2 May 2018

Three Maternity Joni Dresses

Tilly's maternity Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

Not long after I started writing my second book Stretch! I became pregnant. The contents had already been drawn up and the garment patterns were already in production, so it's lucky that the topic was stretchy fabrics so at least some of the samples could grow with me!

The Joni dress quickly became my favourite dress as, even though it's not designed specifically as maternity wear, the empire waistline and flared skirt make it wearable with a growing bump. I could throw it on and look put together while feeling extremely comfortable at the same time. I always think empire waistlines are flattering on non-pregnant people as they allow skirt fabric to skim over squishy tummies if you prefer jaffa cakes to sit-ups (ahem). If there's a baby bump there too, the waist seam accentuates the narrowest point of your torso, while the twist front bodice shows off baby-mama boobs.

Tilly's maternity Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's maternity Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

This is me swanning (waddling) around Venice for my partner's birthday. Both the black and red stripe dresses are made in lightweight viscose jersey, which has a lovely drape that works really nicely with the swishy skirt.

Tilly's maternity Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

My book publishers were pressing me to be one of the models in Stretch! - but by the time of the fashion shoots I would be more than 7 months' pregnant, so I wasn't sure how that was going to work! (Note I'm conveniently sitting behind a table on the cover, hehe!)

As the bump grew and the front hemline on my beloved Joni dresses shifted further and further up to accommodate it, one day I had a brain wave to make the final 'Make It Yourself' pattern hack project in the book a maternity variation so I could be on one of the final pages and keep the publishers sweet. It's a simple hack to do that involves re-drawing the hemline curve to create more length at the front. Plus you can always re-hem the skirt post-partum to get more wear out of the dress.

Tilly's maternity Joni dress - sewing pattern from Stretch! book - Tilly and the Buttons

If you're pregnant, give the Joni dress maternity hack a whirl. I hope you enjoy wearing it as much as I did!

PS. Did you know we have two more maternity patterns? The Bettine dress and Agnes top and dress are available as PDF patterns to download and print at home.

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Black and white dress photos by Ellie Smith, from Stretch! published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant)
Other photos by my boyfriend :)

3 comments:

  1. Did you make any pattern adjustments beyond the lengthening such as an FBA, or did you go up a size?

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    Replies
    1. I didn't for these dresses - the only change I made was to lengthen and re-curve the hemline on the black and white stripe version. The beauty of stretchy jersey is that they stretch to your shape!

      If you do want to do an FBA though we have a tutorial for that :)

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  2. Hi, I was wondering if you might be able to give me a little advice. I am pregnant and am a bridesmaid in July but as the skirt I am supposed to wear no longer fits me, I want to make a Dominique (the swishy one). I'm only 21 weeks now and I'm not that big but as the wedding isn't until mid July, I anticipate my bump having grown a lot. I was going to cut the 2 front pieces of the Dominique longer than the pattern and then hem it and put in waistline elastic the week before. Do you think that will work? Thanks for any help!

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