Dressing the Bump: Polka!

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With no tripod or computer in sight (they are still en route) I decided to post another iPhone bump pic. It’ll be my only source of photography for a bit.

Since I started sewing 2 years ago I rarely buy clothes so it was a big deal to get this polka dot chambray top. I went through a bit of guilt after buying it but soon got over it. I fell in love with it instantly and knew chances were low that I would make myself a maternity blouse anytime soon. And I’ve been wanting a button-up shirt for ages.

I bought it at Old Navy, the biggest size. Depending on how my body looks post baby I might refashion it to be a bit more slimming. But until then it’s super comfy.

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Thanks to everyone who shared their experience and suggested some questions I can ask my possible birth center and doctor. I feel quite informed and ready for our meeting tomorrow!

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Me-Made Maternity Clothes Costs

Sewing my own clothes has made me quite comfortable in my skin. When you sew you have to face reality, there’s no fudging numbers because the garment won’t fit if you do. You learn to accept that your bust measures this and your hips measure that. Those numbers are fact and help in making the garment, so I accept and embrace them. Learning how my body is shaped allows me to sew flattering clothes that can feature my assets well and make me feel good while doing so. And who doesn’t want to look and feel good when pregnant?

Sewing also allows you to save money at times, but not always. It’s all dependent on your materials and if you are okay spending time fitting and sewing your clothes. Labor aside, garments can be a bargain if you find your materials at a good cost. But sometimes it’s nice to splurge if you want to treat yourself, like I did when I made my first maternity dress using Liberty of London fabric.

Plus-size maternity clothes are now more readily available in stores and I’ve been tempted to buy them, just for convenience. But because I enjoy sewing, have the time/patience and energy I figure why not make my own. I have to admit, that I am quite curious as to how much I am actually spending on my me-made maternity clothes. Am I actually saving money or am I spending too much?

Here’s a very basic breakdown of costs per garment. I only included fabric and new materials purchased. I own a lot of notions (buttons, thread, elastic, etc) that I’ve bought at bargain prices over the last two years. I excluded them from costs because I use them for so many projects.

Dressing the Bump
Stripey Knit Skirt
Cost of fabric and materials: Free (the fabric was given to me and I had left over elastic from old projects)
Cost of pattern: £8 for a maternity skirt
Time it took to make: About 2 hours. Turning the waistband inside out took forever!
Total cost: You can argue £8 but I bought a new skirt to make the stripey one, so I say £4
Sew U Home Stretch Babydoll Dress
Jersey-knit Sleeveless Babydoll Dress
Cost of new fabric and materials: £16 for 2 meters of double-knit jersey fabric
Cost of pattern: Free! The Sew U Home Stretch book was given to me as a gift
Time it took to make: About 2 hours. A great simple pattern
Total cost: £16

Baby Doll Dress
Jersey-knit Babydoll Dress
Cost of new fabric and materials: £5 for 2 meters of remnant double-knit jersey fabric. Bargain!
Cost of pattern: Free! A Sew U Home Stretch pattern
Time it took to make: About 6 hours (grading/tracing the pattern and sewing)
Total cost: £5

Simplicity 1998
Jersey-knit Dress
Cost of new fabric and materials: £6 for 2 meters of remnant ponte-knit jersey fabric
Cost of pattern: £2
Time it took to make: About 8 hours (grading/tracing the pattern, fitting and sewing). This dress was a pill to fit by myself
Total cost: £8

Muslin #1 for Simplicity 8670 (vintage 1970)
1970s Maternity Dress
Cost of new fabric and materials: £12 for 2 meters of cotton poplin, £.80 for a zipper
Cost of pattern: £7 for a vintage 70s maternity pattern
Time it took to make: About 6 hours (grading/tracing the pattern, fitting and sewing)
Total cost: £ 19.80

Muslin #2 for Simplicity 8670 (vintage 1970)
1970s Maternity Dress
Cost of new fabric and materials: £12 for 2 meters of black poplin, £2 for remnant red mystery remnant fabric, £.25 zipper
Cost of pattern: £0, re-used vintage 70s maternity pattern
Time it took to make: 4 hours
Total cost: £14.25

