A PREGNANCY FRIENDLY INDIGO HACK BY GINA SEAMS
Hello Sewists, I’m Gina (@ginaseams) and I’m very excited to be doing my first blog for The Rag Shop sharing how I hacked the Tilly Buttons Indigo Dress using shirring elastic to create a whole new look!
This beautiful Dotty about Dots viscose was my fabric of choice, it has a fantastic amount of drape and it is super soft. The print is timeless and the monochrome colouring is perfect for matching with boots or trainers and it even works well with black tights. I did give it a prewash before starting my project and didn’t notice any shrinking, bonus!
Going into Autumn and heavily pregnant, I wanted to make a dress that would be easy to layer and give plenty of room for my expanding bump. The Indigo dress has always been on my sewing wishlist, so I dove into making my first one but with a twist. This pattern looked super easy to hack, recently I’ve been shirring absolutely everything. It adds the extra stretch and comfort whilst giving a bit of shape where I need it most!
The Indigo is already pretty roomy but I decided to size up on the bodice and skirt so it lasts right until due date (however you can stick to your usual size if you’d prefer). I also took the bodice out at the side seams by an inch to allow for the shirring but graded it to meet the pattern back at the underarms so I didn’t get huge armholes and the sleeves still fit.
I love experimenting when it comes to sleeves! This long shirred cuff effect was so easy to create and it gives such a cute look. All I did was widen the sleeves and add extra gathering at the top. Starting from the bottom of the sleeve, I did 20 rows of shirring but you could do more or less, whatever takes your fancy!
Here’s a quick video showing how to keep your shirring neat. If it’s your first time make sure you practise on some offcuts before you get started. Unpicking rows of shirring is no fun!! I wind my bobbin by hand, pulling the elastic slightly as I go. My stitch length is also much higher than normal and tension is higher too. Settings will be different on every machine, some don’t require any tightness when winding the bobbin so it’s all about trial and error until you feel it’s giving the best results. Also keep in mind that different fabrics will need more or less tension so I’d recommend always practising if you’re shirring something heavier or lighter than fabrics you’ve shirred previously.
To make the waistline sit nicely above the bump I added a few rows of shirring there too. I lined the side of my foot up slightly above the bodice seam and did five rows of shirring, following the seam all the way round as my guide.
This was such an easy hack but it completely changed the shape and style of this Indigo dress! Not only is it perfect for now, it’ll be great after baby too. I can see this one being a wardrobe favourite and can’t wait to style it in lots of different ways over Autumn and Winter.
Thanks so much for reading, I hope you liked my Indigo Hack!