In early 2018, I made a commitment to myself to start and stick with a clearly laid out fitness program called BBG. I loved the way the program was structured with 3 days of strength exercises, 3 days of low intensity cardio, and one rest day each week. None of the workouts require the use of gym equipment, and all are created to be done in essentially any setting. The workouts and schedule are accessible through an app on the phone, and even though you certainly have to work for those workouts (and might end up a heavy breathing, limp noodle of a human after each one!), it really sets you up for success! Two short weeks into my new workout plan, I found out that I was pregnant!! Though I was so happy, I remember a few moments of feeling REALLY bummed about how this was going to alter my workout plan. I was able to complete the first 4 weeks of the program before stopping, but because BBG is not a workout plan recommended during pregnancy, I couldn’t keep up with it any further right then.
I’ve been extremely lucky not to have many difficult symptoms during my pregnancy, but the one that hit the hardest was first trimester fatigue. There were so many days that it took all the energy I could muster to simply come home from work in the morning, fall asleep through the day, wake up to eat dinner, and then go right back to work, or right back to sleep throughout the night. I felt so frustrated with my nonexistent productivity levels, and I remember one day someone pointed out that even if I didn’t have a visible baby bump yet, I was creating a HUMAN LIFE, and I not only was allowed to be tired, but had every right to be! It was exactly what I needed to hear. After a few weeks, the fatigue passed and I was able to get moving (and sewing!!) again – I was thrilled! However, those few weeks had really thrown me out of my schedule, and I found that I was often giving myself excuses for not working out. Towards the end of my second trimester, I was able to get my butt back into gear and I am so happy for it. From that time through about week 37, I enjoyed a weekly prenatal yoga class, frequent walks through the neighborhood with my husband and our pups, and some light weight-lifting and cardio at the gym a couple of times a week. My goal has been to complete a 30-60 minute work out of some sort 5 days a week or more, and I met that goal pretty consistently up until the last couple of weeks! I’ve now cut out the weight-lifting, and am focused on my prenatal yoga classes paired with nice, slow walks in the neighborhood (or on the treadmill, since it refuses to stop raining here!). Though I was thrilled to be back moving and getting into some sort of shape (mostly round, have you seen this belly?), I realized that the majority of my gym clothes just weren’t quite cutting it anymore! Some of my staples, like my activewear tanks and my Sloan Leggings, still fit well enough throughout my pregnancy to continue wearing. However, many pairs of my shorts don’t fit well enough that I feel comfortable to work out in them.
Enter the Peg Legs. I’d had my eye on this leggings pattern by Patterns for Pirates for quite awhile, but had just never followed through on downloading it. My newfound need for maternity-appropriate leggings finally made me bite the bullet! Not only is this an awesome pattern in general, but it is completely FREE. There are two add-on packs available for the pattern, one with some fun details like color-blocked pockets (which, admittedly, I haven’t even opened yet) and another with maternity waistband options! Both of these add-on packs are free, as well!
I made my first pair of Peg Legs about 6 weeks ago, using a heathered lavender activewear jersey that I purchased from Threadbare Fabrics back in March! I’d loved the faintly purple hue of the fabric, and I knew they’d eventually make some awesome leggings. And I was right! I went for the full over the belly maternity option with these, and they’re insanely comfortable! I’m still shocked every time I catch a glimpse of them in the mirror though – these suckers are HIGH! They are great to work out in, though. They are super comfortable, and I feel sturdy and supported with the extra fabric around my belly. I chose the full-length ankle version here, because I love the look and feel of a full legging, but there are also capri, knee, and shortie versions available with the pattern, if those are more your style!
To create these leggings, I used my serger for all of the seams and finished the leg openings off with some heat n’ bond soft stretch, and a lightning bolt stitch. I have finally figured out that the best way to keep myself from accidentally absentmindedly serging over a pin is to use wonderclips on the seams that I will be running through the serger – I’ve linked the ones I use below. They’re a game changer for me!!
For my next couple of pairs of Peg Legs, I wanted to keep the full ankle length, but to try out a different maternity waistband option that didn’t come up quite as high! The pattern includes both a standard under the belly band, and a V-shaped under the belly band. I liked the idea of the V-shaped band, and I decided to go for it using some pretty incredible Olympus Knit from PineCrest Fabrics – which you can read more about here – as well as some performance knit from IndieSew, which hit the blog earlier this week!
These leggings have now made it through many prenatal yoga classes each, plus some other workouts and normal everyday wear. As I finish writing this today, at 38+ weeks pregnant, these Peg Legs are some of the only things that fit comfortably, and are almost a daily feature in my wardrobe! I’m truly just happy to be up, moving, and keeping myself fit through pregnancy. It helps having clothes that don’t make this process any more uncomfortable than it must be! I always feel so much better after a good workout, but especially when I’m feeling the secret confidence of knowing I’m wearing gym wear I made all by myself!! I’m looking forward to the day that I can do a more intense workout again, but for now I’m enjoying walking and yoga to keep myself in balance.
I am really hoping I can transition all of these pairs of leggings over into postpartum life with me soon. Though I won’t need all that extra over the top band anymore, I think that I will be able to fold that waistband down enough to make these wearable post-bump, without having to unpick and replace the waistband. I’m hoping that the V-shaped band is cute in the future, and doesn’t look too awkward!
Leggings: handmade by me
Pattern: Patterns for Pirates – Peg Legs (with maternity add-ons)
Fabric: Activewear Jersey in Heathered Lavender from Threadbare Fabrics (now sold out)
Key Ingredients: Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite) and Craft Clips
- XX Elizabeth