Post-Maternity Project Planning: The White Cami

Sew Well - Post-Maternity Project Planning: The White Cami

Well, hello again! I know, I disappear for two months, and then I find the time for two posts in as many weeks. These days I don’t have the energy to do much more than rest while my daughter is resting, so I figured I might as well try to make that rest somewhat productive by writing another blog post, even if I don’t have another finished garment to show off just yet. In fact, all I have so far for my next project is the fabric prepped and cut.

What am I working on?

A simple white camisole.

And, by white I mean something in the white family. This particular silk crepe de chine, which I got from, is called antique white.

Isn’t that something I probably already have in my closet?

Well, yes, I do already own a white cami, but…

The one currently in my closet has been there for years (probably even over a decade?!), and it’s definitely showing its age. I’ve gotten to the point where I only feel good wearing it underneath another top. For example, I’ll often pull it out to wear under a top that’s either too sheer or too low cut for me to comfortably wear alone.

I really think my post-maternity closet will benefit from having another white cami.  I’ve spent this pregnancy essentially wearing a ‘capsule’ maternity wardrobe, not feeling motivated to sew any new maternity clothes and not wanting to go out and buy something new that I’ll only wear for a few months. I’ve mixed and matched the maternity clothes I saved from my first pregnancy with those that I was given by friends, and I’ve enjoyed the simplicity of it all. My non-maternity closet could benefit from some of the lessons I’ve learned from my capsule maternity wardrobe.

For one, having a few pieces that can work with a lot of other pieces means I can pull outfits together quickly. I think a good example of this idea is jeans. These days jeans can be worn with just about any top, so if I’m in a rush, all I really have to do is pull out a top I’m excited to wear, grab a pair of jeans, and I’m good to go. I think the white cami will help me do much of the same, only I’ll be able to be creative with what bottoms I wear.

I’m imagining the white cami worn with skirts or slacks or jeans, alone or under a jacket or cardigan. Here’s a (scrollable!) Pinterest board I put together to show you what’s inspiring me for this particular project.

Okay, so what pattern am I using?

The Sewaholic Saltspring (previously made here, here, and here).

But, isn’t the Saltspring a dress pattern?

Well, yes, but without the skirt, the Saltspring is essentially a camisole. Plus, with roughly two weeks to go in this pregnancy, I’m in no position to try fitting a new pattern right now. The Saltspring fit me nicely both before and after my last pregnancy, giving me hope that my current efforts won’t be in vain once this pregnancy is behind me.

I’d of course love to try something new and sparkly, like the Ogden cami by True Bias that’s recently been popping up in my Instagram feed. I’m just not brave enough to make something from a pattern company I’ve never tried before from pattern measurements alone, not with my limited sewing time. If it doesn’t fit post-maternity, how long will it be before I find the time to make another?! Plus, the Ogden cami only just came out (as in yesterday!), and last week I was eager to take advantage of the sewing momentum I got from making an emergency baby blanket replacement.

Once upon a time I would have had the cami finished by now, no problem. However, as things are currently, I feel very lucky to have made the time in the last week to mend a pillow case and a skirt hem (I like to conquer a quick mending task or two between projects), prep the pattern by adding several inches to the bodice length, pre-wash and line dry the silk crepe de chine fabric, and cut the fabric.

Now, to start the sewing. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to finish and report back soon… just so long as new baby doesn’t decide to come too early!

11 thoughts on “Post-Maternity Project Planning: The White Cami

  1. Amy, what a great idea using the Saltspring dress! I just finished the pattern alterations (raised both cf & CB so it comes up higher and widened the straps) and made my first Saltspring (I am almost always late to the party when it comes to trying new patterns 😩). I will have to try using the pattern to make my own Cali’s. Thanks for the idea and inspiration and will look forward to seeing yours.

    1. I’ll try to report back on whether the Saltspring works well as a cami. I’m hopeful, but the next step is sewing the side seams, and I realized that while I trust that the fit is good for me around the upper bodice, I have no idea what the lower bodice will be like without the elastic! I was hoping to French seam my side seams, but then they’ll be hard to reshape if needed… I plan to start by pinning the garment together at the side seams and seeing what I think. Since I can’t do a pin test on myself, I will hang the pieces on my dress form to get a better idea of the side seam shaping.

      1. That sounds like a good plan to pin it on your dress form. I just returned from a NYC trip and went to Mood Fabrics and purchased my first dress form! I’m so excited. One thing I thought of is will you have to keep the same width at the hem line so you will be able to remove it? Are you going to make it tiered like the Saltspring? The 2 layers might look nice. Also, did you see where Caroline did a post on Sewaholic’s blog (March 1, 2016) about using the Saltspring to make a cami?

      2. Thanks for the tip about Caroline’s Saltspring top. I did a bit of Googling, and I found several others as well: one using just the lining pieces, one using a facing, and one with a ruffle. Most of all these posts pointed out that it’s important that the hem of the top be at least a little bit wider than your hips. Right now I’m planning to double layer my cami since my silk is a bit sheer. I like the idea of the top layer being a couple inches shorter than the bottom layer so that if I’m wearing it untucked, there’ll be a bit of interest at the hem.

  2. It sounds like you’re making a good decision to take care of you and baby girl first, if you can do the tent pattern, wonderful, if not, it will be there for when you have the time and energy. Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy, and here’s to an easy delivery!

      1. Hahaha! Though tent-like garments are popular these days, I’m hoping for something a bit more fitted. TNTs are definitely what I keep falling back on when I’ve been dreaming of my next projects. I just don’t trust myself to sew up a new pattern right now, unless it was meant for maternity. And, thanks for the well wishes. It’s hard to believe my due date is so close! Time sure has flown this time around!

  3. That should turn out just lovely, it’s the perfect fabric…I’m finally starting my post maternity sewing too, with blouses I hope will also work as nursing tops.

    1. I should probably be thinking of nursing tops, too, but I found last time that I gravitated towards my regular tops and was comfortable just yanking them up when necessary. I’m expecting the same will be true for me this time around as well. If not, then I’ll just have to be patient and save this top for my post-maternity and post-nursing wardrobe!

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