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I can make that maternity pants from any used pants

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The other day I found it was uncomfortable to wear the non-maternity regular pants or the maternity pants I wore during the previous pregnancy, which makes sense since the previous pregnancy was from winter to summer, this one is going to be from summer to winter. So I went to the store and tried some maternity pants, found one that's comfortable for $35, plus tax it'll be $36 something. I ended up hanging them back on the rack: Pffft, I could totally make many of those from the pants I already have. 

 

 

So let’s get to it.

 
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Step 1: Select a pair of pants

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The rule is not to use a pair of pants that fit you tightly already before your pregnancy or use a pair of pants you still love and make them into something you are going to wear at most 8 (if you are already a couple of months along) to 10 months. First I decided to start with a pair of pants I usually don't wear because they fit me looser than I like, they don't have any belt tabs so the pants hang low on my hip which isn't my style.  

With the success at my first try, I quickly decided to modify two pairs of pants I wore during my previous pregnancy. They have thick and short bands which I found not comfortable at all. I can’t believe how they have worked previously. So I removed the thick elastic bands and replaced with tall bands of soft knit fabric which covers the whole bump just like the pants I tried in store.

So in one afternoon of a weekend, I changed from having zero pairs of comfortable maternity pants to having 3 pairs.

Another good thing about the maternity pants with stretch band that covers the whole bump is it smoothes out the bump. With a loose fitting shirt on top, it prevents you from spilling the beans before your pregnancy is well established and you are ready to make the announcement. Of course, I spill the beans here by posting this Instructables before I'll make announcement off internet.

Step 2: Take measurements and cut the fabric

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Use a tape ruler, measure the height of the bump (A) and the circumference at the top (B).

 

 Get [ A” + ¼”  (bottom seam allowance) + 1 ¼” (top seam allowance and elastic casing band) + 2” extra ] stretch knit fabric from a fabric store

Cut a piece of the stretch fabric of ( A” + ¼”  + 1 ¼” ) by (B” – 1”), make sure the stretch direction is across your body not up and down your body, that is, stretch direction is along measurement B.

Step 3: Remove waist band from pants and fix/trim the front line

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Use a seam ripper to undo the stitches on waist band and remove it from the pants.  

 

For the suit pants, I pushed the zipper pull head all the way to the bottom;

slip stitch closed 2” of the zipper fly opening;

mark 1/4" above the closed zipper fly opening at center front;

draw a gradual curve from the marked point at center front to the top of the sides;

trim the front of the pants along the drawn line.

 

For the two pairs of old maternity jeans, I needed only to remove the waist band.

The following steps were done the same way for the suit pants and jeans. Photos show only one in progress.

Step 4: Trim the stretch knit fabric

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Lay the fabric rectangle on pants, matching center line with center front of the pants and 1/4" over the lowest point of center front of the pants.

Draw a line on the fabric from the lowest of center front to the top of sides,  ¼” over the front of the pants. (I used a piece of ¼” wide elastic as a guide.)

Fold the fabric along the center line.

Trim along the drawn line.

With right side together, serge the center back of the fabric so it becomes a tube now.

If you don’t have a serger, you need to use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine or stretch the fabric by hands if your sewing machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch. It’s tricky to sew stretch fabric without a serger.  

Step 5: Sew the stretch band to the pants

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With right side together, matching the center front and center back of the stretch band with those of the pants, stretch the pants opening to the widest, pin the stretch band to the pants.

Serge the seam.  Again if you don’t have a serger, you need to use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine or stretch the fabric by hands if your sewing machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch.

Fold the band up. You can try on at this point to make sure there is nothing off. Mine seemed great.

Top stitch close to the fold.

Fold in 1 ¼” on the top of the stretch band to form elastic casing, pin in place.

Stitch the elastic casing in place with ¼” seam allowance with a stretch stitch or stretch the fabric by hands if your sewing machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch. It’s essential to use stretch stitch or stretch fabric by hands in this step.

Use a seam ripper, on the front inside of the elastic casing band, open a ¾” slit, hand serge the slit with buttonhole stitch. Cut a piece of ¾” wide elastic of (B” – 1”) long, thread it through the casing, overlapping the ends for at least 1”, stitch the ends together.

Step 6: There! Done!

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If you liked it, please vote for I Can Make That contest and the Weekend Projects contest.  Have an easy pregnancy if you are expecting!

Step 7: Words on Instructables robot maternity pants

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The other day long after I published this Instructables, I needed another pair of maternity pants. I wanted to use a pair of black stretchy pants. But I was out of black knit fabric. I decided to use my beloved but never worn (black isn't my color) black Instructables t-shirt. It worked out awesomely.
lot2sew2 months ago

I used your directions to convert 2 pair of army fatigue pants into maternity pants for my daughter-in-law to help protect her from deer ticks during a 2-week forestry project in the woods this spring. They turned out great! She says they are the most comfortable maternity pants she owns. Thanks for your great directions.

babybayrs (author)  lot2sew2 months ago

You're welcome. Great news! Thanks for taking time to comment.

lot2sew2 months ago
cnash9621 year ago
This is a wonderful idea. Could you also use an old T shirt instead of buying the fabric?
babybayrs (author)  cnash9621 year ago
Definitely if the t shirt hasn't been worn so the fabric is in good quality. You may end up with one center back seam and two side seams if you use a t shirt instead of just one center back seam if you use new fabric from a store.
shazni1 year ago
This is really nice...it would even help over weight people... I shall show this to my mum... As we run a baby and mom shop :-) ...
So when are you due? Hope you have an easy and safe pregnancy ! :-)
babybayrs (author)  shazni1 year ago
We thought the same thing. I think if people who have maternity resembling belly bump wear similar pants that smooth their bump, they'll be less likely to get embarrassing congratulations.
I still have a long way to go, till the middle or late Feb. There is no novelty in it second time around. Ten month is kind of long. I really need some goals these days.