Tag Archives: Maternity Wear

The Wyld 2009 Maternity Collection

24 Jan

When I started sewing in October 2009, I was 5 months pregnant. And I had just bought my overlocker. It was coming to warm weather and I had nothing to wear to suit my expanding belly-not that I showed much then. I was bored and looking for a hobby to occupy my time. I discovered  that Spotlight was just a 10 minute walk away and haunted it a few times a week, building up a stash of fabric from the bargain table. And I sewed and sewed. I was went crazy sewing up maternity dresses-being disappointed with the offerings in retail stores. I made mostly dresses with empire waistlines and an inverted pleat in the front to accommodate a growing baby bump. And then I made maternity skirts with stretch panels.

I present to you the Wyld Spring/Summer Maternity Collection 2009.

White marine weave cotton drill dress with gold buttons and inverted pleat.

This was my first attempt at making a dress. I had NEVER sewn a dress before. Never taken classes, only watched my mum sew her wardrobe for the first 15 years of my life. I had no pattern, but wanted a princess seamed dress with an inverted pleat under the empire waistline. I used an old denim princess seam dress and traced the seamlines to get my pattern- I was doubtful at first whether I got it right, having NEVER done it before, but I did a muslin (test garment) and miraculously-it fit! It was also my first attempt at making buttonholes, and I was quite nervous, measuring everything twice and practicing on scraps before I dared but the buttonhole presser foot down on my material. It turned out pretty all right, don’t you think? The lines are slimming, and I can wear it for after the baby comes and nurse in it.

Navy polka dot dress

This was my second attempt at a dress. I love polka dots and just had to have this material-even though it was selling retail. (I generally never buy fabric at retail prices). I used the New Look 6751 Misses Dress size 12 pattern for the top, and modified the waist, adding about 10 inches of material in the inverted pleat.

New Look 6751

I made it sleeveless, not being confident enough then to insert set-in sleeves.The white band in the neckline, waist and pleat are the leftovers from my white sleeveless dress above. I used an invisible zipper at the back, but had to rip it out three times because the waistline seam did not match at the back. AND, I used a regular zipper foot, so I’m still not satisfied with the zipper.

This modified pattern became one of my favourite patterns for materntiy. I love the fit and the style, and I made my third dress with this geogeous pink floral gerogette in the same pattern.

Pink Floral Georgette Maternity Dress

It’s one of my favourite dresses, and this time, I tried setting in the sleeves. Very happy with the result. And I learnt from my blue polka dot dress to match the waistline seams at the back before inserting my zipper. I still need to get an invisible zipper foot though.

Red Heavy-weight georgette suiting dress.

This was the fourth dress I made. I loved the fit and style of my first dress, and decided to make another in the exact same pattern. I loved the red material, but was a bit careless about putting in my button placements. I only learned later that buttons should be places on the bustline to prevent gaping-this one gapes because I didn’t know of that rule, and it had fewer buttons than my white dress.

Plaid Maternity Dress

This plaid dress was another step up the learning curve-learning how to match plaids. It took me more than an hour just to figure out how to cut the material so that the plaids match at the seams. I cut it in single thicknesses and double checked the position of the plaids at the seamlines, not at the cutting lines.  And it was worth the time and effort because all my plaid lines match! Wyld Man likes it, although he thought it looked a bit like a school uniform. The white neckband and waistband are again leftovers from the white marine weave cotton drill from my first white dress.

Green and blue rayon polyester maternity dress

I made this dress on the fly and rather in a hurry, but it’s again one of my favourites. Wyld Man thought the colours of the dress a bit hippy, but then grew to really like it. It elicits quite a few compliments whenever I wear it. I wear it with a strip of velvet ribbon with an overlocked rolled hem. The fir of the pattern is loosely based on the New Look 6751 from above, but with none of the detailing. I decided that the fabric looked busy enough without any more detail added to it.

I made all the above dresses within a span of 3 weeks-and then realised that I needed separates for mixing and matching with my existing wardrobe. I decided to make a skirt and a top. At this point in time, I had bought a pattern drafting book called Metric Pattern Cutting for Womens Wear by Winifred Aldrich and drafted my own bodice and skirt block in size 12. I decided to make a 7 panel, slightly flared skirt in white, again in the white marine weave cotton drill. For the top, I made a simple loose top with double sleeves in the leftover floral pink georgette, and lined it.

My pink georgette top with double sleeves and white panel skirt.

I drafted and designed the skirt with a round maternity panel at the waist in stretch t-shirt knit for the baby bump. However, I made the hips a tiny bit too small, and I outgrew it a few weeks later. A bit sad about that-but I will be able to wear it again soon-I hope!

By the way, I bought that hat in an op shop. Love it!

Flounced, 7 panel maternity skirt in upholstery material

I bought the material for this skirt at an op shop. It’s meant to be made into curtains, but I thought it would be lovely as a skirt-being a heavy weight fabric with a lovely sheen and body. This pattern was self drafted and designed, and I also cut a length of ribbon from that material to use as an embellishment for a top. That top by the way is also an opshop find-a lovely broderie anglaise smock from Salvos at Goodwood Road.

