Recently I decided to try to make a maternity-style dress, with the challenges of being able to accommodate different sizes and shapes that a body does during pregnancy. Since different people also carry differently (like high vs. low), the dress does end up being somewhat personalized (such as shoulder-to-waist length), but is much more flexible in sizing than the typical Civil War era dress, especially in the waist. This dress presented some interesting challenges. In the captions I will note some of the issues I encountered with the final product and possible solutions I could implement.
– Type: Maternity dress, 1860s-style. Long sleeved, day wear.
– Date made: February 2016
– Pattern: self-drafted, based loosely on the pattern my friend Karen drafted for me, and on resources I read on thesewingacademy.org about how maternity dresses were made.
– Fabric/Materials: A heavy fabric I found at goodwill. Possibly meant for drapery and upholstery, this is actually slightly heavier than I’d normally use for a dress, but still light enough that I dared. Quite stiff.
– Trim: Cotton collar and cuffs.
– Time to finish: A few days?
Unfortunately I didn’t get many in-progress pictures as I made it, but I have some detail shots and finished-product pictures, so I’ll share those!
|The fabric. The geometric pattern is good for Civil War era, but the swirly background is modern…|
|Sharpie for scale 🙂|
|The dress, part way done. Note the pins marking where I’ll be putting buttons!
The waist is also bigger than usual, with an 8″ overlap. I can change it to match the size needed, just by moving the hooks that close the waistband.
|Seated, with hoops (no corset). While a gestational corset could certainly be used, I did not have one to work with. But since the bodice front is made to be more roomy anyway, the shifted and less structured body works beneath it.|
|I also made a new narrow collar and white cuffs. Not perfect, but they work. The cuffs should be rotated more toward the back, but otherwise worked pretty well.|
Most sincerely yours,