I'm sewing again! Woohoo! Actually, I never stopped sewing - but I haven't been blogging because I haven't been able to fit into the things I've been sewing, or I haven't been happy with how I've looked in the things I've sewn (yet). I'll talk about that shortly. First, let me show you my lace overlay Linden Sweatshirt!
The main portion of the shirt is Pendleton French terry I purchased at the local store when it was on sale a few months ago. The lace overlay was purchased at JoAnn Fabrics. I think they still have it in stores! I found the ribbing at Mill End here in Portland.
As all Linden Sweatshirts do, this top came together quickly and easily BUT...duh duh duh...my ribbing was super stretchy with little recovery, AND, the French terry turned out to be equally squishy. So, when I put this thing on after making it in a size 6, it was H.U.G.E.
(For clarification and reference as always, my non-pregnant measurements of 34-27-37 put me in a Grainline 4, so I made this in a 6 so it would sort of fit postpartum and also fit down the road as a slouchy sweatshirt. In these photos, I am more like 38-32-40, for reference. I am 5'6" and 150 lbs as pictured. Normally I am about 120-125.)
So, I did what any normal person would do, and I chopped off all the ribbing to try again. I serged an inch off each side to begin with, then I dramatically reduced the length of the ribbing for the neckline, hem band and cuffs. This was not a fault of the pattern at all; rather, my fabric was uniquely stretchy with poor recovery. I think the ribbing had a significant amount of rayon it it...seriously, no recovery. It's nothing like the cotton/lycra ribbing I'm used to. It's super soft and comfy though.
Once I had the fit issues worked out, I was very happy with this top. The neckline is a little wider than I'd like since I had to cut off the original (I can't be bothered with unpicking serging from loop terry - no way, no how), but it kind of gives the shirt a slouchy, lived-in feel.
Now, about those body issues...I'm going to save the bulk of this discussion for its own post when I have time to collect my thoughts and am not waiting for my infant to wake up from his nap. Suffice it to say that when I grabbed my camera to peek at these photos after my husband took them, I was semi-mortified. Seriously, all I could see was my large chin, my mom hair, voluminous back and my flat butt.
I kind of wanted to cry. Then, I realized, I just had a baby a month ago. I suppose I look pretty darn good for that - especially since I've had three babies in less than four whirlwind years. And yes, I know, you'll all re-assure me that I look great. I really appreciate that. But you know? I'm not myself. When I look at photos or in the mirror, I see someone I thought I'd never become. It's not so much about the weight; no, it's more about my overall fitness and health.
You see, I didn't JUST have three babies. I've let so many things fall by the wayside - things that didn't matter when I was 22. Back then, I could stay up all night, eat McDonald's for every meal and drink soda like water. Perhaps it wasn't healthy, but it wasn't evident in my body shape or my health. But now, I'm older. I'm more tired. My metabolism is slower. I feel like I started having babies at 29 when everything on my body was in its proper place and shape, and then, I woke up five years later with three kids, 15 years added to my face and a body I don't recognize.
Can anyone else relate?
Again, I know it's only been a month. It took 4 months/8 months with my other two kids to lose my baby weight. But this isn't just about weight; it's about overall health. I want to be running around having fun with my grandkids in 30 years. I don't want my body to continue breaking down at an unreasonable rate. And damnit, I want to look good in my jeans again! (And can I have my blonde hair back??!!)
Anyway, like I said...I plan to blog more about this at length and even post photos (gasp) of my immediate post-baby body. I think it's important for me to come to terms with how motherhood has changed me physically (permanent and non-permanent), and I also want to share the reality (and possibility!) of it with others.