Ever since I had the opportunity to travel through Italy and Spain, I’ve loved olive leaves. In person, Olive Trees are so beautiful – the colors are unusual and catch my eye every time, and the leaves are so small and dainty. When I saw this olive leaf print from Art Gallery Fabrics, I knew I wanted it in my wardrobe. The color palette is so pretty – though I’ve still not been quite able to figure out my own personal color palette, I do always find that I feel great about the way greens look on me, and I find myself drawn to them. This print has a great balance of bright and muted tones, and I feel like it is lovely for summer.
I’ve praised it before and I’ll praise it again – Art Gallery Fabrics cotton jersey is so nice to work with. I’m never disappointed in the quality of this fabric! It is soft and supple, while still breathable enough to wear during hot Texas summers! As soon as I was offered a chance to work with this Art Gallery knit through the Minerva Ambassadors program, I was on the ball, deciding what I would make with it. It always spoke to me as a maxi dress, so I started thinking through patterns that aligned with that vision.
Can you believe I’d already had this pattern for well over a year without having sewn it yet?! The Naomi Dress caught my eye as soon as it was released – it is a really versatile dress pattern, and a simple change in fabric could make this a lounge by the pool dress or a wedding appropriate dress. I’d purchased this pattern with wedding season in mind, but when 2020 was the year of no weddings, I’d never actually gotten around to sewing it up. I was so happy to stumble across it in my pattern collection – it is the perfect pairing for this dress!
I sewed this dress up just in time to wear it to a beautiful outdoor wedding shower for one of my dearest friends from Nursing School – she was a bridesmaid in my wedding, as well! This was my first outing to see friends in well over a year, and I was so excited for the day! I was afraid it would take a little bit longer than the standard jersey dress, due to the loops along the sides and long straps, but I finished this one over the course of 3 bouts of post-bedtime sewing. I felt great in my dress the next day – cute and comfortable! Despite the maxi length, the combination of the extended side slit, open back, and cotton jersey fabric made this dress totally breezy and wearable on an 80℉ day. It was somewhat surreal to be back out with friends, especially with our little one at home with her grandparents for the afternoon. My husband and I felt like we’d time travelled, enjoying a day just the two of us (plus the baby bump, of course), spending some time at the wedding shower, followed by a stop at my favorite coffee shop and ending at some of our closest friends’ house for a birthday crawfish boil!
When I’m not pregnant, and sewing based on my normal measurements, I have sewn three different sizes in Made for Mermaids patterns, depending on the day and the pattern. For this particular dress, I sewed up the largest of those three sizes and made some very minimal changes to the pattern. For one, I chose to gather the front skirt rather than pleating – this suggestion was actually made in the pattern instructions to help the skirt lay more evenly across a growing belly. I sewed up size Indigo, but tried on the dress before sewing the back elastic fully into place and ended up removing a whopping 3 inches from the suggested elastic length, bringing it down to the suggested length for 3 or 4 sizes down. I was extra surprised to see that the length was great on me, despite the fact that I am taller than the pattern is drafted for and have a significant baby bump that the front skirt has to drape over! For reference, I am 5’8” tall and 24 weeks pregnant in these photos! I’d definitely recommend this pattern for maternity wear, and of course, the best thing is that it will still be wearable again next summer!
I felt so pretty and “normal” in this dress – between what felt like a “normal” Saturday out of the house, full of activities, and a dress that fits me well, it almost made me forget that I’m a pregnant lady in the middle of a pandemic! As an extroverted introvert, I have had NO problem with being home constantly over the last year and few months, but I will say it really has been nice getting to see my family and friends again recently, and to feel a little more comfortable going out in public. I certainly am not looking forward to a constantly jam-packed schedule, though – I need ME TIME!
This dress was a great pick for me, and I’m so glad I finally cut into this pattern! It feels great on my current shape, and I’d love to make another one or two to get me through the summer. I’m totally partial to maxi dresses, but I might even like a shorter version for pool days. Always dreaming up the big plans over here!
Dress: handmade by me
Patterns: Made for Mermaids – Naomi Dress
Fabric: Minerva – Art Gallery Fabrics Cotton Jersey Knit Fabric
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker
Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needles
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite)
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this make! The fabric used for the dress in this post was provided to me by Minerva as a member of their Minerva Brand Ambassador Team, in exchange for photos of my finished garments posted on their website. The Naomi Dress pattern was purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth