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Round Shell Stitch Cowl

After designing my “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl" from last week (see HERE), I wanted to try making another version that was worked in the round without a button!  I really love the shell stitch as it gives such a beautiful and elegant look, and it is extremely easy to do since it simply consists of four double crochets and a chain 1 in between!  This pattern works up really quickly and all you need are two skeins of yarn and a 10 mm hook!  In this case, I used “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" [super bulky weight (6)] in "Spearmint" to make a "Round Shell Stitch Cowl" for a friend!  

Unlike the Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl which is crocheted in rows (turning after each row), this cowl is crocheted in rounds, and thus after doing your initial chains, you must slip stitch to the first chain to form a circle.  Then you work your shell stitches all around!

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Once you complete your last shell stitch of the round, you will approach the first shell stitch that you created at the beginning.  To close the round, you will slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 that you crocheted at the very beginning of Round 1.    

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Then you will slip stitch into the next stitch….

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And finally you will do another slip stitch into the Chain 1 space!  This is where you will work your shell stitch!

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You will work your shell stitch into each chain 1 space around so that the shell stitches are stacked ontop of one another, NOT into the space between the shell stitches (which would result in staggered shell stitches).  

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After completing this pattern for 13 rounds and using up two skeins of yarn, your “Round Shell Stitch Cowl” will be complete!  Doesn’t it look gorgeous with its delicate and pretty design?

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This pattern works up really quickly and the result is so beautiful!

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This is the finished spearmint “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" that I made for our friend for a gift exchange!

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Here is the pattern for my “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" (worked in rounds):

Chain 48.  Join with slip stitch to first chain, being careful not to twist the chain.

Round 1: Chain 3 (this counts as first double crochet), dc in same stitch, ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch.  *Skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch*, repeat from * to end.  Slip stitch to top of initial chain 3 (12 shells [each shell made of total 4 dc and ch 1]).

Round 2-13: Slip stitch into next stitch, then slip stitch into Ch 1 space.  Chain 3, dc in same space, ch 1, 2 dc in same space.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in each ch 1 space around.  Slip stitch to top of initial chain 3 (12 shells).

Finish off and weave in ends.

{Dimensions: 15.5” long, 13.5” wide, diameter: 28” around}

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Of course, I had to make one for myself so that I could show you what the finished product looks like when worn!  I really love white as I think it looks so crisp and stunning in the winter (just like my white Pom Pom Beanie!), so I used “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in "Fleece" to make my cowl!

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This cowl feels very luxurious and warm!  

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The elegant shell stitches help give this cowl such great texture and design :)

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I hoped you enjoyed reading about this other option on how to crochet a Shell Stitch Cowl!  If you haven’t already checked out my “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl" post, read all about it and see plenty of pics HERE!  Which style do you prefer?  

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Thank you for already sharing your “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl” pics with me- you all are so quick at making my designs, and I really appreciate your enthusiasm and warm response!  Keep sending me your pics on my Facebook page, Twitter (@AllAboutAmi), and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi, #AllAboutAmi)!  Can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner!!!  Many blessings to you and your loved ones! 

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Round Shell Stitch Cowl

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Round Shell Stitch Cowl

Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

My mom recently celebrated her birthday, and I wanted to crochet her a buttoned cowl as a part of her gift!  It is so special crocheting items for loved ones, knowing that they will wear them and always think of you when they do :)  You might recall that I crocheted a Puff Stitch Scarf for my mom two years ago as well!  Scarves and cowls have been a must recently during our cold Canadian winters as the temperatures have been dipping extremely low and any exposed skin could result in frostbite!

I had just recently crocheted my favourite baby hat, the “Shell Stitch Beanie" for a newborn when it occurred to me that using the shell stitch would be a great idea for a cowl!  I LOVE doing the shell stitch, and the result is always beautiful.  Thus, I excitedly began and crocheted a series of chain stitches, estimating how long I wanted my mom’s cowl to be.  Then I started doing the shell stitch across!

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I wanted this cowl to be folded around the neck and secured with a button, so instead of crocheting in a circle in rounds, I crocheted it row by row, turning at the end of each row.  

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It is important to note when following the pattern that each shell stitch is worked in the Chain 1 space from the previous row below, NOT the space between the shell stitches.

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This results in a beautiful pattern in which the shell stitches are stacked upon one another rather than being staggered across the rows.  

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The edges also have a pretty scalloped design!

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For this particular cowl I crocheted 6 rows of these shell stitches.  I then sewed on a very special button that we picked up from the Halifax Farmer’s Market!

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I also crocheted a cowl for a friend in this beautiful green colour and added a brown button from the same Farmer’s Market!  I love “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" as it is so incredibly soft.  My mom’s cowl is in "Pewter" and the green one is called "Spearmint”.  I used one ball of yarn for each!

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I snapped a quick photo of the spearmint cowl before it went off to its new owner!

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This is my mom’s finished cowl!

