Pregnant clown anyone?

After all the searching for a pattern, trying to translate directions, the Singer that died, and the endless questions on PatternReview, I made a clown costume for a pregnant woman.  Thank god it was only muslin.  Here’s a pic (please ignore the incredibly bad sewing)…hp101muslin1


I can’t believe it’s taken me weeks to create a wadder.  I made a size 12 (for 38 in bust) and definitely could have gone down a size or two.  There is just too much fabric going on here.  The guidelines for how much elastic to use for the neckline was too generous; I don’t think there was enough gathering for that much fabric.  I didn’t bother hemming the sleeves or elasticizing the waist as I was checking for fit and whether I liked the style on me at all.  I think it would have been even more comical had I gone ahead and elasticized the waist, I could have looked even more like a pregnant clown.  Have I mentioned that I looked like a pregnant clown yet? 

Saturday afternoon, I still was under the impression that I could salvage this project.  I went upstairs to my sister’s apt (we live in the same building — how awesome is that???!!!!) and borrowed one of her belts to see if I liked it as a tunic.  We came up with the following workarounds:

  1. Lengthen the top to tunic length (easy fix).
  2. Go down 1 sizes (now I think even going down 2 size wouldn’t work)
  3. Skip elasticizing the back neck and decrease the width of back pattern sheet to accommodate not needing to be gathered anymore (with my limited sewing knowledge, I don’t know if this is feasible without irreparably distorting the pattern).

It would probably work… if I used a different pattern altogether.  This pattern (HP 101) is just cut too wide.  There’s too much fabric around the middle and you will look fat no matter if you are a starving model or not.   Or maybe you need to have a long torso to pull it off or maybe you just shouldn’t make it.  Ok, in all fairness, if you used a much drapier fabric than unwashed muslin, it might work.  But I really wanted to use a cotton for this top and I don’t think any cotton would be drapey enough for this pattern.  Of course, I am no fabric expert, so if there is a really drapey cotton, please let me know.  So, sadly, I did not finish a top for Rae’s Spring Top sewalong.  But you should check it out and vote on the best one! 

Without further ado, here are some “tunic” pics…




It wasn’t all for naught though!  I did learn a lot on this top:

  1. How to use single fold bias tape (and how not to).
  2. I can sew straight seams pretty well, but really need to practice my curved seams.
  3. PatternReview is my friend!
  4. I still need to fine tune the tensions on my serger.  The side seams I created on this top were really loose and when you pulled the fabric on both sides of the seam, it exposed too much of the threads. 
  5. I still want to sew despite all the frustrations and setbacks on this project.


So now I need a super duper cute and easy spring/summery top pattern.  I don’t think I have anything suitable in my pattern stash.  Most of my patterns are for knit tops.   Any suggestions?  The search continues…

Happy sewing everyone!


4 responses to “Pregnant clown anyone?

  1. Have you tried pulling the elastic tighter? You don’t HAVE to use the amount they recommend…!

    On the other hand, maybe you should look through the tops you do like in your closet (and in your past) and think about what shapes you love wearing.

    I love the idea of these peasant tops, but whenever I’ve tried to wear one I HATE it on me. I have enough curved lines on my lower half; my face and upper half are more angular however, and I look better with those sorts of shapes on the upper half…

    Hang in there! I actually think this is a pretty top on you…but obviously not what you were expecting/wanting!


  2. I did consider pulling the elastic tighter, but there is so much fabric bulk that it would have ballooned our from under my arms and at my waist. I know what you mean about loving the idea of something but the reality of it on you is much different and too often in a negative way. Thanks Elaine!

  3. Have you looked at Kwik Sew 3603
    It’s very similar to the BWOF pattern, but given that it is a Kwik Start pattern, it will have MUCH better instruction for a beginner.
    Good luck. Heather

  4. Thanks Heather! I will check out that Kwik Sew pattern!

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