Saturday, August 5, 2017

Greenstyle Centerfield Raglan - Maternity Edition Tutorial

My favorite style of top to wear when pregnant is a more fitted top with side ruching. I especially prefer the bottom to be fitted underneath my belly. A more fitted top (especially one fitted under your belly) really helps to avoid the tent look, even in later pregnancy. It also means you do not have to constantly put your hand under your belly to show that your belly is not from overeating but is from a growing baby!

The great thing about this top style for those who sew is that you can pick your favorite tee shirt pattern and easily alter the pattern yourself. There is no need to buy a special pattern just for maternity. I own LOTS of raglan patterns and used one of my favorite - Greenstyle's Centerfield Raglan. The reason I like this raglan pattern so much is that it is so flattering in the bust area and is a more fitted raglan. (You can scroll to the bottom of this blog for a tutorial on how I did it!)

Raglan #1 - My first top was made out of the rayon spandex from Made Whimsy. I made a size XS. My first tip to sewing for your new maternity body is to always re-measure before using your pre-maternity patterns. I normally have a 32.5 inch bust, which puts me in the XXS in this pattern. At the end of my first trimester, though, I was already up to a 34.5 inch bust. 


And, of course, I wear my Moxi shorts a lot in pregnancy because the knit waistband is perfect for a growing bump!

Raglan #2 - For my next raglan, I used my Nala Cotton Lycra from Sincerely Rylee and sized up one size to a Small. The pattern recommends sizing up for a looser fit, and I know this top will definitely make it through the last stretch of pregnancy when I am needing all the extra tummy room that I can get. Also, cotton lycra is one of my favorite fabrics for this pattern. 


I also had several sweet photobombers throughout my photophoot! These pictures were taken almost a month ago, and I have gotten so much use out of my tops! I am also a bit bigger in the tummy and filling them out nicely.


Now, enough gushing over my tops, let's talk about how easily you can change your standard tee pattern to a maternity top. 

(1) Find your shorten/lengthen line for the bodice. If your pattern does not have one, this will typically be at the smallest point between the bust and hips. 

(2) Cut at the shorten/lengthen line on both your front bodice piece and your back bodice piece. You may choose to only lengthen the front bodice if you do not like the fabric gathers on your back. I find tops where there is length added on both bodice pieces to last longer and give you more growing room throughout pregnancy. 

(3) Add length. I am 5'2" so I only needed to add 4 and a half inches. You may need to add more if you are much taller. I added length by putting a piece of paper underneath the pattern at the point where it was cut into two pieces, and then, I cut the side seam to where it was straight and smooth between the two points. 
(4) Mark two points on your front bodice and back bodice pattern pieces on the side seams. The first point will be at 5 and a half inches below your armpit and the second point will be at 5 and a half inches above the bottom of the side seam. 

(5) Cut your fabric according to the pattern directions, transferring the markings with a washable marker or fabric chalk. 

(6) Sew your top according to the pattern directions. Stop right before you get to sew your side seams. You can skip steps (7) and (8) if you only added length to your front bodice. 

(7) Cut out two pieces of quarter inch elastic that are both 8.5 inches long. I used braided. If you added more length to your top than me, you may need to add longer elastic. A great way to know this before cutting out your elastic is to try your top on and pin it in place. Measure exactly how much ruching you want.

(8) Add the elastic between your two markings. The elastic will be encased in this seam by your serger. I use a clip or a pin to hold the beginning of the elastic at my first marking and then to hold the end of the elastic at my second marking. Using your serger, slightly stretch the elastic to make it fit. Do not start stretching, though, until you notice the elastic is secured in the seam at the top. I sew slow on this part to make sure all three pieces (the front bodice, back bodice and elastic) line up evenly. Skip to step 9.

(9) If you did not do steps 7 and 8 (because you only lengthened your front bodice piece), you need to do a gathering stitch between your markings on your front bodice only. Sew your side seam with your front bodice piece gathered. No need to add elastic if you are using this gathering method. 

(10) Hem and finish your top per pattern instructions. You are done! Enjoy your top!

Thanks for reading my blog. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. Need help with my instructions, please ask! I would love to help.

You may purchase Greenstyle's Centerfield Raglan here. It is such a flattering pattern that works well with stretchy fabrics like cotton lycra. 

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson of Capture, Craft, and Cook Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

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