Free Sewing Patterns: Sew Homemade Maternity Clothes

Make a maternity jumper or convert a pair of pants into maternity wear. Have fun creating special clothes for a special time!

Pregnancy is an exciting time of expectation. It's also a time that requires a few special clothes! If you have some basic sewing skills, it's easy to whip up a few maternity items.

Turning a pair of pants into maternity pants is easy, but remember you won't be able to turn them back into regular pants. Look in the notions section at a fabric store for a maternity panel. This is a stretchy piece of knit fabric that can be sewn into pants or a skirt to provide tummy grow room. Choose a panel in a color that harmonizes with the pants you are converting. If you cannot find a maternity panel, you can make one from the top of a pair of very stretchy tights, but it will not be as opaque as the commercial panel. Cut a section of the tights panty the width of your pants and 9 inches high, with the top of the panty being the top of the panel.

Lay the panel on the front of the pants and mark the edges on the pants. Cut out the pants front 1/2 inch inside the edges of the panel markings. This extra 1/2 inch of fabric will be your seam allowance around the edge of the maternity panel. Pin the panel in place on the outside of the pants. Topstitch around the sides and bottom of the panel. If you are using a homemade panel, tuck under the edges and hem them before measuring and cutting the pants. Pin and topstitch in place as directed above.

A simple maternity jumper can be created without a purchased pattern. These directions are for a jumper with a yoke that ends above the bust, something like an old-fashioned nightgown. The jumper buttons at the shoulders.

To make the jumper, you will need to take four measurements. First, measure around the chest above the bust. Divide this measurement in two and add two inches. This is the width of the lower edge of the yoke. We will call this "measurement A." Now measure across the chest at collarbone level from one bra strap to the other. Add an inch for seam allowance. We'll call this "measurement B," and it will be the width at the top edge of the yoke, from shoulder to shoulder. "Measurement C" is the length from the middle top of the shoulder to the place where measurement A was taken, with 2 inches added. This is the height of the yoke at the shoulders. It has extra length for the button closures.

The final measurement is the length from the chest measurement down to the desired hemline, plus 3 inches extra for hemming and seam allowance at the yoke. This will be "measurement D."

The first step in creating the maternity jumper is to design the yoke. Make a paper pattern from newspaper. On a folded piece of newspaper, measure from the fold half of measurement A. Draw a line perpendicular to the fold to show this measurement. Measure up along the fold to measurement C, the height of the yoke. Mark this and draw another perpendicular line. When this line reaches 1/2 measurement B, stop the line with a mark. Now you must shape the armhole. Draw a curved line from the end of the first line to the end of the second line, approximating the shape of a yoke.

From the top of the shoulder edge, measure toward the fold 4 inches and mark. Make a quarter circle line toward the fold to approximate the shape of half the neckline. With the paper still folded, cut through both layers along the lines you've drawn, and you should have a pattern that can be used for both the yoke front and back. Hold this paper pattern up to the front of the person the jumper is for to check for size and shape. If it needs to be adjusted, fold the pattern in half to adjust. All cutting should be done through both layers to avoid making a pattern that is not symmetrical. Pay special attention to the neckline and make sure it looks comfortable. For a nice fit, angle the top of the shoulder down toward the armholes about an inch.

Now cut four of the yoke pattern from the fabric. Lay two of them right sides together and stitch around the armhole, shoulder and neckline with 1/2 inch seams. Do the same with the other two yoke pieces. Clip curves and turn right side out. Press.

Cut the front skirt the width of twice measurement A and the length of measurement D. Gather the top edge by stitching with long loose stitches and pulling the fabric up on the thread to the width of the yoke. Do the same for the skirt back, except make it the width of 1 1/2 times measurement A.

Turn 1/2 inch of the skirt piece at each side of the gathered edge to the inside. Pin the yoke to the gathered edge of the skirt right sides together. Pin the skirt to only the outer layer of the yoke. Sew in place. Turn under the edge of the inside yoke (facing) and hand stitch it over the raw gathered edge of the skirt. Repeat these steps for the back of the jumper.

With right sides together, pin and sew the sides with 1/2 inch seams, stopping about two inches before reaching the yoke seam. Turn under the the raw edge of the remaining skirt seam and topstitch it for a little extra armhole space below the yoke.

Lap the back shoulder over the top shoulder about an inch. Sew buttons on the front yoke shoulders and make buttonholes to match on the back yoke shoulders. Hem the jumper and it's ready to wear.

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