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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lace Trimmed Maternity Belly Bands: A Half Hearted Tutorial

My Sister-in-law's adorable pregnant belly.

When I was pregnant with Clark I really wanted to buy a maternity belly band.  The idea behind the product is that it is a comfortable and stretchy band that bridges the gap between pre-pregnancy and maternity clothes.  When your pants start getting so tight that you can't button them up, you leave them open, and wear a belly band over your pants.  It keeps your pants up, and also adds a bit of length to shirts that may become too short with a growing belly.  You are supposed to be able to wear the maternity bands through out pregnancy, and they should come in handy when your belly becomes too large for even your maternity clothes.  Commercial belly bands sell for more than I would like to pay for them.   


With this pregnancy I decided to make my own.  I've started sewing since my last pregnancy, and I realized just how easy these would be to make.


Do you want to make one?


Here's what you'll need:

-Stretch Lace (distance around your hips, plus one inch). My lace is about 3" wide.  I bought it here.
-Stretchy Knit fabric (I bought mine at Joann's, it isn't the interlock knit, it has a good four way stretch, and will really stretch with an expanding belly). You will want enough for the width of your band times two. I'd recommend anywhere from 14-18" of fabric.
-Coordinating thread
-Sewing machine with ball point needle
-Serger with ball point needle(s) *optional

Getting Started:

The first thing that you are going to want to do is determine the width and length of your maternity band. You want your band to fit snuggly around your hips, this will allow it to do it's job in holding up your pants.  You will also want it to stay up on your waist.  I chose to measure the smallest part of my waist, and cut my fabric 1 inch longer than the distance around my waist.  The cut measurements of my material were 14"x30". The finished dimensions of my band (not including the added width from the lace) are: 6 1/2 "x29".


NOTE: This method of determining the size of your band is assuming that you are using early pregnancy measurements.  The fabric should accommodate for great stretch.  If you are already quite round, you may want to cut your band so that it is about 2-3" smaller than the size of your belly.


Next cut your lace to the same length as your knit material (30 inches, or determined length).

If you have access to a serger I recommend finishing off the long sides of the belly band.


We are now going to attach the lace to the belly band.  You can do this a couple of different ways.  One option is to sew the lace to the top of the material.  The wrong side of the lace would be on the right side of the fabric.  I'd overlap the fabric by at least 1".  Use a three step zig zag stitch to stitch along the top edge of the lace, and also the bottom edge of the fabric.  Your lace should be attached at two points.


Another option is to place two top edge of the right side of the lace on the bottom edge of the right side of the fabric.  Pin in place as shown.  Use a triple stretch straight stitch (not zig zag) to attach the lace.  Stitch about 3/8" away from the edge of the lace and the fabric.  
Photo shows both methods of attaching lace.  The top band show the top stitching that allows seam allowance to lie flat.

Fold the lace down, and the seam allowance up so that your band lies flat.  Top stitch about 1/4 inch away from where the lace and fabric meet. (see photo above)

Next you will want to pin the short ends of your band together.  Make sure that right sides of the band are facing each other.

Stitch along the pinned edges.  Serge or overcast raw edges. Your band should now form a tube.



Now fold your material in half hot dog style.  You will want to meet up the edges of your knit material, with wrong sides together.  Pin together along the entire tube.  Use a triple stretch stitch to sew in place.


You're done.  That was easy wasn't it.  As you can see the top edge of the band is the folded edge of the material. I attempted a belly band with only one layer of the material, but it wasn't nearly as successful.  The top edge was always curling up, and wouldn't lay nicely.  The two layers of fabric were much more successful.

Sorry that I didn't have photos for every step.  I've been a half hearted documenter of my projects lately.  Please let me know if you have any questions, or need clarification.   

12 comments:

Lu said...

I bought one of these at Motherhood -- for about $12. I wish I loved it but I don't! It's not nearly as cute as yours with the lace and it's almost TOO tight -- but they only sell it in one size. It's always riding up instead of holding things where it should. I'll have to try making my own instead.

You said you didn't use the interlock knit -- is it jersey knit then or something else, do you remember?

Elicia said...

What are your recommendations for washing it? I've had lace edged camisoles before that the lace got all bunched up and the elastic part started coming out of the lace to make it look really terrible. I'm sure it had to do with how it was washed. Any suggestions?

Kandice said...

This looks great...definitely a project for my future. Though I've seriously considered making one of these for non-maternity clothing issues. I hate that I have to wear a dozen layers to get everything to look right...this just might be the answer! :-)

And don't apologize for being tired...this is your blog! Thanks for the tute.

Anonymous said...

where do YOU find the beautiful stretch lace? All I keep finding are thin, and not so pretty.

ezeldabeth said...

this is a great tutuorial. these are great even if you aren't pregnant! i probably wont be pregnant again, but i plan to use this tutorial to same several and maybe even a tube top to go under some of those super low cut v-necks that are everywhere. thanks for sharing.

but i do need to ask, when you bought your lace did it smell like it came from a chain smoker? i bought some lace from the same store and it smells HORRIBLE...i am hoping that i can wash the smell out.

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Unknown said...

Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it!
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