Thank you everyone who suggested patterns for the viscose knit. I've decided to make a dress out of it - McCalls 6069 - for after breastfeeding. I think it will be best to use such lovely fabric for something I'll wear forever.
But for now.... I've been eyeing off the Japanese pattern books at Tessuti for a while now. Lisa, Nichola, Leisl, and Colette have been whipping up garments out of the various books that have made me drool with envy (check out Tessuti's Blog - click on 'japanese pattern books' in the right hand toolbar). I don't read or speak Japanese, but the pictures are excellent, and there are good resources on the internet for basic translations of sewing terms.
So, to solve my breastfeeding clothes dilemma, and have an excuse to buy and make some of the Japanese patterns) I decided to make some shirts from the Japanese pattern book 'Casual Sweet Clothes':
I've made up pattern 'L' first after seeing Lisa's gorgeous linen version. Here is the pattern photograph in the book:
And here is my version, made up in a Japanese cotton called 'Pink Hyou' from Tessuti, that is completely divine - it is quite drapey and has a crepe-like texture:
I lined it in hot pink 100% cotton voile from Spotlight, to accentuate the shoulder ties:
I made a few changes. I did as Lisa did and finished the sleeves with a self-made bias binding. The pattern calls for elastic in the sleeves, but I thought Lisa's sleeves looked better. So I copied her:
I also (as did Lisa) had to take in the shoulder width significantly. I took in 7cm at the front and 5cm at the back by creating both centre front and centre back sleeves. This was partly my own fault - I cut the biggest size, and really shouldn't have. I think I would have been fine with the smallest size, and maybe added in a bit around the hips.
So - my first foray into sewing post-baby! What do you think? I really love the shirt but am worried it makes me look like a football player - I do have quite broad shoulders already. It does effectively hide the post-baby belly I have. I took a deep breath and weighed myself for the first time after giving birth today - I have 4 kilos to lose till I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. If I can stop eating croissants and Anzsac biscuits it probably won't be too hard to lose (I hope).
Next up is some hard work on Michael's shirt. I am re-doing the sleeves after some serious stupidity on my behalf, so it is taking even longer than I had hoped. Wish me luck!
1 hour ago