to sew a whole dress (and a top before that) with a newborn. she's super cute and you look beautiful, btw. i'm sure it's hard trying to find styles that can work with a changing body but the wrap dress will be great 'cause you can just tie it tighter as you lose weight. i think if you made this in a colorful print you'd love it. i like that you did the band rather than the facing, facings on knits are annoying. ;) and i noticed the new banner right away. i like it a lot!ReplyDelete
Love you new banner, Liza Jane! And that dress is amazing - functional and stylish, the best combination! I like that the dress will work post-nursing too! You seem to have mastered Sergio and I wish I could say the same about my serger...I have the same kind and it constantly eats my knits!ReplyDelete
First off I can totally relate to the body image issues and thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog about being proud of what you've done! I'm reminding myself of that each and everyday. Also, for what it's worth, I think you look GORGEOUS! I love the dress! If I can ever catch up with work and household things with my little one I'm going to try this pattern. I made the mistake several times of wearing dresses only to then find out, crap! I can't nurse in this thing without pulling the whole dress up. BTW, I love the new header too. It looks great at full size on my 17" monitor.ReplyDelete
I don't think I commented right away on this post, but I wanted to tell you that (a) I totally relate to the frustrating body issues and (b) your dress is a winner! You look so beautiful in that last picture. You can really see how happy you are to be holding your little one.ReplyDelete
Hope all is well with you as the summer winds down!