Maternity Jeans Tutorial, or “How to butcher a pair of Levis”

maternity jeans tut 022I only fit into one of my pairs of pants. Okay, that’s not true. I have a pair of white maternity jeans that I’m scared to wear, and a pair of gray maternity dress pants that I wear all the time instead. But a girl’s gotta have some good old blue jeans here in Washington, where seasons like “summer” and “fall” appear and disappear on a daily basis, rather than properly taking turns. Enter the sewing machine.

How to make a pair of regular jeans into maternity jeans

Old jeans that fit everything except your belly
1.5 yards 2″ elastic
1/4 yard heavy t-shirt knit fabric.
Matching thread

1. Put on a pair of old jeans and laugh when you try to zip them up. Mark the spot where they stop fitting you, take them off, and cut the the front out of them like so:

maternity jeans tut 001

2. Pin and sew the pocket tops in place so they don’t migrate during this process.

maternity jeans tut 0123. Wrap the 2″ elastic around yourself to determine the correct length. You want it to be snug enough to hold up a pair of jeans. Alternatively, you could measure the waistband on a preexisting pair of maternity pants that fit you well and use that measurement. Leave 1/2″ extra for seam allowance, and cut the elastic. Overlap the ends and sew. I put two lines of stitching down the overlapping portion and zigzagged down the raw edges on either side.

maternity jeans tut 0054. Cut your knit fabric so that it is 8″ wide and as long as your elastic band, with 5/8″ seam allowance on each side. Sew up the open side.

maternity jeans tut 0075. Place your fabric band inside your elastic band and fold the fabric over so that the long edges meet.

maternity jeans tut 0096. Zigzag 1/4″ in from the folded edge of the fabric, then below the elastic band.

maternity jeans tut 0117. With right sides together, pin the waistband into the jeans, pinning only ONE SIDE of the waistband fabric to the denim. The other side will fold over the inside to cover the raw cut edge at the end. Make sure to catch all the pocket edges as you pin.In this picture you can see that the upper edge of the waistband is rolled out of the way as I pin.

maternity jeans tut 0138. Sew the waistband to the jeans, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. If necessary, stretch the waistband slightly to accommodate the width of the denim. Turn the waistband right side up, and pin the free flap of the waisband to the inside of the jeans to hide the raw edge of the denim. Since my fabric didn’t ravel, I didn’t bother folding it under, but you may want to.

maternity jeans tut 0169. Turn the waisband back to the right side and topstitch 1/4″ in from the seamline, going through all the layers. This will secure the lining in place on the back and provide an attractive finish on the right side.

maternity jeans tut 01810. Finally, trim the excess lining fabric on the inside of the jeans.

maternity jeans tut 019And that’s it! It took me about an hour, start to finish, and I ended up with another pair of wearable pants!

maternity jeans tut 022

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4 Responses to Maternity Jeans Tutorial, or “How to butcher a pair of Levis”

  1. Pingback: Sewing Business Blog » Need Maternity Clothes That Fit??

  2. Pingback: Pregnancy Blog – Week 14 «

  3. Rebecca says:

    I tried this with a pair of really old jeans that are higher waist-ed than what I wear now. I had no idea the zipper area would try and kill my giant belly because I made them when I was about 15 weeks along and didn’t have much of a belly.

    I am trying again with a pair of jeans that are lower in the waist and I stopped wearing because the zipper needed repair. Great tutorial!

  4. Lorraine says:

    Yeah, the zipper will really kill you–I eventually cut mine out all the way and just sewed up the fly.

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