How to Trace a Pattern, Copying A Ready to Wear Maternity Dress

How to Trace a Pattern, Copying A Ready to Wear Maternity Dress

Versatile maternity clothing, I’m really running low on this. I’m currently shuffling through two to three dresses on rotation. Quite a few of them aren’t weather appropriate but they fit and that’s a win for me. But I definitely needed another maternity dress.

Choosing a Dress

I’ve started digging deep through my drawers to find forgotten clothes, that’s when I found a really old, fast fashion jersey dress. It’s so stretchy and comfy that it became a new favourite. As soon as I saw this beautiful Meet Milk Tencel jersey I knew what I had to do. Make a copy of that dress and make it quickly!

Tracing a pattern from ready to wear dress

As this fabric is a loose rib it has plenty of stretch, perfect for my growing bump. The sustainable Tencel is also brilliant as it creates a lovely drape so it hugs my shape without being skin tight. The colour! That was another issue, the colours available in this fabric are all so lovely. I narrowed it down to 3, and after making this dress I think I need to order the other colour ways!

Ruby rose in a field wearing maternity dress

Tracing the Pattern

I started by making the pattern for my maternity dress, it’s a really simple shape, just one simple column with neck and arm bands. As the dress is symmetrical and fairly simple, I realised I could trace this pattern on the fold. I folded my original dress lengthways and traced it onto dot and cross paper. I did this by simply lying flat and then drawing round the rough shape of the dress. After this I moved the dress and tidied up the lines. Using my pattern master and a long ruler I was able to get smooth curves and straight lines. Using this pattern piece, for both the front and back of the dress. Not forgetting to add seam allowance, I added 1cm to the side seams.

Cutting out pattern onto jersey fabric

Remember to check the traced pattern measuremenst against the measuremnets of the original garment as you go along. I then adjusted the neckline for front and back. The dress is high neck, but not the same both sides. I slightly lowered it at the front and checked by measuring the neckline of the original dress I was tracing. After that it was as simple as cutting out the pattern onto the meet milk tencel rib.

Pinning neckline of maternity dress

Sewing my Maternity Dress

As I don’t have a cover stitch machine, I usually go for bands in self fabrics to finish the neck and arms. It ends up looking more professional than a folded over hemmed seam. For the neck and arm bands I needed to calculate the band measurements. I’m sure there is a mathematical technique for this, but I usually just measure hole and then take a few cm off to allow it to stretch and lay flat.

I made the entire maternity dress on the overlocker, so it was super quick to do. With pattern to complete dress in about 2 hours. I used a zig zag for the hem, and as I don’t have a walking foot it’s not the neatest. But after a good press it looks fine.

Ribbed band on necline of maternity dress

I am beyond thrilled with my dress and it’s become a firm favourite, I’m hoping that due to the stretch and drape I’ll be able to wear it after I’ve given birth too!

What do you think? Do you love a simple dress?

You can check out more of my maternity projects:

Maternity leggings

Maternity hack on the Bodie Dress by Aware Collection

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