It’s in the bag

I feel like I’m racing against the clock lately… we move in two weeks, and my sewing room has to be mostly packed by the end of next week… and I still have projects to finish!  First and foremost, a Quiet Book for my lovely little niece, of which I hope to be sharing pics very soon.  I made two of them a few years back but I seem to have misplaced the memory of just how long it takes to knock out the details.  A labor of love most definitely, but time consuming.

Speaking of labor, I’m now 28 weeks pregnant and I have a wicked cold that my munchkins passed onto me about a week ago.  I very rarely get really sick, but this thing has truly knocked me on my arse.

In the midst of my usual chaos however, I was able to knock out a couple of cute chevron totes last week for Teacher Appreciation week for the girls’ preschool teachers.

I was inspired to do tote bags with that cute little “pun” tag from an Instagram post by Homemade by Jill, and the bag pattern is the Reversible Tote tutorial (minus the color blocking) from MADE.  I scored this fun chevron print duck cloth from Hobby Lobby and the lining is a basic bottom-weight twill.  I was in such a hurry when I cut these out that I didn’t do the best job of matching the chevrons on the side seams, however by happy accident the straps ended up perfectly on the diagonal.  Score!

Allow me to digress here momentarily to talk about this tote tutorial.  I’ve been following Dana’s MADE blog for years but recently my sister-in-law refreshed my memory about this tutorial.  It is fabulous!  My first try at it a couple months ago, using the color blocking detail, resulted in this lovely little pink and green number.  I even added an interior pocket, perfectly sized for a cell phone.  It’s such a roomy bag, and when made in heavier duck cloth/canvas it is super sturdy!  It would be a great beach bag… if we weren’t about to move away from the beach.  Boo!  😦

But back to the chevrons… I was able to get two totes of each color from the yardage… so to go with the second red one I made this cute little open wide zippered pouch from this fun tutorial by Noodlehead.  This tote and pouch set made its way to my bestie this week as a very belated birthday gift.  I won’t say just how belated it is… it’s downright embarrassing.  And now I have one tote left… and I may just keep it for myself.

Now back to Quiet Book land…

Dressing the Bump: My PERFECT Maternity Top

At 26 weeks pregnant now, and after multiple tries at knit maternity tops I’ve FINALLY conquered it – and I LOVE this top!  It’s the perfect blend of feminine shape but not skin-tight, and gives enough coverage with room to grow.  And I still have quite a bit of growing to do with the last trimester ahead of me.

I invested in the Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity T-shirt pattern a couple months ago, and after a couple tries at getting my size right I was very happy with the silhouette of it but not so much with the lower necklines and fitted factor.

I’m just personally not a fan of super-clingy tops, but I do want to show off the bump to a degree.  So I made a mental note to regrade that pattern to add more ease and higher necklines both front and back.  And then a Quiet Book (in process) and KCW happened and I never got back to it.

Then, late the other night I had an epiphany… I’ve been seeing some awesome reviews of the free Scoop Top pattern released last week by Kristin at Skirt as Top, and I noticed that the back of the top hangs lower than the front.  It occurred to me that if I flip the pattern pieces around (back becomes front, front becomes back), add some overall width, some extra length to the “new” front it could make a pretty comfy maternity top.

My first try turned out pretty well, but needed some curve added to bring in the bottom hem to reduce how flared it was hanging off my belly, and I immediately thought that the ruching detail from my first try should take care of this “problem”.  So I modified the length and bottom curves of the front and back to match the Megan Nielsen pattern.

And voila!  Major success!  I’m beyond pleased with this top and will be making several more, at least!  Maybe extended into maxi dress version too?  Hmmm…