Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Maternity Wrap Top

Recently, I've been rising to the challenge of finding things to wear with my growing bump.

[Please excuse the hair. It was day 5 of the 7 day hair washing cycle, so not at its best.]

Isabella Oliver has some stunning items, but she charges way too much. Sorry, Isabella. So, I found a free pattern online to make this maternity wrap top (I think it may have only been free for a limited period).

[Image from Megan Nielsen, found here.]

For someone who's never made an item of clothing out of stretch fabric, I found it all very straightforward and am even thinking about making another one in a different colour.

I would have found it incredibly helpful, when preparing to make my top, if I could have seen photos of each step, to confirm that I was doing it right. So, I might take some snaps when I make the next one for those of you who, like me, prefer photos to follow.

Sizing issues:
I broke the rules a bit with this top. And, not being an experienced seamstress, I wasn't sure how it would end up. The pattern came in three sizes: small, medium and larry. Ordinarily, I'd just go straight for the small as I have quite a petite frame. However, in my first trimester, I went up 5 cup sizes [TMI?], so that's thrown the sizing off somewhat. For something to fit me without straining at the seams in certain places (we all know what I'm talking about so I'm not going to spell it out), I have to go for the bigger sizes, which drown me everywhere else and make me look like I'm wearing someone else's clothes.

Here's the marvellous thing about making a top myself: I get to change the sizing! So, I went for the small size across the back and shoulders, but then cut along the lines for the medium size for the front and for the sleeves.

[Image from the Isabella Oliver website]

Changes I made to this pattern:
As I've explained above, I mixed up the sizing a bit so that some sections were small and others were medium.
I made the sleeves short. I had to experiment a bit, but it worked.
The pattern is for a top with unfinished seams, but I preferred seams, so added those (only around the neckline and on the sleeves.
I don't have a serger so I just used zigzag stitch and stretched the fabric as it went through the machine. 

Trickiest bits:
Putting the top on.
Putting the top on a hanger.
Seriously, the sewing of it was the easiest part. The trickiest bit about making it was cutting the fabric. Even then, it's not that it's difficult, it's just fiddly.

It's a lovely top to wear, but not one to attempt to put on in a hurry.

Picture taken at 20 weeks. I thought I was huge. Others didn't realise I was expecting.

*I, of course, meant small, medium and large. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

+Edit: That top lasted me well. There are another couple of pics of it in this post. The free pattern may not be available on that site now, but please do leave a comment with any alternative patterns you come across.


  1. Have I missed something!?!?

    Congratulations Pippa, super happy for you xxx

  2. I think I prefer the idea of some clothes coming in size 'larry', it sounds much more fun :)

  3. Found your blog through Pintrest. Love the idea butthe link to the pattern doesnt work, do you have the site info? Thanks Amanda

  4. Hi Amanda, sorry about the dodgy link and thanks for pointing it out - I've sorted it now.
    Here it is:

  5. Bummer... The pattern is no longer free online.... Is there a way you can measure out your pattern pieces? PLEASE....

  6. This is gorgeous and exactly what I'm looking to make. Gutted the pattern's no longer available.

  7. Hi, I want to make the top myself (try to make the pattern) but do you know how long the tails are?

  8. @XOXOX: I think it's possible to buy the pattern on her site, and it is a good one.

    @Anonymous: Such a bummer the free pattern is no longer available :( Hope you found an alternative!

    @Pilepie: The tails are 3 yards. Hope you're successful! Leave a link to yours when you've made it, I'd love to see!