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when i was pregnant with my daughter, i didn’t really need to buy (or use) many maternity clothes because she was born in the summer and i used a lot of beach wrap-around skirts under my belly (which was always high) and i wasn’t at all bothered by my tummy poking out from under regular shirts. this time i’ll be giving birth at the end of december, so i have a feeling that those flimsy wrap-arounds and tummies sticking out just aren’t going to cut it. pretty soon, i’ll have to start finding some more covering solutions.
so, i absolutely needed to do something with my maternity jeans from my first pregnancy, which i’ll be needing a lot this time around. some stylist from the italian chain store prenatal made a huge mess out of these jeans (although i do have another pair of pants from those stores which is very comfortable). besides the fact that they go way too high up the back and the belly and the crotch is cut in a very weird way (but you can’t really tell from this photo), they put that type of elastic with buttons that you can let out as your tummy grows. except they used a much too narrow elastic and it folded over itself inside the pants, leaving me with an elastic that isn’t even 1 cm wide attempting to hold up the pants in one of the widest parts of my tummy. just walking a meter they would start to slip down. they were driving me completely nuts and i absolutely needed to fix the problem.
luckily i had seen a lot of online tutorials on how to make maternity pants from regular pants and a bit of jersey or even an old t-shirt and a wide elastic. they’re very cool and easy to do. for example, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. but i didn’t really want to use another elastic that could possibly roll over itself like in my jeans, so i more or less followed this other tutorial, without elastic, with a change or two.
1. find a jersey shirt that you don’t need anymore. i used a polyester one which had gotten worn out pretty quickly and was too short. cut off the bottom hem and then cut across under the armpits.
2. with your strip of shirt inside out, cut a strip off the side of it (preferably the side with the tag) and sew it up again. a serger is wonderful for this project, but you can also use a regular sewing machine with a zig zag stitch and a ballpoint needle (for jersey). fold the strip in half (as in the photo below) and try it on around your belly. you’ll want it relatively tight because it’ll have to hold up your pants. the first time mine was too loose, so i did it again. i really should’ve taken even more off the side, but that’s ok.
3. when you have it the right width for your tummy, fold it in half with the right sides out. i then passed it through the serger again to keep the bottom edges together for the next step, but it’s not totally necessary. you’ll end up with something like a loop of two layers of jersey.
4. now for your pants. take some pants that you won’t be wanting anymore even after you get your old figure back and cut off the waistband. you’ll also need to cut pretty low in front and take out the zipper if there is one. for this part, i suggest that you take a look at the photos in the other tutorials that i linked to above because, having jeans that were already made for a belly, i didn’t have to cut as low in front and the zipper is fake (as well as the pockets, which drives me nuts!). however, i realized afterwards that i should’ve cut lower in front, so i had to undo my sewing and redo it lower (though i didn’t take a picture of how it was cut in the end, sorry!). then try on the pants. they should come up to just under your belly. if they don’t, cut lower.
5. stick the pants inside the jersey loop and match up the cut/sewn edges of the two fabrics. this part is a bit annoying because the pants are much wider than the jersey, but just stretch the jersey so you can pin it at regular intervals.
7. i suggest doing a zig zag stitch (or the serger) around the edges to keep the fabrics together and to keep the pant fabric from fraying in the wash (jersey doesn’t fray). then to reinforce, i also did a regular straight stitch just below that.
…or, as i prefer, scrunch or fold down the jersey. much better than the original jeans!
normally maternity shirts will cover the jersey strip, but if they don’t, you get the effect of a scarf belt or something like that. i’ve already used my modified jeans a few days and i’m quite happy with them!