DIY: Maternity Shirt Tutorial


Maternity shirt


Maternity clothes can be pretty expensive.  When I'm pregnant, I usually try to find regular clothes that I can make work as maternity clothes, so it cuts down on the cost!  I also like doing this because then I have a few things to wear that I don't see on every other pregnant lady in a 50 mile radius, because the selection of actual maternity clothes can be pretty limited.

Last year, shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I was shopping and found this tunic shirt for eight dollars.  It fit well, but it was kind of an awkward length - too long to wear as a regular shirt, too short to wear with leggings.  


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See?  Weird length.  But it was perfect for my purposes!  So here are the steps I took to turn it into a maternity shirt.


For this project you'll need:

-1 non-maternity tunic shirt in your size

(a tunic with a bit of stretch works best)




-Sewing machine


1. Turn the shirt inside out and  lay it so the side seam is resting flat.  Using an ironing table works best for this step so that you don't accidentally pin the fabric of the shirt together.

2. Take a piece of the elastic and pin one end to the shirt along the side seam, approximately where it would hit your lower ribs.  Measure the distance from the sleeve to where you pinned the elastic so that you can keep both sides even.


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3. Stretch the elastic as far as it will stretch.  Hold it tight and pin it down to the tunic along the side seam until you're 2-3 inches from the hem of the shirt.  When you release the elastic it will cause the fabric to bunch up, which will create ruching along the side seam.  Cut off any extra elastic after the last pin.


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4. Repeat the above steps with the opposite side seam, making sure you start and stop the elastic at the same points as the first side so it will be symmetrical.

5.  This is a good time to try on the shirt while the pins are in place to make sure you like where the ruching hits.  Just be careful not to poke yourself!

6. Set up your sewing machine.  Starting at the top of the elastic, sew a straight line down the middle of the elastic while stretching it straight.    Do this on both side seams.


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And wolla!  Your tunic is now a ruched-side maternity shirt!


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Me and my itty-bitty baby bump.


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And the shirt with my full 36-week belly!


The good part about this is that (at least with the tunic I used), there was enough room created by the ruching that my belly didn't stretch the fabric out too much, so when I'm done having kiddos I could probably remove the elastic and still use it as a regular tunic if I wanted to!  Or maybe hem it as a shirt because of that whole awkward length issue. . . .

Let me know if you try this, I'd love to see how your shirt turns out!




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Melanie said...

Thats a fantastic idea!!! The shirt looks awesome too..both ways! I'd wear it (non-pregnant) with black leggings and flats..would be a cute outfit! ;-)

Kate Craig said...

wow this is great! Those were my favorite kind of maternity shirts. I loved that they screamed "I'm pregnant" during the awkward small bump stage.

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