I was tired last night and didn’t sew at all. Instead, I have this for you, my last maternity-only garment. The Rie Dress by Megan Nielsen Patterns:
To be honest, this pattern is a little “meh” for me as a maternity pattern. It is incredibly comfortable, which is particularly nice in the third trimester. But it’s awfully close to a maternity tent dress for my taste, and I just feel a little blah in this style of dress.
I’ve seen this dress styled for non-maternity before (including Megan’s own Rie dress and top), and I actually prefer the non-maternity styling to the maternity. I plan to keep this dress and pattern around, and maybe make one or two more for comfy lounging dresses or even nightgowns after baby is eventually weaned.
I made this dress sleeveless, and when it was finished, I realized that to work sleeveless, I really should have adjusted the width of the yoke piece. The yoke is drafted on the narrow side, and simply omitting the sleeves means that I can’t really wear it without my bra showing at the armpit area.
It’s generally not a huge deal to just throw a shirt or cardigan over it when I’m leaving the house, but it has been HOT lately! Sleeveless would definitely be preferred!
The fabric is a random jersey knit that I picked up on sale at Denver Fabrics. It’s very soft and drapey, but a little thin. Not translucent, thank goodness, but I think that something with a bit more heft would work nicely for this pattern.
I also changed up the neck and arm finish from what the pattern called for. Rather than turning under and stitching with a double needle or zigzag stitch, I did a partial lining to get a nice, clean finish at the neck and arms.
Connecting the lining at the neck was pretty intuitive, but at first I was completely baffled as to how I could connect the lining at the sleeves and still have a nice, pretty finish without hand stitching. Then I remembered that Rae had done a partial bodice lining one of her Washi dresses, so I sought out that post. She has a series of video tutorials on how to do a partial bodice lining, and her method is BRILLIANT! I followed her method for attaching the lining to the arms, and the result was absolutely perfect, and seriously easy to boot. Love it!
Now I love the finish on the neck and arms, and will probably do this with any future Rie dresses that I make.
I don’t mean to sound like a downer on this dress because I really do like it. It was a very easy and quick sew, and is extremely comfortable. I’m just at the point now where I’m big and awkward and any dress of this style just feels too much like a tent for my particular taste. I am looking forward to wearing this dress non-preggo, though. I think I will like that much better.
Pattern: Rie Dress by Megan Nielsen Patterns. ($18)
Fit: Perfect. This dress has a very generous fit, so I probably could have even cut a small and it would have been fine. Megan Nielsen maternity patterns direct you to cut your pre-pregnancy size. I was right between a S and M pre-pregnancy, so I cut an M to be safe. A S might help to reduce the bra peekage, though, so I will probably cut an S next time.
Fabric: Random single-knit jersey. I’m pretty sure it’s 100% cotton, but it is quite soft, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some polyester or rayon in there.
Modifications: I omitted the sleeves, and changed the neck and arm finishes to include a partial lining, as described above. Otherwise, none.
Physical Pattern: Beautiful. Exactly what you’d expect from a Megan Nielsen pattern. Her patterns are my absolutely favorite in this category.
- Really comfortable. A nice, flowy, gathered jersey dress is about as comfortable as you can get, particularly in the heat of summer.
- Very easy to put together. If I had opted to simply turn under and sew, like the instructions direct, this dress could probably go together in an hour. It’s that easy.
- A little tent-like for a maternity dress, particularly later in pregnancy. It’s very comfortable, but not always the most flattering silhouette, particularly when you carry the way I do.
- If you omit the sleeves, like I did, you really need to either adjust the yoke piece or resign yourself to wearing a shirt or cardigan over it to avoid bra peekage. That’s ok most of the time, but not ideal when it’s 100 F outside.
Overall Grade: B. This is a good pattern and well-designed. The silhouette is not a favorite of mine for maternity. I think I’ll like this dress better when I can wear it non-pregnant.
**Again, I was not compensated at all for this post and all opinions are mine. I paid for my pattern, just like everyone else.