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Here is the pattern that I made for this cowl:

Buttoned Chunky Shell Stitch Cowl (worked in rows)

Using a 10 mm crochet hook,

Chain 48

Row 1: In fourth chain from hook, dc (initial chains count as first dc), ch 1, 2 dc in same stitch.  *Skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch* repeat from * to end (12 shells [each shell made of total 4 dc and ch 1])

Rows 2-6: Chain 3, turn.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in first chain 1 space.  *2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc* in each ch 1 space till end (12 shells).

Finish off and weave in ends.  Attach button towards left side of cowl (see pics above).  Be sure to wear the cowl with the scallopped edges facing upwards!

[Finished cowl is 7” in height and 29” in width, using one skein of “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool”]

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Here is my beautiful mom wearing her new buttoned cowl!  She loved it as soon as she opened it!  She particularly likes how soft the yarn is and how she can put the button through any hole of this cowl.  It’s also easy to wear since you don’t have to pull the cowl over your head which can result in staticky hair!

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I wanted to make a REALLY chunky buttoned shell stitch cowl for myself using some interesting yarn that Ryan found called “Patons Cobbles" at Michaels!  The way that the yarn was segmented into little chunks looked really neat and we were curious how it would look in a crocheted piece.  We bought a beautiful brown colour called "Moon Rock" (pictured below) and a gorgeous yellow colour called "Mustard Seed”.  

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I decided to use the “Mustard Seed" colour for my cowl since I wanted to use this big, beautiful wooden button that we picked up in a cute little craft boutique in Paris two years ago.  I think it’s so neat when we buy buttons on our travels as each button reminds me of our special adventures.  I love being able to use them in my crocheted pieces, and I had been waiting a long time to use this amazing find :)  The brown button contrasts so nicely against the mustard cowl!

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Isn’t the texture of this cowl absolutely stunning?  I love the unique look that the “Patons Cobbles” gives!

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When worn under a coat, the cowl gives a very beautiful collared effect!  It also helps keep my neck very warm too :)  What a great way to be warm and stylish at the same time!  It certainly is a statement piece that can help spice up any outfit!  With the recent frigid temperatures, we dared not take any outside photos for this shoot- thank goodness we managed to snap some snowy photos when the temperature was still manageable with the Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie a couple weeks ago!

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For this cowl, I used a 10 mm crochet hook and chained 56 initially, resulting in 14 shells.  Using two skeins of this yarn allowed me to do 5 rows.  This cowl was 7” in height and 40” across.

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{Dress: Urban Outfitters, Sweater: Roxy, Jacket: Zara, Bracelet: Mikaylove, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl: Me!}

I crocheted another buttoned cowl for a friend using “Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn" in "Raspberry" (the same yarn I used for my "Long Double Crochet Cowl" from last year).  We chose a beautiful gold button to contrast against the pink yarn.  For this cowl I also chained 56 in the beginning, resulting in 14 shells.  With one skein of yarn I could make 7 rows (dimensions: 8.5" in height, 32" across).

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I crocheted a matching toddler cowl for my friend’s daughter too!  For this cowl I used an 8 mm crochet hook and chained 48 initially, resulting in 12 shells and 4 rows (dimensions: 4.5” in height, 24” across).  I found a smaller gold button to match with her mom’s too!

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Of course I had to make Myla a toddler cowl too!  Here we have three generations wearing the “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowls" that I crocheted, each in varying sizes!  Don’t we all look so cozy and warm?

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I hope you enjoyed reading about all the “Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowls" that I crocheted!  Once you know how the basic pattern works, you can easily adapt this pattern to make your cowls various sizes and lengths (add or decrease 4 chains at the beginning to increase or decrease number of shell stitches).  This pattern is so versatile as using different yarns and different buttons helps give the cowls different looks, and they can be quite the statement piece!  These cowls also work up very quickly which is usually the case when working with chunky yarn and a large crochet hook!  The shell stitches give such an elegant, pretty, and romantic look to the cowls, wouldn’t you agree?

I also designed a “Round Shell Stitch Cowl" that is worked in rounds instead of rows and does not include a button.  See the step-by-step tutorial and free pattern HERE!

For some more cowl options, be sure to check out my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl" and "Long Double Crochet Cowl" from last year too!

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WIll you be making any of these cowls?  What yarn are you going to use?  They would make lovely Christmas gifts!  Let me know what you think about them in the comments below, and don’t forget to show me your finished pieces on my Facebook pageTwitter and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi, #AllAboutAmi)!  Happy crocheting and stay warm, everyone ❤

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl

Welcome to Canada, the Winter Wonderland :)
Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie

Welcome to Canada, the Winter Wonderland :)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie

Hey everyone!  Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE!  When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe!  I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!
Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop!  They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013!  You can find their shop here!
The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured!  The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl!  With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces!  Which of these have you made?

Hey everyone!  Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE!  When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe!  I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!

Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop!  They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013!  You can find their shop here!

The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured!  The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl!  With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces!  Which of these have you made?

Crochet Mesh Bag

A year ago as I was browsing through the beautiful images of Craftgawker, I came across a gorgeous crocheted ombre bag by Maize Hutton HERE.  She had made some modifications to a free “Knit-O-Matic” grocery bag by Haley Waxberg (free pattern can be found on Ravelry HERE) and I was super excited to make my very own when I was pregnant!  It’s taken me a year to blog about it, but better late than never, right?

