Cara Maternity Dress

Today's post is a guest blog written by my mother, who graciously made a few maternity garments for me early in my pregnancy when I didn't have the energy to sew.

When our daughter announced that we would become grandparents for the first time my heart leapt for joy. I was ready to make A.L.L. the things for the baby, but decided I should consult the parents before I went wild.  Marissa suggested a few clothing items to round out her maternity wardrobe would be especially helpful. She selected the Megan Nielsen pattern Cara and ordered fabric from So Sew English. I was delighted when I received that package. The fabric was a rich red Modal with a wonderful drape. I printed out the pattern and got right to work. It is a bit tricky trying to sew for someone so many miles away but I relied on fitting the pattern to myself and sending selfies, and video chats with Marissa for "sewing consultations". 

To extend the top pattern to dress length I compared it to a ready-to-wear dress in a length I liked. The shirt pattern had already made adjustments for a pregnant tummy and hips so I simply extended the length, with a slight flare to allow for walking.

Isn't it great that we are so close in height too? I scoured the comments on the Megan Nielsen blog and gleaned lots of tips and suggestions that I found helpful. I noticed how often women suggested that adding elastic to the ruching was critical, and created a nicer end product. I think this suggestion was essential to creating the nicest finished product when using such a drapey fabric. 

In the end I adjusted the sleeve width, bringing it in a full inch. I  also made a few adjustments to the shoulder area, bringing it in one inch to bring the shoulder cap up and taking 1/2" off the top of each shoulder seam, lifting the entire garment up and shortening the neckline and armscye. I finished the dress with a twin double needle hem. I always use wash away stay tape on knits hems and found that step especially important with this lightweight fabric.

Actual sewing time was probably about an hour, but I spent a couple more hours preparing the fabric, adjusting the sizing, "tissue fitting" and video chatting. I wanted  this to be the perfect feel good to wear maternity wardrobe staple. As soon as I completed my sewing I boxed it up, sealed it with a kiss and ran to the post office. I was so happy to see Marissa wearing the dress in a recent photo.

Pattern: Megan Nielsen Cara top
Size: small
Fabric used: So Sew English modal, red
Time estimate: 3+ hours, including fitting and sewing

Cost to Make:
pattern - $14
fabric - $21.50
elastic - from stash
thread - from stash
TOTAL: $35.50

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