Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Maggy London & Marc Jabobs: A Maternity Match Made in Heaven

Our beach holiday has been going very well. Relaxing, swimming, eating, walks on the beach.... ahhhh. We were meant to go to Vietnam for Christmas, but growing a little baby prohibits you from having the necessary immunisations, so a change of plans was to be had.

As I mentioned in a previous post, for our beach trip, not to mention the lovely tropical weather of Queensland, I decided to sew a few things to accommodate my growing belly. I envisioned airy frocks... light materials, lots of belly room, a few long ones, and a few short ones. Perfect summer holiday wear.

 Today I thought I would show you the Maggy London Butterick maxi dress (B5456). Here is the pattern picture:

It has all the requisite elements for a good maternity dress - empire line, you can wear a bra, isn't fitted etc. It is for knits only, and I wanted this to be cool to wear, so I went searching for a 100% cotton knit. I found a funky lightweight Marc Jacobs knit at The Fabric Store in Fitzroy. It is light without being transparent or feeling cheap. It was also the easiest knit I have ever sewn with - nice and stable.

Anyway, onto the dress!!

There were a few things I disliked about this pattern. They have you sew the bodice up, leaving the shoulder seams open. You then sew the bodice shoulders, leaving the lining open. Then you hand stitch the lining. I wish I had read ahead - there are ways to sew a bodice together without doing any hand stitching, so I'm annoyed with myself and with Butterick.

I also dislike having a bodice lining, but then sewing the lining and bodice together as one piece. It looks so much prettier to have the seams concealed. Ah well. Next time!

The only other thing I dislike is that you can almost see my bra at the back, and you can at the sides. I know how I can fix the back issues, but does anyone have any ideas about how to fix the sides?

Issues aside, this is a very comfy dress that I think looks quite cute - (although looking at it now I do look a little heffer-ish). It will be great with flat sandals (I'm less and less able to walk around in heels - my back hates me for it now that I have a belly out in front).

We're jetting back to Brisbane tomorrow for Christmas with my family, and then will be back in Melbourne for new year. Hope you all have wonderful Xmas and new year celebrations, and I'll see you soon with more frocks!


  1. I'm seriously green with envy over that fabric! So cool.
    Merry Christmas, chick!

  2. Very pretty, love the cut out back. Have a very happy Christmas xx

  3. You are sewing up a storm on the maternity dresses, so much better than anything I have seen in the shops. And that "heiferish" thing is just your perception of the modern view of women - that they have to look permanently nubile and "up-for-it" in order to be attractive. You look fertile, feminine and fabulous. Anyone vaguely normal in their mind will find you a delight to behold. And you will probably find that as your pregnancy advances, people around you will become more and more warm and courteous - I was thrilled and stonished by that when it happened to me. I hope you experience it too!

  4. What a fun maternity dress! I love the back of the dress.

  5. So sad that this is not a maternity pattern, hehe! It is super stylish on you. I really love the fabric.

    I agree with you regarding the pattern sewing instructions: it incenses me when patterns include those archaic, hand-stitched lining instructions. I've sewn other Butterick patterns that use the machine-stitched instructions, so why not use that method in all patterns?! Ugh!

  6. I love the fabric and the detail at the back. You are making some fabulous maternity dresses!

  7. I love the cutout in the back!

    As for the heiferishness (new word alert!) perhaps in a future version you could keep the gathering in the front but replace it with shaped darts in the back? I was a big fan of having a fitted back when I was pregnant---shirring was especially good for this, but probably wouldn't work for this pattern.

    Looking good! :)

  8. Beautiful dress, Rachel. You have style. :)

  9. Thanks everyone!! I have another frock to show you soon that is a perfect maternity dress, especially in this 40 degree heat we are having today!!

  10. Pretty dress! Merry Christmas and a happy New year to you and the family! :)