Striped Maternity Top

As the bump grows, I’m looking for creative ways to fill my wardrobe, and the lovely (and rather gorgeous) Liz over at the wonderful blog Cotton and Curls has totally inspired me. Two of her tutorials particularly excited me and so I raided my local Age Concern shop to find a couple of shirts that might be up to the challenge.

I tackled the button up top first. In the end, I didn’t follow the tute exactly – her top, though gorgeous, is non maternity, an I wanted something to cover my growing bump! So I decided to wing it.  Here’s a shot of the shirt before, and the lovely bump-friendly top after:

So how did I do it? Well, that’s a good question!! I didn’t take notes or pics as I went, which was a bit of a schoolgirl error, so I’ll try and describe it as best I can, but I’m sorry if it’s a bit vague and hard to follow!

  • First, I put the shirt on back to front, and in the mirror marked where I wanted the neckline to start at the shoulder, and how deep I wanted the neckline to be at the front. I also marked what I hoped would be a decent drop to under the bust, and put a pin on that line under the middle of each boob for a dart. I pinched the shirt snug on either side of the fullest part of the bust, and pinned front and back to mark how narrow I wanted the top to be.
  • I then took the shirt off and cut up all the way up along the side seams, separating the front from the back everywhere but the shoulder. I also took the sleeves off at the shoulder seams.
  • I added 1cm seam allowance to the neckline (I drew a freehand curve, and was pretty lucky with the outcome!) and cut out the neck.
  • Then, laying the now front (originally the back of the shirt!) flat, I added 1cm seam allowance to the under bust line, and cut the bottom of the top away (which to avoid all this ‘bottom’ and ‘top’ -ing, I’ll call the ‘bump’ segment!). I added 1cm seam allowance to the markings on the side of the (now) back and what’s left of the (now) front of the shirt, and trimmed up to the armholes.
  • Next, I took the bump segment and cut a 4cm strip from the top to make the empire strip. I stretched this strip across the front of my body, just below the bust line, to gauge what length I wanted it to be, and trimmed the appropriate amount from either end.
  • I matched the centre of the empire strip to the centre of the bust segment of the top, and then matched up each end, and pinned it out, putting the darts in where the pins marked the centre of each boob to match the lengths. Then I stitched along this line (leaving 1cm seam allowance). I pressed the seam down towards the empire strip, and top stitched along the seam.
  • Then, I ran a thread loosely along the width of the top of the bump segment, about half a cm from the cut edge. Holding the thread to the length of the empire strip, I gathered up the bump segment in the centre, which means that there is room to grow in the middle. (Which is where I’ll need it, I hope!). I evened out the gathers over about 5cm in the centre of the bump segment and stitched this section on the machine. Then I pinned the bump segment to the empire strip, and stitched along the seam (leaving 1cm seam allowance). I pressed the seams up towards the empire strip, and top stitched along the seam.
  • Next, starting at the armholes, I matched the shoulder seams up under the arms (leaving 1cm seam allowance – of course!) and pinned down the sides of the shirt. I then stitched the top up along this line.
  • I turned in a cm along the neckline and top stitched.
  • Finally (!) I trimmed the hemline, leaving a 2cm seam allowance this time for a thicker hem, and retaining some of the shirt tail shape. I turned it up and stitched.

Voilà! My first refashion, and I’m pretty proud. What do you think!?

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