Maternity Geo Dress: 30 Days of Sundresses

GeoDress1

It’s June!  Can you believe it?  Summer is upon us and that means it’s time to bust out the sundresses.  Melissa from Melly Sews is running her series, (30) Days of Sundresses, for the second time.   All month – 30 sundresses!  For girls and women – it’s really quite fun!

Last year I made a beach maxi for my sister (and a matching dress for my daughter), and this time I decided to try make something for me!  I’m not sure why but I’ve been really motivated to make clothes for myself recently.  I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy and the fact that I don’t fit into my clothes anymore and the selection at stores seems so limited, or maybe because Yuki refuses to wear anything but t-shirts and sweat pants and that seems boring to me, but I have all these ideas and a sudden urge to try sewing for me!  I’ve already made 4 things already and I have plans for a handful more, so this dress is just the start of a lot of maternity wear up in here!

GeoDress4

So I made a knit dress that was inspired by this dress from Old Navy . . .

Dress by Old Navy (no longer available) via ChildMODE

I wanted to try and make a floral neckline like the original version, but I didn’t have any fabric that was suitable, and I didn’t feel like painting any at the time.  So I just picked some fun fabric from my stash, On Point in Golden from the Cloud 9 Simpatico line, to add the accented neckline.

GeoDress22

So the dress is made to fit and flatter a pregnant body, but I’m guessing this could look good on other body types too, especially if you lower the waistline.  I’d love to see some non-maternity versions of this dress too!

Alright, so you ready to start?

What you’ll need:

  • 2 yards of knit fabric
  • a scrap or fat quarter of accent fabric
  • paper backed (double sided) fusible web (I use Pellon 805 Wonder-Under)
  • 1/4 inch elastic (about 14 inches)

First you need to draft your pattern for the bodice.  So find a knit top that fits well, not too tight, but not baggy either.  I used a combination of Kristin’s free Scoop Top pattern and a tank top of my own.  Measure where you want the bodice to hit and add 1/2 an inch to the bottom.

GeoDress5

To draft the accent neckline, place your front bodice on a piece of paper and trace the neckline, shoulder seam and half of the arm hole (see picture on the left).  Remove the bodice pattern piece and decide how wide or what shape you want your accent neckline to be.  I made mine a solid 2.5 inches around.  Then add a 1/4 inch along the bottom of the curve for folding under.

GeoDress6

Cut out your dress pieces – one front bodice piece on the fold, one back bodice piece on the fold and the accent neckline on the fold.

GeoDress7

You’ll also need to cut a piece of fusible web from the neckline pattern piece, but without the added 1/4 inch along the bottom curve.

For your skirt, you’ll want 2 pieces of fabric – the length will be determined by the measurement from the bottom of the bodice to the desired length.  Make sure to add about 2 inches for hemming and seam allowance.  I cut my skirt at a slight A-line, the top of the skirt pieces should be about the same width as the bottom of your bodice.

GeoDress8

You’ll also need long strips of your main fabric to finish the armholes and neckline.  Cut strips that are 2 inches wide and make sure you cut them in the direction in which the fabric stretches.  I like to cut them as long as I can and then trim them down later, but for rough estimates, I ended up needing two strips that were 2″ x 15″ for the armholes and one strip that was 2″ x 28″.  Cut them a few inches longer at least to make sure you have enough.

Fuse the fusible web to the wrong side of the accent neckline lining up the shoulder seams and neckline (the bottom curve will have a 1/4 inch without fusible web).

GeoDress9Remove the paper backing.  And here’s a trick I learned from sewing from Oliver + S patterns . . . Sew a basting stitch along the bottom 1/4 inch seam allowance.

GeoDress10

Press the curve towards the wrong side along the basting stitch.  Remove the basting stitch.  Fuse the neckline to your front bodice piece following the fusible web directions and sew along the bottom curve close to the edge.

GeoDress11

Next we’re going to attach the elastic to the bottom of the bodice pieces.  Cut your elastic into two 7 inch strips (approximately).  Find the center of the front bodice and pin or baste the center of the elastic strip on the wrong side of the fabric along the bottom edge of the bodice.  Because this elastic will be part of the seam allowance, I placed elastic close to the bottom of the bodice.

GeoDress12

Sew the elastic to the bottom of the bodice with a zig zag stitch stretching the elastic as much as you can, but being careful not to stretch the knit fabric.

GeoDress13

It should look like this on the wrong side . . .

GeoDress14

And like this on the right side . . .

GeoDress15

Repeat with the back bodice piece.

To attach the bodice to the skirt, line up the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt with right sides together.  I didn’t photograph this part, so I hope this makes sense.  As you sew the pieces together, I like to use the slanted zig zag stitch because it allows for stretch.

GeoDress16

When you sew the bodice and skirt together, pull the elastic section of the bodice tightly without pulling the skirt piece so that it’ll gather.  The elastic should be within the seam allowance so that it won’t be visible on the finished dress.  So right along the inner edge of the elastic.  The sections on either side of the elastic should be sewn without stretching any fabric.  When finished it should look like this . . .

