Men’s button shirt to maternity shirt

How to make a maternity shirt using a mens button down shirt //

I love this simple maternity DIY. This top started off as a men’s dress shirt, (in fact it’s the shirt my husband wore on our very first date). I couldn’t bear to part with it. But I’ve been feeling a little lazy and tired so I wanted to make my life easy.

What you’ll need:

  1. A men’s button shirt that’s big enough to cover your bump
  2. 1/2″ wide elastic

What to do:

  1. Put on the shirt and find the empire waist (just under your bust) and mark it with some pins.
  2. Then measure under your bust (empire waistline) and removed an inch from the measurement.
  3. Cut a piece of elastic that length, and attach it to the inside of the shirt at the empire waistline by stretching as you sew and using a zig zag stitch on your machine.
  4. That’s it! Roll up the sleeves and you’re good to go!! (Though after a while I got a little tired of the bulk of the cuff, so I removed the cuff and reattached it at the point I had been rolling the sleeves to)

I really think this top turned out amazingly, and has a really relaxed chic look to it. Here’s how it looked when my bump got bigger

How to make a maternity shirt using a mens button down shirt //

You’ve got to try this one! It took no time at all, and is for sure a beginner level sewing project.

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  1. says

    Wow that is so lovely what you have done with the shirt, it really suits you and you look like what my brother would call a “yummy mummy”, I always liked to look nice when I was pregnant too.
    The dress in the post below is also so lovely, very classy.

  2. says

    Hey I like it alot! Will it only work with a men’s shirt (ie being much bigger?) or do you reckon a ladies top will work, like one in my closet already?
    I definitely like the “dressed up” feeling of a collared shirt and will try this one out! Thanks Meg xo

  3. Meg says

    Thanks ladies! Jessie – I know what you mean, I’ve suddenly realised I only own summer maternity clothing, therefore my maternity wardrobe is currently useless, yikes!
    Jac – It would work with a ladies top too, if you have one that’s big enough. I chose a men’s shirt because I wanted there to be enough room in the tummy area (and all of my regular blouses are too fitted in the tum tum!).

    • Meg says

      Hi rachel, I used 1/2″ elastic because I find it’s a little sturdier, and no I haven’t found it uncomfortable against my skin, but honestly I didn’t make it tight enough to create any kind of pressure! just enough to cinch it in :)

  4. says

    wow what a cute and easy idea for maternity tops. I wish I would have known this when I was pregnant the last oh 4x’s lol oh well. You look cute in it! I just found your blog and am enjoying reading all the old posts.

    • Meg says

      Nice meeting you Jenn! I’ve had to great creative with maternity wear, since I”m not a fan of most brands (plus lets me honest who can really afford to buy an entire wardrobe completely from maternity stores!). xoxo

  5. Bernadette says

    This is my third pregnancy and I desperately needed a maternity work shirt. So i gave this a try. It worked out terrific. I bought a $7 shirt from the salvos and did the adjustments. I love it. Its cheap, smart, comfortable, and flattering. I wore it to work yesterday, and colleagues ask me if it was the new maternity work shirt? I said no i made it. They were very impressed. You have inspired me to make more of my own maternity wear this time around! Thank you

  6. Stéphanie says

    Hi Megan,

    Thanks a lot for your tutorial. I have just found out that I was pregnant. And since I have lost almost 30 pounds last year, I have clothes that I will be able to transform into maternity clothes. And your tutorials will be of a big help!

    Thanks a lot

    Hello from France !!


    • says

      What a wonderful acheivement Stephanie!! And I’m so happy to hear that my tutorials are helping with your new maternity wardrobe !! XOXO

  7. Dani says

    I love this shirt idea and it has inspired me to start using a sewing machine for my sewing needs instead of hand-sewing (which always turns into making it “creatively designed” bc I can’t sew very discreetly when mending). If you wouldn’t mind a mild walk through on how to sew the elastic onto the shirt I would be so grateful; specifically the width of the zigzag stitch and where to sew it onto the piece of elastic. Thank you!

  8. Rachel says

    LOVE this tutorial!! I did it today with a woman’s shirt that was too big for me and now it’s perfect. However, it’s solid colored and I didn’t think about it before but the seam from sewing in the elastic shows through the front obviously. How to cover up?? I tried pinning some cute ribbon over it for a tie, but then the shirt won’t stretch. It doesn’t look terrible just to leave it, but I think it would be cuter covered up. Ideas?? Thanks!!

  9. Isabel says

    How much bigger does the shirt need to be than your regular size? My pre-preggo size was medium and I have XL scrub tops that I want to do this with but do you think would it look silly with such a large top?