Lacking my model, I was trying to figure out the best way to show off the maternity pieces I’m making for my friend. In the end I ended dressing Tina (Man, one of these days I need a new dress form–Tina seriously does not reflect me at all–I’m not sure what happened) and wadding up bits of knit fabric scraps into roundishness under the tunic. I couldn’t help think of this moment in my life when I was about 18 months old and my Mom was quite pregnant with my brother.
As promised, this is the first of three of the maternity pieces I’m making for my friend. I love the green and teal dots on the mocha background. The pattern is Butterick 5196. I used it for a top when I was pregnant and I loved how simple it is and how flattering it ends up being. V admired mine so when we were talking about me making her some clothes, she remembered this pattern.
What I learned:
1. I love my walking foot! Encouraged by the use of my walking foot on my jacket, I thought I’d pull out the old screwdriver and take it for a whirl with knits. I will gladly do this every time I’m sewing knits now. The extra power and extra wide presser foot made for nice even stitches even without wooly nylon in the bobbin, no waviness in the hems, and I even got away with using a jersey ballpoint needle instead of the stretch needles my machine typically prefers.
2. Mark your hems before you sew. I’ve been doing this for a while, but I haven’t written about it before, but was compelled to after reading this fantastic article. I set my machine to a basting stitch and lower the tension and stitch along the hemline. This top was easy because it used 5/8″ hem on every part, but for wider hems, I mark first with chalk and then stitch on that line. The line of thread makes it easy to fold over the hem and press. When you’re finished topstitching, you can pull out the basting thread.
3. Big patterns look weird unmatched. I might have thought of this when we were buying fabric, but not seriously. The seams and the pattern intersect oddly because I had JUST ENOUGH fabric to cover the layout. Even though it’s a polka dot, they’re big enough that it’s obvious that the pattern doesn’t match…not as obvious as an unmatched plaid, but still noticeable. It’s not a dealbrearker, but something to consider next go ’round.
On to the two dresses! Cutting everything out in one go is saving me buckets of time. I think I just might finish both dresses by Monday when we’re celebrating her birthday.