Post pregnancy Marilyn Monroe dress

They call it the 4th trimester: the first three months after giving birth. I'm not sure why I didn't think it through, but for some reason I thought that after the baby was out, my belly would disappear. I had brought my favourite comfy clothes to the hospital only to find out that it was still incredibly tight at the waist as it takes several days for the uterus to shrink and for the belly to disappear. Silly me.

For the first month after Lily was born, I was still wearing my maternity pants, maternity jackets, and cardigans that didn't need to be buttoned up. Slowly, I was able to start zipping up my sweatshirts and wearing my old sweatpants. Slowly, I pulled out my old jackets for this springy weather. Slowly, I started to shed the baby weight.

Although this gradual reunion with my old wardrobe was exciting, I was not confident that I would be able to fit into a dress in time for my cousin's wedding. (Congrats Tiff and John!!!) The wedding was this past weekend, a little over a month after Lily's birth.


I took advantage of Lily's more sleepy days in the first couple weeks (and the extra adrenaline I had pumping through me) and sewed a dress from the book Famous Frocks that my (soon-to-be) sister in law bought me for Christmas. The book is a collection of iconic silhouettes from famous 20th century stars. From Audrey Hepburn to Twiggy. Jackie Kennedy to Madonna.

I decided to make the famous Marilyn Monroe dress, but with criss-cross straps rather than an open back.

The pattern was simple, and I was able to easily tailor to my odd post-pregnancy shape (medium chest, large waist, still no hips or butt...) I also had the perfect fabric in my fabric stash: a shimmery stretch jersey in a rich merlot-wine colour.



I worked on the dress for maybe an hour every day for two weeks: whenever Lily was down for a nap and I just didn't have it in me to nap while she napped. After about two weeks, Lily decided her crib was not nearly as comfy as napping in our arms so the sewing came to an abrupt stop. I had finished everything except the hem, and the straps on the back. Since I had used a jersey fabric (which doesn't fray) I just left the hem as-is and pinned the straps on with safety pins!

The dress turned out great. It ended up being just a bit loose; I probably lost a bit of weight in my chest/back since my initial fitting, but I just pinned the straps a little tighter. (Photo cred to my cousin Kev.)


Lily also had her own custom made dress. No, I'm not crazy and didn't also try to sew Lily a dress at the same time. My friend Danielle, from beadmarket.ca, sewed Lily a dress intended for this summer, but it was just too cute that I wanted her to wear it for the wedding. I sewed a quick belt to tighten the dress a bit and added some red tights to complete her look. Unfortunately (or fortunately) she was asleep in her carseat for most of the wedding and didn't get to show off the dress until the end of the night. I didn't get a great picture of her wearing the dress, but you can still tell she was cuuuute in that outfit!




Krystle K.  – (March 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM)  

Oh my gosh Kel! Those are both gorgeous frocks. Fabulous! And that's a super-cute pic of Lily =) Can't wait to meet her!

joelle  – (March 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM)  

The dress was beautiful (Lily and yours... haha)! Also, not only did I get a shout-out, I even made it on the blog in a pic with Lily! :D She's sooo cute... cant wait to see her again!

Daniel  – (March 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM)  

This was a fantastic post that made me grin like an idiot on a dreary day.
Thanks!!!

Daniel  – (March 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM)  

And you and Lily look fantastic!

Emily  – (March 28, 2012 at 5:08 PM)  

Kel, the dress is amazing! Your medium chest, large waist, still no hips or butt looks GREAT in the dress. The material is so pretty! It doesn't look like jersey at all; the shimmer makes it look like a silk satin in the photographs.

Your Lily is beautiful. "Puffed sleeves", how fashionable!

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