Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Finally some sewing

Well I have officially upgraded my birth experience from painful to traumatic: I spent most of last week back in hospital after suffering a post partum haemorrage due to some retained placenta. It was an extremely scary few days but it has all been resolved now without the need for a further operation (a D&C). On the bright side however, Anna and I got to stay in the airconditioned hospital during the hot weather Sydney has been having (I feel for you Vicki, Melbourne has been ever hotter) and whilst the hospital is pretty noisy what with those annoying buzzers going off every few seconds it had nothing on the noise my builders create around here so a few days bed rest in hospital wasn't a bad idea in the end.

But the enforced rest gave me some time to finish sewing a top I have been making for the last two weeks and just needed to do those pesky handsewing of hems that we all seem to put off. I've made this pattern a few times before and I can get it done in about 2 or 3 hours, but now with all the interruptions thanks to a certain little miss who has suddenly taken to exercising her vocal cords loudly and often it has taken me two weeks. But slow and steady gets you there in the end, just ignore the lack of hair brushing and make up in this photo!:

I really need some half decent breastfeeding clothes to wear out on the few occasions I do leave the construction zone that is my home, and while I did make a few dresses that are b/feeding friendly last year, I wanted to make some seperates that I could wear with pants and that would be ok for the rest of the year as well.

For Elizabethe who is having her own baby in 5 months and expressed interest in seeing how I would modify patterns for b/f clothes (there's a challenge if I ever I heard one!) or for anyone else who wants ready access to their breasts (the mind boggles but you never know.....) I based this top on an Elizabeth Lee design. This pattern company are one of the few that do specific nursing patterns, and whilst I think the patterns use really clever techniques to enable access for nursing, the actual styles themselves aren't really me, so I decided to modify some patterns I already had inspired by these designs.

Using Simplicity 4589, I modified it based on this technique:



I used a crisp cotton pale yellow with khaki green leaf print fabric that I've had in the stash for a few years, from Spotlight originally I think. I also changed the pattern by making the sleeves a little longer because cap sleeves aren't so flattering on my chicken wing arms, and I also lengthened it a litle, but added slits to the bottom of side seams for movement ease. The print fabric was a good choice too, because by lining up the leaf print the opening is barely visible, especially since I topstitched the opening closed at the top and bottom along the vertical black lines:

I tested it out and it does actually work so I am pretty pleased with the outcome. I gave it a generous overlap so that there would be no peep shows, but it hardly gapes at all. I will make this again, but I will delete the gathers across the front and back under the yoke which are part of the original pattern because I think it adds volume around my middle and since my stomach is going back to pre-pregnancy shape (not my rear end though) I don't really want clothes that make me still look preggers! Of course if I'm going out somewhere fancy I could always put on a belt and cinch it like this:

And in exciting house news the works are nearly finished except for a little bit of wall lining and electrical work to do. Then we get to do the fun bits: painting, laying the flooring and setting up furniture. Well it's fun for me because all I have to do is pick out the colours and sit back while my husband and dad do the hard work LOL!

21 comments:

  1. Kristy - glad to hear you are doing well...I have been following your blog site for the past couple months. Your baby is beautiful and your house will be amazing! You are a wonderful seamstress - I love seeing what you create! Take care of you and baby and enjoy your time away from work...what a luxury!

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  2. I am glad to hear that you are much better now! Love, love, love the breastfeeding top...stylish and functional!!!

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  3. wow .. I am just so amazed you found the energy to sew, top looks great, who could imagine a nursing top could look so stylish?

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  4. Hope you're feeling better!

    What a great pattern on the fabric. Looks lovely for summer!

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  5. OMG! So glad you are okay.

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  6. Oh you poor thing! Glad you are better now. You look good. And what a great top. You really are very clever. The heat here has been crippling and it is going to get hot again this weekend - I AM OVER IT!

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  7. Oh gosh, that must have been traumatic indeed! Glad you are well again.
    I'd never heard of nursing blouse. This one is pretty, much more than I would have imagined.

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  8. Great adaptation to a breastfeeding top. A friend of mine also swears by the Jalie Criss-cross top #2787 for access whilst retaining coverage.
    I bet you'll be glad to get rid of the builders - We did renovations and it was so nice to get our house back and some privacy when the builders had gone!

