Saturday, 24 December 2011

From my family to yours

Merry Christmas!


It's very cliched to say that Christmas has snuck up very quickly on us this year, but I cannot believe it's already Christmas eve!!  Thankfully all my Christmas shopping has been done and mostly wrapped and the decorations are up so that's the bulk of my tasks done. But what a week I've had - put in three days at the office, did a gestational diabetes test (negative woo hoo!), hosted a party with our neighbours at our house, went to carols by candlelight, braved some late night shopping, babysat four kids for a few hours with a friend while we tried to get them to sit for a nice group photo (exhausting and fruitless) and cleaned my house (including my sewing room) from top to bottom.  No wonder I feel about 90 years old at the moment!

Of course I didn't get everything done that I had on my to do list.  My swimmers are about 75% done, all that I need are some straps and to sew the leg elastic on, but apart from that they look pretty awesome.  I did think about saving the fabric for post pregnancy, but I think I've bought enough fabric to make a maternity swimsuit as well as a normal sized one - swimsuits really do use up so little fabric.  Hopefully I can squeeze in some sewing time tonight after an overexcited little girl goes to bed. 

After Vicki commented on the last post that Snapfish were having a 50% off sale on their calenders after she had bought one at 40% off without free postage I spent ages uploading photos and ordered 4 calenders by the cut off date for guaranteed pre Christmas delivery.  Well here we are on Christmas eve and they are nowhere to be seen, but I guess I should have paid for the express post option and not just settled for the free standard shipping.  Vicki I hope your calendar turned up in time - it will make up for not getting that extra 10% off and free shipping!

I did however manage to finish these Christmas decorations I started last year:



Better late than never right?  I also slaved away over a gingerbread house, seriously it was so fiddly to construct and decorate that I decided halfway through that I would probably not make another one of these again, and then when the kids I was looking after managed to destroy it in 2 minutes and eat most of it in 30 minutes I definitely decided not to make one again!



I also wisely decided not to sew any Christmas presents this year because I knew I would only stress myself out and not finish them anyway.  But I did make some cabbage patch doll clothes of all things for a doll I'm giving Anna for Christmas.  It's actually my childhood cabbage doll that I've cleaned up and am gifting to her - possibly cheap, but I like to think it's nostalgic and sentimental.  I seemed to have kept the doll (and my sister still has her identical twin doll too), but for some reason the clothes have gone missing.




I also spray painted an old cane basket I had in a red gloss paint to store all the clothes in.  Far out sewing those little bitty clothes are fiddly, but it's a good use of fabric scraps. It's also really hard to find cabbage doll patterns - Butterick have stopped selling them, there are no free patterns on the web and the ones for sale on ebay are exorbitant.  I bought one pattern for a shirt and jumper dress, but I ended up drafting a pattern for a simple a-line dress, pants and a skirt.

And that it is it for my crafty adventures for this year.  I doubt I'll have time to sew or post again between now and our annual trip to the inlaws, let me say now thank you all for following along with my adventures this year and sharing your own too in your comments and on your own blogs - I really love being part of our sewing community.

I hope you all have a happy and calm Christmas and new year.  Darwin residents - I hope the cyclone doesn't eventuate, and Christchurch residents my fingers are crossed that your ground stops shaking for the next few days at least.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Don't you hate it when this happens?

The alternative title to this post, to use a good old Aussie phrase, is well that would be bloody right!

About a month or so ago I found myself driving to the airport to pick up the husband and was a bit too early due to some unheard of light traffic.  The Remnant Fabric Warehouse happens to be on my route to the airport, so I stopped in to have a look at what they had on offer.  They had such a great range of swimwear fabric for only $9.95/m that I had the crazy idea to make myself a maternity swimsuit.  Mind you I've never made a swimsuit because if there's one garment you want well cut and well made to make sure it's flattering and that it won't fall apart on you while you're wearing it, it would be a swimsuit! And of course I've not made a maternity swimsuit either, but I figure if I could avoid paying $150+ for a maternity swimsuit that I would only use for the next three months then it would be worth a try.

So I picked up this dark grey and watermelon pink fan print fabric which according to the selvage was made for Nookie Beach (a local label) by Publisher Textiles:


Pretty fabric, right? I also picked up some skin coloured lining, swimsuit elastic and some sew in bra cups, all for a good price since the prices at the Remnant Warehouse are generally pretty good.  Only I got an email from them last week informing me that they're having a 25% off everything sale! Since I haven't cut out the fabric yet, I could have just waited a little bit and saved 25% (or more likely bought 25% more fabric instead).  Don't you hate it when you have poor timing?

