Maternity Pants:Knit Pull-Ons and Leggings:Practice Muslins

They changed my meds!

Sometimes people say this tongue-in-cheek after they have experienced a marked improvement in emotional demeanour and now I understand how that phrase entered the vernacular.  My pregnancy nausea is severe enough and long enough to warrant meds.  The first meds made me a walking zombie.  The doctor changed my meds and it is like I am Rip Van Winkle waking up after a long nap!  My mind and interest in life are plugged back in.  I am so thankful.  I can sew again!

After my long break from sewing I was eager to get cracking and tackle a growing problem: my belly.  My pants keep falling down and I need to devise a solution.  I think knit pants will stretch with me through the months and if they are custom fit maybe the constant pulling will be eliminated.

But first I needed some dirt cheap knit fabric.  Pants often take more than one practice muslin and the fabric stores don’t have that huge selection of $1.00/yard fabric that they used to sell.  I did not want to pay huge sums for practice muslin fabric and that is where a timely article by sewing blogger Erica Bunker of Erica B’s DIY Style came to my aid.  Ms. Bunker ran an article on Walmart as a fabric source which triggered a vague memory.  Sure enough, when I checked out my local store, they had a bottom of the barrel fabric bin of bolts going for $5.00 for 5 yards.  Perfect! 

I bought two 5 yards for $5.00 bolts from Walmart to make the practice muslins.

I selected a grody see-through knit that I only find in cheapo fabric bins, or perversely, as overlays on prom dresses seen at high-end department stores, (which has always caused me to question the cost of such gowns since I feel like I am being conned by the designers into thinking that high prices must mean high quality – but that is an aside.)

Butterick 5539

Cheap fabric in hand I went home and began working on my practice muslins.  I wanted to make knit pull-ons and leggings.  I used Butterick 5539 and the leggings pattern I made earlier using Kwik-Sew’s Swim and Action Wear, a pattern compilation and instruction book by Kerstin Martensson.

The Knit Pull-Ons

I altered the front piece as I would for a prominent belly on the first muslin.

Here is the result.  Looks like the stuff I remember pregnant ladies wearing in the 1980’s; voluminous.  Oh so comfortable, but my ego could not stand looking even larger than I already do.  Back to the drawing board.

Oh so comfortable, but pants with no maternity panel left me feeling like the thigh area was too baggy and made me look pudgier than I already am.

On the next shot I cut a portion out of the front pattern piece, laid it on the fabric fold and using the pivot method, made a larger piece to serve as a maternity panel.

The maternity panel for the leggings. You can see that I cut out a portion from the cut fabric, and then using the pivot method, I took the cut portion, placed it on the center fold and enlarged the panel.

In order to get the crotch depth correct I used the pants sloper I drafted this summer.  I laid that on the pattern pieces and made the necessary alterations.  I also took a flexible curve reading of my belly and checked that against the front pattern piece.

The cloth pattern is the pants sloper I drafted. You can see my high bump on the flexible curve.


The pull-on practice muslin in white. I would have modeled but the fabric was see-through.

The result was a very comfortable pair of pants on the first try!

The Leggings

Kwik Sew Swim and Action Wear by Kerstin Martensson

I reviewed making leggings in an earlier post.   But they were a bit tight.  And short, as Kwik Sew only takes the legs down to capri length.  I lengthened the leg enough to have some folds at the ankle, and I added 3/4 inch to every seam for a little extra room. 

The result: If only my experience fitting non-maternity pants typically went as well!  Again, I had a wearable pair of leggings first try. 

Me in all my rotundness wearing the practice pair of maternity leggings.

The practice muslins complete I am busy sewing up pants in fashion fabric.  I hope to have some to show you in Thursday’s post along with any other practice muslins.

Next Post: Thursday, April 21, 2011:Completed Pants to show and hopefully more practice muslins.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sister
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 15:24:30

    Hooray for you on the alertness and also the new leggings! I have that Kwik Sew book too but haven’t done anything with it yet. Can’t wait to see the fashion fabric – congrats on being back in the land of the living (and sewing)!


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