Opian Herens Bathrobe

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

I began this project while I was still pregnant with the grand idea of making a comfy robe for labor and delivery. I had assembled most of it, with only the bias trim remaining, and the night before I went into labor I thought “hmm, I should work on that robe.” But then I thought, “nah, if I’m in early labor I can still sew in between contractions. But then this baby decided she had had enough cooking and wanted out NOW. So there was none of this “early labor” time to be had and we went to the hospital sans-robe.

It took me a few weeks since coming home to finish it – and a few more weeks to take pictures but it is complete! Although sadly, I’m not too happy with it…

I liked the design of the Opian Herens bathrobe pattern and thought it would work well in a hospital setting with its wide bell sleeves (easy access for an IV if necessary) and pockets are always nice to have.

My apologies because this is not a very good review. Not that the pattern is bad but at this point, I don’t remember much about sewing this bathrobe and I made some poor choices while sewing it.

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

My first poor choice – these two fabrics are the same rayon (blend?) French terry that I think came from La Mercerie (???). I don’t know, and I can’t find it on their website anymore which is a shame because it’s great fabric – just not for this pattern.

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

The fabric is too thin and light, and too stretchy to stay in place even with the belt. But that’s the problem with buying fabric online sight unseen and hoping it will work, right? This pattern would work well in a thicker, heavier knit or alternatively, a woven rayon.

The fabric also warped way too much when attaching the binding – even while using a walking foot and adjusting my presser foot pressure.

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

Second poor choice – my method of attaching the binding. I won’t go into much detail but I envisioned a cool, raw edge finish with the binding but that idea didn’t pan out.

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

The only problem I found with the pattern itself was some of the measurements seemed… off? This might be an issue with the translation from French to English, but the yardage requirements seemed way too short. Also, the instructions gave sizes for finished bias width, but not how wide to cut the actual bias strips. Including that detail would have been helpful.

Some of the translated language reads awkwardly for a native English speaker, but I could still understand what the instructions were trying to say.

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

I made two changes to accommodate my pregnancy bump: I cut the front pieces a couple of inches wider and I lengthened the entire robe by about 4 inches. Now that I’m no longer pregnant, the robe hangs slightly longer in the front than the back.

Even though this isn’t my best work, it’s a comfy robe and I still like the shape of the sleeves and the shoulder pleats. Will I make this pattern again? Not likely, but if I did I’d try it in a fine silk to make it extra luxurious.

Opian Heren's Bathrobe

Viscose Linen Sway Dress

Viscose Linen Sway Dress

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

If I look tired in these photos – it’s because I am. But I have a good excuse. This cute little lady joined us recently. She’s super cute and we’re glad she’s finally here.

On to the dress – I sewed the Papercut Patterns’ Sway Dress because I thought it would work well for maternity. The tent shape + adjustable waist tie work well for a growing belly. Since it isn’t technically a maternity pattern, I can wear it now, too!

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

I used Blackbird Fabric’s viscose linen noil which has a great texture and drape.Papercut Patterns Sway DressThis is my second time sewing the Sway Dress. My first dress had a few issues (mainly with the fabric choice) so I never blogged it.Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

In my first version, I sewed the dress with the included all-in-one facing. I like all-in-one facings but my fabric showed the lines of the facing and it just looked sloppy from the outside. For this go-round I switched to bias facings that I hand blind-stitched – although I admit, the finished product isn’t very “blind.” You can see how the stitches pucker a little bit against the textured fabric. It’s not a big enough problem for me to want to fix.Papercut Patterns Sway DressI sewed this dress while pregnant with the intention of still wearing it post-pregnancy, so I hemmed it on a dress form instead of my body. Even now, however, it still has a slight hi-lo effect from the front to back. Again, not a big enough issue to warrant resewing the hem.

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

I think my belt tie is shorter than the pattern piece calls for. Can’t exactly remember why but I’m guessing it has something to do with the width of the fabric and not buying enough of it. Typical problem I have…

Technically this dress can be worn in either direction. It has a round neck on one side and a subtle V shape on the other. That means the armholes are the same front and back. Side seam pockets are nice to have.Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

I’m working on finishing a couple projects but since I moved last month, my new sewing room is still a mess – and I don’t even have a sewing chair to sit on right now either! So sewing has been put on the back burner. I think I’m just going to focus on other important things for now…

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

This is a maternity-modified Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress. And how lucky, because Chalk and Notch recently released an updated version of the pattern just in time for me to use it!

