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

 

 

 

The Baggy Bump Maternity Trousers – live on the Minerva Blogger Network

Burda 7239 maternity trousers 9

Hey everyone–I know it’s been quiet on the blog here lately, but I’ve been suffering from anaemia so didn’t have much energy to post or sew. However, my latest maternity sewing project is now up on the Minerva Blogger Network here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-baggy-bump-trousers

I’ve got to say a big thank you to my daughter, Daisy, for taking the pictures! Finding the opportunity to get enough light to photograph a project properly at this time of year is tricky, to say the least, and these might not be up to my usual picture standard, but hey, at least they got taken 🙂

I have a few projects nearly finished and another couple of project posts that just need writing, so I hope to be back to a regular weekly post in March. I’m not going to do any more maternity sewing after the next couple of weeks, though, as unless it’s something that would work for breastfeeding and that awkward period before my midsection gets back to its pre-pregnancy state (it will happen–I’ve managed it twice before!), it really won’t be worth the effort for just two month’s of wear.

Anyway, these trousers are so useful right now with this freezing cold weather. My legs are actually warm enough today, wearing these with boots and leggings underneath! The fabric is perfect for bottomweight sewing, and would also be great for a jacket. It’s a clearance one, though, so you if want some for yourself don’t wait!

Materials used:

Burda 7239 – Maternity Tops, Bolero and Pants  (affiliate link)

Textured Stretch Jersey Knit Dress Fabric (affiliate link)

Gutermann Sew All thread (affiliate link)

I’ll be back in a few days with my maternity sewing plans for March, and a bumper round-up of January and February’s sewing. What little there was of it, at any rate 🙂

Anna x

 

 

The Party Animal Dress – a maternity Agnes dress pattern review

Party Animal maternity bodycon Agnes Dress Tilly and the Buttons

Hi everyone! I’m here to provide a little distraction from post-Christmas mayhem (or whatever it is you choose to celebrate at this time of year) with my first proper bit of maternity sewing on the blog: a party dress made with the new maternity version of the very popular Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top/dress.

Believe it or not, this is my very first maternity dress make. I was into dressmaking when I fell pregnant with Gabriel, but because of my inexperience with and general fear of sewing knit fabrics, I thought most maternity sewing patterns looked too much like hard work. Since having Gabriel, however (3 years ago this week–doesn’t time fly?!) I’ve truly embraced sewing with knits and now prefer sewing them to wovens. Continue reading “The Party Animal Dress – a maternity Agnes dress pattern review”

The Winter Cords: Ottobre Ever Grey Boys Corduroy Pants sewing pattern review

Ottobre corduroy Ever Grey boys trousers, issue 4/2011

I don’t make much for my kids, I’ve got to admit. I used to crochet and knit for Daisy when she was a toddler, but I now find so little time for crafting that I’m pretty selfish with the little bits of time I do get. However, every now and again one of the kids needs and/or wants something that I either can’t track down to buy, or can’t afford when I do. This is one of those occasions.

I’ve had these cords on my sewing list since Gabriel was born as they caught my eye when looking through this old Ottobre magazine (one of only two that I own), but a well-timed gift of some roomy, lined corduroy trousers from my mum two years back meant I didn’t end up making them. I figured I had better make them this year as Gabriel is now at the maximum size they go up to, and after two years in the last pair he’d finally grown out of them! The pattern is for unlined trousers, but after the success of those lined cords I hunted around for a tutorial to add a snuggly jersey lining, and found this really helpful one.

The materials are all from my stash, and are leftover from old projects. The needlecord is beautifully soft but quite thin, so the thick interlock lining is really needed for a pair of winter-ready trousers. Plus I’ve discovered the lining has the added bonus of completely absorbing any little “accidents” Gabriel has. Okay, so they’ll still need changing, but at least everything is contained and I won’t need to clean the carpets. In unrelated news, we will be replacing our pale carpet with wooden flooring at some point in 2018! Continue reading “The Winter Cords: Ottobre Ever Grey Boys Corduroy Pants sewing pattern review”

The Purple Ponte Pockets Cardigan

Yesterday I had my final post on the Minerva Crafts Blog go live, and you can find my gorgeous purple Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan full write up over there. And if you recognise this cardigan pattern it’s because I’ve made it before, meaning it’s a true TNT pattern for me now. Yay for TNTs!

Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan in purple ponte

But why is it my “final” post, especially when I’ve been enjoying making my Minerva Crafts projects so much? (see my previous Minerva makes in the gallery below)

[envira-gallery id=”7751″]

Well, that’s because I’ve now got a spot on the Minerva Blogger Network, which means I’ll be making a brand new project for them every month! My first post will go live at the end of December and be warned, for once it’s a knitting one rather than a dressmaking one! But there’s a good reason for that, which I’ll go into in my special announcement post later this week.

Anyway, I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the Minerva Blogger Network along with all those other talented sewists and crafters, and I look forward to sharing lots of makes with you over there. Mostly dressmaking, but with the occasional other textile craft thrown in for good measure. I’m pretty wide-ranging in my crafting habits, after all!

Now here’s the rest of the cardie deets that I didn’t fit into the main Minerva post, should you be interested in super-nerdy stuff like timings and pricings 🙂

Time taken to sew cardigan: 1 hour 51 minutes — slightly longer than last time, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, it’s me, isn’t it? #facepalm

(time taken is the time to sew, which will include pinning, stitching, pressing, etc, but doesn’t include time spent planning, tracing patterns, cutting out fabric, setting up the sewing machine, puzzling out instructions, trying things on, etc. So in other words, it’s not actually the total time I’ve spent making something, but it’s a rough guide at any rate. Just don’t come complaining if it takes you longer to make something!)

Costing:

Pattern: £5.52/£11.99

Based on me buying it for £11.04 originally, and then using it twice. If I’d paid for the Drop Pocket Cardigan from Minerva, it would have been £11.99

Fabric: £0.00/£29.98

£14.99 per metre. Used just under 2m of this gorgeous, top quality Ponte Roma.

Notions: £0.00

All thread from stash.

Total cost: £5.52 to me

Or £41.97 if you purchased all the supplies from Minerva. I realise that’s not exactly cheap, but the pattern is a good’un with a huge range of sizes so should definitely get used again, and obviously you can pick up 2m of a suitable fabric much cheaper than this. However, I can wholeheartedly recommend the ponte I used as it’s by far and away the best quality ponte I’ve sewn with, and I’ll definitely be using it again in the future!

Would you give the Drop Pocket Cardigan a go? Or do you have a favourite go-to cardie pattern already? Do share!

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 🙂

Alabama Chanin Corset Top

I first found out about Natalie Chanin and her Alabama Chanin clothing line a couple of years ago, and I was instantly intrigued. I’d seen another sewing blogger make one of the corset tops and I loved it. For those unfamiliar with Alabama Chanin garments, they are completely hand stitched out of natural jersey fabrics, and often heavily embellished with beads or their trademark cutaway applique/embroidery. It gives a bit of a bohemian, rustic look, but with more contemporary style lines. And for those who love the look but can’t afford the hefty price tag (embellished dresses retail for almost $6000!), Natalie Chanin has published books of her most popular patterns, along with all the instructions to be successful making them.

Alabama Chanin corset top embroidered

Hand-sewing a jersey garment: the very idea blew my mind. I love sewing knits on my overlocker–so speedy–but I also liked the idea of having a portable project that was garment sewing rather than knitting or crochet. And I’ve always been good at embroidery so I figured I’d probably enjoy sewing a garment together with pretty but functional hand stitches.

I added Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns to my Amazon wishlist but didn’t think much more about it, and then out of the blue (well, okay, for my birthday) my sister bought it for me. And so I got large format prints done of my favourite patterns, then waited well over a year to actually get started on one. Not sure what took me so long to take the plunge. Maybe it was the idea of all that handsewing! Continue reading “Alabama Chanin Corset Top”

The Autumnal Cleo Dress

It had been a few months since I made my last Cleo dress, and considering how much wear I’ve been getting out of that and my first needlecord version, I figured it was high time I made myself another! Yes, finally I have a TNT pattern for a dress. Yay!

