I’m so happy that I’ve been able to share other areas of my life on this blog besides crocheting, such as our travel adventures and my pregnancy and nursing style! To find out a little bit more about my style and life as a new mama, check out my feature as a “Style Mom” on Natalie Zee Drieu’s “Coquette Maman” HERE! Thanks for the lovely feature, Natalie :)
Once again, this blog post is somewhat of a departure from what I typically blog about (crochet, baking, travel), similar to when I blogged about “My Maternity Fashion” here. At first I was hesitant about whether I should blog about this, but I decided that other mamas and mamas-to-be might find it helpful, so I decided to go for it! I will highlight two Canadian companies that have made items that I’ve loved so far as a new mama :)
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed Myla from the very beginning because of all the health benefits for both Myla and I (not to mention it also burns 500 calories a day!). I must say that I’ve really been enjoying it for the past 4 months and I’ve found our nursing sessions to be precious bonding time. After getting the hang of it in the comfort of our home, I was nervous about taking our little newborn out and having to feed her in public settings.
I knew that wearing certain clothing items and outfits would make nursing in public very cumbersome, and I hadn’t even thought about how my wardrobe would now be somewhat restricted since I was breastfeeding (I thought I was already past the “wardrobe limitation” phase of being pregnant!). Button-down shirts, v-necks, and tank tops + cardigans were now the way to go as I would scan each item in my closet and assess how easy/difficult it would be to feed Myla in it. I decided to research what different nursing clothing options were available to facilitate breastfeeding in public.
I came across a Canadian company based out of Montreal called “Momzelle” that was founded by a mom named Christine Poirier. Christine made her own nursing top after having her baby daughter and started Momzelle after all her friends were asking about her tops. As I browsed the different Momzelle clothing items, the items that stood out to me were the tank tops. I knew having a nursing tank top would be a good investment since I could layer different pieces ontop of it (cardigans, shirts) in addition to wearing it on its own. I ended up ordering two black tank tops: the “Original Nursing Tank Top” and the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top”.
I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived shortly in the mail. They felt like they were very good quality! These two black tank tops are made out of 94% cotton and 6% spandex. One of my tank tops was made in Canada while the other was made in Peru. Momzelle states that all of their nursing clothing is ethically made.
Both tank tops have these openings for discrete breastfeeding. It makes breastfeeding a lot easier as you do not have to lift your entire tank top or shirt up to feed- your belly and back remain covered and the baby has easy access for feeding! If you would like to see photos of some Momzelle tops in action with nursing moms, click here. For you “Dragon’s Dens” fans out there, Christine was actually featured on the show and got funding for Momzelle- check out the clip here!
I was excited to try them on right away as it’s always a little scary ordering clothing online as you can never guarantee a perfect fit. I was so happy that I had chosen the right size as they fit me very well! Both tank tops were incredibly comfortable and had a sleek look. This is the “Original Nursing Tank Top”!
You need to wear a nursing bra with these tops and I love how the thick black straps of the tank tops cover the bra straps. There are nursing tank tops available on the market that have built-in bras, but in my experience, I found them to either be too low-cut, less supportive or less comfortable. The flaps are quite discrete, especially since these tank tops are black and when items are worn ontop of them. This is the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top”!
I am particularly happy with the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top” as it can be hard to find tank tops of this length, especially a nursing one! It’s nice having a tank top that doesn’t ride up with such great coverage (perfect for extra tall mamas too!). I’ve worn this top so much ever since receiving it in the mail, and it’s stretched a bit since it is 6% spandex. Overall though, it’s held up well. I thought I would show you how I styled some of my outfits featuring this long tank top…
Here I paired it with an oversized cardigan, a scarf, and jeggings!
For a bit of a dressier feel, I paired it with my peach blazer and jeggings. A simple black tank top is so versatile…
I absolutely love wearing leggings since they are so comfortable. I practically lived in leggings while I was pregnant and I wanted to continue wearing them post-partum, particularly since I still could not fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans! This long tank top works perfectly with leggings, and I am so happy that I don’t have to lift up my long tunics or tops in order to feed Myla. Here I layered a chambray shirt and long cardigan overtop my long nursing tank top with leggings and a colourful scarf. This has been a perfect winter outfit on those cold days. Keeping all the layers open facilitates easy access to the nursing tank top and easy breastfeeding!
Haha, we happened to go grocery shopping this same day we were taking these shots, so I thought I’d show another typical outfit I’ve worn out and about. Here is my Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top paired with my high low sweater, jeggings, circle scarf and over-the-knee boots. I really love the length of this tank!