But it gets worse.... It turned out I didn't have a single swimsuit pattern among my collection of 600 plus patterns, and the itty bitty bikini patterns in the Burda magazine weren't exactly what I wanted.  So a few weeks ago I popped into Spotlight when they were having one of their very frequent 20% off everything sale and picked up Kwik Sew 3416 pattern:


There are hardly any swimsuit patterns available, but amazingly Kwik Sew had quite a few patterns to select from, but I thought this one would be the easiest to adapt for maternity given it has a seam under the bust line.  So with the 20% off and an extra 10% from my VIP membership I paid about $13 for this pattern (yes Kwik Sew patterns are very expensive in Australia).  And in another coincidence in poor timing last week they sent out their latest catalogue advertising 50% off all patterns, and helpfully enclosing a 15% off voucher to boot!

And then a few days ago I popped into an op shop and found not one, but two swimsuit patterns for the grand total of $1.... Sure they are 1980s style, but with a little modification they could be modernised: McCalls 9089 and McCalls 9566, both long out of print.














So after all of these grrrrrrr moments, I thought I had better get started on that swimsuit.  I'm happy to say that my test swimsuit made from some lycra I had in the stash has actually turned out quite well so I'm thinking I might just be able to do this successfully after all.  But the final annoying moment? Queen Bee maternity currently has a sale on maternity swimwear (with free postage in Australia), and I bought a tankini in solid blue for $54 marked down from  $128!!! Oh well, I'm sure I could use two swimsuits given I have a beach holiday coming up soon and just in case mine turns out ordinary.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

learning from my mistakes......and then some!

After my failure to make the white shirt from the last post long enough in the front I was determined not to do that again.  Well I've certainly avoided that problem with the latest blouse I've sewn, with tons of length to spare.  In fact if my bump grows big enough to need the extra length I've included this time around I will freak out.  See for yourself:


Ha ha I crack myself up sometimes! I suppose I could re-hem the front and shorten it slightly so that the dip at the front is not so exaggerated, but that would mean adding something else to my extremely long to do list so I think I shall live with it.
In answer to Dib's question posted in the comments to the last post about whether I'm only modifying Burda patterns for maternity wear the answer is no - it only seems that way.  I try to pick patterns that already have a hint of maternity about them so that it's not too difficult to modify them, and it just so happens that Burda have been specialising in patterns for loose flowing smock / potato sack styles that are ripe for modification!  But the added benefit of Burda is that since I'm already tracing them out it's convenient to make the modifications to the pattern at the same time.

But for this blouse I used Simplicity 4589 because it was an easy style to modify given that it has no shape to it whatsoever.  All I had to do to make it work was to increase the width of the front by about 10cm, and increase the amount of gathering under the yoke to accommodate that extra width.  Actually I used a series of small pleats across the front because I think it looks neater than gathering.  I also made a matching tie to wear with it because without cinching it in it has a bit of old fashioned smock look about it.





I made this in a soft cotton which I recently purchased from Spotlight for no particular reason, so I was glad it didn't join the stash and instead got make into something quickly.  The fabric though had huge potential for misplacement at the bustline (if you get my drift) but thankfully with the gathers across the front I shouldn't have that problem. 

Although this is comfortable to wear, looking at these photos I think I should have made the next size up across the bust because it looks a little tight under the arms.  Clothes not fitting me at the bust is certainly not a problem I've had before!  Perhaps widening the yoke would let the front fall more freely.

In answer to the comments in the last post, Carol I think the reason the white shirt stayed clean is because I work it to work and didn't spend the day with Anna.  As with all toddlers she is a major mess magnet and I usually get some fallout from her too!  Gail I am hoping to wear this post maternity, I'm sure that by adding the pleats at the front and elastic casing around the waistline that it will be a flattering fit. 
And now to get on with the rest of my to do list - why is it christmas seems to come around more quickly every year?

Friday, 2 December 2011

Wardrobe 101: the white shirt

In every article that a fashion magazine runs on wardrobe essentials the basic white shirt is always included.  It's a bit ho hum boring, but I do admit a nice crisp white shirt is a versatile wardrobe builder that goes with loads of outfits in all sorts of occasions.  And when you're preggers you need as much versatility as possibility, because you eventually get to a point where you'll wear anything anywhere as long as it fits!


