How to Make Maternity Jeans Using Regular Jeans and a T-shirt





Introduction: How to Make Maternity Jeans Using Regular Jeans and a T-shirt

This is a very easy project if you have a sewing machine and basic sewing skills.


One pair of jeans that fit you well before you were pregnant
One t-shirt that fit you very snugly before you were pregnant (maybe even a size too small)
Scissors, seam ripper, pins
Sewing machine, coordinating-colored thread
Piece of soft elastic long enough to go around your hips or above your belly

Step 1: Start With Jeans and a T-shirt.

The jeans should have fit you well before you were pregnant, and the t-shirt should be very snug.

Step 2: Cut the Top Off of the T-shirt Just Below the Armholes.

Discard the top (sleeves and neck) or save it for some other project. Keep the nice tube bottom.

Step 3: Unsew the Bottom of the Back Belt Loops Using the Seam Ripper.

Make any adjustments you want to the jeans. I never liked these pocket flaps, so I am taking them off (with the seam ripper as well).

Step 4: Cut a Curve Across the Front of the Jeans.

First, pull the zipper closed. Then, cut across the front of the jeans: start about 1/2 inch below the waistband on the side, curve down to about half-way down the length of the zipper, then curve back up to 1/2 inch below the waist band.

Be conservative here. You can always cut more off if you need to. Try to cut across areas that have less fabric/decoration (e.g. above the coin pocket, but below the waistband/belt loops).

Pin the fly closed and the pockets in place.

Step 5: Cut Straight Across the Back of the Jeans.

Cut about 1/2 inch below the waistband. This is why you unattached the bottom of the belt loops in step 3.

Step 6: Machine Baste Across the Front Curve.

This is to hold the pockets, fly, and zipper in place. Do this part carefully so that you don't break a needle on the zipper.

Step 7: Put the Jeans on to Check the Fit.

They should sit just below your pregnant belly (or where you think it will be).

Step 8: Prepare to Sew the T-shirt.

Cut a corresponding curve on the part of the shirt that is going to be the back. Slip the shirt over the jeans and pin the raw edges together, matching side seams and center front and back.

If you plan to pull the shirt up over your belly, then pin the right side (outside) of the shirt to the right side (outside) of the jeans. If you plan to wear these under your belly, then pin the wrong side (inside) of the shirt to the right side (outside) of the jeans.

Step 9: Sew the T-shirt to the Jeans.

Machine sew near the edges of the fabric using a fairly wide, short zigzag stitch. Be careful when you get to the zipper. I lifted my needle and presser foot, and skipped that 1/4 inch to avoid damaging the machine. Also, be careful of any rivets. Go all the way around twice, a little lower the second time. Trim as needed.

Step 10: Elasticize the Casing.

If you plan to pull the shirt up over your belly, measure a piece of elastic the right length, and slide it through (the ready-made) casing that used to be the hem of the shirt. If you plan to fold the shirt down under your belly, measure around your hips and do the same thing. You will probably need to make a small opening in the hem to do this.

Step 11: All Done!

Finished upcycled maternity jeans. I plan to pull this shirt up over my belly as I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, but this is how it looks folded underneath. (Note that if I wanted to keep it down most of the time, I should have sewed on the shirt inside out).

Be creative! You can use this technique with slacks and skirts as well.

Visit my blog to see what other fun craftiness I'm up to:



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    20 Discussions

    This is so awesome thank you. I was able to create cashmere denim pants like the ones from using your method. So cool!!

    Thank you so much!!!
    I really did not want to go buy new jeans (maybe one pair, but I have some old ones that need some TLC anyway!
    Great tutorial!
    Plus, I never find any good maternity slacks-so I'll probably try the slacks first
    2 thumbs up, 10 stars! all that :)

    AWESOME! I need shorts but only have six weeks left! This tut is just what I needed!

    I am confused about this part. I believe I understnad that the bottom of the tee shirt will now be the top of the pants, but how do you get the elastic in the shirt and make it stay? THen do you sew the elastic together? Could I just use a belly band instead of a tee shirt?

    1 reply

    You have to open up a little of the original hem of the shirt, then thread the elastic in and sew it together in a big loop, then sew that part of the shirt closed again. And yes, you could use a belly band. That would be a lot easier. :)

    I just did this it took about an hour I consider myself a beginner sewer and it worked great!!! will defintely do this again this time i'm gonna try slacks. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE STEP BY STEP

    I just tried this and my first pair turned out great! Thanks!

    I am super excited to try this! Thanks for your tutorial. My only question is do you have trouble with the ziper coming undone? You sew across it correct? How do you do this without breaking your needle? Thanks!

    1 reply

    The zipper does not come undone because you cut off the pull. The rest stays in place because at that point it's sewn closed. I lifted my needle at the metal part of the zipper and skipped that 1/4". Good luck!

    I absolutely love to find an instructable when I need it!

    I just getting to 28 weeks and getting a might poochy. Problem is, I'm 5'11" and it is nearly impossible to find tall maternity jeans or pants.

    Plus, I love being cheap and I'd rather use old jeans for the 3-5 months I need them rather than buy expensive jeans I'll only use 3-5 months.

    Thank you so much for the 'ible!! Very awesome!!

    1 reply

    superb idea.. i do not have a snug tshirt, so im goin to stitch velcro strips and adjust how snug i want it to fit...

    Thank you so much! I was shopping on Motherhood was about to spend 50 bucks on jeans, when I chickened out and googled making your own maternity Jeans and came to this site. I hate most maternity jeans and only like stuff that doesen't dig into my stomach. It took me a total of 25 minutes to make these using a serger instead of a regular machine. They are super soft and comfortable. Will be making about 4 more pairs.

    Yes yes yes! I am one of the aforementioned friends and I have indeed been getting stroppy about the lack of pants-action. After all, this is how you end up in this situation in the first place! What a great instructable, and the best part elasticated waist bands....where do these maternity clothing manufacterers get their strange ideas from? NO ONE wants elasticated jeans. No one!

    Hope it works out for you, and for your friends! I'm wearing mine now. :)

    Ooohh .. this will come in handy in a few years.

    This is awesome! I've got several friends just starting to run into this exact problem with their jeans - will forward your Instructable along.