Final version of Simplicity 8670 (maternity pattern) in Liberty cotton and Japanese lace
1970s Maternity Dress
Cost of new fabric and materials: £36 for 3 meters of Liberty fabric, £2.25 for half a yard of Japanese cotton lace, £.25 zipper
Cost of pattern: £0, re-used vintage 70s maternity pattern
Time it took to make: 4 hours
Total cost: £38.50

So I have to conclude that my costs aren’t nearly as high as they would be if I had purchased similar maternity clothes. And I hope the costs continue that way.

Do you keep a maternity clothing budget? Any thrifty tips to keep costs low?

Dressing the Bump: A Doughnut Run…Er…Walk

Dressing the Bump Collage

My husband and I recently discovered a local bakery that make the most divine fluffy chocolate-covered, chocolate-filled doughnuts. Heaven! I’m proud to say that I don’t indulge in them often and that I earn them. The walk to the bakery is a nice 40 minute walk round trip (uphill one way). When we arrive to the bakery I am always in desperate need for the toilet, water and that freaking doughnut. Stat!

I’m sad (or am I?) that we didn’t venture into this bakery earlier. But I appreciate the random trips here all the more since they are limited…Three weeks until moving day!

Hubbie was home to take my photo today so we took it outside, to the sunshine! I wore my simple, fast skirt that I made and wore earlier last week. I used an existing maternity skirt as a pattern. And what’s the cost of this skirt? £4. I paid £8 for the skirt I used as a pattern, so I essentially got two skirts for the price of one. The fabric was free. Win, win.

Dressing the Bump

Dressing the Bump- Feeling Teal

I love that a lot of my regular clothes are still wearable. For instance, this Gap dress I bought for a bargain ages ago. It definitely does the job: fits well, it’s comfortable and not too short. Layered up with a cardi makes it instantly warm enough for fall. Excuse the pink cheeks and pulled-back hairdo. I’m overdo for a haircut so I just pulled it back after showering this morning. Confession: I love it when I can pull it back and work the Robert Palmer Addicted to Love Video Girl look. It’s nice to be lazy sometimes.

Dressing the Bump-Week 22.2

I paired the dress with some teal tights and Toms. I hate these shoes. I am not going to lie. They are the biggest pain in the ass to put on. Even if I didn’t have a belly to work around I would find these quite difficult to put on. And these are the second pair to disappoint me. I’m not a TOMS fan. Rant over.

Dressing the Bump-Week 22

Being pregnant has made me reevaluate the clothes in my closet and rethink how I can wear them. I’m loving it! New life for old clothes.

And I love being pregnant. There. I said it. I LOVE it. Aside from the worrying that comes with it, I love the way my body feels, looks. But I am quite fortunate so far int hat I’ve had nothing serious to contend with (KNOCK ON WOOD), like morning sickness. My aches and pains remind me of the pains I suffered after long runs: satisfying. To me those aches are telling me, “Good going!” or “Keep at it!”. I hope against hope that my body keeps at it and doesn’t decide to bring on the pain and discomfort with the third trimester. Because, you never know.

21 Week Update-Healthy thoughts, please

Dress the Bump: V&A Hollywood Costume Exhibit 20weeks and 5 days

How far along| 21 weeks exactly.
Baby’s Size| 10 1/2 inches, or the length of a (huge!) carrot.
Weight Gain| 0 pounds. I gained 3 pounds from last week to this one. I’m not sure if this is good or not. But I am going to start eating less sweets. I made these yesterday and had my husband take them to work with him.

Doughnuts filled

I love to bake. So I plan on still baking but giving away what I make or baking healthier treats. Sounds good to me, right?

