A good pair of maternity jeans are an absolute necessity for your pregnant wardrobe – unfortunately, the bad ones are pretty bad and the good ones can run close to $100. The good news is that you can easily make your own by altering a pair of existing jeans or pants.
What you’ll need:
- An old pair of pants or jeans that you’re willing to cut up
- Some wide waistband elastic. I prefer elastic that is 2-3 inches wide, but that can be hard to find, and 1 inch elastic works just as well
- Scrap jersey fabric (you could even get creative here and use an old tshirt or something.
Here’s what you do:
- Cut off the waistband of your pants. I carry my babies very very low meaning that I have some maternity pants I’ve never worn because the crotch is simply too long. So I cut the front of my pants much lower than the back to compensate for this. (In fact now that I’ve finished the pants I wish I cut them even lower in the front for a better fit, but you live and learn!)
- Next very carefully cut out the zipper. The reason for this is that most jeans/cords have metal zippers which no sewing machine can handle sewing over, so it needs to go bye bye.
- Then sew the fly closed, as now that there is no zipper and there will be an opening.
- Cut your elastic. This is very wide 2.5″ waistband elastic – I chose it based on it’s thickness (the thicker the elastic the less likely it is to cut into you) and also it’s stretch was the closest I could find to my retail maternity pants waistbands. I cut my elastic a few inches shorter than the waistband so that it would help keep my pants up! I also cut some jersey to cover the elastic and be soft against my skin (I don’t like the feeling of elastic against me, it’s itchy!). I cut my jersey the same length as the elastic and double the width. You may choose to add on 1.5″ to the width of your jersey fabric if you do not want to sew the elastic to the actual pants. My elastic has a handy bit on the edge for the purpose of being attached to the clothing, which is why I didn’t add on extra for the seam allowance (ie my elastic is being sewn to the pants). I really like it like this as the elastic won’t twist.
- I then matched up the edges of the elastic and sewed, and did the same for the jersey
- Encase the elastic in the jersey. Note that I did not line up the seams of the jersey and elastic exactly. The reason for this is that once I sew all this together it’s going to be very thick (remember that denim and corduroy are very thick and have thick seams) and I don’t want my machine to die!
- Then sew the elastic/jersey to the edge of your pants. Remember that the elastic and jersey are a little smaller than the waist of the pants? So you need to stretch the elastic/jersey a little as you sew. Don’t forget to use a Denim/Jeans needle for your machine. Don’t skimp on that part, it’s really necessary. A universal needle just can’t handle the thickness of denim and corduroy.
- I used my serger/overlocker to neaten up the edges. I know a lot of people like to use their sergers for everything. I am not one of those people. It has it’s place of course, but I really don’t think a serger could have given this waist the stability it needed on its own, so I just used it as a finishing touch.
- Finished product!
I know that looks like a lot of steps (mostly because I waffled!) but it’s very easy, it took under 20 minutes, and who can complain about that!!!
Now as a side note, I wouldn’t normally wear these pants with such a short top, I just have in the photos for the purposes of showing you how the waistband fits.
And in randomness, there’s a little fall chill in the air, and I’m starting to dream of boots and trench coats (and pretending that winter doesn’t exist, just months and months of beautiful fall!). My next project is a maternity winter coat, as none of my lovely warm coats will fit this winter (baby is due end of february). It’s going to be an undertaking, but I’m really excited about doing some tailoring, as I really haven’t for a while. I have a pattern in mind, and i”ll update you all when I get organised!!