Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DIY Maternity Shirt

My husband came to me with a work shirt that he was throwing away because the collar was discolored and he asked the very silly question "Could you use this for anything?".
In my house clothing never gets thrown out, it either gets donated, upcycled in to something new, or turned in to a dust rag.
So, since I'm 4 months along in my 2nd pregnancy I decided to give it a maternity makeover.
And I wanted to keep it super simple, in retrospect I would have taken the sleeves in but truly when I was doing this I was thinking of a super easy DIY that wouldn't require any advanced sewing skills.

Here it is, 4 steps to turn a men's button down in to a cute maternity shirt for work or play!
1. Remove the collar using a seam ripper.
2. Cut a piece of double sided bias tape the length of your collar, pin it and sew it in place. If you've never used double sided bias tape, it is truly as easy as it looks. You open it up at the center seam and slip it over the collar of the shirt. You will have equal coverage on the front and back sides.
3. Try the shirt on and mark directly underneath your bustline (if you know your boobs are going to grow more during the pregnancy give yourself 1/2 inch of extra room). In my case this was directly above the third button down, 2 inches below the arm holes. Take the shirt off, turn it inside out.
Measure around your rib cage, cut a piece of elastic 1 inch short of that measurement and pin it to the inside of the shirt, one end of the piece should be on the side with the buttons, one end on the side with the button holes. In my case I used 1/2 inch elastic and sewed down both ends (the long way), I recommend this width elastic. Anything thicker will feel too tight and I'm not sure that thinner would hold up as well.
**If you have never sewed an elastic in place, a quick tip, pin it at the start and end of the elastic, at each side seam, and once in the center of the back. Then pull the elastic to fit the fabric length every 4-5 inches and sew that section. If you overpin the elastic you're likely to get frustrated trying to pull the elastic to fit the shirt for sewing, the pins will just get in the way of your stretching the elastic.**
4. Put the shirt on and fold each side inward from the collar down to the elastic creating a v-shape. Pin in place and sew.
Honestly, you can spend time measuring this out and making sure it's perfect but if you look in a mirror and pin it so that it looks good to you it will be fine. (I hate measuring)

Final product:
I do not know where the horrendous glare off the right side of my glasses came from....but in the interest of not photoshopping my blog pics I'm totally leaving it.

I do have some experience with sewing but I am by no means an expert and this only took me about 35 minutes total. I know that the instructions are not 100% clear, but they're the best I can think of at the moment. If you are thinking of trying this but don't understand something please don't hesitate to ask in the comments and I will try to clarify as best I can!


Bookdog said...

How did you get the shoulders to fit? My husband's old shirts hang to mid-bicep on me.

Janssen said...


I'm doing a round-up of maternity clothing tutorials at Disney Baby, and I wanted to include yours. I'd use one photo and link back to the tutorial. Is that okay?