In a Nutshell:

A cute little dress that will be perfect for wearing over tights this autumn and winter. And let’s face it, this is England so I’ll probably be wearing tights well into the spring too! Continue reading “The Autumnal Cleo Dress”

The “Should have left it White” Blouse

So, this is another of my Patterns by Gertie retro inspired makes, and probably the last summer thing you’ll see around here for a while. Ah summer, I miss you! I sewed this blouse up at the end of August/beginning of September, so I haven’t actually been able to wear it other than for the shoot as it’s been a pretty cold autumn so far.

I have to admit, originally I only intended this blouse as a toile, because after looking at online reviews I realised it would probably be too short for my liking. Why not lengthen it, you ask? Well, the pattern pieces have no markings to do this, and they are some of the craziest shaped pattern pieces I’ve seen so I didn’t feel confident making any alterations until I’d had a go at sewing it together.

And then I made it, and it turned out better than I thought, and I should have left it how it was but like an idiot, I thought I could improve things with a purple dye bath…

In a Nutshell:

Could have been a cute, if exceedingly cropped, summer blouse if I hadn’t tried to be all clever. Now it’s just an unloved toile. Sigh. Continue reading “The “Should have left it White” Blouse”

The Nice Dress

Colette Crepe Dress in viscose

It’s been a busy weekend what with the Great British Sewing Bee show up in London, so I’m a little late sharing my most recent make for the Minerva Crafts blog: my version of the Colette Patterns Crepe Dress. Head on over to their blog for a blast of summer, to read all the deets, and to find out what I’d do differently next time. Looking at those photos makes me long to be back in the South of France!

Oh, and by the way, that’s Nice dress as in the city, not nice as in… well, you know. It is nice, but that just seems like damning it with faint praise, and my English teacher told me never to use that adjective if I could possibly help it 😛

Continue reading “The Nice Dress”

The Rockabilly Pirate Top

As promised, here’s the link to my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blog, which I’m calling my Rockabilly Pirate Top, for obvious reasons! You can find my full write up of Simplicity 8342 here. It’s such a cute jersey top, and perfect for anyone with a little experience with knit fabrics who’s looking for a slightly more challenging make than a simple t-shirt. I’d love it if you could pop on over to the blog and let me know what you think, and whether you’d make one of these yourselves 🙂

Continue reading “The Rockabilly Pirate Top”

The Denim Pedal Pushers

Pedal Pushers - Gertie Sews Vintage Casual 2

This year I was determined to get myself a pair of trousers that fit me properly. Now, I don’t know if my experience of buying trousers is typical, but I’ve never had much luck finding anything that was comfortable, let alone that fit well. It made me decide I was a die-hard skirt wearer, as they were so much more comfortable. Not as great for going on zip wires and climbing trees, admittedly, but hey, I liked skirts and didn’t want to wear that typical mum uniform of jeans and a tee.

But I love zip wires and the lure of making my own jeans began to grow. I was all set to leap in and make a pair of Ginger jeans, and then late last year I managed to find myself a pair of RTW skinny jeans that were reasonably comfortable and a pretty good fit. You’ll find me wearing them in heaps of blog pics here, but most recently the ones for my Baby Leopard Kimono  (they’re the high waisted Red Herring Carly jeans, should you be interested).

So, the idea of making my own jeans took a bit of a back seat after that. Okay, so there were things about the Carly jeans that weren’t ideal (like the quality of the fabric and stitching), but they were still way better than anything I could imagine making myself at the time.

But I still wanted to tackle trouser fitting. I had a go at it years ago when I was a good few dress sizes larger, and I managed to make myself a pair of needlecord trousers that were really comfy, but that I never wore out of the house due to an unfortunate lapse in attention when cutting the corduroy. There’s a reason they tell you to cut it with the nap all in one direction, and this became blindingly apparent when I looked down at my trousers–the front was about five shades lighter than the back! I never did make another pair of trousers with that block.

I definitely have Tasha from By Gum By Golly to thank for inspiring me to get going with my trouser fitting mission. Her Cigarette Pants are things of beauty, perfectly fitted to her body and she has detailed her many pattern adjustments at length in a series of blog posts. I began to see that it wasn’t necessary to get things perfect first time, and that it was possible to make a pattern time and again, gradually refining the fit.

