Saturday, August 4, 2012

Simplicity 3503: The non-maternity version

So, yeah, who knew that raising a baby was so much work. ;) Needless to say, after my last post, the roller coaster of having a new baby continued on. We had some highs and some very low lows. While I don't think I ever had true post-partum depression, there were some really rough patches, one of which caught me off guard as it hit when J was about 5 months old - after I had felt like I was finally get my feet back underneath me.

J just turned 10 months old this week and we have been in a good place for several months now. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight and am fitting back into all of my old clothes (I didn't realize how much this was a contributing factor to my rough mood) and J is just a lot of fun. He's sleeping better and fighting me less on eating, so our day to day routine just feels more relaxed and less frantic. I am so in love with my little man and thank God every day for blessing me with such a dear child.

I did start taking time for myself early in this motherhood gig, but sewing just felt like too much work at the beginning. Getting to the gym to work out my ever evolving set of emotions or sitting down to a book were much more attractive activities when I had some spare time. It was only when J turned 7 months that the sewing room started calling my name again. And holy smokes did I pick a humdinger of a project. LOL Nothing simple for my first garment sewing project in months. No way, no how!

I really wanted to make a casual version of that ever popular Simplicity pattern 3503 - the one that I sewed to death while I was pregnant (3 versions - 1 floor length, 2 short - in all). However, there were some serious fit issues to work out. Namely, the smallest size bodice was a good fit when I was very pregnant (aka - pregnancy chest was in effect), but shrinking back to my normal bra size, I knew that I would need to make it considerably smaller.

To complicate matters further, I chose a beautiful ITY jersey from my stash that screams summer, but is quite a busy print to work into a dress. I knew it would require lots of single layer cutting and playing around with where the print would fall on the dress. I bought it from Mood 2 years ago and I've been dying for it to become something that would live in my closet instead of a stash bin, but had never really matched up the right pattern for it. This marriage of pattern and print felt right though.

I ultimately used the full width of the fabric border for the midriff band, becoming more of a full stomach band. The border was also used for the neckline.

I then arranged the bodice and skirt pieces over the main print of the fabric. It was a total pain to get all of this to match up and it's still not perfect, but I'm happy with it.
It took me a solid 2 months to complete this dress. I worked on it in fits and starts, but it held my interest and was actually a really good project to get my creative juices flowing again. I've already worn it twice and I love it. My inaugural outing in it was to Beverly Hills for brunch and it was perfect. It has a summer resort feel and I felt like a chic woman in it, not just a mom. While it's completely impractical for my new role as a stay at home mom, it makes me happy nonetheless.
I've already got another dress and 2 skirts just waiting for hems and a 3rd dress on the cutting table. See, this project really helped me find my sewing mojo!

And for making it this far, here is a picture of me and J from the 4th of July. Love this little guy so much!

15 comments:

Amanda S. said...

Hurray! Welcome back!!! The dress is beautiful - those border prints can be really tricky to lay out. I keep pinning pictures of pretty RTW ones in hopes of getting inspired to cut into some of my fabric. Your little boy is beautiful and I'm so glad you are past the hard parts.

Nanette said...

Ohhhh, that dress!

And ohhhhhh, that sweet boy and his pretty mama!

xoxo

Sewtellme said...

Your baby boy is adorable. I'm happy you're feeling better. We don't realize how something like not fitting into our clothes can completely impact our mood. Thankfully, being a mom is so rewarding and baby hugs and kisses are the best. I love your dress. I've never tried it because I'm super top heavy so I'll just have dress envy for now.

Sister said...

Your dress is breathtaking - all that work paid off! I bet you got lots of appreciative looks at the very least. And your baby looks like a model with that gorgeous smile.

Renee said...

It's great to see a post from you again! I'm glad you're enjoying motherhood now - the beginning can be really rough indeed.

Your dress is beautiful! You did a fantastic job with the print placement - the extra time put in was worth it.

Rosie said...

I was wondering how you and the family were doing. You and the baby look fantastic. What a gorgeous little fellow!! Of course and as usual, you did a fantastic job with the dress. You actually look thinner than pre-pregnancy. Welcome back to blogland and just hug and kiss the little one. Ooh he is just adorable!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

The dress is beautiful and I'm glad that you've found your sewing mojo again. Your little man is adorable!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

That looks fantastic, love the fabric, I could see that in an expensive boutique.

Robyn said...

It's a gorgeous dress and you've done a great job with the pattern placement.

Motherhood is a challenge - some days you just have to put one foot in front of the other and on other days you feel like you're flying :)

dapotato said...

gorgeous dress! and j's eyes!!!

The Lazy Housewife said...

What a gorgeous dress! Both you and J look so happy :)

Tameka said...

That dress is fab! J looks so much like you I cannot get over it! Xo to you both!

Kathleen said...

So glad to see you back on the blog-waves. Amazing work on your dress - looks beautiful. Little J is so cute! Can't wait to see you next creations.

Cennetta said...

Amber, you look great! Your bundle of joy is adorable. Congratulations and welcome back!

wan said...

that dress is fabulous! i need to find my sewing mojo again too. i'm hoping that with both girls in school within the next week, i can dive in again.