Now I know what you're thinking...yes, I'm already pregnant. However, the person that played Mary for our Christmas Cantata is not! I was in charge of making it look like she was.
After considering lots of different ideas and consulting with a master costume-maker (thank you for your help, Andrew!) I decided a stuffed pillow would be best.
I started with stretchy polyester that I had laying around. It was a royal purple, but I knew it would be covered up, so color didn't matter.
First, I cut a piece of fabric about 12-13" wide, and I turned the fabric so that if I pulled it on the sides, it wouldn't stretch. The length wasn't really important at first, so I left it about 2' long.
Next, I blew up a beach ball about halfway to serve as stuffing while I pinned. Since I already have a 5 month pregnant belly, my poor husband had to keep stuffing the beach ball under his shirt to see if it made him look 9 months pregnant, haha. Needless to say, he wouldn't let me get a picture of that.
After I got it to be a good size, I set it on top of my cut fabric.
Next, I draped another piece of fabric over the ball, making sure it was turned 90 degrees from the other piece of fabric so that if I pulled the sides, it WOULD stretch. Then, I pulled the fabric tight on the sides so the beach ball would flatten on the bottom and pinned the sides in a straight line to my bottom piece.
Next, I pinned the bottom corners in pleats to work around the curves of the ball, like this:
Then I did the same thing to the other side, and pinned a straight line at the bottom. Like this:
I then sewed the U shape on my sewing machine. Here is what the underside looked like with the flat piece of fabric. No pleats, just flat:
And here's the top side with the pleats:Next, I left the beach ball out of it, and pinned pleats around the top part of curves, but made them smaller than the bottom, since this would be the top of the belly. I made sure to leave the top open for stuffing it. I then trimmed the excess fabric around the edges.
I used fiberfil for stuffing, and did the same thing as the beach ball...my husband had to keep putting it under his shirt while we adjusted the size.
Sorry it's not a great picture, but here's the finished pillow.
You can tell it's a bit lumpy from the fiberfil but it wasn't a problem, because she wore it under a BellaBand like this so it could be easily slipped in and out:
I already had the BellaBand, which I got at Target for about $20, but it's just a tube of spandex. It could be easily recreated.
She wore a maternity tank over the belly which helped smooth out any last lumps, and then here's the finished product:
Doesn't it look great?!