I don’t know why, but when I printed off this .pdf pattern it seemed ridiculously daunting to me. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the first page housed two tiny pattern pieces amongst other important information, or the number of pages, but when I printed it I immediately started brainstorming ways to avoid moving forward with this pattern – which is so silly, because I have truly waited ALL year to make this dress!
Originally, I planned to make this dress in a beautiful fabric that I purchased during our trip to Italy last year. I’d tucked it away with Fringe Dress plans in my head, but as the time drew nearer (and my belly grew bigger!) I decided that although that fabric will still be a Fringe Dress, it wouldn’t be right now. I wanted something with a bit more drape and movement, so I began hunting through the rest of my fabric stash, only to come across this beautiful Cotton & Steel / Rifle Paper Co. rayon challis… Which, admittedly, I have also been hoarding for quite a while! I knew this would be the perfect fabric, and decided that this would be a great option for a baby shower dress!
Luckily, I am not the first girl to want to sew a Fringe Dress with a pretty sizeable baby bump! I took a look at Lara’s blog post from earlier this year and borrowed some of her ideas to incorporate into my own version. In the end, the maternity modifications I made included the following: I shortened the bodice by 1.5” at the lengthen / shorten line, as well as the corresponding facing and interfacing pieces. This ultimately meant that I would only need 2 buttons / buttonholes on the bodice, so I made this change as well by simply spacing the two out evenly. I transferred that 1.5” that I removed from the bodice down to the skirt, and also added an additional 0.5” since I’m a bit tall – so overall, that was 2” added at the skirt’s lengthen / shorten lines. And that is it!
I think the style of the Fringe Dress actually lends itself quite well to maternity wear, given the relaxed fit at the waist and the gathered skirt. I also think this will transition well once the baby arrives, since the button front top will offer nursing access! Despite the few modifications I made, I am also hoping that this will remain a wearable piece after pregnancy.
My key ingredients for this garment include my favorite button hole opener, and my loop turner – both are linked below, along with all the pattern information. Button holers are the genius solution to avoid accidentally seam ripping straight through the buttonholes you’ve just sewn – you essentially just push down and cut straight through for a clean and easy opening. My loop turner was the most inexpensive and worthwhile investment I’ve made in my garment sewing. I used to turn loops by hand, with a safety pin. I would always get tender, sometimes blistered or callused fingertips, until I reached out to the online sewing community and someone suggested this awesome loop turner! It was the perfect tool for the super long waist ties included for the Fringe dress, especially if you choose the front dart placement option, as I did. I sewed those tubes up and turned them out in truly less than 5 minutes total, thanks to this tool. If I was still depending on doing it by hand, I can only imagine it would’ve taken most of my afternoon, and some very sore fingertips. I’ve placed links to both of these products below with the pattern information – check it out!!
I absolutely love working with rayon challis, but sometimes the slipperiness can be a pain to deal with. I’ve only worked with Cotton + Steel rayon challis on one other occasion, but you guys, they are seriously the antidote to this slippery situation. Their fabric is a little weightier than other rayon challis that I have worked with, and it tends to iron just a bit better as well. I feel like it responds to what I want it to do so much better than most rayons. It doesn’t hurt anything that all of the Rifle Paper Co. partnership fabrics are absolutely beautiful! I’ve also noticed that I am not the only one who thinks that the Fringe Dress pattern and Rifle Paper fabrics are a match made in heaven!
The neckline on this dress falls a little higher than I was hoping it would. I don’t dislike it, but I think I would’ve been a bit happier with a deeper / lower neckline. Of course, I could have made a muslin and known where this would hit, but I didn’t! I may adjust this in the future, though I am more than happy enough with this dress as is. I paired this dress with the matching Kendra Scott set that I got back around my birthday (some of you might remember me going on in my stories about their awesome birthday perks!), and felt super cute for the baby shower thrown by my mother-in-law last weekend!
The shower was an indoor / outdoor set-up, and this dress was perfect for the mid-70’s temperatures that we had following a couple of days of super serious rain! I look forward to making this dress again, and hopefully utilizing some of the awesome hacks I’ve seen floating around. Some of my favorites have been the maxi version made by kneesocksandgoldilocks, the wrap version made by Heidi over at Handmade Frenzy, and the awesome boho chic version made by Catherine at threadsnips!! What have your favorites been?
Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: Chalk & Notch – Fringe Dress (View A)
Fabric: Cotton + Steel / Rifle Paper Co. Wonderland Rayon Challis – Painted Roses in Black
Key Ingredients: Loop Turner and Button Holer
Though the pattern used in this post was generously provided to me as a SewMyStyle project leader, all opinions expressed are my own, as always!
- XX Elizabeth