Maternity Wear #1 - the TOVA | A finish {Dressmaking}

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Here is the full Tova post that explains it all. Unfortunately I am not going to impress you with wonderfully clever modifications to this pattern to work for maternity wear. It was really easy to make it work for my bump, which I suppose is a good thing as the last thing I can/want to do at the moment is making some weird mathematical schemes to change a pattern. 

And all the credit goes to the pattern - which is well-written and with an interesting construction - without being too complex (the front and the back are cut on the fold). To be honest the limited number of pieces worried me around the bust area - which is doing its own thing at the moment - I was wondering whether it would be too lost or too tight.

Although it does not appear in this post (I did post on IG), I actually made a proper muslin for this pattern. Not wearable at all - a proper muslin just for the sake of understanding the construction and whether it would work on me, what a concept! There are two things that became really clear: a dress would not work on me (it looked so wrong) and that the fabric needed to be light-weight because of the amount of gathering involved at the front. 

The amount of gathering seemed adequate from the start (I made a headstart by reading other bloggers' experience), and the top should see me through my pregnancy for at least another 2/3 months. 

As I am destashing, I had to use fabric from my stash. I am so happy I actually bought fabric that I liked, otherwise project destash would be a right nightmare. You will have already recognised the fabric - Nani Iro Spring 2014 collection, 100% cotton double gauze that I got from Miss Matatabi. 

I made a huge (well probably not huge, but huge for me) Nani Iro order, so expect more Nani Iro to appear in my project destash. 

I made a few modifications to the pattern, but only one to adapt it for maternity wear and that is to add 8 inches to the gathering piece (so 4 inches on the fold to the pattern - I basically added a rectangle to the pattern). In terms of size, I did the L (12/14 in the UK) - one size bigger than my normal size - but once I had done the French seams, it is probably a big M/small L (10/12), so my normal size. 

Other modifications made were:

  • to make a slimmer placket (from 1 inch recommended by the pattern to 3/4 inch)
  • to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches
  • to take in 2.5 inches from the bottom of the top ( I kept the length in case out of proportions like with my first pregnancy)
  • also I had issues with the collar when I made the muslin, so added an inch on each side to the collar pattern to ensure I have enough fabric to cover adequately the collar (this may be a problem because of the fabric I used for the muslin)
  • And I used French seams everywhere except on the side. I love French seams! 

The finishing is really what makes this top so special - and I received a lot of compliments (at work and from friends) - probably the combination of an interesting fabric and a well fitted garment. 

And in case you are wondering how long I could wear it, I asked the wind just to show you how far and wide I could go. I am looking very impressed! 

I am wearing; handmade top; my friend's pregnancy jeans from H&M; 
Pikolinos shoes seen here; sunglasses, Tiffany's from a long time ago; 
necklace, thrifted (one of my best purchases) 

You can find Michelle's modifications here if you are not pregnant (so nearly all my readers right!) and would like to know more about the dress version. 

Also I have to tell you a very random fact, nerdy sewer that I am, French seams are translated as English seams in French. Amazing! 


  1. You. Are. Beautiful.
    Lovely sewing and yes it's a good thing we buy fabrics we like : )
    I'm doing just that today!

  2. Wow, that top is beautiful! It really works.

  3. I love the way it looks, it cute and fashionable. The fabric is great as well. I am SO impressed by the fact that you are making your own maternity clothes!

  4. I love how you're chic while preggers. You go.

  5. Gorgeous. Really a beautiful make!

  6. I was hoping for a more detailed post on this after the previous one. This is such a lovely top you sewed! Those finishings... Just perfection. And it looks absolutely lovely on you.

  7. It is lovely and suits you really well!

  8. This is stunning, a great fabric choice with beautiful finishing touches. A far cry from the horrible New Look mat wear I was stuck with last summer!