So I decided to make a white linen shirt from Burda 6/2008 # 107, the shirt option of the pattern I previously made this grey cotton dress from.  Since I had made this previously with maternity adjustments I knew it would fit and so I was able to sew it up from cutting out to finish in just a few hours.  And here's how it turned out:



I wore this to work on Monday (with the grey pants from the last post) which is why it's looking a little wrinkled, but that's to be expected (and accepted) from linen.  I left off the front gathers that I had put in the grey dress because this fabric was a little stiffer and so didn't drape as well but also because it doesn't look shapeless without them so I didn't bother.  I like how the darts at the back give a nice fitted look whilst still having enough room for a comfortable fit.

However I don't think I cut the front long enough to cover my bump for the entire pregnancy because looking at that side view it looks like it sticks out a bit.  The shirt covers the bump nicely now and perhaps with high waisted skirts and pants it may work, so I shall see whether I need to make another one or not.

Thank you for the lovely comments on the grey linen pants to the last post, they have proven very handy this week when our weather turned unexpectedly cold and these are pretty much the only pants I have that fit at the moment.  I've grown out of my normal pants (for obvious reasons) and out of my maternity jeans (due to expansion of my rear not the bump embarrassingly) but I'm also not big enough yet for the other maternity pants I made last time around. 

I have already cut two pairs of shorts out using the same pattern although I might add some details like patch pockets or button tabs just to jazz them up a little.  Speaking of cutting out, Shannie and Dibbs I'm fortunate enough to have a dedicated cutting table in my sewing room which has extra tall legs so that the surface height is just under my bent elbow so I don't have to bend at all although just standing for any short period of time these days is enough to give me a sore back.  But I'm sure you both know plenty about that since you're both pretty much at the same stage as me.

Connie (Grandma C) my official due date is March 30, although I'm taking that with a grain of salt given that Anna was two weeks late! So I'll be delivering at the beginning of our autumn which will be nice weather wise, but I'll still be in the third trimester during our summer.  I should have learnt my lesson last time around because being heavily pregnant in summer was far from pleasant!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Extreme Burda 6/2011 #114

Regular users of the Burda magazine know to take their pattern descriptions with a grain of salt.  It says the pattern is easy? Translation: don't follow their instructions, work it out yourself and then it will be easier.  It says the design is trendy and you'll turn heads? Translation: you'll just look like one of those uber chic fashion students trying to outdo each other to make it onto a street style blog and whose fashion hardly anyone else will understand.  It says this barely there slip of a dress or cut to there blouse is perfect for the office? Translation: if your office is a bar or a bordello, why then yes it will probably be perfect!  

So I really should have known better when I decided to make the wide leg pants (#114) from issue 6/2011:

I hardly ever make pants because getting a good fit is just too much hard work in general, and even more so for a pear shape. Plus I do prefer to wear dresses and skirts so not making pants isn't an issue.  But being preggers a pair of elasticated waistband wide leg trousers should be a simple sew with few fitting issues.  But then I had to go and choose this pattern didn't I? The magazine does describe them as wide leg so I should have taken that literally.

I chose this pattern mainly because of the waistband, thinking the only modification I would need would be to lower the front crotch rise so that the waistband would sit below my bump.  Except these pants were so wide and so long that it was just plain ridiculous! Seriously, after tracing the pattern for my (newly increased) hip size, I did a flat pattern measurement and realised the pants would have about 15cm ease on each leg, and be too long by almost 12 cm.  And even after I had removed a fair bit of that width and length, after I had sewn them up I still ended up reducing and shortening them a bit more because I just looked clownish.  In fact I probably looked as silly as the model photograph in the magazine:

An Angelina Jolie lookalike and friend making faces at a parrot? What the.......