Here is a picture of my sweet baby girl Myla and I at a baby shower! I am wearing the same long tank top paired with leggings and a crocheted sweater ontop. Both this sweater and the above sweater are light and can be easily lifted away for breastfeeding. I just love Myla’s big smiles and adorable laugh…melts my heart!
I wear my “Original Nursing Tank Top” with shorter cardigans, like these two below:
Did you notice the feathers scarf in the above outfit? It’s no ordinary scarf….it’s actually a nursing scarf!
CoverBoo Couture is a line of nursing scarves from Edmonton, founded by a mom named Maria who wanted to nurse discretely in public. These scarves are perfect for moms who want more coverage while nursing or for those who have distractible babies! Just how does this scarf turn into a cover? Let me show you!
You can wear the CoverBoo doubled up like I am here, knotted, or as a long circle scarf. It’s neat because these scarves serve as a fashion accessory in addition to a nursing cover, and it’s very convenient whenever you want to nurse since you are already wearing your cover! They can be easily stored in your purse too since they are so lighweight.
When you’re ready to nurse, you unwrap the scarf…
So that it’s a single layer like this!
Then you look for the neck hole…
And slip your head through it!
Pull your arm through…
And you’re ready to nurse your sweet baby! You get great coverage and baby is less distracted by what’s going on around them :)
These CoverBoos are all designed and manufactured in Canada, and they come in an array of patterns and fabrics. Their lightweight, airy feel are perfect for the upcoming spring and summer months, and Maria just released her Spring Collection last week! These nursing scarves look very different than the other nursing covers currently on the market, and they are such a clever and simple design. They don’t offer a rigid neckline as others do (see here), but you can always lift the opening at the neck hole to peek and make eye contact with your baby!
I love that both of these companies are Canadian and founded by real moms who were making products to help them on their breastfeeding journeys. I also love scoring good deals, and I managed to purchase all of these products when they were on sale! Momzelle had a great Black Friday sale (tops up to 40% off with an additional 10% off) and CoverBoo Couture had an amazing Christmas Eve sale (50% off all CoverBoos). Thus, if you are interested in any of their products, I highly recommend liking their facebook pages so you can get their notifications and keep up-to-date with their products! You can find the Momzelle Facebook page here and the Coverboo Couture Facebook page here.
I approached both companies and told them how I would be writing about my positive experiences using their products. I asked if they could provide any discounts for my readers in case they were interested in purchasing their products right away! Both companies replied incredibly promptly and were very generous.
Maria of CoverBoo Couture is offering a 15% off discount for readers of “All About Ami” with the coupon code “AMI15”, and it expires on February 28 (Canadian shipping is $5, international shipping is $10, and free local pick-up is available if you live in Edmonton). Check out the CoverBoo Couture website HERE and see if you want to order any for yourself or for your friends!
Momzelle is offering a $5 discount for readers of “All About Ami” with the coupon code “AMIGRMI5” (no expiry date) and a $30 gift card as a give-away! ***To enter, please leave a comment below stating which nursing top you would buy if you won the $30 gift card!*** Check out the Momzelle website HERE. This giveaway is open worldwide until Thursday, February 28. I will randomly choose a winner and announce who it is on my facebook page HERE. For your information, shipping is $5 per order in Canada and the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and is pricier to other countries (see shipping costs here). [NOTE: The giveaway is now CLOSED: Congrats to Sarah Clymer, the winner of the $30 gift card!!!]
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my nursing fashion and how these products have made it a lot easier to breastfeed my baby girl. I think the nursing tops and nursing cover are a good investment, especially if you consider how long moms breastfeed for and if there are plans on breastfeeding more children in the future. The tank tops and cover also work well together for those who want a lot of coverage while nursing in public as absolutely nothing is exposed. They would make great gifts for your friends or family who are expectant or new mamas who are going to nurse (particularly the CoverBoos since they’re one size fits all!). Thank you to Momzelle and CoverBoo Couture for your great products and for providing us with coupon codes too! I love how they both made the coupon codes based on “amigurumi” [the Japanese art of knitted/crocheted stuffed animals, which is what my blog is all about in case you’re new here!]. I had fun putting together these outfits and showing you my style and how I’ve adapted my wardrobe in my new role as a nursing mama!
Please feel free to forward this post to your pregnant or mama friends as well so they can enter the giveaway and access these awesome discount codes too :) Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you think about this post!
~ Stephanie ♥
This blog post is somewhat of a departure from what I typically blog about (crochet, baking, travel), but I thought it might be helpful to write about how I’ve been styling my outfits with my ever-growing baby bump. Besides being an avid crafter, I also love reading style and fashion blogs, and it’s been a fun challenge figuring out how to look stylish while being pregnant!
