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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Grainline Archer Shirt. The PDF file is a beast, but I love the styling of it.
- 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.
- 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.
- Maybe the new Colette pattern releasing June 18? There’s a rumor it will be a shirtdress — fingers crossed!
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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?