Sewing School

Maternity Sewing Hacks to Re-Use Your Old Patterns

Maternity Sewing Hacks

When I started buying maternity tops, I quickly realized that I either didn’t care for most of them or they were extremely expensive for something I’d only wear 4 months! I also didn’t want to buy a bunch of maternity top patterns when I already have a million regular top patterns!! That’s when I came up with this hack to use all my existing patterns and it’s been a lifesaver. Hopefully it’s helpful to you also!

For this tutorial I’ll be using the Rad Patterns free pattern “Layering Tank”. It’s available in the free files within the group. I used a glue stick to put it together. If you normally tape yours be careful to use a matte tape as anything shiny won’t allow for the drawing you’ll need to do later.

Step 1: Cut out your pattern

You’ll start with cutting out the back according to your size with the only adjustment being leave the additional length at the bottom of the pattern.

Step 2: Save the extra piece and measure yourself

Hang onto this long piece; you’ll need it in a couple steps!!! I didn’t take a picture of me doing it, but at this point you’ll want to hold up the front piece to your body and measure where your baby bump starts and ends.

The 2 plus signs are my start and stop point. You’ll also want to mark the spot where your bump is the largest and add 1-2 extra sizes there. I use 1.5 for mine.

Step 3: Draw your new curve

This is where you’ll use that long pattern cut off to help draw your new curve. Because the back and front pieces have a similar original shape, it makes it much easier to follow than freehand.

I started my adjustment by drawing a line from the top of my bump to the middle/largest part of my bump. You might notice that I did go a bit past my top bump mark to follow a more natural looking curve Follow up by doing the same from the middle mark to the low point of the bump, going past the bottom mark as well.

Step 4: Cut your pattern to its final size

Once your line is drawn cut according to your size with the new adjustments! I do cut slightly off my line again for a more natural curve. Make sure to not cut the bottom portion of the pattern again!

Step 5: Cutout your fabric panels

Now that your pattern is ready there isn’t anymore adjusting needed, just careful cutting. You can start with the front or the back panel. In this case I started with the back (no particular reason though).

The only thing you’ll do differently is to cut the panel longer again, leaving a tail from bottom of pattern piece to bottom of your yard. 

You’ll do the front panel exactly the same way except at the bottom I like to put my back fabric over the top to cut them the same length.

Step 6: Assemble according to pattern instructions

From this point on you’ll assemble according to the pattern directions. Serge or sew with a stretch stitch along both sides and on both shoulders. Then add your neck and arm bands. I substitute fold over elastic for the knit bands because I prefer the look and fit, but feel free to use whatever you’re most comfortable with!!

Step 7: Final hem, or continue on to Part 2…

This is what you’ll end up with! From here try it on and decide if you’d like to continue with part 2 of the tutorial. Add side ruching for additional bump space or you can simply hem the bottom and wear as is. Mine ended up the length of a mini dress this time because there is a bit of guessing on how long to cut so I will need the ruching to shorten it a bit.

The Final Result

Using the inexpensive Rayon Spandex and Double Brushed Poly from Olga’s Closet, I’ve been able to make several of these tank tops for myself at less than $10 apiece.

The available floral prints are beautiful and the fabrics are so soft. I get tons of complements and I’ve been so much more comfortable than my first pregnancy.

Keep your eye out for Part 2 of this tutorial next week. I hope this maternity sewing hack is as helpful to you as it has been to me!

About Jennifer Voss

My name is Jennifer and I'm 32 with 1 toddler son, 1 boy on the way, and my husband. My grandma taught me how to sew at a very young age, as far back as I can remember. Just last year I started working more with knits and apparel fabrics when I started making clothes for my family. I run Tiny Twister Textiles where I sell custom printed pul, cotton lycra, bamboo lycra and French Terry.

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