Monday, April 26, 2010

Sew Kewl

My sewing history is spotty; while I'm familiar with method I had very little practice. Ms. M, sewing mentoress, helped me learn a whole lot more last year when I got the idea to make some Papa's Shirts Dresses for the Little Girl. Essentially I dismantled several of The Man's shirts, picked a super simple Kwik Sew pattern, and with Ms. M, produced not only 3 uber-cute dresses for last summer, but eventually the fantastic Purple Mermaid Costume for Halloween '09.

Sew, lately, as I find more time on my hands awaiting the New Arrival, I'm proud of my creativity with my gratefully borrowed machine. Taking several outgrown pairs of Miss Monkey's tights I simply made leg/arm warmers with them. I also converted a coveted tu-tu—turned out to be too too small—into a wearable state cutting away the butt of the bottom, and replacing with tights of Her choice. While it's not ideal for her dancing repertoire at the moment, at least it's another item to add to the costume & dress-up box.

My first Big Belly project to convert 2 pair of jeans to wearable maternity skirt was less than ideal (the side panels pouffed, the belly band was less than great). I put it aside for a time before I decided what needed to be done. The finagling of a sewing room is an immense help. The house we're in has an odd nubbin of a room off the master, that's big enough and small enough to act a closet, yet has its own closet (weird I know). I finally got tired of stitching on the kitchen table with all my supplies stacked in the corner, moved everything down to the Nubbin Room. When Monkey has torn her heirloom skirt yet again, all I need do is uncover the machine to stitch it up.

Anyway, the blue jean convert-to-skirt had to be completely revamped. I made a small tear much worse while removing the first belly band, thus my decision to remove the pockets, slice off 5 inches down from the "waist", re-add new stretchy and my pockets of choice—it turned out great. Well, turned out great considering my novice tailoring skills. The skirt is not perfect, but it's comfortable, and at this point in pregnancy comfort is paramount. Anything binding can put me in a foul mood. By the way, it is hard to pin pieces to oneself with a ginormous belly…but I worked it in pure comic fashion squeezing my reflection in the lone terrified mirror. The effort caused me to wonder about body-forms, and what tailoring one's own maternity wear for the duration would be like. Do they make maternity attachments for the forms?

The most comfortable and practical items I purchased are ruched-side tops. One lovely red top I splurged on, A Pea In the Pod ($$!), still fits comfortably and is made from wonderfully soft, stretchy, cotton blend…yet to be determined the postpartum use "nursability" of this top. The two ruched under-tanks I picked up at Target have been indispensable. The "tails" are long enough with the gathered sides to cover the belly + uggo-band of maternity pant (even now as my shape has become more ridiculous) and thin/comfy enough to wear consistently as an undershirt. I did pick up one so-called maternity-to-nursing top from Lilac via MamaBargains, which, as of right now is cozy in the "On Our Way" bag with other hospital essentials. The maternity-to-post-partum jeans I purchased in the same transaction were a total fail, to my guttural dismay—currently consigned at Childish Things, Boulder's premier consignment shop. Otherwise, yoga pants, homemade skirts (below), and the sale-find of bigger soft jeans are my answer for the final big belly countdown.

I had a fabulous idea to hit the thrift store for bigger skirts to convert to belly-wear. I triumphed wonderfully with my first attempt. But the other two possibilities just weren't cooperative, and will most likely be relegated to material for Miss Monkey's wardrobe. It was a completely new experience going through a thrift store with an eye for the material rather than the items themselves. I turned a sheet into 2 changing pad covers, with enough left over to make a night gown for F. Her birthday, sew close, I will (hopefully) finish the newest Papa's Shirt Dress—really only part of a shirt combined with a print she picked herself—possibly with a little hat to match, per her request.
I am so grateful for creative outlets in this interim time!

Big Belly Krewe
<--------jean convert &
thrifty find-------->

Collection of Monkey Skirts;

converted from dress, from larger size, tiered from a pattern.

*sigh* there is just no way to keep my ankles from looking pregnant too!

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