Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Maternity sewing

So it finally warmed up around here, and as I am on the home stretch (likely less than four weeks until the baby comes - eep!), I was not itching to spend a ton of money on spring maternity things.  Back in February we took the kids to Disney World, and at that time I made myself two knit tops and a skirt.  I didn't want to buy a new pattern, so for these tees I just took my beloved Plantain pattern and tweaked it.  I cut the back as usual, but added a few inches of length to the front.  I used elastic to ruche the front to be the same length as the back (starting at the narrowest part of my rib cage and extending to the hem) and then sewed them together per the pattern.

This is what I ended up with.

The red top is made of a modal/lycra knit that is a gorgeous color, feels wonderful, but has the crappiest recovery I've ever seen in a fabric that has lycra in it.  If this fabric went to school and had a recovery class it would totally fail.  By the end of the day I feel like a saggy elephant ... so I don't reach for it much.

The purple top is made of a rayon/lycra knit from Joann's.  It also does not recover overly well and is pill-prone to boot.  It's a bit long in the front but at least I know it will fit all the way to the end of the pregnancy without the dreaded bottom-of-the-bump peekaboo that I always rock the last few weeks before baby comes.

I also made this skirt for the trip.  I cut an a-line skirt pattern using my hip measurement, and scooped out the front to accommodate the belly. Then I grafted a yoga band onto it.  This knit is a medium/heavy weight, very adamantly synthetic fabric that had been advertised as a cotton blend.  I was hopping mad when I realized after washing it that it wasn't cotton. It had been intended for kid wear but I only use natural fibers for my eczema-prone daughter.  Sadly the retailer was not interested in changing the information on her web site ... needless to say I won't be shopping there anymore.

It works fine for this skirt.  But I don't know what I will do with the remaining 1.3ish yards of it.

I made the elephant shirt using Maria Denmark's Kirsten Kimono tee (it's free!).  I love that pattern.  I tried on the last Kimono tee I made (size medium) and noted that the, ahem, girls could use a little more room.  So I cut a large and lengthened it by four inches.  I also made my usual mod of scooping out the neckline.  That's it.  I didn't do any ruching because I wanted this shirt to be wearable after the baby is born.

I got the elephant print cotton/lycra at Girl Charlee awhile back.  My knit necklines have been pretty bad lately so I decided to finish the neckline with some shiny burnt orange foldover elastic from the stash.

Don't mind the lint - this fabric holds on to it like crazy.

I made another maternity Kirsten Kimono using the same method, out of this drapey Girl Charlee fabric left over from a previous Plantain.  I don't think it will look as cute over a postpartum belly as it does over a belly that has an actual baby in it.  But I wanted to have the option.  We'll see.

I had this cotton/poly burnout knit in my stash that wasn't what I thought it was when I bought it.  It barely stretches.  I wanted to use it up, but knew I could not make a straight Kimono tee with it because of the lack of stretch.  So I altered the pattern, trapeze-ing it out a couple inches from the narrowest point of my rib cage to the hem.  I can't believe it, but it actually worked and it is my favorite of the maternity items I've sewn.  While pregnant, I usually gravitate towards fitted tops (like the four above) but I feel more comfortable in the trapezy top this time around.

I opted to use stashed FOE for the neckline again, this time in silver.

The skirt is a very simple a-line that I "drafted" using my hip measurement.  I added two darts in the back so that it wouldn't stick out over my hind parts.  Again I cut a small scoop out of the front panel and added a yoga-style knit waistband.  I made it out of a yard of stretch sateen from the stash.  You can't really see in these pictures, but the sateen is a light taupe with little white speckles all over it.  It's my go-to church skirt now.

The baby has dropped a bit since i took these photos at (two weeks ago), so I'm starting to get a little belly peek-out.  I plan to make another top like this one, as I think the trapeze shape will be perfect for camouflaging the postpartum tummy.


  1. cute! tees and knit skirts are my uniform! so awesome that you were motived enough to make your own maternity clothes. i didn't quite have it in me! :)

    1. Thanks! I had to put the third trimester insomnia to good use ...

  2. You are so adorable!!! I love your maternity makes. I made a couple ruched tops and really got a ton of wear out of them. I agree, I think the trapeze shaped top will be a great postpartum top. Also, the foldover elastic looks great! Why haven't I tried that! What a good idea! I hate neckbands.

    1. The FOE neckband was a last-minute idea to avoid sewing yet another wonky knit neckline - my stretching-and-sewing-evenly-coordination seems to have disappeared along with a large chunk of my brain this time around. Thanks!

  3. Nice work! I especially like your use of the contrasting fold over elastic. Best wishes for your family.

  4. Good work Momma! Especially since you probably have minimal sewing time and energy! That Kirsten Kimono tee is pure magic! Who knew it would make fabulous maternity wear!?! Hope the next few weeks go smoothly as you get ready for baby.

  5. Wow! Prolific! I like all of them, but especially the elephants with the orange FOE. If you need to cut the sides open to alter after baby, you can just sew the sides up again. It will be great to have the option!


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