How to Convert Clothing to Maternity Clothing

Written by irena eaves
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How to Convert Clothing to Maternity Clothing
You can make your old clothes flatter your new frame at home (Pregnant women belly image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from

Updating your wardrobe to reflect your newly-pregnant shape doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. Since you'll only wear maternity items for a few months, there's no need to spend a fortune on a whole new wardrobe. You can convert items in your wardrobe to fit your baby belly for just a few dollars. This way, you can maintain your sense of style and customise the fit of your clothing, ensuring that you look beautiful right up until delivery day.

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Things you need

  • Maternity panel
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • 1/4-inch elastic bands

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  1. 1

    Convert jeans, slacks and skirts into maternity wear with a ready-made maternity panel (available at most fabric stores). A maternity panel is essentially a U-shaped piece of cloth with an elastic band that you can sew on to your trousers and skirts. In order to insert the maternity panel, you must remove the front of your pant's waistband. Turn the trousers inside out and sew in the maternity panel in place of the waistband you removed. Any maternity panel you purchase in stores will come with instructions specific to the garment, so be sure to read any enclosed materials.

  2. 2

    Convert oversized T-shirts to fashionable maternity wear with the addition of an elastic band. Purchase fitted women's T-shirts 2 sizes larger than you wore prior to your pregnancy. Buying fitted shirts ensures that your refashioned shirt will fit your shoulders and arms without further modification. Turn the shirt inside out. Attach the elastic band to the side seam of the shirt just below the bust. Stretch the elastic out as your continue to sew, attaching the elastic to the length of the seam. The more you stretch out the elastic, the more gathered or "rouched" the shirt will be. Stop the elastic about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the shirt. Repeat with the seam on the other side. When finished, this shirt should fit your curves nicely while still leaving you with plenty of room to grow.

  3. 3

    Purchase a few essential items that are unlikely to convert well. Things like suit jackets and coats rarely make the transition to maternity wear well, so purchasing new ones will give those updated shirts and trousers a polished, tailored appearance. Bras and underwear don't convert well either, and they can make a world of difference. Specially made undergarments will ensure that your converted tops and bottoms fit just the way you intended, helping you to looking your best even during pregnancy.

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