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Marina Tank Hack: Maternity Hack!

When Mya posted that we got the chance to test the Marina Tank, I was super excited but ran into one issue - my 27+ week bump was not going to fit into the tank unmodified. So, I set out to figure out exactly how to modify this perfectly into a maternity tank that gives my belly the room it needs to grow!

The process is fairly simple, because you don't need any extra pieces and you only need a few extra notions: I used 1/4 knit elastic, tissue paper, a pencil, and a measuring tape to make my adjustments!

To start, I measure myself as normal - skipping my waist measurement. I used my bust and hip sizes to determine I need an 18. The next thing I did, after assembling my pattern, was use the pattern piece and finished measurements to determine how much length I needed to add for my bump.

I took 2 important measurements. My side waist (first photo) from just under my bust to the top of my hip.

The second measurement I took was from the top of my shoulder, where the seam would hit, to where the Marina would normally hit - this is going to vary depending on if you're looking for the top or dress options. These two measurements are going to determine how and if you modify the pattern length at all for the front.

I am 5'1.5", meaning I need to normally adjust about 2" in total from my pattern piece (since it's drafted for 5'6"). You are going to make your normal adjustments for the BACK piece only - you can see the fold in my pattern piece below where I made the adjustment. If you need to add, then add. In my case, my belly measurement measures the same as the finished measurement, so I didn't need to add anything to the front piece.

You also need to mark and measure the side measurement you took earlier. I added mine about 1.5" below the arm, since that's where I began my measurement from. Remember this measurement for later, too, because it's important for measuring your elastic!

The next step is the easy part: cut your neck, arm, and (optional) pocket pieces as normal!

Completely ignore that I accidentally crumbled the band pieces... pregnancy brain took over!

Once you cut out your pieces, the fun begins again! This is where you're going to need your elastic piece. I cut out 2 pieces of elastic, one for each side. I used the side waist measurement and subtracted the same amount of space I removed for the back of the top. If you added length, use your side waist minus the difference between the length of the back and front pieces. This is going to help create some ruching on the side. Every bump is different, so feel free to play around and make muslins to find the right style for you!

Zig zag the elastic onto the wrong side of the front, in between the markings you made. Stretch as you go to make the gathered sides. Once you've done this, encase the elastic in your seam allowance as you sew the sides together. You may need to slightly pull the end of your back piece to make them perfectly match, but it shouldn't be a large difference. Do not pull the elastic flat as you sew the sides together, since you need the gathering to accommodate your bump! After this, complete the pattern per the tutorial for the shoulder seams and the hemming, if you are adding the kangaroo pocket, see below.

If you are adding the kangaroo pocket, slide the shirt on over your head and place the pocket where you want it to hit. Everyone is going to have a different preference since our bumps all look different. Pin in place and then follow the pocket instructions from the tutorial.

Once you are done, go show off that bump of yours! I have lived in my top since making it :)

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