What’s this? Bump-friendly, comfortable AND flattering to boot?
That’s right people.
I’ve hit maternity wardrobe gold.
And I owe it all to Style Maker Fabric’s Fall Tour (I’m the penultimate maker on the tour) and Megan Nielsen’s Cara maternity tee.
Match made in heaven.
I am loving how much these apparently simple basics have become real team-players in my (now very much reduced) maternity wardrobe.
So, if you’re anything like me (read: struggling to find RTW maternity clothes that you actually want to wear) then read on to find out more about these gorgeous fabrics, the pattern (of dreams) and my super (super) easy hack to turn the tee into a dress.
I’ve always been tempted to buy from Style Maker Fabric – they have a really great selection. But then shipping to the UK is always a problem 🙁
So I was obviously thrilled when they contacted me to be part of their Fall Style tour (you can have a sneaky peek at the other participant’s makes here).
I knew I was avec bump (though maybe not showing) and had already done some initial thinking about my ideal maternity capsule wardrobe. I knew top of my list was a simple creamy white tee and a paired down knit shift dress.
When I saw these two fabrics it was pretty much game over. They fit perfectly with my vision for what I wanted. Plus they’re snuggly AF on the inside.
Cosiness for dayssssss!
A quick overview for all those fabric needs out there (like me!) The cream fabric is a 100% cotton brushed jersey. It’s got a lot of stretch – website says 100% but it’s not got a great recovery (if that’s what you’re after). But, heck, it’s soft and cosy and has a great weighty drape. I’m sold.
The black fabric is a snuggly black French terrywith white speckles. It’s got a fair amount of stretch – the website says 60% – and is perfect for this dress. Comfortable but still kind of weighty. Both have enough body to kind of glide over those ‘problem areas’ (a result of eating all the food at all hours and having 0 energy to exercise – ha!)
The pattern is the Cara top by Megan Nielsen. Megan drafts the some cracking patterns and I’ve had this top on my radar since my first pregnancy.
The Cara is a straight up tee pattern with gathers at the side to leave space for bump. And it’s easy to make – with only 4 pieces. But the best thing about this though is how versatile it is (see some pretty crush-worthy versions here, here, and here, and my hack below).
How to turn the Cara tee into a dress
It’s pretty easy actually – in fact 100% easier than I thought it was going to be.
I started by making up the tee so I could see how it fitted and what length it was on me. Once I made the tee I tried it on and roughly measured out how much further I wanted the dress to extend.
My pattern extended by about 5″, leaving some wiggle room for a hem and to shorten if I wanted (gotta love that wiggle room).
I then traced out the pattern back and front, adding the 5″ to the centre back/front (depending on which piece I was working with). Then I drew a curved lined roughly parallel to the hem of the original tee.
I also chose to extend out the side seams by about 1 1/2″ at the sides. You could just curve the pieces back in (like the original tee) but I didn’t want this too be too form fitting.
Once I had the front and back pattern pieces altered (I justed used simple tracing paper to make edits) I used the new pieces to cut out my dress front and dress back. I then cut the sleeves and neckband as directed and made up everything per instructions.