Monday, January 2, 2012

DIY Maternity Pants

You would think that by my fourth kid I would have the maternity clothes that I want, but not so.  Everytime I start wearing them, I want to find new ones- pants mostly. 

So a few weeks ago my regular pants were getting too tight on my tummy when I sat down, but I didn't want to start wearing my maternity ones just yet.  I went shopping for some "fat pants" a few sizes bigger than I usually wear.  I thought I could wear them for a couple of months now, and also right after the baby is born.  I found some cute jeans on clearance for seven bucks at Khol's so I bought a couple pairs. 

Well, I started showing more and more a lot quicker this time, so even those started getting too tight.  So, I thought I would just turn them into maternity jeans since I liked how they fit and wanted some more anyway.  And they were so cheap I wasn't too worried about messing them up.

So, to start I had my jeans (bigger than my regular size).
Then I got some 3" elastic and some knit ribbing in navy blue.

I measured the front of my pants between the side seams for the elastic. The knit ribbing I made a coulple inches longer, and 7" tall to fold over the elastic, and fold in at the sides.

The first step you want to do is cut out the zipper, pin it, and sew it closed. You don't want the metal teeth getting under your needle when you sew the elastic on.  I did this a few steps later, but I think it is better to do it first to keep it in place.

Next, see how far down your elastic goes and cut out the front of your pants. When you do this, cut a little less off than you think. You want the elastic to overlap the pants a little so you can sew them together. I think I cut off about 2 1/2 inches instead of 3. Be sure to look at where your rivets and pockets are when you are deciding where to cut. You will need a little room for a seam allowance, so don't cut too close. If your belt loops get cut in half like mine did, just cut the bottom part of them off as best you can without cutting a hole in the pants.

 I serged the top of the cut that I made to hold the pockets and fly in place. If you have a serger, I think this is a good step, if you don't, you can just sew a line close to the edge to do the same thing.

(This is when I sewed the zipper part closed by sewing close to the original seam, but I think it's better to do this first because mine got a little bunched up.) 

 Now, place the elastic inside the pants, and pin it in place. Be sure the elastic isn't sticking up over the top of the pants on the sides. If the elastic is a little shorter than where you are putting it, that's okay. Just find the center and pin it, then keep doing that until it's in place.

 Start sewing at the top of the side and go down, across, and up the other end. Use a small seam allowance and pull the elastic so the pants are flat while you sew.

 Once the elastic is on, get the knit ribbing in place by lining it up with the top of the raw edge of the jeans. I forgot to fold over the side in this picture before I started pining, but you can see it in the next picture. Fold it on both sides of the ribbing. You don't really need to pin this much because you will stretch it while you are sewing.

 Sew across the ribbing from edge to edge. Pull the ribbing a bit while you sew to make it tight and keep it from bunching up. Use a little bigger seam allowance than you used for the elastic. You want that seam to be inside of this one. Also, remember where your rivets are if you have any so you don't break your needle.

 Now, fold the ribbing over and to the back side of the elastic. I just left mine raw at the inside edge, but you could also fold the edge under to make a nice hem. Stretch it a little and pin it in place.

 With the front of the pants up to you, sew down the sides and across the bottom of the ribbing with a very small seam allowance. This will make a top stitch on the front of the jeans, and sew the ribbing to the sides and inside of the pants as well.

 Since I left my ribbing raw inside, I just trimmed off the extra fabric (make sure you don't cut off your pockets though).

 And there you have it. An easy way to make some maternity pants (or just some strechy pants to wear to Thanksgiving next year) if you can't find some you like (or are too tall for the ones you do). Don't try this with your favorite jeans though, it can't be undone and you might regret it later. Just find some new ones on sale, or some used ones that will work. Also, since they still have the belt loops on the back and sides, you can wear a belt as long as it doesn't cut into your tummy too much.

 Happy belly growing! Oh, and since we are having another boy I will try to share baby boy stuff I've been making too. Also, I love pictures of kids waiting to open gifts on Christmas, so I thought I would share ours.


  1. I'm impressed. You're truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. I'm saving this for future use.


  2. This is truly a great read for me and definitely be back to read some more. Kudos!

  3. Fantastic! I just did mine in list 5 minutes! Love them already!

  4. Love it! Very interesting topics, I hope the incoming comments and suggestion are equally positive. Thank you for sharing this information that is actually helpful.

  5. Very interesting story. I didn't find it boring to read. In fact, I really had a lot of fun reading your post. Thanks.