Knitted Patterns for Maternity Tops

pregnant knitter

Crafty mothers-to-be or those who love them might want to find knitted patterns for maternity tops.

While some knitters might not want to invest all of their time and energy into a top that can only be worn briefly, others may want to create something special that they don't get to wear all of the time. A knitted maternity top can help them remember this time in their lives, even if they only get to look at it on their closet shelf after the baby is born.

Not Just for Pregnancy

If you're looking for truly versatile knitwear, consider tops that you can wear during those nine months, as well as once the baby is born. Cardigans are great for this purpose, especially those that button only at the neckline or have only one or two buttons above the belly. While sweaters and cardigans are usually not quick knitted projects, you can use worsted weight, aran weight or chunky yarns to make the project go faster.

Tunics are another top you can make; since they're sleeveless, you can probably finish one quicker than a long-sleeved sweater.

Maternity Top Considerations

If you decide to make a top for yourself to show off during your pregnancy or you plan to make one for a pregnant friend or relative, consider these points:

  • Fiber: Wool is very elastic and forgiving, so if the pregnancy occurs over much of winter, this is a great fiber to use for sweaters. Cotton may be preferable for a summer pregnancy, but be sure to knit and test a swatch for any fiber.
  • Style: Are you a cardigan type or do you prefer pullovers? Also, do you want a top that you can wear after your pregnancy is over? These are questions you need answers to before you pick out a pattern.
  • Expandability: Naturally, having a top that expands as the pregnant belly expands is an extremely important consideration. Ideally, a pregnant woman should be able to wear a maternity top at the first signs she's showing until her delivery day.

Warm Weather Knitting

What if you won't be pregnant during the winter or you live in a warm climate where wool sweaters aren't necessary? You can still make a top, but consider fibers like cotton, linen, hemp or silk. If you choose to use a fiber that's markedly different from what's called for in a pattern, consider the properties of that fiber to make sure you end up with a top that you're happy with. Cotton doesn't have the elasticity of wool and it tends to succumb to gravity after a while. If you make a heavy garment out of cotton yarn, it will likely stretch out of shape after multiple wearings and washings. However, sleeveless tunics and short-sleeved cardigans in other natural fibers are good choices for pregnant women in warm climates.

Finding Knitted Patterns for Maternity Tops

Whether you're a knitter looking for knitted patterns for maternity tops for yourself, you're a grandmother-to-be or you have an expectant friend, consider these sources for knitted maternity tops:

  • Knitting for Two features 20 knit projects that expectant mothers can knit for themselves and their new babies. Knitting for babies is fun, partly because the little projects go so quickly. You can choose coordinating projects from the book and you might be able to use the same yarn for projects for yourself and your little one.
  • Expectant Little Knits contains 22 patterns with clever details and designs that accommodate growing bellies, such as pleats. One project even features nursing panels, so it's perfect for wearing during and after pregnancy.

Making Your Own Patterns

Very skilled knitters who also like designing may find themselves charting out their own patterns. Pleats and short rows can create room for expansion and will likely be important parts of your design. Likewise, as with regular maternity tops, consider ties in the back that allow pregnant women to tighten or loosen as needed to accommodate their babies' growth.

A Lasting Garment

Whether this is a first pregnancy or just one of many, having a special top made just for you during this time can be a memorable experience. A well-made maternity top can be used over and over, if not for you, then for a cherished friend or relative when she finds out she's expecting.

Additional LoveToKnow Resources

For answers to all your pregnancy related questions, check out the helpful articles on LoveToKnow Pregnancy.

Knitted Patterns for Maternity Tops