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  9. Glad you are feeling better, it will pass. Love the top, neat print.

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  10. I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and I'm so impressed with how well you've adapted to being a new mom! I don't think I felt normal for about a year after I had my first one (26 years ago!). What a great job you did on your b/feeding top, who says new moms can't look stylish! Your little girl is adorable and I'm glad everything turned out ok.

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  11. I do so love your blog - and this post has given me a really giggle. I'm glad you're feeling better, although how you manage to sew and blog and be ill and have the builders in AND look after a newborn I shall never now. Take good care of yourself. p.s I love the top (I'm giggling again)

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  12. Wow, I was looking for the openings before you explained how you did it and I couldn't see them at all. Great job!

    I'm sorry you had to upgrade to tramatic, but happy for the a/c.

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  13. Oh dear! Take care of yourself, and great top!

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  14. Wow, fabulous shirt.

    For breast feeding my last one I found that what worked really well in a pinch was wearing tops I could lift up (just a regular tee-shirt, say) over a very stretchy camisole or tank I could pull down (I have a whole rainbow of these from The Limited). Tummy covered, top of breast covered, it all worked great. Of course, then it's hard to wear styles that nip in at the waist. I like how you've styled yours.

    I'm glad you're recovering from your hemorrhage and with no surgery. Get lots of rest.

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  15. That is scary! I'm glad to hear they were able to treat you without surgery. I meant to make that top pattern again all last summer but never got around to it. Back on the project list it goes! Very clever modification for breast(feeding) access!

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  16. You poor thing! You know, I had a feeling that something was going on with you... glad to hear that you are doing better and are back home. And the builders are making progress hmmmm? Yeah!!!!
    Your top turned out nice, I do like the print you used too. Your looking good. Just take it easy, one of my sister in laws ended up back in the hospital after her first cause she was doing too much too fast.
    Haven't you heard of using a blind hemming foot on your sewing machine? People, it's the slicks thing since butter on bread!
    Really simple too. You measure and pin your hem, pinning so that the head of the pin enters the hem straight and leave around 1/2 inch or so out of the material. Set your machine at blind hemming.... (of course you do have to have this setting, but even my 30 some year old singer machine has this stitch!) it's sort of a straight stitch with 1 zig zag in it. Then fold the hem so that it is touching the front of the garment (good to good fabric... does that make sense?) leaving a little of the fabric that is just above the pinned hem showing. The rest of the garment is on the side facing away from your machine. O.k. So hem side face up you will now start to sew (I usually start at a side seam) stitching straight and then it will zig zag 1 stitch catching the hem area and continue until your all the way around. I backstitch once and it's done! You clip the threads and turn it and press... Walla! Your done! Really fast... works on sleeves, pant legs... nice and fast. You will have to work with the width of the stitch to decide which width you like... if it's too wide the stitch will show much more on the front. But if you use good matching thread mostly it's hidden.... thus, it's called a blind hem! Sorry, guess I should have done this on my blog! It's the mom in me...
    Good to hear from you!

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear you had to go back to the hospital and so glad to hear that you're home and on the mend!

    I really like how you modified a normal pattern. I've bought about 6 of the ELD patterns and they all seem sized so WIERDLY!!! I just can't seem to get a top or dress that I'm happy with. But, now that I've seen you modify a normal pattern, I think I will try that for the next baby.

    Take Care!!

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  18. Great top - I've made this pattern a few times and never would have thought of your clever idea! Sorry to hear of your trip back to hospital. I went back in for surgery when my DD1 was 7 weeks old and it's not easy. The food was excellent though - entre main and desert (and they fed my husband too). Good luck for more settling in over the next few weeks! May the sewing return! Natasha

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  19. We are keeping you guys in our prayers! Hopefully everyone will pray for RAIN! That would be a great help for the firefighters! Coolness and Rain!
    Hugs,
    Jean

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  20. That does sound traumatic. I am happy to hear that you are better. The pattern redesign was very clever. The new top and you are looking good. mssewcrazy

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  21. I'm very impressed that you've gotten any sewing done in the midst of the construction and new baby. I've just got the new baby here and it's all I can do to just keep up with the laundry!

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