Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maternity Refashion

While I was hunting through my refashion pile for Logan's khakis, I found these cargo pants of mine that were a bit too low rise for me.  I loved everything else about them, so I decided to try out a little maternity refashion.  Nothing fancy, just adding a panel to that pants as they were.
Super cute, hey?  I love that I can wear these awesome pants again!!
Here is how the panel looks.  Since I know a few of you are interested in this maternity path I'm on, I thought I'd put together a little maternity panel tutorial.  But first, I wanted to talk a little about maternity pants in general.  Since this is my third pregnancy, I've tried out a lot of different maternity pants.  They come in two basic types - under or over the belly.  Under the belly is basically a low rise pant with some sort of stretch factor in the back waist to help them stay up.  While I think these are very cute, they are not very practical.  I tend to spend all day hiking them back up, since they only actually fit for about 3 minutes.  While the over the belly style isn't sexy, it is my favorite type of pants.  My very favorite maternity pant of all time is the Secret Fit Belly, made by Motherhood and Pea in a Pod.  I love these pants!!  They fit well for almost the entire pregnancy and they don't ride down.  The panel is basically a seamless microfiber tube that reaches all the way up almost to the empire line.  They are very sleek under fitted styles.  I wanted to copy this as closely as possible, but where was I to get a microfiber tube??  I hit the local Target and found some microfiber brief panties that felt about the same weight as I was looking for, but they didn't come in maternity.  Here is where the genius comes in...
I bought them two sizes too big, and flipped them back to front, so the "butt" side of the panty covers my bump.  And what do you know - it works!!
Here's how to make yours:
You will need - pants that you want to make maternity, a pair or microfiber brief style panties two sizes larger than your typical size (the more "granny panty" they are, the better) and thread
I also think this method would work really well with seamless maternity tights or leggings used for the panel.
First you need to mark your sewing/cutting lines on both your pants and panties.  You can most easily do this by doing them both at the same time.  Put on the panty backwards and pull it up as high as it will go.  You you are looking cool!  Now put the pants on over the panty and zip them up (as high as you can)
(Anything for my readers...)
Now draw a line on the outside of the pants along the bottom of your bump.  If you are making your pants before you are notably pregnant, use the top of your pubic bone as a landmark and draw your line along the top of your hip bone.  Only  do half of your body - center front to center back - as you want these to be symmetrical.
Here is my line, photoshopped in red.  You can see how low rise these were!  I didn't have to take much off...
Now fold down your pants along that line, and draw a coordinating line along the panty.
I pulled the pant down a little so that you can see the blue line.  You want this to be in the same relative spot as the line on the pants.  This will be your seamline.
Now take them to the table and get ready to cut!  First you need to add a seam allowance.  To make your panty lie flat, cut the crotch piece in half, and then fold the panty in half at center front/center back.  It should look like this.
Add your favorite seam allowance (I like 3/8 inch.) BELOW the stitching line on the panty and ABOVE the stitching line on the pants.
If your pants have a fly zipper, you will want to remove the zip, and stitch the fly closed along the topstitching. Don't get too fancy taking the zipper out.  The area will be enclosed once you stitch the fly closed.  You also may want to "debulk" the waistband if your didn't end up cutting it off.  Just rip off the facing pieces.
Line up the panel to the pants right sides together, matching center fronts and center back.  You will have to stretch the panel/panty a bit to fit the pants, so pin around the waistline to even out the easing.  Stitch, stretching the panel as needed as you go.
 If you'd like a little more security, you can topstitch the seam allowances down toward the pants so that you don't get a ridge in the panel.
Now you have your own comfy maternity pants!  I've been wearing these all day, and they are staying where I put them!!  No more hiking up my pants all day!!


  1. What a great idea. I'll remember it next time one of my daughters or daughter in laws are PG.

  2. That really is genius! (I know, takes one to know one, right?) ;-)

    Girl, you are so much better dressed than I ever was on my last pregnancy. I think I basically wore the Husband's sweatpants for 8 months. You look fab!

  3. What a great idea! You almost make me want to have another baby :)

  4. The panties idea is so clever! It solves that problem of the right fabric not being available for retail.

  5. Wow - so clever, who would have thought nana knickers could be so handy.

  6. Genius!! Seriously - I can't believe you made the hippest and most comfortable maternity pants around. Congrats!! Love them!

  7. Thank you for sharing this! I've seen a similar tutorial on how to make a maternity panel, but I gotta say, the seamless microfiber granny panties are genius! Hopefully I'll get a chance to try this out myself sometime in the future. :)

  8. Brilliant - I will definately remember this for next time, I found it so hard to fynd suitably stretchy material for a waistband panel. And you look great too, lucky you still fitting into your normal pants (except at the waist of course) this far into your pregnancy

  9. If I had known how to sew when I was pregnant with the kids, I would have done this. During Hayley's pregnancy I needed pants and all I could find was mostly under the belly - so discouraging since they do fall, all the time. I am lucky, too that I lose weight everywhere and only put it on the belly, so when I am pregnant, I may be big there, but the rest, back, legs, etc, get really slender. The hard part is afterwards, when I have to work to get the belly down, and it's a continual battle. You are looking great and love the pants.

  10. O.k. now I've finally stopped laughing I can leave a comment. This is brilliant (and, yes, funny). I mean just picturing the backward granny panty. Oh, the laughing has started again. I do wish you had made this tute about 16 months ago. I was desperate to make some cute pants but I just toddled down to Target and bought some uglies off the rack.

    p.s. have you told the sex yet or is it a blogging secret?

  11. I love that you used underwear to make a pair of maternity pants. Brilliant! And hilarious!

  12. Well that is just brilliant! Thank you so much for writing this up as a tutorial. These pants look fantastic and you look great!