Sunday, August 31, 2014

DIY: T-shirt to Maternity Shirt

Many many moons ago, my parents came to visit and helped me with a couple of projects. One of the things my mom did was take over my sewing project: turning my VBS volunteer shirt into a maternity shirt. I had deliberately gotten the largest size they had, and planned to cut down the top but leave the bottom large. She did it for me, using my favorite maternity t-shirt as a pattern, and it turned out to fit really well, especially in the top! 

A few weeks later, I started volunteering in the church nursery during first service and I got a church volunteer shirt. It took me several weeks to get around to it, but finally I made time to cut it down like the other one. Unfortunately I grabbed the wrong black t-shirt from my closet (I have two, one fits perfectly and the other I outgrew a month or two ago) so the top is a little too, um, fitted. But it works. Since maternity shirts are expensive and T-shirts and thread are relatively inexpensive, I thought I'd share what we did in case you'd like to make some of your own maternity shirts. Mom has since made and sent me several!

Start by laying your T-shirt out completely flat and even.

I kept getting my belly in my photos!

Then, lay your shirt that fits out on top of it. Make sure the necklines are centered and the shirts are both spread flat and evenly.

Using a sharp pair of sewing shears, or in my case use the pair that you ruined by cutting fleece, and cut along the outside edge of the shirt that fits, including the arm hole, and tapering out once you get past the bust to allow for belly growth. Don't forget your seam allowance! I actually didn't cut off all of the edge of the T-shirt, I left it connected after the point where I tapered it. (On the left of the picture, near the "m").

Fold the shirt in half, using the collar and bottom of the shirt to make sure it's even, and cut the other side off following your line. Then sew up each side. Don't sew your arm holes closed! When mom sewed mine she zig zagged along every seam she sewed, but I didn't bother.

Cut your sleeves down to size. I used the piece I cut off the armhole above to guide my inside line.

Sew the bottom of your sleeve (under your arms). I made mine really short, so I only sewed about an inch, and went back and forth a few times.

Line up your bottom seams and pin. Because I used my cut off piece to guide my new sleeve cut, the new sleeve fit perfectly. I'm not usually much of a pinner, but sleeves have some tricky curves!

Sew it up! Don't forget your seam allowance. I turned the shirt right side out and checked after I pinned and after I sewed, because I was nervous I'd done it wrong! Then I did the other sleeve and tried it on.

It might not get me on Project Runway, but it works for me! And it's better than wearing around a 3 X shirt with my sleeves down to my forearms! I wish I had take a before shot.

No comments: