How To Add Maternity Band to Jeans

11:01 PM

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

1. Cut off the bottoms of the 2 front belt loops.  I use a flat razor, but a seam ripper would work too. 

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. 

10. To make the quarter marks on the waistband, fold in half with the seam in the fold.  Pin the opposite fold.  Then put the fold and pin together to get the quarters. 

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. 

When it's finished, the front hacked edge isn't perfect, since I just zig-zagged it.  But it works and hopefully my tops should cover it all anyway.

Much more comfortable.
I like the waist band adding the extra 2" on the back, and the fact the back still looks like normal pants.

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  1. I ran into the exact same problem when I was pregnant! I couldn't understand why there were so many petite options, or why it was assumed that you have a giant butt and tiny legs, or... I think by the time I had my son I had only one pair of jeans that I actually wore. Thank you so much for a great tutorial! I'm bookmarking it for someday when I'm pregnant again!

  2. What a fantastic tutorial! I wish I'd seen this when I was pregnant with my twins, I will pass this on to my pregnant friends!

  3. Wish I had this fabulous tutorial when I was just starting our family.

  4. I haven't ever been pregnant ... but thanks for showing this, cause when I do get pregnant, I am so doing this!

  5. I am so glad you posted this! I couldn't find any maternity pants long enough either! Plus, I HATE spending money on them when you know you are going to be out of them again in like 3 months. I am not a seamstress, but I think I might be able to do this with my next pregnancy. Thanks!!

  6. Good job. I hope they work out great. I've never had this kind work for me. I end up yanking them back up all day. I finally ended up making my own jeans with tummy panels. Not everybody's fave, but they stayed up!

  7. Amen to not being able to find long preggo pants! I love this, and if I get knocked up again you can bet that I'll be making some of these for sure!

  8. How I wish I had figured out this out when I was pregnant! What a super solution.

  9. I LOVE YOUR GUTS!!!!!! I am growing at astounding rates as I sit here typing!! I think I shall make some TODAY!!! Yay... so dang excited!

  10. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial. Hopefully I'll be needing to make this soon! All my fingers are crossed!

    Feel free to send any spare baby dust my way! LOL

  11. Genius! I will have to try this if I'm ever pregnant again.

  12. Wow what an awesome tutorial!
    I've just entered my 3rd trimester and necessity has made me fiddle about with my sewing machine. I'm quite loving experimenting with new sewing projects, although I am by no means a seamstress. I'd vac-packed all my pre-pregnancy jeans and stowed them at the back of my wardrobe but now I'm gonna take one out and turn it into mat-jeans. Super excited!! Thanks!! xoxox

  13. Great article with detailed information. Thanks for the useful info and the pictures.

  14. I woke up this morning, tried to squeeze into my jeans, and man-not gonna happen for much longer. WAY too tight for baby to be happy. My mom found me yards and yards of about 3 inch wide elastic, so I think I will be putting the elastic and this tutorial to work very soon. I just need to decide which jeans I want to sacrifice! :)

  15. This is GREAT. Thanks for posting. I just starting looking for maternity jeans and loved all the Gap pants, especially since they come in long sizes but wasn't going to pay $75 for a pair of maternity jeans. I'm trying this, this weekend!

  16. I found this post on Pintrest. You could always just get a BLANQI :o)

  17. Now you are really going to laugh at this but what about these pants for the senior male who has a belly. This would give them their jeans and us no crackage. LOL Guess I have been around seniors to long.

  18. Great idea! I am almost three months and find that my tiny pants don't feel comfortable anymore. I have to fix me some, thank you for sharing. I am following your blog, Have a nice day.

  19. I didn't really start sewing until after my kids were born, so my pregnant friend is the beneficiary of your awesome tutorial, because I HAD to try it when I saw your post! They turned out awesome--thanks so much! Here's my post (I linked back to you).


  20. Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your
    posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of
    my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has
    something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!

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  21. Hello,
    I think all pregnant mother feel uneasy when she passing her time and this time she want to comfortable maternity clothes for save her baby and you have post here same problem for pregnant mother, it will be helpful for every women.
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  22. Really nice job, come on. looking forward to see your more blogs xoxo

  23. I admit, I don't have a hard time finding maternity jeans that fit because I am petite but buying maternity jeans is SO expensive. The prices are outrageous so I have very few and at 9 months along I only have one pair I can fit into. But this idea is genius and I totally have jeans I wouldn't mind sacrificing if...they'll still fit over my thighs. I'll look into that.

  24. This is absolutely amazing !! Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial! I ll keep it in mind for the future reference ;)
    mommylicious maternity

  25. Great job! I'm pinning this and really hope I will need it someday before too very long. :-) Oh, and congrats .
    best maternity jeans

  26. I am not even married but I love the idea so much.


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