Willow Wrap Dress - Nursing Top Hack

Willow Wrap Dress - Nursing Top Hack



I have a new hole in my wardrobe and have been energized to create nursing friendly garments post baby. In the short amount of time I've been nursing her I found that I prefer tops and dresses that can be pushed to the side so I can easily see baby's latch. This H&M top was the perfect inspiration for just such a top!


I used the Willow Wrap Dress pattern from Love Notions as the base for this top and added a modesty panel in coordinating fabric using a similar ready-to-wear nursing top I already owned for reference. This pattern has so many options, I started by cutting the plain front panels at the lower neckline and the skirt pieces at the line for a peplum style top.


To better match the inspiration top I narrowed the skirt front piece by an inch on each side at the bottom. I created a modesty panel by folding the front pattern piece in half, placing it on the fold, tracing a curved neckline two inches above the lowest point of the V and cutting it off six and half inches below the armscye. I sewed the modesty panel to the shoulder seams after adding the knit binding to the neckline, but would sew it in before finishing the neckline in the future as this didn't create the cleanest finish.


I loved working with this fabric from June & Lu Fabrics because it was stable enough to hold its shape even after nursing baby a few times. Of course, I had a bit of fabric left over and had to make baby girl a few coordinating onsies and headbands. These are our first mommy and me outfits! I love this top and wear it regularly - it can be dressed up with black slacks or worn more casually with jeans.



Size: Small
Fabric: Organic Water Lilies in Creme Jersey Knit Fabric by Elvelyckan Designs, 1 yard (*this is a directional print so make sure to purchase enough); Organic Rose Solid Jersey Knit Fabric by Elvelyckan Designs, 1/2 yard. Find this fabric and coordinating solids at June & Lu Fabrics.
Time estimate: 5 hours, including cutting and sewing

Cost to Make:
pattern - previously owned, $12 value
pattern printing - previously printed, $17 value
fabric - gifted, $21 value plus shipping
thread - from stash
TOTAL: $50 value

This fabric was gifted to me in return for social media posts. This fabric has great recovery and I love how it washes and wears. I would purchase it in the future!

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Marissa
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Nursing Willow Wrap Dress

Nursing Willow Wrap Dress




I purchased the Love Notions Willow Wrap dress when it was a featured Friday pattern earlier this spring. I love the wrap style and this pattern comes with both maternity and nursing options - a huge win at this point in my life! Soon after buying this pattern I won a $20 gift card to Style Marker Fabrics through Love Notions and set to picking out a great fabric to make this dress - but I found too many options! After posting a few poles on Instagram you all helped me pick this gorgeous floral with a navy background - a favorite of mine.

I had the pattern printed through PDF Plotting and was working on cutting it out when I went into labor. I cut a size medium, based on my then current measurements, and was able to sew it together during a few extended nap times after baby's arrival. 


As a new mom it felt like a huge feat to spend any amount of dedicated time in my sewing room. I really appreciated that this Love Notions pattern came together so quickly and looks so polished. Most of the pattern is sewn flat and then one long seam up the side brings the whole garment together. Although this form of assembly is very quick, one drawback is the inability to fit the garment until near the end of construction. I used knit stay tape for the hem and, after serging the edges, used a regular straight stitch to complete the dress since I wasn't worried about this hemline needing to stretch. My favorite feature of this pattern is the knit neck binding, a skill that I will use on other knit garments in the future.



At this stage of motherhood and nursing I'm enjoying wrap style tops and dresses best so I can push the fabric to the side and see baby's latch. I was so glad to have this option for appointments in my early days after her birth. In the future I will size down, try a few different side gather options, shorten the skirt an inch or two, and add pockets in the side seams. I just love this dress - look for more Willow Wraps coming to my wardrobe soon!

Size: Medium (based on then current measurements)
Fabric: Romantic Vine Floral Jersey Knit in navy
Time estimate: 5 hours, including cutting and sewing

Cost to Make:
pattern - $5 ($12 value)
pattern printing - $17
fabric - $27 ($38 value, plus shipping and taxes)
thread - $2 (using Style Maker's thread matching service)
knit stay tape - from stash
TOTAL: $51
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Marissa
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Baby's First Momma-Made Outfit

Baby's First Momma-Made Outfit


 


I made my first outfit for baby girl from a gorgeous Art Gallery Fabric, generously gifted to me from Minerva, and I couldn't be happier with it! Aren't those ladybugs the sweetest thing you've ever seen?!

For all the details about these makes head over to my profile on Minerva's site and purchase your own Art Gallery ladybug knit fabric here.

This fabric was gifted to me in return for a blog post and this post contains affiliate links. I truly love how her outfit turned out and can't wait to see her in it! Thank you for your support.

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Marissa
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Golfing Polo

Golfing Polo



During my pregnancy, while my body is constantly changing, I've found it most rewarding to sew for my husband and eagerly anticipated baby. It's especially fun to sew for Paul because I can easily fit items on him throughout the process making the final garment one we're both really happy with.

