Monday, August 20, 2012

Lace, At Last

Before I was married, my then future mother-in-law brought back a few yards of lace for me from Puerto Rico. Beautiful, creamy lace, perfectly feminine without being too "girly." That lace has been languishing in my stash for probably three years now, waiting for the perfect opportunity.

And last week, that opportunity came knocking.

Finally in the 3rd trimester! It's still too soon to start counting down the days... 
But I am. *wink*

After realizing that I can't sew all of my maternity tops from my tunic pattern (well, I could, but it would be rather boring), it was time to come up with something else. Starting with a blouse pattern that was *not* darted in the side seam, I tweaked and fiddled until I had a custom sleeveless top. Just two pieces -- front and back -- with endless possibilities for variation. The front neckline can be pleated or gathered to take in the fullness required for wearing ease. The simplest finishing option is a bit of bias tape around the neckline and armholes. A simple hem and a belt, and it's done!

But this blouse needed something more.

More, as in a false placket, mother of pearl buttons, and self-fabric ties. Oh, and lace. Lace, at last!

The fabric is a cotton shirting that I bought at JoAnn's, after waiting patiently for a 50% off Red Tag sale. I love the woven stripe-and-diamond pattern; it's subtle, but adds a lot of texture. I think I intended it for a Regency gown at the time, but it's been several years and I don't foresee making one any time soon.

The lace is a perfect match, tucked into the placket and into the self-bias around the armholes and neckline. I opted for a gathered neckline for this blouse. Two fabric ties are concealed under the placket, providing just enough shaping. I'm finding in this pregnancy that I much prefer "shapeless" tops that can be cinched in with a belt of some sort. "Permanent" waistbands (whether elastic or not) have a tendency to be too tight, too loose, too high, or too low. Already I need to re-do a belt I made earlier in my pregnancy, as it's become a bit too snug around the ribcage to be comfortable while I'm sitting!

Little did I realize that this post would turn out to be quite the process:

  1. Make blouse
  2. Make beige camisole to wear under blouse (to conceal navy blue maternity skirt panel)
  3. Iron blouse
  4. Set up camera on tripod
  5. Go back in the house to get the camera remote, which the baby made you forget
  6. Take pictures
  7. Check results and take more pictures
  8. Tote camera and tripod back into the house
  9. Rub Tiger Balm on the seven mosquito bites acquired in as many minutes while taking pictures outside 
  10. Upload, edit, and resize photos.
  11. Write blog post. Though I'm considering including this with Step 10, just because an even ten is so nice. Oh well. At least eleven is symmetrical.

Anyway, there's another incarnation of this blouse (linen and flutter sleeves!) just waiting to be worn and photographed. And considering that I'm getting closer to the finish line, I think it might be time to stop making maternity blouses. Unless I can't resist, that is. 


  1. Your top is very beautiful and you look radiant in it! Congratulations to you and yours!

  2. Shannon, this is beautiful! Very classy but looks comfortable. Well done!

  3. Haha, it's so true! Blogging can be a lot of work. Thanks for taking the time to share your creativity. Your top is very elegant and you look beautiful in it.


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