There are two ‘awkward’ phases of maternity dressing: first, the point where the top button of your pants gets too tight to button but you aren’t quite ready to give up your favourite jeans or best black pants. Second, that phase after baby comes when you can’t possibly wear another stretchy waist-banded pair of pants but your old stuff is just that tiny bit small still around the waist. Enter the maternity ‘belly’ band. You can wear it over unbuttoned pants to stretch out your wardrobe a little bit longer. You can wear them over your elastic-waisted maternity wear that is a little too loose, or to help smooth out a popped-out belly button, if you’re feeling a little self-conscious. And best of all, I think: wear under your old tops to cover up your stomach and voila! Any shirt is made nursing-friendly by lifting it up, without exposing your entire midsection (especially handy in winter months!)
Personally I found the ones in stores to be a bit too short. No matter what size, they need to be tight to keep up your stuff but if they are too short, the bands ride up too high and get scrunched around your waist. A longer cut is easy to pull down and fits a bit nicer.
I drafted up this free pattern – yes, free – in sizes A-F, and it’s rated EASY/BEGINNER. You can use a light to mid-weight knit, like t-shirt jersey or active knits. You don’t need a serger, but always be sure to use the right needles for your chosen knits. Like all our patterns, this includes instructions on adjusting sizes and tips on working with PDF patterns, plus helpful tips on sewing with knits.
Click to download the Bridget pattern and instructions.