I have this pair of dark jean capris that I love, but were one size too big for me when I'm not pregnant. It annoyed me to be forced to wear a belt and a long shirt to hide the baggy butt, but I just loved the denim so much I went through it. Well, now that I'm a few pounds heavier, they fit beautifully, but don't button.
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to put my Project Runway skills into action and, "make it work!" Well, I have to tell on myself... figuring this out took me way way too long. I'm not a follow-the-directions type of sewer, so I like to learn by my mistakes. I made a few (4!) mistakes along the way that caused me to have to rip everything out and start again... why am I telling you this? Because once I figured out the best way to do it, I realized just how super easy it is to make maternity jeans. I'll show you.
Start by locating the side seam that runs from the outside of your ankle to your hip. Cut the waist band of your jeans on the inside of that seam (closer to the zipper) on both sides. Then use your seam ripper to remove the waist band in the front only.
- A pair of jeans that are one size too big for you when you aren't pregnant (and that you're just about able to slip over your hips when they are unbuttoned but not unzipped)
- A tight fitting stretchy shirt (mine was a well-loved shirt from Banana Republic until it got bleached...opps!)
- Seam ripper
- Sewing Machine and pins
See how I only removed the waist band in the front?
Once the waist band is removed, make sure the zipper is all the way up and grab your stretchy t-shirt. Cut a rectangle portion of your shirt that is as long as the distance from one hip to the other hip of your jeans and about 6 inches wide.
Sew the stretchy shirt to the front of your jeans, with the raw edge exposed at the top (don't worry, we'll cover that edge up later.) In the picture below, you'll see the raw edge above the stitches where I'm pointing.
Next, we will sew the shirt to the side of the back waist band that we left in tact. First, you'll fold a small portion of the shirt inwards.
Then flip the shirt up, pin the side in place and sew that portion. You'll want to slip the pants on at this point to do the final pinning. Fold the shirt panel in 1/3rd of the way and then 1/3rd of the way again so that the raw edge of the shirt is tucked away in the back. Pin this new panel in place and take the pants off.
The folded portion of the shirt panel is now tucked inside the pants and you just have to finish by sewing this down. Can you see the final stitches at the bottom of the new panel on the inside of the garment?