It’s The Monthly Stitch‘s first birthday this month. Yay! And to celebrate, the theme is all about sewing cake. (Whatever you feel like translating that as.)
My first plans involved some gorgeous lemon yellow lightweight cotton with cupcakes and slices of cake printed all over it.
Then sanity reared it’s ugly head and I realised just how utterly ridiculous a yellow cupcake-covered dress would look on me when I’m seven months pregnant. Yeah, nah.
Back to the drawing board.
My next idea was the Pavlova wrap top from Cake. I even went so far as to get the pattern and have it sitting on my sewing desk/disaster area for a couple of weeks. But I just couldn’t bring myself to progress further with it. It finally dawned on me that that’s because I have no need whatsoever for another wrap top in my wardrobe, and if I did, I’d go with my T&T Papercut Coppelia pattern. (Which doesn’t really fit the ‘cake’ theme at all.)
Thinking, thinking, and then it hit me – one thing I’m finding quite frustrating in my bump-friendly wardrobe right now is tops to wear with maternity jeans. I have some that people have passed on to me, but the majority just aren’t my style. Simple tshirts – that’s pretty definite ‘cake’ territory if you’re going with the ‘sewing frosting vs. sewing cake’ metaphor. Perfect!
Seemed like a good time to dig out the Dixie DIY Summer Concert tee that I got when I purchased the first Pattern Parcel. Loose and drapey, there’s plenty of room there for bump-accommodation.
And hey, since I was sewing ‘cake‘ I figured, may as well go for ‘ultimate cake’ and make a plain black tee, right?!
It was my first time using this pattern, but after having seen made-up ones on some other blogs, I knew it goes pretty high in the front (like, belly-button-baring high!). Which would be too high for my style anyway, but over a bump as well that just wasn’t going to work. So I lengthened it by 11cm in the centre front, 1cm in the centre back, and changed the curve of the edge to go with those adjustments.
The pattern went together nice and smoothly, for the main part. I like how the sleeves are done, with the drop shoulder and then a simple band added. (Although it could have used a notch or similar to make it clearer which side gets attached to the body.) Once I had it all cut out, this top only took me an hour to make – win!
However, it had the potential to only take 40 minutes.
What added 20 minutes to my time? Well, the usual technical stuff, such as one of the spools of overlocker/serger thread running out (for a looper, naturally, when meant a complete re-threading of both loopers), and my double needle not co-operating at all (probably due to having two types of black thread, one slightly thicker than the other. Lesson learnt. Also, I need to buy more black thread.)
But the other thing? That neck binding. It uses the common technique of sewing up the short edges, folding in half, then attaching to the neckline before top stitching down. Easy enough to do. Unless the neck binding is super short compared to the neckline, in which case there’s a heck of a lot of stretching it as much as you can and using heaps and heaps!) of pins, while hoping it doesn’t bunch too much while being stitched up.
I got curious after making this up, and measured the neck binding pattern piece and the neckline to see how much difference there actually is between them. After removing seam allowances from the equation, the neck binding piece measures 43cm long. The neckline – 58cm long. Yep, that neck binding had to stretch by 15cm to fit around the neckline. Which is just over 1/3 again of it’s original length. Unless you’re using a super-stretchy fabric, that’s gonna be a bit of a battle, and I was just using a simple cotton knit tshirting.
After a heck of a lot of pulling and tugging and pinning, I finally got the dratted thing attached. (Although I wish I’d just given in and gone and recut it to be longer – it would have had a cleaner finish that way, too.)
So there we have it – the Summer Concert tee, in black. Yep, it fits well over the bump, and should do so for the next couple of months as it continues to grow (and grow. And groooowwwwww…. Eek!). It’s kinda funny, because most maternity things these days are super tight, and this in contrast is pretty loose (hence super comfy over the bump – yay!), but I think it kinda works (hopefully??) over skinny-leg maternity jeans (does it??).
(Plus this is the bump-size at 31 weeks. 9 weeks of growing left to do. Yeah, space is required in preggy tops right now, eek!)
Cake maternity sewing, at it’s finest?
(Side note: I’ll probably put the shaping of the high-low hem back into this a bit (although not to the same extent as the original pattern) once I don’t need it for maternity wear.)
Oh yeah, and part-way through the photos, I realised that the merino top I was wearing underneath (coz hey, still pretty darn cold down in these parts) matched my hair colour. See?
May not be the sort of matchy-matchy that our grandmothers did so well, but I kinda match some things, sometimes! ;-)