maternity wardrobe building, part 2: what I still need

I apologize in advance, because this will probably be a long post. Last time, I showed what I’d managed to assemble for my wardrobe so far. And like I said, I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly a palette started emerging!

Most of what I already had or was easily able to acquire was black, grey, cream, or teal. I threw in navy as a neutral as well, mostly because of denim. And with a few additions from thrift stores, clearance racks, and the knits in my own stash, royal blue, a brighter leafy green, and coral also showed up. I think this looks like a really good balance between neutrals and statement colors, actually!

Here’s what I know I still need:

  • Several tops, in both long-sleeved and shorter lengths. I know I’m going to need a few shorter sleeved things for May going into June, so I’m trying to keep that in mind and plan for layering in the colder months. I’ve already got one top done and a coordinating layering piece in the works for this, though I’ll wait to photograph until they’re both done.
  • A couple more skirts. I’ve seen a tutorial for a maternity version of the Sewaholic Crescent skirt, which is a pattern I do already have. I’m also thinking that the Colette Monetta might be a good one to try, if I add some ruching or a panel or something. Color might be nice. And I do think a nice maxi-skirt could go a long way.
  • Another pair or two of leggings. I’ve been wearing my black pair in place of tights under my shorter skirts, but I really could use another option. I have some denim-looking knit that might be perfect for this, if I can adapt a pattern sufficiently. There’s also some black knit that I’d specifically bought for trying out the Cake Espresso leggings anyway, but I can buy black maternity leggings easily enough. So I’m debating whether to hold off and make those later for more regular wear–I’m actually kind of liking the warmth of the leggings in place of tights, since I’m usually wearing boots with that sort of look anyway!
  • Dresses! I’ll probably be mostly living in these once the weather warms up some more. I have two that I’ve found so far, and I have a pattern for a top/dress that works for nursing as well. For those, I’m going to try to plan the style so that they work for the end of my pregnancy and the remainder of the summer, if I can, since I know I’ll need to be careful of necklines while I’m nursing and my stomach likely won’t go back to what it was that quickly.
  • One more pair of jeans. I have two, and I could have sworn I bought a third, but I can’t find it anywhere! But now that I’m only working a few hours a week for my teaching, and I tend to wear jeans on weekends/days at home, I know that only two pairs of jeans will not be enough to get me through any given week. I’m just going to buy that, since it would be the most time-consuming thing on this list to sew and I have way too many other holes that I can fill quicker.
  • Not to go TMI, but I think I’m going to have to suck it up and buy a couple of bras, because mine are all too small in the cups now! NOT flattering. I’ve heard you’re supposed to put off buying actual nursing bras as long into the pregnancy as possible, so I’ll probably just buy a couple of cheap ones a size or two up, and hope it gets me through the next few months. 
  • Warmer weather PJs. I think I can get through the winter with what I have, but all of my summer stuff is mostly little nighties and such that I was given right before the wedding. So I’m pretty sure none of those will fit this year. I guess if all else fails, I can steal one of Doug’s oversized t-shirts, right? But again, I think it might be nice to come up with something that will work for both the end of the pregnancy and nighttime nursing, if that’s at all possible.
  • Possibly a new pair of sandals. Pretty much all of them tend to buckle around the back of my heel, and I’m honestly not sure I’ll be able to get those on by the time it gets warm enough for sandals! I do have one pair of black flat strappy sandals that I can pretty much slip on over my heel, so maybe I can figure out how to maneuver those on with my toes, or get Doug to put those on for me, or something. But if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably need to buy something to get me through the last 6ish weeks of the pregnancy/the first couple of weeks post-partum. Which hopefully would also be comfortable enough that I won’t spend that whole time fighting blisters on my overly-sensitive extra-wide feet. (Dear God, please don’t let those get bigger!!) Ugh. I hate shoe shopping so much.

