I Am Pregnant

burda 7023 maternity skirt short black 2

I know that both both of my posts this week already make it clear that I’m pregnant (my big announcement and my first maternity clothes), but, for me, part of talking about sewing is talking about body image and I wanted to take a moment to discuss my changing body.

Pregnancy is weird. I feel like I’m going through puberty again. My body is rapidly changing size and shape in ways that are out my control and like nothing I have been through before (to say nothing of the raging hormones that come with both puberty and pregnancy). I don’t recognize myself in the mirror from one day to another. And I know it has only just begun…

My body has been pretty much the same size and shape since I went through puberty which has been a major boon to my ability to look at a garment and judge how it will fit. When sewing simple garments like t-shirts and knit skirts, I can just eyeball a garment outline right onto the fabric with chalk without even needing a pattern. And I most definitely can not do that now, and it’s a little discombobulating.

Having my wardrobe rapidly drop to just a few things that I either raided from my mom’s closet or found at the thrift store has been hard on me too. As I say, I look at every day as a chance to play dress up, and having a tiny selection of clothes that don’t really feel like “me” has been challenging. Not only does my body not feel like mine, but I can’t dress it in a way that feels like “me” either. I know this will change a bit soon, now that I have enough energy to do some sewing again. But it’s another weird change that has also been discombobulating.

Have you been through a rapid change in size or shape that made it hard to feel like “you”?
Have you had a shrunken wardrobe that made it hard to dress like “you”?


Each week this year I’m going to reflect on an aspect of myself and how it affects me as a sewist, crafter, or blogger. It may get deep, it may get emotional, it may get totally silly. It may be something I’m proud of, it may be something I cringe at, it may be something I aspire to. I may say a lot, I may say a little, I may ask questions, I may not answer them. I don’t quite know where the project will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. I’d be honored to have you join me on this journey. Chime in any time this year in my blog comments, on TwitterInstagram, or your own blog. Join me in my theme for the week or make up your own.

Comments 18

  1. Woo hoo! Congratulations on your pregnancy, I loved being pregnant, enjoy it.

    On maternity clothes (ugh, there are some very, very horrible things out there) I mostly coped with stretchy skirts, leggings and wrap dresses. I found that, much as it is tempting to get loads of new stuff, the time that you might want to focus on is postnatal. If you are planning to breast feed this is arguably a bigger wardrobe challenge than the bump, it’s all about separates (dresses are mostly impossible) and things that don’t show up the baby gunge that comes from all orifices.

    On my bod, I was lucky that after two my body is pretty much the same shape as before if slightly droopier in parts, it mostly all pinged back. In pretty much every other way life has changed beyond all recognition and there is nothing anyone can say to prepare you for that. It is a mind blowing, incredible, weird and wonderful journey. Have fun!

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  2. 2 things vividly stand out from my pregnancy – the first time I couldn’t see my toes without leaning*; and the first time I couldn’t squeeze through a narrow gap by turning side on.

    It’s *all* discombobulating, but it’s also good practice for when baby gets here and you’re discombobulated 24/7 for a while!

    Things I lived in: stretchy over bump trousers, wrap tops, loose sweaters, and at the end, satin pyjamas to sleep in made turning over in bed so much easier.

    Things I didn’t use: white shirts. No one needed to see even the outline of a fugly maternity or nursing bra!

    Good luck!

    *I was at a concert and lost a good fifteen minutes just leaning forward and back thinking “now you see it, now you don’t”

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      I’m laughing out loud at the vision of you watching your toes at the concert! Thanks for sharing that funny story! Satin pajamas is a great idea too. I’m already a tangled mess in bed when I flop around.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I’m pregnant for the first time as well, just entering my second trimester. To most people, I don’t look pregnant yet. But my body is definitely changing, and the amount of clothes I have that I feel good in is diminishing. I look forward to reading about your journey, and getting inspiration for sewing my maternity wardrobe!