Pink Luxe Satin Top with double sleeves

I made this top from a 1 metre remnant from Spotlight. I like it, but being a bit flashy haven’t worn it out yet.

Denim maternity flounced skirt

This denim maternity skirt is my all time favourite item to wear with practically any top. The denim is quite substantial, and holds the shape well. I love the way the flounce swings around my legs as I walk. Despite the fact that it is denim, it looks tailored enough to wear to church and goes with more formal tops as well. It is in the same design as the brown skirt above, but a bit looser since I made this for late pregnancy wear. However, I should think that I’d be able to wear it post pregnancy since the stretch maternity panel should be able to hold it up on a flat belly.

Except for the pink satin top, I’ve worn everything multiple times, and have always gotten lots of compliments-a great incentive to sew more!

So there you have it, my maternity collection fro 2009. Stay tuned for more!

A Maternity Tour, Op Shops and Baby Things

19 Jan

Wyld Man and I went to the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital for the maternity tour today. I should have gone earlier, but things just got delayed till now. Pregnant women booked to give birth at the Women’s and Children are encouraged early on to go on the tour so that we know where to go when labour starts, or in case of an emergency.

We thought we wouldn’t be able to make it at 9am on time, but we did, AND we found a free park for an hour right across the hospital.  The tour started a little late, but the guide, Cynthia gave us quite a thorough round of the place. I had thought that if I went into labour to go to emergency, but the correct place to go was Triage at the Women’s Assessment Unit where the midwife assesses which stage of labour a woman was in and then sends her to the the correct department.  We were shown the labour rooms and birthing centre, postnatal wards, nursery, the women’s antenatal clinic, ultrasound department, etc. It was an impressive hospital, very clean and up-to-date with the latest technology. The labour rooms were like hotel suites! They even had spas for a new mum to pamper herself after birth, or for having a water birth.

In the middle of the tour we saw a newborn baby being wheeled to the nursery, and all the people in the tour group started cooing and ah-ing over it. I had hoped that we would be able to see some babies in the nursery, but security was very tight, and only parents and family were allowed in-as it should be.

(I stopped my blog here and saved it on the 18th on Monday-and I only continued the rest of the entry on the 19th, so any “todays” you see in this post is the 18th.)

Anyways, it was a busy day for me. I went to several opshops today and found a few gems. I had planned to go to Baby Target at Golden Grove Village to get some things on sale. But there were several opshops on the way. The first one I went to was at Salvos at Payneham on Payneham Road. I bought a white checked men’s shirt at size 40.

White Men's Checked Shirt

I thought that Wyld Man might like it. But if he didn’t, I’ll use it as a breastfeeding top. Aud 6.99 from Salvos.

I also got a Reader’s Digest Microwave Cookbook at AUD4.99-lovely colour pictures and step by step instructions.

Reader's Digest Microwave Cookbook

Picture Recipe Index-all the recipes are listed on the first few pages in pictures.

I had gotten a 1971 edition of the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing at an op shop in Victor Harbor and was very impressed by the content. So I’m on the lookout for more RD Complete Guides  To books.

There was an Anne of Ingleside book by Lucy Maud Montgomery going for AUD1.99 which I also got. I’m a huge Anne of Green Gables fan.

The best things from that Salvos shop though was a stack of fabric they had in their remnant basket-and it wasn’t tiny scraps of remnants either. Minimum 1.5 m of fabric in a bundle-all for AUD1.99. I bought a whole stack to add to my growing stash.

Op Shop Fabric Stash

That’s at least 20 m of fabric, for a total of only AUD 20! There was floral corduroy, cotton jersey, stretchy 2-way knits (which are expensive at Spotlight), floral seersucker, marine blue cotton drill, white crepe/georgette, and white nylon woven.

My next stop was at Vinnies at Felixstow on Payneham Road. Here I snagged a bargain on pregnancy and baby books. I had a What to Expect When You’re Expecting book by Heidi Murkoff which I bought at AUD39.99. I didn’t know that there was a subsequent book called What to Expect The First Year, which I assume would also retail at about that price, but here was selling at AUD3.50! Really stoked about it.

What To Expect The First Year

Another book I got at AUD 3.50 was Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach, which I read through later when I got home and really liked. It’s written in a conversational tone and is quite unlike the one above, which is arranged in a question and answer form with textboxes of information.

Your Baby and You by Penelope Leach

Here also I got a couple of cot sheets fro AUD 3.50 (a pair), and a whole lot of clothes I intend to breastfeed in. The clothes were in wonderful condition and all were selling for AUd 6.99-which I thought was rather pricey for an opshop, but still- I liked the style and condition they were in and it’s still a fraction of what I would pay retail.

SuzanneGrace Lavender Wrap top

This is a perfect top for breastfeeding. And it looked like it has never been worn too! Just fell in love with it the minute I saw it.

