Happy new year everyone! What a great challenge for this month – there were no gifts of fabric in my Christmas stocking but I was so lucky to be given a subscription to BurdaStyle magazine – I keep rushing to meet the postman each day in anticipation, but so far my first issue has yet to arrive!
The fabric I used this month was actually purchased a little while ago on a trip back home to Sydney, but it didn’t technically get into my stash, as it lay waiting patiently beside my sewing machine for me to get my sewing mojo back again after the arrival of Baby Veuve (now four months old!).
I used to love spending all day immersed in a project but that’s just not practical anymore – I’ve realised that I need to learn to break down a project into small chunks (20 minutes here and there during baby naps) – in order to maintain my sanity and get anything done! Another hurdle has been that, not surprisingly, my body has changed drastically in recent months – every time I measure myself something is different, which has left me wary of jumping in to a new project if I’m not sure it will fit well.
However, I am desperately tired of the limited range and poor quality options for nursing mothers available in ready-to-wear – so I went back to the lovely fabric waiting patiently at my sewing table and turned out this dress.
My not-really-stashed fabric was a royal/navy blue merino wool jersey from The Fabric Store in Sydney. This fabric is just so wonderful! It feels beautiful on the skin, is warm when it is cold and breathes when it is hot, is easy to look after (gentle machine wool wash)…and it comes in so many wonderful colours!
I had earmarked the Amber Dress from Megan Nielsen as a great option both for during my pregnancy and afterwards – the emphasis now being on the afterwards! I used the copy shop PDF file to print the pattern which was great – no more cutting and pasting hundreds of pieces of paper. A note of warning, however: the copy shop file doesn’t have a calibration square to check that the sizing is correct. The helpful staff at Megan Nielsen suggested printing off a small pattern piece (such as the midriff front) on my home printer to compare the sizes.
I cut out the size Medium, but seeing it on me now I realise I must have been in full pregnancy mode when I measured myself…because it is too big. I don’t like too much negative ease in my garments so I didn’t want the dress to be tight (I have previously found I needed to size up for Megan Nielsen patterns) and wearing a belt with this style cinches the waist in fine. Plus there is a hope that I may need a maternity dress again soon, in which case this will be perfect! If I make this dress again while nursing but not pregnant, however, I will sew the smaller size or take more out of the back sections of the pattern.
The nursing modesty panel is wonderful, it sits neatly behind the cross-over midriff front without adding bulk and makes breast feeding really easy and discrete. I don’t mind lifting up a tee-shirt in public but if I’m wearing a dress that’s not an option, so having a nursing dress in my wardrobe is terrific.
The pattern instructions are very straightforward and it was truly an easy pattern to break down into smaller chunks so that I could fit my sewing around nap times.
Something new I tried this time was Stitch Witchery fusible bonding web – brilliant stuff! It made stabilising the hems for double top-stitching an absolute dream.
I’m delighted with the outcome of this dress, I can see myself wearing it a lot in the coming months with my return to work!