Sleep| I probably sleep well every other day. I am considering doing an exercise challenge for myself to exert some energy on days I stay in.
Clothes| I’m still loving all my clothes and the way they fit. I am not having issues with fit…yet. I bought the skirt above so I can use it as a pattern and make a couple of more. It is so comfy.
Cravings| Food. Finally I am being a lot less picky when it comes to foods. Maybe that’s where I got those 3 pounds from? Hmmm…
Food Aversions| None really.
Symptoms| I forget to mention this one weekly but not today. I have been so damn gassy since week 9. I swear I can fill up a hot air balloon. Charming, I know.
Movement| I keep feeling these thumps below and along my belly button. Is it Chexie? Is it the said gas above? Who knows! But I do know Chexie’s schedule has changed and he is no longer moving about between 5-8AM. What’s up with that? He should be keeping me company while I’m awake.
Belly Button| So so so in.
Sex| Un nene lindo.
Highlight of the Week| Finishing Chexie’s quilt. It’s so much prettier in person. The colors are so vibrant.
What I miss| SUDAFED. I really, really need to find out if I can take them. I can’t breathe over here! What the hell is in the air lately? Luckily I have an appointment with the nurse tomorrow so I’ll be asking her about it.

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The three pound weight gain had me thinking a lot last night when I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t get the image of (Downton Abbey SPOILER ALERT) Lady Sybil dying from preeclampsia out of my head. I really hate that my thoughts can be so dark during sleepless nights. I’m a rational person, and I know medicine has come a long way since the 1920s but the fact remains women still die in child birth or have serious complications from labor.

All I can do is work at being the healthiest I can be come labor day. With that said I really was inspired by this blogger’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. On rainy days I have totally abandoned my yoga DVD in favor for the sewing machine. Big no-no. With the yoga session only taking 30 minutes why am I skipping them? Laziness, that’s why. And well, I’d rather be sewing. Well no more. Starting today I am going to attempt my own 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I’m wearing my maternity yoga pants on now. Woot!

Now that my appetite is coming back with a vengeance I want to keep better track of what’s going in my body. I found this useful chart that will help me keep track of not only foods but of daily nutritional needs. I came across an article that said plus size women require more folic acid than average sized women. Huh? No one told me this. Just another question to ask the nurse tomorrow.

So yoga and food tracking will be my tools to combat excessive weight gain, which in turn will help lower my chance of suffering from preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes (ack!). Sounds like a plan.

All right then. Yoga time!

Dressing the Bump: Paris Edition

Oh, baby! Street Graffiti in Paris. I found it quite fitting considering…

I planned to reward myself with a fabric shopping trip to Paris after completing my sixth half marathon. Even though the half didn’t happen I sure as heck was still going to Paris. This trip for me was not only about hitting the fabric district in Montmartre; but also to say goodbye to one of my favorite cities. It will be quite a while before I can visit again. Heck, I might have a toddler/kid with me next time!

Rain, rain, go away!

We started the wet day with a delicious breakfast. I had half a baguette with butter and jams, and a bowl of hot chocolate. Yes. A bowl. There was also a buttery croissant but that didn’t come until later.

Breakfast is served.

I had planned to wear a cute black dress with bright turquoise tights. Unfortunately because of the rain I played it safe and wore jeans and a me-made tunic. Glad I did! It was so so cold.

Dressing the Bump: Paris Edition

Luckily the rain stopped long enough to get a couple of photos in front of the Louvre.

Dressing the Bump: Paris Edition

The queue was super long, snaking from the outside of the pyramid and into the museum down a flight of stairs. We decided it wasn’t worth a visit if we would spend the majority of the time waiting to go in. We would only have 45 minutes to browse, if we were lucky. Having been there a few times already we were okay with the decision. Instead we headed to the mall and indulged in my favorite macarons, from the amazing Ladurée.

My favorite place for macarons in Paris. Hands down.

The lemon ones are my favorite. Followed by the salted caramel. Delish!

Lemon Macaron from Laduree

Even though the trip was a very, very wet one. And I didn’t get to eat as many pastries as I would’ve like, I still had a great time with my honey. And I came back with some great goodies.

Paris fabric shops offered so many choices. Took me ages just to settle on these three. I see a dress, a circle skirt and some trousers in my future.

Until we meet again, Paris!

