Tough

This is another version of Burda 8071.  I made the princess-seamed version last year (view A).  This is the gathered-bodice version (view C).  I kept the back skirt piece (extending it to maxi-length) and did the slash-and-spread thing on the front piece to make room for the belly.  I have a feeling I’m going to be making one of these every summer.

This dress took a lot longer to make than I thought it would.  Partly that’s because I decided it was high time I got more professional with my seam finishes and pressing (more on that below).  And partly because…third trimester is kind of kicking my ass.  I breezed through first trimester with no nausea whatsoever so I can’t really complain.  But for the past three weeks I’ve felt sick and dizzy anytime I (a) stand, (b) sit for an extended period of time, or (c) lean forward.  Oy.

So sewing has consisted mostly of 10-20 minute bursts of activity, interspersed with 20 minutes of lying down.  (Ok, yesterday one of those 20 minute periods somehow turned into a 2 hour nap.  I don’t know how that happened).  Cutting was even worse, given that I lay out my fabric and cut on the floor.  I tried kind of leaning to one side to cut but it was still cut one side—wait 5 minutes— cut another side…etc.

Work has been about the same thing except that I try to limit myself to one 20 minute break per day.  I feel kind of embarrassed sneaking off to the conference room to lie down.  Actually I mostly feel embarrassed about the whole thing.  Every lab I have worked in since college has had at least one pregnant woman in it, and every one of those women has worked pretty much up to the day she delivered.  So I feel totally lame when I can’t power through my experiments or leave early because I feel awful.  There are also lots of stories that circulate about how quickly different women came back after having their babies.  Usually I’m pretty good about not letting lab machismo (or…er..feminismo?) get to me but for some reason I keep feeling like I’m not measuring up.

None of this should reflect badly on my lab, which has been awesome in every way.   My boss reminded me the other week to take care of myself first.  My lab bros carry stuff for me and drag the heavy outdoor chairs over for me at lunch.  And David has been fantastic, making me protein breakfasts every morning, packing my backpack with snacks and drinks, and taking over what little cleaning he wasn’t doing already :)

Anyway, back to seam finishes.  I tried a bunch of new-to-me things this time including stabilizing the arms with fusible bias tape (awesome), and using french seams (great for this ravel-y lightweight rayon):

Also for the first time I left the iron on and running while I sewed, so I could press each seam as I finished it.  Actually I pressed a lot of things into place before I sewed them and…wow, did that make a huge difference!  I was always reluctant to fire up the iron so I would save up a bunch of pressing then try to do it all at once.  But this just looked so much better.  I think I may have to change my ways.

Other design changes I made:  As with the princess-seamed version, this bodice was designed absurdly low.  I added an inch and a half to the top of all the pieces.  Instead of a side-zipper, I put elastic in the waistband.  First I gathered the bodice and sewed it with a zig-zag to the elastic:

Then I gathered the skirt front and sewed the skirt to the bodice.  I’ve been finding my gathers behave better if I keep the gathered side down (against the feed) and leave the elastic on top to slide under the presser foot.  Finally, I found that center front drooped a bunch.  I should probably have moved the elastic up, but being lazy I just sewed a horizontal tuck in the bodice front.  Good enough for pregnant lady clothes.