Thursday, 24 May 2012

How to make a maternity skirt for about a fiver

Going to brave the photo formatting once again and see if I can get a comprehensible 'How To' out before insanity strikes.

I managed to make a couple of skirts with belly bands attached, for pennies, thanks to various US blogs, so thought I'd put up my version of events. 

Really wanted a denim skirt for the spring/summer, seeing as jeans don't fit at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. 

First thing to look for- make sure the skirt is widest to go around your widest part, wherever that happens to be now, and that it will still be long enough if cut under your bump at this point.

So here it is: yes it IS very large and saggy.

Here's the point where the belly band is going to be attached:
The belly band.  I got a nice piece of jersey, as time was against, me, but it would be even cheaper and easier to get an old T-shirt the same width as you want the band, so you'd just have to slice it up, with no measuring, cutting out and no side seams.

The blogs I followed said to use the measurements from an existing garment with belly band, which meant no guesswork and no wondering which bits to measure.  I made mine a tiny bit larger for ease with one piece of jersey twice the height needed, plus hem, and joined at the side to make a tube.  I used the softest waistband elastic I could find, which turned out to be buttonholing, made a circle large enough to stretch over the bump, but small enough to sit comfortably above or below, without cutting or falling down:

Next job is attaching all the bits: fold the jersey over, pin the elastic up into the fold and stitch with a stretchy stitch

Then, using the new pins you used this as an excuse to buy

Pin and sew band to skirt and neaten seam, again using a stretch stitch and stretching the band slightly to fit snugly,
taking care not to stitch over any pins,
and that's it! I think the whole thing took under half an hour. The skirt's been transformed from a big long droopy thing, to a just below the knee full skirt that has proved essential for weekends and 'smarter' slobbing around at home.

Only thing I'd change now is that as the bump has got bigger, the band wants to sit below it, which means if I'm not wearing the right top, letting it all hang out, which is not my thing, or ride up above it, which is fine unless there's anyone else or a mirror around, as what this does is put all the fullness of the skirt around my widest point and it's the lampshade effect all over again.  

A longer band would have corrected this, but how was I to know- and it's certainly not information I will be able to use again in future.  Ever.

You could also just make a taller belly band and use it to fill the gap between tops riding up and bottoms riding down, for a fraction of what they cost to buy, just neatening up the bottom, rather than attaching it to a skirt. Again, too late now, possibly.  Well, by the time I got round to doing it, it certainly would be. 

Next stop is to finish Rich's shirt that seemed like a really good idea at the time....

Finally- I kept the cut off part of the skirt- why???

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

This is as good as it's going to get

This pattern called to me and wanted me to make something I could be proud of, as well as something I won't have the chance to make/wear again. Ever.

After realising that trying to churn out a top each weekend was conflicting with my other plan of sleeping at every opportunity, I spent the last 3 weekends before going on leave trying to make this look as good as I could.

1950s Pattern bought from the States via eBay

1950s repro fabric bought from the V&A museum shop online for a song.

However, the stripes were horizontal, so much calculating needed before buying, then each section had to be cut out and turned round.

Which is when I noticed the stripes STARTED out straight, but had progressively banana-ed out to the right hand selvedge: so more cutting and trying to match straight stripes where it mattered and bendy ones where it didn't.

And keep the flowers the right way round. And not swear.

Nearly lost one of the pattern pieces.

Nice to see I'm not the only one with a taste for vintage.

One nice thing was that the stripes in the pleats at the back actually matched up to the pattern, so they look ok without any special effort from me. So here, after much struggling with Blogger formatting, is the finished article:

And finally, official bump photo of April 2012

Yes, I do look rather horrified about something, don't I?