Comfy Maternity Dress & Matching Shorts

Ah, pregnancy. It’s that magical time in a woman’s life where everything is uncomfortable and nothing fits. But in truth there’s a lot to be excited about and thankful for – including spandex! Califabric’s double brushed knits are truly a gift from the fabric gods and not just for those who are expecting. They are incredibly stretchy, so buttery soft, plus there are tons colors and prints to choose from.

I made two maternity dresses (which increased my wardrobe to SEVEN whole things that I can wear!) each with matching shorts. I like making duplicates of garments so that I can modify the pattern a bit each time until it’s just right. In this case I made the flowery dress first. I finished just in time for a trip to NYC!

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After wearing it a few times I decided the gathered sides should not come down as far, and the shorts needed to be a little bit taller. Thankfully both still fit very well – enough to wear every week and stay comfy.

 

Isn’t that cactus print adorable? And it comes in so many colors!

 

I made the pattern myself starting with an existing tank top dress that fits me well. I modified the front by expanding the waist horizontally and vertically. In construction the front is gathered at the waist before being attached to the back. The whole thing is only five pieces, plus binding strips.

 

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I’m fortunate to have the equipment at work to be able to bind the edges of the neck and armholes. This makes construction efficient and allows the fabric to still stretch. As long as the neck hole is big enough, you can also apply binding with a straight stitch as well.

 

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Overall the construction is really very simple. Just shoulder seam, side seams, gathered sides on the front, bound neck and arm holes, and a hem! The shorts are equally simple with just a crotch seam, inseam, folded waistband, and hems.

 

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The end result is really fantastic. I just love a simple tank top dress. In cooler months it would also be great with boots and a sweater. For the summer, it covers just enough and stretches with my growing belly.

 

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Happy summer-sewing to you all!

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