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Topic: Help making an empire waist without looking pregnant?  (Read 841 times)
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Lady Marmalade, the Duchess of Spreadable Treats
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« on: February 17, 2008 09:48:17 PM »

I'm planning some sundresses for the spring/summer season (when it finally arrives, anyway), and I've found that the sundresses that look better on me tend toward the empire-waist style.  Is it possible to make an empire waist, with the gathered skirt, and not look newly pregnant?
I'm thinking something that has a nice baby-doll/empire waist like this:
...while avoiding the poof beneath the boobs a la these:
***The poof is most noticeable in the bodice close-ups.  It's one of those things that's not a huge deal in pictures, but it makes a big impact in RL.  Because I'm an overall smaller person (shorter torso and legs, smallish boobies, etc.) it's very noticeable, and especially bothersome because conservative Nebraskans (especially gossiping older women) are eagerly awaiting spring, aka Baby Season, and they'll be on the prowl for anything slightly maternal.
*whew!*  So... did anyone catch all that?

Oh, it's just kittens.

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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008 04:03:28 AM »

I sympathize. You might consider styles with a midriff band. That way the gathering is OBVIOUSLY not a baby since your ribcage (underbust to waist) is framed by the midriff band.

Possible patterns: New Look 6774 http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=6774 has a band under the bust

New Look 6748 http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=6748 is another take on the Duro.

New Look 6696 http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=6696 midriff band.

Alternately, you can decrease the amount of gathering in a pattern. Sometimes the amount you gather is 1.5-3X. Just fold out however much you want from the pattern.

Or, use a fabric with great drape. Jersey is super popular right now and I've seen some great projects right here on craftster using it. Lightweight fabrics with a non-gathered lining also look great.


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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008 05:45:58 AM »

I realize all the ones you are looking at have gathered skirts, but if you really want to avoid the pregnant look you can go for an empire waist that doesn't have a gathered skirt, and maybe has some darts sliming the skirt a bit.  The biggest thing to watch is that your fabric choice doesn't exaggerate the effect, and that the skirt fits well over your hips, because if it's tight over your hips it will definitely make you look more maternal than other wise. 
I hope this helps.  And don't worry many empire waist dresses do not look like maternity clothes. 

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Lady Marmalade, the Duchess of Spreadable Treats
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2008 06:00:42 AM »

Thank you for your help!  I'm hoping to draft a pattern for this (my first  Smiley), and I'll keep the band/less gathering/skirt dart possiblities in mind.  If drafting goes poorly, I might check out the top two patterns you posted, somerset---6774 or 6748.  I'm liking the dress in the top right corner (on both packages).

Oh, it's just kittens.

I want to leave this world the way I came into it:  naked, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood.
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2008 07:34:08 AM »

I think fabric makes a huge difference in how these tops look as well.  You want to stick with thinner, flowey types of fabrics that has lots of drape.... heavy or stiff fabrics are going to make you look heavy or pregnant. 

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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2008 01:10:31 AM »

Unless your stomach ISN'T perfectly flat - in which case you'll look more pregnant with the flowy, clingy stuff!  Roll Eyes

I've found putting my gathers/pleats behind my back gives me a bit of a "train", but also helps avoid that pregnant look... well, it did before I was pregnant!  Grin

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