Covering the bump – maternity sewing plans

This site has now moved to See this post there.

Well one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that I’m pregnant! All being well, in December we will have another little person joining us… And one of the things that comes with that is some drastic shape-shifting. I’m now at the point where I definitely can’t fit into most of my normal clothes, and so naturally I’ve been thinking lots about what to sew. So here’s a look at my plans and thoughts so far.

I’m keen not to spend too much money on maternity clothes, so my plan is mainly to use patterns I already own, and to sew from my stash. We’ll see how that goes! I’ve looked at maternity patterns, but I’ve mostly been thinking about which of the patterns I already have can be adapted. And here is a round-up of those thoughts!monte_tova In some cases this has been backed up by other intrepid bloggers (or even me!). In others, well, we’ll just have to wait and see…


A lot of tops are actually pretty forgiving. I reckon my plantains and tovas (like the one left, which I’ve been wearing all the time recently) should last me at least another couple of months, since they’re both pretty generous around the tummy. So that’s no so much a plan as a comfort that I do still have some tops to wear! However, the great thing is that both patterns are easily adapted to accommodate a bump.

Made in home made a beautiful (and roomy!) tova in double gauze, simply by adding width to the main front piece so that there are more gathers on the front. This is definitely something I plan to do before too longjulia cardigan opening! I had been thinking that tunics in general would be really useful, but now I wonder if they might just look a bit shapeless? I’ve had Simplicity 2147 for a while, but I’m still not sure about it – has anyone sewn it? Same goes for the Kate & Rose zsalya and the Pauline Alice carme – I love both patterns, but I’m not sure if they might just make me look like a shapeless tent! However they do all have a seam somewhere near the bust, which means I could add width to the belly area – so they’re worth bearing in mind. And tunics are comfy!

There are also several tutorials for adapting knit top patterns for maternity, making room for the bump by adding length to the front piece to create ruching down the sides, like in this tutorial by So Zo… This opens up a whole world of maternity renfrews, plantains, Brontes and lots more besides. Have I missed any of your favourite knit top patterns out? The only thing that’s slowing me down is that I’m going to have to cut/trace a larger pattern to start with.

One other pattern I really need to get around to sewing is the Julia cardigan, which would require no adaptation at all. I’m slightly put off by the fabric requirements, but then I do think it’s something I’d wear a lot. It looks perfect for summery layeHUDSONPANT_HERO_IMAGEring.


I reckon bottoms are the scarier part of sewing for being pregnant (and probably sewing in general). I haven’t gone full-on with any proper trousers or jeans (yet!), but I have done a bit.

In a moment of desperation (I was going on a conference and NONE of my smart outfits fit any more) I made a maternity Moss skirt. It was surprisingly simple, and I’m so glad that the world of moss skirts is still open to me. Most of the bump-friendly skirts I’ve seen have been pencil skirts or gathered skirts above the bump, and I’m not sure either of those is my thing. Do you have any thoughts on skirt patterns (or types of skirts) that might be adaptable?

It’s no secret that Hudson pants are comfy like pyjamas, yet much more stylish. There are also already some maternity ones in the world (like these ones), which is encouraging! When I made mine I had to lower the front rise by a couple of inches, so that the waistband sat under my bump, but otherwise everything was just the same, and they are lovely and comfy.

In terms of jeans and trousers, this tutorial from Megan Nielsen has already been worth its weight in gold (if a link can weigh anything?!). In fact all of her tutorials are pretty fantastic, I have a list I want to try out.


It’s a bit of a controversial statement, but I’m not actually that much of a dress-wearer. However, now that I’ve discovered the wonder that is maternity leggings, I think that could all change.

And actually, there are quite a few I think that could work well.

First up is Colette’s Moneta. There are a few of these around, and Cashmerette even  IMG_2875.CR2made a maxi version, which makes me very excited. I’ve made one of these (on the right), which is now blogged here, and I think it’s a winner. I followed everyone’s advice and just raised the waistline by a couple of inches, and there we go. The photo at the top is a close up on the empire waist of that very dress – lots of gathers ready for an expanding bump!

When it comes to adapting dresses for maternity, I think empire line is the key. If there’s a seam under the bust, the front skirt can be made wider and gathers or pleats added, and there you go! Dresses like the Aubépine (which I have and totally plan to make) and the Washi dress (which I consider buying most days…) would be ideal.

The Aubépine dress by Deer & Doe.

Other contenders are simplicity 1800 (which I’ve made a couple of times – I love the pockets!) and Butterick 5734 (which, as far as I can tell, is the same as B5639), which I’ve seen some lovely versions of. One other, which I’ve made a muslin for, and definitely plan to make for real, is the Southport dress

I’m sure there are lots of other patterns that would be excellent, but these are the ones on my mind (and in my current pattern supply).  What do you think? Do you tend to plan and research with your sewing or just jump right in?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


3 thoughts on “Covering the bump – maternity sewing plans

  1. Hi Rachel, I am also pregnant, 4 months with twins, and I am really scared with the size of my belly, it´s already huge, haha! I saw your post about maternity patterns, and I am also looking for something suitable, and from my own stash of patterns… The problem is, I live in Brazil, and it´s now winter, and I need some trousers… I made the Hudson pants before, I am thinking about making it on a bigger size, with a knit waistband… I love to wear dresses though, so I am thinking about dresses and leggings for a while… I think the Tiramisu dress would be perfect for maternity, it´s a great pattern! And it´s also nursing friendly!
    Good luck on your pregnancy!
    All the best from Brazil,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tatiana, thanks so much for your comment! Twins, oh wow! I feel nervous enough about having one!
      Yeah I think a lot of people like wrap dresses for maternity / nursing, I bet the tiramisu would be really good. Trousers are hard though! I think my plan for the winter (and even now, it’s not that warm in the UK) is pretty leggings – based. Your plan about the Hudson pants sounds like a good one 🙂 All the best to you too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s