Granted I am not a Nordic giantess with legs up to there, and nor did I sew these up in a drapey silk jersey as suggested in the magazine so it's probably all my poor pattern choosing.  But after all that whittling down, I now have a super comfy pair of linen trousers to wear on those days when I can't be bothered shaving my legs:


I made the waistband a combination of elastic for comfort and a drawstring so I can be confident that my pants won't end up around my knees when I have a whingy toddler tugging at my pant legs in Kmart (I'm sure all the mothers reading this just know what I'm talking about!).   And I left off the inseam side pockets too because when I had to  take in the side seams further after sewing them I just couldn't be bothered and literally just sewed a straight line from waistband to hem.  I also dipped the front waistband down so it sits on the lower part of my bump, but not quite underneath:


So after all that I have a pair of simple and basic pants, but it's those basics that make our wardrobes go around isn't it? And now I have gone to the effort of refining the pattern perhaps I'll make it again before I get a waistline back and have more difficult fitting issues!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Every body needs a LBD: New Look 6000 the maternity version

I had a night out with some girlfriends last week, and legitimately had cause to stand in front of my wardrobe and wail "I have nothing to wear!".  It seems that all of my maternity clothes are either for work or are quite casual.  Luckily I had the foresight to think about this several days in advance of the event because it gave me time to make an old standby for a night out: a little black dress.  Well in my case not so little, but you get the drift!

I decided to modify New Look 6000 into a maternity version, because up until about two weeks ago I was still wearing the purple ponti knit version I made a while back and it looked quite good - I just didn't want to pop any seams or stretch the fabric too far.  This time though I decided to leave off the large collar and three quarter sleeves with cuffs since we're now coming into summer and the cap sleeve version would be a much better choice.

I used a black ponti knit, which is fast becoming a favourite fabric of mine to sew with because it has the stretch qualities of a knit with the stability of a woven whilst sewing.  This one was labelled a 'super ponti' and besides being $10/m more expensive at Spotlight (at $24.95/m I was glad I waited until they had a 40% off sale) it is a more thicker fabric with slightly less stretch than the purple version I made.

So I figured that to accommodate a baby bump it would probably be best to put those radiating pleats on both sides of the waistline plus a bit extra width there to create a little 'pouch'.  And I'm happy to say it worked, sort of.....

Here's the front of the dress:


Looks pretty nice doesn't it, especially with my new yellow shoes?  Ah, but look at the side version:


See how there is way too much excess fabric there below my bust line? And that pointy bit of fabric behind my head? That would be the zipper sticking out because the back neckline was way too wide for me, something that I guess the collar on the purple version concealed.  I know that when my bump gets to be bigger I'll probably need that extra fabric and it will fit just fine, because when I pull the dress down over my bump it goes away:


 But since I'm a little vain and I want it to look good now, I decided to sew a wedge of the fabric across the middle joining up two of those pleats so that the excess fabric gets tucked into the inside for now but I can take out the seam later on when needed.  Here's what the inside now looks like:


 And the outside:


 Being black the seam isn't overly noticeable, and whilst doing this didn't completely eliminate the problem (you can see it still looks a bit puffy) it has improved it a great deal.  I also fixed the gaping back neckline by putting in a dart on either side of the zipper, although I was too lazy to unpick the neck facing so I just put the dart through both the fabric and facing (tsk tsk tsk!).

In the end it turned out pretty good, and now I have a basic dress to wear to work with office appropriate pumps or I could fancy it up with party shoes and accessories for a night out.

Maternity modifications

I've had a few people ask me for more details on the modifications I've been making to the patterns I've used so far, so I'll try to give a little more detail each time.

1. For this pattern, the first thing I did was to change the front dress pattern piece from a single asymmetrical piece (because the pleats are only on the one side in the original pattern), to a pattern piece to be cut on the fold so that I could have identical pleats on both sides.  No rocket science here - I just folded down the centre from the centre front neckline to the centre of the bottom hem.

2. Next I cut the pattern in two across the waistline and added an extra 5cm in length to the front pattern piece.  And then I added an extra pleats in that additional length so that the centre of the dress would be 6cm longer but not the side of the dress.  I also added a little extra width in this area too, bu straightening out the waistline curve.  Here's the original and modified pattern pieces so that you get a better idea of what I'm saying:



3. Finally I dipped the front hem so it was a bit longer at the centre front curving up to the back hem at the sides to make sure that when my bump gets bigger the dress isn't too short at the front a la mullet style of dress.  You can see in the photos above that the front hem sits lower than the back at the moment, but that will gradually even up.

If I were to make this again (or of course had I made a test muslin first) I would probably add less length to the middle section, and possibly move those pleats down a little so it was more fitted under the bust and more gathered over the bump. 

