Every mama-to-be wants to be stylish, but it's surprising how boring maternity clothes can be. This fun, easy-to-wear T-shirt dress is perfect for summer. A few measurements, an afternoon of sewing and you have yourself one simple dress that will last the 40-week distance. What's not to love?
- 2m (2.18 yards) jersey or stretch fabric
- Tape measurer
- Rotary cutter or sharp scissors
- Tailor's chalk
- Ball point needles
- Sewing machine
1. Take Your Measurements
You will need to take several measurements to ensure your T-shirt dress has the perfect fit.
Measure around your chest. Divide this number by 2 and add 1cm (0.39in). Take note of this as your width measurement.
Measure from the top of your shoulders to the top of your bump and add 1cm (0.39in). Write this down as your curve measurement.
Finally, measure from the top of your shoulders to where you would like the dress to finish. Add 1.5cm (0.59in). Write this down as your length measurement.
2. Cut Your Pattern
Place your fabric down so that the stretch is running from side to side (instead of from top to bottom).
On your fabric, draw a rectangle that is as wide as your width measure and as long as your length measure.
You will want to add some more room for your bump. Starting from the top of your rectangle, mark your curve measure at both sides of the rectangle.
From the points you just marked, gently curve out the pattern by 5cm to 8cm (1.96in - 3.14in) so you have a rectangle with a slightly wider bottom than top.
Cut out this shape and repeat so you have two pieces.
3. Sew Your Dress
Place the two right sides of the dress together, matching the raw edges.
Measure 20cm (7.87in) from the shoulder. Put a pin in place here. Continue pinning all the way along the side of the dress. Stop pinning when you reach 15cm (5.9in) from the bottom of the dress.
Repeat for the other side. Sew using a zigzag stitch and ballpoint needles. Use a seam allowance of 1cm (0.39in).
Now to cut the curve of your front neckline. You could draw any curve or copy the neckline of a dress you like. Or you could copy the measurements below.
Measure 16cm (6.29in) across the top of the shoulder, starting from the outer edge of your dress. Mark this point with tailor's chalk. Repeat for the other side. These are the two outer points of your front neckline curve.
Find the centre point along the top of your dress. From this point, measure 8cm (3.14in) down towards the hem. This is the bottom arc of your neckline curve.
Join these three points with a curve to form the front neckline curve.
Repeat Step 2, but instead of measuring 8cm (3.14in) down towards the hem, measure 5cm (1.96in) down towards the hem.
Join those three points with a curve to form the back neckline curve.
Starting from the shoulder, measure 5cm (1.96in) down along the edge of the dress. Mark this point.
Draw a line from the outer point of your neckline curve to the point you just made. Use a ruler to keep the line straight.
Sew along this line with a straight stitch, ensuring the right sides are together. Use a seam allowance of 1cm (0.39in).
Trim away the excess fabric.
4. Finish the Hem and Arms of Your Dress
Shape the bottom of your dress by cutting a curve 5cm (1.96in) from the side of your dress towards the centre.
Repeat this for both sides and for both front and back sections of your dress.
With the wrong side facing up, fold the bottom of the dress up by 1.5cm (0.59in) and pin. Repeat this all the way along the bottom hem of the dress. You may want to clip the curves so the fabric lies flat.
Sew using a straight stitch and a seam allowance of 1cm (0.39in).
Repeat Step 2 to finish the arm holes of your dress.
5. Finish the Neckline With a Neckband
Cut a front neckband section by tracing the front neckline curve onto a piece of fabric folded in half. Make sure the stretch runs from side to side.
Add 4cm (1.57in) to this line to make a band. Cut this out.
Repeat for the back neckline.
Place right sides together with raw edges matching. Sew the front and back necklines together using a zigzag stitch along the raw edges.
Fold the neckband in half matching the raw edges, wrong sides together. Sew along the raw edge using a zigzag stitch.
Use pins to mark the centre front and centre back of your dress neckline. Use pins to mark the centre front and centre back of your neckband.
With right sides together and raw edges matching, match the pins of the dress to the pins of the neckband. Pin in place.
Match the shoulder seams of the dress to the side seams of the neckband. Pin in place.
Pin the neckband all the way around the neckline, matching the raw edges of the neckband to the raw edges of the neckline.
Sew along the raw edges using a zigzag stitch.
Topstitch along the edge of the neckband to finish.
Relax and Enjoy Your Dress
And that's it - you're all done. Great job!
I hope you liked using a neckband to finish the neckline. It's always a great way to add a professional-looking touch to a home sewing project, don't you think?
Now that you've mastered the basic shape and a few professional techniques, there's no stopping you from making a score of these in different colours and patterns.
Did you enjoy making this T-shirt dress? Let us know if you have any queries or thoughts in the comments space below.