How to sew a belly band

As we talked about in our last post, one of the first clothing issues you’ll notice early on in your pregnancy is that very soon you can’t do up your pants. But a belly band can help you wear your regular pants for longer, by allowing you to leave your pants unzipped, and both covering up the gap over your lower abdomen, and holding your pants up.

What you’ll need:

  • just over half a yard of very stretchy jersey fabric – preferably something with a bit of spandex or lycra in it.

What to do:

  1. Measure your hips using a tape measure. Now take off 2 inches from that measurement.
  2. Cut a rectangle of fabric that is as wide as your hip measurement minus 2, and is 20″ tall.  For example, my hips measure 34″ so I cut my rectangle to be 32″ by 20″. Make sure that the fabric is stretchiest along the longest side – or else the belly band won’t work properly.
  3. Fold your rectangle in half (length ways) with right sides facing each other and sew 1/2″ from the raw edge using either a zig zag stitch on a regular sewing machine- you could use a serger if you like, but I find this project a little easier on a regular machine. But do not stretch the fabric as you sew!
  4. Turn your tube of fabric right way round,

    and match up the seams, and the raw edges on either side of the tube.
  5. Now sew around the edge once again using either a zig zag stitch or a serger/overlocker – leaving about 4 inches unsewn (actually you’ll have no choice, it’s impossible to keep sewing at this point because the fabric is all twisted!)
  6. Lay your tube flat,

    tuck the raw edges under, and close up the opening by hand stitching it closed.

    if you’re feeling lazy (and that’s no crime!), then you can wait till after our next step to close up the opening.
  7. Now head over to the iron – shift the seam of the tube around, so that it will be invisible from the outside, and iron it flat
  8. If however, you were feeling lazy in step 6, and decided not to hand sew the gap close, head over to your sewing machine, and close it up by topstitch along the verticle seam line, either using your zig zag or straight stitch on your sewing machine. This actually has the added benefit of keeping the hem in place.
  9. Now you can get some extra mileage out of your regular jeans, by leaving them unzipped and popping your belly band on top!


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  1. Jessie says

    This is so clever!! Thank you! I’ve been wanting to make one of these for so long, but I just couldn’t figure it out!

  2. hanie noor says

    i have a question.when you wear the belly band over your jeans,it will grip on to the jeans?i have this frightening image of my jeans suddenly dropping down in the middle of the mall heheh.

    • says

      Hi Hannie! Yes!! That’s the idea – that’s why you really want to make sure it fits you snuggly, and so you need to cut the tube smaller than your hips. Which is also why it’s important to use a knit with some spandex in and good recovery, because its needs to be able to hold on tight!! I hope that helps!

      • hanie noor says

        wow that was a quick response!and pretty early too at ur end of the world i imagine.

        thanks for the tips!i’m pretty early in my pregnancy but since i’m housebound,thought i’d just get an early start hehe =)

  3. sylvia says

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’m 11 weeks along and my jeans feel a bit tight already, so I just made one of these. I hope it can help my normal wardrobe last long!

  4. Pam says

    Hi! Great tutorial! My problem is that when I sew with stretchy fabric, I get skipped stitches. What am I doing wrong? I use a ball point needle. Any help would be huge! Thanks!

  5. says

    This is the best tutorial I have seen for a beely band . Did you also know that this is how to make an infinity scarf? Just cut it longer and narrower.

  6. Sylvie says

    Love them.
    I bought a 20$ belly band from the store because if I order maternity pants for work they might not be in until I’m ready to go on leave. The store bought band is horrible. It keeps rolling up and I wind up flashing my undies to the customers.
    This one is way more comfortable and it actually stays in place. 2 thumbs up for homemade.

  7. amanda says

    You could probably add a few velcro loops on the inside as well that hook to your belt loops for added security in keepin them up. Or maybe buttons and hair tie loops like when ur jeans start to get snug

  8. Emily says

    Thanks for the tutorial, this is so great! I’m only 12 weeks, so it’s a little big on me now, but that just means it will last longer. Also, it only took me about 20 minutes! :)

  9. Britanny Madaguez says

    Thank you very much!!! I’m not expecting, but I’m a fat woman losing wait and I don´t want my belly reach the floor! XD

    PD: sorry about my english, I speak spanish!

  10. Kathy Smith says

    I am so excited to get started! My daughter is expecting our first grandchild and is also a mental healthy professional so she needs clothing that looks fitted, smart and appealing. I think that I can help her with her wardrobe now that I have found your site. Thank you for caring and sharing!

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  12. Lacie says

    Yay I just made mine!! Among the issues I had, which is just my incompetence…. The one issue was I ended up taking like 2 1/2 more inches off once it was all said and done, it was pretty loose. But I left room to tear out this seam for when I do get bigger to where I need extra :). Great tutorial!!