Sunday, May 16, 2010

When you can't sew polka dots, buy them

Pink nursing nightgown from Motherhood Maternity that I plan to wear after delivery at the hospital... wish I had sewn it myself, but at least it has polka dots.

Readers, how I've missed you! I've been continuing to have a rough time, physically speaking, and have been too tired to blog, or even read many of my favorite sewing blogs (horrors!). I'm in my 36th week of pregnancy now, and while I had vaguely heard the third trimester could be "uncomfortable", I had no idea I'd be in so much constant pain in so many places and barely be able to walk. Forget sitting in front of a sewing machine--lying on my left side with pillows supporting my belly is pretty much the ONLY comfortable position.

But don't feel too sorry for me--Cartoonist Husband is taking EXCELLENT care of me and I get endless hours of amusement watching Cartoonist Baby try to poke various limbs through my uterus. I am SO beyond excited that I will finally get to meet her soon!

But back to the real point of this post--don't you just HATE it when you have grand plans to sew something--but you run out of time or something happens and you are forced to buy it instead?

Especially when you already had the fabric and pattern in your stash?

A short time back I wrote about my plan of making several faux-wrap nursing nightgowns that could double as dresses. I'll may still do that at some point post-preggo, but since I'll be full term next week and am not likely to recover my sewing mojo in the interim, I gritted my teeth and bought two instead.

The one at the top of this post is from Motherhood Maternity--when it arrived in the mail I realized it might be a little flimsy to actually work as outside daywear, but it's certainly fine for having guests over in my early sleep-deprived weeks as a new mama. It sure hurt to pay $24 when I already had the fabric and pattern, but I had to squelch the pain.

The other one, from Japanese Weekend, is much more dress-like, with short sleeves and cute lettuce hem. Black might not have been the best choice considering all the light-colored cat hair floating around my apartment, but the other colors were too pastel:

I may also have mentioned that I had ordered a nursing bra pattern and the requisite fabric and notions from Elingeria in Germany. In fact, Michaela from Elingeria (coincidental name!) actually drafted the pattern at special request, since it previously was not available in small band/large cup sizes. It's available for anyone now, up to an I cup:

Ezi Sew 110

I was going to make it up in a fabulous red in 34G. But time ran out, and so I bought a few RTW bras from Bravado and Anita. Here's the Bravado one, known as the Bliss bra--it's molded, which is something I couldn't have done myself anyway, and incredibly supportive considering it has no wires:

Even more painful, I didn't have a chance to make my own nursing cover--what could be a quicker, simpler and cheaper project? Elizabeth at E Made This gave me the idea and I found that there were tons of free sewing tutorials for making them. I have plenty of suitable fabric in my stash and would just have needed D-rings and some boning...

But alas. I bought one instead, for the painful price of $32. I know some women don't feel nursing covers are necessary... and of course women should NOT be ashamed to nurse in public with or without a cover. But this is all new to me, and I want to feel as comfortable going out in public with my baby girl as possible--I don't want the fear of exposed breasts keeping us in the apartment in the lovely summer afternoons!

Anyway, it's cute and the fabric seems of very nice quality, despite the ridiculous brand name ("Hooter Hiders?" Really?!) Purple goes with everything:

Which is why I also got a Glamourmom purple nursing tank designed for large bust sizes (with a super-supportive built-in bra):

And an interesting patent-pending item called the Undercover Mama, which hooks to any nursing bra and converts most any top to a discreet nursing top. I got it in black:

Still... after so much sewing in the last few months, shopping somehow just feels WRONG. I've been SO enjoying wearing at least one or two maternity items I sewed myself every day, and clothes with pricetags that I didn't sweat over myself just aren't the same.

So I'm hoping those few RTW items will hold me until Cartoonist Baby and I settle into a routine and I get my sewing mojo back!


  1. Don't worry about buying the essentials, they'll be worth it. I had a bra fitting after my Doozer was born and was surprised to find I was not a 38D (which is what I had been wearing) but a 34F. I bought two Anita bras, the lacy ones, I'm loving them. They're very supportive but still a tad sexy, ya know?

