Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nautically Striped Maternity Dress

I am so thrilled with this dress, from my Craftsy.com course Sewing with Knits!  I wore it Sunday and remembered how much I love not having a waistband (Dear maternity pants, I HATE YOU!).   

The pattern, called the Empire Waist Surplice Dress, comes with the course, along with patterns for a scoop-neck tee, a sweatshirt, and a few others.  It was a bit short, probably quite cute on people who don't have a belly pulling their clothes up, but I lengthened it by 4" in the back and 5" in the front.  I also sewed a size S on top, grading down to an XL in the skirt.  A bit dramatic and I think there is a bit of a "hippy" bulge from the grading being so extreme, but I was afraid to take any out, as I feel like I have no concept of how much fabric the final belly will demand. 

I learned a LOT making this: there's stretch elastic in the neckline and waist, and I used a twin needle to finish the neck and hem.  Very profesh!

Let's talk about that little side-bust-seam, the one that makes each side of the bodice look like it's cut from two pieces? There's a pretty tragic story in there..each of those bodice sides is SUPPOSED to be one piece.  I had put in quite a few hours of work on this dress already when I wanted to try out my twin needle on a scrap.  I grabbed a piece of scrap from the pile, sliced off a chunk, and used that to play with the stitches.  Some time later, when laying out the bodice, all sewed together with the neckline so nicely finished, I noticed that I was missing a large piece of the front! I'd cut off a quarter of my bodice thinking it was scrap! Egads! I was kind of giddy with shock, I was so horrified.  I didn't have enough leftover to cut a new piece, nor did I want to undo all of the lovely finishing I had already completed, so I managed to sew in a patch, and then made a matching, completely useless, seam on the other side so it would seem intentional.  Whew! 

The origianal pattern calls for fitted elbow-length sleeves, with are super cute, but I'm going to be wearing this while very pregnant in August and, the armpits, they need to breathe! I didn't love it completely sleeveless so I cut bands for wee cap sleeves.  Was going for this look, though I don't think I quite got there:


I'm overall very happy, and my next project might just be this one again, in a different fabric.  Dresses will probably be my uniform this summer, so it's time to get crackin'!


  1. As usual I have zilch to add to the whole sewing/crafting department, but man oh man! Your belly! I love seeing pregnant Elise! You look beautiful in this dress! Time to make about 10 more identical to this one. :)

    I lived in skirts while pregnant (and after). I would have loved dresses too, but it looks odd since I have to clip my pump to my underwear. There was enough going on, I didn't need to add a strange rectangular object near my crotch to the mix. ;)

    1. Thank you friend! You need an old-timey pad belt for your pump, that would make it super sexy...