Can normal sewing patterns work for maternity wear?

Monday, 7 July 2014

This question was never intended to be what these posts were about. The original idea was to sew 'together' (that is virtually as we are on different continents) - and learn from each other. We have similar height and shape - and therefore similar issues with patterns (bum, hips mainly). Fast forward three months from the original idea, a little adapting had to be done - to accommodate a (fast) growing bump. 

So the aim is still to sew the SAME normal pattern, but the choice is probably more limited as we have to be able to adapt for maternity wear. In between the posts, we email each other of course talking about the process, what we learn, how we get on, modifications we are considering but also potential new patterns we should try. We will probably post one post together with our final garment, and another one explaining the modifications made to adapt them to our current shapes. 

Our first pattern is the TOVA from Wiksten. The patterns has already been adapted by pregnant sewers a few times, so we knew it was possible - a safe bet. 

And as expected it works for both of us, with a minimum of modifications to be honest, and without changing the look/shape of it. It is an easy to wear top/dress, full of beautiful finishing touches. There are a couple of tricky sewing points (attaching the front and the collar mainly). 

You can find Michelle's blog here
It is of course a shape that works very well for our shape - a A-line top with good proportions, a nice neckline, and it is really super comfortable to wear.It is a simple tunic, a gathered yoke and gathered 3/4 length sleeve - that can be easily adapted to any style. 

This is both our first time sewing Jenny’s patterns. We already talked about finishing details but the attention to them is amazing: the way she finishes hems & cuffs for instance. Her design feels refined and it felt like we were making high quality garment as we worked through her instructions.

We would rate this an intermediate pattern - there are few tricky bits and a lot of finishing to do, especially if you go for French seams as we did. However it is quite a quick sewing project to get a top that will always be a classic shape in the end. We can definitely see more Tovas in our future! 

Have you made a Tova? What was your experience? For our own modifications, check out our blogs in the course of the week! We have chosen our next pattern, now comes the choice of fabrics - always an exciting part!


  1. This looks great! Congratulations!

  2. well done, both outfits look great. My daughter and I are planning on making a skirt together tomorrow night, hopefully!

  3. Love this top - it's very flattering! And the fabric is so fun, too.

  4. Your top is super cute on you.

  5. Wow, its like we're living in a parallel universe this summer - I've been (learning) sewing a maternity top too! But it had been quite slow-going because the smallest size turned out way too big for me so we had to make adjustments and shave off inches. I love the fabric you have chosen for this top.Very summery! And Michelle's lace(-ish) collar looks so pretty.