After reading some great posts on the So, Zo blog about her DIY maternity wardrobe, I was inspired to try stitching a few of my own pieces — I’m about halfway through my pregnancy so far, and am finding that some of my regular clothes aren’t quite hacking it anymore! Zoe’s Wiksten Tova dress was so cute that I definitely wanted to try my own. Although I wish I’d chosen a sturdier fabric like she had, I’m still fairly happy with how the dress turned out. I made a dress in a couple of sizes larger than I normally would so I can grow into it over the coming months. It’s a dress that I can put with boots and a blazer for work, or with leggings to wear around the house.
Like the Wiksten tank pattern, this pattern was very straightforward with helpful photos and diagrams throughout the instructions (One reason I love sewing patterns from smaller designers). I’m still new to sewing clothing, so some new skills/techniques I learned with the Tova dress include using basting stitches to create even gathers, inserting sleeves and sewing a placket.
I should point out that, similar to the tank, this pattern called for about twice as much fabric as I actually used. This isn’t a huge problem because I used really inexpensive fabric, but I’d be more peeved if I’d shelled out for something pricier. I used a soft lightweight polyester with a beautiful pattern, but it didn’t show off the nice collar and sleeve details like a stiffer fabric would.
I also would recommend that anyone making this dress also make a lining or a slip to go with it. Without alterations, the dress is a bit short and can be static-y if you use lighter weight fabrics. I’ve been wearing a black slip dress underneath for now, but it isn’t going to fit for much longer so I’ll need to stitch up a replacement!
When I finished my dress, I was a little ‘meh’ about it. This is probably because (a) I don’t really gravitate towards flowy or tunic-y dresses and (b) I made it much bigger than my regular size. My first reaction when I saw it on the hanger was ‘oh no! I’ve created a muumuu!’
The dress looks much better on! While I still don’t love how large it looks while I’m my current size, I think it will be more flattering as my bump gets bigger. And I actually really like the dress as a layering piece – it looks fantastic under a blazer or cardigan (if I do say so myself!).
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my first me-made maternity garment. I definitely plan to make a shorter version to wear as a blouse, but will probably make the shoulders and sleeves much smaller so I’m not drowning in them.