The “Generations” Dress

The Facts
Fabric: about 2/3rds of a cotton double-sized duvet cover I got in a clothes swap a while back
Pattern: Style 2382
Year: 1978
Notions: about 1 metre of hem binding tape
Time to complete: 3.5 hours
First worn: to work on Monday 6 May
Wear again? yep
Total cost: About $0.30 for the hem binding
Bump: 21 weeks


Check it out – I’m wearing a tent! Eek!!

(Much better with a belt, no?)

I love the fact that this pattern used to belong to my mother. It was published in 1978, so I figure she must have gotten it a bit too late to wear while pregnant with me, but I think she wore dresses from this while she was pregnant with all my siblings. The continuity of that makes me happy – different generations wearing dresses from the same pattern, while pregnant with the following generation. (*soppy moment* *cough, sorry ’bout that, the soppiness came out of nowhere*) Here’s my mum, pregnant with my middle brother, wearing a dress from a similar pattern. (I’m the little girl in the middle of the photo, aged around 4. My grandmother is holding the oldest of my three brothers.)

So, the pattern. This one came together nice and quickly – not surprising, since it consists of a front yoke, back yoke, and skirt panels. No fastenings, nothing tricky, just a few gathers in front and back. 3.5 hours in total, which included hand stitching the shoulder seams of the yoke facing and hand stitching the yoke facing down on the inside. I’m slow at hand stitching – this dress would have taken around 45 minutes less time otherwise. I made up version 3, the overtop without sleeves, only in version 2’s length (since as of yet I haven’t made any maternity trousers or slim skirts. There are plans afoot for both of those in the near future though….). I hemmed it using blue hemming tape, for a pop of colour on the inside. (One day, I will run out of this hemming tape. Then I will be sad.)

The pattern is very easy to put together. I made a couple of adjustments as I went along – aside from adjusting it to my size (taking it down two sizes) I also took it in a bit at the base of the yoke as it was flaring out at the back a bit more than I liked. And I chopped 8cm off the bottom of the dress, after my flatmate asked if I was going to shorten it. (Originally, I wasn’t going to, but she put the idea in my head. I got lazy and couldn’t be bothered pinning it up to see if I wanted to take any length out, and just grabbed the trusty rotary cutter. Sewing people – don’t copy what I do, it can go horribly wrong at times.)

Sure, it’s a bit of a tent. But hey, it’s a maternity dress. They’re kinda meant to be tents, right?!? And tents are most certainly comfortable to wear! I can see this one getting a fair amount of use over the next few months – add some heels (I’m seeing how long I can get away with wearing high heels at work for – too stubborn to give them up just yet) and a cardigan, and it’ll be good to go.

So there we have it folks – the next installment in my creations for the Sew, Baby challenge. This one fits into the ‘vintage’ and ‘dresses’ categories. Like all of the maternity-specific things I’ve made so far. (Note to self: branch out and make some separates soon!) Stay tuned for next week’s Sew, Baby creation – will it be another vintage dress? Or something completely different? Heck, even I’m not sure yet! 😉

(PS please to be excusing the photos. I didn’t quite get this finished before it got dark on Sunday, and it’s dark by the time we get home from work these days, so it was either photos-inside-at-night or wait until next weekend. I am an impatient sort, so photos-inside-at-night it was.)

13 responses to “The “Generations” Dress

  1. Oh but a lovely soppy story! I love it with the belt… and in that last pose you reminded me of Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini “Wedding” Portrait! Kat, I can’t quite believe your motivation and productivity right now! Even though you are still working! Hats off to you!!

    • Thanks! 🙂 (Admittedly, I think a fair bit of the motivation comes from having a wardrobe crisis – I’ve had to make things so I can feel like ‘me’ again! Turns out 1950’s nipped-in-waist dresses don’t work after about week 4 of pregnancy…..)

  2. I just love this-both the story and the outfit. Just adorable.

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