The Erin Maternity Skirt – or the Barcode Skirt #2

Erin Maternity Skirt in stripes - Megan Nielsen Patterns

I made this Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirt back in December, took the pics in January, but am only now blogging it as it’s hardly had any wear so far. That’s by no means a reflection on how much I like the skirt (spoiler: I love it!) but more on our exceptionally cold winter this year, and the weight of the fabric I used.

Megan Nielsen is one of the few pattern designers out there with a range of maternity sewing patterns to choose from, and so far I’ve made this and the Amber Dress, both of which I love. They are all classic, knit garments that make excellent basics, and each have a range of options to give different looks. The Erin skirt has two length options (knee and midi length) plus an optional hem ruffle if you like that kind of thing. Ruffles aren’t my thang, but hey, maybe I’ll change my mind at some point. Probably once they’ve gone out of fashion, knowing me…

While a knit pencil skirt is one of the easiest garments out there to make and I already have a TNT pattern for one which I could have adapted for maternity wear, I chose to buy this anyway as it looked like there was some interesting shaping going on at the top. I’m glad I did as the pattern drafting is really clever, with different shaped back and front pieces so you get plenty of extra fabric going over the bump. There’s also some side ruching with elastic, although unlike other ruched maternity wear where the front panel is the only one gathered, the Erin skirt gathers are made after sewing the side seams, so front and back both get gathered. I can’t say as it seems to make much difference in how the skirt looks, and it’s certainly easy to sew that way.

I’ve been missing my favourite striped knit pencil skirt, so I went searching for some medium weight striped stretchy jersey and found this navy and beige fabric on Minerva’s site. It was good value, a polyester/viscose/elastane blend, and seemed ideal. However, when it arrived it felt much thinner and more drapey than I was expecting. I don’t think the description is wrong–viscose does weigh more than cotton–but I now know to be more careful when choosing viscose fabrics for bottoms! This is absolutely perfect for a spring/summer skirt with bare legs underneath, but not right for wearing over tights or leggings in winter. The skirt rides up too easily when walking.

I think the fabric would be fabulous for tees and summer dresses, though, as it’s so soft and drapey. Maybe I’ll buy some more for something else, and I should have enough scraps to make a tee for Gabriel.

In terms of making up, this was a really simple sew. I deviated from the instructions only when sewing the elastic waistband, as I much prefer to overlock the elastic to the top edge, fold and stitch than go to all the faff of making waistband casings. I also hate the way waistbands can get twisted inside casings, and there’s no chance of twisting with this method. And check out how high this skirt goes up!

When I’d finished the skirt I tried it on before hemming, and realised it was too long to walk in comfortably. This could partly be down to the cheap elastic I used for ruching the side seams, which stretched out and didn’t fully recover so ended up 4cm longer than it should have been. In the end I lopped 8cm length off the bottom and it’s ended up just above the knee.

I do love my Erin Skirt and I’m looking forward to the weather being warm enough to get lots of wear out of it in my last weeks of pregnancy. However, I reckon it will still be useful over the summer months while I work on getting rid of the baby flab, and it could always be converted to a regular pencil skirt after that, so it should get a fair amount of wear eventually.

I probably should have made another Erin skirt in a thicker fabric for the winter, but I’m not going to bother now as I have so little time left. However, I’ll hold onto the pattern in case any friends fall pregnant and fancy a cute skirt making for them 🙂

These photos are now a couple of months old, but I’m currently having a go at the 10×10 wardrobe challenge over on Instagram, and this skirt is one of my ten picks. I’ll post a round-up and my thoughts on the challenge in a couple of weeks so you’ll be able to see the skirt over my current much larger bump then–or hop on over to Instagram if you can’t wait!

Erin Maternity Skirt

The Deets:

Pattern: The Erin Maternity Skirt from Megan Nielsen Patterns. I made the midi length version (version 2)

Size: M

Fabric: This Stripey Stretch Jersey (affiliate link) in navy and beige from Minerva.

Modifications: Reduced the length by about 8cm for ease of walking, so it’s ended up being knee length after all.

Overlocked elastic to top edge, folded and topstitched rather than making a casing.

Time to sew: 1 hour 11 mins (this doesn’t include pattern tracing, cutting out, threading up machine, trying on for fit purposes, and general waffling!)

Costing: 

  • Pattern: £7.55 (in Black Friday sale)
  • Pattern printing: £2.70
  • Fabric: £4.99 for 1m
  • Notions: £0.00 (elastics from stash)
  • Total: £15.24

Other inspirational versions: While plain, I love these classic black and white versions from Poppykettle and The Gingerthread Girl. And you can’t beat this patterned version by Holli, modelled over a 39 week bump no less!

What are your thoughts on striped skirts? Are they a wardrobe staple for you too?

Coming next on the blog: My April sewing plans!

