DIY jersey maternity dress: an easy way to deal with summer heat during pregnancy

Guest post by Maya
Image courtesy of Made By Julianne
Image courtesy of Made By Julianne

If you’re pregnant this time of the year, especially in the early stages, you probably are wondering what you can wear during the summer. When I was pregnant last year, jersey dresses sounded like the best way to deal with heat — they’re cool, comfy around the waist, and stretchy enough to last until late pregnancy. However, I had a weirdly hard time finding the jersey dresses I envisioned in stores — most dresses had waists that were a little too low, or they were long and heavy maxi dresses, or their fabric wasn’t stretchy enough.

Enter the jersey dress tutorial from the cool sewing blog, Made by Julianne. This tutorial rocks my world for quite a few reasons:

Me in one of my DIY maternity dresses. Photo by
Me in one of my DIY maternity dresses
It’s not actually for a maternity dress
The dress works great as one because of the stretchy material and the empire waist. I modified the pattern by gathering the skirt a little more in the front to flatter my belly, but I’m pretty sure I can still wear my dresses this summer. If you want the dress to work in the final few months of pregnancy, you could easily modify the skirt to be longer in front (or just embrace the mini-skirt… I wore my dresses at home to the bitter end!).

It is VERY easy to follow
Most of the things I’ve sewn tend to look a bit, shall we say, homemade. I try to pass off the curling seams and general wonkiness as charm. These dresses, on the other hand, are incredibly easy to sew and look professional, to boot. Because you’re working with jersey, you don’t even need to hem the bottom of the dress, and the seam at the top of the dress looks great because of the double-layered design. If you can sew a pillow case, you can probably sew this dress.

It’s extremely versatile
Depending on the fabric you use, the width of the straps you sew, the length you like, the way you sew the skirt, etc., this basic tutorial can fit almost any aesthetic. I made the dress knee-length, making one version with a patterned, tiered skirt and the other with simple teal fabric, but there are infinite possibilities. I also sewed two baby-sized versions of the dress, and I’m now trying to figure out if I want to embrace the corniness and go out in public matching my daughter.

I have a few more suggestions about how you might want to modify the tutorial so it’s a little more pregnancy-friendly. I left off the waist band (I thought the dress looked fine without it), but I did lengthen the bodice a lot. I’m small-chested but I still found that the inch measurements in the tutorial were way too short. I also widened the straps a lot the second time I made the dress, which worked better for me. (I like wearing bras but don’t like having bra straps showing, so I actually decided where my straps would go based on where my bra straps naturally sit– problem solved!)

I got a lot of compliments whenever I wore these dresses (from people who didn’t even know I’d sewed them myself), and they were so comfortable that all my elastic-waisted maternity pants sat in my drawers all summer. If you’re looking ahead at a pregnant summer, I hope these dresses help make you feel a little more comfortable!

Comments on DIY jersey maternity dress: an easy way to deal with summer heat during pregnancy

  1. I’m due in two weeks. 🙁 I may still make this for postpartum comfort, but I am hella glad I won’t be pregnant in the summer. Good luck to all the ladies that will be!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m due in September and people keep telling me how miserable I’ll be this summer in the Georgia heat (the perfect thing to say to a first-time pregnant woman, right?) This tutorial looks like the perfect project to take on now and enjoy wearing all summer. Thanks again!

    • Katie Bee, it’s incredibly hot here too but being pregnant in the summer really wasn’t so bad! First, I could turn on the air conditioning any time, guilt-free (it’s for the BABY!!) and second, I could wear next to nothing. 🙂 Seems to me like it could be uncomfortable to be pregnant in the winter when you have to wear a lot of layers!

      Hope you guys like the dress as much as I did!

Join the Conversation