Sewing

Knocked Up: The Multi-Purpose dress of blahness

First off, I’m 27 weeks today.  Woot!  13ish to go.

After a couple of tops, I’ve finally made a maternity dress!  A maternity dress that also is supposed to conveniently double as a nursing dress, thus the post title.  It’s Simplicity 1469, AKA Megan Nielsen’s nursing top:

Simplicity 1469

I think it will get some wear, but I’m not overly excited about how it turned out.  It feels…blah.

Simplicity 1469First things first:  the fabric.  I mentioned in my planning post that I bought this at a “coupon” (only pre-measured cuts of fabric are sold) fabric shop in Paris on our honeymoon.  I’m unsure of the exact fiber content, but I’m guessing it’s cotton with possibly a bit of poly and definitely some spandex.  It was CHEAP, and honestly, it shows (you can see right through it if you stretch it enough!).  LOL.  And all I can think now is:  WHY DID I BUY CHEAPASS FABRIC WHEN WE ONLY TOOK BACKPACKS FOR LUGGAGE ON OUR HONEYMOON?  The space this fabric took up was worth its weight in gold.  Though, I know the answer:  I bought cheapass fabric because I’m a cheapass.  Yup.  Le sigh.

Simplicity 1469

So unflattering, but it was windy and the best back shot.

Anywho, my fabric was only about 40″ wide, and I ended up effectively using the whole 3 meters.  I say effectively because I cannot see myself wanting to make anything out of the 1/3 (1/2?) yard that is left.

Simplicity 1469As for the pattern:  I agonized over whether I should make a small or a medium.  The finished bust measurement for the small just seemed like too much negative ease, and I thought about using smaller seam allowances, but decided against them.  I made a medium.  Bad choice.

And in hindsight I knew it would be a bad choice when I realized with the wrap top I made, also a Megan Nielsen for Simplicity pattern, was really too wide across my back.  Oops.

Simplicity 1469So, I cut a medium with no alterations and sewed ‘er on up, and this dress was HUGE on me.  Mr. 5 told me I would grow into it.  I sure fucking hope not!  In an effort to make it fit in some manner, I decided to just take it in on the sides and in the sleeves (and ended up doing so to the tune of about 4″ total!  DANG!); if I had done it right, I would’ve removed the sleeves and made the shoulders and upper chest fit as well.  It looks pretty funky up yonder as is, but I feel like it’s sort of passable and I will wear it some.

Simplicity 1469And because the fabric is so thin, you can see the nursing access, which I coverstitched, through the dress.  This was even true when it was in its huge state.  Sad.

Simplicity 1469So, not a total win, but a learning experience.  I am making it in top form for PR’s Wardrobe Contest, and these are the changes I’ll be making:

1.  Cutting a small instead of a medium

2.  Only serging the inner part of the nursing access panel so it hopefully will not show through as much

3.  Reinforcing the neckline so it doesn’t completely stretch out over time (but is still able to stretch as it needs to).  I can already see with the dress that it’s going to look horrible if I actually try to use it to nurse.  I’m thinking about threading elastic through the small space left between the coverstitching and neckline OR sewing it on whilst coverstitching.  What do you guys think of these ideas?  What have you done that has worked well?

With these changes, I’m confident that my next one should work out pretty well!  I also wanted to add that I’m surprised at how well this dress fits my bust (which, I don’t even know how big it is now…it’s just kind of scary) without an FBA.  So, that’s a definite plus in my book!

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19 thoughts on “Knocked Up: The Multi-Purpose dress of blahness”

  1. But you know, this dress looks great on you – really great!!
    Hope all is going well in the pregnancy. Can you believe we are both so close to the end!? Very exciting.

  2. At least you look pregnant and not fat…..I hated the bit when I just looked liked I’d just gone crazy in a cake shop! You look fab! And even though the fabric cheap it looks good and you spend more after with clothes you’ll wear for longer. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

  3. This is why I never (EVER, EVER!!) sew from Simplicity, McCalls, etc. Burda and Jalie have such consistent sizeing. Once you go there, you never go back.

    I think your dress looks cute though.

    1. Thanks!

      I am forever allured by the variety and cost effectiveness of Big 4 patterns..even though I know they are often a bitch to work with.

      I really love Jalie (though not a huge fan of their maternity/nursing stuff) and have been pleased with the Burdas I’ve made. I can totally see why you stick with them instead of having to guess and measure and obsess every time.

  4. You have a great useful dress for your pregnancy months and that is the main thing. It looks really nice but the fabric does look like it might pill. Maybe that is just the photo.

  5. LOL at your reaction to Mr. 5’s well-meaning “grow into it” comment! (And okay, I also laughed at the scary unknown boob size comment…) I hope you are able to get a little wear out of this, even if it’s just as a “beater” maternity/nursing dress that you don’t care about keeping around for very long. Congrats on hitting 27 weeks!!

  6. I also always end up buying cheap fabric that I could have gotten anywhere when I’m on vacation, then lament, why did I take up so much room in my suitcase with this junk?
    Anyway, as far as the neckline finish, on any crossover or wrap neckline I always always zigzag clear elastic to the wrong side of the edge first, then fold it under and coverstitch. It makes a super firm neckline without much extra effort.

    1. Right???

      Yes, I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I kept mulling it over and thought that could be a good solution, but your recommendation has cemented my resolve! Thanks, lady!

  7. It is probably big on your back because you look like you are carrying baby all in the front; you don’t even look pregnant from the back :)
    Regardless, the dress does look great, even if the fabric is crap. And sadly you probably will grow into it a bit yet ;-)

    1. Yeah, I imagine I will grow into it a tad, but hopefully mostly in the belly (and maybe some up top). He was thinking my ribcage was going to expand enough to make 4″ of extra dress work. :P

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