HANDMADE WARDROBE

Erin Maternity Skirt #2

Erin skirt nail varnish

Good morning everyone!

About 6 months late, but I am finally writing about my second Erin Maternity Skirt. It is quite unfair that it’s taken me so long to write about this skirt because it has been the best maternity outfit I’ve had, one of those rare (at least in my case) when pattern, fabric and function just come together like a dream.

There are several reasons why this skirt was my staple garment during my pregnancy. Since I don’t want to forget about any of its wonders, I am going to make a list:

  1. It is a super quick, super easy make. Thank you Megan Nielsen for such great pattern.
  2. I used silky jersey, which has an amazing stretch and recovery, adapting to my growing figure to the very end and keeping its shape at the same time.
  3. This jersey sews, washes and dries like a dream, qualities that are great when you don’t have many outfits.
  4. This material is super breathable, so not heat rushes apart from the 40 degrees outside..
  5. Cool, funky pattern. I just don’t do florals and takes me ages to find fabrics with other prints. It is actually kind of mad… it’s got nail varnish pots dripping!

    Fabric detail
    Maddest pattern I’ve ever worn!
  6. It is perfect for windy weather, it doesn’t fly away and stays where it should. This may seem like a weird reason, but where I live it’s very windy so it is definitely a plus for me.
  7. It made me feel like a cool, young mum. One of my maternity fears was to look like I didn’t take care of myself, wearing an outfit “just because I can still fit in this”. This skirt definitely made me feel great in it every single day I wore it, and therefore made me happy 🙂

I definitely recommend this skirt to anyone that is pregnant or that has a friend that is (what a wonderful present this makes!) and I will be making more should I be pregnant again. In fact, I’d like to make a non-maternity version of it for next summer.

Anyway, until here my Erin skirt love. I never thought I would say this but, I miss my maternity wardrobe!

Erin skirt front
The crazy print really slims the figure (just to the eye, I was mahoosive!)

Have a lovely day everybody!

Pilar

 

HANDMADE WARDROBE

Erin Maternity Dress #1

Erin dress 1

Hello everyone!

After the success of the Erin Maternity Skirt #1, I decided to try one of the modifications at the end of the pattern booklet and transform the Erin Skirt into a dress combining it with the Cara Maternity T-shirt.
I visited my local fabric shop and picked a dégradé silk jersey with a subtle leaf print in royal blue. I pretty much fell in love with the touch of the fabric straight away and I though it would be perfect for this project.

Since both patterns are by Megan Nielsen and have very similar styles, they were very easy to join up together to create the dress patter. I eagerly got pinning, cutting and sewing and I finished up just in a few hours. Unluckily, as soon as I slipped the dress over me I realised it wouldn’t join my list of top makes. Sooooo… what went wrong?

Firstly, my fabric choice didn’t turn out to be as ideal as I originally thought. This fabric has a great stretch/recovery percentage and it is a dream to wear, but what I did not notice in the shop is that it was a bit sheer even when not stretched (probably the intense colour prevented from realising that), so when I finally put my dress on… it was quite indecent to say the least!

Secondly, I found quite tricky to get the right settings on my overlocker which led to a snapped bottom seam in its first wear. Also, the fact that had to stretch over my massive pregnant belly did not help.

Finally, the resulting style of pattern+fabric combination wasn’t what I was after and turned out to be quite mumsy in my opinion. I still wore it around the house since it was so hot over the summer and the fabric is super fresh and light, but this dress did not see outside world.

I look forward to using this fabric for other projects though, maybe a more flawy dress for next summer.

And if you want to see a successful combination of these patterns, head over to DIY Maternity, I totally have dress envy!

Hope you enjoyed the post!

Pilar

HANDMADE WARDROBE

Maternity Moneta #2

Moneta 2

Good morning everyone!

After the success of Maternity Moneta #1, I decided to sew another version of this pattern.

This time I chose I fabric that I wouldn’t usually go for, but doing an exception I went for a polyester jersey since I loved the ruffles so much. Despite the, I found that this fabric has plenty of pros that quickly outweighed the cons.

  • Pros: it is super light for the summer and super easy to wash, it doesn’t crease, it dries in minutes, and it was totally my style (colour and pattern).
  • Cons: this fibre may not be as trasnpirable as a natural fibre, and I had to line the dress as otherwise it would be too revealing. For the lining, I chose a plain polyester jersey in white which feels very soft on the skin.

