Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Non-maternity Patterns that work for Maternity

Me Made May 2016 forced me to branch out within my closet. My goal was to wear one handmade item every day, without repeats. That got tricky when I exhausted all my clothes that came from maternity patterns. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of other patterns worked for me anyway, even if they weren't specifically for maternity.

I've now been pregnant in every month of the year except July (and that's coming) so hopefully this post will help out all you sewing mamas when building your own handmade maternity wardrobe.

This pattern is just a bit of a cheat to make it work for maternity, but nothing so complicated as a full on pattern hack. The only change I made to this pattern was to lengthen it. The side seams are straight, so you could do it with your eyes closed. Make sure to use a stretchy fabric like this sweater knit. A low-stretch fleece won't cut it.

This Summer Jazz Dress, by Snapdragon Studios, was originally made when I was not pregnant. I found that the flowing drape and drafting worked perfectly with a baby bump, so I've worn it through two pregnancies as well. No modifications needed, but it's worth nothing that mine is made in a drapey knit, not a woven.

Hands down, my favorite double-duty pattern is the Lola Tunic by Victory Patterns. I have three of these, and I even gifted one to my mom for Christmas a few years ago. It can be made in a variety of fabrics, from fleece to interlock. I can't wear the fleece one while pregnant, but this stretchy interlock expands with my belly easily. Secret pajamas, as they say.

An older pattern, Vogue 8950 is drafted long and with some ease around the hips, making it work surprisingly well for maternity. My version is made from sweater knit with a decent amount of stretch. Something less stretchy like regular jersey would probably work earlier in a pregnancy.

I'm pretty sure my husband hates this garment. It's not much more than a sack, really, but that makes it insanely comfortable. I've had it for years and years and it never makes it far from my rotation. This photo is actually from last year's Me Made May, a few weeks before H was born.

This pattern surprised me this year when I desperately pulled it from the closet and prayed that it fit. Another mostly-sack dress from Butterick, it does flow away from the body and gives extra room around the middle. Mine is a tunic and shorter than recommended, so possibly in a true dress it wouldn't look right. All I know is that it will be first out of the dryer and onto my body, every time!

Stylish knit pants with an elastic waistband and drawstring? Yes please! I'm only a little bit preggo in the above photo, but if you're having a winter baby then you need a closet full of Hudson Pants.

McCall's says this pattern is "suitable for maternity" which is a lazy way of putting it. Again, fabric choice is crucial here and you need something with good stretch and recovery. The cowl neck version of this pattern also works for nursing, so it's a win-win-win. 

Any other patterns I've missed? Even though I've spent the last two years amassing a maternity wardrobe, I admit I'm looking forward to ditching it. I'm glad that I have so many pieces that will work even after I'm done with babies. If you want to check out all my true maternity makes, including hacks of patterns like the Renfrew and Plantain, click on the maternity tag in the sidebar.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! I will file this away for a future need. For now the baby oven is closed.


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