web analytics

Men’s Shirt Makeover (Maternity Top)

Sep 11, 2013


men's shirt to maternity sc model double collage

At 4 months pregnant, I’m still pretty comfortable, so I like to wear more structured pieces that fit close to the body on top, but have extra room for the baby; however, later in my pregnancy, comfort generally outweighs all of my fashion “preferences”. Woven fabrics are definitely out by then and anything with “stretch” becomes my new best friend.

Today I have a shirt tutorial that can either be made in a woven or knit shirt. The tutorial pics are for the woven shirt, but a knit shirt will work just as well and have more growing room. For woven, I prefer a man’s dress shirt. It makes the finished shirt easier to put on because it can be unbuttoned down to the waistband.  A polo shirt works great for knit because of the extra stretch.

What You’ll Need:
Oversized woven or knit shirt
Shirt to use as a template (make sure the bust area fits comfortably with extra room to “grow”)
Tailor’s chalk (or other temporary marking tool)
Matching thread for sewing
Contrasting thread for top stitching (Optional)
3/4″ elastic
Ruler for drawing straight lines
Tape measure
Sewing essentials (machine, seam ripper, scissors, etc.)

men's shirt to maternity dress shirt

Step 1: Selecting a Shirt – The final shirt is a pullover (sorry cute bellies!), so you’ll need to make sure that it will fit comfortably over your head and bust and have enough “skirt” fabric to gather. Take your bust measurement (fullest part). The circumference of the shirt that you select should measure at least your bust measurement plus 12 inches for woven or plus 7 inches for knit.

Once you’ve selected your shirt, try it on. Using tailor’s chalk, mark the point just beneath your bust line.

Step 2- Lay your oversized shirt out flat and center your template shirt on top.

Men's shirt to Maternity template over shirt

Step 3 – Match shoulder seams making sure that the distance from the sleeve seams of the template shirt to the sleeve seams of the oversized shirt are the same on both sides. If using a shirt with sleeves, tuck them behind the template shirt, so you just see the outline of the armscye (armhole).

men's shirt to maternity matching shoulder seams

Step 4- Using tailor’s chalk, trace the outline of armscye (add 1/2″ seam allowance).

Men's shirt to maternity tailor's chalk

Step 5 – Remove template shirt and find the point (under the bust) that was marked on the shirt earlier. Mark a second point 1.5″ down. Using your ruler, draw a straight line across from side seam to side seam.

Men's shirt outline drawn

Step 6 – Smooth out the shirt and pin along the outline of the new bodice. Cut along the new outline. (Set the sleeves and bottom of shirt to the side.)

Men's shirt cut out new bodiceStep 7 – Using a seam ripper, carefully remove collar from collar stand.

men's shirt to maternity remove collarStep 8 - Remove the extra threads from the collar stand. Iron flat and top stitch the stand closed using contrasting thread (Optional). Continue top stitching around the entire collar stand including sides and base.

men's shirt to maternity close collar stand

Step 9 - Open the bodice and lay out flat. Fold armscye under 1/4″ and iron flat. Fold under an additional 1/4″, iron. Edge stitch fold in place.

men's shirt to maternity fold under armcyeStep 10 – (Optional) Top stitch (button placket, pockets, shoulder seams, etc.

men's shirt to maternity top stitchStep 11 – Create 2 Bands (Cut the sleeves down the seam and use for band fabric.). Measure the bottom of the front of the bodice. Create a band equal to the front bodice length x 4″ width. Repeat for the back of the bodice using the back bodice width.

men's shirt to maternity 2 bandsStep 12 – Fold both bands lengthwise (wrong sides facing). Iron flat. Pin the raw edges of the front band to the raw edge of the bodice. Attach band to bodice using 1/2″ seam allowance. (Repeat for the back bodice). Iron bands away from bodice center.

