A new pattern is born
If you read my previous post, you will have seen that adapted versions of the regular Dolores batwing pattern featured heavily in my four-to-seven month maternity wardrobe. However, towards the end of that period I found that those dresses stopped being suitable: the mid-section was starting to stretch out of shape and the side seams ended up curved to accommodate my growing belly, and the hem was no longer even. So around the time I finished drafting my Cordelia maternity camisole pattern, I began work on a specific maternity dress version of the Dolores pattern which took all those issues into account, as well as a couple of other bits I wanted to change. After extensive fitting to multiple third-trimester bodies with both long-sleeved and short-sleeved options, I'm hoping I've nailed it.
So lemme tell you about this Hawaiian/tropical fabric. Back in May, the 12-year-old, but admittedly new-to-me, online craft shop Sew Essential got in touch offering me some fabric to test and blog about. You know me, never one to turn down free fabric, so I asked for a couple of metres of this vibrant John Kaldor slinky knit and they kindly obliged. Sadly, the pink colour way seems to be currently out of stock, but they have it here in blue, as well as some other lovely prints.
My initial intension for this fabric was to make maternity leggings after receiving confirmation that it has a four-way stretch. But when it arrived I discovered it was was too lightweight and slinky for that purpose. Then, when the development of this new Dolores maternity dress pattern called for some slinky, drape-y knit, a massive AHA! occurred, and a beautiful marriage of pattern and fabric was born.
Pattern details and testers please!
Like it's predecessor, the Dolores maternity dress pattern has two sleeve options, long and short, making it a versatile pattern for different climates and occasions. It looks epic in a fun, crazy print, and also elegant and work-appropriate in a more subtle fabric choice.
This is a super quick project, because who's got the energy when your very pregnant?! After you've assembled the PDF pattern and cut out the pieces, construction should take approx. 2 hours, if you already have a bit of sewing experience. It requires just 2m of light-to-medium weight knit fabric, ideally with a drape-y/slinky quality. The sizing and corresponding body measurements are below (please note: these measurements relate to a pregnant, third trimester body):
So, as the title of this post suggests, I'm on the hunt for willing pattern testers. If you, or somebody you know, are currently in your/their third trimester of pregnancy (27 weeks +), you would like to try this pattern and are able to give me your feedback by 18th September, then please send me an email to sozoblog (at) g mail (dot) com. Testers will receive a zip file including a PDF pattern file (that will require printing out and taping together), a PDF instructions file (that you can read from a screen if you prefer to save on printer ink) and a list of questions to help formulate your feedback. If this appeals to you, please get in touch, I'm aiming to send out the files on 1st September. Thanks so much in advance!