Stretching, stretching…

So one of the first things I did after finding out a baby was on the way?  Look up maternity outfits on Pinterest, naturally.  I didn’t get raring on the sewing machine straight off, but after the three-month scan it seemed like time to start planning my rather different wardrobe for the rest of 2013.

Source: via Amy on Pinterest


Of course, Megan Nielsen patterns popped out and hit me in the face.  As another sewist recently said to me: “she’s rather cornered the maternity pattern market, hasn’t she?”  So I ordered the gathered t-shirt and the gathered skirt from M is for Make (and thanks Kate for sorting out blips in my order so promptly and efficiently!)

I’ll start with the t-shirt.  Helpfully, the pattern says to use your normal (pre- or early pregnancy measurements).  I confidently cut a safe medium:

Maternity top 1

I really like: the ruching down the sides, and the lovely generous length (always been a sucker for long tees).

maternity top 3

Not so keen on: the baggy width in the sleeves, and that the shoulder seam sits right out on the edge of my actual shoulders.

maternity top 2

I’m not sure that this top will go the whole nine months – you can’t really see it in these photos, but there’s already some pulling across the bust.  Fit round the tummy is great right now, but another four months of growth might just go beyond the stretch.

So for my second MN make, I cut EXTRA LARGE:

Maternity skirt 1

And a good thing too.  It does fit, but again there’s not much extra mileage in there.  I used a thick knit fabric as recommended – and it sparkles!  Perhaps I needed something stretchier… but did I mention that I cut EXTRA LARGE?!  And it’s not uncomfy, but there was a little bit of relief in peeling it off at the end of the day.  One of the things I enjoy about making my own clothes is the comfort of a really good fit, so…

Maternity skirt 2

…although I think it actually looks pretty cute and classy, I don’t love it.  This now seems very predictably obvious – because I don’t like wearing pencil skirts, full stop.  I’ve never made one: I sew big circle skirts, plenty of pleats, an A-line at a pinch.  And somehow I thought pregnancy would make me a pencil skirt fan?

Well I guess being properly pregnant stops that horror of looking accidently pregnant in a certain kind of skirt (been there, my friends, been there).  But still, I worry about my underwear line showing through, or the whole thing bunching round my empire line…

Maternity skirt 3

Nope, even with side ruching there’s just too much cling.  This skirt did serve its purpose in making me feel a little glam at the epic V&A meetup, and it might score me a day’s grace during Me-Made-May, but I don’t see a repeat make in here.

On the other hand, I think a MN Maternity t-shirt + Sewaholic Renfrew mashup might be just the ticket…

9 thoughts on “Stretching, stretching…

  1. See, I love your MN maternity cool and was thinking how cool you looked on the day. But if it’s not your style then I can understand why you don’t love it. I can’t believe that it’s an XL…your bump is tiny!?! Anyway, I’m enjoying following your maternity sewing journey and I’m saving all the tips for a day I might need them ;o)

    • Ah thanks so much Marie. Looking back at the photos, I do really like how it looks – perhaps it’s just that I find pencil skirts too high maintenance to wear! Anyhow, I’m getting a bit more adventurous with maternity sewing, so plenty more to come… 🙂

  2. I love that skirt, it looked fantastic at the meet up. Such a shame it’s too tight, but I totally understand the need for comfort when pregnant. I have a vintage (early 60’s?) maternity dress pattern in my stash if you want it? There is no way I am ever going to need it and it would be lovely to see it sewn up. Email me with your address at if you want it.

    • Wow thanks Taracat, that’s a lovely idea! And it was great to meet you at the meetup. I’ll be in touch!

  3. First, they do look lovely on you. Even the pencil skirt! And maybe the shirt is just meant to be for lounging now?
    Second, I’ve thought of buying these as well (25 weeks here!) but still on the fence. I really want to try my hand at ruching. I’m having second thoughts now though…

    • Hi Jill, congratulations! Sounds like you’re just a week or two ahead of me! Sorry to put you off the patterns – though I’ve been trying out some alterations with more positive results, which I’ll be posting about soon…

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