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tips for making a baby bump diary

November 17th, 2014

It’s become a little tradition for us to document my growing baby bump each pregnancy. I’m really glad we’ve done it – because though we started it for ourselves, just so we would remember and could show family – it’s become something our kids really love looking at. I really want to get my act together and print out a full collage for each kiddo to put in their baby books. It’s amazing to me how much my body has changed each pregnancy and then gone back to normal again – I feel like every part of baby’s journey is such an amazing miracle.

So now that i’ve done this 3 times, i thought i’d share with you a few tips!

  1. Choose a consistent & maintainable backdrop. You are going to be taking these photos for 9 months, so you need to make sure you can keep your backdrop the whole time. We used the plainest wall in our house, and removed all the pictures when we were taking photos.
  2. Keep each picture the same size. An easy way to do this is to make sure whoever is taking your photos is standing at the same distance from you every time (We measured each time).
  3. Set a regular time to take your photos, and then give yourself a break! For my first two diaries i tried to take photos once a week, which was kind of a disaster because who has that kind of consistency? not me :) This time round we made it the first week of every month, it was easy to remember and a much more maintainable interval. And even then, we missed one month when i was really morning sick – but such is life right?
  4. Use some photo editing software. You don’t need photoshop, there are some free programs like GIMP, or even Picasa that allow you to edit your photos a bit. You may need to adjust the lighting a bit to make your photos consistent. I also like to crop them a little, and use photoshop to edit out picture hooks on the wall. I made this diary black and white because i think i think it always looks a bit more emotive, and it helped disguise the fact the lighting wasn’t perfectly consistent in each shot.
  5. Wear the same outfit. But choose wisely! You need to make sure that whatever you wear will still fit in 9 months time.  The last two times i’ve done this diary i just used super stretchy tops – but this time i decided to make my own top using my Ruched maternity top sewing pattern. I’m really glad i did because it worked sooooo much better! The last times it was kinda hard to fit the tops over my full term belly, but this time it was a breeze. I don’t know why i didn’t think of using my own design before – so silly!

So did any of you do baby bump diaries for your pregnancies? Or have a favourite? For some other ideas about how to record your growing bump check out our post about DIY pregnancy photo series!

How to make a ruched maternity dress with Clio & Phineas

November 10th, 2014

I’m so excited about todays guest post! Clio has been making the most gorgeous maternity wear during her pregnancy. When i saw that she had merged some maternity patterns to create her own maternity dresses i got really excited and asked her to share how she went about combining patterns to make maternity wear. Clio writes over at Clio and Phineas, so when you’re done reading her tutorial please head on over to her lovely blog and check out the rest of her fantastic maternity makes. So much inspiration there! Ok over to Clio.

First off, I was really excited when I was invited to write this guest post. When I learned I was pregnant, I immediately started thinking about and planning a maternity wardrobe even though it was months before I would actually need maternity clothing. So, it’s something that I really thought about and started working on long before I even announced my pregnancy.

I had a lot of grand ideas at first, but in the end I found that focusing on a few key patterns that were easy to sew, were versatile and that I could use again and again was the best way to quickly build a wardrobe that I love and still feels like me.

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DIY cloth baby wipes

November 5th, 2014

I have been cloth diapering my Baby Bird since she was about 2 weeks old, and i noticed very quickly once i started that i didn’t have enough cloth wipes. In a mad panic i ordered more, waited and waited, and then realised: I CAN SEW.

Moments like these i kind of want to bang my head against the wall for being so silly. I mean seriously meg?? My stash of soft flannel fabric is huge and this task simply could not be easier. Grrrr.

So i quickly sat down, cut a bunch of 7″x7″ (18cmx18cm) squares, rounded off the edges, serged/overlocked the raw edges and we were good to go. It was just that easy. So if you use cloth wipes for your babe, or are thinking about it, don’t forget to check out your fabric stash before you buy! Personally i like using flannel or terry cloth for my wipes. It’s always such a good feeling when you can make something rather than buy it right?

Now feel free to giggle at me for forgetting i owned a sewing machine and scissors.

the two seam top

October 27th, 2014

I’ve had a few questions about what the Two Seam Dress looks like unbelted, so i thought i’d quickly share with you another version i made, a two seam top!

I wore this top during my pregnancy almost once a week, and now that baby is out and I am feeding all the time, i’m also happy to report that this top makes a fantastic nursing top and cover up – i will have to take a few photos to show you what i mean! This one was made with more ease than the final tutorial i shared, and is also using a thicker stiffer jersey with much less drape. I think it shows pretty well what i had mentioned in the tutorial, with regards to the design working better with a thin drapey jersey.

To recreate this look use the Two Seam Dress tutorial but at the appropriate length for a top, and add a pair of DIY maternity shorts by remaking an old pair of shorts using one of our great tutorials:

Happy sewing! XOXO

DIYMaternity style // Two Seam top using the Two Seam Dress tutorial from DIYMaternity.com + DIY maternity shorts from old shorts using tutorials on DIYmaternity.com

tutorial: two seam maternity dress

October 21st, 2014


So excited to share this tutorial with you today!! I’ve mentioned this before, but during pregnancy i have like a million more “i hate everything in my closet what am i going to wear” days. Thats what happened on the day i made this dress. I was frustrated and i wanted to wear something flowy and chic and i wanted it 5 minutes ago. So i came up with this nifty little dress. It involved 2 seams, some clever cutting and voila, chic easy going maternity wear.

I will absolutely be making more of this little number and its so easy that i feel that a tutorial is very very necessary. This is one of those pieces that works just as well for the pregnant gal and the non-pregnant gal, can be made shorter to be a top instead, and fantastically is perfect for beginners who want quick results with very little sewing knowledge or effort required.

Sometimes simple is best! Am i right?! Okay ready to learn how?

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DIYMaternity style // Wrapped crop top + Gathered waist skirt

October 17th, 2014

Remember how i was telling you about the new crop top variation in my wrap maternity top pattern ? WELL here it is!

It was definitely one of my favourite pieces during my pregnancy, and even now that i am breastfeeding it works beautifully. Here i’ve styled it with an elastic waist skirt worn above my bump. To recreate this look you will need the wrap maternity top pattern and could use these fantastic tutorials here on DIYM to make a gorgeous skirt:

If you have an older version of the wrapped maternity top pattern that doesn’t include the crop top variation, use this tutorial to alter your pattern.

[Make this look]

Top: Megan Nielsen cropped wrap maternity top // Pattern 
Skirt: Thrifted  // Easily created using one of the tutorials above
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
Socks: Myer
Necklace: Merl Kinzie // Clydes Rebirth 

Crop top pattern alteration for Wrapped Maternity top

October 11th, 2014

I recently reformatted my Wrapped top sewing pattern in preparation for releasing it through Simplicity and as a PDF, and whilst i was doing so, i realised how easy it would be to adjust the pattern a little to create a cropped sweater or crop top.

If you already have the pattern, don’t worry – it’s a super easy pattern adjustment to get the same result.

I really love this little crop top because it adds so much versatility to the pattern. You could make a cropped sweater perfect for maternity or nursing, or a crop top that you can wear on it’s own or layer, adding a gathered skirt or a circle skirt immediately results in a gorgeous maternity dress or nursing dress. You could even add a little peplum.

Personally i’ve worn mine to death, and i’ll share how i styled it a little later this week. XOXO