Hot! The ‘oops I’ve made a maternity frock’ dress

 The Facts:

Fabric: Black poly/rayon/spandex suiting for outer bodice, scrap cotton voille for bodice lining, thrifted printed poly for skirt and thrifted beige poly for skirt lining
Pattern: Butterick 5486
Year: modern
Notions: New invisible zipper
Time to complete: 10 hours
First worn: Just for these photos
Wear again? Yes… with a belt now… and maybe sometime in the future as an actual maternity dress. lol

Total price: $8.10

This UFO is rather recent. In fact, it was never really abandoned… I’ve just taken forever to finish it. Where my time is going at the moment.. I have no idea! If anyone finds it lazing around somewhere, please kick it in the behind and send it home to me.

I have only a handful of new patterns amid a mountain of vintage ones, so I was surprised to find that I had one of the suggested MTL patterns. I’m also surprised that my only two posts of the year thus far, are using modern patterns.

Pattern in hand, I went shopping in the stash (I really really need to destash this year) to find a match for the ‘night and day’ dress. I found the only widely spaced floral on a pale ground was a swooshy polyester (so I ditched the bottom ruffle.. I thought it would be wierd). And.. as luck would have it, I had a piece of equally drapey polyester in beige with was a perfect lining match. The only black I had was a shiny stretch suiting. I even had a scrap of black shapewell to interface the straps, and some teeny scraps of cotton to line the bodice. (In this climate,anything but cotton that close to my skin is.. well.. kinda gross.)

I made a toile of the bodice and discovered that Butterick has included way way too much ease. I started with the size that matched my bust measurement and had to take out 8cm! (and could have taken out a few more) That’s 2 sizes worth… and in my mind, ridiculous. I’ve never come accross this much ease in older patterns.

I liked the overall shape of the bodice, but I found that the waistline looked really high.. way higher than the illustration on the front of the pattern. But not wanting to make another toile, I decided to run with it. You know.. try new things and all. Big Oops. Not so flattering on me and I wish I’d added 5cm to the length of the bodice. Luckily I have some wide belts in the wardrobe. I’m trying to look on the bright side though, so.. with such a high waist and still too much ease in the bodice, next time I go down the maternity road I’ll be ready with a pretty dress.


Casey Sew

Casey Sew joined the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle in 2011 and completed 38 challenges. Casey learned to sew first from her mother, and then during an Advanced Diploma of Fashion course she completed 10 years ago. Her sewing supplies are generally thrifted or vintage passed on by family.


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  1. I think it looks very stylish and unique! Especially for next to nothing…

    • Thanks Diane! That’s me.. I’m the next to nothing gal! I’m trying to avoid fabric stores all together this year and get through the stash. (Actually my biggest problem is staying out of the op shops!)

  2. Very pretty. And you’re right, a belt will do the trick until you need to accommodate a bump again.

  3. It’s great, The bodice is lovely on you – front and back especially. Good to see your sewing Casey. x

    • Thanks Trish.. I bought the pattern because I thought the bodice did look like a flattering shape. The straps are fabulous! (A very odd shape to look at lying flat though)

  4. I was hoping someone would make that pattern. I love how the bodice turned out. It’s lovely on you and doesn’t at all look like there’s a bun in your oven.

    • Thank you so much for saying so. (though I am pretty sure I could fit a whole 9 months worth in there! lol)

  5. Very cute! I’ve made this pattern before and the bodice IS very short. I abandoned mine and never returned though. This dress is adorable on you. The neckline is very flattering to you.

    • Thanks Clarissa, I hope you’ll go back to yours. Maybe add a waistband. (Something I thought of but abandoned for the sake of laziness. hehe)

  6. So nice to see you post Casey! You always have good analysis. I have this pattern in my stash so it’s good to know the bodice has too much ease and it’s too short. I love the color combo of your dress!

  7. I never would have thought to get that pattern until I saw your dress. Cute! The bodice is great. I love the fabric combo.

    • It really is just about the bodice. The skirt in the pattern is just two rectangles! (always makes me feel slightly gipped. lol)

  8. I like the black against the lighter, more relaxed skirt fabric. Beautifully made.
    I too have to remember to add to the length of a bodice else I would end up with a number of maternity dresses.

    • Thanks Jen! I saw your waistband fix. Genius. I so should have done that. My dress is giving me mixed messages when wearing. Sometimes I feel pregnant and other times like I’m a ballerina… and should be gracefully leaping and running accross a stage. bizzare. (could be the swooshy fabric)

  9. One of my refashions for the end of the month suffers from the same problem. Looks great from the front, but from the side it looks like I’m 4 or 5 months pregnant. Bleah. Oh well. Live and learn.

    • Oh the dreaded side view. I have learnt my lesson now. All dresses must finish at the narrowest part of my waist and not at the widest part of my ribs!

  10. I think it looks really good on you! I have the same worry in clothing but I always think it looks good on everyone else, just not myself to have a high waist and full skirt.

  11. I think you look fantastic, and I definitely applaud you for having such fabulous fabrics in your stash! Yay for wide/fabric belts for fixing the fit! (I use fabric belts allllll the time)