Itty Bitty Sewing

I had the great pleasure of attending a baby shower yesterday for my good friend, Jennifer, who will be welcoming a baby girl just a couple weeks after our Little Man is due.  This friend and I have similar histories and have traveled long roads to reach parenthood, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them and their little one on the way.  And I especially couldn’t wait to unpack my sewing machines and get to work on some sewing for baby girl!

First on the list – the Divided Basket pattern by Anna at Noodlehead.  Her pattern is fabulous and  it was such a quick project.  I even took inspiration from her posts and photos here and here by filling one section of the basket with a simple flannel receiving blanket and some pre-fold diaper burp cloths, per this tutorial/idea from Probably Actually.  From my experience with my girls, I share Gail’s sentiments on wanting to maximize the usable surface area of a burp cloth, so the trim idea is right on target.  Into the other section of the basket I included a stack of newborn-sized diapers (not shown).

Jennifer’s nursery theme is travel and they’ve chosen a lovely neutral palette with little details of vintage postcards and script and a little pop of color from some adorable mini turquoise suitcases.  I’m super-pleased with the fabric choices for this basket (thank you, Joann Fabrics!)

Next on the list is a teeny tiny Geranium Dress, pattern from Made by Rae, paired with a matching diaper cover from the tutorial and free pattern at MADE, both in size 0-3 months.  The pale pink print is an Anna Griffin print that I picked up on one of my last runs to M&L Fabrics before we left SoCal, and the lining for the bodice is a simple black with tiny white polka dots.

Very satisfying sewing for a sweet baby girl on-the-way!

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Sweet Little Tunics

I don’t know about you, but I love a good sewing success after a flop.  Remember this black and white gingham tunic fiasco during KCW?  Here is take two (or is it take three, technically?) – gingham tunics for my lovely girls, and they FIT!  Yippee!  And all thanks to the Leila & Ben Sweet Little Dress pattern.

I had completely forgotten about this pattern when I was searching for cute peasant top inspiration, until I saw it referenced a couple of times in various blog and flickr posts after KCW.  Great pattern and SUPER fast to cut and sew.  The directions are a bit different, as they suggest you iron your neckline and sleeve casings and bottom hem before sewing everything together.  I wasn’t sure about that, so I did a little experiment… the blue tunic I made by sewing first and then ironing, but for the pink tunic I followed their directions and ironed first.  I have to say it went much faster the second time.  I also shortened the dress pattern to a tunic length, keeping the same hemline curve and shape.  M and C love these tops and we will definitely be adding a few more – both tunics and dresses – to their summer stash!

Dressing the Bump: The Maxi Skirt

When I was pregnant with my girls four years ago I was working full-time in a rather conservative corporate environment, so my day to day maternity wardrobe mostly consisted of the typical dress pants and woven blouses that I had nearly all outgrown by 32 weeks.  Lots of polyester and less than comfortable ensembles overall.  This time around my days are spent out and about on errands during preschool mornings and  running a household and chasing those little girls around the rest of the day.  A lack of comfort just isn’t an option.  Bring on the maxi skirts!

I’d been eyeing the Maxi Skirt Tutorial by Leanne Barlow of Elle Apparel for awhile, even before the need for comfy maternity clothing came around, so finally I jumped on that purchase and started measuring away (eeeek!) to draft my pattern.  I have a few rayon blend jersey knits that I bought from fabric.com way back when, which are perfect for this type of skirt.  The waistband of this skirt not specifically drafted for maternity wear, but it is easily folded down to work around the baby bump, so I expect to be able to wear it post baby as well.

This tutorial is very well-written and easy to follow, and I like that you draft it yourself based on your own measurements.  It sews up very quickly (I think I drafted, cut and sewed it up in maybe three hours… pinning the hem took the longest) especially when only using a serger, and the a-line design is probably pretty adaptable to a shorter skirt as well.  Maybe I’ll give that a try too!

These photos were taken about five weeks ago, around my 25-week mark but it still fits great and will work perfectly for the remainder of this pregnancy.  Another successful maternity wardrobe staple completed!