Guys, I made a thing! Oh yeah, and I sewed this top, too. 😉
I just got back to my sewing machine for the first time after giving birth, coming in just under the six-month mark. I spent the first few months of Baby Juju’s life not even thinking about sewing, then the next few feeling like I wouldn’t get a chance to sew for several years at least. Then finally, the itch came on too strong, and I had to find a way to get back to stitching. So, squeezed in the precious few minutes of nap time and evening time I made it happen, and I’m so excited!
(Also, Real Talk moment: being the primary caregiver for a baby is like a billion times harder than I anticipated. I wasn’t expecting to float along each day on a cloud of baby giggles and tummy rubs, but dude, I mean… I just had NO idea.)
This top is from an old McCall’s release, which I previously sewed up into a dress . This time, I kept it as a top, but added a small slit in the asymmetrical bodice seam — similar to new release Vogue 1570.
Since I pump milk every few hours, I’m all about easy-access separates. (Just one of many reasons why pumping sucks — I miss my dresses!) I wanted a simple and easy project, something that I could realistically complete and that would probably turn out wearable. Basically, I dialed my ambitions back to zero, because if nothing else, that’s what parenthood has taught me.
To create the cut-out, I just left a gap in the center front seam (or as my husband said, “Honey, I think you missed a few stitches”). I then used some Stitch Witchery to hold the raw edges in place along the seam line and top-stitched. It worked well enough, though it was still a challenge to get a clean line of stitching. (Psst… I did not get a clean line of stitching. Don’t tell anyone.) I like the look of the slit; it’s an interesting detail that still keeps things streamlined — even if it’s hard to see in photos.
The fabric is a stretch knit from JoAnn’s, and for the first time, I realize why some people are terrified of knit fabrics. It was so squirmy, and wriggly, and fussy — not unlike another creature in my life…
Anyway, it sucked to work with. I could’ve put in more effort to adjust my sewing machine’s settings, or used tissue paper to sew the seams with, or… blah blah blah. It was not going to happen. Once I realized how frustrating this fabric was to work with, I forged ahead
sloppily fearlessly, and expected the project to be a disaster. It wouldn’t matter in the big picture, and not fighting the fabric seemed more likely to lead to happiness. Much to my surprise, it did — and this top turned out way better than I would’ve imagined while I was working on it.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT of messiness here, from super wonky stitching to poorly placed Stitch Witchery and wavy hems, but now is not the time for details. Now is the time to celebrate small victories! This top fits reasonably well, is super soft, and turned out pretty close to my original vision. (At least from six feet away…) Also, I love the color! This shot of rich red is just what I needed. After so many months of dark circles and spit-up covered pajamas, it feels great seeing something bold and exciting in the mirror.
Hooray for you, my Red Tee of Mothering Glory! Here’s hoping you don’t get pooped on too soon!
(Also, if you’re wondering where pics of Juju are, I’m trying to be pretty measured in sharing images of her. I have Thoughts on children and privacy, but I want to be realistic about the ubiquity of social media. Since she’s a huge part of my life, she’ll probably make an occasional appearance, but I’ll always veer toward the side of less exposure. Don’t worry; everyone’s happy and healthy, if a little underslept.)