Other blog entries I’ve written on Paris:
Honeymooning in Paris
When in Paris…Eat.
Stuck in an Elevator
Paris Street Graffiti
Wandering Paris with a Friend

Dressing the Bump

Being (f)unemployed can lead you to a life of much PJ-wearing and unkempt hair. If I don’t get dressed as soon as I get up, chances are I am not going far from the flat, that is, if I leave at all. And with the dreary cold weather here to stay, my walks have lessened and staying cozy indoors trumps any attempts at going out. So I do look forward to ‘Dressing the Bump’, that way I get dressed early, have my photo taken by my husband before he’s out the door, and I’m left ready to hit the streets.

Today I didn’t go far, just around the neighborhood. With the threat of rain looming, I wanted to get home ASAP. You’d think I am made out of sugar! But today I wore one of my favorite tops that I’ve made. It still fits so I figured I should take advantage. I do wonder if I can wear it into my third trimester just because the waistline sits higher than it’s meant to be. A mistake I made in my favor (thanks, Past Self).

Dressing the Bump

Last winter (or was it early spring?) I went through a small stretch where I made plans to meet people so I was forced to leave the house. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see these people, I just would have preferred under nicer circumstances. But that’s the problem, if you’re waiting for a bright shiny day, chances are, you won’t ever do anything! As the days get shorter I stay home and that’s not a healthy choice. I need to move, and enjoy my last few months in London. Gray day or not.

Do you find it hard to leave the comforts of your home on dreary days?

Dressing the Bump

Dressing the Bump posts will center around trying to stay fashionable and comfortable while being a curvy/chubby/fat/whatever mama-to-be. Pretty maternity clothes are not easy to come by, especially if you are over a size US18/UK20. Affordable and trendy clothes seem to peak around a size US 14/UK 16. That would have been fine had I gotten pregnant right when I got married. But a baby, and staying a size 14, just wasn’t in the cards for me at that time.

Rather than gamble by buying plus-size wear online before trying it on, I’ve decided that it’s worth to continue my growth as a sewist and sew through my pregnancy. I am also keeping my eyes open for low-costing clothes that can easily be refashioned later. Today for example, I wore a Gap skirt that I purchased for £12. I figured once I grew out of it I could convert it into a maternity skirt, attaching a knit band to accommodate the bump.

Dressing the Bump

So that’s what I wore today. Today happened to be my midwife appointment. I have had two scans but have yet to hear the baby’s heartbeat so I was way excited for this appointment. But my chubby belly failed me. The midwife had a hard time finding the baby’s heartbeat with the fetal monitor. I didn’t panic. I had read that medical professionals can sometimes have a hard time finding a baby’s heartbeat when a women is over a certain BMI. *Sigh* But I have to admit, a little part of me died inside when she instructed me to pull my belly back as she continued to search for the heartbeat. But no luck. She instructed me to get dressed and asked if it would be okay if she referred me to the hospital. Of course I thought it was fine. I went straight there from her office. Still I didn’t panic.

I emailed my husband to keep him up to speed. He replied,”Oh no!  That’s worrying.  Keep me updated, please!” And that’s when I started to panic. If my “Cool as a Cumber” husband was worried that meant I should be worried too, right? And then began the longest bus ride to the hospital ever. Twelve minutes felt more like ages. Upon arriving to the hospital I went into the toilets and had myself a nice good cry. I’m not sure if I was giving into dark suspicions, or just letting the worry take over me. But I felt a bit better. Although, in the lift I started to look at a women’s big pregnant belly longingly, wondering if mine would get to grow that size.

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. I was seen soon after arriving at the Maternity Day Unit. They were going to use a fetal monitor but after hearing how it had failed this morning the technician went with a scan. And that’s when I saw it, Chexie’s heart beating. I’m not going to lie. I cried. I was too happy and relieved to see that moving little baby not to.

I left the hospital with a less heavy heart, wondering how long would it be before the fetal monitor could pick up the baby’s heartbeat? I don’t think I can go through another scare like that! My friend has offered to lend me her fetal monitor and I am taking her up on it. I think it’ll be exciting to finally hear it, whenever that may be.