still kicking those goals

Monday, 1 September 2008
Right, the weekend wash up:

Op shopping? Check - scored a haul of vintage sewing patterns (including but not only these below), some fabric and some Topkids magazines which seem to be the BWOF for little people.

Cake baking? Check - made a yummy chocolate cake for my husband's birthday on Sunday, and even thoughtfully ate most of it to prevent him getting a sympathy pregnancy belly! I even got up earlier than him and make a stack of blueberry pancakes with strawberries for breakfast, now this is UNHEARD of on both accounts because I usually sleep in until after he's walked the dog, bought the newspaper and time my getting out of bed to coincide with the completion of breakfast making!

UFO completion? Check, check and check - yes I finished three things off, although I only got to photograph two of them because sunny Saturday turned into gloomy Sunday. Admittedly the two dresses below required minimal work to complete them, but the third was a complete overhaul so it was still a big achievement.

These two dresses only needed one seam sewn to finish them, which on the surface seems appalling lazy of me not to have done it sooner. But in my defence the reason they became UFOs is because I didn’t like the way they turned out and I took them apart and tried sewing them in a few different ways before giving up and stuffing them into the UFO pile.

I used the infamous New Look 6429 faux wrap dress that everybody, and I mean everybody raves about over on Pattern Review and on their blogs. I made both of these over two years ago, and even wore them once or twice, but was never happy with the gathers across the stomach because it gave a little pouch where there never used to be one. I tried pleats instead of gathers, then I tried a series of horizontal darts, and then I tried taking them out altogether in an effort to get it to sit smoothly across my stomach but it didn’t work.

But now I do have quite the pouch happening up front, I put the gathers back in the way the pattern intended, finished sewing the seam, fixed the hem across that seam line and in less than half an hour I have two more maternity dresses.

The first one is made from a Missoni like zig zag print that came from Britax fabrics in San Francisco, purchased many many years ago by my husband’s late great aunty who died last year aged 92. She didn’t speak much English, but she was greatly impressed / amused by my childlike recitation of numbers 1 to 10 in Cantonese, and I think she liked me enough to give me some of her fabric!
The second dress I made from a stretch cotton knit purchased from Spotlight. It is a very soft fabric, in a nice purple and white pattern but it is still a little too cold to wear just yet, so hopefully it will still fit a month or two when it will be warm enough. I see afterall that this is a very flattering dress - front on in this photo I still look shapely but just look at the side photo and you can see very clearly the watermelon I'm smuggling under there....

Post pregnancy I will probably put these away with my other maternity clothes, unless my pre-pregnant waistline doesn’t completely return which it may do since I'm still resisting exercising despite all of your good advice which I accept completely, really I do, it's just that I am lazy and getting worse. Even my mum is warning me - she was very slim figured even after having three kids, but I was a 9 pound baby because she ate so much.....

Right, on to answering some comments. It's very observant of you Sally to notice no sewing has been done for the baby, in fact some real life friends quizzed my mum over this too! I have a stack of newborn and small baby sized onesies and singlets and pants that have been given to me already, and plus the baby will be born in summer so it will probably spend the first month or two in a nappy and swaddled in muslin. So I think I will wait until it pops out and I see what it is before making any clothes, but I do intend to make some other things like a nappy stacker, change table mat cover and some nappies and nappy covers once I get my hands on some PUL and other absorbent materials.

Funny side note on the conjecture of what 'it' will be - a friend's four year old son asked my husband if I was having "a tyrannosaurus rex embryo" his exact words! He is very smart that kid and totally dinosaur obsessed....

Vicki, if this baby comes out with red hair and fair skin I'll be very surprised since my husband is Chinese, and I think the black hair is a dominant gene. Although it would be worse if it came out with Asian features and red hair, that's a scary thought!

Sue - I answered your question on your blog, but for the benefit of any other Aussies I got my BWOF from the website, and the delightful Europress distributors did a magnificent job in delivery the June issue so quickly (hopefully they keep it up).

Jean - my husband is holding up pretty well (I think). I haven't sent him out on any midnight runs to satisfy my weird food cravings, and he's used to me having a nap on the lounge each night when he gets home from work already. He may be feeling cramped in bed though given that I seem to be using more and more pillows and pushing him further and further over! We are attending antenatal classes soon, and a breastfeeding class which specifically requires partners to attend (what for I don't know!).

Finally, Pixie I hope you had a great birthday today despite having to bake your own cake. And I bet if you went to work today you had to provide your own cake for morning tea right? That's how it is in the public service here.


  1. I like the NL UFO's you finished. It's good to know that pattern can be good for some maternity use. For me, the tummy never comes down to my old size, and after birth, I don't want the obvious maternity clothes, but you will need something roomy (which is good that your things have been allowing for the tummy, but otherwise normal-fitting) since you may be swollen for a while. It can take a while for things to go back to semi-normal. That NL pattern is a good example.

  2. I am so loving the New Look dresses that you "converted" into maternity dresses. You are a walking advertisement that you can look stylish and be pregnant at the same time!

    And I didn't sew for my DDs until they were 4 or 5 years old...there were so many gifts and then it was all I could do to keep up when they were really small.

  3. A husband's role in breast-feeding is to bring you a glass of water when you start as you always get really thirsty when feeding bub!

    Those dresses will be great post-baby. I am sure you will get your figure back but the jelly-belly does take a little while to get back to normal - it doesn't shrink straight away... at least from my experience... :)

  4. The dresses look great! It is good you are getting some use out of them.

  5. Lovely dresses. Btw Ottobre ( is the BWOF for kids and something I most *highly* recommend. Topkid patterns come from KnipMode.

    On another side note, my son has a friend in his grade; the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. She has Asian features with dark, dark auburn red hair, so don't be scared of this combination. She is stunning!!

  6. Both dresses look great on you. I totally love this missoni style knit....and Patrones publishes twice the year special issues with kids patterns.

  7. Love the dresses, I just got this pattern from a generous person and I can't wait to try it (I do have a belly pooch, so I'm hoping it will be flattering).

    FWIW, I think having a husband at breastfeeding class is a great idea. My little one is 20 months and when we first had him I had a terrible time breastfeeding him -- he wouldn't latch, he lost weight, they wanted to give him a bottle, etc. etc. My husband's support and being 100% behind breastfeeding was crucial to me being able to stick with it like I wanted to and after about a week we all got the hang of it. So, it's nice for you to know your husband will be in on the details of what's going on. (just want to be clear and say I have no problem with moms who choose to bottle feed -- everyone has reasons and a method that works best for them).