Gathered Maternity Top

(Originally posted on my other blog)

To buy maternity clothes is somewhat expensive. You pretty much need to buy two seasons of clothing to get you through and if you’re like me and hate wearing the same things day in day out, you’re going to need quite a few pieces that can cope with your growing bump. I should say bumps, because existing bumps grow substantially too!

Here is a tutorial I put together a while ago. This maternity top cost me a whopping $3, really broke the budget!!

What You’ll Need:

  • A large t-shirt (I used XXL mens) with lots of extra length (mine covered my bum) and a bit of extra width
  • Fabric scraps for sleeves and flower

What You’ll Need to Do:

  1. Put on your jumbo shirt and mark your empire waist line (under your bust) with pins.
  2. Take off your shirt and use a ruler to make sure your pins are in a straight line. Cut 1.5cm (seam allowance) below your pin line on the front only. Cut a little lower for the back. I didn’t do this so it isn’t displayed in the picture. If you don’t do this, your empire waist will appear to droop in the back, especially if you have a ‘gifted bust’ like me!
  3. Take a tank top that fits you well (and is of similar fabric) and lay it over the top half of the shirt. Cut around the tank, making sure you leave an allowance for the seam. Turn the shirt inside-out and sew up the side seams. Make sure you use zigzag stitch or your top won’t stretch.
  4. Try your top on inside out. If it doesn’t sit flat against your bust you will need to add darts. Pinch the extra material and place a pin where you need to sew your dart. Sew your dart. Try the top on again, repeat for the other side.
  5. Now take the bottom of the shirt we cut off earlier. Sew long gathering stitches along the raw edge and secure the threads at one end. Turn this bottom half inside out and place the top half of the shirt (right side out) inside so that the two raw edges are together. This will help you determine how much to gather the bottom. Gather the bottom until the all of the side seams match up. Pin & sew using zig zag again.
  6. So you have something that looks like this. You can leave the top at this step if you like. The jersey material won’t fray so you can leave edges unfinished.
  7. I wanted to add sleeves to my top to break up the colour a bit. I made them from an old top which only suited my body shape when I was 15kg overweight! I folded the shirt in half and cut a triangular shape. I then pinned this (right sides together) to the arm holes and sewed them on. I sewed the open edges together to finish the sleeve. (I didn’t take too many detailed photos of this, sorry)
  8. To make the flower, cut a long rectangle from the same material you did your sleeves with. Sew long gathering stitches along one long edge and gather the material as much as you can.
  9. Draw the gathered material into a circle and sew the open edges together. Adjust gathers if necessary. Sew this onto your top in a position of your choice. Place another piece of material over the top (to hide the stitches) and secure with a button.

And you’re done!

If you’re unable to find a massive t-shirt, you could probably use two smaller shirts. You can get away with any size shirt for the top part, maybe even an old tank that already fits you. For the bottom section you really need something with a bit of width. You could try using a medium sized t-shirt on it’s side.

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