Anyone for a crêpe party?

I admit I have maybe spent too long reading Nigella Lawson’s cook books of late (you probably had to see the tv episode of her in a lacy negligé, fully made up with perfectly coiffed hair pretending to have just got out of bed and stating that surely everyone has days when they wake up and just feel that they must have a frittata party – to get the heading of this post but I digress…)- but this dress (from the Crêpe pattern by Colette Patterns) was my ‘go to’ party dress of the summer (she says, as though she has parties to attend every other night!).

The pattern is for a simple wrap dress with an A-line skirt and a tie waist. There are two variations included – for a straightforward round neck  or a sweetheart neckline and both variations wrap at the back so that the front of the dress has clean lines.

As I was carrying the bump around over the summer the first dress I made I altered to accomodate a growing tummy. I shortened the bodice section to finish just under the bust and lengthened the skirt sections accordingly. I also widened the front skirt section and pleated the additional width to fit to the bodice. The final maternity alteration I made was to inverse the bodice pieces so that the dress wrapped at the front so that if the additional width I had added to the skirt section was not enough I could just loosen the dress a little.

The red, black and white fabric was a Mona cotton and the contrasting tie belt was made from a black and white spot cotton that I had in the cupboard.

I haven’t yet tried this dress on again since the bump became a baby but I am hoping that I can either still wear it as it is  – with just a very full skirt, or that I will be able to adapt it to make it wearable. I loved it in the summer but looking at the photos now I think it would also look good with thick black tights and a black cardigan or jumper – perfect to brighten up a dreary winter day!

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Red Marinière

Everyone knows that you cannot beat a good marinière top. It is one of my favourite go to tops when nothing else seems to look or feel right. The classic stripes always seem to hit the mark.

My current navy and white stripe top is from Petit Bateau (the latest in a long line of navy and white striped tops ).Given that they get quite a lot of wear it is the type of top (like white shirts and t-shirts) that just need replacing after a while so I thought that I would have a go at making one.

I spent a while looking for just the right navy and white jersey – not too thick, not too thin – but to no avail. I then spotted on the Raystitch website this red and white striped jersey.Lovely, but just a pity they didn’t have it in navy.

But then I saw this red and white striped version from Boden. Maybe? I ordered the Raystitch jersey and set  to creating the boat neck variation of the T-shirt pattern from Sew-U Stretch.

Et voilà, the finished article. As you can see I also adapted the pattern to create long sleeves and I added a ribbon stay tape into the back neck line to stop the neckline stretching out.And, the finishing touch? The three gold anchor buttons sewn onto the canvas strip topstitched onto the left shoulder.

It’s a wrap

Towards the end of the summer I realised that whilst it was still very warm I should probably make myself at least one top that could be worn if the weather did get slightly cooler (given that the bump by this stage was big enough that none of my ‘normal’ clothes would fit over it).

I had, from time to time, during my pregnancy looked at DIY Maternity – a blog, run by a lady called Meg Nielsen, devoted to home-making maternity clothes. Meg also sells sewing patterns for maternity wear – including one for a wrapover top, perfect for third trimester wear.

Perfect for dealing with a large bump but the top could also be worn afterwards which when you only have weeks to go of your pregnancy is a bonus as the thought of spending time making something that in a month or so won’t fit isn’t that appealing. So I ordered the pattern and used a coral pink coloured jersey that I had bought earlier in the summer.

Once I had made the top I realised that the V neck wrap neckline would also be perfect for feeding and so I decided to see if I could adapt the pattern to make a slightly more streamlined top but keeping the v-necked wrap neckline.

The first version I made in a navy jersey.

The second in a Liberty print jersey that I bought on line from Raystitch.

I love these tops. They are comfortable, easy to wear for feeding bambino but also look great too (in my humble opinion!).

Stir it up!

Last Sunday was “stir up sunday” – the day to traditionally make all your christmas goodies – mincemeat, cake, christmas puds. For me, it has traditionally been the day that I realise that I should really start to think about making all of those things but for some reason this year I am ahead of my game (even if that means just about even with everyone else!). So we measured and we chopped and we stirred…