Can normal sewing patterns work for maternity wear? #2

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

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After the fun and success of our first project together, we decided to sew together again.

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 was the TOVA from Wiksten. The second one is the Carme Blouse by Pauline Alice. There is a sew-along on Pauline's blog, and it provides instructions on how to modify the pattern for pregnancy wear.  

The Carme Blouse is a feminine shirt with a small mao style collar and lots of details! Depending on the fabric you choose, it has the potential to be very versatile, perfect for work or weekend wear. 

The pattern is definitely the most challenging one that we have used (ever), notably in terms of number of pieces you have to deal with but also the finishing (the pin tucks of course, but also the sleeves). All these details make the shirt look very professional in the end, and the sew-along makes the process as painless as possible. The instructions for this pattern are very detailed and full of illustrations. Now that the Carme is done, it really gives us confident to tackle more advanced projects.  

As for the fit, we both had to grade it, and still wondering whether the fit is right. It may be an idea to go one size smaller than the measurements suggest to make it more fitted, which will work better (even for the maternity version). A lot of bloggers have made a few versions of the Carme blouse for their wardrobe. The look is quite distinctive, and there may be some many Carme you would want to have in your wardrobe. The process may also deter us from making more of them, but it is probably not a definite no - just a no right now.

We would rate this an advanced intermediate pattern - there are few tricky bits and a lot of finishing to do (and many trips to the ironing board for those pin tucks!), and many pieces to handle (and try not to lose). Do choose a fabric that marks easily - there are a lot of things that will go on it. 

Have you made the Carme blouse? What was your experience? For our own modifications, check out our blogs in the course of the week! 

We have chosen our next pattern (with less pieces), and now comes the choice of fabrics - always an exciting part!


  1. You look so cute in this! Great job!

  2. you look fantastic in this! It's a beautiful blouse!

  3. I think this turned out beautifully. I know that maternity clothes serve an important purpose but I've always wondered why they don't make them cuter. Making your own does seem like a much better option if you have the skills. This top is lovely on both of you.

  4. Lovely versions! I have to say especially yours with the maternity variation, it's amazing!