Goodbye cold, hello fabled second trimester energy spurt! Well mostly, I still have an annoying cough and the odd feeling of morning sickness now and then, but on the whole am feeling a million times better and have managed to get quite a lot done in the past few days.
First of my recently finished projects is this dress that just yesterday I finished hand sewing all the buttons (my button foot is broken, sigh) and wore today to my mum's birthday lunch:
It's made from Burda 6/2008 #108, which is a shirt dress with gathers at the waistline and the back:
It's not a maternity pattern, and nor does it appear to be overly potato sack like, but all I had to do to make it fit was to grade out from a size 36 at the bustline to a size 42 at the waistline and raise those gathers a little from just above the natural waistline to instead just under the bust to make an empire line. And while it drapes nicely now over my four month bump:
it also has ample room to grow into as this gust of wind helpfully demonstrates:
The pattern calls for a self fabric encased elastic waistband from those darts in the front wrapping around to the darts in the back, but I left that off to make it easier to remove the darts one by one if needed due to belly expansion. In fact I originally wanted to do a few lines of shirring in place of those darts so that it would stretch, but I just could not get my sewing machine to shirr which was annoying. According to my google research a lot of people have trouble getting their Brother sewing machines to shirr, but even following this You Tube tutorial which describes adjusting the bobbin casing tension I still couldn't make mine work. In fact all I achieved was to ruin the factory seal on my bobbin casing and I still can't get the tension back to how it was before I fiddled with it.
I love this fabric, not only because it's grey but I like the subtle pattern and the crispness of the cotton. I bought it from Spotlight maybe two years ago for no particular project but just because I like it, so I'm glad I finally found a worthy use for it. And I'm not the only one either - after I posted a photo of the fabric on this post a little while back Claire emailed me to ask where I had purchased it from since she had been searching for it to replicate a H&M top she used to own which was made from the exact same print.
Anyway this was a super easy pattern and I can guarantee you will see another version of it since I bought some linen blend fabric last week to make another, and I will possibly make a shirt length version of it too. It has raglan sleeves which makes construction quicker and easier, and I followed the David Coffin book for the shirt collar and stand (helpfully illustrated in this tutorial by Sigrid). I especially love how the darts in front result in graceful folds in the skirt which isn't something apparent from the Burda model photo but is probably because I made the skirt wider from the bust down than the pattern is designed for.
Even the darts in the back deal with my swayback issue nicely without any pattern fiddling:
I should introduce you to my sewing friend, a display mannequin that comes with a detachable maternity belly that I bought for a bargain price on ebay a while back:
For the last year she's been standing naked in a corner of my sewing room, but is now certain to come in handy!