mini kitty briar + virginia leggings

there’s a new player in the kid clothes pattern game, and i’m very excited that she asked me to help get the word out!  it’s Megan Nielsen – a previously adult-ladies-only designer who is known for her darling ranges dress, her briar tee, and her fantastic maternity patterns.  but this week, she released three patterns for children, and i get to show you my take on two of them today!

or rather, my little rock star does…

mini kitty briar + virginia leggings

this is E at her coolest.  she just can’t help it when she puts this outfit on, she immediately grabs a mic and starts singing/posing.  she and O even have a band name – “The Rockin’ Beatles” – and they’ve composed some original tunes.  🙂   Continue reading

postpartum pencil skirt

the annual fundraising auction for Em’s school was a week and a half after C was born.  we hadn’t planned on going because it was just days from my due date, but they offered up a bunch of much-needed volunteer hours just for attending and since C arrived a bit early, we decided that i could snuggle him in the moby wrap (affiliate link) and he’d sleep the whole time.  we figured we could just bolt outta there if things got to be too much for me or the little guy.  this is the sort of potentially delusional confidence you get when it’s kid #3 i guess.

i THOUGHT i had a dress that would fit and look halfway decent on my newly postpartum figure while also allowing me to still nurse C if the need arose, but i did not.  nope.  not at all.  so of course – i sewed something!

gray knit pencil skirt

this is the outfit i wore that night, though the photo was taken over a month after the actual event.  my belly still looked about 4 months pregnant the night of, oh so cleverly hidden by the wrap/baby/flowy shirt combo.  oh and i wore flats for comfort/safety that night but in the photos i’m wearing heels because they look better.  ha! the immediate postpartum period is a very hormonal and delicate time – you’re not pregnant but still look like it and it can lead to a lot of self-consciousness, ya know?

gray knit pencil skirt

the pattern is megan nielsen’s awesome ruched maternity pencil skirt.  this time i made a medium, and i once again skipped the ruching.  i put my striped maternity version on, then folded the top down to where i wanted it to hit my not-pregnant-anymore waist (eliminating the belly panel and high back).  i marked the desired waistband with pins, then carefully took it off and laid it over the pattern to determine how much to chop off the top, while still leaving room for the elastic and seam allowance.  then i just constructed as usual, which takes no time at all.  i think i made it in about an hour the day of the auction while my husband held the sleeping baby.

gray knit pencil skirt

the fabric is a midweight super soft gray pinstripe knit from Hancock Fabrics that I got in California last fall while visiting Jess (we both got some – she blogged about hers here with better lighting!).  the forgiveness of the knit made up for my slapdash pattern alteration, i stayed super comfortable, and felt as cute as i possibly could’ve that soon after having a baby while still giving me the function i needed.

gray knit pencil skirt

thank god i how to sew.  this quick and easy project saved me some major “GAH MY BODY IS WEIRD AND NOTHING WILL WORK – THAT’S IT WE’RE STAYING HOME!” hormonal tears for sure.  and seriously – knit pencil skirts are so cute and SO comfy.  i wore that maternity one way more than i expected i would and always felt great, even at 30+ weeks.

i sewed this skirt out of necessity weeks ago, but recently i’ve really been feeling the urge to sew more for myself again as i’m starting to look and feel a bit more normal.  why does this always happen to me right before kid’s clothes week??

striped maternity pencil skirt

sometimes the quickest, easiest sewing projects are the most satisfying, ya know?

take, for example, this skirt.

striped maternity pencil skirt

two pieces to cut out, sew together, hem, and thread elastic through at the top.

striped maternity pencil skirt

the parts that took longest were threading my double needle and matching the stripes on the sides (which shifted on me a bit anyway, meh).  it was a “one naptime” sew, AWESOME for adult clothes!

striped maternity pencil skirt

this little pencil skirt is now one of my favorite things i’ve sewn for myself.  it’s super comfy, actually fun to walk in, and a great piece to make me feel “prettier” during pregnancy, when sometimes it’s easy to feel like i’m losing that a little each week.

the fabric is a ponte knit from fabric depot, which you can find online here.  the pattern is megan nielsen’s ruched maternity skirt (which i didn’t ruche…didn’t seem to need it).  it was a gift from a friend but now appears to be sold out everywhere online available as a PDF!  yay!

striped maternity pencil skirt

the cut of the pattern is so cool – the shapes look kinda crazy on paper (definitely NOT rectangles) but it makes the skirt hug the right spots and stay straight at others, and the belly coverage doesn’t make me feel claustrophobic like maternity panels usually do.  i just wish i had more occasions to wear this skirt, but i’m thinking with the holiday events coming up, it won’t be a problem.

i made a large even though i measured somewhere between small and medium, because i’d seen a few versions that looked a bit tight for my taste. i wanted it to feel relaxed enough to remain comfortable, which it totally is…plus i get a pretty big belly and need it to last (i was 22 weeks in these photos, taken a couple weeks ago by my husband).

striped maternity pencil skirt

i gain confidence with every new thing i successfully make for myself…and it’s addictive!  i want to keep it up.  it might be that maternity sewing is more like kid sewing – sort of temporary since i’m “still growing” and i feel more free to mess around, maybe?  🙂