How To Convert Any Shirt Into A Ruched Maternity Top

After you find out you’re pregnant and all the emotions settle in, one of the things on your mind might be what kind of clothes will I wear when my baby bump starts growing? Before you go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, check your own closet. If you have any knit shirts you’re willing to convert, adding elastic ruching to the sides will easily make them wearable throughout pregnancy. The tutorial below shows you how to do this.

I went through my own closet and came up with a shirt that I thought would work for this. This shirt was always a little baggy on me and when my belly started growing it just looked weird – tight in the stomach and baggy everywhere else.

Not very flattering, right? So, I took in the sides about half an inch before adding ruching.  Most people can skip this step, but if your shirt is looking like mine did, it will make it more fitted.  I didn’t take pictures of taking in the sides, but all you have to do is turn the shirt inside out and sew from the armpit seam down the length of the shirt on each side making it less wide and then trim the extra fabric off on the sides.

To turn the shirt into a maternity shirt, you only need a few materials and about 30 minutes of time!

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Step 1.

Determine where to begin the ruching.  I like this to start a couple inches above my belly button, which ended up being 11 inches from the bottom hem of my shirt.

Step 2. 

Cut 2 pieces of elastic.  I cut each piece to be 7 inches long.  Depending on the length you found in step 1, this could be longer or shorter.  If you want a tighter ruche, cut the elastic shorter. Keep in mind the shorter your elastic is, the shorter the shirt will be when it’s done.

Step 3. 

Turn shirt inside out and pin or clip the elastic on each side seam at the top of where your ruching will begin.

Step 4. 

Sew the top of the elastic on one side to the seam.  Make sure to back stitch so the stitch is strong.  There will be pressure on this stitch in the next step.

Step 5. 

Stretch the elastic to the bottom hem of the shirt and pin or clip in place.  I ended up having to hold on to the end of the elastic because my clips weren’t strong enough to hold the tension, but if your clips are stronger than mine you won’t need to do this!

Step 6. 

Sew the stretched elastic to the side seam of the shirt.  Make sure to keep the shirt flat and the elastic stretched to the hem.  Back stitch when you get to the hem to secure the elastic in place.

Step 7. 

Repeat on the second side.  Here’s what my shirt looked like after attaching the elastic to both sides.

Step 8.

Turn shirt right side out and you’re done.

Happy sewing!

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