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December 23, 2021
Hello RCF fans and sewing friends! I’m jumping on the blog today to share my latest make, just in time for the New Year.
I am currently pregnant with my second baby and have been desperate to make some cute bump friendly pieces. I started sewing after my first was born so I never made any maternity clothes. I am now at the point where my usual pants and dresses no longer fit yet the things I bought last time around are still too big—so I need something I can wear now!
I am a total sucker for ribbed fabric and have been curious about the Raspberry Creek Fabrics rib knit for a while now. After seeing a few makes from the solids I had to try it out! I decided on this pretty Solid Berry Rib Knit as I love this deep fall color. Depending on the lighting the fabric lends itself to either a burgundy or plum shade but the color is absolutely true to the listing!
Another thing I love about this fabric is how soft it is! It was already ridiculously lush and soft prewash and it feels even more amazing on the skin when worn.
I was mildly surprised at how lightweight this fabric is in comparison to other ribbed knits I’ve encountered and it is much lighter than the RCF cotton spandex. However, it sews up beautifully on both my sewing machine and serger/overlocker. I opted to wash it on warm and put it through the dryer but I will take care to air dry my final garments since I don’t want to risk any pilling due to polyester as the main content.
Deciding on a pattern was a bit tricky for me. I feel like the dedicated maternity sewing pattern pool leaves much to be desired despite the thriving online sewing world. I really wanted to find a dress with a bit of definition and could also get some more mileage with the possibility of a nursing hack. I was drawing a blank until I looked back at some inspo pics I saved and realized I could make a two piece set to achieve everything I wanted without the need to finagle a zipper or panel into my design to make a maternity pattern also nursing friendly.
Ultimately, I used the Megan Nielsen Patterns Erin Skirt for the bottoms and copied one of my favorite shirts for the top to create my vision!
Firstly though I’ll talk briefly about the Erin Maternity Skirt. I love, love Megan Nielsen patterns—I easily own more patterns from this one designer than any other in my library. I decided to give it a go since I’m very familiar with their pattern block and how the patterns suit my body. I was pleased to find it a very straightforward project with only two pieces!
It comes together like your basic knit pencil skirt with a grown on waistband and modifications specific to a growing belly. The front piece is drawn with a more rounded waist and the waistband curves over the belly and scoops slightly at the back for a great fit. I love the elastic ruching to help pull everything in and disguise any drag lines emanating from the hips to belly.
If you have never added ruching to a garment before, this is what I would have you know beforehand:
Instead, place the elastic just to one side of the seam at each marked end. Find the halfway point and pin it to the fabric as well so it’s more manageable when sewing. Then, carefully sew over elastic using a zig zag stitch and through the main piece down to the opposite end. It will be much neater this way—promise!
Bonus note: You will absolutely doubt how this tiny length of elastic is supposed to gather your garment. You will wonder if it will make your skirt or shirt too short when it’s done—but it will not! As long as you follow the instructions given in the pattern, the elastic will stretch when worn and have the desired effect. If you panic and make the elastic too long you will have a droopy gather instead.
As for my shirt, I won’t go into detail on how I made it. There are a lot of great resources online that explain and show how to use clothes from your closet as a template to recreate it—all of which would do a much better job of instructing you than I would. Suffice it to say that I used one of my shirts as a template by laying it over my fabric and cutting into the fabric directly. It is much simpler than it seems and easy to overthink but you can do it!
I am BEYOND pleased with how this project turned out! I actually feel like a cute pregnant lady while wearing it instead of a slightly frumpy version of my usual self. I love the utility of a two piece set so I can mix and match with other pieces in my wardrobe.
I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to sew up this rib knit and am already itching to make other clothes from it. There are several other colors that I’m tempted to make another “dress” in a few different shades or even a cozy pair of PJs or a swingy dress!
However, I’ll content myself with another sewing win as I celebrate (in style) the new beginnings and growth that comes from the close and start of a new year. Be well friends!
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