Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Best maternity pants pattern

Kwik Sew 3324, modified.
These fit way better than my underbelly-band jeans from Motherhood maternity (which also happened to cost 5x as much). The pattern is for pull-on maternity pants/cropped/shorts with self-lined front and back panels from ribbing, with elastic (1-2" wide) stitched to the lining side. The instructions were very straightforward, and it was super fast and easy to make. (One criticism about the instructions: they have you stitch the inner and outer leg seams first, then put one leg (they're now tubes) in the other to stitch the crotch seam. It's easier to stitch just the inner leg seams first, then the crotch seam, and then outer leg seams.)

Fabric used: a somewhat loosely-woven denim + 2-way stretch cotton-lycra + 2"-wide non-roll elastic (all from JoAnn's).

I made size XS (my normal size in patterns for bottoms is 10-hips, 12-waist), with 3 modifications:
1. Added vertical length to the stretch panels
2. Didn't stitch down the elastic (made a casing for it instead)
3. Redrew the rear crotch curve to make it more L-shaped.
Details below.

mod#1. I didn't like the waistband sitting at my "waist" (now the widest part of my torso) because every time I got into/out of the car or bent over to pick something up, the elastic would naturally slide downward (to a narrower part of my body), and so I was constantly having to hitch it back up. At 4.5 months, I expected the problem to get worse not better, so I took out the original ribbing waist panels and cut new panels from 4-way stretch cotton/lycra (remainders of a T-shirt dress); added 1" to the finished vertical length (or "height"?) so that the elastic waistband would ride above not at my belly; and used the XS measurement for the elastic instead of the S measurement to ensure that it would be snug. Next time I would probably add another 1-2" to the vertical length of the panels (you can see from the photo, taken 2 weeks later, that it won't be an over-belly waistband for much longer) and add ~1/2" to the vertical hip length on the pants pieces.

mod#2. I didn't stitch the elastic to the stretch panel as instructed. Stitching it down didn't make sense to me, because as your belly gets bigger the back side of your waist stays the same, so you'll need relatively more & more of the elastic to be in the front. It was easy to make a casing by stitching through both layers of the panel.

mod#3. I redrew the back crotch curve on the pattern to approximate the hotpatterns crotch curve. This worked out surprisingly well for my flat-ish butt and I definitely want to try this on some "real" pants eventually.

This is essentially the review I posted on patternreview.com, but those reviews aren't viewable after a few months unless you're a paying member. I guess the site doesn't get enough profit from all the ads and whatnot despite the fact that the main content (pattern reviews & advice) is provided entirely for free (by the members).

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