Southport Top x True Bias
This post is my honest opinion using a pattern and fabric I received free of charge from Indiesew.
When you're planning sewing projects (or shopping for that matter), do you tend to gravitate towards certain items of clothing? I don't know if its because as a teenager I only ever sewed my dresses and skirts for church, but I've noticed that as an adult, dresses are still the first thing I think to make. And while I enjoy sewing them, I then end up with a closet full of dresses that I only wear one day a week. Because as comfortable as they might be, I still reach for tees and jeans for daily wear.
I've liked the style of the Southport Dress by True Bias for a while and knew it could totally be maternity friendly. I mean look at the gathered waist, the cute ties, and the buttoned (or in this case, snapped) bodice--talk about serious maternity and nursing features. However, I was still wary of making yet another maternity dress (like here, here, and here-times-2). And then it dawned on me---just shorten that puppy and make a top! Again, the reality is I end up in tees and I don't often wear blouses or woven tops, so this Southport top gets me out of my dress rut and steps up my normal tee and jeans ensemble, too.
Linen is a fabric I always love but never think to use, so I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to try out this lovely grey and white stripe linen from IndieSew. Finding narrow stripes has been tough in my experience so when I saw this one online I snatched some up quick! I love how cool and comfortable it is---and after two washes since I made the top it keeps getting better! I'm excited for this garment to get "broken in" and reach its max softness. This linen is quite light weight and is listed as semi-sheer, but I haven't needed an undershirt which has made it even cooler during these summer months.
Once again, I'm short and pregnant (like, feeling sooooo pregnant these days), so some modifications were in order:
My first change was to shorten the bodice by 2.25". Now the waist ties sit more at the top of my belly and when I'm not pregnant should hit pretty close to my natural waist with a bit of an empire feel.
I also raised the front neckline 1" for just a little more coverage.
Shortening to a top doesn't require much; I simply held the skirt pattern piece against my body where my new waist seam would be and marked a spot on my hip that felt good, then added the seam allowance. There ya go! Dress is now a top.
As I've done for my maternity Darling Ranges dress and Pixie Tees (1 and 2), I curved the front hem down 1.5" for more even belly coverage. Its a minimal change so I can leave this hem postpartum or recut and hem later.
Because I've made the Ogden Cami by True Bias as well and had a good idea of how much ease I'd have in the waist and hips, I did not add any extra width to the pattern and made a straight size 18 (based on my pre-pregnancy hip measurement). I feel good about how much belly room I have in this size at 33 weeks pregnant, however I did have to take in the bodice about an inch on each side because the bodice was too roomy. So I'd bet that if I were to make another Southport after this baby is born, I'll need to size down.
I'm not usually much of a tank top person and always wear them with cardigans anyways, but, at the risk of showing off my awesome farmers tan and red Scottish skin, I also took some photos without my sweater so you can see more of the fit and waist ties. Takin' one for the team!
There you have it, folks! I love the Southport for maternity wear, and even though I don't usually wear woven tops, I actually found this one quite comfortable during pregnancy. With a soft cardigan and a pair of black leggings it even made for a comfy road trip outfit to Virginia Beach last weekend! And this linen from IndieSew is just dreamy. There's still some in the shop so head over there and snag some for yourself, or check out these other striped linens for some end of summer sewing.