Since this is not a maternity pattern, I made the same alterations as in my Maternity Moneta #1:

  • Raise the bodice waistline about 2.5″
  • Cut the skirt 2 sizes bigger than your pre-pregnancy size. I cut the bodice in the same size I would wear pre-pregnancy, but if you’ve had a noticeable increase in your bust, you may want to cut it a size bigger.
  • Didn’t include the collar proposed for version 1.
Moneta Ruffles 04
Fully lined finished bodice

So as I said, the alterations I had to make to adapt this pattern were pretty simple. The tricky part was to actually match the ruffles and ensure that they stayed all in place whilst being sewn. For that, I checked and pinned every single ruffle before I overlocked my seams. If you are as impatient as me, you may find this challenging, but I can’t stress enough how important this step is as otherwise you will have loads of twisted bits in your seams and it won’t look nice and smooth.

Pretty proud of my ruffle matching skills!
Pretty proud of my ruffle matching skills!

For some reason, this version ended up having the waistline a bit higher than my stripy Moneta, but I still haven’t figured out why. I’m thinking that it could be because this fabric had less stretch than the other one, maybe? That’s something I definitely need to do some research about.

Overall, I am very proud of my dress and I love wearing it because it is super comfy. The only messy bit that I din’t quite foresee when I bought the fabric was how the ruffles would work with the skirt shirring, but I quickly sorted it out styling my dress up with a lovely belt that covers the waistline. Since the beginning I had my mind on using a belt anyway so it didn’t really bother me. I’ll just make a mental note for future projects.

Armhole detail
Armhole detail
Moneta 2 detail
Back detail

 

That's one proud lady!
That’s one proud lady!

Thanks for reading!

Have a lovely day 🙂

Pilar

HANDMADE WARDROBE

Erin Maternity Skirt #1

 

With my friends and my skirt. Happy times :)
With my friends and my skirt. Happy times 🙂

Hi there!

Today I am going to share my first version of the Erin Maternity Skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen.

When I first got this pattern, I wasn’t sure whether I would like wearing something so fitted during my pregnancy. I did quite a bit of research on Pinterest to see if I liked the results on other sewers and decided to give it a go. What I did find is that most people had used plain colour fabric for their skirts. I would usually go for that option but, I personally think that a patterned jersey works better for this skirt. Just make sure to check the grin of the fabric when you buy it, you don’t want it to go all withe and   distorted when you wear it!

After many fabric considerations, I decided to jump into the deeper end and use one of my precious Liberty fabrics that I had had for a while in my stash: a mid-weight cotton jersey with a big floral print in pastel colours.

Skirt in the making
Skirt in the making

The pattern itself is very easy to follow and I quickly put the skirt together without any problems. The bit that I found a bit trickier was shirring the side seams as my clear elastic kept folding under my walking foot. Do you guys have any tips to avoid this?

To my surprise, this skirt is super comfy to wear and I’ll be definitely making more of them. I think I may even give a go to the dress version at the end of the booklet. I find it specially flattering because it is such a figure-hugging garment. As I mentioned on a previous post, I am not too keen on tent-like maternity clothes so this pattern just fits the bill to perfection.

Just about 18 weeks pregnant
Just about 18 weeks pregnant
Maternity Skirt - Liberty 02
Here I’m just showing off 😉

Thanks for reading!

Pilar

HANDMADE WARDROBE

Maternity Moneta #1

 

Stripy Moneta ready to wear
Stripy Moneta ready to wear

I’m happy to present my first ever piece of maternity clothing, a stripy Moneta! Yay!!

But there is more to this dress than that. This dress has meant quite a few firsts for me and that’s why I’m extra proud of it:

  • 1st item of maternity wear I’ve ever made
  • 1st time I’ve sewn jersey
  • 1st time I’ve tried to pattern match
  • 1st time I’ve altered a pattern
  • 1st time I make something that I can actually wear

The last of these points is specially important to me because it has been a frustrating path of choosing wrong fabrics, wrong patterns, wrong prints or all of these combined. I would say that learning about what suits your style, your body shape and your complexion has been the hardest lesson to learn when it comes to sewing. With this I don’t mean I don’t make any fabric mistakes anymore, but they are less and less frequent.

Anyway, going back to the dress, I’ve chosen a lightweight rayon jersey that I got at World of Sewing in Tunbridge Wells last time I visited. It has a wonderful fresh texture and feels like a dream on the skin. I don’t know whether you can appreciate it on the picture, but it’s got a super thin silver stripe that makes it just that little bit more interesting.

Moneta Stripes 01

Since this is not a maternity pattern, I had to do some simple alterations:

  • Raise the bodice waistline about 2.5″
  • Cut the skirt 2 sizes bigger than your pre-pregnancy size. I cut the bodice in the same size I would wear pre-pregnancy, but if you’ve had a noticeable increase in your bust, you may want to cut it a size bigger.
  • Didn’t include the collar proposed for version 1.

