As mentioned, I’m pregnant. I’ve already met and passed the total recommended weight to gain for the entire pregnancy and am completely out of my normal clothing. I’m a champ at packing on the pregnancy weight. It’s a talent, really. Though I seem to defy common believes of anatomy and maternity by carrying my babies in my butt and thighs, there is definitely something going on in my belly as well. So it seemed about time to make a new top for myself in celebration of my expanding girth.
The inspiration for this top came from this image that I swear I found here, but it’s no longer there?
I really wanted to try it in a sheer grey, but then found this navy for next to nothing on clearance at Fabric.com. I should have held out and paid more. I’m not super happy with my fabric choice. It’s a little stiff and feels more like a curtain-weight. Maybe not quite that bad, but certainly not a quality apparel wear the site claimed. You get what you pay for sometimes. Anyway, the top. I omitted the side bow/sash thing and only did four pleats because I didn’t make the raw neckline wide enough for more than that. But with slightly-puffed split sleeves, the gathered yoke at the neckline, and a few pleats, the general idea holds, I think.
The pattern I’m sharing is for a maternity top in about size small/medium. The front piece is cut extra wide for a pregnant belly. If you’re not in the family way, cut the top the same width as the back pattern piece and you should still have plenty of flounce without an overly maternal look. I think. I mean I haven’t actually tried it yet myself. Let me know how it goes if you do!
Standard pattern-sharing disclosures:
-I’m not a professional, self-taught, and the pattern reflects that. But it’s free, so that’s what you get. It’s the pattern and construction process I used and should get you the same look, assuming that’s what you’re going for. Or it can be used to help draft out your own ideas. Or you could use it to line a bird cage. I’m good with whatever.
-When printing the pattern, make sure to unclick the “auto-center” options, etc.
-If you do decide to get all crazy and make something off of my patterns and ideas, I’d love to know about it. Feel free to shoot me an email or comment. It totally makes my day.
-2 yards sheer fabric (I recommend paying more than $1.95/yard for it)
-1 yard wide (3 inch) elastic
–Sheer Pleats Top pattern Begin by finishing the bottom raw edge of the back neck facing.
Right sides together, match the back neck facing to the back neckline and sew in place. I like to do rolled edges on my serger with sheers as they fray easily. French seams would probably be best, but take more time and I’m super duper lazy. Plus, I decided this fabric wasn’t worth spending so much time on. Choose for yourself what kind of seams you want, keeping in mind the fraying of the sheer.
Turn the facing to the inside and press in place.Fold, press and pin in place the pleats along the front neckline.Stay stitch the front neckline, securing the pleats in place as you go.Right sides together, match the Neck Yoke pieces to each other.Using a gathering stitch, foot, or technique, sew the long edges together.Turn through one of the open ends.Pin in place, right sides together, to the neckline of the front piece and sew.So now your necklines of the front and back should be finished.Right sides together, match the shoulder and side seams of the front and back pieces and sew at the shoulders and side seams. NOTE: if you’re doing this on pattern, as a maternity top, the front piece will be larger than the back in width. So you need to make sure you’re matching the edges, and don’t worry that there is some ballooning or extra fabric in the middle. You want that. Think of the children.Now for the bottom pieces.There are four total pieces. You need to sew two at the short edge, right sides together, then the other two at the short ends, right sides together. Now you should have two really long pieces.
Right sides together, sew along one long side. I sewed along the side edges, too, but shouldn’t have yet. So don’t. Just the one long edge for now.Open the whole piece up and fold so the short edges match, right sides together and sew up that small side seam now.
Turn right side out, and fold along the long seam.
Take your elastic and sew the ends together.So now you’ve got a big ol’ loop of fabric and a smaller one of elastic.Open the fabric and sandwich the elastic inside.Fold back up enclosing the elastic.Now you need to enclose the elastic.
Pin the the elastic in place with the seams of the elastic loop matching the fabric loop.
Start to sew.
Because the elastic is smaller, stretch it, through the fabric, as you sew.And you’ll get this fun little ditty.Right sides together, place the entire shirt bottom into the enclosed fabric/elastic loop.Match side seams and sew in place.You’ll have to do the little stretch as you stich thing again.
Then you’ll have this.Fold your sleeves in half.Sew up the tiny side seams.I somehow forgot to get a picture of it, but hem the sleeves. You can do a rolled hem on the serger or just hem on a sewing machine. I did a narrow folded him on my sewing machine.
Pin the sleeve, right sides together, into the arm hole of the top, gathering along the top of the sleeve to fit into the holeAnd sew in place. And there you go. Pleats, sheers and a fun gathered neckline. Now, who wants ice cream?