XL Shirt Before & After


I’m officially 35 weeks along and I have yet to purchase any maternity clothing. I can’t help but feel proud of that fact and I definitely owe it all to the popularity of jeggings & stretchy tunic tops.

Back in November I stopped by the DownEast warehouse to say hello to some old coworkers & pick up some cheap basics. I was all out of tanks & tees that were long enough to cover my belly. While there I spotted this top:

A whole pile of these shirts have been lurking the warehouse store for well over a year & a half. I kid you not. I gave them a second look only because of their fabric. It’s a two directional stretch knit. PERFECT for a baby bump. I snagged the largest size available & headed to the check out. I believe this shirt cost somewhere around $3, so there wasn’t much of a risk that this thing wouldn’t fit. As soon as I tried it on at home, I threw it in the “to alter” pile in my studio & forgot about it for a month & a half.

Today it was high time I alter the sucker; after all, I have less than 5 weeks left before this baby bump turns into a jelly lump. Plus I’ve been craving a little more variety in my wardrobe recently. Here’s what I did:

  • tapered the sleeves
  • rouched the sleeves
  • took in the armpits by 4″ on each side
  • tapered the bottom sides of the shirt by 4 inches

I think it turned out fabulously. I was not looking forward to altering the knit fabric, but by aggressively pinning the sides down (like a pin every inch & a half), I didn’t get any puckering.¬†HALLELUJAH! The fix took me about an hour & a half of trial & error.

What do you think? The transformation is quite subtle, but I feel about 20 lbs lighter now that it’s altered. Before I felt like I was hosting a circus underneath my top. Do you see how my belly button is about 2 inches off center? Maybe I’m only noticing it, but I think it’s hilarious. It did the same thing when I was pregnant with Penelope; it’s a drifter.

To see the full outfit, check out my fashion section.

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    1. Rebecca says:

      That altered beautifully! I dread sewing with stretch knit, but you rocked it! I’m in love with the sleeves. Make me want to alter something. :D

    2. Hannah C says:

      You are so adorable. So is your baby bump.

    3. marta says:

      you amaze! it’s darling. i love the sleeves, so stylish. and i love that you have a ‘to alter’ pile.

    4. You look great! I wish I had even a fraction of your sewing skills/vision…someday I’ll have space for a sewing machine (and then will have to learn the skills;)!

    5. Natalie says:

      It looks great! I can’t believe you only have 5 weeks left, that’s crazy.

    6. Amelie says:

      Well lucky you! I had to go back to the maternity shop because I just discovered that I went from size medium to large and extra large and I’m only 30 weeks. I don’t know what you do to look so good either!

    7. Taylor says:

      That looks amazing! Do you have any tips for sewing knits?!? I was doing awesome with my first crack at it yesterday until I got to the neck and it started lettucing and stretching weird.

      • Melissa says:

        Knits are so tricky, Taylor!

        First, I’ve discovered if you pin pieces together aggressively, that helps A TON. But beware, you don’t want to sew right over those pins, it can mess up your tension & cause puckering. So remove the pins before you get to them. Going may be slow, but you’ll be happy you went slow.

        Second, you want to make sure you never pull on the fabric as you feed it through, unless you want the lettuce-edge affect. I set the tension pretty loose & use my widest stitch and barely touch the fabric as it feeds through the machine, and that seems to work pretty well.

        Hope those tips help!

    8. alicia says:

      Really awesome! The person who complimented your vision was right on- I wouldn’t have seen the potential in that shirt. Cute pics, too!

    9. Libby says:

      I just spent the last two minutes laughing about your “drifting belly button”. That’s hilarious. Pregnancy definitely does some weird things to us gals. The joy.

      Oh, and your shirt is really cute! Kudos.

    10. Michelle says:

      you’re an absolute pro. i wouldn’t have even thought of doing such a thing at 35 weeks pregnant but it was obviously worth it!

    11. Emily says:

      You look amazing for being 35 weeks. Lucky!

      You did a fantastic job altering that shirt. It looks a million times better. :)

    12. Tiffany says:

      You look fabulous as always. And is that a large white sheet you hung up as your backdrop or do you have a photo studio in your house?

    13. Bellesme says:

      HAhahha I dont think its drifting, its just the top part of your belly is growing more than the bottom.. =D
      Btw, the sleeves look really nice, and are you wearing glitter striped jeans? They look SOOO cute!

    14. Yolanda says:

      Cool!! Thanks for sharing

    15. Mandy Ford says:

      Adorable! I’m super impressed! And you made me giggle at “baby bump/jelly lump”…unfortunately that is pretty much true but luckily we still have tunics and jeggings after baby arrives too. :)

    16. Heidi says:

      lol! I didn’t notice how off-centered your belly button was until you pointed it out. Too funny! The top turned out great! The looks like a super soft and comfy knit!

    17. I bow down to your uber awesome altering skills. And your super cute. It’s just not fair.

    18. via_ostiense says:

      The altered shirt looks super cute! I’m amazed at how you saw the potential in the original shirt and made it into something flattering.

    19. […] it’s fairly old). Melissa’s amazing refashions have been really inspiring me lately (here and here), so I’m gonna pretend I’m cool like her and try […]

    20. Jenn says:

      I’m hosting a Maternity/Nursing/Postpartum competition on my site – http://www.ajennuinelife.blogspot.com called Mother to Be, Being, Been. I’d love it if you entered a project!

    21. Jenn says:

      I’m hosting a Maternity/Nursing/Postpartum competition on my site – http://www.ajennuinelife.blogspot.com called Mother to Be, Being, Been. I’d love it if you entered this project!

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