The “Garden Tour” Dress- Maternity Style
Fabric: Twirls in the Woods by Art Gallery Fabrics from my shop, $20; Polka-Dot Charmeuse for lining, $15; Satin for sash, $6.
Pattern: Simplicity 2145, $.99.
Notions: Just thread. It passed the Mena test, so no zip needed!
Time to complete: 8-10 hours? I didn’t keep very good track.
First worn: January 2012- just for photos so far.
Wear again? Yes! For the next month (maybe less), and then again after some post-partum alterations.
Total price: Approximately $42.
I’ve had this dress on my mind since Mena first posted it on Make This Look, so when I saw the theme for the challenge this week I knew right away that I wanted to attempt to do just that. I have a similar fabric in my shop with the same feel and the same brown and coral tones, and I even had the pattern that Mena suggested, Butterick 5030 in my pattern stash already. It felt like fate was in charge and I just needed to cut out and line up the pieces and make a killer dress. Obviously, there was just one (rather sizable) thing in my way- my eight-months pregnant belly! While the inspiration dress is designed with a sash that ties around the natural waist, and given that I have no waist to speak of these days, I trusted that it would still work just as well as an empire style. I set out to make some alterations to the pattern to fit my current shape, and that’s about the time that everything started to go horribly wrong.
See, it turns out that I’m not really qualified to make the kind of alterations that were necessary to make Butterick 5030 into a maternity dress, and I have three bodice muslins in my sewing room trash can to prove it. I considered moving on, and using my time to do something a little more productive, (like I don’t know- maybe prep for the baby who’s going to be joining our family in one month or less?!) but I’ve been down this particular garden path before. I’m fully aware that this time next month I will have ZERO time in my schedule for sewing, so I felt like I needed to embrace the moments that I have and figure out a way to make this look work already!
Luckily, it was $.99 Simplicity sale days at JoAnn, so I headed out in search of an empire waist pattern that fit the style of the inspiration. I found one in Simplicity 2145, a Project Runway pattern with a crossover bodice that looked like just the thing I needed. I made up yet another muslin, and confirmed my hunch. After that it was just a simple chop job on the sleeves, a few extra inches gathered into the skirt front, and we were in business. No, it’s certainly not as true to the inspiration as Mena’s rendition (nor am I as svelte and adorable as she is), but I did it! And I think it will just take a few minor alterations to make it work for me after baby comes too, assuming that I can find the time to make that happen.
I even found a perfect shade of watermelon polka-dot charmeuse, so I made a full lining and really took my time to make a beautiful dress on the inside too. Again, perhaps it wasn’t the best use of my time, but I feel good about the end result and who doesn’t love polka dots? It was worth every minute!