Well, I said I wouldn’t be making any maternity clothes and yet here I am with a new maternity friendly skirt! I really thought I’d be hanging up clothes sewing until after the baby was born but turns out I can’t stay away! And as grateful as I am that there are RTW maternity options, sometimes sewing your own is the best way.
Actually, a few weeks ago I happened upon this blog post talking about whether or not making your own maternity clothes is worth it. When I read it, I was still at the point where I was thinking that there was no way I’d be making anything specifically for my pregnant body. A cardigan or two, sure, because that’ll fit about the same on a pregnant me vs. a not-pregnant me. But anything else seemed like a big “No thanks.” I’m glad I read that post because it pointed out some key things, especially that when you make your own maternity clothes you can make them fit how you want. That should be a huge DUH for someone like me who’s been sewing for awhile, but for some reason it wasn’t. I’d stuck myself in the mindset that sewing maternity wasn’t worth the headache when, in reality, finding quality and good-fitting maternity clothes has been the real headache.
Take my legging fiasco. For a few weeks, all I was wanting to wear were leggings but all my old RTW maternity leggings are pretty shot through (why must they all be such poor quality??? Mending the holes on one pair only helped them last about 4 more wears!). So I went on Amazon and I am not a flippant buyer so I did a lot of review reading before I settled on a pair. They came and seem pretty good quality but the fit was terrible. They felt super tight on me. They’ll probably work at some point postpartum, but I want leggings for now, darn it! I couldn’t return them so I was back to square one (and not really wanting to buy from the same seller because of the difficulty in returning that pair). I bought another pair and this time they were too big! Ugh! Such a headache! Such a contrast to this skirt that I made.
I measured and double checked and guess what? It fits! Super well! On my first try! With room to grow! And real potential of it working postpartum as well!
I’m not saying I’m diving head first into maternity sewing because I still do have plenty of RTW maternity clothes from my previous pregnancies that I think will get me through. Plus my energy levels aren’t what they used to be. But I am saying that I hope I don’t discount sewing my own version if a clothing need arises during the remainder of this pregnancy. I have options!
Also, photographing a pregnant belly can be a bit deceiving. The above photos might have you thinking I don’t look very pregnant.
BAM! Definitely pregnant and definitely feeling it. Although I still have a long way to go….BUT let’s not talk about that. SO ANYWAY…about this skirt!
I’ve actually been wanting a skirt like this since before I really started sewing my own clothes. Back when I was still a dabbler, if you will. I think I liked the idea of making it myself because, well, I never see skirts like this in the store but I do think they are the epitome of comfort. Probably not fashion, since, you know, nobody sells them. But comfort! Yes, that it what I am about like 95% of the time. Comfortable, casual, practical. That’s what this skirt is about.
Surprisingly, it took me just short of forever to discover a pattern for this skirt. I kept looking for a skirt pattern when in reality, the perfect pattern to use was hiding in my stash but disguised as PANTS. Yes, the well loved Hudson Pants pattern made this skirt with just a couple VERY easy hacks. Better yet, there is already a tutorial out there for how to hack the pattern into a skirt. I didn’t even have to use my own brain power to figure out the best way to hack it. I just had to follow instructions and do some measuring. You’re removing all the leg seams so it really was a super quick and easy hack. The most difficult part was probably re-drawing the pattern.
I’ve made a good amount of Hudson pants, enough that I didn’t have to look at the instructions except to remind myself of the seam allowance. Even though I’m all about utilizing my serger as much as I can, I have learned that it can be very beneficial to hop between serger and sewing machine to get cleaner lines.
So for my pockets, for example, I like to do quite a lot of basting, just to make sure everything is lining up how it’s supposed to. The pockets on my first pair of Hudsons are pretty wonky. It’s always nice to know that my skills are getting better (and that I’m becoming less ignorant…slowly, perhaps, but surely).
So it has pockets, that’s a plus for me. Another awesome thing is the method of attaching the waistband which is just so basic and non-finicky. I’ve sewn plenty of waistbands and sometimes there are a lot of steps. Of course, in that case, the goal is usually to make it look really nice inside and out. I’m just glad that for non-fussy joggers, the waistband method is incredibly non-fussy. It’s very appropriate. And yeah, it’s just serged inside, but fine by me!
I wondered if maybe I wasn’t changing the pattern enough to claim it as maternity sewing, but here’s the thing: the easier the hack, the better! I know there are a solid handful of maternity sewing patterns out there, and I bet they’re really awesome. But you just can’t beat making a small change to an already well used pattern, especially when energy is typically lower than normal. Also, for my other pregnancies, I was all about the over-the-belly waists. I’m still fine with them, but sometimes I just don’t want to be being squeezed by layers of fabric, so the under-the-belly waists have become good friends.
Again, I did almost nothing to make this maternity friendly. I made my normal size, making no adjustments whatsoever. BUT when I measured my elastic for my waistband, I measured on my belly as is, right now. And I know the suggestion is always to have the waistband a bit tight, so that your pants don’t fall down if your phone is in your pocket, but I made the elastic fit but still comfortable. The result is a very comfortable waistband that will be able to grow with me for a least a few more months (and, probably the whole pregnancy if I just let it sit lower when my tummy gets really big). I cannot tell you what a relief it is to be wearing something that fits comfortably!
I made the tie a faux tie…meaning, the twill tape doesn’t go all the way around-it’s just stuck in at the buttonhole and sewed down. But I think I’ll swap it out and actually thread some twill tape through the waistband channel. I’m not sure if having the tie will do much as far was sizing goes, but I think that’ll help make it more friendly for after the baby comes.
Here’s just a little reference photo. The gray Hudsons on the left are this most recent maternity skirt. And the other 3 are pairs I made when I wasn’t pregnant. You can see there’s much heavier gathers on the waistband of the other pairs and hardly any at all on the skirt, since my waistband was bigger (I don’t know by how much). If you miss that feature, then I’d probably size up in the pattern. I don’t mind that there’s less ruching. I think it still looks good.
I used my trusty twin needle to hem this skirt right at my knee. As you can see, I just use whatever thread I have in my stash instead of worrying about exact matching. I didn’t time this project, but it came together very quickly, in just two sessions (so maybe 3 hours including the pattern drawing and fabric cutting). The pockets took the longest. Oh! And the fabric is a light(er)weight french terry from Fabric.com. I only got one yard and there were 3 or 4 inches untouched that I’ll save to use for accents on other projects.
Pattern: Hudson Pants by True Bias
Adjustments: Skirt hack (tutorial here), (I believe my waistband to hem measurement was 19 inches)
Fabric: Stretch French Terry from Fabric.com
Cost: Fabric $8.50, Twill tape $1.50, pattern/elastic/thread in stash
Would I make this pattern again?: Obviously I’ll make the Hudson pants pattern again and again and I’m happy to say that I’d love to make this skirt hack again as well!
My favorite part of this make is the fit and the fact that I made it happen for so cheap! There’s no doubt in my mind that if I’d bought this skirt with its “maternity” label, I would’ve spent at least $35 and maybe even more. I’ve already worn it twice and I think it’ll be a well loved item, especially as the weather gets warmer. I’m really glad I made this!