Don’t look too close at this dress

A couple weeks ago I kind of panicked when I realized I had done just about NOTHING to get ready for our baby (expected any day now, for those just joining). This resulted in a frenzy of painting, furniture moving (don’t worry, it wasn’t me), suitcase packing, birthing-book reading and inevitable new-baby-item purchasing.

That has slowed considerably over the last week or so and I finally feel ready. Problem is, now I’m waiting, not a great situation for someone who’s used to always having a bajillion things to do. So with all this newfound baby-waiting time, I’ve become a machine, I tell you, a machine. I’ve been pumping out sewing projects left and right; changing pad covers, curtains for the nursery, baby outfits, baby hats, a shirt for Elliot…and yesterday, I got really gutsy. I sewed something for my post-baby body:

This stretch jersey dress is a lengthened variation of Simplicity 3893 (which I think only comes in plus-sizes…luckily the smallest size (10) works fine for me) which is probably one of my favorite knit patterns. It’s quick and simple (if you ignore stuff like the trimming and the center back seam…durr?).

I used knit fabric obtained at Fields in Holland, Michigan but recently Alexis posted an online spot for knits (Hart’s) that I’d never seen that looks worth checking out. Sewzanne’s is a good knit spot too, but I always link to them so I’d love to hear other good apparel knit sources.

Now there’s a reason you aren’t getting a closeup of this dress. I’m starting to realize that most of my serger/knit projects don’t look so great when the lens is zoomed in. They look very…homemade. The stitching isn’t even, the edges ripple unevenly when I try to roll-hem, and so on.

I originally wanted to do some oh-so-trendy shirring on the sleeves and neckline, but after trying some tutorials out with both a Bernina and a Singer, I got so frustrated I almost went into labor (hmmm, should have kept trying???). I spent a whole afternoon trying to master this and I’ve finally just had it. Am I seriously going to just have to wait until the shirring trend disappears? I just know all of you Problem Solvers out there are going to try and help me out with this, and I SO appreciate the links and tutorials, but right now I just really want to wallow. But go ahead if you must…

One final thing: I wanted to post about how much I love my dress form. It’s called Uniquely You, and it’s made out of foam (really scary and Mae-West-like when it arrives in the box) that you put a cover over that you’ve tailored to your own dimensions. Now the tailoring is pretty tricky (it took me two evenings and Mr Rae’s assistance), but once you have the cover to your size, you zip it on over the foam and you have this great form that you can pin into. Just wanted to put that out there for those of you searching for a good dress form…I love mine, but do be a sport and read some reviews before you purchase; it’s definitely a project and I don’t want anyone getting frustrated. An added plus: on days I feel too preggers and whale-like, I can just go in the sewing room and take a look at Mia, and remember that yes, someday, my body will be somewhat normal looking again (and if not, you can re-tailor the cover).

20 thoughts on “Don’t look too close at this dress

  1. I love that fabric. It may not be perfect up close, but it looks good from here, and it looks like it will be perfect post-baby.

    Good luck!

  2. I took a trip to Grand Rapids about a month ago and fell in L.O.V.E with the Field's there. I had never been before, and now I'm begging to go back every weekend. It's about a three hour drive from downtown Detroit, so I'm stocking up my ideas for a long weekend away when I can buy up fabric for all my wannabe projects!

  3. Love the dress. Why are we women always so self critical? I bet t looks fine. And I've downloaded your Ittybitty dress to make for my granddaughter.

    Cal x

  4. I love that dress! Very cute. I'd be willing to bet folks won't notice any imperfections in person.

    Thanks for the tip on the dress form.

  5. In a month or two, you'll be SO happy to have something new, bright, and well-fitting! It looks adorable πŸ™‚ I hope these last few weeks are great!

  6. sounds like you are nesting…a true sign the baby is coming soon goood luck with delivery. dress is very nice

  7. That looks like a really awesome post-baby dress. Good job! I would love to be more brave and make things to wear. OR just make things that are useful at all.

  8. I have 9 days to go until due date and am waiting around too,just want to have her and be done with the waiting. I have been doing lots of projects also:)

  9. The dress looks great and comfy too! Strange it is, that we are so critical when it comes to our own sewing, much more than when it comes to bought clothing. Did you ever take a look at those? But I know how it is, I'm just the same πŸ™‚

    Good luck in these last few days/weeks!

  10. It looks great from here! I'm afraid of knits! I'm think I've going to delve in with some repurposed pants or something simple.

  11. That dress is fab – if you decide you don't like it you can send it my way πŸ™‚ You are awesome!!

  12. Have been thinking of you this week and whether the baby had arrived! This turned out cute & looks very comfy. Don't be too critical on your stitching – half the time stuff you can buy has wonky, uneven serging!

    The Fabric Fairy is my go-to source for cute knits and not having a serger, I've had pretty good luck with straight stitching rolled hems on my knits as well as using binding to keep from getting frustrated.

  13. I love shopping clearance Jersey sheets. I can find them super-cheap and in fun, cute patterns at Target. Hope baby comes soon (for your sake!)

  14. Love the dress! Love the links. And LOVE the info on the dressform! I am in the market in fact. I'm thinking Christmas time…
    Can't wait to meet the little babe!

  15. Some of my less expensive shirred stuff from Target, Old Navy etc just uses that clear stretchy plastic stuff on the inside that's sewn liek elastic tape. Do you know what I'm talking about? I've never actually looked for it in any supply shops… It's paper-thin rubbery plasticy tape. And I think you just stretch and pin it like elastic and it'll cinch all up and look shirred on the outside. An easy cheat. Good luck!

  16. dress is so cute … also love the comments about the dress form, esp since elliot calls this "scary boobs"

  17. I totally love your blog. You post such lovely handmade things and great tutorials! I've had you bookmarked for quite some time now and I was struck today by your mention of Field's Fabrics in Holland Michigan. That is my local fabric store! Could it be that I might run into you someday there? Small world! πŸ™‚

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