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

Wednesday 26 October 2011
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!


  1. You are looking lovely in your Glow!

  2. Connie (Grandma C)26 October 2011 at 13:41

    I think you might be very happily surprised with the maternity spanx!! I have found that any sort of compression stockings give your circulation such a boost especially if you are on your feet a lot, and what Mom isn't?? I never wore any compression stockings until I became ill and they were recommended for a long overseas flight to prevent blood clots. Now this type are *tight* you need to use kitchen rubber gloves to pull them on - seriously! But the lady who sold me them says all the ladies that work in the pharmacy that they run wear them every day because they keep your legs from getting tired so fast. Let us know how they make you feel! I just wish they weren't so hot on me.

  3. Cool you pulled this out and finished it, it looks lovely with the belt too! I've been really bad for starting projects and not finishing them, I'm slowly training myself out of it!

  4. I love the fact that this dress has come together after 10 years - I like to think that it was waiting for the right moment to be finished! And isn't it great to see how much your skills have come on over those years. You look fab in it too

  5. That New Look pattern was one of my favorite go-to patterns to whip up something quick and dressy to wear to weddings and the oh-so-rare dressy occasion in college! Such nostalgia to see that pattern jacket again. Also, in pregnancy, the belt above the belly serves to define what is now the smallest part of your torso, so you don't appear to be just one large blob. :) I liked the tops and dresses that cinched in at this area when I was pregnant last year.

  6. I admire your persistence with completing the dress. I think i would have pitched that years ago.

  7. you have definitely atoned for your recent UFO sin ! that must have been a satisfying feeling. the completed dress looks good.

  8. I would have hurled it after 5 years! Well done on keeping it and finishing it. Looks fab. Have you tried 3B cream for chafing? Worked a treat for my two summer pregnancies.

  9. I like it with the belt. It adds interest to the dress and breaks up the colors. Do all fashion accessories need a function? If so, we'll all ditch our earrings....
    And congrats on finishing a UFO. Double points.

  10. Lovely dress, the blue is so pretty on you. I'm glad you persevered, it turned out really nice.

  11. Had I know that maternity spanx existed, I would have bought some in a heartbeat and I don't even wear them normally. I needed every little bit of pressure on my back though I wonder if they wouldn't have increased my nausea and throwing up since pressure on my belly did that.

  12. I think the belt adds a nice touch of a color to a very pretty dress! And yes, I knew about maternity spanx since I bought some for my daughter. My DD loved them and said that they helped with her back.

  13. Well it looks like your former UFO hung around for "such a time as this!" It looks flattering on you, and I love the classic style.

  14. Too cute! And after all that... you are still wearing the shoes you wore for your wedding! Good for you! The dress turned out nice... I'm thinking it was a different pattern... maybe you got rid of it! Hmmmm?
    Hey and whatever works when your preggers.... is what you need to do!
    Soooo are you planning on seeing what this baby is? Or are you a wait and see sort of girl? Just wondering.
    Hugs... And tell little Anna hello!

  15. Your dress looks great and so do you. Hope you are enjoying your pregnancy.

  16. Oooh I'd definitely have ordered a Maternity Spanx if I'd known of their existence! I had some dreadful varicose veins too, and ended up wearing the compression stockings but they were awfully hot and uncomfortable (especially during Summer). I hope they give you some reprieve and the rest of your pregnancy runs smoothly.
    I love the belt on the dress!

  17. Coming to this a bit late, but I think the belt still serves the same purpose - defining your smallest part - it's just that the smallest part of your torso has shifted! Don't those "What not to wear" types always have a high-waist belt on people who naturally have a bit of tummy? :)

    Congratulations! I think the last time I had time to check in on your blog you were vehemently denying pregnancy, so perhaps that was just before you found out! I hope you have an easy run through the next few months!
    ~Sarah B