One of the first maternity projects I made for myself after we found out we were expecting was belly bands! Belly bands are a tube of stretchy knit/jersey fabric that you wear around your waist to help keep your pants up. You wear them over your unzipped or unbuttoned non-maternity jeans when you are a little too big for your regular pants but not quite big enough for maternity pants. They help hide the zipper area and help hide your belly and keep you warm when your regular tops get a little too short. Belly bands help stretch your pre-pregnancy wardrobe so that you can wear your normal clothes a little longer into your pregnancy. I was trying to avoid buying maternity clothes for as long as I could, so these were perfect for me those first few months.
They basically look like you are layering a camisole underneath your regular shirt when you wear them:
If you buy belly bands, they run about $15-20 each. If you sew one yourself, it’ll cost just dollars depending on the fabric you use. You really don’t need that much fabric either. You just need fabric that is soft, comfy and stretchy so knits, jersey and lycra work well. I used leftover knits from when I made my American Apparal knock-off circle scarves so these cost me nothing! (The yellow and white striped knit was left over from my ill-fated first serging attempt.) I used this great online tutorial and whipped these up in less than 15 minutes each.
These maternity belly bands are super comfy, too! They feel like you are wearing yoga pants!
I’m a little too big to be wearing these now, I’ve sadly succumbed to having to buy a few pairs of maternity pants. (Btw, if anyone is interested, I’m a huge fan of these Paige Premium maternity jeans! I like how they have side panels of elastic versus the huge wide elastic band across the whole belly.) I’m thinking I can use these again post-pregnancy though when I am trying to get back to my regular jeans size!