DIY Maternity Clothes!

July 17, 2011

One thing I’m really lacking is pictures of myself pregnant. I figured since I’m already 30 weeks along, I should spend a little more time in front of the camera!!

I thought now would be a good time to share how I’ve saved myself tons of money this pregnancy by making my own maternity clothes while also showing off my belly. I have no hips and absolutely no rear end, so maternity pants are always huge and baggy and falling off me. And most maternity shirts are awkwardly shaped and by the time I get them long enough to cover my belly, they’re huge everywhere else!


So in one afternoon, back in April, I converted these regular clothes into maternity clothes. I just can’t bring myself to pay $18 for a shirt at Target, or $25 for one at Motherhood! I only get 4 or 5 months wear out of them and since this is our last baby, I really couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. I picked this tank up at Old Navy for $5 and with a little elastic and 10 minutes of my time, I made it a rouched maternity shirt!

The pants were a little more difficult, but definitely worth the time! They fit me like a dream and are so comfortable. And most importantly, they’re not saggy in the butt!

To make my awesome capris, I took a pair of regular capris I haven’t been able to button since having Sofie. My hips changed shape enough to keep them from fitting me properly. In order to convert pants like this, you don’t have to button them, but you MUST be able to zip them up all the way.

**This would be a really great item to pick up at a thrift store! Getting a pair one size bigger than you normally wear would probably be the best idea because it will guarantee you a little room to grow!

The first thing I did is get out my seam ripper and start taking off the waistband. This will look different depending on the actual pants you’re working with.

I picked it out from the inside first, then from the outside, taking care to make sure I didn’t pick out any of the stitches that attached the pockets to the pants.

Once I got the waistband off, I took the belt loops off, too.

Then I took out the zipper because I didn’t need it.

It was tough to figure out how to get it out, but with a lot of examining I figured it out. I ended up having to cut it off to get it free.

I saved the zipper part! You never know when you’ll need a tiny zipper, right?!

Stripped down to the bare bones!

Then I pinned the zipper hole closed,

and sewed a little seam along the edge. The fly is just ornamental on maternity pants.

And now I’m ready for the waistband!

I used elastic I picked up in NYC for these pants. It’s 3″ wide and not very stretchy, but ended up being perfect. I used the circumference of the pants, plus 1″.

I sewed it together with a 1/2″ seam allowance (the extra 1″ I cut), then sewed the ends down to secure them.

Since my elastic was the exact size as my pants, it was really easy to sew it on. This is why it might be beneficial to get pants 1 size bigger than you normally wear.

And they were done!

The tank was MUCH easier to do. I started with my regular shirt.


I cut a piece of 1/4″ elastic 6.5″ long. I measured 4″ from the armpit and pinned it in place.

Then measured 2.5″ from the bottom and pinned it in place.

I figured out really quickly that regular pins wouldn’t hold the elastic, so I secured it with safety pins.

I started at the top and got a few stitches in to secure it in place,

then stretched the elastic all the way out.


Working in sections just a few inches long, I’d sew, then stretch. Sew, then stretch, making sure to keep the elastic equally stretched along the length of the shirt.


When I got to the bottom, I kept it held firmly in place with my finger to ensure the elastic was the same length on each side.

When you’re done, it’ll be all scrunched up on itself, ready to wear!

And that’s it! Maternity shirts made by you for a fraction of the retail price! I did this with several Boyfriend Tees I got at Target for $6 each and I can’t get myself out of them!

I’ve loved having clothes that fit me well to wear all summer. I’m surprised how quickly this pregnancy has flown by and I’m sad it will be over soon. But despite how I feel about my clothes or the gestation period of babies, we can’t wait to meet you soon, little girl!

43 Responses to “DIY Maternity Clothes!”

  1. DIY Maternity Clothes! | Sew Like My Mom | large size clothing said:

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  3. Carissa said:

    Hi! The pants and shirt look so good! I’m going to bookmark this page for when I’m pregnant again. I have a question, though, did you buy shirts in your non-pregnancy size? Or larger? Do they need to be extra long shirts to work? Thanks!

  4. DIY Project – Turn Regular Clothes into Maternity Wear said:

    […] a clever idea!  Sew Like My Mom has a great tutorial showing how she turned some regular pants into maternity pants by taking out […]

  5. Merewyn said:

    Hi, I’ve done something similar with jeans, but because I carry really low I cut a big u shaped scoop out of the front and I used stretch cotton/lycra fabric folded double. Love the singlet 🙂 you should mention that a zig zag or stretch stitch will work best, or better yet use an overlocker.

  6. Veruka said:

    Felicitaciones! excelente idea, en realidad cuesta encontontrar ropa simple cuando uno esta embarazadas.

  7. DIY: Maternity Clothes « Working Families Couponing said:

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  8. leslie said:

    holycow this is AMAZING. the shirt seems so simple, and I knw it would be, I just never sat down to think about it or took the time to look at one in the stores! Thank you thank you thank you for saving me to $25-$40 for a new par of jeans to get me though these last 2 months! found you through pinterest and so glad I did!!

  9. BellaBand | Parenting QnA said:

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  10. LizzyD said:

    Seriously your genius! I love all your patterns! Thank you thank you for sharing!

