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Converting to Underbelly Maternity?

mommysews | Posted in Fitting on

Hello all!

I am new here. I am a mid-30’s married Momma in Ontario Canada. I am probably considered an intermediate (but non daring & non creative seamstress).

I have joined this forum as I am totally stumped. I have searched the internet looking for an answer to my question … but I can not find anything.

Basically …. I am trying to figure out how to convert a basic pants or jeanspattern with a waistband into the new underbelly maternity style without affecting the fit or look of the back of the garment.

Everything I have found talks about how to add a full panel to the front … but I don’t like that style as they always itch and fall down on me. :o)

Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch! Julia (Momma to 4 great kids and a new wee one due July 2007)




  1. user-51823 | | #1

    hi and welcome! and congrats!
    i haven't seen that style close up, but would assume it would be fairly easy. do they usually have elastic all the way around? i would think so (in my mom's day the underbelly style had a string tie that went over the belly to assure skirts and pants didn't fall off!)
    start by making the back pattern piece the same as normal but add a little extra width for hip spread.
    for the front, make adjustments by putting on a pair of non-maternity pants that zip up the front, and measure up from center crotch to the earliest point that the zipper begins to spread out. that length will be the low point for your underbelly curve. attach some new tissue paper to the existing pattern front and re-draw: make a gentle curve from that low point in center, back up to waistband at about the point where it meets front of hipbone. you don't want it to curve all the way over to your side seam, or there won't be any hip to hold the pants up. be sure to add for seam allowance. because of the curve, i would not do a self-casing, but sew on wide single-fold bias tape or a strip of strechy sheer soft fabric.
    hope this helps- good luck!

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    Two of my daughters recently had children and I think they bought a pair of this style pants.  If I can find out who has them and "can I look at them, please" I'll write up what I see.

    More later,


  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #3

    Dear Julia,

    Congrats. on the expected little one!

    My daughters favorite pants were purchased at JCPENNY.com  they have a 3 inch band that appears to be stretchy knit cloth over elastic that has a drawstring made as part of it. the drawstring comes out of a buttonhole at one side.  the back of the pants do ride lower than waist level, but that is where she preferred her pants anyway.  The sides of the front slope down to the under belly part (which really goes across the lower part of the belly and not completely under)  The drawstring helps make sure they don't fall off when you are not full term.  The band has one seam at center back and the drawstring pulls in both directions from that point.

    Hope this helps,

    Becky AKA Mum to 10 wee ones!

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