Despite the modifications, you can follow the pattern instructions as given, which always makes things easier.

What I did find quite challenging was pattern matching the stripes. Probably this comes quite clear to an experienced sewer but as a first attempt it was a bit tricky at points, especially when joining the skirt to the bodice.

Conclusion: I am very happy about this dress and I love wearing it because it is super comfy. I think it will get me through the summer heat quite nicely.

Chilling in my dress with a sewing magazine, bliss!
Chilling in my dress with a sewing magazine, bliss!

If you feel like giving a go to this pattern, check out my Pinterest board with a selection of the best Monetas I’ve found online.

Hope you enjoyed my post!

Pilar

HANDMADE WARDROBE

My Sewing Plan

ON NOW-2

 

Welcome to the third step of my personal fashion journey of the Wardrobe Challenge 2015 lead by Colette Patterns.

After much research on styles and silouhettes I’d like to wear during my pregnancy, I’ve finally come up with a list of patterns and fabrics that I’d like to use during this time. On my first post about the challenge, I talked about how boring and shapeless maternity wear usually is (at least that’s all we get here in Spain), so most of the patterns/shapes I’ve chosen are quite fitted.

Also, since we are heading towards the warmer months, I’ve looked for light outfits that t don’t involve a lot of fabric just so I don’t get too hot in the Spanish summer.

The patterns I’ve chosen are:

croquisAPP_0b0ec709-ef21-4925-be4f-bb22b3049724

The Cara Maternity T-Shirt, by Megan Nielsen (Previously Ruched Maternity T-Shirt). I am planning on making sleeveless versions of this one.

 

 

Continue reading “My Sewing Plan”

HANDMADE WARDROBE

A look back to fabric design – Artist Textiles at the London FTM

Ben Nicholson rug
Slinky, hooked wool rug by Ben Nicholson, 1933

I found out about this show just casually browsing the internet or something to do when my folks were over last time. I quickly filled with excitement: fabrics & art together!

I was quite intrigued about the time period selected for this show, as it seemed a bit random: 1940 to 1976. Having said that, the first room is dedicated to the beginning of artist-designed textiles that covers from the 1910 to the 40s. It briefly covers artists like Popova, Delaunay and Dufy and I have to say, I would liked to see way more examples from this period. I especially loved the shapes and colour palette, such as in the rug picture above. Also, I think the fact that Popova’s textile and fashion designs were the only ones in history to actually be conceived for the masses should have been highlighted. Personally, I would have liked a greater insight into this period and also some explanation about why it had been left out of the main show.

Below one of my favourite patterns in the show:

Moth balls and sugar cubes
Mothballs and Sugarlumps, printed silk deisgned by photographer Edward Steichen for Stehli Silks, 1927.

After this introduction to the subject, you go through to the bigger room where is the main body and focus of the show. In this room, the mass production of artist textiles come to live in its greatest splendour, showcasing examples of finished  products and raw pieces of fabric directly off the bolt. There are a very interesting series of silk squares that especially caught my eye as their shape seemed to provide artists with a perfect canvas for textile design.  There are examples from Dali, Matisse, Moore and Delaunay and I found the one by Vertes especially outstanding. I loved the fact that despite being over 70 years old, their patterns remained  modern and wearable in today’s fashion, which is not easily achievable.

images
Silk square by Vertes

In my opinion, the most outstanding examples of textile designed in this show come from the hand of Warhol, Steinberg, Rhodes and Rombola, stealing all the merit from other designs, especially to the busy patters from the 50s. These latter ones just seemed to my eye mere translations from traditional paintings into fabric, without having any special consideration to their function. They are busy, grey and look old, and would perfectly fit in the most average of living rooms. In contrast, the ones by the artists mentioned above, are full of life and colours, with patters that inspire its use and still resulting cutting edge and slightly unbearable still today. Having said that, the finish garments made of this fabrics looked pretty awesome. These are just some examples:

zandra-rhodes

Picasso’s textiles also have a main role of this show and seemed to gather the most attention from the public. Certainly, the ski cloths and dresses are something to talk about, but being a Spaniard myself, I found the patterns a bit too “typical Spanish” for my liking.

Overall, I really enjoy this show and I found some of the pieces really inspiring, especially since I am starting a textile printing course on the 1st of March. It made me realise that even the craziest of patterns can actually work really well when printed on fabrics and on finished garments, and I will definitely be bearing this in mind when designing my own textiles over the coming weeks.

Do let me know your thoughts if you go and see it!

Pilar

http://ftmlondon.org/ftm-exhibitions/artist-textiles-picasso-to-warhol/