On a happier note, I’m trying as much as is possible to use patterns and fabrics that I already have stashed. So here’s what I’ve come up with that could work.

potential maternity patternsPatterns! Not pictured here are the aforementioned Sewaholic Crescent skirt, the Deer & Doe Plantain top, the Colette Moneta/Mabel (pdfs in manilla envelopes are boring to show in pictures), or any leggings, though I have two patterns I could potentially experiment with. (The Cake Espressos and the Manila leggings from the current issue of Seamwork.) I’ve already been experimenting with maternifying the Renfrew, as you know. Actually, the two on the far right are the only two patterns that are actually maternity! They’re both Megan Nielsens, even though one is distributed through Simplicity.

potential maternity clothesFabrics! All of these are knits–nearly all of the ones I own, save a couple in colors that don’t quite fit the palette. If I do try the Crescent, maybe I can work in a woven, too? The top three on the left side of the pile are ones my mom gave me for Christmas, and I’m hoping to come up with something especially fun for that ITY print on top! And I know the two solids on the bottom of the right don’t quite fit the palette, but I figured they’re close enough.

So far, I’ve tagged the black for a maxi sleeveless version of that Simplicity Threads dress on the bottom (the one with the crossover v-neck), the denim-looking stuff (that looks charcoal but is really navy) for leggings, and that dark turquoise closer to the bottom, (which is darker and a little closer to teal than the picture), for a potential maternified Mabel skirt. It’s the heaviest knit in this pile. That black and blue print, which I got at Mood last year, is also screaming maxi-dress at me, so I just need to figure out what pattern I might want to use–I’m considering maybe trying to adapt the Tiramisu for that, since it also has a crossover neckline and I know it works as a maxi. Maybe if I mash it up with the Red Velvet skirt? Or just add some gathering to the front after I narrow the waistband? Aside from those and the sparkly royal blue, which is already cut up into a layering cardigan and ready to sew, any suggestions of what I should do with all these solids that won’t bore me to tears when I wear them? What would be the best pairing for that ITY? (2 yards, for the record.) Any other advice/pattern suggestions for making maternity and/or nursing clothes?

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    11 thoughts on “maternity wardrobe building, part 2: what I still need

    1. your plans look lovely! here's a random idea that might work – how about a tiramisu where you put in an invisible zip between bottom of bust pieces and waistband so that you can unzip cups for nursing? you could remove when you are done.

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    2. You're so organized!
      My advice would be not to sew too many things. It's probably only going to be a few months where you'll need those clothes. What worked for me was 2 pairs of great maternity jeans and then a bunch of nice tops. And maxi dresses for sure.
      Looking forward to seeing what you make!

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    3. Yeah, that's why I was happy to find that one Megan Nielsen pattern– I figured if it works for nursing, too, I can do the shorter-sleeved versions and at least stretch those couple of makes out through the rest of the summer and into the beginning of the fall. Thanks for the tip!

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    4. You know I love a good colour palette! 😉 For that ITY, I think personally I'd make a tunic top thing, with ruched sides, that could be worn with jeans, leggings or shorts. Once you sew up those jeggings, you'll want something with butt-coverge, right? And even after the baby, I'd think you'll need comfy easy clothes. A dress would be nice too – if you made something like a Comino cap with a slightly sider skirt, then you could easily cut own the skirt later to a non-pregnancy size. I have no idea what works for nursing though… maybe something like the Thread Theory blouse?? I dunno. Good luck!

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    5. I was thinking it might be nice to do one of those ruched tops with the ties at the side so you can adjust the ruching–maybe that would be a good pairing for that fabric, because then I could adjust it for non-maternity as well! I do have a couple of patterns I want to try for the fall, like finally get to that Darling Ranges dress I've been meaning to make for the last two years, I have stuff to make an Archer shirt, and that new Sewaholic blouse that just came out this week looks like it could be a good choice as well. But I'll look into those other two patterns you mentioned as well! Thanks!

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    6. These are great plans. Knits are definitely the way to go–the more spandex, the better. I tried in my pregnancies to do a couple of wovens in the mix and by the time I was able to finish one of those projects, my bust size had gone up again. You might be able to keep wearing the leggings post pregnancy too…I had a couple pairs of leggings that eventually just got worn lower and lower, but I never gained enough in my legs that the spandex couldn't account for. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress, and congratulations!

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    7. Very sensible and exciting plans. Knit dresses and tops that you can wear for a little while after will be useful. In relation to bras I found that my gals didn't grow too much more from about half way through and I wore the same bras from that point till I finished feeding – both times same size. ( only part of my body that is reliable)

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