How to Maternify All Your Trousers

Yes, ALL of them.

Although if you want to be comfortable, maybe just ones made out of stretch fabric.

As flagged and promised in my earlier Expandable Belly Sewing post, I also made two pairs of Clover trousers, with some maternity modifications.

These are the maternity changes I made:

  1. Used ponte knit fabric, rather than woven with some stretch (as the pattern suggests);
  2. Didn’t bother with a zip
  3. Replaced waistband with a yoga waistband.

In short, as I had previously decided Clovers were just well fancy leggings, I simply treated them as wider-legged leggings.

I made a black pair and a dark brown pair from ponte I obtained from Darn Cheap Fabrics. Each fabric was quite different from the other, having different amounts of stretch (the black had less stretch), appearance (aside from the colour, the brown was more matte) and behaviour (the brown was much easier to work with).

For the yoga waistband, I simply cut a rectangle of fabric that was my pre-pregnancy waist measurement less a few inches (2 for the black, and 4 for the brown, based on my assessment of their stretchy-ness) by ten inches high, and then sewed the short ends together, folded the now cylindrical tube along its length and attached to the top of the sewn together trouser legs.

These saw me through the second trimester quite nicely, and now I’m in the third trimester, I can still quite comfortably wear the brown pair but only wear the black pair if I know that I only have to be in them for half a day.  They are a smidge too tight now, being a fabric with less stretch.  I suspect I’ll be able to wear both trousers post pregnancy, too, they’ll just look a little bit like trackydacks.

Colette Patterns' Clover trousers, in ponte, with maternity (yoga) waistbands.

Black is hard to photograph. Brown not much better.  You can see the difference different fabric makes, though, in the leg width.

However, as we are getting into summer, both are much too warm. I resolved to make some more legging-type trousers to wear for summer, and that I can hopefully wear post-crazy big belly. I had some grey knit fabric that is loosely woven. I had it in ridiculous metreage (perhaps 4?), which tells me I bought it from the Clear It outlet.  Also, there was a huge hole in the middle, so I had to cut around that.

I cut out a pair of Hudson pants (pattern by True Bias), again with a yoga waistband.  I had enough fabric left for a pair of leggings too but knew that if I simply cut boring leggings, I would end up with a weird amount of fabric which I might add to my scrap collection.  Enter the Steeplechase leggings pattern by Fehr Trade, with its well weird pattern piece that turns into a thoroughly awesome pair of leggings.  Again I cut a yoga waistband.

I don’t think I’ve told you, but I’d previously made 3 pairs of Hudsons: light grey cotton knit; green fleece and stretch denim-look knit.  I love the pattern – goes together really quickly, are definitely trackydacks but don’t look too sloppy. I will next have to try it in rayon, maybe.

True Bias' Hudson Pants, in grey knit with maternity (yoga) waistband.

Hudson Pants

I also haven’t told you I’d made Steeplechase leggings. Two pairs thereof. One out of stretch velvet, which was my wearable muslin and practise garment.  I chose the stretch velvet as it had exactly the same stretch properties as Supplex that I had obtained from Stretchtex for the express purpose of making activewear. I then proceeded to make a 3/4 length pair of Steeplechase leggings, with reflective piping in the curved seams.  They are quite awesome, but i haven’t been on my bike since the end of the first trimester (sad face).

Fehr Trade's Steeplechase leggings in grey knit, with maternity (yoga) waistband.

Steeplechase leggings: Yoke detail.

Finally, as I would be threading my ovelocker with grey, I found some grey ponte in my stash. I cannot recall where I bought it from, but suspect it was Rathdowne Remnants, and I may have hoped to make a Morris Blazer from it, until I decided it had too much stretch to work. From this, I cut a pair of jeggings, based on a pattern from Ottobre Women’s magazine released in Autumn 2014 (05-2014-13 Lampi jeggings). Again, I made a yoga waistband. I made real pockets, rather than mock ones but other than that, followed the sparse, but clear, instructions.

Ottobre 05/2014 'Lampi Leggings' in dark grey ponte (maybe?) with yellow contrast stitching.

The left is more true to colour.  Clearly, grey is also hard to photograph.

