Surprise Wrap Dress_resized

Surprise Wrap Dress

Have you ever finished a make and after trying it on though, “ugh, this makes me look pregnant!”? I have, a few times in fact, but now I have an excuse because I AM pregnant!

Surprise! Surprise Wrap Dress Image 1 Ok, maybe that wasn’t the best of segues but at 24 weeks and counting my wardrobe choices have taken a serious hit.

I lost two of my favourites, the Papercut La Sylphide (sadly now OOP) and Colette Rooibos of which I’ve made multiple versions, at around 19 weeks when baby decided to expand his residence upwards above my natural waist line. Surprise Wrap Dress Image 2 Surprise Wrap Dress Image 38 dresses down, let’s keep going…

My So Over It Betty dresses and Vogue 1353s are on their last weeks. They’ve lasted a little longer due to the slightly higher waists and full skirts. Surprise Wrap Dress Image 4That’s 5 more gone! What’s left?

So I’m down to my Pauline Alice Cami Dress, which is lasting only because it too has a high waist, gathered skirt and it was too big for me anyway, Kitschy Coo Lady Skater (yay for stretchy merino) and Papercut Clover dress which is great worn with a high belt. I only ever made one each of these dresses. Surprise Wrap Dress Image 5 Well that’s clearly not going to cut it is it? I need some new dresses ASAP!

I’m not a huge fan of maternity specific patterns. Sewing new outfits is a big effort for me and I don’t want to have to shelve them come December after baby arrives so I’m on the lookout for patterns that will still suit me postpartum and beyond, maybe with a few modifications.

Let’s take a dive through my pattern stash!

So as well as making another Lady Skater and Clover dress my short list is:

Republic du Chiffon Violette Dress – Victory Patterns Simon Dress/Top  ⁣- Papercut Saiph Tunic

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Victory Patterns Hannah DressSew House Seven Tea House Top and Dress
Milan AV-JC Zero Waste Brumer Wrap Dress

I’ve also bought two maternity specific patterns because stretchy fabric is life right now and also they look so cute and fast to make:

Surprise Wrap Dress Image 7Deer & Doe Givre Maternity version – Megan Nielsen Erin Maternity Skirt

With so many baby things being quickly added to my sewing queue I’m unlikely to get to all of these but dream-sewing alongside real-sewing is a fun way to pass the weeks.

For my first experiment into Maternity-But-Not-Really-Sewing I’m going with a wrap dress that’s been on my to-sew list for ages. It’s a vintage pattern, Vogue #1679 Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress⁣⁣. This pattern is single sized, unfortunately one size too big for me, but with the general overall body expansion I decided to sew it as drafted and see how it turned out. Later I can grade this pattern down a smaller size or two. Surprise Wrap Dress Image 8 Surprise Wrap Dress Image 9It did turn out a tiny bit big for me but it’s been a while since I sewed from a vintage pattern and I really enjoyed it.

This dress is really well finished with full length interfacing on the bodice and skirt edges, full length facings, lots of stay stitching (I used fusible stay tape instead) and beautiful clear instructions.

Surprise Wrap Dress Image 10 Trying my best to match up the stripes!Surprise Wrap Dress Image 11Stay Tape along the top edge of skirt
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Left: Can you see my centre back seam?
Right: Setting in sleeves with the Many Many Pins technique

I only made two changes from the instructions: No hand stitching for the wrap pass through, you won’t see it (covered by the wrap ties), I decided to topstitch for strength. And I continued the edge stitching from the bodice right down the skirt.

Surprise Wrap Dress Image 13 Let’s see how it turned out:

Surprise Wrap Dress Image 14 The front wrap has great coverage, crossing right over to the opposite side seam. Great on a windy photo day! Surprise Wrap Dress Image 15 I spent a lot of time while laying out this pattern to get good stripe matching and no twinning on the bodice. I think I did pretty well, the stripes continue up seamlessly.
Surprise Wrap Dress Image 16 Surprise Wrap Dress Image 17 Inside out you can see the nice wide facings, all under-stitched, interfaced, and stay taped so that they lie against the body really nicely and won’t stretch out. I only overlocked the edge of the facing (in magenta of course!), all other seams are left unfinished. This fabric won’t fray and it makes for a nice soft interior.
Surprise Wrap Dress Image 18 The extra finishing steps were really worth it to help this dress last as long as possible and make it comfortable to wear. I really enjoyed sewing this one and I definitely see a couple more in the future. Stretchy fabrics and I are best friends right now! 

Have you sewn from a vintage pattern lately? What other maternity-but-not-really patterns have you tried?

Happy Sewing! 🙂