Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

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Slocan Tank Maternity Hack

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Today, we want to show you how to update your Slocan Tank pattern in this maternity tank sewing tutorial! It’s pretty easy do and does not involve any extra sewing steps—always a win in our eyes! Before you get to hacking, keep in mind that the Slocan tank is intended to fit quite snugly. The body changes a lot in pregnancy and as your belly grows, so will your breasts. We recommend sizing up for this hack and/or choosing a really soft and stretchy knit like a bamboo jersey.

You will need: 

  • Front pattern piece (1) 
  • Back pattern piece (2) 
  • Extra paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Tape 
  • Paper Scissors
Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Flat Pattern Adjustments

We will start by adjusting the front pattern piece (1). Straighten out the side seam slightly—no need for exact numbers here. Bring the side seam curve out a bit, leaving a slight bend. 

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Next, add two notches to the side seam—one ~3” (7.6 cm) down from the bottom of the armhole and the other ~2 ¾ (7 cm) up from the hem. Ignore the original waist notch. Once we finish the adjustments, it will no longer match the waist notch on the back. The position of the new notches may vary for people of different heights, so adjust the numbers if you are petite or very tall. 

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Add a bit of length to the bottom of the tank top. 2” (5 cm) should be a good place to start. This step is optional, but we recommend it. The tank is designed to fit at the high hip, but with pregnancy, you may like your tanks a little bit longer. It is easier to hem a tank shorter than to make it longer after it has been sewn.

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Before we make any more changes to the front piece, we will transfer the current changes to the back piece. Make sure you transfer the new notches, placing them in the same spots on the side seam as you did on the front piece. If you straightened out the side seam and added length to the tank, make sure you repeat those changes for the back. 

The easiest way to adjust the side seam and transfer the notches is to walk the front pattern piece along the side seam of the back pattern piece. Cut the back piece out and set it aside.

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Now we are going to adjust the front piece to accommodate a growing bump. Cut along the shorten/lengthen line. Place a piece of paper underneath the tank and spread the top and bottom apart approximately 3” to 4” (7.6 cm – 10 cm) apart. 

Tape the pieces in place. True up the side seam and center front, and cut the new front piece out of your fabric.

Changes to the pattern are done! Now let’s make this maternity tank. 

Sewing

The construction steps are mostly identical to sewing the regular Slocan Tank. The only difference is in sewing the side seams. 

Follow step 1 in the instruction booklet, pre-pressing the hems of the tank on the front and back pattern pieces ¾” (1.9 cm) to the wrong side. 

When sewing the side seams with right sides together, start by lining up the new notches on the front and back. Pin the pieces together at the notches and the ends of the side seam. Leave the middle part, between the notches, unpinned. The front of the tank will be longer than the back.

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Stretch the back when sewing the side seam so that it fits the front. This will create the ruching effect that is needed for a maternity tank. 

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

Press the seams to the back. Repeat for the other side. 

That’s the only difference in the construction! Proceed to step 3 in the instruction booklet to finish sewing your maternity tank. 

Slocan Maternity Tank Sewing Tutorial - Helen's Closet Patterns Blog

If you would like this tank to work for breast feeding, you can add nursing clips to the straps at the front so you can easily release the strap and get access. 

Tag us on Instagram and let us know how your maternity Slocan turns out! 

Slocan Tank sewing pattern by Helens Closet
About the author

Helen

Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

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