Thursday, 18 December 2014

Maternity activewear

Kwik sew 2723 seemed a good starting point for a couple activewear tops for my pregnant niece who teaches pilates. The final fabrics used are courtesy of Funki Fabrics. Funki Fabrics loved the idea of making maternity activewear.
You're correct to say 'that's not a maternity top pattern'. I used the top to develop a colour blocked version while adding the additional room in the front bodice for the baby. Voila - a basic maternity top.

Between the two of us we found some lovely styles online and we made up a pinterest board with maternity activewear ideas.

Modified top version #1
The first version has colour blocking at the neckline. There is room for the growing baby curves. 

The neckline block was wide but I wanted the neckline block to be sharper so I redrew it.
This test version was an ok length but a bit more length made 'Mum' and myself happy. I added a safe 10cm to the hems. 

To my surprise the built in shelf still worked on the test version so I kept this for the next version.

Top # two:
You can see the changes I made to make this Mom/baby-friendly.

 I've used flare acid (RUB142) for this print.
You can see the ribbon and toggle we've used to allow Mum to adjust the hem.


I've used a three-thread overlocking stitch on the seams so the seams are finer.
Every single pattern change is on the front bodice piece below.
This adjusted pattern also have an additional 10cm hem.

I added seam allowance with the magnet below. Kwik Sew patterns have 6mm seams and the magnet below allows me to add seam allowance while cutting the pattern.

The main skill to get the arm and neckline finishes neat and firm is to use clear elastic.

Below is the paler version using the same grey neckline.
Again you can see the toggle and ribbon used for this hem.



I've used Holy Smoke pink/aqua TS594 for this top.


We decided that a hem with cord or ribbon and not elastic would allow 'Mum' to adjust this top to suit her shape as her shape changes. I'm still looking for decent cord and colourful toggles to go with both tops. 


Modified pants
This modification was a bit trickier because I've got not idea regarding shape but there are plenty of Youtube videos showing how to cover the baby bump by modifying existing jeans/pants.

So I developed Kwik sew 3988 in a medium size to check where the baby band should sit.
There are some cool inset spot on this pattern and a gusset so I thought this pattern would be easier to modify for a changing waistline. 'Mum' is still wears 'small' in Kwik Sew so the only change was for 'baby' hence the front pants and waist bands are different.
When I checked the test version, the belly needs room, hence the curve from the hips to the waist. The centre front seam is a lot shorter. 
And here's how the maternity front pants piece looks. I've used the measurements that I saw on YouTube.
And the finished pants using Charcoal nylon NE3024 now has a very long and wide waistband for the baby bump. The waistband is long so it's worn folded over itself. No elastic is needed and the hem is left unfinished!
Wishing you all the best with the bubs.
Thank you Funki Fabrics for these fabrics. It was really difficult to pick a pattern from the range you guys offer and continually update.

I also want to thank the ladies who go to Bobbin and Ink sewing sessions. The Mums in the group were really helpful in developing the ideas for making these activewear patterns useful. Their real life experience and Juliet checking my pattern drafts along the way, was invaluable. 


About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
Read Susan's activewear post if you're ready to sew your own activewear. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Three in one

Using three Funki Fabric remnants, I decided to make an 80s throwback swimsuit using Kwik Sew 3064.
From the photo below you can see the front leg is lower than the mermaid racerback swimsuit. 
The body of Kwik Sew 3064 was long so I had to redo the straps and armholes. 
My shoulder slope so I added three straps across the back to stop the straps from falling off. 
From the back you can also see the back bottom is wider for more coverage. 

Both patterns have a built in shelf and I've used Funki Fabrics lining for this piece again. The lining fabric is very soft and supportive. 

The centre back seam is great if you have a sway back - which I do.

About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
The shape retention is the key feature I love (supportive fabric) and because our Australian Summers are so harsh, the UV protection is a bonus.

Thanks again Funki Fabrics. These fabrics work really well on the swimsuit patterns I've had in my stash for ages.

If you're seriously considering sewing your own activewear, read Susan's activewear post that she wrote earlier this year. Her sewing industry knowledge is priceless.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Summer days

I keep going back to this classic racer back swimsuit (Kwik Sew 2962) because it's a great fit using Funki Fabrics mermaid scale print. I've also used Funk Fabrics lining too as it's supportive.
These new mermaid scale bathers uses this classic racerback pattern. 

This pattern has built-in bust support using Funk Fabrics lining and I've adjusted the back curves to fit my curves. Kwik Sew 2969 has built-in support.

