Hello! I’m writing this post in advance, so hopefully, by the time this post comes out, I will have a newborn and no longer be pregnant! This is my last scheduled post for a while and a sort of “see you soon” as I take my unofficial maternity leave from blogging (trust me, I will be back soon!) Today, I’m talking about the patterns that saw me through my pregnancy to help other sewists who may be trying to do a me-made maternity.
- The River dress by Megan Nielsen. This dress literally got me through my entire pregnancy. I made a woven version early on and wore it easily until I was about five months pregnant. I made mine out of a drapey black twill and it was perfect for everything – I wore it to work, social events, and even a Celine Dion concert. It’s the perfect kind of basic that transforms depending on how you style it. I wore it with a lot of different vests, cardigans and moto jacket depending on the situation. I also made a knit version that I literally wore up until I delivered. When it got hot, I shortened the sleeves and wore it pretty much every five days. The pattern is roomy enough that a knit fabric gives you all the space you need for a growing belly without having to do any hacking. And I almost forgot that I hacked it into a drapey halter dress for a really easy, comfy formal dress. Depending on how much extra fabric you gather and what you line it with, this hack could probably work for all of your pregnancy.
- The Pony Tank Dress by Chalk and Notch. This is another one that requires zero hacking. If you are pregnant in the summer, I promise you, you want to batch sew a couple of these. This pattern is ridiculously quick to sew up and super breezy to wear. I made two and regret not making more. I even made one with a button placket to make it wearable for breast feeding.
- The Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet. I only came to these leggings at the end of my pregnancy and really regret it. The high waisted version would have very easily worked through Month 8 of my pregnancy with no hacking required. This is another ridiculously easy and quick pattern to sew up. Go make like five because you will live in leggings pretty much forever now. Also, I hacked this pattern to be swim trunks and LOVE THEM.
- The Orchid Midi by Chalk and Notch. This dress served as my all occasions dress for this pregnancy. I wore it to two tea parties, date nights and a graduation. This one requires some hacking, but not too much is needed to make it look nice on a bump. And the bonus is it should still fit after baby is born!
- The Fulton Sweater Blazer by Alina Design Co. If you are going to be pregnant in the winter and work in a semi-professional setting, you MUST make this blazer. It is the perfect jacket to throw over leggings and a t-shirt dress and still look professional, which is exactly what I did at least once a week this winter. It’s also made of a knit so it is actually the comfiest thing ever. Honestly, I love this jacket.
- The Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns. If you’ve recently seen me IRL, I was probably wearing this dress. This is the dress that makes me feel like I am winning pregnancy. I modified mine slightly (raised the waist, added volume in the front, added length in the front hem) and it is easily my favourite garment right now. I made it in an off-white linen with a navy blue check so it is super light and breezy for the summer. This is also the only garment that doesn’t make me feel like a lumpy whale, but a cool pregnant lady. This is my default “semi-nice” dress for occasions requiring something nicer that just leggings and a tank, but aren’t too formal. Seriously, I will be sad to not wear this once I’m breastfeeding. It will 100 per cent come out next summer once I straighten out the hem.
- The Cara maternity top by Megan Nielsen Patterns. I avoided making actual “maternity” clothes for myself, but I feel like one can only deal with loose fitting tops so much. I made myself two t-shirts which I wear still pretty regularly. This pattern is great though, as it’s such a basic and you can hack it to be pretty much any kind of tee you want. If I were to be pregnant again, I would batch sew dress versions of this top to wear over leggings every day.
Doing a completely me-made maternity wardrobe is definitely possible. I didn’t have to buy any new clothes for this pregnancy, even though I’d given back many garments I’d borrowed the first time and a lot of what I bought when I was pregnant with my daughter fell apart before I could wear it again this time. For me, the key was making a lot of basics I could wear together and jazz up with completer pieces . Also, don’t think you need a huge amount of clothes to get you through. As I write this (at 37 weeks pregnant) I have exactly six outfits I rotate: my Charlie Caftan, my knit River dress, two Pony tank dresses, one pair of leggings and two t-shirts. I do a lot of laundry, but I will have very little I need to pass on when I’m no longer pregnant.