It can be hard to find just the right clothes when you're expecting a little one. You may see something cute and think "I really wish my tummy would fit in that!". Fortunately maternity clothes have gotten a lot cuter over the years, but there's still a gap between normal and maternity that can be hard to fill.
A friend of mine had on a ruched dress that I LOVED, and would have been perfect for my growing belly. I went to grab it, and they didn't have my size. of course. It was orange and beautiful...just what I needed.
So being frustrated and crafty, I decided to make my own!! Here's a little How-To on constructing your own maternity shirt!
Of course, every pregnant or has-been pregnant woman knows that your body grows in different places at different times, at different rates. This is just a basic How-To. It will need to be taylored for your particular body shape and size. This tutorial also assumes that you can construct a basic shirt from a pattern. I don't go into details on shirt sewing (sorry).
2 yards stretcy knit fabric. Make sure it's s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y!
1/4" wide elastic
Good fitting shirt for pattern
Start my making your basic shirt pattern. Take a t-shirt you love that fits well and fold it in half. Lay it on the fold of your fabric with the stretch going WIDTH wide. This is very important for fit.
To help it fit our bellies, we'll adjust some measurements before cutting. Around the arms and neck, just measure a 1/2" seam allowance. Once you get to the body, add a 1" seam allowance. This will ensure a little bit of extra fabric for the belly. We want the shirt to be loooooong, so add some serious length. I added at least 16" because I like mine super long, but you could add as little as 12".
Cut out the body of your shirt. You'll need a front and back.
(If you are adding sleeves, cut those out too)
Sew your shirt together as you would a normal garment. Body first, then add sleeves, then finish the neck, sleeves, etc.
Now to make it MATERNITY...
Measure a 10" piece of your elastic and tack it onto the inside seam of your shirt. I secured mine about 6" under the arm. Stretch the elastic until it's tight, and secure it towards the bottom of the shirt. This will leave a lot of bunchy fabric in the middle.
Make sure you tack it on the raw edge of your seam allowance so it won't show on the outside.
Sew the elastic to the shirt seam, using a wide zig zag stitch, pulling the elastic as you sew. This will bunch up the fabric giving you great ruching and pulling the length of the shirt up
(remember those 12" we added to the length??)
Here's a close-up of the stitching on the seam allowance through the elastic.
Now throw on your beautifully ruched, perfectly fitting maternity shirt and strike a pose with your little one...
Perfect belly coverage and a super-flattering fit!
And since you made it yourself, it's your size, your color, your shape. There's no better time to feel beautiful than when you're pregnant!