Monday, September 15, 2014

A Simple "Maternitized" Ruched Knit Dress

I've been getting so much wear out of my V1314 Tracy Reese dresses (both the maternity one and the unaltered one which still just fits) that I decided to bang out one more, this time in a fun cotton jersey print from Fabric Mart.

I really like how this print has photographed. It really isn't that blue in real life. The print is black on an off white background with blue highlights, but here it looks brighter and crisper -  navy with a lot of blue.




I hadn't announced that I was pregnant when I posted the black version of this dress at about week 18. So, now at week 30, I thought I'd mention how I "maternitized" this pattern.

Most pregnancy growth is on the front of the body. So, really not much extra room is needed on the back, leaving just one piece of this dress to alter. Also, one of my pet peeves for maternity clothing is seams that pull to the front (like this). This can be avoided to a great extent by adding the needed room where the room is needed (ie: the front) and leaving the back pretty much alone.

When I first sewed this pattern - as a tunic - I had traced an 8 through the upper back and a 12 through the bust.  The bust was a little big then and I had to take it in. But now that my bust is a little fuller (thank you, Raspberry), it fits really well exactly how I had originally traced it. Also, it was a little big in the upper midriff - again perfect for pregnancy. So, the only other thing I needed to do was add some room to the front bumpage area. I added about 4 inches there just by grading out by 2 inches at each front side seam and then tapering back in below the hip. It's not a perfect way to alter a pattern, but it certainly worked well enough. Since it's a ruched dress, I simply eased any extra front length into the seam.

Ruching is a pregnant figure's best friend. If I was altering a non-ruched pattern to accommodate a growing belly, I would also add some length to the center front, like I did with this dress (yes, that dipped front hem was a strategic decision). But thanks to the ruching, there is enough fabric to go over the belly without pulling up the hem in the front.

I should probably add that this dress is designed with a lining, which is not ruched, but I have omitted it on every version. Since I want the ruching to be able to spread out over the bump, it would be counter-productive in a maternity garment, I think.

Anyway, here it is styled for work.

The color is more accurate in this shot. 
After taking this photo, I went back to the Craft Lounge and took about 2-3 inches off the hem so it hits at the knee and not below. I've been leaving my hems a little longer in general these days; it's a luxury when you are tall! But I think I've probably swung too far toward modest. So, up goes the hem.

Anyway, I had a tough time accessorizing this dress. None of my necklaces looked right.  They all sort of got lost with the print or were too jarring a contrast. So, I threw on a black fly away sweater with a belt with a silver buckle and added silver accented flats and earrings.

How would you accessorize this busy dress if it was yours (either with or without bump)?

17 comments:

Clio said...

Love this dress! (And congrats! Don't think I've sent my best wishes along yet!) And the cardigan/belt pairing is perfect! You look awesome! Big ups for making your own maternity wear. I'd be too intimidated to give it a try! Of course, you are a pro, though!

Clio said...

I think the dress and what you've put with it is perfect!! Looks amazing on you!!

Clio said...

im loving your versions of fashion maternity wear!

Clio said...

You're on a roll with completed sewing projects! I usually just wear earrings as an accessory so I'm not much help with suggestions, but I do like how you styled it.

Clio said...

It's calling for a contrast scarf - like something wild (but still complementary). Adorable dress!

Clio said...

Oh! Now that's an idea I hadn't thought of!

Clio said...

Thanks!! Honestly, one maternity shopping trip and you'd be giving yourself more credit and thinking about sewing your own too!

Clio said...

I really am! Since I'm not really obsessing about fit and for the most part just sewing easy knits, I'm finding that my sewing speed has really picked up!

Clio said...

looking great. love the dress. so perfect for the maternity wear.

Clio said...

Awesome! You are totally rocking the maternity wear. I think your styling is perfect. I've realized that any time I'm feeling ambiguous about a dress I've sewn I typically "fix" it with a belt and a cardigan, and then I love it. So I say go with your instincts - they seem to be working well for you!

Clio said...

I love blue and black together! You accessorized beautifully already. But since you are looking for new ideas, i personally am a proponent of strong contrast. So to mix things up, I would add something with strong, angular lines, and it would be yellow. Something like one of these:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/122565439/chevron-necklace-wood-painted?

https://www.etsy.com/listing/127364321/geometric-necklace-yellow-turquoise-navy

Clio said...

yeah, I was thinking that yellow or gold would be good.

Clio said...

Not being much a print person it takes me a while to respond...

Do love your office outfit styling. Maybe thick black belt a la Ruched Skirt 2.0 & black pump might be another office candidate?

And like Erin, I also like the idea of contrast, even though you already indicated too jarring a contrast isn't your cup of tea. Obviously you have to style it the way you feel comfortable in. But indulge me a moment & I'd put you in this with a red pop of color for accent. Maybe a red collar style necklace like the turquoise one in the Ruched Skirt 2.0 outfit with red clutch.

BTW when are you releasing Clio paper doll for us stylist wannabes to practice on? ;-)

Clio said...

I'm late to the party but Congratulations! I love this dress--very maternity chic.

Clio said...

Thanks!

Clio said...

You know, I hadn't thought about red. It was more my metallic necklaces that were too jarring because they were too big, not the right shape, etc. But red could be quite good with this outfit!

Clio said...

Such a stylish and sophisticated lady! Love the belt. I'm the worst with accessories. I usually don't even try.