Making a Maternity Belly Panel – Thread Fraction’s Spring Dress

I know, I know, I know… its not a maxi, or super practical…. but its CUTE!!!! When I saw that Thread Fraction was releasing this form fitting #204 Spring Dress I knew I had to try to hack it for maternity. These steps are easy to follow and could be applied to any form fitting pattern. I have to say though, this one is super comfy and looks glam even if I’m just throwing on a cotton dress.

Liz Elliot the owner of Thread Fraction Studio was wonderful to work with while testing/hacking this dress. She is based in Australia so directions are all in English and although the pages aren’t trimless they go together very easily (and I rarely say that! I hate taping together patterns, I’d rather be sewing!). This dress is part of a big sale organized by Sew Fab, for details click here.

Fabric talk: This dress is designed for thicker fabrics like Ponte, scuba, Liverpool. I used heavy weight cotton lycra. Since I’ve been pregnant all I want to wear is cotton everything. This particular print is from the facebook group LDG “Show Room” but Sincerely Rilee just released a lot of amazing Ridiculously Heavy Weight Cotton Lycra that has AMAZING stretch. If I could have gotten my hands on some then that is definitely what I would have used. I love Darcy’s heavy weight CL

Let me just say I use butcher paper A LOT when sewing. I love being able to trace multiple sizes of the same patter (saves my computer ink) and also letting my little one join me in the sewing room with some coloring/crafting tools. A roll lasts me a LONG time, and I’m not stingy with it. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and order some now here.

I traced the top portion of the front dress piece, but stopped at the line “shorter/lengthen line (waist to hip)”. Then I measured 6 inches down and made a mark. I also made a mark 2.5 inches away from where the pattern was (this will be how wide your belly panel will be).

Then I just free handed from where it looked like the pattern started to dip in for the normal curve of the waist out to my 2.5 inch dot and down to the 6 inch dot creating a rounded curve. This was not very exact and you can see I just kind of guessed, trying to make it round.

I lined up this new point with the “shorten/lengthen line (waist to hip)” and continued to trace the pattern. Mark 12 inches up from where your new “shorten/lengthen line (waist to hip)”. This will be your markers for gathering.

When cutting your pattern be sure to mark on your fabric those gathering marks. You will need to gather the fabric between those marks to make it 6 inches long. We basically just doubled that space.

When attaching your front body to your back body use clear elastic just over the gathered part. This will help to stabilize and secure those gathers. Since The Bump will be putting extra stress on that area we want to keep it looking nice as we strut (or waddle) around. This clear elastic has been used so much for all my maternity stuff. It works magic with gathering (which is a maternity must have). I love that it comes on a spool too, makes it really easy to work with, the quality and the price Its unbeatable!

Then continue to construct the dress according to the directions. This added an extra 6 inches for Bump gathering and 5 inches (since each side we made 2.5 inches) wider for Bump growth. Awesome and easy right?!

When my Darling Daughter saw me taking pictures in my dress she wanted one SO MUCH to take pictures with me. So of course I had to hack another pattern to make her a little a coordinating mommy and me set! Be sure to sign up with your email at the bottom of the page so that you don’t miss the next blog about the hack I did for the Little Miss’s Danica Dress!!!


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