A Bit (Lot) Stuck

So, I’ve managed to sew one garment since I last spoke to you and have taken no photos of it!  I’ve also cut out one pattern and got no further – the fabric is still a big piece of fabric.  So this is going to be a wordy rather than pretty post I’m afraid.

Basically – I feel a bit stuck.  I have all these plans of what I’d like to make (as you know from my last post) but I’m…  I don’t know really…  Confused?  Not sure?  Long story short – I’ve recently been living in my maternity jeans from five years ago and a couple of vest (singlet) tops and a maternity top that’s also five years old.  Don’t get me wrong – they’ve got plenty of life in them and they don’t need replacing at all but…

I like dresses.  I like woven dresses.  I like dresses that make the best of what I have and I’m not sure how to do that at the moment.  Don’t get me wrong – I adore being pregnant (and everything that it brings!) but I’m not sure how to express who I am through my clothes at the moment.  I’m also in that slightly odd transition phase where I don’t fit into my clothes anymore but don’t really look pregnant at the moment (although I’m told I’m starting to ‘pop’).

This leaves me wanting to sew but not having any real clue WHAT to sew!!  I’m in the middle of making a quilt but even that isn’t scratching the itch at the moment.  I want to sew something for ME so that I feel less casual and more put together if that makes any sense at all?

It’s a weird situation and one I wasn’t in when Boy was a bump.  I didn’t sew clothes then and having found out so late, a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of tops got me through the few months when I did know about it (and went from not looking pregnant to looking very pregnant in a very short space of time) – I didn’t have time to get frustrated about what was on offer on the high street and quite honestly I didn’t project myself through my wardrobe in the same way!  I’m so grateful that I can do that through sewing but it’s a bit of a mind bender at the moment…

Sooo…  I’m getting used to the idea of (nearly) everything in a knit (I’m not a fan of the draped look although I know some people can pull that off brilliantly) as I still like to have some definition where I can.  Sewing knits is not a drama at all on my two machines either.  

So I don’t know what my problem is:
Is it what to sew?
Is it how to project who I am through who I sew?
Is it simply that I need to wrap my head around this transitional period and just sew something!

I think I’ll go with option three…

PS – Boy starts school on Thursday…  How on earth did we get to that stage already?!

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19 thoughts on “A Bit (Lot) Stuck

  1. Oh gosh, I so know what you mean! (In fact, I wrote a post along the same lines a month or two back. http://macskakat.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/thoughts-on-me-made-and-happiness/ )

    Maternity is so hard, isn’t it? That whole feeling like you’re losing your style, and a bit of loss of sense of self that goes with it… Plus not wanting to spend heaps of time making something you may only wear for a couple of months. Gah. 😦

    I went hunting for indie patterns this time ’round that could also work for maternity (or the first couple of trimesters at least!). Still had to go outside of my usual style zone somewhat, but I found it gave me more of a focus on what to sew, and as a result I’ve ended up sewing probably quite a lot more than I would have otherwise.

    If it’s any help, in my hunt the following patterns jumped out as good (or potentially good – I haven’t tried them all as maternity):
    From Victory: Anouk, Lola (front seam curves upwards, so won’t hit the bump – probably only good for another month or so though), Simone, Roxanne, Satsuki
    From Papercut: Circle Top (which I see is already on your list 😉 ), Midsummers Night Dream (yes, it’s a woven dress, but it’s also a wrap-around!), the new Clover dress/top (I’m going to make this up in a knit very soon and see how it works for third trimester sized bumps), Meissa shirt, Ooh La Leggings (no centre front seam, so comfy to extend up for maternity), Anima pants, Coppelia (can also be lengthened into a wrap dress), Rigel, Bellatrix, SJ tee
    From Cake: Tiramisu (plus good for nursing afterwards, as long as you thread elastic through the neck binding, otherwise it stretches out of shape too easily – oops!), Pavlova wrap top
    From Dixie DIY: Summer Concert Tee
    From Deer&Doe: Plantain tee
    I suspect the Miette skirt from Tilly and the Buttons would work for a while too, and be good post-partum as well, since it’s a woven wrap.

    Anyway, no idea if that would have been any help at all, but quite a few don’t have to be in knit fabrics, so you’re not fully constrained to knits just yet! 😉

    Good luck with motivation!

    1. Thank you so much for such a considered response Kat – I have to admit that the way you’re working your wardrobe is a major inspiration. I’m hoping that what I sew will have more than a six month life span in my wardrobe so I’ve been stalking your blog as you seem to have nailed that aspect!