Step 13 – Gather skirt of bodice. Using the bottom pieces of the shirt that were cut off in Step 5, sew two rows of basting stitches at the raw edges of both pieces. Gather to match band length. (I switched the buttoned piece to the back of the shirt for a different look.).

men's shirt to maternity attach band gather skirtStep 14 – Attach skirt to band. Match the raw edge of the front skirt piece to the bottom of front band (Right sides facing). Pin in place. Sew together using 1/2″ seam allowance. (Repeat for back band.) Iron.

men's shirt to maternity attach skirt to bandStep 15 - Add elastic to back band. To determine length of elastic use this formula:

Subtract your “under bust” full circumference from the total band length (Add front and back bands together). Subtract this number from the back band length and add 2″ to get elastic length.


(FB) Front Band=18″
(BB) Back Band=18″
(UBC) Under Bust Circumference:30″

(FB)18″ + (BB)18″=36″

36″- (UBC)30″=6″ + 2″ = 8″(Elastic length)

Feed elastic through the back band. Once the end of the elastic reaches the edge of the opening, stitch in place 1/4″ from the edge. Continue feeding elastic through to other end. Once the elastic reaches the opposite edge opening, stitch in place 1/4″ from the edge.


Step 16 – Sew sides. Turn the shirt inside out and match up sides. Right sides should now be facing. Pin sides in place from base of armscye down to skirt hem. Sew both sides using 1/2″ seam allowance. Try the shirt on. Mark preferred hem length. Adjust the hem accordingly.


Optional: If you’d like to add the flower shown in the picture, you can find my super simple flower tutorial here.

And, that’s it!

(**The tutorial assumes that the reader has a working knowledge of garment construction. To reduce the size of the tutorial some basic steps have been left out or shortened. If you have any questions at all or need clarification on any of the steps, please leave a comment below or send me a private email at shannon@littlekidsgrow.com)


men's shirt to maternity sc model collage

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter


  • Super duper cute! And I’m completely impressed with your energy level!!

    • Thank you Susan. I wouldn’t mind a little bit more energy :)

  • You are adorbs! That remake is amazing…and your tutorial is so easy to follow!

    • Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by Susan (and the compliment).

  • Very cute and well explained tutorial!

    • Thanks Delia!

  • You look gorgeous!!! That is a great refashion! Good job Momma :)

    • Thanks Ms. Jess!

  • You look gorgeous!! Adding this to my to-do list :)

    • Thanks Amy. I’d love to know how yours turns out.

  • You look so happy and so beautiful! Love the shirt remake and love the baby bump pictures!!

    • Thank you Stef (My baby bump thanks you, too!)

  • Gorgeous! Super cute refashion, that totally doesn’t look like a refashion at all!! Very nicely done.

    • Thank you, Sabra. Now I just have to convince my husband to give me more of his shirts!

    • Hello Spirited Womens Network,Gosh that interview must have been anmziag. I love how Shannon Bush started of the interview with that statement Your net worth is the sum of your self-worth . Thats powerful.I also like the questions that she encourages you to ask at the end of each day thats priceless.Thanks for sharing CheersLisa

  • Hola le ha quedado hermosa su blusa y ademas ese color le sienta a usted muy bien, que guapa se mira. Es una excelente idea lo que ha hecho con la camisa, gracias por compartirlo.
    Cuidese hasta pronto.

    • Awww, gracias, Ross. Me alegro de que te guste.

      • that what really tubroles me is when my partner browsing on the net for dirty internet sites similar to: Thats a thing i can NOT deal with, so if any of you is on the market, which has a good sense of humor, can truthfully discuss their inner thoughts and supply a stable atmosphere, and is NOT addicted to online p0rrn then please prepare me a quick introduction email, a photo would certainly be appreciated as well. I ll swear you, that it will be the best thing what taken place in your existence, as long you are sincere with me. 18b

  • Wow! What a great transformations! Congratulations n your pregnancy!

    • Thank you, Olga!

      • Suiiprsrng to think of something like that

  • Gorgeous!! Excellent tutorial. I shared on my fb page!

