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Maternity Band


Yes, the secret is out.
(This secret, here.)
And let me just say……  And thank you.  Thanks for all of the well wishes and congratulations.  And in a cyber-kind-of-way……making me feel through your comments like you just dropped off a plate of warm cookies.  Or a bag of candy corn.  Haha.  But really, thanks.  
And yes, I’m thrilled to create many more little eensy-weensy outfits… stay tuned. :)   
(And that little dress I made is a pattern in the works.  I was thinking next spring but maybe there are enough people who’d like a head start?  I’ll see what I can do.)
And in case you were wondering, yes, my belly is expanding.
And with an expanding belly, clothes are sometimes tricky.
Have you seen all of those belly bands that allow you to wear your non-maternity pants…..but unbuttoned?    (Not that all of my non-maternity pants fit.  But sometimes I buy larger pants and wear them unbuttoned while pregnant.  I don’t always care for those huge maternity pant, up-to-my-chest, waist bands.  Frustrating.)
There are many, many belly band brands out there but they are all basically the same thing.  A band of stretchy knit that hides your waist band and opened button… give you a bit of extra room around the waist……while also keeping your pants up. No more rubber bands holding your pants closed.
I had never used one before today and have always just used a long cami under my shirts.  
But you know the problem with those?  
-When you bend over, they pull up.  
-When your belly grows out, they shrink up.  
And there’s nothing I hate worse then my belly peeking out at the bottom of my shirt.  
Know what I mean?
But these maternity bands actually stay in place…….right around the waist.
Full coverage.
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And ahhhhhh, can I tell you how comfortable they are?  No elastic at the top, no tightness, nothing.  
It feels like yoga pants around your waist.  
And lets hear a 3 cheers for wanting to wear yoga pants everywhere for the entire 9 months of pregnancy.  How I wish.
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So, from the outside, the maternity band looks like a little layered cami look…
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But it only goes up part way.
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And after making this gray one, and loving it, I made 4 more.
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And why not?  
It only took about an hour to make all 5.  
And barely cost me a thing.
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I sure loved paying maybe $1 for each one, rather than $15-$20.
And you know, I plan on using these for that squishy post-delivery belly when nothing fits for a while.
And also as a way to keep a bit more covered while nursing.  I can just keep the band around my waist while the shirt goes up.  Even though I also use a nursing cover or blanket to cover up….I like to keep my sides and back covered up too.  So I like this idea.
So thank you to that first person who ever thought up the idea.  
I love it.
Would you like to make your own? 
I used up knits that I already had and actually paid nothing for this project but if you are going out to buy some knit, you don’t need more than 3/4 of a yard.  Make sure to check the sale bin first……I can often times find knits for $2-$3 a yard.  (I used jersey knits and some blended knits with some lycra in it for all of my maternity bands.)
Now, everyone is a different size and may end up needing a different amount of fabric.  Also, you may like the band to go higher/lower on your belly or a bit tighter around your middle…but here are the measurements I used.
I cut a piece of knit that was about 35 inches wide and 20 inches tall.  Some of the knits weren’t as stretchy so I experimented with making the piece more or less than the 35 inches wide.  Just start bigger and then you can always cut it down.
**And make sure that the stretch is going width-wise, so it stretches across your belly.
First, I folded the knit in half longways and used a zig-zag stitch (so it would still stretch) along the long side, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Then I turned the long tube right side out and folded it in half with the seam along the inside.
Then I matched up to 2 inner seams along both raw ends and pinched them together.
Then I began sewing the 2 ends together, with the right sides together.  I continued with the zig-zag stitch and 1/2 inch seam allowance.
I sewed as far as a could go…..because your fabric is twisted and you can’t sew all the way around the circle opening with the right sides together.
Then, I shoved the insides towards the inside and was left with an opening.
So i hand-stitched the opening closed.  (Need help with hand-stitching?  Click here.)
Once you have hand-stitched the opening closed, maneuver the fabric around until the long horizontal seam is laying along the inside of the band.  Then iron/steam the whole thing flat.
 Now make several more.
It sure makes the big belly life easier.
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  1. Ricky says:

    This is a great tutorial. i hate forking out the $$ for these but love wearing them. Have you ever thought about adding a strip of silicone to the bottom? just to give it that extra grip on your pants? I have thought about it but not sure what to buy or if there is a special way to apply it. Thoughts?
    Thanks, Ricky

  2. Marlene says:

    Just finished making mine today. I’m a plus size mom so I was able to knock one out that fit me. So comfortable and I was able to modify to make it longer just the way I like it. Thanks for this tutorial.

  3. Carol says:

    Just found out that both my daughters are pregnant at the same time. They are due a day apart. I sew so I will be making belly bands for both of them. I bought some stretchy tank tops for $3 a piece at Wal-mart and am going to experiment with those to make the bands. Should be fairly easy and much cheaper. Thanks for the instructions.

  4. Kelsey says:

    I’m not even pregnant but I think I’m gonna try this! I have a “mother’s apron” belly and jeans that fit my waist are extremely baggy in the leg but pants that fit my leg are too small. Can’t wait to get sewing!

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  10. Trisha says:

    This is great! Just what my daughter needs. I’m making some for her, and I pinned your page. Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Paulo Chen says:

    Dear Sir/Lady

    How are you?
    This is Paulo Chen sale manager from Sale dept of Spark in China.


