Hi Maternity Sewists! I’m Lara, the blogger behind Lara Handmade. When I was pregnant, I focused on sewing patterns that worked for both pregnancy and postpartum and ones that required no pattern adjustments because I’m a #lazysewist. However, I had one maternity dress in mind that required two small adjustments to make it maternity (and postpartum/nursing) friendly. I wanted a special dress that I could wear for my baby shower and for maternity pictures. Enter the Fringe Blouse & Dress by Chalk & Notch in View A. The front button placket and gathered skirt makes for the perfect maternity dress that is also guaranteed to work postpartum!
I got the idea for a maternity Fringe dress from Alina’s post where she outlines the adjustments she made. At the time, I wasn’t pregnant but I knew that if/when I became so I would use her post to make my own. So a huge thank you to her for taking out all the guesswork!
Whenever I make the Fringe Dress, I make several (non-maternity) adjustments. I recommend making those before you make your maternity adjustments. For instance, I lower the front bust darts about ¾” and for this version I added about 1.5” inches to the skirt length.
Step 1 – Step 2: Cut the bodice pattern piece along the lengthen/shorten line. Determine how much length needs to be removed and shorten by that amount. I removed 1.5” from mine. This created the perfect empire waist, high enough for my growing bump. Make sure to do this for both the front and back bodices as well as the facing pieces!
Gabriela includes MUCH better visuals in her pattern on how to lengthen/shorten pattern pieces on page 7 of her Fringe tutorial.
Step 3: Smooth the lines of your shortened bodice pieces as well as the darts.
Step 4: Add the length you removed from the bodice to the top of the skirt pattern pieces (both front and back). Since I removed 1.5” inches from my bodice in Step 2, I added 1.5” to the top of the skirt pieces.
Guess what? That’s it! You’re ready to sew your Fringe Blouse/Dress as indicated by the pattern!
As Alina notes in her post, you could also remove the back darts if you want more room in the bodice. So definitely make a muslin of the bodice to determine if this would be most comfortable for you!
If you’ve purchased RTW maternity dresses, you may find that the front of the dress is slightly longer than the back to accommodate your growing bump. I chose not to do this because I wanted it to be wearable after I had my baby as well. It didn’t bother me that the dress ended up being a little shorter in the front as my bump grew.
Not only was this dress perfect for my baby shower, but also for work and date nights! Since my daughter has been born, I’ve worn the dress to my husband’s birthday dinner and I know it’ll continue to get lots of wear! It’s one of those dresses that makes me feel confident each time I wear it. That’s the best part of sewing your own clothes, right?!
Thanks to Lara for writing this tutorial so the already nursing and postpartum friendly Fringe Dress becomes maternity, nursing, AND postpartum friendly! If you’re not interested in doing your own pattern hacks we have plenty of other dresses in our shop that work for late maternity without any modifications.
Lara is the blogger behind Lara Handmade. She lives in the greater Houston area with her husband, daughter and two dogs. She has been sewing for almost four years and is always trying to find more time to fit in another project!