Maternity Sewing, Sewing plans

Wardrobe basics: More Briars!

It no secret that I love the Briar Top.  I waxed poetic about my first one, and have been meaning to make another one (or two) ever since.  Well, then I got pregnant and yada, yada, yada.  Anyway, I finally finished those planned two this past weekend!

Creative Counselor: Two more Briars
Two more Briars, one cropped, one full length. Such a great wardrobe basic!

One of the things I love about Briar is that it’s such a fast sew.  I’ve had the fabric for these two tops cut for several weeks, but I got caught up in testing a few new patterns (still unblogged — bad, bad, bad!), and hadn’t gotten around to sewing them together.  I finished my first cropped version on Friday night, and then put the mauve one together during 2 naptimes while J was being cooperative and sitting quietly in my sewing room with me.

Creative Counselor: Two more Briars
More Briars — this is definitely a fave pattern for me.

The mauve Briar is the basic full-length t-shirt with short sleeves and the optional square patch pocket.  I realized during Me-Made May this year that my handmade wardrobe is seriously lacking in basics, so part of my goal with these tops was to add a couple of basic items.  Therefore, I purposely kept it simple.

Creative Counselor: Basic Briar
A basic Briar top.

The fabric is Mira Mauve Pink Cotton Jersey from Girl Charlee.  It was a little bit of a pain to work with because it is very lightweight (almost translucent) and the edges tended to roll.  But the finished top is really pretty and soft, so I’m not complaining.

For the oatmeal-colored Briar, I went with the cropped length and added a few more details.  The faux leather shoulder patches and patch pocket kind of kick it up a notch, particularly since the color would be rather blah otherwise.  The fabric is also from Girl Charlee, an oatmeal striped slub sweater knit, but I think they’re currently sold out.  It’s also nice and soft and relatively lightweight, even though it is sweater knit.

Creative Counselor: Basic Briars
Oatmeal Briar details

The cropped Briar sits right over my belly, which makes it perfect for maternity layering.  And the Briar pattern is nice and loose and flowy, so even the full-length one still fits, so long as I have a tank underneath it.  And the best part is that these basic tops will take me through pregnancy and then into the postpartum and nursing phase (with a nursing cami underneath of course)!

I am now 26 1/2 weeks into this pregnancy, meaning I have right around 3 months, to go. That means that, with one exception, I do not plan to make any more maternity-specific clothing.  At least nothing that will be unwearable for me after this baby is born.  At this point, I don’t feel the urge to put much effort into garments that will get, at most, 13 weeks of wear.

As much as I loved my Ruched Maternity T-shirt and Ruched Maternity Skirt, I do not plan on making any more.  I’m actually thinking about selling the patterns since I don’t plan on using them again.  I briefly considered that I might want them someday to make some maternity items for pregnant friends or family members, but then I remembered that I generally avoid sewing for other people (other than my immediate family), so the chances of that happening are quite slim.

I am officially switching to postpartum and nursing sewing!  I do have some nursing clothes from my prior breastfeeding days, but not too many.  Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of most RTW nursing tops and dresses.  I generally find them to be overpriced or just plain ugly (or both).

Still, I will need them, and I would like to have a collection of comfortable yet somewhat stylish clothes to wear while I am home on maternity leave in the fall.  As opposed to yoga pants and stretched out V-neck t-shirts, which is what my current options would be!

Here are some of my ideas:

Crossover and wrap tops.

  1. Crossover Wrap Top tutorial from Beth Being Crafty.  This looks like a really comfy and cute top and would be perfect layered over a nursing cami.
  2. Megan Nielsen Wrapped Maternity Top.  This is intended for maternity, but I can make it appropriate for postpartum and nursing simply by shortening the crazy-long sashes.

Deep V-neck tops and dresses.

  1. Megan Nielsen Pina Dress (maybe even as a maxi dress like this one).  I have the blue version of the fabric I used for my full-length Briar all set aside for this dress.  It’s going to be awesome.
  2. Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns.  Tiramisu has gotten universally rave reviews from the sewing community, and the faux wrap bodice would make it great for nursing.
  3. Megan Nielsen Perfect Nursing Top.  Honestly, I’m not totally in love with the style of this top, but I can’t deny the functionality.

Button down tops and dresses.

  1. Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tank with an added front button placket.  I have all of the patterns in the Breakwater collection and I’m dying to try them out, even if I do have to tweak them to fit my current circumstances.
  2. Grainline Scout Tee, also with an added front button placket.  This is such a flattering woven tee.  I’m sure a placket would work fine.
  3. Grainline Archer Shirt.  The PDF file is a beast, but I love the styling of it.
  4. Megan Nielsen Banksia Top.  This top is drafted with a partial button placket, so I can’t imagine that turning it into a full placket would be too incredibly complicated.
  5. Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges.  I already have two, but you can’t have too many Darling Ranges!  I will probably use the Washi bodice for the bust dart.  I heart the Washi Dress bust dart.
  6. Maybe the new Colette pattern releasing June 18?  There’s a rumor it will be a shirtdress — fingers crossed!

