Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Bump Friendly Top and Dress Drafting

These two styles (dress and top) are suitable for maternity and non-maternity wear. As I grew I looked through my closet to find things that kept working for me, and made this with a bit more exaggeration, but the same style. This top is a more generous version of this, which was purchased as a dress but amended into a more flattering top.
Taken pre-bump - I miss my waist!
To recreate/improve this design, I am using my knit dress block - one without a bust dart. It is the one I have used consistently pre-bump. It already included seam and hem allowances, and I created it with a well fitted t-shirt and skirt as a guide. If you are looking for instructions for creating a knit block from existing clothing (it does take a few steps!) and you can look here to explore them. But any knit block will work. You can get one from Burda Style., although theirs do not have seam allowances / hem allowances so you would need to add them at the end. There are no darts either so you might choose a size up to ensure it is a loose fit for wearing (and/or growing) ease.
I am going to completely ignore the darts on this, and just work with the shape as its not a close fit. 
 The sleeve is exactly the same as the original (I've chosen a short sleeve) and therefore no changes are required.

I start by adding a bit of a flair, extending from the fullness of the hip to the hem, about 5cm (2") wider.
 I curve that line for a smoother edge.
 Which gives me this shape.
 I draw in the yoke. I've decided I want it a bit lower than the original neckline of my block (as the block is quite high) so I draw that in, and then create a panel underneath it. I have taken the same amount off the back as well as the front so that the shoulder line will match.
Here I have removed the extra part, and separated the yoke so you can see how it works. If you are working on paper, you would leave them together and trace off later.

 Now I need to extend the centre front to create a gather. I have added 7.5cm (3") to this version, which will double when it is cut on the fold. If I were not making it with bump in mind, I may add a bit less, perhaps 5cm (2") but it will work either way.
 Extended front.
 This is a bit tricky to see at this scale. I have marked where the gather will run too on both the yoke piece and the front. I have then smoothed the line so that the curve is stretched on the bottom piece. Otherwise it will pull up oddly when gathered.

 Which gives me these pieces.
 I need to add seam allowances to the top of the neckline (if they weren't factored in earlier) and to the bottom of the yoke piece. I also traced off a facing for the back, to which I added seam allowances as well. Not on the shoulder seam as they were already included in the original block.
For non maternity, stop here (see below for t-shirt length). For maternity, I have added a little length to the front. I put an additional 3cm (1 3/16") at the hem on the front only, and curved it up to the side seam, just to make a little more coverage as the bump pushed out. I will be unpicking and trimming the extra off my hems post bump.

 To find the t-shirt length, the easiest way is to lay a t-shirt block of a good length (or an existing t-shirt) along the side seam.
 And then mark the hemline from there (If you do use a t-shirt, be sure to account for the hem)
 Again, if no bump, stop here. But to make it bump friendly, a little extra length at the front doesn't go astray. I added a more generous 5cm (2") here because it is much more noticeable here, and I didn't really want my tummy peaking out. 
 So there you have it. Depending on where you cut, you either have a dress pattern...
... or a shirt pattern.

By cutting with the original waistline, the waist curve is still suggested. It doesn't really stop me looking pregnant from the back (I think I probably look pregnant from space at this point) but it does clarify that there is a regular human shaped frame in there, not just a beachball with legs. Whoot!
... and I'm not even done yet. 
I'll follow up with a bit more on fabric choice, cutting and construction sometime next week (unless I suddenly get really busy).  

Take care everyone!

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