Pattern Review, Sewing

Sewing a Rumi Tank for Maternity

With all of the great basic knit sewing patterns that indie designers are putting out, I’ve had a much easier time making maternity clothes for myself this time around. A couple of weeks ago I made a Lodo Dress (which has gotten a lot of wear!). But these Rumi Tanks for maternity are the easiest thing I’ve made so far!

The Rumi Tank is a basic racerback style tank with quick and easy binding. It comes with both a tank and dress length pattern. The dress pattern is wider so that it flows out around the hips. It turns out that the width is also perfect for covering a pregnant belly!

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t make any modifications except for adjusting the length and adding some elastic to the side seam. I measured my bust at a size 10 and then cut a size 10 dress. The dress pattern has a band at the bottom, which can be eliminated completely for a maternity tank. I cut my tanks at the size 0 hemline on the main pattern piece. I also had to adjust the length of the straps. The neckline and armholes were both too low, so I cut the strap length around a size 2-4.

The tank could have worked without the side elastic, but it felt a little shapeless. I added about 6″ of clear elastic (stretched) to the side seams by zigzagging it in the seam allowance.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy at this point (about 30 weeks…) and these will easily fit until the end. For earlier pregnancy, you can probably eliminate a couple more inches. You could make a maternity dress, slightly longer than recommended, which I’m sure that would work as well! Not only that, a dress would be a nice transition piece that would fit early in pregnancy and after birth.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I used two lightweight knit fabrics (both from Girl Charlee). The striped fabric is a cotton/poly combo, and the boho patterned fabric is a rayon knit with a lot of stretch (so much so that I could have gone a size smaller…). I have very few maternity stores nearby, so I’m left with a bunch of solid-colored plain tees from Target. These fabrics were just what I needed to add some color and pattern to my wardrobe.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this is perfect as a basic summer maternity tank! I’m looking forward to making more after pregnancy and trying the full-length dress later on.

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Sewing

Lodo Dress for Maternity

So, I’m about 6 months pregnant and have been working on some maternity sewing for summer. We have very few maternity store options in town. I’m able to get basic jeans and solid colored t-shirts, but that’s about it. If I want anything with printed fabric, interesting styles, or quality construction, I have to make it myself (or load up 6 kids and drive over an hour…).

Sewing a Maternity Lodo Dress | True Bias | Radiant Home Studio

I remember trying to make maternity clothes several years ago. There were very few instructions online and no patterns available. I did manage to take an empire waist dress and make it fit by adding extra width and gathers in the front. I also adjusted a knit wrap shirt by making it wider and longer. It was all just a guessing game though. There are so many more options now! Lots of indie designers have easy to sew knit clothes that can be adjusted for maternity, and there are tons of tutorials for maternity sewing.

The first pattern I hacked to fit over my baby belly this time is the Lodo Dress from True Bias. It’s a casual knit dress, with a basic straight shape. I bought it as soon as it was released, knowing I could make it work for maternity wear without a lot of changes. I used an organic cotton interlock fabric from Cloud 9. The weight and stretch are perfect for this dress.

I chose to start with a size 10 in the bust and shoulders based on my current measurements. I also cut the longer length because I knew I would end up cutting a bit off while making adjustments. To make room for my baby belly, I measured across the front of a maternity t-shirt that fits me well and graded out in the waist to that size. (Something like this tutorial from Melly Sews.) That ended up being around the size 16 waistline. I cut the back of the dress just one size bigger in the hips and didn’t change the waist.

I sewed most of the dress together (which was really quick & easy!) and then basted the side seams to check the fit. It was way too big! I’m not sure why the t-shirt fit and the dress didn’t, but I ended up cutting off a couple of inches on both sides. In the end, the waist and hips might only be 1-2 sizes bigger than the top. My belly isn’t small at this point, but with the stretch fabric and loose fit, there was still plenty of room for my baby belly.

I gathered up the sides of the dress front below the bust line to add more length over my belly. Then I cut about 4 inches off the bottom of the dress back, so that the hems were the same length. I ended up with a nice knee-length hem.

Sewing a Maternity Lodo Dress | True Bias | Radiant Home Studio

If you want to make a maternity Lodo Dress (or any dress of a similar style, like Caroline’s Coffee Shop dress), my best advice is to cut a little bit more width than you think you will need and try the dress on as you go to make adjustments. Every belly is a different shape, so it helps to make changes as you go.

Besides the side seams, I also ended up taking in the center back seam near the waist where my back curves to support my growing belly. I suppose that would be a swayback adjustment, but it was easiest to try the dress on inside out and pin where I needed to take in the fabric.

It took some trial and error to get the fit right, but a second dress would go together really quickly now that I have the sizing figured out. And even better, I think I can easily take out the side seams and redo the hem so I can wear this after pregnancy too!

I have another easy maternity hack, using the Rumi Tank from Christine Haynes, to share next week…

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Woven Hudson Pants & A Secret Revealed

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a few different sewing bloggers (ladies that I interact with on a regular basis), and realized that none of them knew I had 6 children! I always thought I had made that clear, but it made me wonder how many of my readers were missing that important detail about me. I think it’s important for you to know this before I tell you…

I’m expecting baby #7! All of our other children were spaced less than 2 years apart. This time we have a 4 1/2 year gap between our youngest and the baby. It certainly makes life easier to have a 10 & 12-year old that can make meals and watch littles on the days when I have been exhausted. Everyone can get themselves dressed and to the bathroom. During other pregnancies, I’ve had 2-3 in diapers and young children in constant need of attention.

Based on previous experience, I knew I would lose my sewing motivation during the first trimester. So, what did I do? I pitched a guest post and two magazine articles so that I would have to sew on a deadline. Smart right? It seemed like a good idea until my nausea kicked in. I have spent several days in bed due to severe nausea that hasn’t let up for 10 weeks. That’s not uncommon for me, but I had forgotten how much it affects me after a four-year break.

Despite the morning sickness, I have managed to get my 3 projects done and even sewed a pair of woven Hudson Pants. (So, maybe my plan worked after all?) I’ve been planning to make some woven Hudson Pants for a while. They seemed the perfect transition pants for early pregnancy and postpartum.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

I used the instructions from True Bias, making a larger size and adding some length to the bottom of the pants. My fabric is 4 0z. denim from Jo-Ann Fabrics. For my stretch Hudsons, I have been making a size 6. Kelly suggests sizing up 2-3 sizes for woven fabrics. I went up 3 (to a 12) to accommodate some of the extra pregnancy weight.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Though they fit, I think going up to a 14 would have been better. These are a tad tight in the rear and calves. I can see the seams pulling around the calves especially. I’d like to be able to pull them up and down over my calf, but the fit is too tight for that. Maybe using a stretch twill would help as well. I might also raise the back waist a couple of inches, leaving the front a little lower, like typical maternity pants. I plan to try again. I have been wearing these quite a bit and can definitely see myself wearing some in other colors.

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

Other than sizing up and adding 4″ to the bottom, I didn’t make any other major alterations. I think I did a little bit more topstitching in some places (side seams and faux fly). I used the denim for the waistband, which works well, but I really like Anna’s idea for a knit waistband on linen pants. I might do that next time. Maternity pants should be as comfortable as possible!

Finally, I thought I’d share a little glimpse of what goes on during a photo shoot with 6 kiddos…following this picture, I taught my little guy how to use the remote. He proceeded to take about 12 (really cute) pictures of himself pointing the remote at the camera, plus some with me and each of the other kids individually. 🙂

Woven Hudson Pants | Radiant Home Studio

 

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