Monday, 17 February 2014

Completed: Two seam tunic

Here is my second maternity make. This wasn't in my sewing plans, but Megan Nielsen posted the tutorial a couple of weeks ago. I was struggling with finishing my Anda, and as much as I prefer to finish one project before starting another, sometimes I find a quick, easy make rekindles my sewjo and gets me back on the horse. I also had 3 metres of this dark red jersey in my stash, pleading to be used, so this turned out to be a stashbusting project too!


I followed the tutorial to the letter, but opted to go for a straight hem, rather than Megan's cool hem line. Although I followed her measurement guidelines, my dress feels a lot less looser than Megan's looks. The neckline is also a lot lower than hers looks. I was a bit concerned it was too low. Normally I'm fairly comfortable with a bit of bra strap peeking out, in the right context, and providing it's a pretty bra (no grey from too many washes bras please!), but with the maternity and non-underwired bras I'm wearing currently, I feel really self-conscious about showing any bra whatsoever. Maybe it's the fact that the straps are so close together or that the cups come up so much further (I prefer a balcony style normally, which has fairly wide spaced straps - sorry if that's TMI), or maybe it's the fact that the straps themselves are about 2 inches wide. Either way, I want them kept well under wraps. Luckily, the fact that the dress is tighter than I expected means that the bodice is inclined to stay put and the neckline is just about as low as I'd feel comfortable going.

Just in case you were in any doubt about the size of my bump!
I was also concerned, once I put this together, that it was too lightweight for winter. The style naturally lends itself to wafting about in summer (a la Megan), but actually I've worn it twice now - once with thermal black opaques and once with leggings (as worn in these photos) and I think it looks fine. Looking at the above picture makes me realise that leggings might be the best option in future - as the bump grows the dress is going to become shorter!

Obviously, I actually have a face IRL!
It is remarkably comfortable. I wear it with an elasticated belt I did have to remove towards the end of the day (and during a one to one with one of my team, the day I wore it to work - but she didn't mind!), but otherwise it was comfortable. Without the belt, it's like wearing a nightdress - both in terms of comfort, but sadly also in terms of looks - so not really an option for being out and about. Having said that, a shorter t-shirt length would probably work well.

The whole thing took me an hour and a half to put together. And about 50% of that time was probably devoted to rethreading my overlocker. This is the part of the dress I am less keen on. I still only have black and white overlocker thread, so made this up using the black. It worked out fine until I pressed the seams, and now the black thread shows. I did consider adding some detailing to the front to hide this, but I have obviously cut slightly off grain, as the front seam is not 100% straight. It's not that noticeable as is but it would be more obvious if I highlighted it (obviously!). What is the answer to this? Should I be buying overlocker thread to match every project? Or at least the projects I intend to make in a knit, where I won't be using my sewing machine? I just feel this could end up being both costly and wasteful, as I'm not sure I would get that much use out of the rest of the 4 thread cones. I did ask Hazel about this in Mandors - she said she uses a stretch stitch on her sewing machine, then overlocks in black or white - but my sewing machine doesn't have a stretch stitch. I could zig zag it on my sewing machine but then am left wondering about the purpose of the overlocker. Since a knit fabric doesn't fray, why bother? What do you do?

Just in case you are under any illusions about how lovely and sunny and warm Scotland looks in February, let me prove otherwise. These photos were taken between rain showers, in about 5 mins of very low, very bright sun. Here is how I actually looked for the rest of the day:





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17 comments

  1. Its lovely! I love that colour on you. What fabulous maternity makes (its so lovely to see your bump grow!). I dont have much to say on overlockers as I still don't have one yet (am about to get one though, yay!) But I usually sew knits on my sewing machine with no probs as they dont fray. I only recently found the stretch stitch on my machine, but before that I just sewed the side seams up with a normal stitch (as no stretch is needed there) and used a zig zag along the hems. Its worked perfectly for me, and my clothes have been worn a lot!

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    1. Thanks Katy! I do love my overlocker - I'm just getting to grips with it and haven't sewn much jersey so far either.

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  2. Looks great on you, I can't advise re: overlocker as I've only just started sewing with knits. I guess you could Sew seam on your Sewing machine and then use the overlocker close to it just to add strength to the seam? Yey for another maternity make.

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    1. That's what I'm thinking Louise, but given jersey doesn't fray, I wondered if the overlocker was then needed, but I guess strength on the seam wouldn't go amiss! Thank you!

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  3. So cute! And it looks super comfy, too :)
    And I agree--that color looks fantastic on you.

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    1. Thanks Jenny! And yes, it is so comfy!

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  4. You're looking fabulous! I love your new dress & I'd say the neckline is very flattering. In terms of maternity bras I bought 2 Elle Macpherson maternity bras & found they had great support but were also more flattering than any other make I tried, they were pricey but are also nursing bras so do last a good while.

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    1. Thanks. That might be partly down to the fact i was on holiday and therefore relaxed and stress free! :) Thanks for the tip re the bras. I did find last time that I changed size after the birth, so didn't get any further use out of my pregnancy bras, but sometimes its worth paying a bit more just to feel better about yourself. I will take a look!

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  5. Great dress, and you look absolutely gorgeous!

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  6. Your dress looks great, gorgeous colour! I used to use a narrow, short zigzag stitch when I had a machine that didn't have the lightning bolt stretch stitch. A x

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    1. Thanks! Thinking about it, I do have a zigzag stitch that looks a bit like a lightening bolt... am I just being a bit dim here? x

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  7. it looks great! can't your machine do a zig zag? i always sew knit seams using a long narrow zig zag and then overlock. i have navy, white and a mid grey overlock thread (mid grey goes with just about anything!) and i bought small (Like the little ones in this pic http://www.jaycotts.co.uk/products/overlock-thread_moon) cones of red. must get some black actually!

    also did you see the debbie brooke my dress pattern that sew charleston blogged about today? really cute for maternity!

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    1. Hmmm, yes it can do a zigzag and I'm wondering if i've just been a bit daft. Thanks for the link. I have heard of moon thread but haven't found it for sale locally. And the tip for mid grey is a good one. I find I use an off white (for sewing machine) on a lot of stuff, rather than pure white, so that might be another one to invest in.

      Haven't seen that dress, I will take a look!

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  8. Just gorgeous! You're making pregnancy look fabulous!
    I've just started buying matching thread for my overlocker, rather than black/white/navy/cream, but usually go down to a three-thread serge - one less spool needed ;) And apart from those colours, I'll only buy 100m spools. It galled at first, I admit, but then I figured the end satisfaction in the finish outweighed the extra $6 or so outlay! And there's always the french seam option...

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    1. Thank you! *blushes*.
      I haven't explored the different stitch options yet, but going down one spool is a good suggestion. It's not just the cost - its the storage space of all those spools too, but I will look into shorter lengths of cheaper thread. As long as it's still strong enough (for seam construction on jersey, anyway - obviously I am less bothered about strength on just finishing seam allowances on a woven). Thanks! x

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  9. This piece of advice might come in way too late, but I've come across your post because I was looking for maternity inspiration. I used to buy 4 spools of overlock thread in each colour until it occured to me that you only need to match the colour on the left needle. Since that's the only thread visible on the outside, and you can just use a normal spool of thread for that!

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