Hello there! First of all, thanks for having me Meg! I’m Leah, and I blog (when I get a chance) over at Leafie. I’m a mommy to 2 beautiful silly little girls, ages 3 and 9 months. By day I work a full time job as a nurse practitioner, but by night I can usually be found sewing (mostly clothes for myself but also some for my girls, as well as home-dec), crafting, or scheming up some house project for my hubby.
Today I am happy to share with you a maternity skirt I made when I was pregnant last summer. I was determined to make as many maternity items as I could so that I could tailor them to my body, and also make them versatile enough to be able to wear post-partum. This skirt was so easy I made 5… and wore them all. the. time. I made up a tutorial so you all can play along… and live in them this summer too! Here’s the finished product:
And here’s what you’ll need:
1. Fabric of choice– 1 yard should be plenty. I used a cotton bottom weight with 5% spandex for a little stretch.
2. Scissors, and a rotary cutter if you use one
3. Old T shirt– I used a white undershirt of hubby’s.
4. Fabric Marker
5. Tape measure OR a skirt that fits, to use as a pattern.
So, who’s in? Let’s get started!
1. Cut out skirt from main fabric. This can be done one of 2 ways:
a. Measure around your hips (below the belly) and then divide this number in 2, to determine how WIDE you need your fabric to be. Don’t forget to add an inch for ease and for seam allowances. then, measure from your hips down your leg to how LONG you want it to be. You should have a rectangle shape to draw on your fabric.
b. (this is what I have done, and I think it’s a bit easier– even when I measure things tend to end up too big or too small so I like to rely on something that I know fits) Use a skirt that you have that already fits. I used a maternity skirt I already had, but any skirt that fits you in the hips should work (since we are adding a belly panel).
Once you’ve determined your pattern, cut it out using either scissors or a rotary cutter.
You should have a rectangle (or perhaps a trapezoid, if you are using an A-line skirt) shape.
2. Cut out your waist band.
We are going to use the old T shirt for this. Lay the T shirt out and measure 10 inches from the bottom. Cut straight across the T shirt here so you are left with a 10 inch (but fairly wide) tube.
Next, in order to get a good, snug fit, take the t shirt tube and pull it around the lower part of your belly so it’s snug enough to stay up, making sure to leave a little room for you to grow (you’ll need it)! I did not take a picture of this… as I don’t have a pregnant belly right now. But, once you determine how tight you want it to be, mark it on the t shirt and then stitch it so it is the right width… I hope that makes sense.
You now have 2 rectangles.
3. Assembling the skirt
Take your 2 rectangle pieces and stitch along each side. Don’t forget to finish your seams. You want it to stand up to washings and not leave you with a tangled mess of threads coming out of the washing machine.
4. Assemble the waist band.
We already talked about getting the waist band the right size. Now we will prepare it to sew on to the skirt.
Take your waist band tube and fold it in half width-wise, so it’s 5 inches instead of 10.
This helps it to be a little more sturdy (since the fabric is doubled) and also to have a finished edge at the top.
5. Put the skirt together
Pin the waist band, right sides together, to the skirt, matching up side seams.
Your waist band should be smaller than your skirt. To make it a little easier, I usually pin at each side, and then in the front and back (4 pins). There will be extra fabric between each pin.
6. Sew waist band to skirt
Stretching the T shirt waist band as you go, sew the 2 pieces together using a zig-zag stitch. A zig-zag will help it maintain a little stretch in the waist. Make sure to catch both layers of the waist band as you go. This is where it comes in handy to have the 4 pins– just stretch the waist band until it’s even with the skirt fabric as you go between each pin.
When you are done sewing, it should look like this:
Simply turn the waist band up, and you can see your maternity skirt coming to life!
7. Break out the iron!
It’s always a good idea to iron down your seams so they lay flat and give you more of a professional look.
You can try your skirt on for size, and determine how long you want it to be. Cut along the bottom leaving about an inch. I usually just iron over once, about a half an inch, and then turn it once more as I sew to get a clean hem line. I just find that a little easier than turning and ironing the hem twice.
8. Voila! You are done! Go wear that skirt and be glad you are in comfortable, cute and custom maternity wear!
Here is a pic of me wearing one I made last year:
I truly wore these skirts from about 20 weeks until the end. They also came in handy AFTER baby, as I still needed some extra room in the waist. Once they got too big, I cut off the T shirt waist band and added a wide elastic– this is how one of mine looks now (pardon the picture– I took it using the timer and they were all laughable!).
The possibilities are endless- think colors, scalloped edge, appliques, tiered skirt, etc etc etc. Have fun!!
ps. truly takes less than an hour once you get used to it, and can cost less than $5 if you make it simple and find fabric on sale. Go ahead and make 5… :)