Maternity Empire Waist Dress by Maggie of Smashed Peas and Carrots
Hi everyone *waves*! I’m Maggie from the blog Smashed Peas and Carrots
. I am super thrilled to be visiting DIY maternity today! When I was pregnant with my #3 last summer (who is now my crazy crawling little 8 month old girl named Eloise!) I was just itching to wear pretty, airy dresses in the hot and sticky summer humidity. This dress fit the bill perfectly. To make it I upcycled an old tank shirt which allowed me to breathe some new life into some of my closet cast-offs, it makes me love this dress even more!
Things You’ll Need
- 1 tank top
- 2-inch wide elastic (cut to the measurement under your bustline)
- Fabric of your choice (1 1/2 times the measurement of your waist for the width and cut to however long you would like the length…mine is cut to right at the knee)
- Rotary Cutter and Mat
- Sewing Machine and Thread
What to Do
1. Grab your supplies…so far so good!?!
2. Put on your tank and mark it where you would like it comfortably to fall beneath your bustline. If you are serging the cut edge add about a 1/4 inch to your length. If you are using a regular sewing machine add about 1/2 inch so you can fold it under about 1/4 inch twice and hem
3. Serge or hem the raw edge and set aside.
4. Place the elastic band under your bust and add about an inch to the measurement. I know my elastic is white here but I had a change of color choice at the last minute!!
5. Zig-zag stitch the elastic band into a tube overlapping the edges by about 1/2 inch, the zig-zag gives some stretch to the seam. I also zig-zagged mine a few times for added strength.
6. Take your fabric and either hem (folding the fabric over 1/4 inch two times) or serge the top edge…where the elastic band will meet it.
7. Then make a gathering stitch right under the hem (or serged edge). To make a gathering stitch you are going to use the longest and widest straight stitch on your machine and you are going to sew a straight line all the way across your fabric (at the width you measured at 1 1/2 x your under bust measurement). Do not backstitch at either end and leave long threads at both ends!
8. Pull the bottom thread (the bobbin thread) slowly and carefully to make nice gathers throughout the fabric until the length measures your elastic band.
9. Sew the fabric into a tube with the gathering stitch at the top.
10. Pin the skirt fabric, right side facing the elastic band, to the bottom of the elastic band and zig-zag stitch it in place. Make sure your skirt seam and your elastic band seam are matched up too!
11. Pin your tank top, wrong side out, at the upper portion of the elastic band and zig zag into place too. Making sure your tank top side seam is matching the elastic band/skirt seam too!!
12. Flip your dress right side out and try it on to see where you would like the bottom hem to fall. Then just cut your fabric and hem it in place and you, my friends, are all done!
Isn’t this such a fabulous upcycle of a boring old tank top? And the best thing about this dress is that you can totally wear it after the baby is born too…I can’t wait to get mine out again once summer weather is here!
Visit me at Smashed Peas and Carrots!