Blue-Green breezy top in chiffon fabric.

Loved this top as well-but I had to make a tiny alteration to the straps that held up the light blue fabric inside the top-it was dropping down too much.

Yellow button up blouse

This top is made of burnout fabric with buttons. A bit see through-here I’m wearing a cami underneath. But I just love the fabric. And it’s perfect  for breasfeeding too! Here’s what I plan to do to dress it up a bit.

Yellow Top Embelished with Brown Satin Ribbon

Here’s a Miller’s yellow shirt what I plan to use as jammies at the hospital. It’s super comfy.

Miller's Yellow Shirt

And I got this pink men’s shirt too as a breastfeeding top.

Pink Men's Shirt

Hmm…spent a bit more than I planned at op shops. But I figure I won’t be opshopping much when the baby’s here. Better to get things now than later.

Here’s what I got from Baby Target at Golgen Grove Village.

Fisher Price Sounds and Lights Baby Monitor

On sale at AUD 65.00 from a RRP of AUD99.

Baby Grooming Set.

Baby bottles, sippy cups and extra teats

The bottles are made of glass, which are hard to find, as everything is made of plastic nowadays.

Baby Bath Ramp

I’m terrified of letting the baby slip into the water.  Hopefully this will help.

Nappy pail with lid. Very important for all those cloth nappies.

And here’s my overnight bag which I packed a few days ago, all ready to go.

Overnight Bag

Hopefully I won’t be using it too late or too early. Hey Wyld Child, mama needs you to come on time ok?

I Have A Plan-For a Maternity Top Part 1

15 Jan

I went to an op shop (I LOVE opshopping-which is another topic for another day) at Gepps Cross the other day after getting a pair of River’s sandals on special (AUD18!) and found this really sweet shade of yellow cotton material-which used to be a bed sheet . I saw a dress in it-and several tops.  It’s beautifully soft and cottony and I envisioned a pretty dress with a cinched waist and short cap sleeves. However, a pregnant gal must be practical and think of maternity tops to accomodate an ever-growing belly, for this pregnancy and all the ones to come.  The piece of blue material you see on top of the yellow cotton is a 1-metre piece of denim I found at an opshop at Lobethal-some teenager had made it into a curtain! And evidently got tired of it, hence my find. I made a flounced and gored maternity skirt with it, and decided to use the leftovers for the neckline and sleeve cuffs for this maternity top that I had in mind.

Yellow Cotton Bedsheet and Denim Curtain!

Puffed sleeves with denim cuff, empire gathered waist and denim neckline detail.

My Drafting Tools

This is a self-drafted project and I have all my tools laid out. No commercial patterns for me! I don’t like the fit they offer and all the alterations you have to make to fit your body-I find it much easier to draft a custom pattern from scratch.

Love my Clover tracing wheels, especially the double one-fantastic for seam allowances.

Homemade carbon paper-10 sheets stuck to a broadsheet newspaper. Works like a charm!

My Foundation Block from Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting

I made this block some time ago when I first got Aldrich’s book on drafting. I LOVE her book. It’s the one I go to time and time again. Her fit is excellent, and the book has huge amounts of infomation for the size of it. I like it better than Helen Joseph’s Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design. I drafted this block to the size 12 measurements in the Aldrich book, with a few changes at the bust and waist. I also added a maternity line for maternity designs around 2..5 inches below the bustline. This means that my neck, shoulder, armhole and bust will fit as per pre-pregnancy, and I would just need to extend the the bottom half of the bodice block to make way for my baby bump.

The Pattern with finished seam allowances, for cutting out

All Cut Up

My material laid on the pattern and all ready to be cut out.

To be continued….

Maternity Fashions, Sewing, and Pattern Drafting.

14 Jan

A loose smock broderie top embelished with a ribbon to define the empire waistline. And the skirt I drafted and sewed from curtains from an op shop!

I love being pregnant. I love showing off my little bump-which is not so little anymore at 34 weeks. Being pregnant is great! I love empire waistlines with a little ribbon to define the waist bump. I just love coming up with different looks that show off my baby bump gracefully. However, shopping for great-looking maternity wear is an exercise in frustration. You either get  big shapeless T-shirts and elastic/drawstring pants/skirts, or nothing. And they are all priced way out of what I’m willing to spend. Department stores don’t stock much in the way of maternity wear, and even the things I see in boutiques don’t speak to me. What’s a pregnant gal to do?

I love to sew, and when I came to Adelaide, was amazed at the number of patterns you can buy to make your own garments. Being from Malaysia, people go to a dressmaker if they want something made, labour being very affordable. A dress would only cost you RM20-40 to make! In Aussie dollars, that’s a mere AUD7-15!?  But when my tummy started to show and I was looking at patterns for maternity wear, there was nothing in the Big 4 pattern books that I wanted to make. They look too loose, or frumpy, or just plain uninteresting. The design and style lines were just-blah. Why do designers want to dress pregnant women to look like cows?!

I’ve come to the conclusion therefore that I need to draft my own patterns and sew them myself.