My sister-in-law, codename KGB, is pregnant! I've heard through the grapevine that she would really like a maternity dress, so I've spent a couple hours putting together a possible list. I love sewing maternity clothes, actually. I like sewing for other people, and a lot of maternity clothes aren't terribly flattering (although I think there are a lot more reasonably priced options out there than there used to be!).
Anyway, here's my list so far, in order of what I want to sew most and what I think KGB would most enjoy wearing.
Butterick 5796, views A & E:
Butterick 5860, views B & D:
Actually, I found a really similar chevron knit from Girl Charlee fabrics, but decided it was a bit too drab for my sister-in-law, who really shines in bright happy colors. The only thing I don't like about this pattern is it looks a little low cut in the bodice (at least for some women), and the skirt hangs down from the belly. On the other hand, not all women enjoy wearing more tightly fitted pregnancy clothes, from what I hear. You know, some days, you just don't really want people to be able to see both the baby bump and any other little bumps that have appeared along teh way. So perhaps this will be a good option, especially for the third trimester.
I have a huge list of patterns to either use or convert, so I won't list them all here, but two more I'm excited about are Kwik Sew 3720 and Simplicity 3790 (also goes by 2015, I think). These are both simple patterns that can be made into a variety of different shirts using fun fabrics, so I'll probably make a few of each if I have time.
Kwik Sew 3720:
I don't think I'll even make any adjustments except add an inch or two in length to the front. Looks roomy enough for a little pear sized tadpole.
I'm also really tempted by Megan Nielsen's t-shirt pattern. It gets rave reviews, I like supporting indie pattern designers, and it is cute as a button, as is the wrap shirt. I'm holding off only because I already have a bunch of patterns, but we'll see. I might break down and pick up these two in a moment of pattern hoarding weakness. Ditto a few of the Jalie patterns that are easily convertible to a maternity style: the empire cross-over top, the criss-cross top, and the twist top. Why, by the way, do so many maternity patterns seem to involve a lot of extra fabric criss-crossing around the bust area? I mean, I get the ease for nursing, but it seems like a lot of women might not appreciate a lot of extra layers of fabric, particularly if they are just decorative and not really functional.
I did a quick trawl through etsy for some cute vintage patterns, but this is one of those rare areas where previous decades' silhouettes are completely uniteresting. Vintage maternity pattern designers clearly had contests for who could create the biggest tent shirt. There was one stand-out pattern, though–Vogue 1689:
I can't imagine very many pregnant women wanting to wear a strapless gown, although I could, of course, be wrong about this. Maybe they are quite comforable, with the baby bump more or less holding the gown up. A kind of built-in waist stay, right? The model on the right in this photo is just priceless. She's so clearly pissed off about finally landing a Vogue contract, only to find out it was for the patterns division and they're forcing her to wear high heels and a dress that makes her boobs look like they are melting. She's going to go home and eat a whole carton of chocolate ice cream. Also, why does poor designer Lauren Sara have a giant M as her logo? Or is that the logo for the Vogue Maternity Designer section? Very original, Vogue.
On the other hand, if you've been roped into a gala event during your third trimester and need a dress, here's a link to the pattern seller 😉