Disclaimer: some of the products linked above use affiliate links, meaning if you follow the link and make a purchase I will receive a small referral fee (at no added cost to you). Any extra income to help fund my sewing habit is greatly appreciated, but rest assured I only recommend products I love and think you might find useful too 🙂

The Snakeskin Amber Dress

Amber maternity nursing dress Megan Nielsen

Hey everyone! I’ve got another Minerva make to share today, and it’s another maternity dress. Not the Agnes this time, but the old Simplicity version of the Megan Nielsen Amber Dress. I’ve actually made it twice before (here and here) so this is truly a TNT pattern for me.

I do still have a couple of maternity makes to blog, and I’ve got pics taken so hopefully they’ll go up in the next couple of weeks. After that… I’m going to have to think hard about what will be worth making. Fitting a rapidly changing body is a challenge!

The full write up of making this dress is on the Minerva site, but something I forgot to add to the post was the time taken to sew, which was 2 hours. That’s not bad considering there were 13 pattern pieces to deal with, and the fabric was challenging at times (although seriously gorgeous to wear!)

Right, that’s it for now. I’ve been dealing with an ill toddler the last couple of days (conjunctivitis) so I’m tired and haven’t got much done. At least I’m making some headway on the crochet blanket, though 🙂

Back soon with  another Megan Nielsen pattern: the Erin skirt! Sneak peek:

Erin Maternity Skirt in stripes - Megan Nielsen Patterns

 

 

 

Bumper January and February round-up, plus March’s sewing plans

snowflake cookies

“Bumper” might be a bit of a misnomer, I admit. The fact is, for quite a few weeks I was feeling really low in energy. At the time I put it down to the pregnancy, having a bit of a cold and general exhaustion after the trip Andy and I took to Berlin in the half term, but it turns out it was anaemia all along. You’d think I’d recognise it by now as I’ve had it several times in the past (including at this stage of pregnancy with Gabriel and Daisy), but it always catches me unawares.

Anyway, for a few weeks I didn’t have the physical or mental energy to do any sewing or blogging. I’m not apologising for that, btw! I did what I needed to do to conserve the little energy I had.

I’m pleased to say that the high-strength iron I’ve been prescribed is now starting to do its work and I’ve had a decent surge of energy this past week. And I’ve got back into sewing and blogging again. Yay!

At the moment we’re on our second “snow day” in a row, and I’m really feeling the lack of options for warm weather clothing in my current wardrobe. However, I think spring is just around the corner so there’s little point in sewing any more cold weather maternity gear. I’ll just have to put up with rotating the same few outfits (and one coat!) until the weather warms up. I have to admit, I did cave and buy a couple of cheap RTW long-sleeved maternity dresses and a pair of leggings from Lidl. They’re made of organic cotton jersey which feels incredibly soft, so although they won’t get worn for long I don’t consider it a waste of money as I’m planning to use the fabric to sew some tees and shorts for Gabriel and maybe some stuff for the baby. We’ll see 🙂

Blogged in January and February:

Jan-Feb round up and March plans 2018 4

L-R: The Cowl Necked Maternity Dress, The Baggy Bump Maternity Trousers

I also did a lot of blogging in the new year–the #SewingTop5 round ups and my #2018MakeNine posts. I love writing those kind of posts!

Sewing done in January and February:

Jan-Feb round up and March plans 2018 4

L-R: The Kinder Cardigan (I haven’t actually photographed my version yet) and a dark floral Agnes/Gertie Sweetheart top (finished today, but most of the sewing was done in February). Also the Baggy Bump Trousers and Cowl Necked Dress, pictured in the blogged section.

I might not have sewn everything I planned to, but considering the anaemia I’ve been dealing with, I’m impressed I got that much done. Yay me!

Persian Tiles crochet

I did get a bit of crocheting done too. I’m making the Persian Tiles blanket in the Eastern Jewels colourway as one of my future Minerva Makes. I have to finish it by mid-May, so lots of crochet hours in my future!

Money spent: £4.50

Patterns: £0.00 , Haberdashery: £4.50 , Fabric: £0.00

A thrifty couple of months, make no mistake! I’ve had to be thrifty in pretty much everything after Christmas and the kids’ birthdays. Even that £4.50 I spent (on elastic) used a gift card so wasn’t real money 🙂

I have been given some money for Christmas and my birthday, though, so I have something to spend over the next few months, should I wish. I’m going to sew from stash as much as humanly possible, though.

March sewing plans:

Amber nursing dress - Megan Nielsen patterns

I have a dress cut and ready to sew for my Minerva make this month–it’s the Megan Nielsen Amber maternity dress, although I’m using the OOP Simplicity version of the pattern. I think I might make a summery top version of this pattern too as I know it’s great for breastfeeding, and for covering that flabby post-baby belly I’ll be sporting for at least a couple of months after the birth.

Other than that I’m hoping to finish a few alterations (those velvet maternity leggings I’ve mentioned before), a dress for Daisy, and a pair of skinny jeans I’m hacking into a maternity/post-baby version.

I can’t see the point in starting any more maternity makes at this stage, so any remaining sewing time this month will be spent prepping a shirt for Andy, a summer dressing gown for me, and a quilt for Gabriel.

I’ll also be working on my crochet Eastern Jewels Persian Tiles blanket, which may or may not end up as a baby blanket. We’ll see…

What are you planning to make this month?