I really like Ottobre! This is my first made up garment from the magazines I own (3: Autumn 2014; Spring 2015 & Autumn 2015). I have now stopped my subscription, although I will get one more to complete the subscription when Spring 2016 is released.  I had hoped that because we are upside down from Finland, that I would have 6 months to make up the patterns that took my fancy from a given magazine.  Alas, not so, and therefore I won’t keep subscribing. There are plenty of patterns in my current collection to keep me going.  But I might get a subscription again when I am back at work and have a regular income.  I highly suspect I will add the children’s patterns to my future subscription, because I borrowed a bunch from the Fabulous Funkbunny Herself and they are so very wonderful.

What do I like about Ottobre? I like the aesthetic (simple, kinda classic, a little bit daggy … Not as ‘fashion forward’ as Burda!) and that there are a lot of great knit patterns and activewear patterns.  I think I originally decided to try a subscription for the fleece jacket pattern (05-2014-15), but I have not yet found a good source of suitable fleece (preferably Polartec) in Australia. I will need to, soon, however, as my current fleece jacket is, literally, falling apart! I want to sew, rather than buy, its replacement!


A Floral Laurel for Frocktails

I am not a particularly dressy person.  I don’t really do fancy clothes.  Fancy events and restaurants don’t tickle my fancy.  So, although I was excited about an event in which I could hang out with lovely sewists and, you know, try to make friends in Melbourne, I wasn’t all that excited about sewing up a dress for the occasion.  

Unsurprisingly, I dithered about what to make.  I am doing my best to make things that I will wear, and given how much of my life I spend at work, I want it to be work appropriate, too.  I’m still trying to work out what day would be best for wearing my Citrusy Sureau.  I actually had an event that I thought I could wear it to – a friend’s BBQ – but then I learned one of the people attending, for whom the event had been organised, was allergic to citrus, and that seemed … rude.  So I wore my tablecloth dress instead.  Much of my stash is reasonably good, in that it is solid, sensible colours, with only the occasional fruit, bird, frog or fox print.  But I also know that I had so much fun making the Sureau out of a completely ridiculous print that I’ll do it again, I’ll giggle and I won’t be sorry.

I thought of making a dress out of some dark red knit I have.  I thought about actually completing the Belladone that I cut out in January. It’s yellow cotton twill.  But the Belladone now has other plans (more on that in the nearish, I hope, future).

Then the lovely Sew Busy Lizzie sent me some fabric.  How awesome is that? I think in a Twitter exchange, we discovered we have similar fabric tastes, although Ms SewBusy is a much more prolific sewing sort than me. (It’s all in the name, I suppose…)  It seems like what she completes in a month, I might be lucky to complete in a year!  And given that she was coming all the way to Melbourne, I felt positively  compelled to turn the lovely fabric into something wearable.  Initially, I though I should make something Ms Sew Busy would really approve of – Cambie (been there, done that), Anna (eek! Too scary! Might take me a while!) but I eventually went for something I knew would be pretty fast and easy: Laurel.

Shift dress? Fairly shapeless? I’m on board!  I don’t really know why I like shapeless dresses so much, given that I have little shape to give them, but if it looks a certain way on a coat hanger, well it’s pretty much going to look like that on me. Basically, I’m just shoulders.  Very mouthy shoulders, but mostly shoulders nevertheless.  I can work with that.

Even better, Laurel is only 4 pieces: front, back, sleeves (2 of them).

Laurel came together quite well, but the fit is not quite right.  I think Laurel will be a very nice work dress when I’m a few months pregnant. (And, in case you’re wondering, that’s not in the foreseeable future.) Also, the darts are a bit too high.  And the sleeves feel weird. I don’t think I inserted them back to front (though its possible). And the arms scye (that’s the armhole bit) is too small.

Anyway, I tied a sash because I’m very handy with a bow (origami skillz, yo), and called her good.  

I like Laurel.  I especially like all Kokorimbaud’s versions.  So I shall just have to work out the fit issues, perhaps in a series of tops.  Don’t hold your breath, though.  Wouldn’t want anyone to expire on my account.

It was such a joy to meet everyone whom I had not previously met in person.  There is talk of the event being repeated in Sydney 2014, and Brisbane 2015.  Perhaps Rocket Sews will agitate for Hobart 2016, and Bimble and Pimble will make a case for Canberra 2017 (although, honestly, who lives in Canberra for that long? No one, that’s who.  They all move to Melbourne.  Well, Amanda?) 

I failed to get photos of me in my dress at the event, but you might enjoy this one, taken by Seamstress Poppykettle, Melanie.  There are a lot more photos to be found here.

L -> R: Lara of Thornberry; Sew Busy Lizzy; Spinning Danika & the grinning fool herself (me, in case you got confused)