Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to Make Maternity Pants That Have Style

When I was pregnant, I had this big problem with finding maternity pants that 1. don’t look too “maternity” and 2. don’t break the bank.

The two major reasons why most RTW pants did not fit me were: 1. pants would not stay up because my belly was sticking up a lot to the front and 2. the more affordable retailers did not even produce maternity pants in my small size.

So, after figuring out that only pants that cost upwards of $150 would look good on me, I decided to try and draft my own. I started out with drafting a pair of pants according to my hip measurement.

If you do not know how to draft pants, then just get a trouser non-maternity pattern according to your hip measurement (the waist measurement really doesn’t matter).
Make the muslin leaving the top 3” from the side seams unsown and sewing only about 3.5” from the front crotch.

Another way to go is to buy a pair of not maternity pants that fit you at the hips and have a front closure, remove the waistband and unstitch the top 3” from the side seams, undo the front closure, remove the zipper and keep only about 3.5” from the front crotch sewn up.

Start out by figuring out how the pants fit you in the hips and thighs and do the alterations necessary.

Next, you have to establish where the upper (I will call it waistline for lack of other word) line would be. Simply draw on the muslin a line that is just under the lowest part of your pregnant tummy and follow to the back aiming at hitting the waist at the CB. A fitting buddy or even a willing husband/bf would be helpful. Transfer the markings to the pattern.
Here is the scetch of the front and back of the pants:

Then you have to figure the extended panel. I used a tank top (with similar stretch qualities as the jersey I had), pulled it over the waistline and chalk marked on the tank top the shape I would need (not so much the shape at the waistline because that was easy to draft but actually the length of the panel in CB and CF and the width).
Here is the sketch of the maternity panel:

The maternity panel is simply sewn with one side seam, then the top is folded under 2” and zigzagged, elastic is inserted and the panel is attached to the pants. The elastic I used is 1.5” wide.

Here is a close-up of the extended panel attached:

Note on fabric:
- Main fabric: You want to get a fabric that has some stretch to it. Although you don’t necessarily have to do, it would be more comfortable, especially of the fit in the thighs is more body conscious. I used stretch corduroy but would advice on using a material that has more drape, it would render a more elegant look.
- As far as the fabric for the extended panel, use fabric with 4-way stretch and one that is nice on touch because it would be rubbing against your already stretched out skin on the tummy.

The details for the pants I made are: trouser fit,flared from knee to bottom, inseam side pockets, one back pocket, cuffs and edgestitched front and back crease.


Christina said...

Welcome to blogland Adriana!

So many women will find this tutorial useful. Thanks for sharing this info :)

Melissa said...

What a great tutorial, I'm sure so many will find this tutorial helpful!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I am not pregnant. I'm an hourglass temporarily masquerading as a apple due to GI problems and the only pants I can fit (and comfortably) are maternity. The stretch always ends up loosening up so much, and the fabric is so cheap...
I adjusted a pair of my old jeans, and that increases my wearable pants to four!
Thank you!


Charms said...

Your tutorial is very helpful especially to those who is planning to sew their own dress. We can't resist wearing pants, even if we are pregnant, and showing us how to sew one is very creative. juicy couture charm

Todd's Mom said...

Thank you. That was very helpful. How long did you cut the elastic?