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Awkward Moments in Modest Dressing: Pregnant Without Sweatpants!

Disclaimer: I am no longer pregnant. These pictures were taken in February and our son was born March 1, 2011. I just didn't get this post done before now ;)
The fact is that when I was pregnant with my daughter, which was mostly during warm weather, I could find a plethora of fairly inexpensive maternity dresses. Which if you've ever been pregnant, you know that in the last few months pants can become very uncomfortable, as everything is too high or too low, and if you've never tried it, trust me, dresses/skirts are not only more comfortable during this period, but actually make you look more put together and attractive instead of a waddling, frumpy mess, ready to pop any second.
This time I was big-pregnant during the coldest part of the year, and was astonished to find that my options for covering myself were either jeans/sweats with tunic type shirts, the same wrap dress (but they were really expensive), and *gag* the blue jean miniskirt (I don't know how many people are wearing miniskirts in the last trimester of pregnancy, but can't imagine that it's a good look for anyone), not to mention that many options weren't very modest.
Undaunted, I decided to go to a local fabric store and look for some maternity sewing patterns to fill this void in my wardrobe. (Which I must say was so unbelievably and amply stocked through God's grace in providing me clothing through some very generous mothers. Thank you Crissy and Mrs. Walker!!! So, I had plenty of tops and pants, but not even a skirt to wear.) The problem was that even in pattern books you could find that same wrap dress (which I don't particularly care for as I have a 3yr. old I can envision lifting the fabric to see what's under "wraps", and there's wind).
*Sigh* So, what's a girl to do?!?
One word. Ebay. Yes, ebay.
I went to ebay and started looking through vintage patterns for maternity wear, and was delighted to find so many so cheap (many as cheap as $0.99! Woo Hoo!) and they looked more like regular dresses. They weren't tight everywhere, but were totally tailored and gorgeous!
So, I sewed, and sewed, and sewed, and ........ here's some results!
The pattern I used was a size 10, and fit well without modifying. I used a thin knit jersey (think cool and comfy fabrics) in grey. This was one of the most comfortable dresses I've ever worn, and the drawstring empire waist made it perfect even in the last trimester.

This pattern was a size 10, too, but I actually had to take it in quite a bit. This was the easiest to sew, and I used black polyester suiting material. It doesn't wrinkle easily or require ironing and this style works well with a sweater or fitted blazer (even if you can't button it anymore) and it gave me a dressy option without being uncomfortable.

This photo was suggested by Shelby.

This pattern was a size 16, but I didn't have to do much taking in due to the full nature of the skirt, just added a fabric tie-belt in the same material to keep it from looking like a muu muu when I was at my biggest. I wish I would've made it a little longer, and I had to refit the sleeves and neck (apparently my neck is bigger than the average pregnant woman in the 60s). I used a plaid cotton blend, but the material I chose shrunk a little, so definitely wash your fabric before cutting. Also very comfortable dress that worked well with leggings.

I used the pattern below for this top. I used a brown wool suiting material that had a gold thread running through it. It has a beautiful removable cowl neck and box pleating on the back. I used the Simplicity pattern below to make the matching skirt.

This was my attempt to show the box pleating in the back. Neither of these pictures really do this suit justice. It turned out so wonderfully, and I loved wearing it. I always got lots of compliments in it, and it made a really nice church outfit.

I made this skirt from the above pattern out of a wool black and white tweed.  This was a wardrobe staple and was very comfortable. I did not make the red sweater, but already had it.

I made this skirt by cutting apart a pair of wide-leg jean maternity capris that I bought at Walmart on clearance for $1!!! I wore it a lot more when I wasn't so big. It had a low elastic waist band, and by the time I was really big, I just didn't find that comfortable.
I did actually make the three-quarter sleeve suit from this pattern, but didn't get a chance to take a picture before I had our son. I used a bluish green thin suiting material for it, and I loved the pilgrim collar. 

If you're looking for vintage patterns on ebay look for bundles and make sure you check the shipping (it shouldn't cost $5.00 to ship a pattern). Also look to see if it is being sold "as is" or if the seller has checked to ensure that all the pieces and instructions are intact. Also for making maternity panels in skirts I cut up old t-shirts with an elastic casing at the top, and they were definitely comfortable.
If you're pregnant, I hope you enjoy being feminine and modest as much as I did :)
So, should pregnant women start demanding better clothing options for winter bigness? I say YES!
What say you?

31 Days To Clean Homemaking Challenge: Day Two

Sorry this post is a little late, but I try to take the weekends off from blogging and as the author has suggested, am taking weekends off from the challenge. Not that I do not do housework or clean on the weekends, it's just the specific challenges that I am not doing then. Plus, my husband often works long hours during the week, but is usually off on the weekends, so Saturday is an essential family time for us each week, and Sunday, well, it's the Lord's day :)

So here's Day Two: 

The Mary challenge is to look at your home and find ways you can make it come alive. So, I'm thinking of both ways I can bring "life" to my family relationally and how I can just make my home prettier, more comfortable, and well, just more homey.
A big thing for me is to become self-absorbed. I tend, especially when cleaning or doing housework, to just focus so completely on it. It's almost therapeutic. It doesn't help me right now with this cleaning challenge to have a nursing two month old who has acid reflux and colick as well as a three year old who's very mommy-attached. So, and this is a confession for me, I get frustrated and even angry. I obviously have a hard time completing tasks right now, and that just frustrates me so much that I know I'm sucking the fun and "life" right out of my home. So, for me, even though I like the thought of doing more organizing or decorating to help, I know the biggest thing I can do right now is work on not getting so upset or frustrated when things don't go my way, because that's what's frustrating me the most, MY schedule is interrupted. 
I know my children are a blessing and I really am so grateful to God for them, but I think like most moms, I just let my frustration get the better of me sometimes. So, here are some Scriptures I will be trying to memorize in the hope that they will help me combat the anger I am prone to take out on my family. 
"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil."-Psalm 37:8
"Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools."-Ecclesiastes 7:9
"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger"-Ephesians 4:26
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,  drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."-Galatians 5:19-23
"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."-Ephesians 4:31
"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."-Colossians 3:8
"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;"-1 Timothy 2:8
"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."-James 1:19-20
"A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression."-Proverbs 29:22

As far as the frustration that is causing my anger, I'm going to try to work out some sort of system to enable me to be more efficient in my cleaning. I have nothing very structured set in place, but am going to ask my husband to help me find something that works. I have a feeling that he could definitely point out some areas where I'm being very inefficient. I'll try to post my system when I have something definite and that works set in place.

Martha Challenge Day Two:
Clean refridgerator and freezer. Surprisingly this part again was way easier than the introspective and *gulp* convicting Mary challenge. I will not tell you how old some of the expiration dates were or what was lurking in the back. We have a deep freeze in the basement, but I haven't had the opportunity to tackle it yet. It needs to be thawed out anyway, but I may have to wait until my husband's here to help watch the kids for that. 

This picture was actually taken while I was still pregnant and is completely unrelated, and actually unposed ;)
For those interested, Shelby is still working on getting her own blog started, and I'll keep you posted on it's progress.
I hope you all are making progress in your cleaning and hope that we all emerge not just with cleaner homes, but with homes filled with "life". So, how are you changing the way you clean? Are you being as convicted as I am?