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Newlook 6554 Maternity Hack!

With the current heat we’re facing at right now, I’m in desperate need of any clothing that’s cool, floaty and unrestrictive. But over the last few months I’ve been faced with something that’s made dressing myself a little more difficult…

My husband and I have had some wonderful news and I’m just over 3 weeks pregnant! While I’m absolutely over the moon, it has restricted my wardrobe slightly. Coupled with the heat, I’ve been planning a few maternity makes, that will keep me cool, and give me something slightly more stylish to wear than old PJ shorts and vests!

With that in mind, I was looking for a dress pattern that would be easy to wear, versatile, and allow for a growing bump. I didn’t want anything clingy, or complicated, just something I could throw on and wear anywhere. 

Elasticated waists, jersey fabrics and wrap shapes sprung to mind, and I fount a pattern that with a little customisation would do the job - the New Look Knit Jumpsuit and Dress Pattern 6554. For fabric, I needed a lightweight jersey, but not something that was T-shirt weight, or too sheer. Luckily this John Kaldor Jersey Fabric was perfect for this project.

The fabric is a dream to work with - it’s incredibly soft, drapey, with a good amount of stretch to allow for my expanding waistline. The colour I chose was a gunmetal grey, which I thought would make the dress versatile enough to wear to work, as well as to a special occasion. I really can’t explain how luxurious the fabric feels - it’s so nice to wear, but it’s also pretty well-behaved to sew with. 

A word of advice about the pattern… As I wanted it to be a roomier fit, I went with the size that best fit my largest measurements, however, it came up absolutely huge! If you want to make this yourself, I’d controversially ignore the measurement chart and go with your regular size that you’d buy if you were on the high street. After taking the dress in quite a lot, I managed to make it look less oversized, I suppose any additional fabric will help as I get bigger.

I did like the overall shape of the dress, as the pockets and wrap front add a little interest. To make the dress a little more maternity friendly, I moved the waistline up, so that it can go over the bump, and left a little extra elastic in the waist, so that I can adjust it if I need to. Other than that, the only other change I made was to take a few inches off the hem (a very normal alteration when you’re 5 foot 2!) and tack the wrap bodice in place so it wouldn’t flap open. 

I used a zigzag stitch on any of the seams that would be on show, such as the sleeve hems and the top of the bodice, which is reinforced with bias binding. The fabric was great to work with here, and didn’t pucker or stretch out. On all the straight seams I used my overlocker, which is the way I normally like to sew knits. 

Overall I’m so pleased with the result. Right now, I’m cinching in the waist a little to add a bit more definition, but when I get bigger, the elastic and the jersey will stretch with me. I’d definitely use this fabric again, maybe to make a few Agnes tops from Tilly and the Buttons. 

To find out a bit more about me and my makes, you can catch me on instagram as @laurenmallalieu

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