How to Make Maternity Clothes

By Faith Schuster

Maternity clothes that are affordable, attractive and figure-flattering can often be hard to come by. While there are a handful of chain stores that specialize in fashions for expectant mothers, there are often limited styles and sizes available, especially for petite, tall and plus-size women. A great way to get the exact look and fit that you want is to make some of your own maternity clothes.

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How to Make Maternity Clothes

Step 1

Go to a few maternity clothing stores and study the type of clothing that is currently available. Doing so can not only provide you with possible design inspiration, but it will give you the ability to try on several different styles and get an idea as to what styles and cuts you like and which ones do not work for your body type. Bear in mind that empire waist-style tops, shirts and dresses are a universal style that will suit nearly every body type because they cut across below the bust and create definition. If you come across a particular style or cut that suits your figure that you would like to replicate, use a digital camera or cellphone camera to snap a photograph of it or print out a picture from the maternity store's website to use as a reference.

Step 2

Define what qualities you would like your maternity clothing to have. Your getting-ready-for-baby wardrobe needs will probably differ as your body changes over the course of three trimesters. For the first few months of pregnancy a handmade "belly band" and some clothing one size larger than your usual one may suffice. Once you outgrow your first trimester garb and find your bust and waistline increasing, it may be time to select soft, stretchy materials and more tailored pieces to flatter your new curves. As your tummy grows, it may also be important to you to make sure that your shirts and tops are long enough to keep your belly covered.

Step 3

Visit your local craft store and sift through the maternity sections of their sewing pattern books. Select patterns in your size that closely match the type of maternity clothing that you would like to make. The key is to find the core elements and qualities that you are looking for. Remember, necklines can be altered, the length can be made shorter or longer, and other minor alterations can be made when creating the garment.

Step 4

Decide if you plan to sew your own maternity clothes based on the sewing patterns you've purchased or if you will have someone else create them for you. If your sewing skills are good and you are familiar working with patterns and minor alterations, it is possible to make the clothes yourself. However, if you do not have the time or do not sew, make an appointment with a tailor or seamstress to discuss creating a few professionally made pieces for your maternity wardrobe.

Step 5

Purchase the fabric for the maternity clothing that you're making or having made. The back of the sewing pattern envelopes will provide you with a listing of appropriate types of materials that will work well with your particular pattern. It will also advise you as to how much material is needed to make each garment. Remember to also buy whatever notions are needed such as coordinating thread, buttons, snaps, zippers and interfacing.