I've been eying this Megan Neilson maternity wrap top since I first saw it on her website. When I found out I was pregnant again, one of the first things I did was buy the pattern! It turns out that Simplicity bought the design and published it, so I picked it up at the next Simplicity patterns sale at Joanne's.
I do admit I had reservations, even before starting to sew it up. It promised to be both super cute, and super fussy to wear... and it has lived up to expectations!
I made it up in a micro-stripe stretchy rayon knit from my local fabric shop, Homespun. I loooove the knit, I bought it in two colors and might go back for more! The pattern sewed up really quickly. There are a couple of things that always irk me in Simplicity patterns, especially knit patterns-- the ridiculous amount of ease in the patterns, and sleeves with tons of sleeve header that you are supposed to ease in. I just can't understand why that is necessary on a knit pattern. However, this Megan Neilson/Simplicity pattern had none of that nonsense! I cut my prepregnancy size and it fits beautifully without removing inches from the side seams, and the sleeves sewed into the bodice beautifully without cutting off tons of sleeve header. Which is all good, considering I didn't make any sort of a muslin.
The called for seam finish is super simple, just turn the edges and sew. I used a twin needle to allow for some stretch.
So, as expected, the top looks sort of cute! And the clever design will certainly expand with a growing belly.
Also as expected... it is super fussy. The ties that wrap around the belly are ridiculously long... the sort of have to be I guess. But it is really awkward to put on, and the thought of having to fight with yards and yards of criss-crossing ties is enough to turn me off from wanting to put it on in the morning. That is sort of a personal preference though, I like my wardrobe to be pretty easy without much fussing, there is enough fussing in the morning with trying to get my 2 year old out the door!
Looking at the picture below, I'm reminded that I also dislike how the seams end up prominently displayed on my belly! I suppose more careful wrapping would fix this, but I just don't have the patience!
I probably should have expected the other fault... there is a high likelihood of wardrobe malfunction in this top. In fact, it is totally visible in the pictures. So, this top absolutely must be layered over a tank top, which sort of isn't my preference-- I dislike the lack of definition in a tank top, a bra gives a better profile. And even when layering over a tank, the tank sometimes peeps through... you can see it in the pictures. I really, really dislike having to constantly adjust my clothing throughout the day, not to mention the discomforting thought that students and colleagues might notice.
Do the flaws outweigh the benefits of this top? I'm undecided. I might just leave this top as is... its expandability might outweigh its flaws as I grow so massive that I don't fit into anything else! Or I might just take it apart and make it into a more practical top... I could very easily convert the bust into a faux wrap and add a ruched bodice. What do you think?