Bamboo Terry (31591): Postpartum Dressing with TÉLIO fabrics by Tiahna Conrad
“I gave birth to my third child just over 3 weeks ago, and near the end of my pregnancy I began to think a lot of my postpartum wardrobe. Having had two children already I knew I would be slightly uncomfortable with my body for a while even though I shouldn’t be. I mean, I did just grow and birth a person with my body and then also feed that person with my body. Its pretty awesome and I think that warrants being able to dress in clothes I like while waiting to fit into my jeans again. I wanted some new pieces that would be comfy and cute with a forgiving fit all while working for the reality of my day to day. Clothes I could answer the door in. Clothes I can run to the grocery store and the doctor in. Clothes that can also still be worn when the baby weight is gone. This means – knits!
If you follow me on Instagram, you may be aware that while mainly a woven fabric girl, I’m also a die-hard fan of a few types of knit fabric, one being this cotton bamboo french terry. Its great for lighter weight sweaters that are comfy, cute and fit all the time. Its especially fabulous for the postpartum phase I’m in. So today I’m going to talk all about this heavenly fabric and all the things I’ve made with it. Its a work horse in my closet right now!
Note: I love this fabric and have bought so much of it that I reached out to Telio to see if they would be interested in collaborating. I received this fabric for free but they didn’t ask me to rave about it. That’s all me!
This fabric is medium weight with great drape but not too much. You know how sometimes when sewing with rayon knits they seem too heavy even they though they aren’t? They have too much vertical stretch causing them to grow, getting longer and longer. They also tend to be more thin and clingy and show your whole body underneath. This does not do that! But its also not as stable as a cotton spandex french terry. It is the absolute perfect hybrid. Buttery soft, just drapey enough and not clingy. And it doesn’t pill! As for the stats, its super wide – 62 inches. Its 67% rayon of bamboo, 28% cotton which adds that little bit of stability and makes it not clingy, and 5% spandex.
I’ve sewn this fabric up into four different popular but also totally postpartum friendly sweater/top patterns with different types of sleeves so you can see how it looks and drapes. I’ve sewn a raglan, a set-in sleeve, a dolman, and a raglan/dolman hybrid. Also I sewed these up while pregnant. So in preparation for wearing them postpartum I sized up some of these patterns and not others depending on the finished garment measurements provided in the patterns. My bust is currently larger than any of the sizes I actually made (pre-pregnant 38.5 in., currently 42 in. due to nursing) but since this fabric is so soft, stretchy and drapey they work well now and will just look slightly looser later. This fabric is also the perfect weight for late winter/early spring and layering but could even do well in warmer weather with shorter sleeves.
The patterns I used are:
Set in sleeve – Hey June Union St Tee sized up one to a size XL
Dolman: Megan Nielson Jarrah Sweater in pre-pregnancy size 12
Raglan: Hey June Lane Raglan sized up one size to a size XL
Raglan/dolman hybrid: Elle Puls Bethioua Sweater in pre-pregnancy size 42
Hopefully seeing all of these different shaped tops will give you an accurate idea of how this fabric looks, drapes, wears, ties, and gathers.
As for styling, all of these tops could be worn with jeans, dressed up or down, or layered over other shirts. But mine are all styled alone and with leggings because that’s the realty of being 3 weeks postpartum:)
Union St Tee
This pattern comes with loads of different neckline and sleeve length options so you can create any type of basic top you want. By doing the long sleeve and crew neck I was going for more of a sweater vibe. I also added my own side vents and ruffles to the shoulders to elevate it a bit. Plus I just love side vents – always. And as mentioned earlier, I sized up one size for postpartum use. But this will still be great later without looking too big and sloppy. You can see in the ruffle (which is two layers of fabric) how well this fabric gathers. It’s just light enough to be ruffled and not become too bulky and stiff. I was also able to wear this at the end of pregnancy so – bonus! Aaaaaand I even made my little girl a matching one and she loves it as much as I do:)
This pattern also comes with loads of options. Different sleeve types, a funnel or crew neck and cropped, tied, banded or curved hem. Because the finished measurement in the bust has 8 inches of ease, I decided to make my pre-pregnant size. What I did not take into consideration was the length of this top. It will be great with high waisted jeans but for now I can pretty much only wear it with really high leggings. I should have added at least an inch in length (I’m 5’8″). But eventually I hope to get tons of wear out of it. This fabric is great for the tie hem view. It can still tie up easily and drape well without creating a huge bulky knot. It’s also excellent for a dropped/dolman sleeve. Using a fabric that’s too thick or stable can create a lot of extra bulk under your arm but in this fabric its just soft, light and airy with the drape of the fabric under there.
Another work horse of a pattern, this has tons of options including a hood, thumbhole cuffs, regular cuffs, and a kangaroo pocket in addition to sleeve variations. It has a slimmer fit and more shaping though the body than the others so I sized up one size again. I also added my own ruffles at the raglan sleeve to once more elevate the casual feel of it and highlight how incredible this fabric is – gathering so well even with two layers. And again I added side vents because #always. A raglan sleeve is another shape that can cause unwanted fabric under the arm or bust area in the wrong fabric, but with this magical unicorn fabric, the underarm fabric isn’t noticeable at all. And with the extra room I will have in the top later, I think it would be awesome for layering over a button up collared shirt..
This is such a cool and unique design because in the front the sleeve is a raglan but it attaches in the back like a dolman/batwing sleeve. For a good fit it also comes with a bust dart in the larger sizes, which mine includes though it is not currently in the right place due to my larger bust because of nursing. All sizes have a dart at the neck/shoulder point of the raglan sleeve for a good fit over the shoulder. I made my pre pregnancy size as its plenty roomy and wore this at the end of my pregnancy as well. I actually wore this loads! Again, the drape and weight of the fabric is ideal for this sleeve type, being roomy and oversized without any added bulk.