And in other good news I'm now 21 weeks, so I've reached the halfway mark.  So far all good, not too much weight gain this time around although the return of morning sickness most days (albeit mild) has probably helped with that.  I've also been having very low blood pressure which combined with the heat we're now having means I am quite exhausted and having dizzy spells which resulted in me fainting whilst in line to buy Anna an icecream! So overly dramatic and embarrassing, but my obstetrician is not concerned about it all - his advice was just to lay down when I feel dizzy.  Easier said than done!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

little red dresses: Kwik Sew 3665 & New Look 6960

Whilst I still had red thread in my overlocker I decided to quickly make Anna some little dresses now that the weather is really heating up around here.  In the space of one child free afternoon I managed not only to make these two really cute dresses, but also gave my sewing room a much needed clean up - such a productive afternoon!

First up I made this red dress from some stretch linen leftover ironically from a maternity dress I made for myself when I was pregnant with Anna, and some red polka dot fabric for a contrast ruffle:


I used Kwik Sew 3665, from which I've made the top several times before and it turns out the dress is just as quick and easy.  A simple raglan sleeved, elastic drawn neckline and sleeves means that it just comes together so quickly.

To break up the two red fabrics because they weren't quite the same shades of red, I sewed some twill ribbon on:

I think it looks really cute, although it is bordering on a christmas decoration theme! I wish I had an equally cute photo of Anna wearing it, but she was being a cheeky little monkey posing in various ways and pulling silly faces, but you get the idea:




The second dress I made from some red gingham with a printed border that I picked up in a country op shop last year when I had to travel for work. 



I chose a simple pattern to make the most of the fabric, New Look 6960 which appears to be out of print now even though I only recently bought it:


Like the other dress, this is a very simple style but I really like that rounded yoke.  I made sure to use the pattern with fluttery cap sleeves (view D) because her day care centre is really strict on sun exposure and if a child comes in wearing sleeveless tops they have to stay inside and play, even though they slather them all in sunscreen. 

And look at this pose - she's obviously been watching her mum pose for photos far too closely 'cos unprompted she slid one foot forward and put her hands on her hips!


And before I overload you all with cuteness, check out this belly shot of my almost 20 week bump:


Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Burda afternoon dress: 4/08 #116

Regular readers of Burda magazine know they regularly make outrageous and outlandish claims in their magazine.  They'll show a very low cut top, or short skirt, or backless number and describe it as being perfect for the office.  Or these crazy pants that are in my latest magazine (8/2011 #115):


which they describe as "these trousers are a real work of art.  The pencils legs end in wide hem ruffles! Watch out! When you're wearing these trousers you'll attract more attention than the sights."  No I didn't make that up, or add those exclamation points - that's just Burda being too funny for you.

But they did describe my latest finished project as being so quick and easy that you could cut it out and finish sewing it up in an afternoon, which turned out to be entirely accurate.  I made dress #116 from the 4/2008 issue, which funnily enough I bought the fabric when I was pregnant last time around meaning to make it then but didn't find time! If only I knew how quick it would take.  The pattern looks like this:


It's not a maternity pattern, but I thought that the gathering at the bust would lend itself nicely to stretch across a growing belly.  And I was right, the only modification I made was to grade out from a size 38 at the bust to a size 42 for the waistline, and this combined with a stretchy polyester knit fabric it fits swimmingly, with room to spare:





Although I must say if I wasn't pregnant I wouldn't be too impressed with the way this looks, the style of the dress could easily give the impression of a baby belly even if all you'd had was a good sized meal. 

This is a fairly simple style, with the bodice sewn separately to the front skirt, and the back a single piece cut on the fold.  Interestingly the depth of the v-neck is controlled by that gathered central piece which goes up and over the neckline and is sewn to the seam line of the bodice on the inside.  I made that flap a little bit longer so it didn't pull the v-neck down quite so low, although it's still a bit va va voom for me! But I have the *ahem* assets at the moment, so I may as well make the most of them while they're there.....

And thank you all for the congratulations on finishing a UFO, I guess you all share my sense of achievement on getting one finished! And while several of you marvelled at me keeping it for more than 10 years, I don't think it's the oldest thing in my UFO box (gulp!).  But I did have a bit of clean up, throwing out some UFOs in awful fabric that weren't worth finishing, and moving some others that are in nice fabric into the refashioning pile to make something better for Anna instead.  So now I only have a handful of UFOs leftover...