My littlest niece took this picture so we were giggling out heads off at the time. Gosh it was good to cool off on a scorching hot Sunday.
front view close up
We're headed for a scorching Summer and I think we've got our beach gear sorted this year. Let's hope our tropical afternoon thunderstorms ease off a bit.
Close up racer back view and you can see the built-in shelf using the lining fabric.
You can see I fully lined the front. 
This work in progress view shows all the seam sewing needed before you add the elastic.

Thanks Funki Fabrics.

These rolls of elastic are quickly being whittled away with the amount of activewear sewing I've been up to for Summer. Elastic is the main notion for swimwear.
The pink was the first version I made a long time ago so you can see this is a great pattern.
This floral version uses locally bought fabric which works fine but it reinforces the lovely softness and good support the fabric produced by Funki Fabrics.
It was nice to hide behind Mr V with this Stormset rashie after a dip in the pool.

About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are a polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
The shape retention is the key feature I love (supportive fabric) and because our Australian Summers are so harsh, the UV protection is a bonus. Mr V burns so easily so his rashie is tops.

Thanks again Funki Fabrics. These fabrics work really well on the swimsuit patterns.

If you're seriously considering sewing your own activewear, read Susan's activewear post that she wrote earlier this year. Her sewing industry knowledge is priceless.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Stormset for him

Kwik Sew 2881 is a classic men's pattern for a classic bloke like Mr V. 

I've used RO209 Stormset Blue print for this set using fabric from Funki Fabrics. Stormset is appropriate based on the tropical storms we've been getting so far this Summer.
The contrast is a navy blue and these trunks has the leg seams so there's no chafing.
 Here's his new summer set
This fabric was really easy to hem on the coverstitch machine.
 He's really happy with his new rashie. It dried off very fast on a 40C day by the pool.
Do you think he's going to expect more makes for Summer? What have I done?

Thank you Funki Fabrics for these two fabrics. The colours have held up in the heat so far and we've got a long Summer ahead, and we're so ready for a day on the beach, once the sharks leave Bondi Beach:)

About the fabrics 
Funki Fabrics are polyester print base and they are also: 
  • Ulta chlorine resistant
  • Pilling resistant
  • Shape retention
  • Two way stretch 
  • UV protective
Mr V loves the UV protection. He burns so easily even in the Winter.

If you're seriously considering sewing your own activewear, read Susan's activewear post that she wrote earlier this year. Her sewing industry knowledge is priceless.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Minerva make - Cocktails

It's always party/cocktail time in the lead up to Christmas so a new party frock using a great John Kaldor print from Minerva Crafts and Vogue 8949 fits the bill.
'Ta dah' hands
 The party dress kit from Minerva Crafts includes the pattern, fabric, lining and zipper.
The John Kaldor fabric is soft with a slight sheen. It's easy to sew and lovely to wear.
Vogue 8949 is lined and you can also interline the pattern pieces for a more couture finish.
I didn't test this pattern. I did my pattern changes on the pattern tissue and then made this dress using 10 at the top and 12 on the waist and hips. The tech notes are here.

Construction challenge
While I was working on the skirt I have a kerfuffle moment with the centre front panel.
This was my sewing dilemma.
I made sure the centre front panel lined up with the bodice and waistband.
Sam made the dots line up beautifully on her posh frock earlier this year. She's really clever.
Then I kept wondering what I could do about it.
And then the back dots lined up in a way but the pieces lined up perfectly.
The pieces lined up beautifully and I stressed about the dots.
And I stressed about the print. From the view of everyone non-sewer that has seen this dress, they loved this.
The sewn in peplum feature is really pretty.
My hems are always lower at the centre back.
So I wore this dress to dinner on the weekend and loved it. On a warm night, catching up with friends, this dress is a winner with our warm weather. I can't hold a grudge when this dress feels lovely and fits so well.
As they say, "if it fits, wear it!" Enjoy the festive season everyone.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Tech notes - Vogue 8949

Later this week I'll show you a John Kaldor fabric make from Minerva Crafts using Vogue 8949.
I've used View E with the side panels and sewn in peplum.
The nice thing about the bodice is it's an easy one to adjust. 
On the front bodice I've lowered the shoulder seam and lowered the bust dart. 
My sizing is 10 at the bust and 12 at the waist.
On the back bodice I've used the higher shoulder seam (16) to counter the shortened front bodice shoulder seam. An easy roll shoulder adjustment because there's no collar on this dress.

And I've taken out 2cm at the centre back seam for sway back shaping. 
I've done the same to the back skirt pieces and added 4 cm to the centre back hem.
Lining up the dots
It's hard to source John Kaldor fabric locally yet it's wonderful to sew and wear.

When I saw Sam's posh frock (stunning) this year, I thought it would be nice to have a John Kaldor dress in my wardrobe too. Sam's eye for detailing is stunning as is her posh frock.

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