Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Shape of Things, aka Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat?

I'm dying to sew for myself. I have tons of projects in my queue that are for me and I even have the fabrics already. But I can't make them - yet. I don't want to make them yet. Why? Because I won't be able to make them the right size now so that I can still wear them in the summer or fall.

Why is that? Because I'm pregnant. Ta-dah! Did you see that one coming? I didn't really. I mean, I kind of hoped but thought I was just getting too old. Lucky for me there seems to have been one good egg left and I'm now 15 weeks along, with a rapidly disappearing waist. And that means the awesome ideas for dress making I had will have to stay in a holding pattern (no pun intended) until next year some time. I'm not complaining, mind you - I can still make some cute summer maternity things for myself. I've already got plans in the works for a maternity bathing suit, since the regular one I bought at the end of last summer is about to not fit any more. I mean, I could wear it but I love it and don't want to stretch it out. Ottobre had a tankini in the 2011 Spring/Summer women's issue that I should be able to adapt and I ordered some cute red and white polka-dot swimwear fabric from The Fabric Fairy.

After searching the internet for tutorials on how to alter a normal bathing suit pattern to be a maternity pattern, I determined that I wouldn't have to add a ton to this tankini, since it's already ruched along the sides for the overlay. So with that in mind, I decided to add to the front width-wise and length-wise and then added a similar amount of length to the back. Because this tankini is essentially an empire waist, I only had to add to the bottom panel. I did add a little extra to the bra portion by extending the back edges slightly.

For this, I used the largest size as a starting point - a size 52 - and then added onto the center of each of the front pieces. Because both are cut on a fold, I added 1 1/2" in width so that I would end up with a total of 3" for the finished product. This may seem like a lot, given the stretch of swimsuit fabric, but I tend to really stick out towards the end of pregnancy and it'll be summer at that point so I'll want to be at the pool or the splash park. Because I'll need extra length to accommodate the projection of my belly, I also added 3 1/2" to the bottom.

I didn't bother to add width to the back of the suit because I don't think I'll need it there. I added the extra length, however, since the ruching is on the back as well as the front. I've cut it out and now need to start sewing it. But first I have a quick project to make up for Maeve, so the suit is on hold until then.


  1. Congrats on your latest pregnancy! Exciting times! I know what you mean about the frustration of having to put some of your sewing plans aside. AGH! Still, I totally agree, there's lots of fun sewing to be done in the mean time. I wish you all the best xxx

  2. such exciting news!!! your plans for the maternity swimsuit sound spot on.