Have you ever finished a make and after trying it on thought, “ugh, this makes me look pregnant!”? I have a few times but now I have an excuse because I AM pregnant!
Surprise!I wrote most of this post a few weeks ago for the Singer Aus/NZ blogs when I was about 24 weeks, which was just about when my wardrobe choices had started to take a serious hit!
I lost two of my favourites, the Papercut La Sylphide (sadly now OOP) and Colette Rooibos of which I’ve made multiple versions, at around 19 weeks when baby decided to expand his residence upwards above my natural waist line.
8 dresses down, let’s keep going…
My So Over It Betty dresses and Vogue 1353s lasted a little longer due to the slightly higher waists and full skirts but ultimately I retired them around 23 weeks.
That’s 5 more gone! What’s left?
So I’m down to my Pauline Alice Cami dress, which is lasting only because it too has a high waist, gathered skirt and it was too big for me anyway, Kitschy Coo Lady Skater (yay for stretchy merino) and Papercut Clover dress which is great worn with a high belt. I only ever made one each of these dresses.
Well that’s clearly not going to cut it is it? I need some new dresses ASAP!
I’m not looking for maternity specific patterns, my sewing time is precious and everything I make get emotional investment so I don’t want to have to shelve them after baby arrives in December so I’ve been hunting out patterns that will still suit me postpartum and beyond, maybe with a few modifications.
What better place to start than the stash, let’s take a look:
So as well as making another Lady Skater and Clover dress my short list is:
Republic du Chiffon Violette Dress (cheating: I bought this one recently!) – Victory Patterns Simon Dress/Top - Papercut Saiph Tunic
Victory Patterns Hannah Dress – Sew House Seven Tea House Top and Dress
Milan AV-JC Zero Waste Brumer Wrap Dress
I’ve also bought two maternity specific patterns because stretchy fabric is life right now and also they look so cute and fast to make:
Deer & Doe Givre Maternity version – Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirt
With so many baby things being quickly added to my sewing queue I’m unlikely to get to all of these but dream-sewing alongside real-sewing is a fun way to pass the weeks.
For my first experiment into Maternity-But-Not-Really-Sewing I’m going with a wrap dress that’s been on my to-sew list for ages. It’s vintage Vogue #1679 Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress. This pattern is single sized, unfortunately one size too big for me, but with the general overall body expansion I decided to sew it as drafted and see how it turned out. Later I can grade this pattern down a smaller size or two.
It did turn out a tiny bit big for me but it’s been a while since I sewed from a vintage pattern and I really enjoyed it.
This dress is really well finished with full length interfacing on the bodice and skirt edges, full length facings, lots of stay stitching (I used fusible stay tape instead) and beautiful clear instructions.
Trying my best to match up the stripes!
Stay Tape along the top edge of skirt
Left: Can you see my centre back seam?
Right: Setting in sleeves with the Many Many Pins technique
I only made two changes from the instructions: No hand stitching for the wrap pass through, because a.) hand sewing, and b.) you won’t see it (it’s covered by the wrap ties), so I machine top stitched around this instead. And I continued the edge stitching from the bodice right down the skirt because I liked it.
I also won a game of bobbin roulette but almost lost entirely when I noticed I was running out of thread completely. The original spool was from a big box I was given by a family friend who had sewn curtains in a past life. This means most of the colours are multiples of beige and cream but there are a few brights in there that I’ve managed to use.
I originally took a photo of the old and new spools of thread thinking to illustrate that Gutermann had changed their colour numbers or NZ had different numbers but a quick internet search of their colour chart showed me 912 AND 247 looking very similar so it’s actually just that my local Spotlight apparently doesn’t bother to stock all the colours…I met their Gutermann rep once…
Winning Bobbin Roulette
Let’s see how it turned out:
The front wrap has great coverage, crossing right over to the opposite side seam. Great on a windy photo day!
I spent a lot of time while laying out this pattern to get good stripe matching and no twinning on the bodice. I think I did pretty well, the stripes continue up seamlessly.
The skirt has quite a curved hem so it looks a little wonky inside out but when worn it’s fine.
Inside out you can see the nice wide facings, all under-stitched, interfaced and stay taped so that they lie against the body really nicely and won’t stretch out.
I only overlocked the edge of the facing (in magenta of course!), all other seams are left unfinished. This fabric won’t fray and it makes for a nice soft interior.
The extra finishing steps were really worth it to help this dress last as long as possible and make it comfortable to wear. I really enjoyed sewing this one and I definitely see a couple more in the future. Stretchy fabrics and I are best friends right now!
Pattern – Vintage Vogue #1679 Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress (OOP), view A, size 16 1/2 (Bust 99cm)
I chopped quite a lot of length off the skirt pattern pieces. Next time grade down 2 sizes.
Fabric – Knit from The Fabric Warehouse