I hate maternity clothes. I especially hate spending money on maternity clothes. For me, the worst are finding jeans.
For some reason, tall sizes with longer inseams are rare in maternity sections. I got one pair of cargo maternity pants in a tall size when I was pregnant last time, and even those were too short. Don't they think lurps get pregnant too?
So this pregnancy, I just got some cheap low rise jeans that were on sale and they've been working. But the baby gut has gotten large enough, I can't wear a belt anymore (required to prevent crackage) and the button of the jeans are digging into my belly. So last week we were out of town visiting my in-laws and I was going crazy, but only packed one pair of pajama pants. So I went to the craft store to get supplies to fix my pants, or buy cheap fabric to sew more pajamas so I could last the rest of our vacation.
I ended up fixing the pants, although I was tempted to just wear pajamas all week day and night.
I also HATE anything on my prego belly. My shirt is about all I can stand. So the full panel maternity pants that stretch up on my stomach drive me crazy, and I always roll them down.
Anyway, here's a quick easy tutorial to take regular jeans and add the maternity elastic band, or what Gap Maternity calls the "demi panel".
-elastic as wide as you can find
(mine was 2" wide-bought by the yard, not a package)
for length, just stretch around your hips to what is comfortable
-stretch knit: cut 6" wide and for the length cut 1" longer than elastic
(make sure the stretch goes along the long direction, to stretch around your hips)
-denim sewing machine needle
In all honesty you probably could get by with a universal needle, just hand crank through thick belt loops, seams, etc and be prepared for it to potentially bread....obviously I have experience in not using the correct needles and it works
2. Cut off the front of jeans.
I cut right above the zipper, then once I got to the front pocket, angled up to the side seam.
**I chose to leave the back of the jeans normal, but you could cut the whole waist band off and get rid of all the belt loops for the true "demi panel". I just figured higher in the back meant less chance of crackage.
3. Using a straight stitch, I sewed the two zipper halves shut. There's just a little fabric above the metal zipper teeth to sew through. Then I sewed the fly shut, sewing down the curve of the jean stitching.
You don't have to sew the fly shut, but I figured I wouldn't be using it anymore and better to know it's sewn shut when it gets to the point I can't see past the belly to check.
**I also sewed the whole project with the zipper down, unzipped. It just got the thick metal zipper head out of the way.
4. To finish the edge of all the cut top, I used a wide zig zag to prevent fraying. I kind of had to be careful around the metal pocket grommets and make the zig-zag narrow to get past the top of the zipper.
5. Make the waist band by sewing the 2 ends of the elastic together. I zig-zagged a bunch back and forth to secure it.
6. Next, sew the stretch knit fabric the same way, to make a tube. Fold the strip in half length wise and sew 1/2" seam allowance on the ends.
7. Open the tube and the seam, lining up the elastic seam in the center.
8. Fold the knit down on the elastic, so it's tight up in the fold. The seam on the knit should be flat so it won't bunch up.
You'll also have 1" knit hanging off both sides of the elastic.
9. Sew the knit around the elastic.
I used the edge of the elastic as my guide to sew right next to it. This makes a tight fitting casing around the elastic, but leaves you 1" to sew it to the pants.
11. Use the quarter marks to pin the waistband to the jeans. I put the waist band seam on a side seam, then lined the rest up. I matched the top of the jeans with the bottom seam on the elastic.
12. Now you sew the waist band to the jeans. I first sewed right on the edge of the jeans on the top-stitching that was already there, about 1/8" in.
The elastic waist band was smaller than the jeans, so I had to stretch the waist band as I sewed it to the jeans, especially along the front.
I went around the waist again, this time 1/4" from the edge, guiding with the edge of the presser foot.
**I just sewed right over the belt loops on the back, but did slow down and had to hand crank the needle when it was thick.