The first moment that I suspected I was pregnant, my husband noted that he could see I was already showing. I felt immediately self-conscious about my pudgy midsection at work (especially after a co-worker remarked, upon hearing my news, “Oh! I noticed you were gaining weight…”), but all of my clothes still fit fine. I realized that my body-hugging, stretchy silhouettes actually backfired for me in these weeks; my baby looked like a food baby. My bump was merely a slight bulge. I fell back on looser shirts with tight jeans and drapey dresses.
In preparation for what I was sure would be an upcoming craving for stretchy, forgiving clothes, I signed up for Tilly and the Button’s online workshop for sewing jersey tops. I started with the included pattern, the Agnes top. My measurements when I started (15 weeks pregnant) didn’t turn out to be much different than my usual ones, but I cut a size bigger in the waist anyway. I cut the most simple pattern to start; curved neckline, plain sleeves, no ruching (for now).
It took me several weeks to finish the top. Did I mention I’m still a slow sewer? This reason, plus my amateur sewing skills, mean this is not a top that I’ll wear out in public.
First: the neckline, ouf! It gapes a bit. Second: it’s too short. The bump is only going to make it shorter. Third: the armholes are tight. I think? I don’t know enough about fitting, but the shoulders and armpits are uncomfortable. I’m not sure how I would fix this for my next version. Fourth: the sleeves are too short and a bit tight.
I’m glad I used a cheap jersey for my first attempt. It’s not ideal; it has enough stretch as indicated for the pattern, but not a whole lot. It’s not incredibly soft, and the color is plain. At only €2 per meter though, it seemed like a perfect choice for a wearable muslin. I have a softer, stretchier light pink jersey that I want to try for my next version. I will definitely lengthen it a few centimeters, plus attempt a maternity hack (using Zoe’s tutorial), and maybe go a size up in the… armpit area? Or perhaps using a stretchier fabric will make the arms more comfortable anyway.
The online workshop itself was helpful, it’s essentially a series of detailed sewalong videos. I don’t know if I necessarily feel more comfortable about the idea of sewing jersey tops in general, but I like having the videos to reference for the next version of the top that I’ll make. I do wish it included more tips for sewing with jersey in general, it is very focused on the Agnes top and going through the construction steps of this particular pattern. For the price, I expected more troubleshooting and advice that went beyond the one pattern. The pattern itself is a great basic top (I’m assuming, once I practice more), that I think I’ll get a lot of use out of in the future.