The Pregnant Vintage Home Sewist

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One of my goals for 2017 is to start working on my blog again.  I really have missed blogging.  Part of the reason I stopped for awhile has been general business–children, lots of moving, lots of business-related projects and orders.  But the other reason is because I feel a little intimidated by what blogging has become.  When I first began blogging back in 2008 (wow, almost 10 years ago now), it was an entirely different beast.  People mostly blogged because they were passionate about something and/or loved to write and share their thoughts with the world.  I blogged for both of those reasons.  I was sewing up a storm back then, and fascinated with garment construction and vintage fashions, and it was just so dang fun to document it!

Nowadays blogging is a business.  If you don’t post X-amount of times a week, have 100 social media accounts, professional camera equipment, and sponsors out the wazoo then you are pretty much a blogging failure.

To be honest with you, I don’t want to blog like that.  It stresses me out.  I’m just a girl (ok, I just turned 30, so I guess I’m not technically a girl anymore–sniff!) who loves to sew, loves to homestead, loves her family and loves her goats and also happens to love to write.  So instead of feeling overwhelmed by the monster blogging has become, I am going to choose to blog anyway.  If you like it and want to follow me, then that is wonderful!  If I’m not quite fancy enough for you, I totally understand and you can probably find a zillion better blogs out there to follow instead. 😉

Now that that is out of the way, I wanted to fill you in on what I’ve been sewing lately!  This is my third pregnancy, and it is the first time I’ve actually sewn maternity garments for myself.  It seems funny to me that I didn’t do more of this with  my first child, when I had hardly anything to do, but I am sewing my butt off now with a 4 year old and a 2 year old running around being crazy.  Maybe the craziness pushes me to delve more into my creativity?  Who knows!  But I’m going with it!

So far I’ve made three garments.  All three were made using early 1960’s maternity patterns, because I just think they are the best.  The 60’s ushered in a different look for pregnant women.  No longer were they basically covered with a fluffy, ruffled, gathered sheet of fabric with a hole cute out for their head and arms. No, now we begin to see more fitted bodices (lots of empire waist) and more sleek designs.  Don’t get me wrong, I think some of those flouncy floofy 50’s maternity tops are pretty cute, but I don’t want to go around looking like this all the time (although Ethel’s dress is pretty amazing):

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So here are the three garments I have made thus far, for your viewing pleasure!

1. McCall’s 6995, circa 1963 (Here is one on Etsy!).  Middle view. img_3491

This top is amazing.  I’m actually wearing it right now, and I want to make a bazillion more.  It was very easy to make.  I used a shorter zipper than the pattern called for, because it seemed a bit extreme to use such a long zipper on the blouse (I understand for the dress).  The zipper is exposed, which is not something I usually do, but I bought this gorgeous zipper in Korea and thought it looked really lovely with this fabric and the style of this blouse.  And because I make baby toys and accessories and have a plethora of KAM snaps, I just used some matching KAMs for the sleeve cuffs.

Here’s a totally unprofessional photo (ahem, Photo Booth) of me wearing it.
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2. McCall’s 6686, circa 1963 (Here is one on Etsy!).  View A. 

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This top was not quite as simple to put together, but the pattern was so nicely designed that it went together with ease nonetheless and turned out super beautiful.  It’s a little more on  the dressy side (I actually made it for Thanksgiving–posted about that, too!).


3. Vogue 5423, early 1960’s.  View B with 3/4 sleeves.

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Oh, oh, oh.  This dress.  I had been hunting this pattern down for a while, and happened to stumble upon two copies of it online while we were living in Korea, which I promptly purchased.  This era of early 60’s Vogue maternity was just…just amazing.  So stylish and lovely and different from everything else that was available from that time period.  I’d love to collect as many of them as I can.

So, I made this as a Christmas dress, super last-minute, figuring I could also wear it pretty much any time and dress it up or down accordingly.  I love pretty much everything about it.  It is comfortable, stylish, flattering, and fits like a dream!  There is cased elastic at the front bodice/skirt seam (I used some yellow bias binding because, well, why not?), which makes for more ease and comfort as your belly grows.  One thing I don’t think was necessary (at least for me and my body shape/size) was the side zipper.  What with the elastic waist and back button closure, I haven’t used the zipper once.  It was kind of a needless effort.  But that is ok!

Here’s a flashy (haha) photo of me wearing it.  I wore it with a navy grosgrain ribbon as the belt, as I haven’t decided what I want to do with the the permanent belt yet.

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Aside from making another one or two McCall’s 6995, I also want to make this Butterick top up in a plaid flannel (and I am totally going to try wearing it with a bow, too):
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I am also loving this McCall’s pattern, and might try and make up view C before March comes along:

What are your thoughts and experiences with sewing vintage maternity?  Let me know in the comments!

Bessie