Comfy pants

As anyone who has ever given birth knows, you don’t have a baby and then poof! baby belly goes away.  No, you still look 3-4 months pregnant for a while after baby is born while the uterus shrinks from the size of a beach bag back to the size of your fist.  Follow that with the weeks and months to lose the baby weight and get back to something ressembling pre-baby condition, and fitted pants will NOT be my friend for awhile after having this baby!

  1. Sewaholic Tofino pants.  I wasn’t planning to buy this pattern when it first came out.  Frankly, I first looked at it and thought, “Pajama pants?  Seriously?”  But, as I was sitting down to plan a postpartum wardrobe, I looked at Tofino again, and said to myself, “Pajama pants! Seriously!” So, I ordered the pattern and fully plan to make myself a couple pairs of comfy pajama pants or shorts that hopefully don’t scream pajama pants to wear while I’m at home on maternity leave.  They’ll also be nice to have in my hospital bag so that I can get out of those awful gowns!
  2. Sew Liberated Simple Skinny Jeans, which quite frankly, are genius.  The look of stylish skinny jeans with the comfort of a stretchy knit waistband — I love it!

Wrap Skirts

  1. Megan Nielsen Cascade Skirt, which I’m pretty much in love with.  I’m sure I’ll need to shorten it though since I’m not a 5’10” model.
  2. Miette Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons because it’s just freaking cute.  I haven’t purchased that one yet, but I likely will sometime this summer.
  3. Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes.  Not a wrap skirt, but they’re adorable and they’re culottes and that should really be enough of a reason.  For Tania, though, I’m thinking about sewing up the main part of the culottes and waiting to attach the waistband for a couple of months to give my body some time to shrink down.  I think my sleep-deprived self would still be capable of attaching a waistband without skewering my finger on a needle.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

I have a collection of Big 4 patterns that looked nursing-friendly also.  Mostly faux wrap dresses and tops.  I plan to break out a couple of those as I go along too.

So, what do you think? Is there a perfect pattern out there that I missed?

0 thoughts on “Wardrobe basics: More Briars!

  1. I just made myself an infinity dress from I put a narrow elastic along the top of the bandeau. When ive got the straps all wrapped up, its super easy to push one strap to the side, drop the elastic under the breast and nurse away 🙂 Im thinking of making a ruched tube with some fabric and doing something similar with the straps attached along the back top of the tube and then criss cross tyeing. Thats still rolling around my brain, though, and more of a warm weather friendly nursing top.

    1. Thank you! I have every single one of Megan’s patterns. Literally, every. single. one. I haven’t had a chance to try them all yet, but have loved every one that I have tried!

  2. Aw, you look great!! Love these Briars! I’m totally going to copy your postpartum/nursing sewing list! This is actually my first pregnancy so I don’t really have any clue about what I’ll need for nursing. Thanks for the awesome list – it’ll be fun to see what we both make in the next few months 🙂 My due date was originally Sept. 9th, but kinda got pushed back to Sept. 12 – but I don’t put much meaning on the date anyways. When’s yours?

    1. Thank you 🙂 My due date is also Sept. 12. But at every ultrasound I keep measuring about 3 days early — fingers crossed! Both of my kids were late so I’ll be happy even if this baby is born right on time!

      I’m actually really looking forward to turning my attention to nursing and postpartum clothes. I’ll be excited to see what you make! And I’m very glad you found my list helpful!

  3. Those both look great, I especially like the leather patches 🙂 I wish I had been sewing for myself post-pregnancy- I ended up wearing my maternity jeans for like 7 months after each one!! Not the best look, but I couldn’t fit into anything else. I saw those Sew Liberated skinny jeans and thought they would be so perfect!! I am excited to see them if you make them 🙂

    1. I’m excited to actually have a postpartum wardrobe this time around! I didn’t start sewing for myself until about a year after #2 was born. I’m very excited to try the Sew Liberated jeans. I’ve missed out on most of the colored jeans craze with pregnancies so I think some bright ones will be in order!

  4. Great details on the white shirt! When I first saw the Briar pattern I didn’t even consider it, but now that I’ve seen what people of made from it I think I’ll have to!

    1. I highly recommend the Briar pattern! It is a pretty simple pattern, but sometimes simple ones are the best. I love that it’s a quick easy sew, easy to customize and pretty much universally flattering!

  5. I am 18 weeks pregnant with my 5th and would LOVE to purchase your 2 maternity patterns if you are still considering selling….I could paypal you if the price is right 🙂

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