Last week my energy was spent creating this ultra marine maternity top. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out, and I think that I'll like it even more once my belly is a bit rounder. I'm still "don't dare to ask" stage of baby bump development.
I drafted the pattern for this top, by altering my basic cap sleeve top pattern. I ended up adding about 3 1/2" to the length of the shirt. I also made it so that the sides of the shirt gradually tapered out from the bust line to the hem; I ended up with about an inch and a half added to the sides at the base of the hem.
To allow for a big round belly, I created an inverted pleat that runs down the center front of the top. When drafting the pattern for the pleat, I added 3 1/2" to the center fold of the shirt. This resulted in about seven extra inches for belly growth. I also added some extra long ties that were attached under the bust.
I used a rolled hem on all of the raw edges of the shirt. I decided to use black thread for contrast, and I am quite pleased with the results. I still have some things to learn about serging a rolled hem, but all in all I am fairly pleased.
To secure the inverted pleat I stitched the pleat in place along the bust line. I ended up making about ten rows of stitching, each row was about 3/8" apart (see top photo). I also added six black covered buttons along the stitched pleat. I thought that it brought the whole shirt together. The tricky thing about sewing shank buttons onto a stretch fabric like this, especially along the bust line, is that your buttons tend to shift a bit as they conform to the shape of your body. If you look at the photos with the shirt on the hanger, the buttons look like they are attached straight, but if you look at the modeled photos, the buttons get further apart as the bust gets fuller.
For this top I used an interlock knit that I picked up at Joann's. It should be a great top to carry me through the next six months, and help me beat the summer heat.
Thanks for reading.