How to make a dress for a maternity session

Let me preface this by saying that for the majority of my adult career, I was a women’s clothing designer. I ran my photography business alongside this for many years, but I could never choose between the two. I absolutely loved both. However, as most people can relate, Covid changed A LOT for many people, in both personal and professional ways. I do continue to take on design projects on a contract/freelance basis, but my focus at the moment is my business. Although I have amassed a very extensive maternity and client wardrobe, making a dress for a maternity session had just not happened yet!

However, lately I’ve been feeling inspired. Sometimes a fabric is all you need to have the desire to create. I purchased a few colors of this pleated fabric, and decided to try my hand at creating something. I had a session coming up I wanted to try it out on, and I really love the way it turned out!

Because time wasn’t on my side that week, I simplified the process a little bit and skipped the pattern paper. I started by draping the fabric on a dress form and using a similarly shaped top as a guide. I modified the upper body to my liking and created a one sleeve top. Then I attached the skirt, and to finish I added a few more pleated pieces to the bust and waist. For someone who hasn’t made anything like this before- I totally recommend taking a garment you DO like the shape of, and laying it out on top of your fabric to give you an idea of where you want to start. You can trace with fabric chalk or pin as needed to sort out where you want to cut the fabric.

making a dress for a maternity session, final image from client's session

Her favorite look!

I surprised my client with this look, and during her reveal she confessed it was her favorite look from the whole session!

I made the mistake of NOT taking images while i was making the dress, but you can check more behind the scenes reels from this session on my Instagram! You can also check out the rest of this stunning mama’s session HERE.

Sofia Ribeiro is an NJ maternity photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, and family portraits. Serving the North and Central New Jersey areas, as well as New York City and Staten Island.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: