Maternity Dresses How I Loathe You

In Sewing on April 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I have finally finished my Easter Dress! This dress has honestly been the biggest problem pattern I’ve ever dealt with.

You see there on the corner “EASY”. Well they lied; it is not an easy pattern. There are not many pieces to it but it requires a lot of difficult angles. In addition to the angles you are essentially making the dress twice, once for the dress itself and once for the lining. The two are not combined until the 3rd to last step. I thought even with the angles and lining it would still convert fairly easily to a maternity pattern with the higher waistline (Big key for any pattern you want to convert)  and the pleats in the front.

I will post a picture of the completed dress after Easter (I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those that will see it at church). This is the fifth maternity dress that I have made but the first one using cotton fabric instead of knit. The knit is a lot more forgiving and I have not had to go up in size so much to account for the growing belly. This is also the first one that I’ve made with straps that would not lay right! I honestly lost count of how many times I got the seam ripper out to take apart the straps to change the length or how they would lay on my shoulders. That was honestly the biggest problem and took nearly a week to solve. I’ve come out of the project learning a two big things when it comes to converting patterns:

1. Measure more than just your belly and your bust line (your hip measurement really doesn’t matter for the dress in this case). Mainly the neck-to-back ratios. I had to go to the largest size in the pattern to fit my bust and belly but I needed my normal size for the straps because otherwise it hung way to low! I already struggle with patterns because they tend to be lower-cut than I’d like. When using a larger size it becomes and even bigger problem.

2. Make sure you pre-shrink your fabric. Honestly, I never do this. I don’t want to take the time to iron out the fabric just to cut it after it’s been washed. I didn’t pre-shrink this dress at all BUT I did keep it in mind that it was going to shrink after I did wash it. I had the dress mostly finished (minus the hem at the bottom and the bodice wasn’t completely put together) and then it went into the wash. It was far enough along that I didn’t have to worry about it falling apart in the wash but I also had the ability to do any alterations once I knew what was going to happen.  After it shrunk I had to hem the lining a lot higher than planned but other than that it shrank to fit nicely. Had I done the alterations that were needed before I washed it; I never would’ve fit into it.

If you are ever wanting to convert a dress pattern into a maternity pattern; go for it! It’s worth the extra work to have something you like and feel good in. The price tag helps a lot too. The maternity dresses I liked to purchase were anywhere from $80-$250. This one cost about $20 to make which made the husband’s wallet very happy!

Happy Crafting!

  1. […] this week that I never did post a picture of my Easter dress. The dress that is still one of the most difficult things I’ve had to make. I haven’t worn it since Easter thus the reason I don’t have a […]

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