Friday, 31 May 2013

Refashion Friday: Reworked Maternity Tights


About six weeks ago I completed my grey Tova dress creation, one of my first forays into maternity sewing. But if I was ever actually going to be able to wear this dress, I was also going to have to address the issue of tights. A bunch of time ago I bought some lovely mustardy-yellow opaque tights from American Apparel, but even though I bought the M/L, they always dug into my belly in an uncomfortable fashion. Rather lamely I didn't do anything about it, I just kind of accepted it and avoided wearing them even though they were the most expensive tights I've ever bought. It's stupid isn't it? If I were making something for myself to wear, I'd damn well made sure it fit, but because I bought these in a shop, why is it ok that they don't fit? How comes, if a garment made ourselves doesn't fit, that's a problem with the garment, however if a shop-bought garment doesn't fit, it's our bodies' fault rather than the garment's?! Or at least I think that's how it is often perceived.


I've always had problems with tights. I get bloated easily and so often find tights are just too tight around my middle, and especially after lunch thicker tights often feel unbearably uncomfortable. I do have a little belly even when I'm not pregnant, and that's just never going to go away, but I'm not a big lady and buying a larger size (if a larger size is available) would just result in baggy ankles! So I tended to either suffer the discomfort or only wear a skirts/dresses and tights combo when I knew I'd be able to take them off after a few hours!

But with my expanded pregnancy belly, it really was time to deal with the uncomfortable tights issue. So I put these mustard tights on and popped a couple of pins in to ascertain a good new elastic line that sits under my belly. I then took them off and wrapped some elastic round that same line to figure out how long it should be. I cut the original top of the tights off a couple of centimetres above the new marked out line, and simple wrapped the raw edge over twice encasing the elastic inside and pinning evenly in place. I sandwiched it all together by using a three step zigzag stitch. Simples.


And for the best part of two months they were the most comfortable tights I've EVER owned. My belly had now grown too big for these to work anymore, but for those two months, these were heaven. Why the hell didn't I just make this simple alteration to all my opaque and thick tights previously? I'm going to do this to all my other tights after my pregnancy and forever more. Some pregnant women seem to prefer the waistband of tights, skirts and trousers to come up and over their belly, whilst others seem to dislike that feeling and prefer things that sit underneath the belly. I'm still pretty much open to all maternity garment styles, but I feel I am gravitating towards the latter category so I don't think I'd enjoy wearing the usual maternity tights that come right up over the belly or stop across the belly midway. It's amazing that, what with all the crazy stuff that's going on in my innards that my belly remembers its predilection to bloating, but it certainly still like to throw that into the mix regularly! Oh, the lessons I'm learning...

13 comments:

badmomgoodmom said...

What great photos and smiles.

Thanks for running MMM again. I think you did an amazing job and can't believe you managed it with pregnancy and all of your free-lance obligations.

Maureen Cunningham said...

I'm okay with you never wearing American apparel tights. The owner of that company is a pig who treats women like dirt.

velosewer said...

I also want to thank you for running MMM again while your life is changing and for such a large group of participants.
You've been through so much in the last 12 months and you still give your time to everyone who sews.
Cheers Zo!

vondalin said...

How comes, if a garment made ourselves doesn't fit, that's a problem with the garment, however if a shop-bought garment doesn't fit, it's our bodies' fault rather than the garment's?! - this! this drives me insane!
I too would like too thank you for organizing MMM and would like to congratulate on rocking some amazing maternity style!

Craft Sanctuary said...

I have the SAME problem with tights. Thanks for re-fashioning! I may just have to do this with all of my tights ...it looks so much more comfortable!

Jenni said...

This is simple but brilliant. I have a similar problem with tights; love the look of them, but I can't stand the pressure on my belly, and I am SO going to try this trick!

TinaD said...

Love it--carrying a kid AND striking a blow for body individuality. (There is nothing like dress shopping to give me a bad case of body issues--why do I have to have a <36 bust if I have a 39 hip?) Incidentally, if you don't mind input from a former maternity sales assistant, the "over-the-bump" versus "under-the-bump" thing seems to be about how you carry when pregnant. If you stay fairly small or carry the baby "back" or "in", under-the-bump is more comfortable. If you carry the baby "out front"--I carried that way, and it for all the world looked like a Z-cup breast implant cut loose and slid down my ribcage--over-the-bump can give you more support and help with cantilevering the weight. (Kind of like a strapless bra.) I mention this only because, as you get closer to term, you may want to try over-the-bump (or those maternity bellybands)to help with back aches and whatnot. Keep smiling!

Margaret said...

Clever tights alteration! I need to buy a M/L tights but also get the baggy ankle (or 8" inches of leg, wtf???). So, what I do is stitch and serge off a few inches from the foot area. Easy peasy if you are not dealing with a maternity tummy.

Jen said...

Clever idea! I have some lovely wool/cotton blend tights that I bought in Germany several years ago whose elastic is very stretched out, so they want to slide down when I wear them. I think I'll have to fix them when I wear them this fall.

As for over-the-belly vs. under-the-belly, I agree with Tina D - it DOES depend on how you carry, but also on how your hips and bum are shaped and whether or not you gain weight in those areas or your hips spread. I have several pairs of maternity pants that are under-belly which don't stay up at this point because I'm carrying low and in front with this pregnancy. They fit perfectly when I first wore them with pregnancy #2 back in 2006, and with #3 in 2008-2009 - that is, until I got too huge with #3.

zora read said...

what an ingenious idea, so please you have solved a problem on expensive tights.

zora read said...
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