Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Today we’re talking sweater dress with a surprise:
Pattern: Paprika Patterns’ Jasper, which I was lucky enough to obtain from a Perfect Pattern Parcel. (Remember those? So awesome! I still regret not buying the boys one…it had the Knight Hoodie in it! Alas, I did not know I’d have a boy then…)
Completed: January 2016 (I only remember this because I got it done the day before, maybe day of, my cousin’s baby shower!)
I decided not to wear makeup (OK, fine, I put a little lip gloss on…) for this blog post, but I did brush my hair. :P I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, so I find the prettifying process the biggest hindrance I face (ha!) when it comes to actually getting photos of my makes taken. I decided to not give a f*ck for today’s post! :) Shout out to breastfeeding for the nice skin. I’m scared to quit you.
The fabric is a wool sweater knit from Fabric Mart. It’s rather scratchy and stiff; it was not a great choice for this pattern. I would definitely go with something more drapey and soft next time, like a lightweight sweatshirt knit or heavy french terry. Ugh, the itch factor: I have to wear long sleeves and leggings under it (though, that’s not always a bad thing during Wisconsin winter).
The stiffness of the fabric especially didn’t help the collar look good on me; it really needed more play. With a bigger bust, I always find that higher collars really accentuate it. I don’t feel like the pattern samples look quite this modest, and that’s probably because of my fabric choice. Or maybe I’m just makin’ shit up. I may lower the neckline regardless when I attempt this next.
I’ve been meaning to blog this for over a year now…long ago I had mentioned to Lisa (Paprika’s designer) on Instagram that I’d made her awesome pattern nursing compatible and that I’d let her know when I blogged it. Well, since then she’s had her first baby, made her own nursing-adapted Jasper, and just wrote a nursing hack tutorial two weeks ago. Time marches on!
So, you wonder, how would one nurse in this dress?
Oh yeah, I put invisible zippers in both princess seams, starting at the armscye seam, and for the most part, it worked like a charm (this is the exact way Lisa also did her nursing hack as well). You can barely see the zipper pulls from the outside; here’s what the zippers look like from the inside.
I took Cheeks with me to my cuz’s baby shower and was able to breastfeed him easily in the dress. Mission accomplished.
But like many missions, there are often improvements that can be made. I almost always have to do an FBA, and Paprika’s blog has a couple of great tutorials on just that, one on how to add a touch of room to the bust, and another if you need to add a large FBA.
I didn’t really think through how this pattern would work functionally for nursing before I began, other than the fact that it needed a way to open and close. What I really didn’t consider was how this would work while pumping. Also: I’m lazy. So, I took a shortcut and used the “add a bit of room” FBA directions with a size 5.
The result is functional, but not optimal. The princess seams with the adjustment I used are really not over the full part of my bust (AKA my nipples), which means I had to yank everything over a bit to breastfeed, and had to REALLY futz with it all to pump, since both sides of the dress had to be out of the way. Not cool, dude.
If I did it again, I’d definitely go a size down in the bust and waist (4) and use a proper FBA to get the princess seams where they actually need to be.
I also found the hips to be a bit tight on this when I first wore it, so I’d probably stick with at least a 5 or maybe go to a 6 (and I don’t consider myself excessively hippy or anything, so something good to note if you’re thinking about making this). I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since I finished this, which is why the whole thing is loose to fitting well in these photos.
Overall, I really like this pattern, and especially enjoy the little touches such as the collar (with strap and button) and hood options, cuffed sleeves (could even elongate them and add a thumb hole!), princess seam shaping, welted kangaroo pockets…I’m a sucker for details. There will be more.
And there it is! Finished 14 months ago, finally shared with you all today. Thanks for stopping by Throwback Thursday!