Shortly into my pregnancy back in the spring, I was feeling physically pretty good. I would say “off” or “yucky” but nothing too bad (as in I’ve never puked while pregnant, and I hope it stays that way!). I felt off in other ways though. It sounds so strange but instead of just having aversions to food, i had an aversion to sewing! I looked at my sewing stuff and felt almost nauseous! After trying to make myself work on a couple of projects, I just gave myself permission to shove everything in my spare room and shut the door. For weeks!
I had no interest in my creative outlet and it really started to take a toll on my mental health, I believe. I was lethargic and it was too hot outside to do much of anything. There’s not much going on around where I live, so I got to feeling very isolated and purposeless. I knew objectively that I should be fine, that I was fine, but something in me just wasn’t right. I don’t say this to get pity from friends or whomever may read this. I say it to explain some of my absence and maybe it encourages someone else by knowing that it’s not possible to have an upbeat life 100% of the time, that mental health can be a struggle even when there are many life circumstances to be grateful for.
To get out of my funk, sewing has played a big role and I’m glad to be back at it again. I had no desire to sew clothes at first, so I ended up making some newborn fitted cloth diapers (um, and they are sooo cute). I am trying not to put pressure on myself to use them in case recovery or adjusting to life after birth is rougher than I would like, but I think it should be fine. I’m not new to cloth diapering, but I have not done that during the newborn phase so we shall see how it goes!
It was so helpful to focus on a non-garment project, because eventually I started to get interested in making clothes again. I have no desire to add anything to my maternity capsule wardrobe (fancy way of saying I wear the same handful of basic outfits constantly), so I started brainstorming what I could look forward to post partum once I get out of the 24/7 pajama phase. It had to be nursing friendly and not too fitted in the bust or waist since that will be an unpredictable, fluctuating size for awhile. I also wanted to use a woven fabric because it’s my favorite to sew with and I’ve been wearing all knits all the time for weeks.
I decided on the So Over It Alex shirtdress from the City Break ebook. I’ve previously made the shirt version for my cousin and several Molly tops from that book. Any shaping you would want you can add a belt and it’s got ease built in at the bust and waist, so it seemed perfect for getting back into making something for myself.
I made a size 8 but added length, smoothing out the curve at the hem for a more subtle high/low look. I wanted a traditional cuff to finish the sleeve so I morphed the armscye with the base of Butterick 5526 and used the cuff from that pattern. Of course I lengthened the sleeve too. I used a light interfacing for the collar and button band area. The pattern doesn’t call for any. I topstitched the collar and button band. I used French seams except for the armscye. I serged those because it is a lot faster and easier!
This rayon woven is from LA Finch fabrics from this past winter, I think. I swear I saw this same print on some different kind of fabric at Joanns a couple of months ago, but I’m not totally sure. It’s gorgeous fabric (and navy yet again!), but I’m wondering if it’s a little busy with the long sleeves. I might prefer them rolled up and I think a contrasting belt would help break it up.
I really do like it and I had a lot of fun making it. When I tried it on, I was pleased to find that it actually fit over my baby bump. That was reassuring because I know that it will fit over me postpartum! Maybe that’s why I thought it was busy? Draping a floral over a larger surface area just makes it look like it’s taking over? I don’t know! I am just looking forward to wearing this in a few weeks to baby’s baptism. Having new clothes and especially pretty, new pajamas post partum is such a boost for me…which reminds me…some online shopping might be in order! At a time when I’ve felt happy but definitely bedraggled, it’s the little things that are sometimes so nice 🙂
I just really couldn’t be bothered to take pictures of myself in the dress but I snapped a couple of another project I made mid summer since it was my outfit today. I made it for a bit of light shoulder coverage to go with this black maternity tank from Target. Bathroom selfie, toddler fingerprints on the mirror, and I just don’t care! The beautiful fabric is a cotton gauze from last year from LA Finch fabric with a cotton trim they included for free. They ended up working perfectly together. It’s a lengthened Simplicity 1318 kimono-thing in view A (and I squeezed it out of a yard of fabric).
I guess this concludes my somewhat catch-all of an update. I have a couple more projects to share and then it’s probably baby time and sewing won’t happen for awhile. I already feel my interest in sewing waning a bit in preparation for new things to come!