So, it’s been a while since you’ve seen me. I’ve been around, posting gobs of pictures of my progeny in itty bitty mama-made clothes, but I haven’t been on the blog in me-made-threads since The Final Maternity Dress, about 11 months ago.
Adjusting to my new mom bod has been interesting. It’s one reason for my absence. I have a short torso, so my Mr. Cheeks bump had nowhere to go but out, I gained 47 or so pounds during my pregnancy (oops) and my c-section didn’t help with the mom pooch, either. I’ve lost most of the pregnancy weight, but ye olde midsection will never be the same again. *sad trombone*
I’ve made several things for myself since he was born, but have felt too overwhelmed with life to take photos and post them. I still feel a bit of that, but there has been a change in the wind lately; a hint that I may be slowly wading out of the new-mom-fog.
And then there was Wren.
I had all sorts of plans about the things I was going to make for PR Weekend. But like I talked bout last week, I thought more and did less than I should have. The Monday before PR Weekend, I posted this on Instagram:
By Wednesday, my out-of-this-world dress was complete! Talk about a fast turn around.
I used a neat galaxy print mystery content jersey knit from Girl Charlee. It’s no longer available, and it’s really not great feeling fabric, but it’s way cute. They can be so hit and miss on quality, but they sure keep me coming back with their fun prints!
I made a medium (pre-pregnancy I was making a small in Colette knit dresses, such as Myrtle) and added a cheater FBA; I knew the bust would be big enough AROUND as is, but le boobs have always been slightly lower hanging (Lord almighty) than most patterns allow for, and this pattern is decidedly much more empire than the line drawings and model photos indicate. So, I added length to the bodice from the center front to below the bust apex (also added a bit of length to the front band), then trued out to no extra length at the side seams.
It sort of worked. I ended up with this weird dip in the center front, which is prominent if I don’t adjust while wearing it. Next time I’ll stop being a lazy ass and do a proper full bust adjustment. I didn’t this time because I wasn’t sure how I would deal with the extra width a dartless FBA would add to the waist. And then I realized, DUH: mom bod. Extra room is prolly a good thing!
Speaking of the bodice, see where it lands on me with extra added? Very nearly empire, which is very unlike the pattern photos and line drawings. I’m short-waisted, so consider yourself warned…
I pondered making a facing for the front band, because it would make for a much cleaner feeling finish, but I’m satisfied with how the directed turn-and-stitch method turned out. I also added some clear elastic for stability while nursing. Next time, I’ll probably make it 1/4″ regular elastic, which will be stronger with better recovery.
The directions call for using elastic and stretching while stitching (zig zag) to gather the dirndl skirted version (AKA this version). I am not usually a fan of this approach, usually I would just use a long stitch and sew 2-3 lines of gathering stitches, but decided to give it a try.
I used clear elastic and serged (1/4″ so it wouldn’t show once the dress was put together; the rest of the dress I sewed with the wide 3/8″ setting on my serger) and stretched instead. I wasn’t about to use my sewing machine when I have both a serger and coverstitch machine at my disposal. I had some problems with one area not quite getting gathered because I stretched too much before that section, but…eh. It’s fine.
Bottom line on the gathering situation: you may actually want to follow their directions and mark on the elastic where the side seams and center front and back should hit whilst gathering, instead of eyeballin’ it like me…
I finished this dress two nights before PR Weekend (and cut it out two days before that…eep!) and have found it in my weekly rotation since. Yes; in the last 7 weeks I’ve worn this wonderful dress at least 7 times. I really liked Myrtle, but I think I’m in love with Wren. I definitely want to make at least one more!
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And now for a little teaser for next time…a little bit of something I whipped up to go with my Wren, which ended up becoming a bit of a cautionary tale…