  11. Maternity Wear said:

    It is really a nice blog. I am completely convinced with these thoughts. I will stay in touch for more information. Pregnancy clothing was earlier synonymous with large, tent size dresses that were unflattering. Women were more inclined towards hiding their large belly rather than flaunt it with stylish dresses. However, the trend, since then has changed for good.

  12. Breastfeeding Clothes said:

    You look gorgeous. Pregnancy suits you.

  13. Kristi G said:

    Ok I have a question. I love the shirt, but what size did you get? I mean, the pants you recommended getting 1 size bigger, but what about the shirt? I’m 22 weeks and probably going home to make myself a few more tanks and tshirts this weekend. It’s been 70 degrees these last few days and I have mostly long sleeved maternity clothes.

  14. Melissa said:

    I got a shirt that was one size larger than I normally wear. I didn’t want it to be HUGE on me, just big enough to give my belly room to expand.

  15. Susie said:

    I love it when someone has a great idea and they are willing to share it with others. Your instruction on the sewing was great. Anyone with a sewing machine could do this. Today it is all about the baby bump and maternity clothes are over rated. This is a great example of how a young mom can save tons of money. Keep up the good work!

  16. Jordon said:

    Hello, I just tried to make the tanks im super excited for them but have a question. if my total seam length is 17” and I cut my elastic 6.5” shorter than 17 I get 10.5”. I pin down 4” and pin up 2.5” and that space it leaves me with is 10.5”… shouldnt the elastic be much shorter than that open space so that it actually scrunches up? Or am I missing something here?? 🙂 Quite possible with preggo brain but if someone could clear this up for me I would appreciate it! 🙂

  17. Anna said:

    I have the same question as Jordan…in order for you to get a scrunch shouldnt the elastic be shorter than the area it will be stitched to? It looks like it is in the picture- how much shorter did you make it—-2, 3 inches….. Thank you!

  18. Anna said:

    I tried making it with the elastic being 3″ shorter than the area it was pinned too and that gave the scrunch- next time I think I will try 4″ to give it more scrunch…maybe more

  19. Yulia said:

    Hi, thank you for sharing. Such a great tutorial! I posted your tutorial on my blog with a link back to your blog, hope it’s ok
    Please write me if there is a problem

  20. Maria Kiser said:

    Love!! Thanks for the tutorials! I have been tugging and pulling at ALL of my shirts because they’re huge on the bottom and flare out from my very big belly. I will be fixing that problem today! 🙂

  21. shengy said:

    you’re very talented..soon..i wanted to try it if I’ll get pregnant..i hope it will be soon

  22. Updates on life and pregnancy | wherelovemeetslife said:

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  25. heather said:

    Wow!You are so good at what you do! I am not good with sewing.So I was always the lazy pregnant lady who depended on online shopping.I did most of my shopping through morph maternity,and they were really affordable.I was quite impressed,enjoyed being pregnant 🙂 Good luck with your blog!

  26. Mary G. Brown said:

    This sounds a great idea. Thanks for the instructions. I have some tops and pants that i can make. This would help me save some money. Thanks!

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  30. Louise said:

    Thank-you so much for sharing how to do this. Im 32 weeks with my 3rd, I ordered acouple of maternity shirts online but when very disappointed when they showed up only to be regular T-shirts. So i have altered them aswell as acouple of other shirts and they fit just right, No more wasting a buck load of money on expensive maternity shirts anymore!

  31. Autumn said:

    Did you find the elastic on your pants itchy? Did it bother your tummy at all? Just wondering if I should sew a strip of fabric on the inside of it or not… maybe I should just try it first and see how it feels for me. Some things like that bother me, some don’t. 🙂 But, thanks so very much for sharing this DIY project. I too dislike buying special maternity clothes and have always wanted to make my own. I’m new to sewing and crafting, buy your instructions are pretty straightfoward, unlike many of my McCall’s patterns. LOL 😉

  32. Melissa said:

    Autumn, not at all! The elastic was very smooth so it didn’t leave intentions that would itch. I looooved these shorts!

  33. 54 Free Maternity Sewing Tutorials & Patterns said:

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  34. Jennifer said:

    You have just created some of the staples in my spring/summer wardrobe that I have purchased. Not just for maternity wear but great for casual holiday/beach wear. I have added elastic to the bottom parts of tshirts that are just a bitt too long for my shorter person – it can make a top a bit more feminine.

    Love your website.

  35. Maternity Sewing | Sew News said:

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  36. Frani said:

    oooohhhh great post!! thanks a lot i’m trying to fix a pair of jeans and will follow your advice!!! thanks thanks thanks 🙂

  37. Brianna said:

    I attempted the shirt tutorial but I’m confused…do you sew while you stretch the elastic? You must…I sewed through the lax and stretch points and didn’t get nearly as much side rouching?

  38. Melissa said:

    Yes, you need to stretch it as you sew. Your elastic should be about 4″ shorter than the side seam of your shirt.

  39. Robin said:

    I just did this with some too big maternity tanks. So easy and they fit great. Thank you!

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  41. Saquita said:

    Thanks for sharing. I am 27 weeks pregnant and this post was very helpful.

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