In response to the comments from the last post:

Connie (Grandma C) - you are so right, I am loving the maternity spanx (and loving asos.com for delivering within a few days for free shipping too!).  I think I may have gotten a size too big because they are firm but a little loose around the back waistband, but I'm sure I'll grow into them.  I can already feel the benefits of the support, because it doesn't feel like my belly is heaving from side to side when I walk.  Kimberly - I was worried about them putting pressure on my belly because I too feel nauseous when something is too tight around the waist, but these are just like firm pantyhose but with a super soft stretchy panel across the belly so it's all good.  In fact the only downside to the maternity spanx is that its made from pantyhose like material and not a silky finish like other shapewear, so I've found that unlined knit dresses tend to cling to them and gather between my legs as I walk.

Beebee - good point that not all accessories need a purpose, I didn't think of it from that point of view.  Although I guess them being called 'accessories' and not 'necessities' makes that clear doesn't it?!

Jean - those red shoes from the last post are my wedding shoes, well spotted.  Since I have so many pairs of shoes, and I look after my shoes I have quite a few pairs that I've only for many years.  In fact my winter boots are at least 10 years old, and I've only re-heeled them once and they're still going on strong.  As for this baby, we've decided on another surprise delivery so we still have a while to go to find out whether I get to sew more little dresses or whether it's time to start sewing little cargo shorts.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

something new, something old, something blue.....

I didn't have a traditional wedding so I didn't get to fulfill that old wedding tradition.  Whilst I did wear something new, it was a bright red dress!

My latest finished project however certainly fits the bill.  When I put away my failed wool jacket a few weeks ago into my UFO pile of shame, something I hadn't added to for at least 2 years, I pulled out a project to finish to even up the balance.  Luckily I found a half finished dress that is quite unstructured and flowing (ie a shapeless sack) which even though is a non maternity pattern it still fits my now quite large bump.

I must have started this dress over 10 years ago, because all the seams aren't overlocked despite them fraying like crazy and since I've owned my overlocker I overlock everything.  The reason this became a long term UFO is that I sewed the armhole facings on the wrong way, so they kept turning out despite me understitching and top stitching to get them to lay flat.  Once I realised what I had done wrong I must have tired of unpicking all that stitching because this fabric is a loose weave, the thread matched exactly and it was painful to say the least to undo it all.

But to make up for my recent UFO I persevered, and not only unpicked the facings, but also took out the centred back zipper so I could replace it with an invisible zip, and also unpicked the side seams so I could line the dress.  So essentially I started this dress from scratch!  

And in hindsight it was probably better that I didn't finish it at the time and instead let it sit until my sewing skills improved and my attention to detail increased.  If I had of finished it back then it would be a very unlovely potato sack and unlined despite the loose weave and risk for transparency because way back then I rarely bothered with fussy details such as lining!

I'm not a 100% sure since it's been so long since I started this project, but I think I used a now long OOP New Look 6355.  It's the closest match to the dress, although my dress seems to have extended shoulder straps that look a little like cap sleeves, which this pattern doesn't really show:


The fabric I used is some powder blue polyester/rayon (definitely a man made fabric) herringbone weave fabric, and I lined with with a thin cotton voile in pale grey so that I would have a natural fabric against my skin during the summer heat.  Since I wasn't entirely sure about the pattern, I used the dress fabric pieces as a pattern for the lining.  And here's what I came up with:



Unsurprisingly it's a little tight across the bust since I've had a bit of growth in that area since becoming pregnant, but amazingly it has enough room to cover my now 4 month belly and I should get a few more weeks wear out of it at a least.  Post pregnancy I could put some vertical darts in the front and back to give it more shape.  But for now if I wear it with a belt it gives a bit of definition and takes it away from the whole pregnancy smock look:



Although I must admit I'm a little on the fence when it comes to wearing a belt like this when pregnant: I've seen many pregnant women (both celebs and us mere mortals) dressed like that looking fantastic, but I feel a bit silly since it's rather pointless because it's not holding up your pants or defining your waistline! But whatever it takes to make yourself happy I guess.

I'm just as guilty though - I *may* have just ordered some maternity spanx for myself.  I bet you didn't even know such a thing existed right? Check these out:



I need a little support because I'm already sprouting an impressive forest of varicose veins on my thighs, plus last pregnancy I got the worse chafing between my chubby thighs so I think this will definitely help with that.  And if helps eliminate VPL and the jiggling going on back there these days, especially when wearing knit dresses, well that's just an added bonus I figure!