Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Quilt for Baby S



I made Made by Rae's Storytime Squares Quilt for baby S.  It was really hard to choose a pattern for a baby quilt.  I'm not really a quilter.  I dislike tiny pieces and shy away from triangles and appliques.  I tend to gravitate towards simple, more modern quilt designs.  Sometimes I wonder why we take perfectly good fabric, cut it up into shreds and spend hours stitching it back together.  If I pick an easy pattern and fabric I love, it doesn't seem like that.

I absolutely love florals and leaves, so yeah, this quilt is very reflective of my personal taste!  The nice thing about having a little one is they are too small to have an opinion so they wear whatever you fancy!

I chose an Art Gallery fabric as my 'mommy fabric' from which I coordinated the other fabrics.  


I snatched up this new pink Joel Dewberry print.  Love!



This orange leafy print from Cloud 9 is one of my favorites:



I cut approximately 6 squares each of 8 different fabrics.  The quilt pattern calls for 54" fabric for the backing.  It's much easier for me to use a standard 42-44" quilting cotton, so I scaled down the pattern so I did not have to piece the backing together.  I cut 5" squares instead of 5.5" squares.

The piecing was pretty easy, especially because I'm used to making larger quilts.  The batting I used is a low-loft cotton blend from Joann's.  I used my fabric weights to lay out the three layers, then basted it together using some quilting safety pins.



I've tied quilts many times, but this is the first time I quilted on my sewing machine.  I didn't free motion quilt - I simply used my walking foot and a straight stitch to quilt the layers together.  I was surprised how easy it was!

Then came the machine stitched binding.  I first trimmed the edges of the quilt using a 4-thread overlock stitch on my serger:



This tutorial, explaining how to do a machine binding, was really helpful.  I followed it with one exception: I like joining binding pieces diagonally because there is less bulk when you are sewing the binding to the quilt.

This is a view of the BACK of the quilt...the messy side of the stitching and it looks pretty good!



If this girl doesn't end up being a flower and leaf lover like her mom, grandma and great-grandma, I shall be very put out!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to turn Scrubs into Maternity Pants

I work in a medical office and we wear scrubs.  It's like wearing pajamas to work every day! I got through my second trimester by purchasing one maternity top, and another regular top in a larger size, and wearing regular scrub bottoms.

Well, the third trimester has arrived.  On Monday, my scrub bottoms were so tight they felt like they were cutting me in front.  I took matters into my own hands!

The offending scrubs:


The solution:


I found an ill-fitting pair of maternity pants and cut off the stretchy panel.  I made sure to mark center front, center back, and the left and right side.  I measured how much the bottom edge of the front belly panel dipped below center back, then cut my scrub bottoms accordingly.

I ended up with an acceptable-looking pair of maternity scrubs:



My 28.5 week belly is very pleased!  My pregnant brain forgot to hide the photo clicker, and a couple other things...but you get the gist of my sewing win.  I didn't have to go shopping for new clothes, or spend a dime.  It only took a few minutes and now my scrub bottoms are as comfy as pajamas, yet again!

If you have need of converting pants to maternity, I suggest perusing the maternity bottoms at Goodwill.  For a few dollars, you can reuse a belly panel from an ugly pair of pants.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Simplicity 1469 - Maternity/Nursing Dress

maternity nursing dress sewing pattern
Pictured here at 28 weeks

What could be better than sewing maternity with a Megan Nielsen pattern?  Paying a big 4 pattern company price, of course!  Recently, Megan licensed two of her maternity patterns with Simplicity, and this one is my favorite.  I'm not sure why it's lacking reviews on PatternReview.com...this pattern is awesome!

I purchased an Art Gallery Knit for this project.  I bought it from Five Eighths Seams but it can be found online at Fabric.com.  It's called Gossamer Cotton Jersey Knit Wire Flowers Foil.  It is a medium weight knit with 50% stretch and was a perfect choice for this dress.  You can trust the sizing for this garment.  I was worried size small would not be big enough, but the fit is great.

second trimester sewing

maternity nursing dress sewing pattern

Changes I made:
I brought the neckline in at the shoulder, and tapered out to the center, for more coverage.
I shortened the skirt by 1", then folded the edge over 1"and coverstitched a 3/4" hem.
That's it!  I can't believe it....these are the only two changes I made!  No adjustments to the bust were needed this time around.  I can't tell you how grateful I am.  Not having to do a small bust adjustment during pregnancy is a huge relief!

What I'd do different next time:
The only thing I would change is to shorten the bodice by 1/2" or so.  I am naturally petite from the shoulder to the apex of the bust, so shortening the bodice would help bring the waistband closer to the bottom of my bust for a better fit.

Okay...maybe one other little change:  I would shorten the sleeves by 1/2".  It gets really hot in Charleston, okay?

maternity nursing dress sewing pattern

Serging/Coverstitching
I constructed this garment almost completely on my new Huskylock 21 serger/coverstitch machine.  Considering this is my first completed project on this machine, I am really happy with it.  I learned a few things about my machine in the process, especially in using the narrow coverstitch.  This project proved to me how useful this machine is.  It's much quicker to serge with this machine vs. my old Janome serger.  (Perhaps it's partially because I took classes on how to use my machine.)

maternity nursing dress sewing pattern review


I really enjoyed this project and was surprised how quickly it came together.  These days only an easy project is going to get done.  I am sooo tired all the time and don't feel like I'm functioning on all cylinders.  

Can't wait to make another...maybe it will be a shirt next time!