6 years ago, I shared a few very simple maternity refashions. The tutorials were brief, the photos were wonky, so I decided to merge them all into one spot! I think they are great visual inspiration for how to turn regular clothes into maternity clothes with simple sewing. Maternity clothes can be so expensive so making DIY maternity clothes work is worth the trouble! After my son was born, I paid all of these forward to another pregnant friend, keeping the clothes out of the landfill even longer!
If you’d rather start with fresh fabric, see how easy it is to make any top sewing pattern maternity friendly, with this DIY maternity tshirt tutorial! If you want to read about my post-partum sewing journey and thoughts (or just see how many stretch marks I have!), check out this post about how sewing and becoming a mother intertwined for me.
I shared a bunch of tips for shopping with the intent of refashioning and upcycling in this post. If you already have something to refashion, read my tips for actually sewing refashions here!
You can pin this post of maternity refashions for later, here:
Ready to see all four maternity refashions? Let me know which one is your favorite!
Dress to Maternity Tunic Refashion
One of the advantages of being only 5’2 is that I can sometimes fit in kids clothes; I grabbed these Target brand girls dresses, size XL in two different prints! Refashioning into a tunic would be easy to replicate with any elastic-waist dress. I would recommend wearing them with pants that actually fit though, these maternity “skinnies” look like elephant skin around my knees and ankles!
Anyways, the original elastic was at the natural waist line – which disappears during pregnancy. I chopped the elastic out, and then cut out about 4 inches between the top white line & the new “skirt” part. I have a short torso – so I’d recommend measuring from your collarbone to under your bust to see what length you’d prefer, and then adjust accordingly. Be sure to take into account your bust curvature and the stretch of the fabric! It’s always easier to cut off more but you can’t add any back on.
After that. I measured under my bust – like from where the outer edge of an underwire would be to the outer edge of an underwire on the other size. I then measured in between the inner edges of underwires. I turned the shirt inside out and marked those four start/stop points with a pencil. This provides the framework for the two gathered spots under the bust. I then used a piece of elastic that was 1/2 as long as the measurement, tacking it down and stretching it while I sewed down to the end of the marking.
After that, I sewed the bodice and the skirt together – you can see that I “pinked” the seams (those zig zags come from a specific blade that cuts each little triangle at an angle, the bias, that prevents fraying in woven fabrics. this is a knit fabric that doesn’t fray but I was too lazy to change the blade!) but there is no reason to do that with a knit.
I didn’t snap a picture – but when I flipped it over, the stitching from the elastic gathering showed a little more above the new waistline than I liked. Not bad, but I figured since I already had the matching belt I’d just sew it on! So I did. Now it won’t fall into the bottom of my closet with all the other unattached, matching belts.
Shirt to Skirt Maternity Shirt Refashion
Stretchy fabric is the best, you can eyeball and tweak as you go, with the knit fabric forgiving any mistakes! I combined a tank top and a dress to make a super comfy yoga band maternity skirt.
No need for measuring tapes – I just threw it on and marked with a pin vertically where it fit best on my hips for the tank top, chopping the straps off and then sewing down one side to create a slightly smaller rectangle for the waistband. I then marked with a pin where I wanted the skirt to start (taking into consideration that I needed to sew them together, and that the seam allowance would shorten it a bit) and chopped off the top of the dress. I sewed the two tubes together with stretch stitch and ballpoint needle, leaving two inside out rectangles like this:
I wanted some extra “support” so I folded my waistband down one more time and sewed again:
No sew maternity skirt refashion
All I did was cut off the straps. Done. I did buy one size up from my normal size, but this fits even now at 33 weeks (if it were warm enough to wear it!) because of the comfy ruching. So with two quick cuts, you have a DIY no sew maternity skirt! Maternity refashions don’t get any easier than this.
I liked this one so much, I did it again!
Maxi skirt to diy maternity skirt refashion
I bought this dress at least 3 years ago at Gordmans on clearance and it hung in my closet for a long time, and then sat in my “refashion” drawer for a while longer. I’ve come to the conclusion that spaghetti straps are not my thing, but instead of trying to add cap sleeves I chopped it up!
It’s a little tough to see, but the bodice had an inverted V shape so I cut it straight across, leaving the ties intact. I dug around in my elastic drawer and picked out a piece that I cut out of an old tank top that had a shelf bra in it. I made sure it was about the right length to go around my ribs (where I wanted the skirt to start) and then sewed it with a zig zag stitch all the way around, leaving about a half inch above it.
I find the easiest way to sew elastic on is to pin or clip it in 4 places, evenly, and then in between each pin stretch it while you sew.
Next I ran my serger around the edge, which trims the excess and leaves a neat finish around the top. If you don’t have a serger you could easily fold down the excess and do another line of stitching for a neat look from the front.
The dress had ties already, so I just pulled those to the front and made a bow! I sewed this when I was around 20 weeks and it definitely fit “longer” without having to go so far out in front like it does now 🙂
It would also be easy to add a knit waistband and chop more off if you prefer an under-the-bump skirt.. which I’ll be posting about later this week! Don’t forget, if your maxi dress is a knit type fabric make sure to use a ballpoint needle and if it is a woven cotton be sure to use a non-ballpoint needle.
Comfy and cheap! Maternity refashions are such a great way to play around with refashioning!
Tuesday 12th of February 2019
I have so many spaghetti strap dresses from when I was younger that I can't bear to get rid of but also just not me anymore! Thank you for these great ideas, I am definitely going to make some skirts. The pictures are lovely too.
Stephanie - Swoodson Says
Wednesday 27th of March 2019
I'm so glad it inspired you!! Happy sewing!