Now, adapting a pattern for maternity purposes probably isn’t the most straightforward of tasks for the beginner sewist, but as there are so few maternity patterns around (and most that are seem to be vintage and tricky) I didn’t have many other options.
I started by printing out the free pattern. I measured my preggo bust, which is a size 8 on the pattern chart.
At first I cut the back and the front in the same way, thinking that the side seams needed to be the same length to match up. For both the front and back I cut an 8 at the top, and below the bust notch I graduated the length and width out to a size 18. I first made a muslin, which turned out to be a very sensible idea.
Of course, when you’re pregnant it’s just your front that grows, not your back! So my muslin was good on the front, but there was way too much fabric at the back as I’d graduated it to an 18.
The top was about the right length, but I could see that as my belly grows I’ll need more length to cover it.
Back to the drawing board. I clearly needed a regular 8 for the back piece, but then the side seams wouldn’t match the larger front. I worked out that I needed gathering to reduce the front sides to the same size as the back and provide some belly space in the front.
Take 2. I cut the back in size 8. I cut the front in size 8 at the top and graduated out the length and width from an 8 to an 18 from the bust notch to the hem as before.
I then added 15cm to the length at the centre front, and curved it to meet the size 18 hem point at the side seams.
I gathered the sides of the front pieces before sewing them to the back. I then finished the armholes and neckline as per the instructions, using a dark grey bias binding to finish the edges.
I decided to make things even harder for myself by working with a slippery and very fray-prone silk-cotton blend. Note to self – stick to cotton and wool when you’re still learning!
Aaaaaand my front pleat was wonky (I don’t look very happy about it do I?!). Maybe we should call this one a (un)wearable muslin?
Unfortunately it took me a while to do, and now I’d finished it’s starting to feel a bit tight round the bust. I think the adaptations to the waist worked well, but in future I’d use a stretchy fabric as I don’t think I’ll be getting into this much longer!
Have you ever adapted patterns for maternity wear? Do you have any tricks or techniques you’d like to share?