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  4. I remember that feeling so well! It is strange and wonderful to share your body with another human being. To be honest, I didn’t make any of my maternity clothes, although my mom made me a beautiful suit. I stocked up on RTW maternity basics, and raided my husband’s closet!

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      I thought I would buy basics and even went shopping (which I never do) but was too frustrated to buy anything since nothing fit me. Unfortunately, raiding my husband’s closet isn’t an option since he and I are the same size – before pregnancy!

  5. Congrats !

    I’m in my third trimester and I don’t recognise my body. But it’s ok. It’s doing an important job and it will be mine again in 2 short months. Leggings and stretchy tops are my daily werdrobe

  6. I went through the the shrunken wardrobe during my pregnancies but I’m now going through it again, having changed from an office job to shift working from home doing overnights. All of the lovely office appropriate garments I’ve made are now not suitable for a 15hr shift where I may be at home, dozing on the sofa for a couple of hours or rushing out in the wee small hours to take children into foster care. I need more casual stuff as I’ve got so much more free time. I’m living in jeans and a choice of 3 or 4 jumpers. Rubbish!

  7. I totally feel your pain 5 months postpartum. I knew my body would not be the same for a while after, I wasn’t really worried about losing the ‘baby weight’ but still being limited by wardrobe is a draaaaag. There are things I haven’t been able to wear for a full year! I’m actually basically back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but the shape of my body may never be the same again – and I’ve heard from others that this has happened to them too. Ugh. All that work over the years fitting things…out the window!!!

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      Thanks for sharing. That is definitely something I’m a bit worried about – I’ve realized that most of the time I wear clothes that are quite fitted through the waist, so if my waist doesn’t come back all the way, I’ll be permanently out a big chunk of my wardrobe! Fortunately, the skills we learn while fitting our clothes over the years will still translate, even if we need to make slightly different changes in the future.

  8. I’m just entering my second trimester, too! I’m a bit jealous of your bump at the moment. I just look like I ate a big lunch, not obviously pregnant-looking at all. Congratulations! :-)

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      Congratulations! I totally understand about how that transition period before you look obviously pregnant is frustrating. However I’m sure “obvious” will be here before you know it! (I’ve also found that it definitely still depends on what I’m wearing. In my newly sewn pencil skirts I’m clearly pregnant but in the couple loose knit dresses that I have it’s still not clear).

  9. I have PCOS so I hit puberty and kept going and going. I don’t think I’ve been the same size year to year ever. For a long time it was birth control pills or other medications to tinker with my hormone levels. These often had unintended side effects like the time I was on a progestin heavy formulation that shifted all my weight to my hips and butt over the course of 3 months.

    I’m so used to my body feeling weird and constantly changing that pregnancy felt like more of the same. It was worse post-partum because my walk, weight, posture, and equilibrium were completely changed by the third trimester, a long labor, and a cesarean birth. It’s seriously disorienting to stand up 30 lbs lighter than you were when you laid down. Clothing is a bit of a crap shoot after having a baby. You might come out of the hospital weighing your pre-pregnancy weight, but it’s in different places. You can zip your jeans, but they don’t fit the same. I lost my butt to the baby, but my hip measurement got bigger because my pelvis got bigger and what I lost in butt I gained in belly. It is really hard to know what is a new normal and what is in transition so it’s really hard to cull the wardrobe or go shopping because there’s this feeling that anything could change at any moment. It’s been 3 years since I had my baby girl, and I still haven’t entirely gone through my wardrobe.

    For your post-partum wardrobe consider gray. Spit up tends to be whitish. Baby poop tends to be yellowish. Spit up shows up on dark colors and baby poop tends to show up on light colors. You can get both stains out fairly easily with peroxide provided the fabric is color safe.

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      Thanks so much for sharing about your struggles with changes to your body. I really appreciate hearing your story.
      Thanks also for the suggestion of fabric colors with a new baby. I hadn’t even thought about that!

      1. I hope I didn’t scare you! Reading over everything it sounds bad, but it’s not! It’s just a steep learning curve.

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