This spring I made a Pacific Pullover for myself out of pique from Minerva and had a fair amount of fabric leftover. I liked the idea of Paul and I being able to wear coordinating outfits on the golf course, one of our favorite hobbies to do together, so I purchased the digital Jalie 3137 Polo Shirt for Boys and Men and got to work! I wanted to make the polo right away so I printed the pattern on printer paper at home and taped it together, my least favorite but admittedly the quickest way to get a pattern.



I took Paul's measurements and, given how stiff the printer paper was, cut a straight size "X" because it fit his largest measurements. Once cut out I pinned the main garment pieces together and fit the polo to Paul. It was a bit too big on him through the chest and waist so I removed 3/4" out of both side seams at the chest and waist, close to size "U", then graded back to size "X" at the hips. The shoulder seams fell a bit too far down his shoulders so I removed 1/4" at the top of the armscye, at size "W", and graded out to a size "X" before the bottom of the armscye. The last major adjustment Paul requested was to make the sleeves more fitted. I removed 1 1/8" at the top of the sleeve seam and graded to 1" at the bottom of the sleeve seam. Getting the look he wanted while leaving enough ease to play golf in the top was a balancing act since the pique has such little stretch.




This pattern offers a lot of sporty options including a yoke, chest pockets with or without flaps and shoulder tabs. Paul wanted a sleek look and decided to leave the pockets off. The instructions made inserting the button placket a piece of cake and thankfully my button holes turned out perfectly the first time! I only deviated from the sewing instructions to hand sew the collar stand down, which is a personal preference.

I really liked this pattern and would happily buy it again. The ingenious design allows you to use the same body piece for both the front and back, changing only the top portion between the front and back/yoke pieces. The pictures were very helpful, but all at the bottom of the instructions and I found the scrolling a bit irritating.

Paul loves the finished product and would be happy if I made a few more versions for him in a stretch athletic knit.


Pattern: Jalie 3137 Polo Shirt for Boys and Men
Size: X
Time estimate: 8-10 hours

Cost to Make:
pattern - $9.00
fabric, thread, and button - from stash
TOTAL: $9.00
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Marissa
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Cara Maternity Dress

Cara Maternity Dress





Today's post is a guest blog written by my mother, who graciously made a few maternity garments for me early in my pregnancy when I didn't have the energy to sew.

When our daughter announced that we would become grandparents for the first time my heart leapt for joy. I was ready to make A.L.L. the things for the baby, but decided I should consult the parents before I went wild.  Marissa suggested a few clothing items to round out her maternity wardrobe would be especially helpful. She selected the Megan Nielsen pattern Cara and ordered fabric from So Sew English. I was delighted when I received that package. The fabric was a rich red Modal with a wonderful drape. I printed out the pattern and got right to work. It is a bit tricky trying to sew for someone so many miles away but I relied on fitting the pattern to myself and sending selfies, and video chats with Marissa for "sewing consultations". 

To extend the top pattern to dress length I compared it to a ready-to-wear dress in a length I liked. The shirt pattern had already made adjustments for a pregnant tummy and hips so I simply extended the length, with a slight flare to allow for walking.

Isn't it great that we are so close in height too? I scoured the comments on the Megan Nielsen blog and gleaned lots of tips and suggestions that I found helpful. I noticed how often women suggested that adding elastic to the ruching was critical, and created a nicer end product. I think this suggestion was essential to creating the nicest finished product when using such a drapey fabric. 

In the end I adjusted the sleeve width, bringing it in a full inch. I  also made a few adjustments to the shoulder area, bringing it in one inch to bring the shoulder cap up and taking 1/2" off the top of each shoulder seam, lifting the entire garment up and shortening the neckline and armscye. I finished the dress with a twin double needle hem. I always use wash away stay tape on knits hems and found that step especially important with this lightweight fabric.

Actual sewing time was probably about an hour, but I spent a couple more hours preparing the fabric, adjusting the sizing, "tissue fitting" and video chatting. I wanted  this to be the perfect feel good to wear maternity wardrobe staple. As soon as I completed my sewing I boxed it up, sealed it with a kiss and ran to the post office. I was so happy to see Marissa wearing the dress in a recent photo.


Pattern: Megan Nielsen Cara top
Size: small
Fabric used: So Sew English modal, red
Time estimate: 3+ hours, including fitting and sewing

Cost to Make:
pattern - $14
fabric - $21.50
elastic - from stash
thread - from stash
TOTAL: $35.50

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Marissa
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[name=Marissa] [img=//4.bp.blogspot.com/-PZLYzJMG34Y/XiU1zvVCSSI/AAAAAAAARmg/Fom6rY8JYb4c5J4_WgJ0cOTlrVOsq1nFgCK4BGAYYCw/s355/NielsenFamily19Final-11%2B%25282%2529.jpg] [description=Hi, I'm Marissa, a hobby seamstress. Thanks for joining me on my journey as I create a handmade wardrobe. Like and follow via the social media links below to see my newest makes!] [(instagram=https://www.instagram.com/sew_help_me)] [(facebook=https://www.facebook.com/SewHelpMebyMarissa)] [(bloglovin=https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/sew-help-me-19274771)]