      1. Last time I went down the vintage maternity patterns route, and unsurprisingly none of them got work after the little guy arrived. So yeah, trying very hard this time to make things I can wear afterwards! Some will have to be altered post-pregnancy, but I figure that’s a lot better than them never being worn again. :-p

        I am struggling a bit with finding patterns that will work for both maternity and nursing and post-maternity though….. Pretty much just the Papercut Coppelia and the Midsummers Night Dream so far (plus all the various jacket options of course)…..

  2. Vicki – I think your struggle is completely normal! I’ve seen quite a few sewists get pregnant (myself included) and then sew almost nothing for themselves during their pregnancy. A changing body is hard, and went you sew your own clothes your are used to making something that perfectly fits right now – not accommodating a rapidly growing baby and bump.

    My favorite dress during pregnancy was a wrap dress similar to Butterick 5860. This style works well because it looks good when your bump is little more than a bit of bloating that makes it hard to button your pants, but it also looks beautiful with a 9 month belly. I had this pattern, but just never had the time to sew it up. If you can find the time, this will be a lovely style on you. Though this does use knit fabric rather than wovens.

    Megan Nielsen also made a super cute dress out of a woven that she claimed was her favorite dress. I’m having trouble pulling up the link right now – but I will send it your way when I find it.

    No matter what your wardrobe looks like, you are creating a life and that is something beautiful 🙂

  3. I second the comment above about wrap dresses. The Burda wrap dress I made was my absolute favorite maternity outfit. I wore it with a giant belly at 9 months and I even wore it postpartum! But I also wanted to say- don’t be too hard on yourself. Being pregnant is hard, not just physically but mentally, too, with all that other baggage that comes along with so many changes. Remember that you are doing something amazing right now!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much LJ. I need to be a little more rational and a little less emotional (but hormones may be preventing too much application of logic!). I’ve cut the wrap dress out – I just need to put the thing together!!

      1. I think it was Vogue 8780 & McCalls 6844. The Vogue is longer & less ‘jackety’ I like the Vogue because it’s fitted across the back which gives some shape.
        Love the Circle Cardigan, it’s unique and looks very simple to construct.

  4. Vicki!! I had completely missed your announcement! Many, many congratulations, you must be so pleased! Hoping everything goes well as he or she grows and you all get ready to meet them!

    As for clothes, I’m afraid I have no wise advice, I found this aspect of pregnancy tortuous both times. But your ideas all sound really good! Or how about making a jacket or two, so you can wear them over the more casual (knit) outfits to dress them up in a way that’s ‘you’?

    Anyway, just so happy to read this. Really great news 🙂

    1. Aw, thanks Jo! I have caved and bought another pair of maternity jeans… I have one under bump pair which are only any good for about a month and then just plain uncomfortable for me whereas I love the ones which are over bump. That should give me a few more options once I get my act together and make some tops…

  5. Hmm, this is a tricky one, since when I think of your style the first thing I think of is fit and flare dresses! Maybe one way to do it is to try to find prints that you really like so you still feel like you’re dressing like yourself even if the silhouette or even the fiber content is radically different from your usual thing. Are you familiar with the blog Clio & Phineas? Clio is a NYC sewer who usually makes very chic, fitted, unusual, time-consuming, modern garments- basically the opposite of maternity wear- so she’s been experimenting with maternity wear the past few months. Might be worth taking a look to see if there’s anything that suits you in her recent makes!

    1. I know!!
      Ooh, that’s a new blog for me – I’ll go and have a look…
      I’m also considering a fairly major hack of Elisalex but need to get my head around a few things first…

  6. Having bypassed the pregnancy stage of having kids, I’m at a loss to make suggestions of suitable patterns that would help…but, perhaps if you make dresses in knit rather than woven, and luckily we’re heading into winter so you can break out the lovely stable ponte knits, you don’t necessarily have to go down the draping route. Does that make sense? Maybe having this little breather and a chance to regroup and reevaluate is just the ticket…you’ll come back with a clearer vision and some glam maternity outfits that reflect the amazing woman you are.

  7. I wish I could give you pointers – but I’m EXACTLY the same! (well, apart from the pregnant thing) I think so many people are currently in a sewing slump!

    I’ve come to realise that for me it’s lack of inspiration – maybe jump on pinterest and have a good old root through some dresses!

  8. I made a washi tunic for a maternity top when I was pregnant and practically lived in it. Now there’s a great mod for adding an invisible zip front for nursing. I didn’t have to alter the bust part at all (for the maternity part, I did an FBA for normal fit) and then just added a few extra inches to the width of the top front and then gathered across the whole piece. I highly recommend it!

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