Friday, 14 June 2013

Refashion Friday: Maternity Belly Band


Ok so I must confess this wasn't what I intended to share with you today. What I planned to blog about was a phenomenally successful jeggings-to-maternity-jeggings refashion (akin to this) where I took an old pair of jeggings, cut away a scoop at the front, inserted some thick jersey with elastic casing around the top and ended up with a comfortable and fabulous pair of maternity jeggings. Except that didn't happen. The jeggings I chose to refashion were so old and dead that when I cut away the front scoop (to just under where the zip had been) it became evident just how paper-thin the fabric had become and how little life there was left in them to salvage.


I had started the aforementioned jeggings refashion by creating a ring of thick jersey with elastic encased at the top that I intended to 'drop in' to the cut away section of the jeggings. So when the original plan had to be ditched, I hemmed the jersey section and ended up with was a belly band instead. Not exactly a refashion (although you could refashion one from an old, thick, jersey T-shirt cut up with elastic encased in the top as I have read some people suggest) but it does extend the life of my jeans a while longer, so I'd argue a belly band just about has a place in Refashion Friday! 

To anyone who has been pregnant before, I'm sure you'll be intimately aware of The Belly Band, and their jeans-life-extending properties. I didn't think I needed one before this point, because I planned to go from my 'bigger' jeggings straight to some refashioned ones with stretchy jersey inserted here and there. However when my refashion failed I didn't have any other pairs I wished to sacrifice, and had tickets to the theatre that evening with nothing to wear on my bottom half (how comes a garment, my black treggings for example fit fine one week, then be totally too small the following week?! The magic of pregnancy...). So the belly band came into play allowing me to wear these second-hand jeggings a bit longer. So, for those who haven't been pregnant or had close-up experience of a belly band, what does one conceal? Look away if you are of a sensitive disposition..... 


It conceals a hot mess of elastic, buttons, gapes and baby belly! You are then free to wear a top that might not quite cover this whole mess of exposure. Or a top that would cover it but you might still feel you'd like a belly band for an extra bit of security round the area. A belly band has to be fairly tight for it to fulfil its function, so you kind of have a feeling of being hugged round your middle all the time you're wearing it (well I did anyhow) which can be a bit weird. 

I'm tempted to try another jeggings/jeans to maternity bottoms refashion, using one of the many how-to methods that can be found on the internets or by experimenting on my own. However, I don't want to sacrifice any of my other pairs because I want those pairs for when I'm 'on the other side' of all this maternity stuff. I could go charity shopping to source another starting point, but a friend has just given me a few pairs of her old shop-bought maternity jeans (I think she bought them second-hand so they're aiding at least their third pregnancy!) for long-term loan, so I'll try and get by with those instead. If I ever get preggers again in the future, I will have a better stab at refashioning jeggings/jeans into maternity wear, as I'd love to feel entirely maternity wear-self-sufficient! F*ck the man!!!

15 comments:

Jacq C said...

What a good idea - my own pregnancies were so long ago (my youngest is 23) I don't remember having anything like the belly band then, it was all tent dresses with 'interesting' collars! Seriously, I have no idea what that was about, perhaps they were supposed to distract the eye from your stomach! Fortunately, being the late 80s, I managed to wear leggings and big t-shirts/sweatshirts for a good deal of the time. You are looking fab by the way, well done for so many successful maternity refashions :)

LLBB said...

clever! I was really confused and had no idea what was going on til I saw the last pic :)

4f820c5c-2fda-11e2-b16e-000bcdcb2996 said...

Hi Zoe, yep. I've been there too - one week half your wardrobe still fits and then the next week you are left with just a few pieces ...
I am not sure if I like the idea of a bellyband myself as I liked the maternity pants/skirts better that hit below the belly but it sure is a good option to wear those short Tees a little longer (and of course to conceal those open flys *g*) ...
Have a wonderful rest of pregnancy.

4f820c5c-2fda-11e2-b16e-000bcdcb2996 said...

I am sorry - still not sure how you can make aim to not conceal your identity...
So this is a prooer closing of my comment above.
VG (which is short for "Viele Grüße" which is "many greatings" in German which is the proper way to end a message casually around here)
Lily

Flossie Jamieson said...

