When it comes to maternity wear, a full-blown bump gets all the glory. There is, however, a very awkward time in the newly-pregnant lady’s life that typically occurs between the second and fourth months. Everyone’s body reacts differently to pregnancy, but I find these months straddling the border between first and second trimester the worst. Early pregnancy bloat meant that my pants didn’t really do up anymore but I don’t get a cute enough bump for real maternity pants until almost month five. This leaves up to three months of wardrobe limbo.
What’s even harder is the post-partum period where your belly is squishy and your measurements look nothing like they used to so your pre-pregnancy clothes don’t fit. Or, if your measurements are similar, you have squish in new places and your pre-pregnancy clothes fit but don’t look great somehow.
This post is all about sewing and wearing an early pregnancy/post-partum wardrobe. These are two times of your life where you are likely going to feel terrible and you deserve comfy, stylish clothes to make you feel just a little bit better. I’m going to share with you some tips and pattern recommendations that work for both periods and will get you through these long and awkward months feeling more like your stylish self.
1. ALL THE TUNICS.
I found loose tunics the best for this time. I was able to wear my jeans semi-open using the hair elastic trick and didn’t have to worry about my shirt riding up my belly and showing the tell-tale triangle of my open fly. These are perfect if you work in a professional setting and still need to rock a collar. (Editor’s note: If you want something more secure than a hair tie, follow our jeans waistband extender tutorial!)Maternity Sewing recommends:
2. KNIT T-SHIRT DRESSES.
The key here is to have the exact amount of ease. You don’t want this top be at all body-con, but it shouldn’t be a sack either. Regardless of the weather, these dresses are staples and can be layered over leggings or with a long-line cardigan.Maternity Sewing recommends:
3. SWING TOPS.
These tops are great if you are showing before you’d like to announce things to the world. They’re also great layering pieces. I rotate between my grey and black versions pretty regularly.Maternity Sewing recommends:
Don’t do what I did and buy elastic-waist jeggings from Walmart. They are guaranteed to look awful and will squeeze uncomfortably. I have basically worn leggings every day for the last three weeks. Who doesn’t love leggings? I look for a high waist and omit any waistband elastic. Also, I have never liked my legs, but upon seeing them again after delivering my daughter I had a newfound appreciation for them and enjoyed showing off my muscly thighs.Maternity Sewing recommends:
5. CARDIGANS AND VESTS.
When rotating through the same few, basic leggings and t-shirt combos, I found adding a third piece kept things interesting. This is a really easy way to make knits feel more professional or at least less boring. Plus, these are items that you can wear all through your pregnancy and beyond!
Now, go forth and sew stylish, easy to wear clothes! Don’t underestimate the power of nice clothes when you’re feeling like you don’t know your body anymore. You deserve have clothes that make you feel good, even if just for a few months’ transition.
Sam is a Grade 6 Teacher in Ottawa, Ontario who tries to inspire her students to become makers. She makes most of her clothes and is all about pattern hacking. She’s expecting baby #2 in August 2019.