Maternity Pants Tutorial

Well, I said it was coming, and here it is!  An under the belly maternity pants tutorial!

DIY Maternity Pants

First, you will need a pair of pants that fit you well – at least, mostly.

I picked up these jeans at a thrift store, and like the brown pants I posted about the other day, they fit perfectly, except that I couldn’t button them.  Seriously, again?! That makes them perfect to make into maternity pants!

Cut out the zipper completely, keeping the rest of the fly intact.

Decide where you want to cut the pants.  I tried them on, then made a mark with chalk where I would want the 1 1/2 inch elastic to begin.  Then I cut above that line about 1/2 inch, to allow for the seam allowance.  Since these pants will sit below the belly, the front needs to dip down lower than the back.  In the back, I cut just below the existing waistband.

Sew the fly together [in this picture, you see my attached waistband already, because – woops! – I forgot to do this part until later.]  You can see my stitches are a slightly lighter yellow thread, on the left of the fly.  It’s much easier to get the two pieces lined up when you do this before attaching the waistband.

Next, Measure tightly around your waist, under your belly.  This number will be the length of your elastic and your knit.  For the knit waistband, you want a very stretchy knit.  Here, I upcycled the waistband of a jersey skirt I picked up at a thrift store. [The same skirt I used here and here, by the way.]

Your knit should be 2 1/4 inches wide – if you are using 1 1/2 inch elastic.  If you use a wider elastic, make sure your knit can fold over the elastic, leaving ample room for seam allowance.  The length of the knit is the measurement you took of your waist.

Take this knit and open it up, put the right sides together, and serge or zig-zag the ends. (Unless you are also using an upcycled waistband, you won’t have a seam down the middle like mine – just on one end.)

Sew the ends of your elastic together.  Fold the knit over the elastic, forming a tube, making sure the seam of the knit is inside the tube.

Pin the tube around the outside of the waistband of your pants.  Serge or zig-zag the waistband onto your pants. [If you are using a sewing machine, rather than a serger, I would recommend sewing around the waistband twice, just to be sure you get a strong hold.  Also, make sure you are using a durable needle if you are sewing onto denim!]

Ta-da!  Maternity pants at a fraction of the price!

If you make any, let me know.  I’d love to see them! [You can see the other pair I made here.]

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  1. Those are awesome – nice job!! And you look fabulous, BTW. Claire kept pointing at the first pic saying “Mama’s belly!” but I could only wish to look that good right now. :)

  2. That is a GREAT idea! I hated shopping for maternity pants when I was pregnant–the fit was always really weird on me, so I spent my whole pregnancy in just one pair of maternity jeans that had a semi-okay fit. Awful! I’m not pregnant or planning on being anytime soon, but I’m marking this for next time I am! :-)

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  3. Jess – it was great to meet you at Brooke’s blessing shower. You have totally inspired me to scrounge up a borrowed sewing machine and get creative again! I love your blog, too :)

  4. these are awesome! i’m remembering the part in juno when the step-mom is sewing juno some maternity pants. i’ve always wanted to know how. hooray! i hope you know how talented you are–such an artist (seriously, this is your form of media).

  5. Thanks for the tutorial! I made a pair today and they turned out great! Maternity pants are so expensive and never fit right. My pair I made today cost about $4.50!!

  6. I hate to admit this but I am a plus size woman who does the same thing when pants get too small and new ones are not in the budget. I buy small pices of rib knit material at a fabric store.

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