The great thing about belly bands is how many old/too small outfits they allow you to wear. And also, when you are done being pregnant, if yiu still have copious bosoms you can wear them under deep v neck tops if you don't want to show off too much cleavage.

Philippa said...

It's an interesting idea. During my last pregnancy I wore mostly leggings and enormous t-shirts, or very stretchy jersey skirts on hot days. (The two before that were all hideous tent dresses.) My pregnancies were in the 90's, we used to have hot summers then lol! I think I would have been too hot in the outfit you suggest. But since it's freezing in the UK this year, this will hopefully help some pregnant ladies get some more wear out of their jeans/jeggings whilst also staying warm!!

French Toast Tasha said...

I love that you're pregnant and still cursing "the man"! Hilarious and awesome!

dannyscotland said...

Belly bands are awesome!

Louise - There She Sews said...

Some how I managed to get through 2 pregnancies without a belly band but one would really have come in useful mostly for covering that gap between trousers and too short tops! I'm impressed that you can still wear your jeans (apart from your bump). I found that my hips expanded exponentially!! Oh and as for growing out of clothes... I needed two lots of maternity clothes as around 7-8 months I just couldn't get into anything. We all expand differently though :-)

Miss P said...

Yep...totally with ya on the belly band! The only "maternity" clothes that I actually bought (I wasn't sewing at the time otherwise the list would be even shorter) were thrifted maternity jeans and a handful of these amazing maternity "camisoles". They had secret support in the bust with wide comfy straps and the body was about 1/3 longer than a standard cami, with ruched sides (a bit like the maternity jersey top you made) to accomodate the bump. So essentially they restrained the ladies and at the same time covered the bump/unzipped waistband in the same way a belly band does. I had white, black, navy and a neutral coloured one and wore them under everything. With thrifted maternity jeans and thrifted empire line tops. Cheap pregnancy!! But then...I'm quite cheap really ;)Embarrasingly, I only JUST got rid of my last maternity cami last week. Elliott's 4 1/2 now! But they were just too comfy!
That belly band looks REALLY comfy!
Just go and thrift some maternity jeans lady...sometimes the cost of the jersey and the time and the faff just isn't worth it financially or mentally when you can pick them up for a few quid in the charity shops (you need another trip to Essex!) then you could save your jersey for a jersey pencil skirt! Now, they're really comfy!
Px

Jenna said...

I had a belly band but it never quite fitted, right up to the end (I must have bought the wrong size!). I so wish I had been sewing back to make things like this. I definitely haven't got some heavy jersey stashed away for things like this just in case I fall pregnant again!

Jill said...

Ah, yes, one week something fits, the next week, nada. I've lost 2 shirts this week, boohoo!

The belly band helped me out a lot in early pregnancy, but now (30 weeks) I'm finding it very restrictive. I think part of the problem is I can still feel the zipper against my skin and find it irritating.

Lyn said...

I'm really enjoying reading your maternity sewing posts (well, all your posts, actually...). I was pregnant with my son last year, and after buying one pair of maternity jeans and balking at the price, I ended up sewing nearly every other piece of my maternity wardrobe. All that sewing is actually what pushed me back into garment sewing.
If things go for you like they did for me, you'll get plenty of wear out of your new clothes even after the babe arrives. I didn't fit back into my old clothes again until my son was about 9 months old. So my maternity clothes got lots of wear in the meantime!
Looking forward to seeing more of your bump-friendly clothes (you're giving me great ideas for the next time I need maternity clothes). Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

BettyJ said...

Congrats on your pregnancy. I've been keenly reading your maternity posts as I've just hit 3 months myself and things are getting a little tight. I've bought some wide elastic and I'm hoping to add it to the sides of my old jeans and some work trousers to try to get a bit more wear out if them. I'm really reluctant to buy maternity stuff for some reason.

liza jane said...

I never did a belly band. I was lucky in the sense that I got away with wearing my regular pants buttoned until about week 24. Then all of a sudden this giant basketball appeared and I was in regular maternity pants. I had some hand me downs and I sadly ended up buying a pair of maternity jeans. But iit's a great concept. I love the idea of using it to cover up cleavage afterwards like one commenter mentioned.

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