I have been trying to work with pieces already in my wardrobe and buy pieces that I can continue to wear even when I am not pregnant, thus minimizing the amount of clothing I’ve needed to buy specifically labeled as “maternity-wear” since they tend to be expensive. This has actually been quite easy as many styles nowadays are loose and flowy. I do not generally like to wear pieces of clothing that fit snugly around my belly. I will go through some of my favourite outfits and pieces and explain why I love them so much!
All of the following photos were taken within the same week, between my 27th and 28th week of pregancy (just on the verge of the third trimester!). Even though my belly appears smaller or larger (or non-existent) in some photos, I assure you that it is the way the clothing is cut. My obstetrician says my weight gain is right on track and my belly is the perfect size for my gestational week!
Ever since we found out I was pregnant, I stopped wearing my normal jeans because I found them too uncomfortable as I sometimes felt bloated. I pretty much lived in leggings. I later decided to pick up these maternity jeans here from Old Navy, and I absolutely love them! They are skinny jeans with a dark wash, and the elastic waistband panel is so comfortable, providing a lot of coverage (you can see the expanding panel in the bottom right photo with my protruding belly). No more restrictive buttons or zippers! These jeans are very affordable, particularly since Old Navy frequently has 30% off coupons. It will definitely be tempting to continue wearing these jeans even when I’m not pregnant, particularly during large meals :P I also love wearing this ruffle tiered tank because of the volume and texture it provides- it reminds me of a cupcake!
[Maternity jeans: Old Navy, Ruffle tiered tank: Aritzia]
While I was at it, I picked up these cuffed denim maternity capris here from Old Navy as well. They also have the expanding panel, and they are very comfortable! Another option is to purchase a bellaband, which is an elastic band you can wear over unbuttoned waistbands (so you can keep wearing your regular pants and jeans) that help provide coverage as regular tops may become too short. You can also try and make your own with this great DIY here. I wasn’t sure how comfortable it would be wearing unbuttoned pants and whether I would have to keep adjusting the band if it kept riding up, particularly if my belly got really big. I’m very happy with these two maternity bottoms I got from Old Navy as they’re very secure! I also love wearing loose, drapey tops that hang nicely so they don’t cling to my belly.
[Cuffed maternity denim capris: Old Navy, Drapey top: Uniqlo]
I purchased these next two outfits in Tokyo. Crochet tops were very popular over there, and they look so ladylike and pretty! They also expand with my belly and drape very nicely. These polkadot shorts are very comfortable as well since they have an elastic waistband. I can wear them lower so the elastic band hits below my belly or pull them up higher as well. Of course, I will definitely be able to wear these outfits again when I am not pregnant!
[LEFT: Crochet top with tank: Boutique in Laforet, Polkadot shorts: Gu; RIGHT: Crochet top: Momo, Polkadot shorts: Gu]
With the summer heat, I’ve loved wearing these loose tank tops with a wider cut at the bottom since they do not cling to my belly. I like to wear sports bras under my tanks since they help wick away sweat, they’re comfortable, and it looks alright when the straps are visible. When I wore this black and white striped tank, some people did not even realize I was pregnant! I think the horizontal stripes gives the illusion of a wider body, so people don’t see the belly protruding forward. I’ve had these black linen shorts for a while, and they were always a tad loose for me. Now they sit comfortably on my hips below my belly!
[LEFT: Pink tank top: Garage Clothing, Shorts: Forever XXI; RIGHT: Striped tank top: H&M, Shorts: Forever XXI]
Below is one of my favourite outfits and pieces! Even though it looks like I am wearing a tank top with a skirt, the black piece underneath is actually a cotton maxi dress. It is extremely comfortable and versatile, and I’ve loved layering different tops over the dress. This delicate crochet tank is one of my favourite tops.
As you can see here, the cotton dress expands comfortably with my belly. I like layering loose blazers ontop as it gives a very polished, refined look. I love this peach blazer I picked up in Tokyo since it adds some colour to this outfit!
[Black cotton maxi dress: Aritzia, Crochet tank: American Eagle, Peach Blazer: Pour La Frime]
Here is the same black cotton maxi dress now with the pink tank top from above layered ontop of it! You can get a lot of different looks just by layering different tops, and it is extremely comfortable :)
[Black cotton maxi dress: Aritzia, Pink tank top: Garage Clothing]
These loose flowy tank tops will help carry me far into my third trimester. When traveling on planes, I love wearing long loose tank tops with leggings. This tank in particular could double as a summer dress! For more definition and shape, you could try cinching the tank with a skinny belt underneath the belly!
