As soon as I saw the pretest photos and line drawing for the new P4P So Classic Sundress, I knew it had to be done with gingham. And it did not disappoint! Also, can I get a prize for doing 16 functioning buttons / button holes at 11PM and NOT messing any up?!
I did test this pattern, but I also love it! As as you can see, it works great for maternity (with no modifications)! This version is the empire waist, which is really all you need for maternity. Also clearly the button placket option as well, with halter straps. The pattern has quite a few different options if buttons aren’t your thing or alternate straps…I’ll show another version below too.
The pattern is drafted for woven, non-stretch fabrics. I suppose you could try it with knit, but why would you when there’s so many lovely woven fabrics out there in the world? Your requirements here for type of woven are a little less limited for this pattern than with some other woven dress patterns, because the elastic back really helps to make fitting quite easy and the gathered skirt doesn’t require a TON of drape.
I chose to add a little variation to the gingham and cut the middle bodice pieces and waistband on the bias. You can see it a little close up and from a distance it blends together quite nicely.
This gingham is a medium/bottom-weight twill from Joann Fabrics, certainly not drapey or lightweight like rayon challis or similar. I got it on super sale for $4.99/yard so decided to chance it. It’s technically stretch twill, but the stretch is super minimal. I lined the bodice with a kona cotton. I was a little nervous on how the twill would fare with the skirt, because it has quite a bit of gathered volume. But since I AM pregnant, I figured I could get away with a little more volume without worrying about looking pregnant. 😉 And I am actually quite pleased with it! I think would probably even wear it postpartum as well, which is great because that’s kinda where I was going with going through the effort of putting in functional buttons.
The pattern comes together pretty easily, though you may need to make some small adjustments to the bust curve because everyone is shaped a little differently and of course woven fabrics are less forgiving than knit. For me, I had to take it in slightly above and through the apex. This is a simple thing to do, just remember to do it on the both the lining as well as the bodice pieces. I did also add about 1″ in length to the skirt and strap pieces due to my height.
For a bit of contrast, here’s another empire version in rayon challis. This time I did not do the placket option; this one just has a seam down the bodice and straight straps, so quite a bit simpler. As you can see, the rayon has a lot less bulk and flows very nicely for a different look than the twill. This fabric is from Surge Fabric Shop.
Since this one a little more versatile and less “vintage” specific, I can see it getting a lot of wear this summer/fall. In fact I wore it last week already – LOVE! I especially appreciate that it is not maternity specific, because I don’t want to spend a lot of time making things I can’t wear later. This one is a winner!