This is my second Fringe Dress, and while I can still fit into that dress right now, I’ll probably run out of room soon. I wanted to make another version that could carry me through the next few months and even after pregnancy.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

The linen fabric is from Joann. White thread runs one direction and the colored thread, the opposite, so it creates a subdued rainbow effect. I had to buy extra fabric to accommodate my pattern changes and the alternating stripe direction. Plastic buttons came from my stash.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

This time around I decided to try View A with the front buttons (nursing friendly? we’ll see…). I knew I’d need to make a few changes to the pattern. I cut one size larger than last time but even with my maternity body changes, I still only needed to make the A/B cup size. It’s actually kind of roomy in the bust right now, but that’ll change over time, too.

I also lengthened the skirt significantly. I liked the curved, dress-shirt hem style but some of my dresses lately have been getting a little too short in the front. My first Fringe has a similar problem, except it’s the sides that are inching upwards as I grow. So I made this dress midi-length to combat that issue. I’ll probably re-hem it post-partum but it’s good for now.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe DressMaternity Pattern Adjustments I made:

  • Shortened the bodice at front and back waist by 1″
  • Widened the front skirt by about 6″ (the extra fabric gets gathered up but gives more room in front, I didn’t add extra width in the back)
  • Lengthened the skirt pieces by about 5″ (1″ added to offset the loss of length in the bodice, the rest to make the skirt longer to accommodate a growing belly without the skirt becoming too short) and adjusted the pocket placement down an inch to account for the shorter waistline.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

As for the pattern itself. Since I’d made it before it was a quick sew. Instructions are straightforward and easy to follow and I like the details like reinforced pocket seams for better structure.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

In my eagerness to sew this dress I forgot to add the ties in the dart seams as the pattern calls for. Instead, I had to add them to the side seams, which works just as well. I like the option of ties because it allows some shaping without being too tight around the ribs.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Another unexpected change I had to make was to the sleeves. In the pattern for View A, the sleeves are rectangles folded in half and stitched to the armholes. The sleeve tab then scrunches them up. This would look lovely in a drapey rayon but in two layers of my stiff-ish linen, it just looked like a bulky mess. I trimmed the length of the sleeve significantly. Now it looks more like the cuff on View B but I kept the cute sleeve tab.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I made this dress for a party and I love the summery, colorful stripes. The linen will be great for hot weather. Plus, I feel like I can get away with wearing extra bright colors and bold prints ’cause I’m pregnant. Like I have a certain freedom in my wardrobe because I don’t need to dress like an adult or in clothes that “flatter” me. I can just wear whatever I want, who cares? And I finally feel like I “look” undeniably pregnant, at least in most outfits.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Obligatory bump-holding photo. I’m 29 weeks now. Only a couple months left to go!

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Thanks for all the love on Instagram¬†and in my last post! More maternity sewing for today. This is the only specifically maternity piece I’ve made so far.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

It’s the Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress (view B). This is the maternity version of their regular pattern.

I figured a simple bump-hugging, knit, tank dress would be a good basic to get me through a few months.

Givre line drawing

The fabric is a nice, thick scuba knit from La Mercerie. I liked the big, bold floral print. My only complaint (and this might not be something I’d notice if I wasn’t pregnant) is that the fabric is already starting to pill on my bump. Maybe I’ve been bumping into things and scraping that area of the dress? But I haven’t worn this dress more than a couple of times. Seems early to be getting damaged.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

I twin-needled all the visible seems for a nice, clean finish.

The only change I made – I lowered the armholes by about 5/8″. Next time I might go ahead and lower them a full inch. Deer and Doe is a French pattern company. Maybe French ladies have really petite arm sockets? I don’t know.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Next time around I’ll definitely need to sew a sway back adjustment. See what looks like a horizontal seamline across my back waist? Yeah, that’s not a seam. It’s a deep fold in the fabric where there’s too much excess.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Other than that, I like the pattern. It’s simple, easy and quick to sew. And this fabric was a dream to work with!

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

The pattern comes in two “bump” sizes – 3-6 months and 6-9 month. I made the 3-6 months. I’m in my 6th month but there’s still enough room to grow in this dress.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

For a dress that is specifically “maternity,” I’m glad it can be worn so many ways. I can pair this dress with jackets and sweaters, or wear a t-shirt or button-down tied in a knot on top of it. So far I’ve been able to get by wearing mostly clothes that were already in my closet. And with the weather warmer, I’m hoping I can coast through the next three months wearing only dresses or the occasional leggings.