As this is my last pregnancy, I have wanted to capture this belly and this family at this moment in time. I love being pregnant and know that I will miss the bump and the kicks and the whole 180 degree experience of growing a life, so commemorating this time with an epic photo shoot is important to me.
I have been immensely inspired by Taylor Swift’s floral embroidered Oscar de La Renta dress for the Grammy’s, and wanted to try my hand at my own version of a floral maternity dress. The original idea was to create a dress out of nude tulle that I would then cover with embroidered 3d flowers, either by embroidering them myself or finding another fabric with flowers to cut out and hand stitch on.
Then, my childcare disappeared.
Then I got covid.
The next think I know I’m 35 weeks pregnant without a plan and a fear that if I don’t get this done quickly, I will have regret for not doing it for the rest of my life. Nothing drives me like the fear of regret, so I jumped into turbo mode to figure out the quickest way to get this look. I found this fabric on etsy that is partially embroidered with flowers in a gradient pattern, that was the aesthetic I was looking for. The fabric came all the way from China (!!) which means I would likely be 37 or 38 weeks before being able to complete this gown, which really put me in a tight spot. Luckily I always deliver late!
I bought 5 yards of the fabric which was pricey but there was a discount on multiple yards which helped a lot. Although the dress itself would only take 2 yards of fabric, I needed extra yardage of flowers to cut out and hand sew on top. As is I would probably need upwards of 100 extra flowers to strategically cover my chest and underwear, I ordered 3 extra yards just to be safe.
Once the fabric arrived I got straight to work! First I essentially made a tube with the most sheer portion on top, so that my shoulders would be more sheer and the flowers would build as the dress cascaded down. Once I had the tube made I took in darts around my back for shaping, and took it in under my hips to show off the bump and my curves. I used a sleeve sloper for the sleeves and then inserted them into a roughly cut armhole into the side seam. There was very little ‘real’ pattern making done for this design, but just trying on and taking it in as I went since my bump was growing the whole time I was fitting. Then I cut out the hundreds of flowers and machine sewed on the ones I could (bottom half of the dress) and hand sewed on the rest on the sleeves and chest.
The final result even blew me away. I felt like Beyonce or a queen in this floral maternity dress. Often times we feel hideous and huge as pregnant women, but this made me feel beautiful and glorious and I wish I had some other event to wear it to. Hopefully one day Marina will be pregnant and want to wear this dress, because it’s just that special!
We used the absolute best photographer in the Bay Area to capture our family photoshoot and my maternity photos, since there was no way I was going to walk away from doing all this work without the images to back it up! She’s absolutely the best- both in her artistry and capturing the dress and the glow of the day, but also in getting great images of my kids even though they are barely paying attention. She truly is a miracle worker!
I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos and that they inspire you to make your next family portrait session extra special!