    We have manufactured Incontinence and Maternity products and Anti embolism stocking and compression stock:
    Maternity items:
    1).Maternity Belly band,
    2).Post support Maternity shaper,
    3).Maternity briefs,
    4).Maternity mesh pants.
    5).Maternity nursing bra.

    Incontinence items:
    1).Reusable mesh pants,
    2).Reusable and Washable incontinence pants.
    3). Seamless fixation pants,
    4). Incontinence Pouch briefs,
    5).Adult incontinence stretchable pants.
    6).AIO Diapers.
    7).Reusable incontinence pants with pads

    1). Anti embolism stocking.
    2). Compression stocking.

    Please check our website and choose which models you are interest.

    Paulo Chen
    Spark Industry Ltd

  12. Sharon says:

    Made these and love them! I have a “real” belly band and it fits so well I used it for a template of sorts too, just to keep mine in check, though I followed your steps. I had some red knit fabric leftover and it wasn’t enough to fold in half and be wide enough, so I just hemmed both edges and sewed the ends together and it worked great too.

  13. Meli says:

    I just made 2 of them, both failures! I bought 4-way stretch fabric, but they are both too small, barely able to pull them over my un-pregnant shoulders (making them for my daughter).
    I cut 20″ wide X 35″ long, then folded in half lengthwise so that have a 10″ X 35″ length to sew on the long side.

    Don’t know what I am doing wrong, but the finished pictures look bigger than what mine turn out. What are the finished dimensions? Thanks!

  14. Jess says:

    My mother-in-law & I just sewed one of these to try it out. Expecting our 5th, it’s very important to be frugal. Only issue that comes up for me is I can’t do much “mom” stuff without my pants sliding down. So the bending over to pick up toys, etc. isn’t teaming well with this band right now. I’m enjoying the comfort of the jersey knit fabric but wondering if there’s a reason those big name designers use uncomfortable & tight material to make theirs? Anybody else having this same issue? Maybe a suggestion for improving this handmade style? Thx!

  15. Amanda says:

    I am so making a bunch of these. I’m apple shaped (i.e all my extra weight is in my stomach) and often I buy cute shirts in my size that end up being just a bit too short. And it’s so awkward going around pulling your shirt down all day lest your fat tummy get exposed. Thank you for the tutorial!!

  16. dawn says:

    I am a moderator of a forum board. It is a board for folks with ostomies. Of fairly significant help to post surgical patients is getting back to a normal fashion statement. An item like this helps many patients who have less than ideal placement of their stoma, hence their medical appliance. I am going to post a link to your pattern if it is acceptable to you. It would be very helpful. If you email me, I will be happy to give you the link so that you can see the site. Thanks for your consideration.


    1. Ashley says:

      Of course Dawn, go right ahead! And I love that you realized that these would be perfect for ostomy patients too. Love it!


  17. Teresa says:

    I had an epiphany yesterday with making my own maternity jeans…and not surprised that there was a web site on this same idea! This is so much better than using a belly band too! Thanks for taking time to put up a tutorial!

  18. Caitlin says:

    Why did I never think of making one of these? I’m on my 3rd pregnancy and cannot find my purchased one ANYWHERE! I just made on in like half an hour (minus the hand stitching) and am pumped to make more! I’m sure they’ll go way faster now that I have it down. THANK YOU!

  19. abi hunter says:

    I love these! im not pregnant but my tops are always too short so i made a non pregnant version!
    (terrible) photos of my attempt here
    definitely making some more :)

  20. Ell says:

    Great idea! It would have been great during pregnancy, but as a non-pregnant person with a long upper body, I can see several of these in my future too! My shirts are always too short, and they pull up too high. Now I can’t figure out why I never thought of this before!

  21. dawn says:

    OMG! These are sooo great!! i am 6 weeks pregnant with my 3rd i have gotten so big so fast and can no longer button my pants they are like 4 inches from closing. I have not wanted to buy maternity clothes b/c of the cost and i will out grow them quickly. I thought i would try this because, i have been going to my closet in almost tears, nothing fits but, my pj’s. so instead of purchasing cloth i took some of my shirts that were too short on me and cut them all the way across right under the arms. i have one on now and absolutely love it. i am still in my regular clothes with my protruding stomach thanks so much for this idea!!!

  22. Part Time Homemaker says:

    Does anyone know if I need a serger if i do this with a regular sewing machine on spandex? Or will a regular zigzag stitch work just fine? :)

  23. Pickledweasel says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I am 39 weeks pregnant and have spent a few days trying to justify spending what feels like too much money on some breastfeeding tops. Now I don’t have too! I’m just going to make lots of these, but maybe a little deeper than your original measurements, then I won’t have to expose my flabby post pregnancy tummy to freezing temperatures everytime I feed!

  24. Misty says:

    Just made one and plan on making more. This will be my life saver during this pregnancy! I’m only 7wks and already feel like I’m showing.

  25. Kris says:

    Thanks so much!!! I made some of these for my daughter and she LOVES them!!! Wish I had these back in the day when I was expecting.

  26. Casey says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I made one this weekend and it turned out good. I do have a question though. My zig zag stitch is never stretchy enough, what settings do you put yours on? I have a very basic machine. But I still love it and I linked to you from my blog:

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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