Today, I will be jumping into the very big M topic ! I am now 6 months pregnant and I am trying to figure out what I wll wear during my third trimester. Until now, I had to make/purchase very few items. Until the 3rd month, everything was still fitting just fine. And during the 2nd trimester, I made do with what I have in my wardrobe and still feels comfortable (knit or less fitted dresses, tunics and leggings).
The first thing I did after I knew I was pregnant (well maybe the second thing after telling Mister) was to search for Maternity patterns. I was really curious to see what was out there. I was looking for feminie looks that are comfy and quirky too, and available at my size. Well, that has been less easy to find than I expected…
My criteria for this search:
- Matrnity pattern : the pattern has to be made with the pregnant lady in mind. I am happy to use a non maternity pattern and transform it, but for this search, I wanted to find patterns that would teach me how a bump influences the way a garment is built.
- Comfort : I would like something in knit or with enough ease to stay active and go to work.
- Feminine : I like skirts and dresses, and even if I also like to wear jeans with a top, I like wearing things that make me feel like a girl.
- Something special… : I wanted to avoid the usual maternity pants/T-shirt combo.
- Something in my size : 45′ 41′ 53′ before my body changed (evolving…). You know that I do not mind upgrading at all but I want to try this new type of patterns keeping the design intact to evaluate how it works.
- Easy to order/assemble (reasonable shipping to Europe and no pdf as I am planning on having little energy left after workdays…)
Where do you generally find maternity patterns ? On Burdastyle, Simplicity, the Big4, Style Arc, and Independant companies (Megan Nielsen and Deuxieme Arrondissement). You can also find a few really cool vintage ones on Etsy etc (I will not go through these because I am no expert at vintage patterns upgrading). Having all criterias checked was barely possible. I will go through the different companies and what boxes they checked or not.
I will start with Megan Nielsen. Those patterns have been very well reviewed. They are made for pregnant ladies, they look very comfy and feminine and are much more special than other companies. They however don’t tick all the boxes. First, there is a big hiccup on the size. Their XL size is 42′ 34′ 44′. Second, shipping from Australia takes a while and I am always afraid of things being stuck somewhere with companies I have never used yet. It has happened in the past. Lastly, I gave half a point for the « Something Special » factor. I like the designs and they look much cuter than other companies, but they are not what I would naturally go for.
A second company is the French « Deuxieme Arrondissement ». I saw nice reviews on PR and I fell in love with the way the designs look (pretty, feminine, comfy and different). France is also close so the shipping is ok. BUT ! But the size chart is a catastrophy. They only cover French S-M-L sizes. There is no specific chart so it is hard to evaluate how many inches are missing.
Style Arc is a third option. They have also recieved great reviews. This is the first company I found that offered my size. The biggest issue for me is that I am not into the pants/T combination and this is precisely what they offer. They would also come all the way from Australia and come in a « one-size » envelope. I am not very comfortable with the idea.
A fourth website is Simplicity. They have different collections : Simplicity, Burda and Megan Nielsen. I was happily suprised by these. They have my bust size, which is a big plus ! They also have pretty cool designs that tick all my boxes. Unfortunately, the shipping to Europe is very tricky with special conditions at the Customs. I have never ordered from Simplicity’s website because it is not as straightforward as others. (since this search, I figured out a couple of ways to get patterns from them, but it was too late for the maternity orders and I have spent my budget already).
Burdastyle has a few patterns as well. I had purchased moth editions so I have all of them home already. I will maybe use them but they come in a limited range of sizes. I can always use them to understand how maternity patterns differ from others.
Lastly, we have the Big4. The maternity patterns are on Butterick and Kwik Sew. McCall’s also has a « suitable for matenity » section. Some of their patterns ticked all my boxes ! There are very nice and feminine knit designs in my size ! I also have very good experience with their shipping (as long as I buy the patterns during sales).
After all of this, I realised that if I wanted all my boxes to be ticked, I had very little choice. I decided to go for the 2 designs that had the highest score. The Butterick wrap dress will be the first one I will work on, especially with Jenny’s sewalong coming soon ! I would also like to try the Kwik Sew dress, maybe for a winter holiday outfit.
Now, you ladies know how strong the Power of Pretty can become… Well, during one of my less reasonable moments, I decided to go for a wild card. I had really fallen in love with the Deuxieme Arrondissement designs. And the only factor missing was the size. So I decided to take a leap and try two of them : a dress and a top. Friends, I can tell you that I am feeling silly now… When they arrived at home, I loved the envelope, the packaging and the instructions, but then I opened up the pattern sheets… Unfortunately the only 3 lines available are hand-drawn and are graded differently, making my usual upgrading quite tricky. I will probably try anyway, but I do not have very high hopes…
Now, let’s get the party started!
What are your experiences with maternity clothing ?
Would you have any advice ?
Do you think I am being too difficult with my 6 variables ?