So many things to do, so little time! In the past months I’ve searched for (and found) maternity clothes that are comfortable and pretty. To my disappointment, most of the maternity dresses are rather flimsy and have little to no wshape. My waistline has moved up 10 cm/4″ and is a lot less pronounced, but that doesn’t mean I want to look like I’m wearing a tent!
I’ve been playing around with regular sewing patterns so I could make some maternity wear myself. I am now in my eigth month and the importance of having maternity wear that is also suitable for nursing is hitting me. That’s why I made a wrap dress from a pretty jersey print (it’s a fake wrap: the front panels are sewn instead of tied) with a V-neck. It can easily be used for nursing, if needed.
I used a pattern from Knip, february 2015. To be more precise, it’s this pattern and it can be ordered as a pdf pattern. It has attached sleeves, a v-neck, fake wrap front panels and an A-line skirt. Best of all, as it only has four patttern pieces, this was going to be a piece of cake! I’ve had this amazing printed jersey in my stash for over a year now, thinking about making a dress but not actually getting to the point of making it. I decided to go for it. When making maternity wear,I recommend using jersey with 5% lycra as hit will hold it’s shape and allows for extra growth. I made this pattern in EU size 38, which is my not-pregnant hip size.
Adjustments to the pattern
I made a couple of small adjustments. I decided to not raise the waistline, in order to make it more wearable for after the baby is born. Besides, the tie can be used to pull the waistline in where it currently is. I added a bit of length to the sleeves because I have long arms, and I added roughly 10 cm/4″to the middle front panel of the skirt to create a bit more room for my belly. The sleeves are meant to be 3/4 and will remain that way, because the pattern piece fits nicely on 1.50 m wide fabric fold along the grain. If the sleeves were a seperate pattern piece, I could have have gone for full length sleeves.
Sewing the dress
Lucky for me, putting the dress together was fairly easy. I used a stretch stitch on my sewing machine for the seams and put it all together in roughly two hours. That’s what I call a nice result for an afternoon of sewing! I reinforced the neckline with seam tape, folded the seam inwards and stitched right through the tape so the neckline would not stretch out of shape. If you haven’t used seam tape yet because you’re intimidated, don’t be afraid and give it a go. It took me a minute or so to apply (like vlieseline, it bonds with heat) and it made a lot of difference in the shape and stability of the neckline. I didn’t get my twin needle out but sewed the bottom hem and sleeve hem with parallel straight stitches with a slight stretch to it.
For daily wear I’ve made a matching tie, but I was planning on going to a hafla (bellydance party) and more bling is always a good thing for such an occassion. I made a gold tie out of a scrap of gold printed lycra and topped it off with a gold flower. Instant party dress!
Wear and fit
It has quite a good fit for such a basic pattern: the neckline is not too revealing but still wide enough to use for nursing thanks to the pleats in the front panels. The waist comes down a bit too low for my current shape: if I had made this pattern when I was six months along and/or I didn’t want to nurse, I’d probably made the waist higher. The length of the sleeves worked out for me, and the skirt hits knee length. I gathered the extra fabric of the front skirt panel in the middle and sewed it to the top. A very basic adjustment with the desired effect. If I wanted to go for a sleeker silhouette, I could have used the same A-line skirt as it was. The jersey is stretchy enough to allow for the baby bump.
If you are looking for maternity patterns, I recommend checking out similar patterns for jersey dresses and adding a smidge of extra fabric to the skirt part. After delivery I can always remove the extra fabric and create a sleeker silhouette. Here’s an outdoor shot with the matching tie and the rare occassion of me wearing heels. I am 36 weeks pregnant and just got back from the hairsalon, which is always a good moment to take a picture
I am a professional bellydancer and costume-a-holic living in the Netherlands. I’ve been sewing and crafting stuff for over twenty years, for theaters, dance costumes, historic costumes and regular clothes.. If you enjoyed this post and like to kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydanceon Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook and I might write a blog post to answer your costuming question.
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