In searching for ways to save money on sewing, an easy way is to save on patterns. You can make your own patterns or use the patterns you already have and make it work for you. Today I want to show you an easy way to turn just about any shorts, pants, or skirt pattern into one you can use while pregnant. I fell in love with the look of these culottes and wanted to find a way to make them work for my maternity wardrobe. I hope this tutorial provides you the steps you need to turn most any non-maternity pattern into a great pattern you can use while pregnant!
- Pants or skirt pattern (I used the Tania culottes)
- Stretchy fabric (something with spandex or lycra works best)
- Basic sewing supplies
Step 1: Cut out pattern pieces
Since I was using a non-maternity pattern, I had to alter the pattern pieces slightly to adjust for my size. In general, size up when using non-maternity patterns, but always make a muslin first to be sure you get the fit you want. This pattern calls for a high waist and I didn’t alter that, but I wear it low, so I sized up to be sure it would fit properly. This pattern calls for a woven, or non-stretchy fabric, but I used a knit, which does stretch. All these variables need to be taken into account when sizing a non-maternity pattern to fit while pregnant.
Step 2: Construct the pattern according to the directions
In general, follow the directions given by your pattern. Stop when you get to attaching the waistband step. For these culottes, there was a side zipper that I omitted, so I sewed both sides closed and was ready to attach the waistband.
Step 3: Measure for the waistband piece
Taking your unfinished waist, measure around the waist. These shorts were 14 inches x 2 = 28 inches. The knit material I used has a good stretch to it, so it will stretch a good bit around my waist.
Step 4: Create your maternity (yoga) waistband
Using the measurement you have from your original waist multiply that by .8. So, for mine I have: 28 inches x .8 = 22.4 inches. I add a bit for seam allowance and cut a piece of fabric 23 inches x 8 inches. Since I was running out of fabric, I needed to cut two pieces for this step, but you can easily cut one long piece.
With right sides together sew the short end together. For me, I sewed both short ends together, creating a loop that is 11.25″ x 8″.
Fold this in half wrong sides together so your maternity waistband is now 4 inches tall by the length needed for your waist. The right side of the fabric should be facing out.
Step 5: Attach waistband to original garment
Using pins, mark four points spaced evenly along your waistband. First, the two side seams. Match up the side seam pins and then mark the other two sides. You should have four sections of equal length marked with pins.
Attach the waistband evenly to your garment. Placing right sides together, pin the waistband to the garment. For the pattern I used, I had side seams and front and back seams to work with, so I matched up the side seams with the pins on the waistband and then the front and back seams with the other pins.
Sew or serge these pieces together. As you sew, stretch the waistband material so it fits around the waist of the pants or shorts you are making. Finish the rest of the garment construction and you’re done!
For more ways to save money while you sew and details on how much all my maternity clothes cost me to make, come on over to Sew Thrifty.