Expanding into Unknown Regions

I was disturbed this week as I brought out my treasured summer maternity bin to find that more than half of the items are too small. How did this happen??? Suddenly, I went to “all set for summer” to “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!” and the ensuing tears and panic. That’s why when we were scheduled to be at our Christian Radio station’s Sharathon at 6 yesterday, I asked Jeremy if we could leave early enough to hit the Bath Salvation Army for ’1/2 off’ day. They have such a nice, big maternity section, I was sure to find something.

I found a single pair of capris. Extra Large. I’ve never been extra large in anything! I tried not to panic and headed to the Plus Sized Section.

Shopping in the Plus Size section of the thrift store can be scary. Shirts 4 feet wide. Pants that require 2 hangers. It’s enough to make you never eat another potato chip. Yet I have found this aisle to be a good source for fabric and items that can be custom fitted and refashioned with just a few quick zips on the serger. Also, more often than not, my long arms require an extra large to get the right length, so I have been shopping in the plus section frequently in the past year. Now I was looking for summer tops that had potential as maternity wear. I found about 8 tops, tried them on, and took home 2.

The basic rules for turning plus sizes into maternity styles are…

1. Don’t go too big. A 3x is gonna need to be completely cut apart and redesigned – and I don’t have that kind of time or energy right now. Stick to items that are just one or two sizes above your normal size.

2. Make sure it’s long enough. This rule cut down my possibilities in the dressing room by %75. They just didn’t cover the belly enough – or, the ‘projected belly size’ through the end of July.

3. Sleeves are an easy fix. My arms are the one thing that hasn’t gained circumference in this pregnancy (thank heavens!), so I do not need a sleeve hole the size of my thigh! If the shirt is long enough, and not too wide across the shoulders and neck, but the sleeves or sleeve holes seem ginormous, a custom fit can easily be achieved by taking in the under arm seam, tapering out gradually to meet the side seam just above the waist.

I’ll show you what I do with my finds next week….

You can hear our little interview on Family Life Network here. Scroll down, it’s the last interview on the April 7th list. The voices are those of my father-in-law, husband, and myself. It was freaky to be behind the mic on live radio, but I made myself do it just to prove (to myself) that I could! LOL

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Comments

  1. says

    Good job on the radio! ;) lol…. My dad was on there for years… I think the nervousness goes away eventually… maybe. ;)

    Can't wait to see what you do with your finds!! :D

  2. says

    Hi, Keri! Congrats on your 1st 'bump'! :)

    I find, even in the second and now third pregnancies, you just have to take things one week or month at a time, because it's a rare thing to have any article of clothing fit for more than a few months anyway. Shopping for what fits right now or in the forseeable future is usually wisest. (is that a word? I plead 'pregnancy brain') Under-the-belly pants and skirts usually fit longer and more comfortably than those other things with the half-circle panel.

    sounds like you are on a good track to a cute and thrifty maternity wardrobe. thanks for the ON and Gap tips!

  3. says

    I'm very interested to see what you come up with! I'm pregnant with my first, and I have the disadvantage of not really knowing how my body will change with pregnancy. So I'd love to make/alter some clothing, but don't know how things will change yet!

    Don't discount places like Old Navy and the Gap. I was able to buy a long sleeved maternity t-shirt in size small for $2.97 on clearance at ON yesterday. Especially if you are willing to buy larger sizes, you can find things extremely cheaply on clearance! I've not found a thrift store maternity section yet, so I just get frustrated in the thrift stores!

    Have fun!