Today I took the day off from work without ANY responsibilities. Lately I've taken days off only to have them fill up with ugly grown-up things like Doctor's appointments, Life Insurance meetings, and general ickiness. But today was about only three things: 1) birthday yummies (coffee, cupcakes, etc.); 2) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I've never seen it, and apparently that's a seriously blow to my street cred with my friends); and 3) working on my sewing.
I cleared out all my "fabric" over the weekend -- and by fabric I mean old T-shirts, clothes, and hunks of curtain that I can't bear to throw away. Well, it was time to get rid of some of it. I have these grand plans ("I'm going to turn these random pieces of linen into ... something!"). Yeah, no. So I any non-Notre Dame piece of clothing went in the donate pile (I have a plan for the ND stuff); real fabric (fabric, not curtains or old jeans) went in a (newly decorated) box; all clothes that hope to be turned into kids' clothes went in another box; and my clothes that needed to be altered were pulled out for today.
So the issue with clothes lately ... my shape has become very different than 2 year ago. Before the baby, I was about 155-160 lbs, with a 36DD chest. By the end of the pregnancy I was 185 pounds with a 38G chest (yes, G, as in Good-God)!). By the summer after baby was born, I was back at 160, still wearing the 38G bra (though actually just wearing nursing tanks and cardigans). I was wearing size 12 jeans.
Then 2012 hit and all hell broke loose. Everyone in the family (except the baby, but including Gramma and Grampy) got the stomach flu. I lost 11 pounds ... and it didn't come back. I was still nursing and pumping, and R had just learned to crawl and "cruise", so I figured I was just running around lot. February brought another bout of Mastitis, and I was in bed for 2 days. Another 5 pounds. March saw the first of FOUR throat infections in FIVE months. By the summer, I was down THIRTY POUNDS from the top of the year. I went shopping and bought size 8 jeans. WTF? (also, I felt really bad because the MIL had bought me some really nice dress pants for Christmas, all size 12, and they still have the tags on them :P).
(I've recently learned that I have Grave's Disease, which has lead to an over-active thyroid, which is part of the reason I lost so much weight -- or else why it didn't come back after those illnesses. We'll see, now that it's being treated, whether the following alterations were a waste of time.)
So, the Captain Obvious statement of the year: a lot of my clothes don't fit. I had put a few shirts away last summer, as they didn't contain my boobs or cover my belly. I pulled them out again this weekend, and while they cover the (no longer as prominent) belly, they still don't contain the boobs (I'm now wearing a 32E -- thinner, but still va-va-voomy). For example, a nice fitted knit sleeveless shirt finally reaches down to my belt, but my bra pops out the side. (oh, and don't get me started on the 1) hideousness and 2) monstrosities of nursing bras -- why do they have to be so big? Just cause I have to whip out the boob doesn't mean I am also wearing Turtle Necks, because I can't wear V-necks without everyone seeing the bra.). Anyway ... something needed to be done, and now that I've figured out how to turn the sewing machine on, I gave it a whirl.
#1 - The totally office-appropriate and adorable fitted knit sleeveless shirt
Not too bad, but take a look at the side view.
So much side-bra. Not classy.
Just need to pull the cup back and up to the original side seam and boom, fitted bust and no side boob.
(hard to see with the black-on-black, but basically stitched that top seam together, and sewed a new taken-in side seam).
What WHAT?! Who's the sexy lady wearing a shirt that fits?!
It also comes in blue :)
#2 - The also totally adorable casual blousey tank top.
I was so sad about this one. It's adorable. It has this great asymmetrical shape, which looks great when it fits. When it's too big, it just looks like you don't know how to dress yourself.
Not to mention the notorious side-bra. Seriously, I'm going to get kicked off social media for being obscene. Or get a lot of attention from creeps.
The Plan: second verse, same as the first.
A cameo from the trusty sewing machine. I should give it a name. Something loyal like Sparky or Fido. Or Heidi, because it's a Project Runway brand! Yes, I like Heidi ... or Tim Gun. Gunner? Make it work!
So much better!
The tricky part with this one was the straps. They were still a little loose, and more loose on the inside than on the outside.
You can see it's pushed up a little there in the back when I adjust the straps where I want them.
Also a little bra strap showing. (oh! Also, ask me about my underwire nursing bra. "WHAT?!" you say? Aren't those illegal? Another post, another blog.)
So you can see here how I adjusted the straps. Also it's really hard to take a picture of your back. And it's sort of unnerving to discover you're 30 and still have backne. God bless photoshop.
Here it is with the extra fabric removed. It may look a little tight on the back, but it's SO cute now.
#3 - The most adorable Target dress ever that I only got to wear once.
I got this the summer after baby, at my heaviest (post baby). It was perfect. However, I was so fitted and adorable that I couldn't wear it if I was going to 1) nurse the baby or 2) pump at work. I tried -- I basically had to take the whole thing off and be naked in the pumping room. Joy. And then I lost 30 pounds, and this is what it looked like.
O. M. G. That's awful. There was so much work to do.
So I pinned the straps tighter, pinned the bust in the middle, pinned the sides, and pinned the side "flare", because there was a little too much flare for the smaller waste. It was tricky because there is a built-in slip, and around the zipper they are sewn together. But I have to pat myself on the back for this one.
The flare is still a little weird, especially around the side zipper, but I'm not good enough to know how to fix that. But I can wear this dress again, and I am SO PSYCHED!!!
So, to summarize:
These clothes seriously look like I bought them this way. That's probably $80 of clothing right there that has been saved from the donation bin.