Who knew growing a person was so tiring? Only every mother and all those baby books that try to warn you but do you listen? No you do not. Suffice to say sewing has been sporadic and somewhat undirected over the past few months. And when things do manage to get complete, do photos manage to happen? No they do not. Except clearly they did in this case, thanks to my mother who offered to take some photos of me while we were doing a shoot for one of her projects.
This is Sewaholic’s Davie dress, made way back in March. And it still fits! Details of the actual construction are a little hazy this many months after the fact, but I sewed it for my birthday and it was relatively quick. True to type though, I was still finishing off the neckline as the caterer arrived and didn’t actually get the bias tape on in time for that first wear (it’s on there now). To make up for the fact the neckline didn’t have any seam allowance folded over at first, I cut a bit extra around the neckhole so the lines looked nicer. Of course, that meant I cut off all the back-sewing seam finishes and the stitches started to unravel…
When I got the pattern I had a vision of black ponte with contrast panels in the front to make the most of the flattering princess seams. And because it was a birthday extravaganza frock that contrast should be sparkly. I even went so far as to cut out the two front panels from some silvery stretchy something hanging out in the stash, only to discover that no matter which way I turned the piece of black ponte also in the cupboard, it just wouldn’t fit all the pieces. So I went off to the fabric shop to discover they had no plain black in stock – and came home with this turquoise neoprene instead. Naturally.
It’s very thick (about 3mm, which I think is the same as my summer-weight wetsuit) and I’d never sewn with neoprene before. Luckily it turns out to be a very forgiving fabric. I think I lengthened the stitches to account for the bulk and otherwise pretty much just went for it. That includes the fitting – having sewn a few Sewaholic patterns before I cut a size 16 based on my measurements and just threw it all together. Possibly I took the side seams in a little after trying it on, but I honestly can’t remember.
I really like the topstitching detail on all the seams here; it emphasises the pattern lines in a nice way. It did leave me a little perplexed about the best way to finish the seams though but given the neoprene doesn’t really fray I settled for pinking shears. Similarly, I left the hem and armholes unfinished, which seems to have stood up fairly well (though looking at the photo about this one it looks like they could do with a little neatening trim now).
The fit is really quite remarkable given it was made at nearly three months of pregnancy, with minimal pattern adjustments, and is being worn here at seven months. It was a little roomy to start with, partly because I wasn’t sure about how close-fitting neoprene would feel to wear in a garment (don’t want to get too wetsuity after all!). The thick fabric does add quite a bit of bulk to the silhouette too. In the future I’d be more inclined to use this weight neoprene for separates. But in this case, that early looseness meant it continues to be very comfortable!
As for future sewing, in an attempt to wrangle my skit-scatty brain into some kind of reasonable order I sat down and wrote lists of maternity, feeding-friendly and baby sewing plans and even dug out patterns that would work with them. It’s just a short list as you can see… I’m certain there’s a lot more on there than will fit into the next couple of months but at least it will give me some direction. And most of the maternity things are sitting half-finished on the sewing table already. Challenge accepted? Let’s see.