GeoDress17

Repeat with the back side of the dress, sewing the back bodice and skirt pieces together the same way.

Place the front and back right sides together and pin and sew the shoulder seams and the side seams of the dress.

To finish your armholes and neckline, you’ll need your 2″ strips of fabric.  To measure the length you need, leave 1/2 an inch for seam allowance and then pin the strip to the armhole.  Slightly stretch the strip as you go around the entire armhole and leave another 1/2 an inch for seam allowance when you get back to where you started.  It’s important to stretch it slightly because you don’t want a loose, baggy or limp finishing, it should be slightly smaller than the armhole to create a finished band that hugs your body.  Once you’ve found the length you need, trim off any access and remove the strip from the armhole.  Sew the short edges right sides together with a 1/2 an inch seam allowance to create a circle.

GeoDress18

Press that seam open, then fold the loop in half lengthwise wrong sides together, so that raw edges should line up and the seam allowance is hidden inside.  Press.

GeoDress19

With the dress right side out, pin together the raw edges of the armhole finishing with the armhole.  Start by lining up the seams and pin all the way around stretching the band slightly and evenly as you pin.

GeoDress20

Sew along the raw edge using the slanted zig zag stitch.  Finish edges if desired.  Press well and top stitch, again, if desired.

Repeat with other armhole and neckline as well.

GeoDress21

Hem the dress and you’re done!!  With knits, I like to serge the edge and then fold it up once about an inch and sew close to the serged edge with either a double needle or the slanted zig zag stitch.  That way the hem doesn’t get too thick with a double fold.

GeoDress3

So here I am at 26 and a half weeks.  This is a very comfortable dress with a pop of fun, that I hope will take me through my entire pregnancy.

GeoDress2

Be sure to check out Melly Sews every day this month for a new sundress from these awesome bloggers:

And I hope you’re ready for more maternity wear starting next week because I’ve been busy sewing for me!
Wishing you a beautiful weekend . . .
GoTo Sew Kitschy Coo Occasionally Crafty Naptime Crafters Sew Country Chick You and Mie Flamingo Toes Googiemama Delia Creates Melly Sews The Mother Huddle sewVery Alida Makes Sugar Bee Crafts Seamingly Smitten Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! Sumo's Sweet Stuff Craftiness is Not Optional Elegance & Elephants Sew A Straight Line Kojo Designs Caila Made Family Ever After Mama Says Sew Simple Simon & Co. Little Kids Grow A Couple of Craft Addicts Image Map
About these ads

Little Hawaiian Dress

So here’s one from July when we went to Kauai.  Oh wait, did I tell you we went to Kauai back in July??  Well we did!  For a week.  And it was the best vacation EVER.  We hung out at the beach and ate fresh fruit ALL. DAY. LONG.  I mean, I don’t think it can get any better than that.  It was our first time going to Kauai and it was soooooo beautiful.  Truly truly gorgeous.

Anyways, my mom had brought me some fabric from Hawaii from one of her previous trips (her family is partially from Hawaii so she goes every year) and I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to use some of it.  I wanted to make her a little dress to wear on the beach so we could pretend she was a little Hawaiian girl (like a little Hawaiian girl would be wearing a dress like this, while her weirdo mom snapped a bunch of photos of her on the beach – yeah . . . not a tourist at all).

I liked this simple yellow fabric with leis on it – not too gaudy or over the top.

The construction of this dress is a little funky.  I made it right after I made my Washi in Blue and I was super pumped about my mad shirring skills, so I was determined to use them here for the bodice.  But then I decided I wanted to add a ruffle around the top too and that’s where it all got crazy.  If I had planned on doing the ruffle from the beginning, I probably would have just done a simple elastic casing, but since I didn’t really think it through, I tried to shir a bunch of ruffled layers together and let me tell you, it doesn’t work.  So that’s why the top of the dress is a bit wavy, but overall I got the little sundress I imagined.

Besides the shirred ruffled top of the dress, the body is a simple rectangle, with ties for straps.

This girl was in paradise.  I swear she could live on the beach and never leave.

And you know, I wasn’t complaining much either . . . :)

In more current news, I’m starting to nail down my to do list for KCWC.  I’m pretty excited about it, but I haven’t even gotten my fabric or done any prepping or cutting yet.  I am psyched to hit the thrift store and fabric store today for some material.  You getting ready?

Guest Posting at Melly Sews: 30 Days of Sundresses

Have you been following along the 30 Days of Sundresses on Melly Sews?  From June 1-30, there is a new sundress EVERY DAY, even Saturdays and Sundays.  That’s inspiration and tutorials for 30 different dresses!  For babies, kids and adults too.

Today I’m sharing my Braided Beach Maxi Dress modeled by my lovely sister.

It involves very little sewing and was so easy that I whipped up a matching one for Yuki!  But you’ll have to go over there if you want to see it :)

How are you doing?  Able to put it any beach time?  I am ITCHING for my summer vacation to start!!  Just one more week . . .