This summer I decided to try again, using the Cigarette Pants pattern from my latest sewing bible: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. Read on for more of my fitting escapades…

In a Nutshell:

Continue reading “The Denim Pedal Pushers”

The Baby Leopard Kimono

This is one of those rare occasions when I seem to have jumped on a trend bandwagon (last seen with the Cleo dress). Kimonos are everywhere this summer, and I’ve been growing increasingly annoyed with my selection of summer cardies. In the past I’ve always gone for bolero styles, often with a tie front, but they don’t necessarily look right with the clothes I’ve been wearing this year. Or maybe I was just bored with them. Anyway, I’ve been hankering over something loose and flowing to go over my close-fitting clothing. Hence the kimono. And you know what, I reckon it’s exactly what I was after! Read on for more…

In a Nutshell:

A versatile summer layering cardie, which can also be used as a beach cover-up. That was the idea, at any rate. And it’s kind-of animal print. Abstract animal print, at any rate. I’m calling it that, anyway. It’s my kimono so I can name it whatever I like 😛

Pattern:

This is a self-drafted kimono, following the instructions in Portia’s excellent tutorial. Those who’ve followed this blog for a while might remember I made one of these last year, using a striped hacci knit. I do still wear that one but I’m always wishing for a bit more width at the front to wrap it around me, so for my second version I widened the body piece by 2″ at the back and 1″ on each front piece. This extra 4″ in width allows me to wrap the kimono fully at the waist, which in my mind is a must for a beach cover-up! Continue reading “The Baby Leopard Kimono”

The Little Jenny Wren dress

My wardrobe was in serious need of a really lightweight sleeveless knit dress for the summer (and autumn/spring when teamed up with cardie and leggings), so this project jumped all queues and demanded in no uncertain terms that I MAKE IT NOW!!! And you know what? I wish I’d made it earlier in the year to get even more use out of it. What a perfect dress!

 

NB: the title comes from the extra verse to Sing a Song of Sixpence which I found in a nursery rhyme book for my daughter, which goes like this:

She made such a commotion that Little Jenny Wren

Flew down into the garden and put it back again.

I’m not sure if this is a modern addition because someone feared small children would be traumatised by the idea of the maid having no nose (I never was!), but I thought of it while making this dress as I was effectively giving myself back a favourite dress that’s now too big. So yeah, Little Jenny Wren put it back for me. Although it’s not a nose. It’s a dress. Because having a nose in my wardrobe would just be weird 😛

In a Nutshell:

A retro-looking, super comfy and practical summer dress with pockets. What more could a girl ask for?! Continue reading “The Little Jenny Wren dress”

The Flintstones Bikini

So it’s come to this. Me, sharing pictures of myself in a bikini online. A leopard print one at that! But you know what? I’m more proud of this make than any other so far, despite it still needing a few tweaks. Read on for more about my first (but definitely not my last) plunge into swimwear sewing…

In a Nutshell:

A retro-style, halter neck, high waisted bikini. In leopard print pulled from the stash. What’s not to like?! I should just stick a bone through my hair and go full on cavewoman glam 😛

No, honestly, I did save a chicken bone for precisely that purpose, then forgot to use it in the photoshoot! Continue reading “The Flintstones Bikini”

The Barcode Skirt

This is one of those projects that was so simple to sew it hardly seems to warrant a blog post of its own, but hey, it’s my blog and if I want to blog the super-easy makes as well as the complicated ones, I absolutely can. And I seriously love this skirt, so there’s that 😛

Also, I’ve been meaning to blog every week and clearly that didn’t happen last week. I’m not going to apologise because I don’t believe in feeling guilt for no good reason, but I felt like I owe an explanation. Life has been busy and time got away from me, plus I’ve been sewing rather than writing about it–oh, the pressure of an impending holiday deadline! You’ll get two blog posts from me this week, though, as I’ve got one scheduled to go live on the Sewcialists blog tomorrow. I’ll post a link here when it does 🙂

Anyway, on with the sewing stuff…

Striped Gertie Skirtie 4

 

In a Nutshell:

A knit pencil skirt that fills a gap in my wardrobe I didn’t even realise was there! Continue reading “The Barcode Skirt”