Jalie 2804 just won a place in Pattern Review's top 10 patterns of 2009, and while it's not marketed specifically as a maternity top, it's said to be appropriate for that purpose too, and ever since I first saw these pics of Emilie during her pregnancy (check out pg 3 for top 2804 in a white sleeveless version), I mentally filed it away as a promising pregnancy pattern.
Since the two patterns are fairly similar, one designed as maternity wear, one winning accolades from seamstresses all over the internet, I decided to make both as a "compare and contrast" study, with the thought that I could take my favorite pieces/features of each top and morph them into one uber-fabulous pattern.
100% cotton knit from Denver Fabrics. For the "real thing", I would certainly use a knit with lycra for better recovery, but the 100% cotton worked for the test garments.
Jalie 2804 - I cut an S based on my pre-pregnancy measurements. This is my first Jalie pattern so I figured I'd just start there.
BWOF 8-2005-123 - I cut a 38 since that's my regular BWOF size.
Both patterns were sewn entirely as directed per the pattern instructions and with no alterations. Anyway, take a look, I think the pictures speak for themselves...
Are you totally cringing at that BWOF top? I still am and it's been almost a week! It's AWFUL! The bust is waaaaay too big. Yes, the girls grow, but not that much. I would never fill in the top. And the loose bust makes the tight belly section look almost comical. I hate the way the top hangs down below the belly, as in the side view. Talk about schlumpadinka...
Jalie, on the other hand, is golden in my book right now! I need to go up a size or two because, frankly, this top makes me feel slightly like a sausage in casing, but that I can deal with, especially once some lycra is added to the mix. Yup, new Jalie fan over here *waves hands*. Good thing too because I just bought their new cardigan, leggings, and the criss-cross top! The criss-cross top seems to have mixed reviews, but it's said to be good for nursing, and the pregnant model on the envelope looks good in hers so I'll see if I can make it work for me.
Needless to say, I won't be morphing these two patterns into one. I'm just going to work straight from the Jalie. I found this great blog post by Morzel that shows how to turn 2804 into a nursing top, so that's my eventual plan.