October 6, 2011

Maternity Fashions: Refashioning Pants for baby belly - Full Panel

First: maternity pants are not comfy for me. There are a variety of reasons why... but they don't particularly matter, because secondly: they're stinkin' expensive!!

In my experimentation, I've tried three different waist styles. 
Today, we'll look at the "classic" style: a full panel... homemade style.

You'll need: a pair of pants you won't want to wear again after you're pregnant (read: your favorite pants) and some knit fabric

 In this photo, the panel is folded over to look like a cami underneath. 
They're a little snug in this picture, but doesn't my butt look fabulous?!?

First, some explanation, and then some more photos - watch out... you're gonna see some bare belly.

The first step: cut out the part of the waist that your belly now occupies. On my pants, this generally spans the front of my hip bones, and has a "drop" of about 5 inches. This is usually the entirely of the zipper (which actually makes life easy... just cut that thing out!) If you're not sure what you should cut out, put the pants on, and with a piece of chalk, mark where your belly is and use that as a cut line. Don't be afraid to "go a little low" in the front on this pair since it'll be covered anyway, and it can be more comfortable if the front part is a little low (just think about all those store-bought varieties)

You'll also need to cut a large rectangle of knit fabric. 
To determine the SIZE of this rectangle is VERY scientific...

1) Measure from below your belly to however high you want the panel to sit, and multiply by 2. 
2) stretch a bit of the fabric around your middle so that it's just snug - that's how long it should be. (see, scientific)

Sew your rectangle into a tube, and fold it in half, wrong sides together. Align the raw edges of the tube with the raw edges of your pants and pin so that the tube faces "down" (you'll have to stretch the knit a bit - this is to help keep your pants up!). Sew around the raw edges with a 1/2" seam allowance, and TA-DA!! You have a maternity panel pant!

I chose to make a wide-top panel, so when I folded it in half, it could peek out the bottom like a cami. It's also why I chose to use white knit (I still don't get why the belly panels in the store are "jean colored" or "flesh colored" and not "shirt colored"...)

   Panel "up"

  Panel folded

You can use ANY type of knit or color, so long as it's pretty stretchy. Have fun! Go thrift shopping for jeans that are "almost OK" and make a bunch of pairs of jeans! Use this method to make shorts or skirts too! Essentially, it's a "yoga style waistband" on a pair of jeans - should be pretty comfy for post baby too! (and who says you REALLY need to be pregnant to wear yoga-style-banded pants?!?)

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