[White and pink tanks: H&M, Brown skinny belt: Aldo]
I think this next outfit is really cute! I belted a little summer dress I’ve had in my closet for a while and paired it with a chambray shirt I picked up in Tokyo. The cut of this dress accentuates my belly with its empire waist. I love my baby bump :D
[Tank floral dress: Wet Seal, Chambray shirt: Gu, Brown belt: Gu]
This next dress is actually a maternity dress, also with an empire waist (can be found here). With the empire waist, I will be able to continue wearing this dress as my belly gets bigger and bigger, but I can also wear this dress when I am not pregnant. Once again, I’ve added a brown skinny belt above my belly to add some definition and to give this outfit a more polished look. You can check out this helpful video here by Chriselle Lim, showing different ways to wear a skinny belt!
Next, I’ve layered a crochet shawl over this maternity dress for a very romantic look as it hangs beautifully. Loose, flowy tops (such as this crochet shawl and chambray top from above) look great layered over outfits as you do not want to layer pieces that are too tight.
[Black maternity dress: Old Navy, Crochet shawl: Boutique in MyLord, Brown belt: Costa Blanca, Purse: Coach Willis]
This next maternity dress is one of my favourites (found here)! I love the length of this dress and the diagonal grey and white stripes. It is extremely comfortable, and the ruched sides will accommodate my expanding belly in the third trimester. It can definitely be dressed up or down!
Here, I paired this maxi dress with my cropped jean jacket (found here)! Jean jackets are very popular right now, and I think they look super stylish layered over maxi dresses!
[Striped maxi dress: Old Navy, Jean Jacket: American Eagle]
With wedding season in full swing, I scoured through my closet to see which dresses would still fit me. Dresses made of stiff material with zippers were completely out of the question, but I did have a handful of dresses that still fit me, including the one pictured below. I picked up this silk handkerchief maxi dress last summer at a random stall when the exhibition came to our city (similar here). It was one size fits all, and I loved the beautiful pattern and colours of the dress. As you can imagine, it is extremely comfortable since it cinches above my belly, and I can definitely continue wearing this dress as the third trimester progresses on! I am wearing a bandeau with this dress, and I wear mine very frequently with tops that are too low-cut or where the back is exposed (you can find them here). Isn’t the back of this dress pretty?
[Silk handkerchief maxi dress: random stall at Exhibition, similar here, Bandeau: Aritzia]
Here is a picture of Ryan and I at the wedding we attended when I wore this dress! You can see my bump clearly here :) It’s so nice being able to still wear dresses that I previously owned that are not specifically maternity dresses!
And there you have it: some of my favourite maternity looks from my second trimester! I should note that I love accessorizing as I feel it really helps pull an outfit together (I have pictures from when I was a little girl with hair clips, chunky beaded necklaces and bracelets piled on!). I usually like to wear a necklace and layer on bracelets. I should also note that I am without footwear in all of these photos, but I have only been wearing flats and flip flops in case I were to take a tumble when wearing heels and to minimize back pain!
Thanks for sticking with me through this long blog post, and I hope you gained some styling ideas whether you are pregnant or not! Which outfit is your favourite outfit? Feel free to forward this blog post to friends or family who are pregnant as well! I love seeing how other ladies are styling their baby bumps :) No doubt I will be unable to wear some of my outfits as my belly rapidly expands in the upcoming weeks and months (I do not want to stretch out my clothes), but I know I can continue wearing some of them! It’s definitely possible to be pregnant AND stylish at the same time! Thanks for reading, and you can follow me on facebook, twitter, and instagram (allaboutami) for more updates and photos!
Back in October, I was perusing Facebook when I noticed a picture that my fashionable friend Erika posted of herself wearing a crocheted earwarmer/headband. She is studying overseas in the UK, and she told me that she purchased this headband from Topshop for 10 British pounds, or about $15. I thought her headband was so cute and chic, and I immediately wanted to try making one, especially since hers was crocheted and looked so simple to make!
I had seen some other knitted and crocheted headbands on-line through Craftgawker and on Etsy, and they were definitely very popular as stores such as Aldo and Urban Outfitters were also selling them. Below is my friend Erika wearing her Topshop earwarmer, and below her is a similar headband I found from ASOS. This earwarmer/headband is also commonly referred to as a turband (knotted look of turban + headband), and knitted/crocheted turbands as well as silk/fabric turbands have been spotted on many celebrities as part of the boho chic trend.
