Luckily for me I got gifted a lot of vintage maternity sewing patterns when I told friends our news, unluckily I have been too tired in an evening or too busy with the impending arrival to spend time sewing. I have, however, had the last week off work to do some nice things and generally just have a break from my busy job (who knew growing a human inside you would make you so tired?!).
I finally got round to making the skirt and top view from Simplicity 4872, which looks to me late 50s/early 60s. I know vintage maternity patterns aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but after extensive research online I really couldn’t find that much that had been made up for me to look at. So if you’re considering making vintage maternity clothes this may be the post for you.
Before I start I would like to say that I wear tight maternity clothes as well as not so tight ones, so when I considered this pattern I was drawn to the skirt and top – knowing that stretch fabrics weren’t commonly used back in the day I knew it would be a bit of a boat load of fabric situation, especially the skirt as it wasn’t the old style with the cut out bump part which seems to be more commonly in use in the 40s/50s.
Getting slightly annoyed with the fact that a lot of modern maternity clothes are black I went with some lovely colourful Robert Kauffman raindrop maternal for the top, and some orange cotton for the skirt.
I should really say at this point that I have never used a pattern with hole punches marking different parts of the pattern (i.e. darts etc) – is there a name for this sort of pattern? Truth is, I’ve always been a little put off and scared by them. It seems a little bit silly now I have used one, as there’s no difference really once you follow the instructions!
With that in mind I had everything cut out (I shortened the pockets a little as I was short of fabric) and marked everything up double checking that I marked the pattern pieces correctly.
The top was relatively easy to put together apart from when it came to the pleat extension parts at the side.
As usual with vintage patterns they do expect that you know a lot of what you’re doing as everyone was making their own clothes back in the day.
I couldn’t tell if it was my dyslexia or not but it made little sense to me. I eventually did work it out and pinned and pressed.
Once I started putting the facings in though I soon hit a problem. Neck facing, no problem; armhole facings bit more of an issue.
Turns out my pleats weren’t right, but I was loathe going back and messing about with them again so I made the best of it and added an extra crease, hoping it would work out when I did the final press.
The skirt went together quite well. I was unsure of it to begin with and some of the instructions took me a while to figure out (dyslexia strikes again) – I think it’s because of the markings, how to differentiate which dots mean what is a little tricky on these sort of patterns if you haven’t used them before. Point and case in the photo below!
It was only when I started stitching the back waistband (front is elasticated) that I realised exactly how much material there was.
The Completed Outfit
To say it makes me look huge is an understatement, but here it is in all its glory.
Needless to say we had a good old laugh when we were taking the photos and in the end I gave up even trying to make it look good.
The truth is, the skirt has to have a lot of material because it’s cotton but it does have the unfortunate effect of making me look about twice the size.
Alas, all was not lost. I actually quite like the top, even if I would rather never wear the skirt.
What do you think? I’d love to hear people’s views on this, or if you’ve made any vintage maternity clothes? Let me know and thanks for reading.