Would you believe that I'm over six months preggers now?! Insane. Anyways, I'm super proud to say that, aside from some new bras, I have bought precisely NOTHING in terms of maternity wear and in no way intend to do so. I know that I've mentioned this before, but I get a real buzz from being able to use my hard-won sewing skillz to meet the challenges that life throws up. And dealing with a rapidly and dramatically changing body over the last six months has been one of the biggest challenges me and my sewing abilities have faced yet.
Early on in my pregnancy I realised that there are heaps of amazing, inspiring women out there in blog-land (including Veronica Darling) and IRL (including Paula, my ex-TRAIDremade boss) making fabulous DIY maternity creations who showed me that it can be fun rather than panic-inducing, and that you needn't set aside your personal sense of style. I really hope that my self-stitched maternity clothes will go on to inspire other women who become pregnant in the future to create or supplement their maternity selections with self-stitched garments.
Now of course there is no such thing as 'content list' for a maternity wardrobe. Having read a pile of pregnancy books and spoken to other women, I can tell you that no-one can agree on what garments you'll need at each stage of pregnancy, in just the same way that no-one can agree on what a 'capsule wardrobe' should consist of. What job you have, what climate you live in, what your leisure activities are, what you feel comfortable in, your personal style, stage of pregnancy, size and shape during pregnancy and a squillion other factors would/will make your selection of maternity clothes different to every other woman's.
That said, I know that I would have found it super-useful to be able to see exactly what a DIY-inclined preggers chica has in her wardrobe, so today I'm going to share with y'all what my six-month pregnancy wardrobe consists of:
If ever there was a time to wear comfy clothes, it's during pregnancy. Plus jersey stretches so any jersey garments you own/make will have a larger window of useful-ness than woven garments. At six months my modest selection consists of: Peter Pan collar batwing top, tiny bird print 3/4 length sleeve jersey top (not previously blogged about because there isn't much to say) and my mid-maternity striped top. One glaring omission to this section is the mustard version of the Peter Pan collar batwing top. That is because, at time of writing, I'm waiting to find out if my attempt to remove a greasy curry stain that I inflicted on it a few days ago was a success or not! Fingers crossed...
I am assuming that my pussy bow blouse still fits, it did a week ago. But if I've learnt anything about clothes during pregnancy, it's that just because something was ok last week, doesn't mean to say it'll fit now! I don't expect to get many more wears from this, antenatal, but it's been a really useful 'smarter' option up until now. And then there's my Modcloth-inspired maternity smock top, which I've just realised is my only sleeveless item. Says more about the climate I live in than anything else.
My nautical jersey dress has been possibly the most useful and comfortable garment I've ever made. When it's hot (like when I went to Madrid and during the hot spell the UK is currently enjoying) it is fabulous as a dress. When it's a bit cooler, this dress is short enough to be layered over treggings or jeggings without looking weird. I have another version of this cut out and ready to sew because I panic about what to wear when it's in the wash! My Tova dress has now turned into a tunic to be worn with trousers underneath rather than as a dress as originally intended. This is because, as my bust and rib-cage have expended, it kind of sits a bit higher up on my chest making the length a bit indecent when worn as a dress!
From left to right: a normal pair of jeggings that are a size or two larger than I'd go for pre-pregnancy. I wear these unbuttoned with en elastic extension that stops them falling down either with or without the belly band depending on the length of tunic/top I'm wearing them with. Then there's my faithful blue treggings (the black ones no longer fit). These are the only bottoms that I can wear to yoga so those ladies probably think these are all I own! I'm planning on making another pair of these with the front waist cut even lower for when my belly gets larger still. The last pair are Topshop Maternity jeggings and I am at least the third pregnant lady to wear them. My aforementioned ex-boss Paula leant them to me, but wants them back if she ever gets pregnant again! They have a wide jersey-covered elastic panel across the front. She did lend me two other pairs of Topshop Maternity jeans but neither of them would stay up!
Anyone that followed my MMM'13 progress will probably be sick to the back teeth of seeing my Captain jacket! It has been soooo useful since the Spring. It can't quite button up now, but still good as an extra layer when necessary. I picked up the orangey-red swing coat in a charity shop a couple of weeks ago for a fiver. It needed a bit of hand-stitching but now it's as good as new. Plus is buttons up over my bump! Amazing!
Other six-month pregnancy garments that I didn't bother to photograph:
- Cardigans. I have a delightful array of secondhand cardigans that provide sufficient variety when combined with the above items.
- Sleep wear. Most of my nicer, more feminine sleep things no longer fit so I'm left with a couple of pairs of loose jammies and some over-sized mens T-shirts.
- Lounge wear. That is a comically glamourous phrase for what consists of the two pairs of secondhand tracky bottoms and one secondhand over-sized hoodie for when extreme levels of at-home comfort are equipped.
- Undies. Either my bum has grown a bit in this six months, or my tolerance of any discomfort has diminished, so I'm now finding my smallest smalls are no longer wearable. I haven't had to make any larger sized knickers yet, but I know I have the skills should that be required in the near future. I've had to make a couple of longer and wider vests that accommodate 'le bump'. As mentioned at the top of this post, I've had to buy a fair few new bras.
- Umm, how comes nearly everything I now own is blue?! I really didn't notice that until I got all my garments out to photograph for this post! I haven't had much trouble mix-and-matching my selection of separates and now I'm coming to realise that is probably because of the limited palette. There's a lesson in there somewhere maybe... Thankfully my cardigans are red, mustard, emerald and black which provides some necessary variety.
- The other main thing I've noticed when looking at these pics is there just isn't very many garments there. Figuring out just how few garments I realistically need, whether pregnant or not, has been illuminating. Of course, it's not quite as much fun as 'shopping' in a wardrobe with heaps of choice, but it certainly has made getting dressed each morning much quicker and more content with the outfit I've selected. It's good to know that, if I keep on top of my laundry, I'll already have ample wearable items after the baby is here and my capacity to sew myself things is dramatically reduced.