I actually finished my very first me-made Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity Skirt way back at the beginning of May, but just now got around to taking photographs!
I’m sure I’m starting to sound like a broken record about Megan Nielsen patterns, but I really, really like this pattern. It just fits me so well, and the design is perfect for maternity office wear.
This skirt may actually be the perfect office-appropriate maternity skirt. It’s a simple sew, takes very little fabric (only 1 yard of 60-inch knit), and results in a stylish, comfortable skirt that can be as conservative or edgy as you want depending on your workplace!
I did have to tweak my sizing a bit for this pattern, but that’s actually 100% my fault, and 0% the pattern’s fault. Had I followed directions and used a super-stretchy jersey knit with at least 40% 4-way stretch, as instructed in the pattern, I would have cut a straight size M and have been done with it.
Instead, I decided that I wanted to use a thicker knit for my skirt, since I am a lawyer and work in a law office, and wanted something a bit more conservative. So, I used a heavier black double knit jersey that I got from a clearance sale at Denver Fabrics. The weight is perfect for a pencil skirt, in my opinion, but it has relatively little stretch, and certainly not 4-way stretch. The pattern pieces as designed would make an unwearably small skirt for me.
To remedy that, I simply added a roughly 3-inch panel of fabric on each side, and voila — perfect fit! I have some gray double knit pulled out for a second skirt, and for that one, I will simply add an extra 3 inches in each pattern piece at the cutting stage. No problem!
My only complaint about this skirt also has nothing to do with the pattern, and everything to do with the limitations of standard sewing machines. I simply can’t get a stretchy enough nice-looking hem with my standard sewing machine.
I hemmed this skirt with my double needle, which looks quite nice from the outside. But even a double needle doesn’t have enough stretch to keep the hem from breaking on a jersey pencil skirt. My hem broke in two places when I wore it for the first day of MMM13, and I worry that I will be repairing this hem every time I wear it!
This, and the fact that I sew a lot, maybe even primarily, with knits, has convinced me to save my pennies and purchase a coverstitch machine for myself. Hopefully for my birthday or Christmas this year. Yes, it’s a complete vanity purchase, since 90% of the time, my machine and serger (which I still have to learn how to use — yipes!) can do all the sewing I need. But that other 10% of the time — i.e. hems on stretchy knit items, I yearn for a coverstitch machine to eliminate all worries about broken hems.
But anyway…enough of my whining. Bottom line: Great pattern, easy sew, if you’re going to buy one maternity sewing pattern, this would be a good one. If you’re going to buy two, buy this one and the Ruched Maternity Tshirt, and you’ll pretty much be set!
Pattern: Megan Nielsen Ruched Maternity Skirt ($18 AUD).
Size: M, with an extra 3 inches added to each pattern piece to account for my less stretchy fabric.
Fit: With the extra width, the fit is perfect. There’s plenty of room to grow in the belly, too, so this skirt should last me for the whole pregnancy.
Fabric: Black double knit jersey from Denver Fabrics. The recommended fabric is a stretchy jersey knit with at least 40% stretch and preferably 4-way stretch. My fabric had nowhere near 40% stretch, hence the need to add inches in the pattern pieces. And I wanted it slightly less form-fitting to make it more appropriate for my office.
Modifications: I added inches to each pattern piece to account for my less-stretch fabric and to get a slightly looser fit. Otherwise, none.
Physical pattern: Beautiful, as always.
- A very easy, straightforward sew.
- Uses very little fabric. The pattern calls for 1 yard of 60-inch fabric, and you’d probably have fabric left over.
- Plenty of coverage, but still a very stylish design. This skirt would be equally appropriate for an office or a night out.
- The ruching at the sides and the shape of the front piece leaves plenty of room for a growing belly.
- I generally have a hard time finding super-stretchy knits that I would consider to be thick enough for a pencil skirt. Instead, I just added some width.
- As drafted, the skirt would fit very snugly. I work in a law office, so I wanted my skirt slightly looser.
Overall grade: A. This is a great maternity basic.