Hey everybody! I’m pretty excited to visit DIY maternity today and to share with you this fun little dress. If there’s one thing that really rocks my world, it’s making my own clothing, and this time round the 9 month stretch (it’s my third round), it’s been nothing but a big belly and big fun. One of my favorite things to do is go shopping for ideas around the internet, and then recreate something fabulous for cheapo. I spied this beauty a few weeks ago and thought it would make a great dress.
-3 yards of 55” or 60” knit (jersey or interlock)
-serger or sewing machine with an overlock stitch (the overlock stitch isn’t necessary, but very convenient)
-1/2 yard lightweight fusible knit interfacing (cut on the bias into ½” strips—you’ll have lots left over)
-stretch or ball point needle
–printable pdf pattern included
-4 ½” of ½” wide elastic
Get your sew on:
1. Choose your size:
S/M = 36-40 bust (my best estimate—I think it would work for smaller)
M/L=40-42 bust (my best estimate—I think it would work for larger)
2. Trace your pattern and cut:
TARpattern (it’s 4 pages; tape it together, overlapping the pages about 3/8’s of an inch and matching up lines. See the key for a guide).
Use tracing paper to trace your size (I use medical exam table paper found at a medical supply store). Trace pieces A, B, and C.
From your fabric,
Cut 2 of piece A Front Bodice
Cut 1 of piece B Back Bodice (on the fold)
Cut 2 of piece C Fitted Sleeve
Cut 2 rectangles measuring 12” X 20” (neck panels)
Cut 4 rectangles measuring 23” X 5” (2 twist bands)
Also cut your front & back skirt panels based on your chosen size, using the diagrams below.
*All seam allowances are ½” unless otherwise indicated.
*use an overlock or slight zigzag stitch to accommodate the stretch of the fabric.
1. With right sides together (RST), sew back bodice to back skirt.
Pin elastic where indicated on bodice back pattern piece; pin it right along the seam line.
While stretching the elastic out over the full distance between the pins, zig zag over it, backstitching at the beginning and end.
2. Sew left and right front bodice pieces to back bodice at shoulder seams, RST, making sure they are facing the right direction (see photo).
3. Sew the two neck panels together RST at short ends, and then fold WST lengthwise. Align neck panel center seam and raw edges to the RIGHT side of center bodice back. Pin along the neck and down the front on either side. Sew using an overlock stitch and scant seam allowance (allowing the needle to go off the right edge of the fabric). Trim excess panel length along bodice bottom.
4. Baste along bottom edge of neck panels, aligning the two side-by-side at middle point and sewing from one edge to the other. Pull the bobbin threads of basting to gather until the distance of both neck panels equals 3.5”.
5. Find the center point of the top edge of front skirt panel, and mark with a pin. Measure 5.5” to either side and mark. Take center pin out and you should have a distance of 11” between marks. Baste 2 rows between marks, the first with a ¼” seam allowance, and the second with a ½”. Backstitch at the beginning, but not the end (leave your threads long).
6. With RST, pin bodice front to skirt front panel, beginning on outside edges—pin toward center until you reach basting rows on each side (there will be a longer length of fabric for skirt between pins). Pull basting thread until the skirt fits the front bodice. Baste and then sew.
7. Hem and attach sleeves: apply a ½” strip of soft fusible knit interfacing cut along the bias to the wrong side of the bottom sleeve edge. Fold under (enclosing the interfacing) and stitch with a straight stitch or a double needle. *Important: stretch the fabric slightly as it feeds under the pressure foot; with the interfacing it will bounce back and add some give to prevent breakage. Also use a slightly longer stitch. Pin sleeves to sleeve opening, matching center point of sleeve to shoulder seam and pin well. Baste and then stitch.
8. Sew twist bands RST at sides using overlock stitch and scant seam allowance (allowing the needle to go off the right edge of the fabric). Flip right sides out and press if needed. Place the two twist bands one on top of another in an X. Take the ends of one band and pin together while you work with other. Check fit here: with the bands intertwined, hold across your ribcage between your bust and belly. They should reach your side seams comfortably and without slack, but not tightly. Trim if needed.
9. With the bands intertwined, place the right twist band on the right bodice side, arranging the two ends so they meet directly over the seam between the bodice and skirt. The panel ends should be placed flat, touching edge-to-edge, without any gathering. Also, the band should be folded on itself through the loop of the other band, so that the top end shows one side of the band, and the bottom end shows the other. Pin and then zigzag in place. Remove pins from other twist band and repeat on the other side. Double check fit of bands across the ribcage again by draping the front dress across yourself.
10. RST, pin front dress to back dress, matching underarm and bodice seams. Carefully avoid stretching the fabric at all to avoid uneven distribution and puckering. I find that a slight zig zag works best on side seams (if using a sewing machine). Check over all fit, and adjust if needed.
11. Hem bottom skirt edge using same method as sleeve hem.
Thank you so much to Miriam for this literally amazing tutorial. This is quite possibly the best maternity dress I’ve ever seen. I”m so in love with it! I can see this dress working perfectly as a nursing dress too, and even beyond that.
Please don’t forget to visit Miram’s blog MadMim, I promise you will inspired by all of the amazing maternity clothing she has been creating for herself.