    And I'm going to put a plug in for my friend, she has a business that sells some really cute functional nursing ponchos that cover very well. Here's the link:

    Ignore the baby doll in the pics, I've seen these things in action and they rock.

  2. You gotta do what ya gotta do - your and baby's health and well being trump every best-laid plan and all that. Think of it this way, you might be pregnant again soon (heh - no, really), and you'll already have everything you need to whip up a few new pieces.

    I never got used to nursing bras with cups that unhook and pull down because they end up with spilled milk inside the cups, no matter how careful I tried to be. I ended up mostly using athletic-type bras (not as supportive and not sure it would work w/your cup size) that I would pull up and over my breast to get it out of the way.

    I am sorry you are not comfortable - I (literally) feel your pain on that front. I've got ~5 weeks to go with my twins. "Discomfort" doesn't begin to describe how much it hurts. If you're having crazy crotch pain (aka SPD) that make walking or turning over in bed a bitch, I may be able to give you some non-drug suggestions on how to deal with that.

  3. When I had wee ones I found I was less embarrassed by having the milk jugs out than by having my fat rolls showing. And Little Darling #2 was especially found of kneading said fat rolls while she ate. So you'll probably find those Undercover Mama shirts very helpful.

  4. You poor thing! Are you still working full time? I hope not!

  5. You are soooo close. The joy is about to happen soon. I'm so excited for you.

    Thanks for the links. You never know when they'll come in handy for your

  6. When I was at 36 weeks, my mother (very wise in the ways of pregnancy and childbirth - she had all three of us on the commune, with a midwife!) explained: "Think about it: You have to get so uncomfortable in pregnancy that you start LOOKING FORWARD to labor. Otherwise, you'd go into labor fearful, instead of excited!"

    Uh, yeah. Thanks mom.

    Hang in there, keep those feet up, and do what you can to keep your mind off your physical state. (I got a lot of great reading done, personally - whatever works for you.)

    And for the record, I approve of your choices. For the first month or so, I lived in soft sleeping bras and nursing tanks. You want bras that don't put any pressure anywhere. I'm well endowed as well, but this took precedence over supporting the girls. You don't want to get clogged ducts.

    Nursing covers are great for the newborn period - my baby no longer tolerates anything over his head, so the whole universe has seen my breasts now and I'm completely over it. But initially, it was nice to be modest, for the reasons you explain.


  7. I'm sorry to hear you're having a tough time! I've been thinking about ya and I really thought you had maybe gone into labor early!

  8. Oh man, you are so close :) Don't feel guilty about buying stuff that you could have made. I did the same thing, bought a couple of nightgowns with easy nursing access that, in theory, I could have made cheaply and relatively quickly, but sometimes it's nice to let someone else do all the work!

  9. I have been checking in to see how you are going... SO glad to have you blog again at last! I think many people have plans of making things and then fatigue kills those urges way too quickly - so don't feel too guilty. I bought a couple of nursing nightgowns as well off the rack, and it was so frustrating at the price, but I couldn't be bothered with the hassle.

    That said, I used your pattern suggestion for a onesie and made my first one the other day. In vibrant green and a bright print of animals. Such a gorgeous pattern. I plan to try and get a few more of those out before I start to feel revolting as well. (21 weeks at the moment!).

    Good luck to you, your husband and the burgeoning bundle!

  10. I, for one, and thrilled to see you post as I have been concerned about your sudden and prolonged silence!
    Sorry you are feeling so uncomfortable- I have a feeling that I am right behind you (32 weeks). I still have so much sewing to do- and not enough energy to do it. Ah well, we will have our baby girls whether or not we get our nursing covers and nursery curtains done:)

  11. Thanks everyone! And yes, I'm still working full time, not sure yet when I'll go on leave (want to save as much of my 12-week-leave as possible for when Baby is already here, though realistically I can't possibly work up til my due date).

  12. oh you have my sympathy - I remember those last weeks all too vividly. And my pregnancy went 42 weeks, so I had extra time to experience it all! Take care, can't wait to meet your little one


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