Well, now that it is finished I must say that I am glad that I attempted my first knit shirt. It is so comfortable! However, there were times when I was sure that I had ruined the fabric and/or was going to lose all of my patience. I’ve made it through to the third trimester without buying much of a maternity wardrobe- I’ve mostly just worn a size larger top than normal. Without the underlying fear that none of my tops were going to fit within a few weeks (the baby is getting big!), I don’t know if I would have actually completed the project.
In the end, I learned that the majority of my issues were due to the tension on the sewing machine and the serger. Once I mastered the tension issues (I had to pull out my manuals again), the sewing went smoothly. I don’t even want to think about the number of times I ripped out wavy stitches…
If it helps anyone else, I used a combination of my serger and a walking foot on my sewing machine to sew the seams of this garment. Even with the walking foot, I still had to significantly decrease the tension of the sewing machine foot to eliminate any wavy seams. The hem and sleeves also were finished using the walking foot.
The Kwik Sew 3487 maternity tunic went together really quickly and I am pleased with the finishes of the shirt. Even though I compared all of my measurements (including measuring my 31 week belly– a bit traumatic), I found the shirt to be cut very generously. If I had to do it all over again I would have cut a size small instead of a medium.
I should also note that the bodice is cut quite low, so if modesty is of concern to you, you might want to consider tweaking the way the overlapping bodice falls. After wearing the top around the house a bit, I decided to rip out the shoulder seams and raise the height of the crossover bodice. I kept the back shoulder lines intact, but raised the front bodice by 2.25″ at the neckline– so in essence I cut out a long triangle of fabric (with 2.25″ at the neckline seam, tapering to no change at the shoulder seam). This fixed the problem and now there is no gaping along the neckline.
31 week belly!