So, this is my first time being pregnant, and one thing I have learned so far is that there is SO much more stuff to figure out than I would have ever imagined! Aside from all the parenting methods and baby gear selections that I’m learning about, there’s also the teeny tiny issue of what on earth am I supposed to wear over the coming months?? Shopping is normally one of my favorite things, but lately it’s been way more confusing/frustrating than anything else. Everything I see I have to think, “Can I wear that in a month? Can I wear it in 3 months??” I know that some preggos like to stick with the flowy dress route because it’s easier to fit into them the whole pregnancy, and the dresses help keep the summer preggos on the cool side. I’m much more of a jeans girl for everyday life, and since I’ll be doing the majority of my pregnancy in winter (when I’m always, always cold), I wanted to make sure I had some good pregnancy jean options to fit my style. I have found a few pairs of maternity jeans that I like, but the styles can be more limited for sure, and they always seem to be so much more expensive too. With that in mind, I wanted to try out this maternity jean DIY that I saw to see if I could hack the system and make my own jeans from a "regular" pair that I already know I like. Turns out it’s pretty easy and you end up with useable front pockets which can be hard to find in maternity jeans. So that’s a bonus too!
-pair of jeans that fit from the thigh down (mine are from H&M)
-1/2 yard of knit ribbing*
*You’ll see at the fabric store that there are different weights of knit ribbing, and I would suggest pairing a thicker jean with a medium knit and thinner jeans with a thinner knit (don’t use the really thick stuff). If you have a pretty heavy weight knit with a thin jegging type jean, you may end up with a noticeable line of pocket bulge with all the layers. So thinner is better with a thin jean.
Turn your pants inside out and use fabric scissors to cut out the back side of your pocket, leaving at least 1/4" of a seam allowance. This will also include cutting through the top of the waistband as you can see, but just make sure when you get to the start of the pocket that you are only cutting out the back layer of the pocket and keep the front pocket line as is. Most jeans have those tiny metal rivets at each side of the pocket, so you’ll want to cut some extra room around those so you can still get your sewing machine around them.
This is what your cut will look like from the front of your jeans. The waistband above the pocket is removed but the front layer of the pocket is still in tact.
Cut a long rectangle of your knit rib 1" wider than the width of your pocket and twice as long as the height of your pocket (make sure the lines of the knit are running the long way of your rectangle and not the short way). Fold the long rectangle in half and line up the folded edge with the waistband of your jeans. Pin the outside edge of your jean and pocket to the side of the knit rib and sew that side in place. Repeat process on the other side as well.
Line up the top of the other side of your knit rib with the top of your waistband and pin that side in place. When lining up the second side, take a minute to think about how tight or loose you want the panels to be. If you had a pretty big gap to close the jeans when you tried them on, you might want more width of fabric in the pockets, and if they almost buttoned, you may want to pull them a little tighter so they aren’t too loose. Best case scenario would be to sew the outside edge of each pocket, pin the two inside edges, and then try the pants on to see if you need more or less room (it may be a bit pokey, but it’s usually worth it to get the fit right). Also, you might want to take into account how far along you are in your pregnancy and if you have a lot more room to grow or not that much more. Once you get your tightness adjusted, sew the two inside edges in place.
It’s nice to have a few pairs of pants that have workable zippers, buttons, and pockets like my pants would normally have, and knowing that I can do this to just about any pair of jeans I like is also a great option to have in my arsenal. Since these are very subtle in their secret stretch pockets (normally I would wear a shirt that goes over the pockets and not tucked in), these would also be good post-baby jeans as well. If you’ve been on the hunt for good maternity options but are a total "jeans girl" like me, then I hope this is the perfect solution for you as well! xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.