Some of my regular T-shirts are starting to get a little short now, with my growing bump, and I happened to have a particularly tight navy pocket T (which I had ruined anyway by getting dark brown wood paint on ;)), so I thought I would try out making a maternity smock-style top.
It occurred to me after I had finished that this idea could be extended to make a dress (short or maxi..)..and would also be great for anyone whether pregnant or not…
The fun thing about this project is deciding which colour combo to go for…I actually think, in hind sight, that a stripy top and plain bottom part would have worked better…next time!
What I used for this top was:
- A slim fitting T-shirt that fits well at the top;
- A baggy, loose fitting vest top or T-shirt (that will go nicely over your bump if you have one)
1. First I put on the slim fitting top and marked (with pins, or pen on the reverse side) under the bust , where I wanted to join the other T-shirt on. Remember you will need to add up to a cm for seam allowance.
At the same time I tried to the other, baggy, top over the top, and worked out how long I wanted it to be, and marked where I would need to cut it to give the required length (again remembering you will need to add up to a cm for seam allowance).
2. Then I gathered the top of baggy top fabric until it was the same width as my top part. This tutorial from Make It & Love It is good if you are unsure how to gather fabric… its worth practicing on some old material if doing it for the first time…
3. When the two were the same width, I placed them right sides together, as described in Make It & Love Its tutorial ( I really should have taken a photo of this step as its so difficult to explain!) and sewed them together. I then zig-zag stitched the seam allowance to tidy it up…
4. I tried it on at this stage, and noticed it was too loose fitting where the top part joined the bottom part, and I was wanting it to fit snugly at this point, and then become more loose below this point..so I decided to make a stretch band to bring it in and also add a bit of detail to the top..
To do this, I used some of the remaining bottom half of the navy T-shirt..I cut a band out of it which was twice the width I wanted my band to be (plus up to a cm for seam allowance). In my case my finished band was 3.5 cm so I cut a band of width of 8 cm.
I then cut along one of the seams to make just one long strip of fabric. I then folded it in half, right sides together (bringing the top edge down to the bottom edge) and sewed it into a long tube, then turned it right side out.
5. Then, wearing my new (but not quite finished) maternity top, I put the band around myself, fitting it to the required tightness … and pinned the two ends of the band together at this point. You can afford to make it reasonably snug, because as long as its a stretch fabric it will still stretch enough to enable you to take the top on and off easily…
6. After sewing the ends of the band together at this point (and cutting off the excess and zigzag stitching the seam allowance).. I placed it around my top, covering the join between the two parts of the top, and sewed the band on at each side seam (sewing along the original side seam of the top)….
7. Finally, I used the gathering technique (used in step 2 ) to gather up the lower half of the top to make it fit more snugly underneath my bump..I sewed a long stitch just outside the seam (I tried doing it inside the seam allowance but i couldn’t get the thread to gather!)… If you are making a non-maternity top then I don’t think this stage wouldn’t be as necessary …….
And there I had my new maternity top, with lots of room and length for a growing bump!