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Maternity Panama Tee Dress + A Little Birth Story

We weren’t originally planning to have maternity photos taken, but I’m so glad we did! It’s just one of those memories that’ll be nice to have documented later. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I started taking weekly bump pictures, but that fizzled out pretty quickly once I forgot to take them for a week or two (in my mind, if I didn’t have every week, it wasn’t worth finishing… which probably wasn’t true, but whatevs… that’s how my brain worked at the time…).

So, a huge thank you to the lovely Amy of Amy Lynn Studios for taking these! We love how they turned out!

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For the dress, it was a week before we were supposed to get our photos done and I realized I didn’t have anything to wear. I mean, I probably had SOMETHING I could’ve worn, but it was slim pickings at that point of the pregnancy (these were taken at 37 weeks). I scoured my closet and tried on the dresses that I had left hanging in there (I’d boxed up most of my non-maternity clothes so that I wouldn’t have to look at them), and quickly realized my panama tee dresses were perfect, except they were both long sleeve – so definitely not the best for the middle of July. Luckily it’s a quick make… so I hopped up into the sewing room and made something for the first time in a while.

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Ahhh, little shoes… I don’t know what’s cuter than little shoes! (other than the babies that wear them, of course) ;)


Pattern: Panama Tee Dress from Alina Design Co.

Size / Alterations: I used the same pattern pieces I already had cut out from pattern testing, so I believe it was a 4 at the bust graded to an 8 at the hips (with the sleeve pieces swapped out for the short sleeve option, of course), and 1.5 inches added to the length.

Fabric: Cotton Jersey from Girl Charlee that I purchased back in November of 2015 (yay for stashbusting!)… I’d been purposely saving this one for a simple tee dress, so I’m glad I finally made that happen.

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Funny thing about my search for fabric… as I was going through my stash I was thinking, ‘oh, it would be so nice to do a simple black version too, even if I don’t use it for the photos’ and I found a remnant of black that I though would be great, but it was already cut up. For the life of me, though, I couldn’t remember what I ‘d used it for. I searched through my past projects even and couldn’t find anything made out of that fabric. Only now as I write this did I figure out what happened. I just checked my spreadsheet to make sure I had logged this dress under my floral fabric and in doing so did a search for “Panama” and came across “Panama Tee Dress view B half sleeve”. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve never made a half sleeve version… hmm’ … so I scanned back over to the fabric that it was under and it was a black rayon spandex jersey. Bingo!… took me a while, but I put two and two together. Apparently past me had the same thoughts about a black Panama Tee Dress and somewhere I have pieces for one cut out already! Thank you, spreadsheet! lol Now to find the pieces…


So that’s it, really. A really long post for basically zero information about the dress :) But there ya go. Oh, and I have since tried the dress on and it’s going to be great (as I figured) postpartum as well. Might be a little while, because if I wear it right now I still look pregnant :) … but, perhaps once the belly goes down one day or if I wear some version of spanx ;) Hashtag mombod. Either way, super happy with how it turned out and how comfortable it was for our photos!

Speaking of postpartum… if you’re interested, here’s a little story about all the excitement little Mila got to experience in her first few weeks of life:


↑ Our first family photo the morning after little miss was born… I brought my getting ready robe for the hospital and it was perfect… once I got to change out of the fun attire they give you for delivery, that is :)

Well the precious little Miss is a month old now and it has been quite an adventure already. She was due on July 26th. I scheduled myself to work up through the 20th (the Friday before her due date) in hopes that she wouldn’t come too late so I wouldn’t be wasting maternity leave but also trying to not put work in a bad position if I went into labor while I was there and had to leave. Well she must’ve heard me and understood my plans, because she came with perfect timing. I finished work on Friday, started having contractions on Saturday, and had her on Sunday!

Crazy part was — a few days later, they evacuated the hospital due to our ever-so-lovely California fires :/ SO, if she had been late, we would’ve been scrambling to find another hospital… or possibly getting relocated if we were already there. So thank you, my little darling, for being punctual.

But there we were, first child, not wanting to expose her to anyone or anything (gotta protect that little immune system!)… and then we got evacuated too! So, hello world! Hello terrible air quality! Here we come! Ha. Or at least that’s how it felt. I was still in full recovery mode from labor, and the baby was only a week old, but we were busy packing up the cars and calling random hotels to find a place that would take animals. We ended up with a caravan of 5 vehicles, 6 adults, 1 child, 2 infants (my nephew, who was about to have his 1st b-day, and our little Miss), 3 dogs, and 2 cats. We picked a direction and started driving, no knowing how long we’d be gone or what we would be coming home to.

We found a random hotel for the first night, where my cousins, aunt and uncle met up with us. Unfortunately, that hotel only had the one night available, so I spent that first night researching other places to stay the next night. Ended up finding a nice little Airbnb house where we were able to stay for the next week before the evacuation orders were lifted and we got to go back home. If you’re ever in the Sonoma area and need a place to stay, check it out… the property manager was super nice and accommodating! We ended up putting our two pups in boarding to reduce some of the stress, but that turned into a mess too (without vet records to show they were up-to-date on shots, and with our vet’s office being evacuated as well, it was difficult to find a place that would take them), but we finally did… thank you, thank you, Fit’n’Furry for saving the day! :D

Anyway, we finally got to bring the little one back home. Thankfully all of our family members had homes to go back to when all was said and done. Not everyone in our county was that lucky, unfortunately. 415,000+ acres have burned so far (the fires are still going… they are up to 74% contained as of this morning)… largest wildfire in California history (in acreage, not structures destroyed, luckily). But it’s just crazy. Air quality is still pretty bad, depending on the direction of the wind each day, so little Miss hasn’t gotten much fresh outdoor air in her first month of life :/ But we are just thankful that everyone is safe and healthy. The rest we will happily deal with.

Until next time,



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