Happy Monday everyone! Today I thought I’d show you how the ol’ handmade wardrobe is translating into maternity clothing. I’m now about 5 months along, so the baby bump is definitely starting to cramp my style, wardrobe-wise. Some of my tops and pants are starting to go into storage because they’re too short or too tight. But I’ve found a few things that are working!!
I was a bit surprised to find that the two shorter skirts I made with elastic waists this year (this one and this one) still fit pretty nicely, mostly because they have elastic in the back half of the waistband so I can push them down to my hips. Normally I wear them at the waist, but I think they look cute this way too! The green maxi skirt, not so much. Oh well.
Ruby is working so far; I like to belt it up high and wear it with leggings and a sweater.
My aqua double-gauze Washi is comfortable and cute yet too!
The striped maxi dress I made this summer is great with a sweater and boots too. Hope I don’t stretch it out too much. Yikes!
And I think Josephine is actually really cute. I love this one so much! The rayon fabric is so comfortable. The belt clearly has to go way up above my waist, but that’s OK.
I haven’t added the usual bit of length to the front of anything yet; I think that I may eventually have to add the extra 1″-1.5″ length in front if I make any dedicated maternity clothing (I haven’t really yet). But if I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how it works out. I also want to try some of the maternity patterns that are out there — I know Megan Nielson has a bunch and Sew Liberated has a nice looking pair of skinny jeans that you can add a maternity panel to. Do you guys have any maternity pattern favorites to recommend?
Ever wonder what to do with all the scraps you accumulate when you sew all the time? Why not make a floor cushion? Using scraps makes them heavier and more substantial than if you fill them with stuffing or poly-fill. I always feel guilty throwing fabric away, but I’m not the sort of person who saves every little scrap for a future project. As much as I would love to use all those wonderful little scraps, I have to be realistic. Is it really going to happen? And if so, WHEN? Most of the scraps I produce (especially from garment fabrics, like knits and rayon) don’t really have any potential for reuse.
So I recently took a yard of velveteen (this one is from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study velveteens), some piping, and a whole bunch of scraps, and made this little floor cushion for the kids. They love it!
I should mention that the original concept for this cushion came from an adorable round floor cushion made by my friend Emily; which she made using a tutorial from Living With Punks (warning: copious amounts of pop-up ads at that link). That version also uses just a yard of fabric, and adds some cute handles on the side to boot!
Here’s a quick how-to for my (square) version:
- 1 yard of fabric, either 44″ or 54″ wide
- 4 yards of home decor piping (or make your own with a bag of 6/32″ piping, some 1.25″ wide bias strips, and my piping tutorial)
- Bag o’ scraps
Step 1: Take a yard of fabric and cut it into two 18″ squares for the top/bottom of the cushion, and two 12″ wide by 36″ tall strips for the sides. Note that the print of your fabric will run sideways if you use a one-directional print, so you might want to find a non-directional one.
This diagram above shows how you would cut a yard of fabric to get the pieces you need; the part with the red X is not used.
Step 2: Trim the corners of your squares (but NOT the side strips) so that they are curved. You might want to use a small juice glass to help you draw the curve first.
Step 3: Sew your piping around the edges of the top and bottom squares, keeping the edges of the piping even with the edge of the squares, sewing as close to the piping cord as you possibly can (a zipper foot and adjusting needle position to the left may help), and overlapping the ends of the piping when you get back to where you started. To overlap the ends, unpick the stitches in the piping and trim away the cord for the last inch or so on one end, so that you have a little piece of fabric to fold over the other end.
Step 4: DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Clip into the seam allowance of your piping around the corners of the squares.
Step 5: Sew the short ends of your two side strips together with a 3/8″ seam, leaving a 4-5″ hole in one side so you can stuff your cushion later. We’ll call this piece the “side loop” from here on out.
Step 6: Pin the top square to the side loop with right sides and raw edges together. It helps to pin the end seams at the corners first, then find the middle of the sides and pin those at the other two corners, then ease in the rest of the edges as you pin them together. Now sew the top and side loop together, with the top square facing up, so you can use the piping stitches as your guide (just sew right over them). Then repeat this for the bottom square and the other end of the side loop.
Step 7: Turn your cushion right side out (through the hole) and START STUFFIN BABY.
Here’s my bag o’ scraps. I keep one trash can in my sewing room for “fabric trash.” I almost have enough already for another cushion!!!
Step 8: Once your cushion is full, hand-stitch the opening shut with buttonhole or topstitching thread. Basically, a stronger thread will be more likely to hold up over time. You can also try doubling up machine thread, but make your stitches smaller so that your seam is extra strong.
Voila! Beautiful cushion!!!
I love the idea of having my favorite fabrics in a place where I can see them every day. I think a tablecloth is a great way to keep fabric visible so you can enjoy it! And because I basically just hemmed the edges of a large cut of fabric to make this one, I can always change my mind and turn it into something else later, right? I often hoard fabric, only to have it sit in stacks for years without being used (or really seen)…and that’s a little bit sad. Well not this time I say!!!
This arrow print by my friend Melody Miller is a favorite of mine (clearly, since I’ve used it now for this dress and this dress). I bought a couple extra yards for a tablecloth, since it has this amazing border that just seemed perfect for a tablecloth. The darker color means that stains won’t show up as quickly, and since the Kokka linen sheetings come in the wider widths (60″), it fits quite nicely across my 35″-wide IKEA dining room table. I measured my table and added about a half a yard for length on the ends, then just hemmed up the sides and ends.
Voila, easy tablecloth!!
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