DIY Maternity Pants

As always, after I take a break from blogging, I return with news of what I got up to. Well the thrilling news since I last posted here, Malcolm and I are expecting our first child. 
That's right, I'm pregnant!!

I will do a catch up post on the pregnancy details but for now I wanted to share a really do-able project I got myself into since my waist has expanded. Maternity Pants! I was surprised at how quickly your stomach gets uncomfortable in regular pants even though they technically still fit because you can still zip them up, they simply make a moody and bloated preggo even more uncomfortable and bothered. Don't get me started on the prices maternity pants are in stores. We're preparing for a baby here people! Very few of us have R500.00-R800.00 to spend on one pair of maternity jeans!

I wanted to share a simple tutorial on how to adjust any pants, jeans or shorts to fit your new and continuously growing belly. The idea here is to insert a stretchy band of fabric to the top of a pair of pants which allows a snug fit but will not suffocate or push on your precious growing baby.

First you will need to grab an existing pair of pants or buy a cheap pair that you can cut up. Next, find a comfortable stretch fabric. This could be lycra, spandex or a knit type of fabric. It is really up to your personal preference and what type of fabric you want rubbing against your skin. I chose a Bon Bon fabric because it is quite stretchy and soft on the skin (I purchased mine for R59.00 p/m). I selected a neutral tan colour, close to my natural skin colour, so that it would blend in with some of my sheer tops as you wouldn't want it to show through. Gather some sewing tools such as a sharp pair of scissors, some pins and a seam ripper. Oh, and a sewing machine and you're all set!

From there you will need to prep your pants, jeans or shorts. Start by taking the zipper out. I used a seam ripper and undid the seam holding the zip in place. This can take a bit of time as you do not want to rush and make a mistake by piercing holes in the fabric. Once the zipper is hanging free, away from your pants, cut this off so it is out your way.

You need to pin your pockets closed as well as the gap you just made by taking the zipper out. We will sew this later.

Next you will need to use your seam ripper again to undo the belt loops which will get in the way once we get cutting (you only really need to undo the bottom thread of these loops). Finally, Go around and cut the entire top "rim" off of your pants starting below the button. This is the bit that usually sits quite tightly on your waist - we don't want that anymore. Now you will be left with prepped pants, ready for sewing. You can discard the pieces that you have cut off.

Prepare your stretchy band, in my case a neutral Bon Bon. Measure a strip that is one or two sizes smaller than your pants (the circumference of the pair of pants). E.g. my pants were about 80-85cm so I cut a strip of Bon Bon which was 70cm (My preggy-belly is still small so I preferred to make it a bit tighter). Seeing as you no longer have the option of wearing a belt, consider making the band around your stomach tighter as this is the only thing keeping your pants from falling down. I did try a pair of jeans with a bigger band but it doesn't feel as stable as the tighter ones I did afterwards.

Now the length of the band going up your belly (the length) is up to your own personal preference. I decided to measure from my panty-line to just under my bra. This gives me the option of folding it down whilst in my smaller months and once my stomach gets bigger I can have it spanning all the way up my stomach. Once you have your band measured, you will want to sew the ends together to create a circular band which we will then pin to our pants.

At this point you can sew your pockets closed as well as the gap where the zipper was. Cut away any access material on the inside of your pants - you no longer need the actual pocket.

Last step to this tutorial. Loop your band over your pants and maneuver into position. If you have different sides to your fabric, make sure right sides are facing one another. Pin it all in place to make sewing easier and leave 1-1.5cm seam allowance. Choose a cotton thread that will match your pants for your sewing machine, in my case I chose a navy blue. Get your sewing machine and sew all the way around the top of your pants. I used a straight stitch which leaves a neat finish.

Pull your band up away from your pants and voila, you have maternity style pants! Let me know if you get stuck or if you would like me to do a video tutorial showing the necessary steps. Follow my Mommy Instagram account as well as on Twitter.

Share this with all your pregnant friends!


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