Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Maternity Shirt

This past weekend was a three-day weekend for us, as there was a public holiday on Monday. We decided that Y needed some new shirts for work; his were getting a tad ratty. So we went shopping at Uniqlo, a store I love, but with my new, gigantic stomach it was a tad senseless to buy new clothes for me.

Until I remembered a few posts I saw about making maternity shirts from men's shirts. I took a look around the men's section for some sale items and found a simple long-sleeved T-shirt, as well as a patterned button up that I quite liked. I bought them both.

I started with the T-shirt for the sole reason that it seemed a bit less daunting. I used this tutorial and followed it pretty closely.

The first step was to cut off the neckline. I understand the tutorial's point about cutting a large neckline and then cinching it up with elastic (to help pull the shoulder seams in), but I don't like elastic necklines on me, so instead I ended up cutting about as close to the original neck band as possible. Next I drew my pin tuck lines on, each 2 cm apart from one another.

I started with the middle pin tuck and then worked my way towards the outside. I tried it on after the first three were done and then each time after sewing two more. I ended up with 7 pin tucks.

The next step was to fix the sleeves as they were really big! You can kind of see in the photo below that I sewed a line a few centimeters in from the original seam. To make sure I didn't get the sleeves too tight, I traced the sleeve of a shirt that I like and then sewed along that line. The tricky bit was getting the sides perfectly even - or let's be honest, even enough. I ended up having to sew a second line into one of the armpit areas of one of the sleeves, but I think it ended up fine.

Next up was to finish the neckline. As before, I knew I didn't want to use elastic to finish it, but I was undecided as to what I did want to do. I first started pinning the raw edge in, but as it's a circle, it soon got messy. I looked through what sewing notions I had in my sewing boxes and found some single fold bias tape. It's orange, so I was a bit worried that it would show too much and be weird. It was really my only option, however, unless I wanted to head to the sewing shop. I sewed it on and much to my surprise, it hardly shows once the shirt is on - what luck!

The final step was the sleeves. Eeek. They were really long. I originally wanted to rouch them, but it was proving a bit difficult to sew the elastic onto the skinniest part of the shirt without totally ruining it. I ditched that idea fast.

I don't think it turned out as cute as it would have with rouched sleeves, but I ended up doing it the easy way and just cut the sleeves and attached the same bias tape as I did in the neckline.

The sleeve bits end up folding up every so often, so the tape is a bit more noticeable here. I don't really mind it though. In fact, I kind of like the little pop of color.

The shirt was super easy to make. In fact, as soon as we got home from shopping I put K down for his nap and got started on the shirt. By the time he was up, all I had left to do were the sleeves. Simple! I imagine once Spring comes, I will get a few more short-sleeved T-shirts and do up a few more of these. Or maybe I could do a few more long-sleeved shirts and then just cut and re-finish the sleeves once it gets warm out. Hmmm...