What I loved about these headbands in particular were the horizontal rows vs. the vertical rows. Working with horizontal rows can be more challenging off the get-go as you need to start with the appropriate length (you don’t want your headband to be too big or too small!). When working with vertical rows, you keep crocheting row upon row until you get your desired length. Both have different looks, but I decided to go with the horizontal rows to make my Topshop and ASOS-inspired knotted headband!
I started off by crocheting a series of 70 chain stitches. To tell you the truth, I actually started off crocheting too many chain stitches and my headband turned out too long! I had to undo my work as I wanted my headband to stretch a bit, and not be too oversized!
I used double crochets for more height, and it appeared that the Topshop headband also consisted of double crochets.
Once I finished six rows of double crochets, I was done the headband portion! This is a very quick project :)
Next I folded the crocheted piece in half and sewed the ends together…
I wanted my headband to be very ruched (pinched edges) around the knot just like the Topshop earwarmer, so I pinched the middle rows of my headband together (approximately Rows 2-5) and then sewed them together. I pinched the middle rows where the edges of the headband were sewn together as I wanted this seam to be concealed later on.
This is what my crocheted headband looked like from the front with the ruching.
Next up, I created the narrow strip that serves as the knot! Once again, I worked with horizontal rows to make it consistent with the rest of the headband.
Once I was finished making the strip, I wrapped it around the ruched part where the ends came together.
I sewed the edges of the knot together and hid the loose ends within the knot. You can’t see any more seams with this clean finish!
Here is my finished knotted headband! I actually used the same taupe yarn that I used to make my brother’s slouchy beanie for my headband…
I also made my sister a knotted headband using the same mustard colour yarn I used for my own slouchy beanie. It’s nice being able to use up that yarn that’s been lying around!
Here is the very simple pattern I made up for this Knotted Headband, perfect for beginners:
Chain 70, or until 20”/50 cm long [keep in mind that head sizes vary, so please check your piece along the way to make sure it will fit your own head]
R1: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc) [my piece now measured 18”/46 cm across]
R2-6: Chain 2. Turn. Dc in 4th chain from hook and in each chain across (68 dc)
My piece was 3.4”/8.6 cm wide after six rows. Fold the crocheted piece in half and sew the edges together. To emphasize the ruching, pinch the middle rows of the headband (approximately Rows 2-5) and sew them together (about 3”/7.6 cm across). Be sure to pinch the middle rows where the ends of the headband were sewn together to conceal the seam.
R1: Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (8 dc)
R2-8: Chain 2. Turn. Dc in 4th chain from hook and in each chain across (8 dc)
My piece was 4.6”/11.7 cm long after eight rows. Wrap this crocheted strip around the pinched portion of the headband. Sew the ends together and hide any loose ends in the knot.
Here are some ideas of how you can make your own variations of this Knotted Headband:
I was so excited to wear my new crocheted Topshop and ASOS-inspired Knotted Headband!
I think this Knotted Headband looks great worn with your hair both up and down, so I took my sister Ashley with me so we could model our headbands!
These headbands make great statements in your winter outfits!
When worn with your hair up, I personally think it looks great with some extra poof or volume at the crown!
It was a brisk day when we shot these photos, but we had some good laughs and fun posing in the snow! Our purses below were both great finds from our recent travels. We picked up this bag for Ashley from a cute little boutique in Montmartre, Paris called “Anoki”. I found this gorgeous Deux Lux bag from a fun store called “Alice in Hulaland” in the hippie surfer town of Paia in Maui. I love these souvenirs since they remind us of our recent adventures!
[On Ashley, Scarf: Next, Jacket: Zara, Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Boots: Sterling, Purse: Anoki. On me, Parka: Aritzia, Cowl Sweater: Costa Blanca; Jeans: Rock and Republic; Boots: Aldo, Purse: Deux Lux]
If you’re interested in this knotted headband/turban look, Kaley of “Let’s Make It Up” has a great video tutorial on “How to Tie and Style a Turban” using bandanas and scarves here, and she also shows you how to style your hair around it. She has some really great hair tutorials on her channel!
I wanted to post these crocheted Knotted Headbands earlier, but things got so busy with the Teddy Ornaments, the Dragon for Chinese New Year, and the Sweetheart Bunny for Valentine’s Day, along with all our recent travels. It’s probably warmed up in many places by now and clothings companies have definitely started rolling out their Spring collections, but here’s a fashionable way to stay warm and look chic during this last month of winter before Spring officially comes! I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this pattern in the fall and whipping up a few more of these in different colours since they’re so easy to make! Is it still pretty cold where you live? Will you be trying out this knotted headband? It’s a great project for beginners or for people who have been wanting to learn how to crochet! I’d love to see your pics on my facebook page or twitter! Happy crocheting :)