DIY Ruched Tee

So if you’ve been reading my weekly updates, you’ll know that my luck in finding maternity clothes so far has been very hit-or-miss. It hasn’t worried me much up to this point, but with the belly beginning to expand more noticeably, I’m going to need SOMETHING to wear. I’ve pinned several ideas on Pinterest and ordered a couple patterns to try, but as a first attempt I decided to go for a ruched t-shirt a la this pin:

It looked easy enough, so I bought a $10 plus size 1 (i.e. 2 sizes larger than the size L I’d normally get) t-shirt from Target and got to work. I quickly realized that the one thing the tutorial didn’t mention — and that I couldn’t immediately find in any other tutorial — was exactly how to lay out the elastic on top of the side seam.

First attempt. This is NOT how you want to do it!

On my first attempt, I laid it out sort of like the photo above. In other words, I had the seam spread open and ran the elastic more or less along it. I’m not sure why I didn’t do a better job of thinking it through, because this turned out ALL KINDS OF WRONG. I mean, it did produce ruching, but it wasn’t neat and clean and of course you could see all the stitching on the outside of the t-shirt. A humble reminder that I am still quite new to this sewing thing!

So I tediously ripped out both seams and tried again. This time I thought it through a bit better and realized I should probably fold the shirt so that the seam stood out, and sew the elastic directly down the seam. That way you wouldn’t be able to see the stiching from the outside!

So…as you can imagine, this produces much better results! (And for what it’s worth, I checked out the seam of a ruched shirt at the maternity store in the mall this afternoon and hey, lookee there, they did it just like this!) I felt pretty stupid not to have realized this earlier.

Yay! Much better results, as you can see.

Here’s a very awkward photo of the final product. (I just realized there is a lovely hint of toilet in the background since I took the photo in our upstairs bathroom. Sorry!) Overall I was pretty happy and it only cost $10 for the entire project since I already had some leftover elastic and blue thread. I’m not exactly saving oodles of money because there are plenty of cheap ruched maternity shirts out there — but it definitely gives me additional options if I find a cute non-maternity t-shirt and want to wear it without it looking like a tent.

Yay for sewing!

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