    • I saw your share. Thanks, Andrea!

  • Broken down very easily – love this! I wish I had ventured into making more of my own maternity clothes when I was pregnant.

    • Yes, me too, Melissa. This is the first pregnancy that I considered sewing a maternity wardrobe. In my other pregnancies, I just kept buying larger sizes in regular retail and altered them if needed. Sewing for myself this time is so much more fun.

  • What a great re-fashion! I just might have to give it a try . . . once I have some energy back! You look absolutely beautiful, by the way.

    • Here’s hoping you get your energy back soon, Bonnie. Energy zaps are tough. I think I slept my entire 1st trimester. At least it felt like it. :)

  • How incredibly creative!!! I love it! Nicely done… and you wear it very well.
    I’m at 25 weeks and wish I had your sewing skills… I do sometimes take things apart and transform them (shirts into skirts with elastic bands, for example) but nothing at this level.

    Have a happy pregnancy!

    Some outfit ideas for preggo women here: http://waronfrump.com

    • Thank you, Trish!

  • What a well written, clear tutorial! Thank you!

    • You’re welcome, Helen.

  • This is just so flattering on you. You look fabulous pregnant! I want to make one and I’m not even expecting.

    • I’m pretty sure you’d figure out a way to make a maternity shirt look fashionable on you, Justine. You’re that good! (Thank you for the compliment :) )

      • JOIN TEAM JOEY NATION!BUFFALO WILD WINGS IN AUBURN, IN Wednesday NOV. 14th from 6-8(Come on out!) You may contact for cuonops. 10% of all food purchases will be donated to help JOEY!**TEAM JOEY Christmas Extravaganza** Mark your Calendar!!Date: November 17th, 2012Time: 12:00pm 5:00pmLocation: Auburn First Christian Church,910 N. Indiana Ave. Auburn, IN (Just south of Rieke Park) SANTA will be there for a photo Opp, bring your camera, take all the pictures you need and make your Christmas Cards perfect, coloring table for kids to color pages for the Keller’s, Party lite candles, Premier Designs, a Certified Massage Therapist (for on the spot massage), home made Jams, bake sale, 31, Vault Denim, home made blankets, scarves and purses and many more things! SILENT AUCTION: Debrands chocolates gift baskets, American doll clothes, Cookie cottage gift baskets, Italian Grille gift cert, Albright’s Grocery gift Cert., movie baskets, longaberger baskets, Vera Bradley Bags and MUCH MUCH MORE! Please join us in making this a SUCCESS FOR JOEY!!!! Please share and mark your Calendar!

  • Oh that turned out so cute! I’m in love

    • Thank you, Marissa. (Convincing my hubby that I need more of his shirts is the challenge.LOL)

    • me and my brother use k12 and if we did not have our own ctpumoers we would go crazy!!! for a day we had to share chargers and i couldnt take it! AND the teachers can only do live classes at a specific time so they will have classes at the same time ranging from 9-3 so making u would have to cutomize a schedule every week because every week varies..it would be too hard..wat if one is taking a test needs more time but the other childe has a live session at the momement..it realy is nessasary to have ur own computer just like its nessasary to have ur own internet connection.

  • Yayyyy! I was wondering when we would see the bump. I see you up there looking all cute. So glad you are enjoying making your own clothes this go ’round. Will you be doing a maternity shoot at some point?

    • Hi Tamika! Maternity shoot? Now that would be interesting. Let’s see how enthusiastic I am in a few months. LOL.

  • So cute! I just sewed up a men’s shirt into a maternity shirt, but now that I see this, I might have to try it too! Thanks for the tutorial. :)

  • Love this! I’m off to raid my husband’s closet.

  • Thanks so much for this, I found a shirt for £5 at the weekend and a few hours later had my very own Maternity Top http://instagram.com/p/nTsyrJjuqa/

Leave a comment

Megan Nielsen Patterns

stay updated




items in DIY Maternity More in DIY Maternity pool