Thursday, 28 June 2012

Jersey Maternity Tops


Here are a few garments I made back in April that I've been dying to share with you, but had to keep mum (nice pun, eh?) for a while. When the super-lovely and generous Emily of the Botterman Empire offered to help me realise my dream to make a pair of shoes, we discussed how I could in turn make her  something by way of thanks for giving up her Saturday to spend it at her workplace.   


At first she mentioned her love of my denim sailor trousers which I would have happily reproduced for her, but then she confided that she was 'a little bit' pregnant! Too soon to officially announce, which is why I kept these creations under my hat until Emily had had a couple of scans and the all-clear. I wracked my brains and consulted two recently pregnant friends in an attempt to figure out how to materni-fy the sailor trouser pattern, but with time and expertise constrictions (not to mention I'd never met her in the flesh at that point so couldn't envision her body shape), we agreed that I would create some comfy maternity tops made from jersey instead. 


Using some advise from my then-pregnant boss who had made a few maternity garments for herself, I altered a semi-fitted T-shirt pattern to accommodate a bump. Forgive the poor approximation of a belly bump in these photos! I had to pad up the tailor's dummy with some folded fabric giving a rather lumpy effect, but it gives you the general idea. 


I gave Emily a rough run-down of the types of jersey I had in my stash or had access to at that time and she gave me her preferences on fabric and style options (sleeve lengths, necklines etc) and I was away. The first top I made (pictured at the top of this post) used some super-soft tonal red fabric that I procured at the Brighton De-Stash Meet-up back in February. I think it initially belonged to Rehanon. I made a short-sleeved scoop neck style using the alternate stripe direction for the neckline binding and the waistband. 

The second version was a good old basic black option with 3/4 sleeves and a scoop neck. I wanted to provide her with a garment that would be super-versatile to wear on its own or under a cardigan, seeing as her baby is due in November when it's often super-chilly. Unfortunately, the black knit I used was quite thick and didn't have very much stretch content, the result was that it was too tight and restrictive for Emily to wear. A couple of months later I made her a new black version from stretchier, lighter black jersey fabric which I believe performs much better. 


The last version, you may not be surprised to learn, is my personal favourite. Emily gave me the green light to create the ultimate in nautical maternity wear! If I ever get pregnant, you know this is the type of garment I'll be wearing. Style-wise, it has 3/4 sleeves with contrasting direction cuff bands and a slash neckline. The red and navy striped jersey is super slinky with a high elastane content so it should be really comfortable and pleasant to wear. The upper yoke panel uses a piece of anchor print jersey that appeared in a delivery at work. I considered adding gold buttons somewhere too, but chose to err on the side of caution just this once! 


If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to produce a tutorial on how to pattern cut your own maternity-bump friendly jersey tops. If that is something you'd like to see on this blog in the future, leave a comment on this post and if the idea  has sufficient appeal, I'll get on it over the next few weeks.

19 comments:

Miriana said...

As someone with two pregnancies under her belt, I would have been thrilled to get these.

Alexandra said...

Oh my goodness I would LOVE to know how to make maternity tops like these! My sister-in-law is pregnant, and it'd be so nice if I could make some tops up for her as a little present.

The nautical one is AMAZING.

emily said...

Hey Zoe, I'm wearing the red stripey one RIGHT NOW!!! Wooooo! (my bump is finally big enough to do these beautiful tops justice!)
I'd like to see a maternity top pattern tutorial thingy too please. These tops are so comfy that I want to have a go at making a few myself!

Claire (aka Seemane) said...

Great makes Zoe - Emily's sure to look a v. yummy mummy in them :)

Amy Stevens said...

Tutorial, pretty please!!

Ms Marple said...

As a pregnant lady myself, a tutorial would be great!

Erin said...

Yes, please!! I'm hoping to get pregnant soon. I'd love to make myself some cute tops!

Jorth! said...

I would have LOVED some of these when I was pregnant. Such stylish maternity wear!

Donna said...

Those are awesome! You are so thoughtful AND creative. Seriously, this is such an endearing post and I'm not even pregnant (nor do I plan on becoming so)!

didyoumakethat said...

Zoe, these are so lovely! I agree with Donna, you are very thoughtful. I wish I wasn't too old to get preggers - now I shall never have the chance to wear one of these. Unless, I stuff a cushion up my jumper...!

Jessica said...

am 17 weeks and beginning to lose access to my wardrobe, a tutorial for this top would be stellar
thanks zo! good job

saro said...

A tutorial would be lovely. I felt so frumpy during my last pregnancy that I vow to do better this next time around. I also think that these are really nice gifts to give to pregnant ladies (all the gifts we get are usually baby-oriented).

Naomi said...

wow these look great!! would LOVE LOVE a tutorial please!!! :):)

Veronica Darling said...

Zo, I'm PREGZ right now! And I'd LOVE a tutorial! I've seen tops with these gathers, and haven't got around to drafting or even experimenting with this style... I've made a few really stretchy tshirt dresses that seem to do the trick at the moment, but as the bump gets bigger, (3 months left) I'd love to have a few extra dresses up my sleeve.

I love the band on the bottom as well, which way do you attach that? Like the binding of a Sew Wendy neckline? xoxo

carlycrafts said...

I would love a tutorial on maternity tops! These are lovely, particularly the nautical inspired one.

Zoe said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments and for the feedback regarding a tutorial.

I've started the tutorial, I'll blog it week after next!

Zoe xxx

Jessica said...

great news Zoe! I'm keeping my eye out for the tute!
thanks!

Stitchandwitter said...

I'd be up for learning how to make maternity tops for sure :)

NHL jerseys said...

Great makes Zoe - Emily's sure to look a v. yummy mummy in them :)

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