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Making a Maternity Magnolia

Cassie Banks

Since I first laid eyes on the Magnolia dress, I envisioned it as the perfect maternity dress.  Don’t get me wrong . . . this dress is gorgeous all the time.  I love the options for length, the curved or straight waist and the opportunity to use beautiful, drapey knit fabrics that flatter the figure.  However, I couldn’t get the idea of a maternity Magnolia out of my head.  Most likely because I’m currently 30 weeks pregnant with my third child and have very few clothes that still fit me.  Something about the beautiful curved bodice made Magnolia the perfect first pattern for me to hack into the perfect maternity dress. 

First of all, if you haven’t had a chance to pick up the Magnolia pattern you can do so here:

First off, we’ll find the perfect size by using the measurements on the chart provided on page 8.  I’ll tell you that sewing while pregnant for me is an act of humility because my bust size is so much larger than normal.  I ended up mashing sizes for the bodice because my bust size measured 16, however, the rest of me is not quite that large.  I cut a 14 width and a 16 at the chest. 

Next, make sure that you choose the curved bodice option. 


Now, we’ll cut the skirt.  Here’s where I made the biggest modification.  I added an extra 2 ½ inches to the length of the front bodice.   How did I decide on 2 ½ inches?  Well, I did something really scientific . . . I took a measuring tape and measured straight out from the bottom of my sternum to the same level as my bump.  This measurement was about 2 inches, then I added a little more ease knowing that my belly isn’t finished growing. I added it at the top so that the side seams would match up and not require trimming.  You will notice in the instructions that the curved bodice option utilizes a longer measurement for the front skirt than the back skirt.  I added an additional 2 ½ inches to the measurement listed on page 9.  

Next, I modified the “curved bodice cut out piece.”  To do this I taped the existing pattern piece to another piece of paper and then I took a ruler and measured 2 ½ inches above the center and at various points on the way down the curve.  Then I drew a new “curved bodice cut out piece” and cut it out. 

Here is a photo of the front and back pieces matched at the side seams for your reference!

At this point, I simply proceeded with the pattern according to the instructions as written.