Retro Maternity Dress | Part 2: The Sewing
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
Pattern Problems and How I Worked Around Them
Some of my drafting for this pattern was sloppy, especially in the skirt area. I go over that in Part 1. As I only made a mock-up for the bodice yoke, this went totally unnoticed until I was cutting out my final dress pieces.
The skirt panels were far too narrow to fit for the duration of my pregnancy, and also could have been a few inches longer. I worked around this by adding some skirt “godets” to the side seams, but it would have been much better if I’d simply cut the skirt panels wider to begin with.
The button-placket also wasn’t the neatest, but more on that later.
Marathon of the Seam-Ripping
I made this dress during a marathon of video-filming, and I must have been drained. I made several careless, ‘duh!’ type mistakes. This included sewing the skirt seams the wrong way around so I had to pick out entire french seams, as well as sewing the top
edge of the collar together instead of the bottom. This particular fabric was so delicate, and my thread so strong, that picking out the seams took a long time and frayed the edges of the fabric. In the case of the collar, this became ‘fatal’. The fabric after all the seam ripping was so damaged that I had to cut an entirely new collar. I had run out of my main fabric, so I cut the collar out of white heavyweight linen leftover from my 18th Century Jumps project.
Finishing the Dress: Button-Placket Grief
Finishing the dress was tricky, mostly due to my clumsy attempt at a button placket. It ended up looking quite bulgy at the bottom, and this wasn’t helped by the fact that when I’d sewed the two front skirt panels together, they weren’t quite lined up. I sewed a couple tacking stitches on the inside of the dress to remedy the situation, but it still doesn’t look too great.
This dress could have been much nicer if I’d put more planning and precision into the button placket, and if the skirt had been a bit longer. It feels more like a long shirt than a dress. As it is, at the time of this writing, I am nearly at the end of my pregnancy, and a I have only worn this dress a few times and felt silly in it. This is partly due to the afore-mentioned mistakes, and partly due to the dress’s silhouette. I realized that I simply prefer a fit and flare silhouette, even in pregnancy. My 1950’s Style Maternity Dress is still my favourite outfit at nine months pregnant. Sometimes it takes trying something we don’t like to give ourselves permission to focus on what we do like.
What about you? Have you ever sewn a project that didn't feel like "you?" Let me know in the comments below!
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