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Maternity panels for pants/skirts

brianslady17 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello everyone,

I’d love to get your opinion on my next project. I am 4 months pregnant. Being a third-generation sewer, I REFUSE to pay $50 for a pair of maternity jeans that I will only wear for 5 months. I bought two pairs of inexpensive jeans. I would like to try inserting a maternity panel into the top so they’ll grow with me. My job involves outdoor work and a lot of mess, so it makes sense to wear durable items like jeans.

Does anyone have experience modifying jeans for maternity-wear? Specifically, what kind of fabrics worked best? Thanks in advance for your ideas.



  1. user-51823 | | #1

    depending on how much you gain, you should be able to adapt your current wardrobe fine. they say women of average build should gain no more than 25-30. use the trick of looping a hair elastic through the buttonhole to extend the waist a bit before you need a panel.
    i converted a few woven garments (as opposed to stretchable knits) near the end of my term by simply opening the fly and widely zigzaging the edges to a triangle of coordinating knit, and zigzagging some elastic across the top of the panel. it didn't look too pretty, but i kept it covered with longer tops and it was easy to remove after my son was born and my figure and original pants matched up again.

    1. Teaf5 | | #5

      I, too, did the elastic-loop technique for several months, but never thought to do a v-gusset iin the front! However, as a tall person, I gained 55 pounds with each child (and lost it) so that my late-pregnancy clothes had to be completely different sizes from my mid-pregnancy clothes. Although I adored jeans, I found that leggings, sweats and drawstring knit pants were far more comfortable in the last few months; nowadays, there are many workout clothes that would work for this. Since I knew that I would get sick of them anyway, I just bought a few in dark neutral colors and rotated them with different drapey tops.Once I returned to my original weight, my lower body had a completely different shape (and my feet were 1 1/2 sizes bigger!) so I had to re-build my wardrobe anyway--you never know what changes parenthood will make to your closet and your lifestyle!

  2. User avater
    blondie2sew | | #2

    Hi Brandy,

    Congrats on your little one in the making!!

    I thought I would give you some input what I have seen lately,

    I was more into making my nursing clothes not my maternity I think I made one jumper out fit and i felt like a clown.

    Anyway what I have seen lately fashion wise with pants and jeans is that they are not even putting in the panel. All they are doing is cutting like a crescent shape so it drops below your growing addition. I don't really know how you would do this maybe cut your half moon shape up front then try to case this with elastic to fit snug underneath your tummy? just a thought.

    Maybe someone else could take this and tell us more. I am totally done with baby's however I do have friends so that is why I have seen this latest no panel thing which I think is more attractive then that huge panel.

    Just some thoughts for you I am hoping you will be inspired by this and get your own thoughts moving sometimes that is all it takes!!


  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #3

    There used to be ready made panels available to insert. They had elastic in the top to help hold up the pants and very stretchy fabric that you stitched into the pants you were making; but you could use the same product to modify store bought jeans (if you don't want to make them from scratch)

    After you buy one and see how they are made you could probably duplicate it for the next pair of pants.

    Best wishes for the little one!


  4. MaryinColorado | | #4

    In the 70's I took out the upper side seams of my jeans and inserted knit triangles as the maternity clothes were all polyester and very matronly.  I have seen them for sale but cannot remember where, just that I wish I had gotten a patent and thought to market them myself!  Also we wore peasant blouses that are back in style today.  I guess that makes me "vintage". My daughter was able to buy the low cut jeans and wear them for most of her pregnancy with tunics.  Mary

    Oh, forgot to add that the fabric I would use today is a cotton/lycra knit that stretches both directions! 

    God bless You and your little one!  Mary

    Edited 11/17/2006 12:51 am ET by MaryinColorado

  5. user-51823 | | #6

    i forgot to emphasize that i just bought 1/5 yd of any inexpensive knit that was a close enough color match to my garment, as the only maternity panels the fabric store sold were black or white. hello! how about some flesh, khaki or even grey... my point is don't wait for the perfect color, just DIY with sale polyester.
    i persoanly agree with teafs tho- i was all about knits and jersey. i was preggars in 2001, and there were lots of really cute slim fitted stretch pants around in all leg styles. i bought a few asap and they carried me thruout term (wearing low as a previous poster mentioned) and they still look good and slim now. i was VERY fond of comfort those last few months, but managed to stay in style. i can't even imagine wearing jeans or any heavy woven pants late term... wait until you need them; you may decide by then that you'd rather stick with stretchables too.

    1. HeartFire2 | | #7

      this thread brings back (not so) fond memories of my being pregnant with twins. At the end, there was only one pair of pants I could fit into and they were jeans. When I first bought them, I could pull the panel all the way up to my chin! I had to put a few safety pins in them at first. Towards the end of the preg. the panel was way below the belly button! My kids were 6# 10oz & 6# 5oz! so I was carrying around 13 lbs worth of babies!

      1. brianslady17 | | #8

        Thanks, everyone, for the feedback and ideas.... I am now inspired to plunge into my maternity sewing projects!Regards,

        Brandy Vadala

  6. elvenstephen | | #9

    Maternity panels for pants/jeans

    It is very nice that you well know the importance of dollars. In modifying your jeans, it will be better for you to use stretchable fabric, which will be comfortable to you. 

    My best wishes are with you.

  7. henryjames_123 | | #10

    Maternity panels for pants/skirts

    Your idea of inserting maternity panel at the top is really a great idea. It is durable also. You can attach durable elastic strip also, which will also comfortable to you. 

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