It’s almost as if it happened overnight. One day, I could still squeeze into my loosest-fitting shorts and skirts, and the next day all of my pre-pregnancy clothes stopped fitting. I have been sort of avoiding buying maternity clothes, because I’m not crazy about spending money and resources on something that you wear for maybe six months. I’ve bought a few pieces, but now that my wardrobe is shrinking fast, it’s time to make some DIY maternity clothes so it won’t be so hard to find clothes in my closet that fit!
This skirt was my first attempt at making my own maternity clothes, and it turned out great! The bird fabric is vintage yardage that my friend Leuwam gave me years ago. I’ve been hoarding it in my fabric stash for just the right project, and a skirt to wear over my baby bump felt like just the thing.
Everyone’s body is different, so instead of giving you measurements, I’m going to tell you how to get measurements to make your maternity skirt. Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- a t-shirt that fits you snugly
- vintage or organic fabric for the skirt
- a 1/4″ thick piece of elastic that’s long enough to just fit around your ribcage above your bump
- 2 safety pins
- measuring tape
- bias tape that coordinates with your skirt fabric (optional)
- sewing machine, scissors, pins, etc
Here’s how you sort out your measurements:
1. Grab that t-shirt, and hold it upside-down, so the bottom seam is right above your bump. Smooth the shirt down, and mark where the bottom of your bump is on the shirt. You’ll want to chop your shirt off 1″ past that point.
2. To get your skirt fabric width, stretch your t-shirt’s bottom seam as far as it will go and use your measuring tape to see how wide it is. Double that number and add 1/4″ to get your skirt fabric’s width.
3. To get the length, decide how low you want the skirt to fall. Start measuring just under your bump to whatever length you like. Add 2 1/4″ to this measurement.
To assemble your skirt:
1. Start by sewing the casing for the elastic. Grab the piece of t-shirt that you cut off, and fold the unfinished edge over by 1/2″. Sew almost all the way around, leaving a 2″ opening, so you can work your elastic through the casing.
2. Pin one end of our elastic to the skirt near the casing’s opening, and pin the other safety pin to the other end of your elastic. The pin makes it so much easier to work the elastic through the casing you just sewed! When you get all the way through, overlap your edges by 1″, sew them together, and then sew the casing the rest of the way closed.
3. Iron your skirt fabric, then fold it in half, so it’s now half as wide as it was. Use a 1/4″ inseam to sew up that unfinished side of your skirt.
4. This is the tricky part – attaching the waistband to the skirt. I have always been a little bit gunshy about the “stretch as you sew” technique for sewing knits, and I found that lots and lots of pins can make this much easier. First, slide the shirt that you cut inside of the skirt tube you sewed, so the bottom hem of the shirt lines up with the unfinished edge of the skirt, and pin. Start by pinning the side seams to the side seam of the skirt on one side and the crease that your iron left on the other side. Then, stretch and pin until your shirt fabric is pinned all the way around to your skirt. It’s OK if it’s a little bunchy right now.
5. Use your machine’s straight stitch to sew around the band, stretching out where the jersey fabric has bunched as you go. Take your time – it will work out!
6. You’re ready to hem! Fold the bottom unfinished seam of your skirt over twice, iron, and sew it all the way around to create a hem.
7. Making a slit. This step is optional. If you made a maxi skirt, it’s probably going to be a little narrow at the bottom to walk in…a slit to the rescue! To make a slit, measure the length from the bottom of the skirt to your knee, and cut a straight line up the back. Use bias tape to encase the unfinished edge, and sew it in place.
I made a maxi skirt this way and am planning to make a knee-length skirt soon. Take THAT, expensive maternity clothes!
Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced “stree-pee,” like “sleepy”), and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. My life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Check out my new book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!