Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

This is a maternity-modified Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress. And how lucky, because Chalk and Notch recently released an updated version of the pattern just in time for me to use it!

This is my second Fringe Dress, and while I can still fit into that dress right now, I’ll probably run out of room soon. I wanted to make another version that could carry me through the next few months and even after pregnancy.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

The linen fabric is from Joann. White thread runs one direction and the colored thread, the opposite, so it creates a subdued rainbow effect. I had to buy extra fabric to accommodate my pattern changes and the alternating stripe direction. Plastic buttons came from my stash.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

This time around I decided to try View A with the front buttons (nursing friendly? we’ll see…). I knew I’d need to make a few changes to the pattern. I cut one size larger than last time but even with my maternity body changes, I still only needed to make the A/B cup size. It’s actually kind of roomy in the bust right now, but that’ll change over time, too.

I also lengthened the skirt significantly. I liked the curved, dress-shirt hem style but some of my dresses lately have been getting a little too short in the front. My first Fringe has a similar problem, except it’s the sides that are inching upwards as I grow. So I made this dress midi-length to combat that issue. I’ll probably re-hem it post-partum but it’s good for now.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe DressMaternity Pattern Adjustments I made:

  • Shortened the bodice at front and back waist by 1″
  • Widened the front skirt by about 6″ (the extra fabric gets gathered up but gives more room in front, I didn’t add extra width in the back)
  • Lengthened the skirt pieces by about 5″ (1″ added to offset the loss of length in the bodice, the rest to make the skirt longer to accommodate a growing belly without the skirt becoming too short) and adjusted the pocket placement down an inch to account for the shorter waistline.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

As for the pattern itself. Since I’d made it before it was a quick sew. Instructions are straightforward and easy to follow and I like the details like reinforced pocket seams for better structure.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

In my eagerness to sew this dress I forgot to add the ties in the dart seams as the pattern calls for. Instead, I had to add them to the side seams, which works just as well. I like the option of ties because it allows some shaping without being too tight around the ribs.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Another unexpected change I had to make was to the sleeves. In the pattern for View A, the sleeves are rectangles folded in half and stitched to the armholes. The sleeve tab then scrunches them up. This would look lovely in a drapey rayon but in two layers of my stiff-ish linen, it just looked like a bulky mess. I trimmed the length of the sleeve significantly. Now it looks more like the cuff on View B but I kept the cute sleeve tab.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I made this dress for a party and I love the summery, colorful stripes. The linen will be great for hot weather. Plus, I feel like I can get away with wearing extra bright colors and bold prints ’cause I’m pregnant. Like I have a certain freedom in my wardrobe because I don’t need to dress like an adult or in clothes that “flatter” me. I can just wear whatever I want, who cares? And I finally feel like I “look” undeniably pregnant, at least in most outfits.

Maternity Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Obligatory bump-holding photo. I’m 29 weeks now. Only a couple months left to go!

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Thanks for all the love on Instagram and in my last post! More maternity sewing for today. This is the only specifically maternity piece I’ve made so far.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

It’s the Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress (view B). This is the maternity version of their regular pattern.

I figured a simple bump-hugging, knit, tank dress would be a good basic to get me through a few months.

Givre line drawing

The fabric is a nice, thick scuba knit from La Mercerie. I liked the big, bold floral print. My only complaint (and this might not be something I’d notice if I wasn’t pregnant) is that the fabric is already starting to pill on my bump. Maybe I’ve been bumping into things and scraping that area of the dress? But I haven’t worn this dress more than a couple of times. Seems early to be getting damaged.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

I twin-needled all the visible seems for a nice, clean finish.

The only change I made – I lowered the armholes by about 5/8″. Next time I might go ahead and lower them a full inch. Deer and Doe is a French pattern company. Maybe French ladies have really petite arm sockets? I don’t know.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Next time around I’ll definitely need to sew a sway back adjustment. See what looks like a horizontal seamline across my back waist? Yeah, that’s not a seam. It’s a deep fold in the fabric where there’s too much excess.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

Other than that, I like the pattern. It’s simple, easy and quick to sew. And this fabric was a dream to work with!

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

The pattern comes in two “bump” sizes – 3-6 months and 6-9 month. I made the 3-6 months. I’m in my 6th month but there’s still enough room to grow in this dress.

Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress

For a dress that is specifically “maternity,” I’m glad it can be worn so many ways. I can pair this dress with jackets and sweaters, or wear a t-shirt or button-down tied in a knot on top of it. So far I’ve been able to get by wearing mostly clothes that were already in my closet. And with the weather warmer, I’m hoping I can coast through the next three months wearing only dresses or the occasional leggings.

Victory Patterns Anouk dress 2.0

Victory Patterns Anouk

Long time no post. Been a little busy with other projects lately.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Wow, your hair is getting really long!”

Wait, that’s not what you were thinking? Oh, you mean that other thing?

Victory Patterns Anouk

Right. Yeah, so turns out I’m pregnant. Or expecting. Or pretnet, or praganat, or pregananant or however you want to call it (seriously, watch that vid). I’d say “knocked up” if only it were that easy. This fetus was made with love and science.

I’m due in July so I need a few wearable pieces in my wardrobe that can get me through the next few months.

Victory Patterns Anouk

This is the Anouk dress by Victory Patterns which is a pattern I made once a long time ago. But then that dress was too big for me so I gave it away. If only I had kept it for another 5 years I totally could’ve worn it now!

Instead, I just have a new excuse to make it again. This isn’t a maternity pattern but the shape is very tent-like with ties at the waist (difficult to see in these photos) making the fit adjustable and good for a growing belly. I made the dress version with the sleeves from the shirt version.

