Regular to Maternity T-Shirt Refashion Tutorial

Please excuse the photographer's finger in the top corner there. :)
Usually I do not sew many things for myself and I am not usually all that picky when it comes to clothing. BUT, I saw these T-shirts on sale at Target in CUTE colors and I just really, really wanted them! So I splurged. On myself.  That almost NEVER happens!  Here is how I mentally justified it: Maternity T-shirts are way more expensive (I got this shirt for $5 on sale in the Women's section, but I saw similar maternity ones online at for $15).  The maternity T-shirts I already have are in dark colors (plus everything is getting too short for my belly these days). I figured I could buy XL and XXL shirts for the length and alter them.  Ready to see how I did that? Let's go!
Start out with an XL or XXL shirt. For some reason, I didn't even take the tags or sticker off until I was done. It wasn't like I was going to return it.
You need to carefully trim off the side seams from the armpit down.
Fold the shirt in half.  Using a shirt that fits well as a pattern, mark where the arm scythe should be and cut off the sleeves and down the sides gently on an angle as shown. You can see that my arm scythe is higher and narrower in the shoulders vs the original shirt.
Trim up the sleeves to fit the arm scythe, plus a little seam allowance at the bottom. This pic shows the before and after so you can get an idea...
Now, here is the part I thought was so clever... Take the back of the shirt only (the front side is pushed away at the top there) and trim the sides to make them straight. (The shirt naturally flared out quite a bit towards the bottom, which I need in the front, but I didn't want a whole lot of extra bunching in the back.)

This is what you should have so far. These are all of the pieces and the back is actually on top so that you can see the difference between the front and back.
Sew up the side seams with a serger or using a stretch stitch on your sewing machine.  If you use a serger, make sure to tuck those tails of thread in when you are finished.  Sew the bottoms of the sleeves together, too.

Just pin the sleeve to the arm and reattach using a serger or stretch stitch. I suppose, if you wanted to, you could sew the sleeve on first and then sew all the way down the side from the edge of the sleeve to the bottom of the shirt.  This is just how I did it. Whatever works.

You can leave the shirt like this if you want (see all of the extra roominess in the front), but it was still too long in the back for my liking. I need the length for the front, though, so I decided to add ruching in the sides.

Decide how high you want the ruching to go, measure from there to the bottom of the shirt, then cut a piece of 1/4" elastic half of that length.  Pin the ends in place on the side seam allowance.

Just pull the elastic tight as you sew.  The elastic should be sewn to the side seam allowance only, so you won't see the stitching on the outside of the shirt when it is finished.

TADA! That is it!!  It really didn't take me long at all- maybe a half hour, and it theoretically saved me $10. Plus, it is a custom-fit shirt that actually covers my belly! Woohoo!
Here is the other shirt I altered. I didn't add the ruching because it was already on the short side, but I might go back and add some in later. We'll see. If I feel like it.
You can't tell by the super sunny pic my 5yo took for me, but this shirt is an awesome minty aqua color. Oh, and in case you are wondering, I am 29 weeks here. Yeah. 2 1/2 months to go. Yes, there is just one baby in there.  Feel free to laugh. I am used to it. 

 So, there you go! If you could snag some great thrift or clearance deals, this would be a great money-saver! It was easy and if I don't stain them up this summer (forget putting your napkin on your lap- my belly catches everything!) I will probably cut the sides open to take them in again post-baby. It would only take, like, 10 minutes. Maybe 15 if I hem the bottom to make it shorter. Yes, I am still justifying my splurging impulse buy here. :)

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