Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simplicity 3750 -- Maternity version

When I saw Simplicity 3750 on the "to-sew list" over on the Hooks-and-Needles blog (you can see "Elinor's" lovely completed version of it in this post), I knew at once that it would be a perfect maternity pattern! While I've been loving the peasant tops I've made, I wanted to branch out into something else -- sleeve options are rather limited with raglan sleeves, after all.

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 added even a bit more to the skirt front, and made a new bodice piece that raised the neckline enough. In the original pattern, the bodice has a main panel across the front, and a piece on either side that continues to the shoulder. Those side pieces I adjust to connect at the waistline. This improved the fit of the neckline, but it did something wonky to the armscye -- hence, a sleeveless shirt! *ahem*

I finished the edges a bit differently than the pattern, since I wanted to make use of the black contrast fabric I had for the sash.

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!


  1. Oh Shannon, both the tops are lovely! I love the alterations you made on them.

  2. Great job Shannon! What a delightful top! :D You look stunning in the first one. :) I love the sleeve options on that one too! ;) You and your mom look so sweet together. :)

    The other looks just as lovely! :D Love the fabric! :)

    Blessings to you my dear and many prayers! :)

  3. Those came out great! I found when I made it the first time, I too had to fix the neckline a bit. The method I used was to subtract the number of inches I added to the front bodice piece from the front shoulder straps.

    Since you didn't go into detail I was wondering what exactly you did to make the alteration? Whatever it was it sure came out great!

  4. Hi Shannon
    You are truly talented! They are sooo cute! That style is my favorite for summer, which I can see it's still quite warm at your neck of the woods. We're into sweaters up here already (NJ).
    Would you mind letting me know where you perchased the material?
    Happy Sewing

  5. Shannon, I saw this today and thought maybe you'd like to make some too. :) I don't know if you like this kind of style or if it would be something comfortable to wear under your shirts or what. ;) But I thought you could take a look if you wanted to. :)

    Hope you and baby are doing well my dear! :D
    God Bless!

  6. Thank you for your kind words! :-)

    Natalie, to make my alteration I pinned the two bodice pieces together (like I would if I were sewing them), then traced a new "upper bodice" piece -- my "upper bodice" piece now has a complete front armscye, and it's a bit wider in the neckline area. I just layered my lower bodice piece on top of it when I sewed it all together. I did find that I ended up needing a little dart (hidden beneath the other bodice piece) to make it work, and I'm still not *quite* satisfied with the fit -- it's fine for sleeveless, but I'd love to do some with sleeves. I hope that makes sense! :-)

    Irene, the fabric was from the clearance table at Wal-Mart a year or two ago -- I was so thrilled when they marked it down! :-) We've actually been enjoying beautiful cool weather down here -- but yesterday and today it got quite hot and muggy again. Still, it's the first time we've run the air conditioner all month!

    Rachel, thank you for that website! That's a fantastic tutorial, and I'm positive I'll be referring to it again!


  7. I adore that picture of you and your mom! You both look so happy and the top is absolutely beautiful! The style is so flattering, especially as a maternity top. The lace at the neckline is so feminine and perfect!

  8. I love this. am a little confused on how it is done. I gave away all my maternity clothing to victims of last Spring's Tornado in NC. and I am getting ready to need maternity clothes again and don't have anything modest or stylish and popping out is now not something hideable... :)

  9. Sarah, thank you for your kind words! :-)

    Becoming Self Sufficient, reading back over my comment almost a year later, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about! :-) Basically, I added material to the front 'skirt' piece (I placed the pattern piece that's supposed to be on the fold several inches away from the fold), and then altered the bodice pieces until I got the fit I wanted. What a great idea to give your maternity clothes to the tornado victims -- I'm sure that was a huge blessing to them. I hope you are able to reconstruct your maternity wardrobe quickly and easily!



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