I had A LOT of fun working on this bag pattern as it was unlike anything I had previously crocheted.  Working in the chain spaces round by round went by very quickly, and keeping track of the beginning of each round was a must!

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This pattern called for DK/Light (3) cotton yarn, so I opted to use my favourite Patons Grace mercerized cotton (which is actually a Sport/Fine (2) yarn) in grey.  This is the same yarn that I used to make Dragon, the Teddy Ornaments and my Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace.  If it isn’t evident enough, I really like this yarn :)  I still used a 4 mm crochet hook as stated in the pattern.

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I had read some Ravelry comments stating that the bag had turned out smaller than they had expected.  Thus, I made some modifications to the original pattern since I wanted my bag to be larger (and also because I was using a thinner yarn).  The bag was starting to look like a giant flower!  I was a little nervous that this project was not looking very bag-like at this point since it was so large and flat…

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…but it did start looking like a bag as I progressed further thankfully!

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Instead of making my bag a uniform colour like the bags I had originally seen, I decided that I wanted to make the last rounds and straps a contrasting colour!

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I decided to use pink since I absolutely LOVE pink and grey together :) 

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Isn’t it a beautiful combo?

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I decided to modify the edging by making it thicker and a bit more decorative with some spacing in between the stitches :)

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Here is a close-up!

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I also made the straps a bit wider!

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Finally, the bag was finished!  The pattern recommends placing 3 or 4 big cans of food in the bag to help stretch it out.  This bag can stretch a lot, so if your finished product seems smaller than you had hoped, have no fear!  It will get larger :)

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These are the modifications I made to the original pattern:

  • I repeated the “Increase Round” with 36 spaces an additional four times (i.e. in total it was repeated 12 times)
  • I added another Increase Round as follows: *{[Ch5, make 1 sc] twice into same ch5 space, [ch5, make 1 sc into next ch5 space]}; repeat from * to end of round (54 spaces).  *(Ch5, make 1 sc into next ch5 space); repeat from * to end of round (54 spaces). Repeat this round 2 more times.
  • I followed the decrease rounds as stated, except I had 54 spaces instead of 36 spaces.  I also followed the “*make 1 sc into next sc, make 2 sc into next ch2 space; repeat from * to end of round” as written (resulting in more than 108 sc- I didn’t count how many single crochets I ended up having).  This was my last round of grey.
  • For the decorative pink edging I did 2 rounds of single crochets, 1 round consisting of *Dc 1, Sk 1, Ch 1* around, and then 2 more rounds of single crochets (5 rounds in total).
  • Instead of chaining 38 for the handles, I chained 60.  I also made four rows of single crochets to make the handles thicker.

Here I am with my beautiful crochet mesh bag!  Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I love the overall look of the mesh and how you can see the contents of the bag.  It gives such a light, airy and modern feel!

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You can always add charms, lace, beads or anything you want to glam up your bag!  You could also add your own lining (like this beautiful sequin lining here) if you don’t want your bag to stretch as much or if you don’t want your bag to be as open.  I attached my cute amigurumi teddy keychain to my bag here :)

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What a great way to carry your yarn when yarn shopping!  Obviously this bag would not be so great for holding your hooks though…

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Part of what makes this bag so special is how portable it is!  Look how small it becomes when you scrunch it all up :)  It takes up such little space in your regular bag or in your car and can be pulled out whenever you need it.  It’s perfect for grocery shopping or when visiting a farmer’s market!  Thanks to those of you who tried to guess what this was based on the picture below- we loved reading all of your guesses, from scarves, bath scrubbies to sea anemones!

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This would be such a great summer bag to bring to the beach too!  Throw on a pair of shades, your favourite flip flops and your newly crocheted bag and you’re ready to go!  The bag could hold your swimsuit and sunscreen too, and you wouldn’t have to worry about sand getting stuck in it ;)

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Find the free pattern for this beautiful bag on Ravelry HERE!  Who else is going to give this bag a try?  I love sharing the crochet projects I have made on my blog, and I thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support of my work! 

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 :)

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 :)

My Nursing Fashion: Momzelle Giveaway [CLOSED] & CoverBoo Couture

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”.

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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.

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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!

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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”!

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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”! 

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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!

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For a bit of a dressier feel, I paired it with my peach blazer and jeggings.  A simple black tank top is so versatile…

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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!

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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!

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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!

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I wear my “Original Nursing Tank Top" with shorter cardigans, like these two below:

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Did you notice the feathers scarf in the above outfit?  It’s no ordinary scarf….it’s actually a nursing scarf! 

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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. 

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When you’re ready to nurse, you unwrap the scarf…

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So that it’s a single layer like this!

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Then you look for the neck hole…

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And slip your head through it!

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Pull your arm through…

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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 :) 

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Check out this video of Maria demonstrating how to use a CoverBoo here and see it in action hereBabyBellyKelli also did a great video review of her CoverBoo here

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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. 

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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!

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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

My Maternity Fashion

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!

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