Saturday, May 3, 2008

Belly Bands

There's a slew of products out on the market for pregnant women- kind of like tube tops for your belly. Have you seen them? I'm very jealous of the commercial producers, because they obviously have access to manufacturers who can produce these in one piece, with no seams, and also with fabric with more stretch. But, I've found it's fairly easy to make a passable substitute at home, for just a few dollars! At 22 weeks I'm still using mine to keep my completely-open fly under wraps on my pre-pregnancy jeans and I think I'll be able to keep using it until my ice cream addiction catches up with my hips and thighs.

A few notes before you start- go to your fabric store and find jersey material (think stretch tank-top or camisole) with as much Lycra or Spandex as you can get, but not the swimsuit material! This will show under your shirt and look like you're wearing a Modbe tank- I don't think shiny swimsuit is the look you're going for here. I've toyed with the idea of making a two-layer tube, with the nice stretchy swim suit material underneath but haven't tried it yet.

For me and my friends, a straight tube works fine. If that won't work for your shape, make the top of the rectangle your under-bust measurement and the bottom your hip measurement. Keep in mind you want it to fit you and not be bursting at the seams, but still tight enough to hold things together. You might need to make a new one when your shape changes drastically as the weeks pass.

Belly Band
Stretch Jersey
  1. Start by taking your under-bust measurement- this will be the length of the piece of fabric you'll cut.
  2. Decide how tall you want the finished band to be. If you plan on wearing it single layer, you'll want it to be from under bust down to the bottom of the fly of your jeans. I like doing it that way, and then wearing it doubled over for added suction power to keep the pants up. Personal preference.
  3. Lay your fabric out so the stretch goes side to side- cut out a rectangle as long as your under-bust measurement, and as tall as you measured in step two.
  4. Fold and pin each long edge, and hem using a zig-zag stitch and a jersey needle.
  5. Fold short sides right-side-together, and sew using zig-zag stitch.
That's it- you're done! Now, you'd think with how easy this is I'd have already finished the 4 I've promised to various friends...but no. Sorry guys!


Cakespy said...

...belly bands? I have never heard of this revolution!!

Rae said...

Love it! I've seen the belly bands but never tried them (too expensive!). I ended up hiding my belly under long tank tops and wearing my low-low rise jeans until the baby came. (:

Casey said...

I didn't know there were jersey needles... are they not as big around?