Victory Patterns Anouk

 

Both fabrics are viscose/linen blends from La Mercerie. I love when a site carries multiple colors of the same fabric. Makes it easy to color block without worrying the weights of the fabric won’t match.

I love the color combo of pink and navy and this shade of blush pink (rose gold? millennial pink?) is super popular right now. My skin is naturally pink-toned so I don’t think this is the most flattering color on me but hey, I love it and I’m pregnant so I’m going to wear whatever the heck I please!

Victory Patterns Anouk

The one problem with the design of this dress is the keyhole. It’s also the coolest detail on the dress. Problem is, since the entire weight of the dress is supported by the yoke, all that tent-shaped fabric drags the dress down and that keyhole creates a weak point. Even with added interfacing in the yoke and front sections, and extra snaps on the overlap flap, the keyhole seems to pull open over time. I had the same problem with the first dress I made and in this version, I can only wear it with one specific bra or else the bra edges show in the little opening. The only alternative I see is to sew the yoke in a strong, tightly woven medium-to-heavy weight fabric and use a lightweight fabric for the dress section. Or omit the keyhole all together.

Victory Patterns Anouk

The textured buttons came from my stash. I like the shiny gold mixed with the pink.

Victory Patterns Anouk
I’m planning to wear this dress to an outdoor wedding this weekend. It’s a great little dress for spring and good for maternity and post-maternity-wear!

Victory Patterns Anouk

Regency Spencer – Laughing Moon #129

Regency Spencer

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress
This historical costume project came about as an attempt to salvage another historical costume project.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress
Let’s begin with the dress that inspired the jacket. Warning, this post is long so if you’d like to skip to the discussion on the jacket, continue down until you see more jacket photos.

I sewed this white Regency gown years ago but due to a massive fail on my part, it lingered in the Drawer of Shame ever since.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

See, I bought this thin, semi-sheer striped cotton destined for a sheer dress gown. I’d already made Laughing Moon #126 and loved the fit and imagined I could use this fabric with that pattern. However, that pattern is an apron front dress and were I to make it with a sheer fabric, the entire interior bodice structure would be exposed. Hmm, how to work around this…?

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress(the dress looks deceptively fine in the front…)

Rather than lining the bodice (which would ruin the sheer effect I was going for) I chose to convert the entire bodice to a back-closing design with drawstrings. To do that I needed to widen the back pieces so they could be gathered up by the drawstrings at the waist and neckline.

But I didn’t cut the back pieces extra wide. Because I forgot. Or something. I don’t remember. Instead, I cut the back like normal and didn’t have enough fabric left to cut new pieces. Ugh. Without the extra width, the drawstrings couldn’t do their job leaving MASSIVE gaping in the center back.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress(but the back reveals a fatal error!)

To salvage the dress, I lined the bodice to permanently fix the gathers in front and attached three hooks and eyes in the back. So much for that sheer bodice design I was going for…

But this solution still resulted in gaping. Because of course there would be gaping. The original dress is designed with a close-fitting back and if you split that back in half, the fabric will strain at that point.

It looked awful and unwearable and showed all the undergarments in the back.

(Some Spencer inspiration. My jacket looks similar to the right-side portrait from 1799.)

Enter 2018 and the new solution: SPENCER!

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

Why didn’t I think of this before!?? Spencers were a style of cropped jacket unique to the Regency period of about the 1790s-1820s. They were often worn over gowns when it was too warm for a full coat.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

Luckily, I had plenty of this black cotton velveteen leftover from other projects and I read somewhere that velveteen was used for Spencers in the early 1800s.

I used View C of Laughing Moon #129. I liked the “tails” in the back which would cover more of the back bodice of the dress and the high collar gave the jacket a military feel. Laughing Moon says this design is good for 1798-1809 which pairs well with my jockey-style bonnet from around the same period.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

I ordered a black taffeta from Silk Baron for the lining. I liked the idea of the shiny silk contrasting with the velveteen, but the black on black still makes it easy to match the jacket with dresses and accessories.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton DressI find that Laughing Moon patterns fit me well right out of the envelope and this was no exception. The only problem is that the armholes are a tad snug but I bet that’s because the velveteen seam allowance is so bulky where it is gathered.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

The only change I made was to shortened the sleeves by about 1/2″. They’re meant to be quite long but even so, they were super long.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

The sleeves bell out at the wrist and I like that I can roll up the cuffs if I want to show off more silk.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

The button came from a swap. I originally attached two buttons for symmetry but the “faux” button was droopy and looked unsymmetrical despite the buttons being stitched in the same place. I took the extra button off.

Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress

Sewing this pattern proved more challenging than I expected. I knew I’d have to do plenty of hand sewing here and there but I struggled with the points near the collar and with the pleats in back. I had to do some extra hand sewing and clipping to make sure everything layed correctly.
Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton DressSewing the velveteen proved challenging as well. While not as slippery as silk velvet, the pile on this fabric makes it difficult to sew without the layers shifting. I used a walking foot and a long stitch length to accommodate this finicky fabric.
Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton DressFor this outfit, I’m wearing my Regency undergarments, the dress, Spencer, my silk bonnet, a coral bead necklace and an extra long pashmina shawl (made by stitching two long shawls together at one end).
Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton DressIn the end, this jacket turned out fantastic! The cut is perfect for this era. I love the contrast between the sleek silk and the heavy velveteen. The whole outfit looks straight out of a French fashion magazine.


Velveteen Regency Spencer and Cotton Dress