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.