Head to Head: Maternity Agnes + Givre
This post is my honest opinion using fabric I received free of charge from Indiesew.
Hi folks! Has spring finally reached your neck of the woods? We're now seeing some green trees and warmer temperatures and I tell ya what, sunny days in the back yard are doing me goooood.
I'm over halfway done cookin' this bun and maternity sewing is in full swing now as well. Today I'm sharing a comparison of two maternity patterns with gorgeous IndieSew fabric. Read on!
Going through this pregnancy during which I'm sewing my own apparel more than I ever have, I've spent countless hours scouring the internet for modern, well made paternity patterns and well, there ain't much out there (someone pleeeeeeaaassse, makes some dang maternity shorts and pants patterns). Sure, there are some hacks and DIY's, but honestly sometimes it'd be nice to have patterns designed specifically for maternity wear that I don't have to hack for that purpose.
I chose to use the maternity Agnes by Tilly & the Buttons and the maternity Givre by Deer & Doe patterns because they are actual maternity patterns and are both tee style dresses that are quite popular in ready to wear maternity fashion. And since comfort is paramount during pregnancy, I chose two soft, beautiful rib knits from IndieSew for my dresses.
Agnes and Givre are both close-fitting knit dresses (or tees) with multiple sleeve lengths that hit at about the knee. Both have side ruching on the front to accommodate a growing belly and a rounded neckline. Agnes has an option for a sweetheart neckline with ruching and Givre has an optional contrast yoke and sleeve, as well as two different belly sizes based on pregnancy stage (3-6 months and 6-9 months) for an even more customized fit. When choosing a size, I went with my pre pregnancy measurements and went down one size to account for the stretchy rib knit. Here's how my measurements stack up to the size I chose to sew and each's finished measurements.
The first dress I sewed was the maternity Agnes in this blush pink rib knit. In addition to sizing down I also removed a total of 2 3/4" in length (dispersed between the waist and skirt). My first neckband cut from the pattern was too big for the dress so I recut a new one a couple inches smaller that worked much better with the rib knit. This dress is very comfortable, however I do wish the neckline was a little lower, and the bust and underbust area are a more roomy so the dress doesn't hug the narrowest part of me above my belly like I would like in a slim fitting dress like this. There also isn't as much ruching as you might find in a ready to wear dress in this style, however this rib knit has more than enough stretch to accommodate a growing belly.
Next is the maternity Givre in this heather charcoal rib knit. I made the 3-6 months version in my sized-down size, and removed one inch of length from the upper waist of the dress. Like the Agnes, I cut the neckband a little smaller than the pattern which worked better in the rib knit. Overall I like the fit of this dress better. You'll notice in my measurements chart that the bust measurement on the finished dress is quite a bit smaller than the Agnes in proportion to the hip, which I think helps create a more defined maternity silhouette and felt more comfortable when wearing. The side ruching is minimal bordering on none and I also feel like its set a little low, ruching on the hip more than the belly. Like the Agnes this lack of ruching is fine because of the rib knit, but in a different fabric I'd probably lengthen the front piece so there's more fabric to gather for that ruching effect. I'd also like to lower the neckline on this dress as well.
Though there are slight differences, both dresses are very comfortable to wear and I'm sure will be wonderful to have as I go through my first humid east coast summer while pregnant. I also love these dresses because they transition easily between seasons and are so easy to dress up or down. And because of the minimal ruching (I think that's the last time I have to use that word today), these will still fit in my non pregnancy closet. Talk about a great wardrobe staple!
Some final notes:
- If you're sewing rib knit and having some trouble, I strongly recommend taking a look at this blog post from IndieSew. Its all about rib knit fabric and some great tips on how to sew with it using a sewing machine and a serger, and even gives some pattern recommendations that work well in rib knit. IndieSew has lots of other Fabric Files posts so if you're ever looking to learn more about different substrates and how to work with them, head there!
- This is mentioned in the IndieSew Fabric Files post, but for virtually any knit hem, I can't recommend Heat n' Bond Soft Stretch enough. It works wonders stabilizing hems but is still plenty stretchy for wearing. Soft Stretch is where its at!
- Finally, if you like close-fitting tees and dresses but you're not in the market for maternity dresses, both patterns are available in non-maternity styles as well (Agnes linked here, and Givre linked here).
Thanks for reading, and if you have any favorite maternity (or maternity friendly) patterns you love, send them my way!