And here was the pattern I was looking for -- a pattern that I've seen in the Simplicity book for so long, but never purchased for some strange reason. The empire waist and the sleeve variety (I love that it has a "half cap" sleeve and a full set-in short sleeve; most patterns seem to have just one or the other) were perfect. And most importantly, it looked easy to alter for maternity. I was so impatient to get it that I came closer to paying full price for a "Big 4" pattern than I have in years! Fortunately, JoAnn's had a sale on Simplicity before I gave in to temptation. *wink*
Here's a picture with my lovely mum (now a very excited grandmother!):
All I had to do was add several inches to the front "skirt" piece, and there you are! I found the instructions a bit vague at times -- mostly because I prefer to *not* follow the instructions at all, and I did have to pay attention the first time around. The belt attachment is quite unique, in my opinion -- it's sewn between the bodice and skirt in the front, but is detached in the back to allow for fitting. Very nifty, and it also makes it easy to add fullness to the front skirt without losing the proper dimension of the waist. For this blouse, I made the waist ties considerably narrower than the pattern.
Now the bodice -- that was a different story! Just by holding up the pattern piece I could tell it would be far too immodest for my taste. So I added several inches, and ended up making some unique alterations to get the right fit. Even then I felt a bit uncomfortable, so I added a lace panel which did the trick nicely.
For the sleeves, I skipped the buttoned armband (I didn't need it, and didn't feel like going to the extra work!), and just gathered the sleeve into a regular sleeveband. Easy and effective. I love this sleeve -- it's feminine, but not enormously puffy!
Here's my second top, from the same pattern --
I still want to fiddle with the bodice -- I'd love to get it to the point where I can just put the pattern together without fiddling about and making minor alterations. Other than that, this pattern is simply wonderful!
Another winner for the maternity closet, and a pattern I'd love to use for my "regular" wardrobe, as well!