Friday, May 9, 2014

The Mandarin Maternity Dress

McCall's 9385
I'm calling this the Mandarin dress because it features a mandarin shaped collar. This was the next project I did after completing my pastel pink Easter dress, and I was so ready for some bright colors. I tend to be more of a bright colors kind of person in everything, so this printed cotton from M'Liss called Kimono was the first thing I thought of in my stash when I decided on this 1950s maternity pattern. 

Again, though I wore it belted, it shows that you can wear it unbelted, too, but I can't stand the muu muu look no matter how big I get during pregnancy. It also is meant to be worn after pregnancy, but again, we'll see if that really happens. I am trying to only sew up things that I could potentially wear when not pregnant, as that seems more practical and this will be great for nursing. 

I didn't alter the pattern at all except in length, because I'm short. I also made the short sleeved version, and they reach my elbows, so I'm assuming 3/4 sleeves would actually be long-sleeved on me. However, I love me some cuffed sleeves whatever the length is. Oh, and pockets, who doesn't love a dress with pockets?

Look how vivid the colors are! And this picture doesn't do it justice even. 

Outfit Details:
Dress-Made by Me
Bracelets- Vintage lucite and bakelite bangles and clamp purchased from various ebay and Etsy sellers 
Earrings-Vintage carved bakelite purchased from either ebay or Etsy. I can't remember, sorry. 
Shoes-Red, peep toe, shiny flats from Catos years ago (sorry not pictured)
Belt-Skinny red leather purchased from Hannah Jane Boutique online
Tried to get a picture of the collar, please excuse the dazed expression on my face.
I think I'm concentrating on my camera aim, lol. 
This dress was ridiculously fast and easy to sew up. The longest part for me were the ten buttons, but I think it turned out well, and the black background makes it look like a little more than a simple housedress. I don't know if I'll sew it up again, but if I do, I think I want to go completely different with the fabric and color, just to make it seem more different from this version. I'm on the fence about it, though, because after all how many high-collared, longer sleeved dresses do I want to wear while pregnant in the summer in the southern United States, where the humidity makes everything wilt in a matter of seconds?

It never ceases to amaze me how comfortable vintage maternity styles are. I know the super flowiness can make your belly look bigger to our eyes, but probably only because we're used to skin tight t-shirts over the baby belly. If you're ever pregnant and looking for a cheaper, more unique, option for maternity clothing, I highly suggest getting some vintage patterns and sewing them up. They're often easier to sew than regular vintage styles and you have the added benefit of customizing them, not to mention that most vintage maternity patterns are super cheap compared to regular vintage patterns (I've purchased some for as little as 25 cents a piece and lots are available for under $5 on Etsy and ebay), but the best part is that many are designed to be worn after pregnancy, too.

What do you think, is this worth another make or is one dress like this enough for anyone? Would you consider sewing your maternity wardrobe?


  1. what a lovely dress and pretty pattern

    retro rover

    1. Thank you! It's a bit bright, but fun to wear.

  2. Really love this one; perfect mix of fabric and pattern

    1. Thank you! This was definitely a fun and easy make and the fabric just makes wearing it fun, too.

  3. Yes to both of your final questions. I like this dress. It feels a bit like a dress and a robe had a baby of their own :) It's fun and really does look awesomely comfortable. I admire that you're sewing some of your maternity wear to no end!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. I've got about three and a half months left, so we'll see how much more sewing I can get done, lol. I've already worn this dress a couple times and got lots of compliments, so it must be a winner.
      As far as sewing maternity clothing, I only wish I had sewn more during my first pregnancy. Also with Diastasis Recti and an umbilical hernia many modern maternity clothes have a waist band that is so very uncomfortable on me right now, so being that I love vintage clothes anyway, it has worked great for me to sew a lot of maternity patterns.

  4. Pregnancy dresses give moms-to-be an easy all-in-one outfit with minimum constriction on their growing waistlines. cheap maternity dresses to wear in fall