5.12.2014

DIY Maternity Pencil Skirt {Tutorial} for Sew-a-bration of Women

I'm so tickled to be part of a sew-a-bration of womenhood!  Blogging was {ok, still is} a little daunting, but the more I share, the more I come into contact with so many sweet, supportive women.  And being the awkward, timid hermit that I am, that's a huge blessing because I'm learning from so many examples of awesome women from all walks of life.  It's pretty cool, darn it!

You can read more about what the "sew-a-bration" is all about here and here.

So for those of you who don't know me {let's face it, that's probably most of you} my husband and I are expecting a girly girl in a couple months.  This means that I'm hitting my third trimester, which means that my belly seems to be growing exponentially, which means that my clothes aren't fitting.  Particularly my skirts.  So I took this opportunity to sew myself a couple.  And {mircacle of miracles} I even took the time to show you how to make one too!

I wanted something that looked like a nice pencil skirt but felt like a maternity skirt.  So I combined two greats:

to make a

And the result is total comfort.  By the way, our plug is making its debut here, so say hi. #dontjudgeme

Now if you aren't pregnant, you can still make this skirt {to hide a little tummy gush, if you happen to have any} or make one for your a pregnant friend who is waddling around her house right now.  {She'll be grateful, I promise}.  I plan to wear this skirt post pregnancy too since I'm not one of those people who sheds the baby poundage in two months.  It's ok, I've come to terms with it.  :)  If you're looking for a non-maternity style skirt, the ladies over at Simple Simon & Co show you how to draft and make your own pencil skirt here.  I wish I'd had this reference when I first started learning how to draft a skirt a year ago, so I wanted to pass the word.

Ok, moving on, I don't want to lose you and have you feel intimidated by the length of this post.....go ahead, scroll down, it's that long.  But stay with me here!  I've broken it down to three sections with some steps in between.  Just read through, wrap your head around it, and do it.  Believe me, if I can do it, you can too!  All you've gotta do it measure, draft, cut and sew.

Here are the tools you need:

  • sewing tape measure
  • pencil and paper
  • butcher paper {or some kind of large pattern paper}
  • at least 1 yard of cotton with a little stretch {I used a nice  apparel fabric from Joann with a good stretch, bottoms weights work nicely too.}
  • 1/2 yard of knit
  • sewing machine {and serger if you'd like.  if you don't have one, that's totally fine, just finish the edges off by using a zig zag stitch or pinking shears}

1> Measure:  Grab your tape measurer and a pencil and paper.  {I did most of my measurements in centimeters because I hear that you can get a more accurate measurement that way.}  Now bear with me as I expose my lumpy pregnant body.  I just wanted to show you where to measure in an effort to help you out.  I'm sorry, but you're welcome.  :)

Now record the following measurements:


{where the top of your pants usually hit}




Make sense?  Here's a list:
  1. measure waist above or on top of belly
  2. measure lower waist under belly {where the top of your pants typically hit}
  3. measure hips
  4. measure high waist to low waist
  5. measure low waist to hips
  6. measure low waist to knee {or where you want the skirt to hit}
The knit waist band {which I measured in inches} will be your upper waist measurement {width} minus a few inches depending on the stretch of the knit.  My knit was quite stretchy, so I took off 4-5 inches and it fit perfectly.  The length will be comprised of your upper waist to lower waist measurement doubled {length}.

Example:  If your upper waist to lower waist measurement was 8 inches, you'd double it to 16 inches because we're going to fold it in half length wise.  Then if your upper waist was 25 inches, you'd subtract 5, making your width 20 inches.  Savy?  

Take the first 3 measurements and divide each of them by 4.
  1. upper waist divided by 4
  2. lower waist measurement divided by 4
  3. hip measurement divided by 4

At this point, I added in some give {.5cm} and seam allowance {1-1.5 cm} as well as adding an inch or two to the entire length of the skirt.  This has more to do with your personal preference of how you like it to fit, so play around with it.

Now you're all set for pattern drafting!

2> Draft Pattern
I put together a quick {slightly imperfect} graphic with instructions on how to do this based on your measurements.  You can find and download it here.


3> Cut & Sew
These should be your pieces.  One front piece cut on the fold.  Two back pieces and a knit rectangle.

Sew the darts.  Four in all.  For the sake of time, I'm not going to show you how to do this.  Just google it.

Take your two back pieces

place right sides together and sew all the way down.  Normally, this is where you'd put a zipper in, but you don't have to worry about that for this skirt.  {Yay!} If you have a skirt vent, kick slit, whatever you wanna call it, you can use this youtube video to refresh my memory on how to sew one.

Now your back should look like this:

Place the front of the skirt on top of the back skirt piece with right sides together and sew down both edges.  Flip skirt inside out and set aside.

Take your knit and create a waist band by folding the sides r.s.t. {make sure the fabric is stretching horizontally so it will hold up the skirt and fit around your tummy properly.}

Sew down the side.

Now fold the fabric lengthwise with wrong sides together so none of the seams are showing.

Place knit inside the skirt making sure that right sides are together.

Pin together ensuring that both layers of knit are attached to the skirt.  The waist band should be smaller than the skirt.  When you sew, gently stretch the knit so that it is even with the skirt fabric.

Once it's sewn, the top of the cotton portion will have a slight gather.

But pull out the knit and you have a waist band!

Hem according to preference.

I did a deep hem with a simple straight stitch, but a blind hem looks nice too.

Now slip that skirt on and enjoy.  Your baby bump will thank you.

Because now you have a nice looking pencil skirt....


with a little surprise underneath.

No one has to know how comfy you feel.  I won't tell.  :)

Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out all the other rockstar ladies participating in the sew-a-bration:



5.06.2014

Life lately.

Did painting my house really need to happen?  No.  But a few weeks ago, I got the painting urge.  Well, I say "got the urge" like a bug just bit me and suddenly I wanted to paint.  The truth is that I've wanted to paint ever since we moved into our new house and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that flat paint {lovely as it is} does not clean well.  In other words, I couldn't get the crayon off the wall without taking the paint off too.  I'm not much of a doer when it comes to home improvement.  Usually Superman does all the doing and I do all the scheming {thank you pinterest}.  But this time I was determined to do it all myself. {Besides, Superman is busy finishing our basement right now--woohoo!}

I painted and painted and got completely wiped out for the next week.  Everything was just in shambles and my poor pregnant body paid for it and I could hardly move for the entire week following my painting spree.  It caused a major disturbance in the force of our lives.

I mean, check the state of my house?  Sad eh?  It's like layer upon layer of chaos.

To redeem myself, here's a clean corner of my home.  Don't be put out that we went from one neutral to another, but I love gray.  This one is Dolphin Fin by Behr.  I'll show you more...um....when I get to it.

I've been playing catch up and I've managed to accomplish more in the last two days than I have all month.  Cleaning my bathrooms {ahem}, sewing a few things here and there, and oh! I even had a crown put in {on a molar that had been cracked for um like two years}.  I could go on, but I won't because it's not like you wanna know all about my to do list and how I reward myself with a treat every time I get something done.... kind of like a dog....yikes.

For now I'm organizing and scheming up more ideas. I've got a lot of fun things coming up in the next while {including trying to decide what to name our unborn child....still stumped}.  In the mean time, I'm just going to share a little bit more about "life."  Because right now, life is what we do best in this house and sometimes, sewing/creative projects just don't get done.  So I plan to share more of the in between that's going on.  Thanks for stickin' with me folks.  :)
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