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How to make your regular clothes into maternity clothes

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Simple and savvy wardrobe updates

Brand new maternity clothes can take a serious bite out of your bottom line. Why shell out the cash, when you can update your pre-pregnancy clothing to fit your burgeoning belly?

1. Add a top button to your sweaters

Have an old sweater you hardly wear? Instead of letting it clog your closet, upcycle it into a top-button sweater for your pregnancy. Cut down the middle of your sweater and sew a hem along each side. At the top, affix a large wooden button and make a buttonhole on the opposing side. The result? A cute sweater that you can layer over your growing bump.

2. Tie up your T-shirts

Layering is a pregnant woman's saving grace. Start with a basic fitted maternity tee underneath, and then put on one of your T-shirts that's getting too tight. Roll the tight T-shirt up over your belly, and secure in place by rolling the T-shirt under — just below your bra. All that layering and color blocking will give the illusion of a waistline. Consider styling it with this ruched maternity skirt pattern from Megan Nielsen that you can make at home. (Megan Nielsen, $12)

3. Hoist up your jersey pencil skirt

You know that pencil skirts are super flattering, so why ditch them when you're with child? If you own a stretchy, jersey pencil skirt, just pull that sucker up over your growing belly instead of letting it sit below your tummy. Make it fab by wearing a brooch with a fitted shirt to channel your inner classic style maven.

4. Use belly bands and hair ties

Jeans are often the first thing to go when your belly busts at the seams. Not so anymore, with these clever fixes. For a teensy baby bump, affix a rubber hair tie to the button on your jeans, and loop it through the buttonhole for a mini-extender. Once you're a little more cumbersome, use a Bellaband to keep your unbuttoned jeans in their proper place. (Ingrid & Isabel, $28)

5. Tunic shirts are your friends

Demure tunic dresses turn into pregnancy-friendly tunic shirts with the addition of stretchy leggings. Just pull on leggings under your tunic dress and pair with ballerina slippers for a sweet look. If your leggings won't stay up, secure them with your Bellaband.

6. Crop that top

Don't ditch your crop tops now that you're preggy — just learn to layer. You can wear that crop top over a basic black or white tank top for a sporty look. Better yet? Crop an old T-shirt for the same look.

7. Love the ruching

Love the ruching

Ruched shirts are simply fantastic for pregnancy bellies, and you can turn your normal shirts into ruched ones with just a few quick steps. Check out the steps for your own homemade ruched shirt by visiting MADE for instructions.

8. Fashion a simple maternity dress

If you have an elastic-band bohemian-style skirt, get creative and fashion a sweet maternity dress from your ensemble. Simply pull the skirt up over your strapless bra, and tie a cute belt just under your bra to give shape to your body. Your growing pregnancy boobs will keep the skirt in place around your chest, and the length of the bohemian skirt translates nicely into a knee-length dress for summer. Top with a blazer to make it work-ready.

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