Sunday, 16 October 2011

Burda 6/2008 #108 - non maternity dress for the growing belly

Goodbye cold, hello fabled second trimester energy spurt! Well mostly, I still have an annoying cough and the odd feeling of morning sickness now and then, but on the whole am feeling a million times better and have managed to get quite a lot done in the past few days.

First of my recently finished projects is this dress that just yesterday I finished hand sewing all the buttons (my button foot is broken, sigh) and wore today to my mum's birthday lunch:


It's made from Burda 6/2008 #108, which is a shirt dress with gathers at the waistline and the back:














It's not a maternity pattern, and nor does it appear to be overly potato sack like, but all I had to do to make it fit was to grade out from a size 36 at the bustline to a size 42 at the waistline and raise those gathers a little from just above the natural waistline to instead just under the bust to make an empire line.  And while it drapes nicely now over my four month bump:


it also has ample room to grow into as this gust of wind helpfully demonstrates:


The pattern calls for a self fabric encased elastic waistband from those darts in the front wrapping around to the darts in the back, but I left that off to make it easier to remove the darts one by one if needed due to belly expansion.  In fact I originally wanted to do a few lines of shirring in place of those darts so that it would stretch, but I just could not get my sewing machine to shirr which was annoying.  According to my google research a lot of people have trouble getting their Brother sewing machines to shirr, but even following this You Tube tutorial which describes adjusting the bobbin casing tension I still couldn't make mine work.  In fact all I achieved was to ruin the factory seal on my bobbin casing and I still can't get the tension back to how it was before I fiddled with it. 

I love this fabric, not only because it's grey but I like the subtle pattern and the crispness of the cotton.  I bought it from Spotlight maybe two years ago for no particular project but just because I like it, so I'm glad I finally found a worthy use for it.  And I'm not the only one either - after I posted a photo of the fabric on this post a little while back Claire emailed me to ask where I had purchased it from since she had been searching for it to replicate a H&M top she used to own which was made from the exact same print.

Anyway this was a super easy pattern and I can guarantee you will see another version of it since I bought some linen blend fabric last week to make another, and I will possibly make a shirt length version of it too.  It has raglan sleeves which makes construction quicker and easier, and I followed the David Coffin book for the shirt collar and stand (helpfully illustrated in this tutorial by Sigrid).  I especially love how the darts in front result in graceful folds in the skirt which isn't something apparent from the Burda model photo but is probably because I made the skirt wider from the bust down than the pattern is designed for.


Even the darts in the back deal with my swayback issue nicely without any pattern fiddling:


I should introduce you to my sewing friend, a display mannequin that comes with a detachable maternity belly that I bought for a bargain price on ebay a while back:


For the last year she's been standing naked in a corner of my sewing room, but is now certain to come in handy!

14 comments:

  1. What a great looking dress.

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  2. That looks great on you, the fabric is lovely. Perfect to wear in the months to come.

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  3. Gorgeous dress and very nice maternity alterations. Sigh - I bought so many patterns and material for my pregnancy and never sewed a lick. lol. Bravo to you.

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  4. Fabulous maternity dress. It would never have occured to me to have used this pattern for maternity - your changes work out perfectly.

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  5. I love the way you are converting regular patterns into maternity fashion. It probably wouldn't be too much of a struggle to refit them when you go back to work post baby.

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  6. Crisp cotton in a lovely print. What a sharp looking maternity dress. Well done!

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  7. Your maternity dummy is both hilarious and useful. I had no idea you could get a detachable pregnancy tummy for a dummy. The dress is lovely and it will look stylish in black too.

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  8. you`ll be the best dressed pregnant lady around - cute bump too.

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  9. Very nice fabric and the dress! looks like RTW!Good job!

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  10. I like the dress very much. Suits your no- nonsence style nicely.

    Ummm... would you like me to draft quickly a " how to " alter normal patterns to maternity version?
    It seriously is such a fast no- brainer and with your mileage behind sewing machine, you´ll be able to transfer purdy much whichever pattern you already have to a maternity version.

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  11. Great fabric - great dress - and a great eBay find with the dummy plus belly!!

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  12. The fabric is fabulous - may I enquire as to where you acquired it?

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  13. Ah, the dress looks fab in the print fabric :)

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