It's all thanks to Spandex. This is rather shocking in light of my history with the stretchy sparkly fabric. One time in high school during cross country practice I made a wayward comment about Spandex involving the drill team, which was overheard (and misunderstood) by a very indignant Drill Team coach, who then passed the information on to the rest of her team. This lead to my being forced into writing an apology to the entire drill team on behalf of the cross country team, and getting cussed out in the halls by some drill teamers who were very defensive of their Spandex. (Who then turned away in unison and marched down the hall, arms flapping and heads bobbing in time to their marching... no, but that would have been a lot cooler...)
So who would have thought my saggy pants savior would have come in Spandex form?! I am humbled. And now, to show my new found respect for the elastic fabric of the gods, here is my...
This is a picture-riffic tutorial on how to make maternity pants that actually stay up! It's true! They'll be there to cover your rapidly expanding bum through it all- the sitting and standing, the bending, the climbing of stairs... you get the idea. Let's begin...
*one pair of jeans, preferably low rise with a bit of stretch
*one big ol' piece of Spandex- not too thin a piece, preferably the kind that stretches up and down as well as side to side. (check out SpandexWorld- they have a minimum purchase requirement, but you could get extra to make a swimsuit... you know, for that time far off into the future when you decide it is safe to wear a swimsuit again...)
*plus a tape measure, thread, pins, all that sewing stuff
I have made a bunch of these now, and since they do- to some extent- grow with you, the specific size of the jeans you start with doesn't matter too much, as long as they are a few sizes bigger than you wear while not all knocked up. Really it's all about whether or not your preggo thighs want to fit into them or not that really matters.
STEP ONE: measure around your jeans about one inch or so below the waistband, all the way around. Now subtract a few inches from this, and you have the length for your Spandex measurement.
STEP TWO: Cut a rectangle from your spandex measuring 12 inches x the measurement you got at the end of step one.
STEP THREE: With right sides together, fold the Spandex rectangle in half so the 12" sides are touching. Sew a seam along the 12" side. (See the picture, my words are not working...) You should now have a Spandex tube. Try it on around your middle and make sure it is snug. Then take it in or taper the seam or whatnot as needed. In my example I needed to take the seam in more at the top then the hip area, so it tapers at the top. Just how snug to make it depends on how thick and stretchy your fabric is. The point is to make it stay put without your needing to hold it up while still not crushing your internal organs. Cut off extra seam allowance from the side seam.
This pic shows the seams:
This one shows how the tube should fit, (and what I have learned in my Photoshop class...):
STEP FOUR: Really quick before you forget, hand sew the zipper of your pants closed about halfway down the fly, like this:
STEP FIVE: With right sides together, pin your Spandex tube to your pants. The tube is smaller than the pants, so stretch the tube to fit as you pin. Make sure to line the tube seam up with one of the side seams on the pants. Now, hopefully to clarify and not confuse, I'll explain what you should have here. Looking at the pants you should see the pants inside the tube, and the tube is inside out and upside down. (The part you measured for your hips is on top and pinned to the jeans, the part you measured around your rib area is scrunched up awkwardly around the thighs of the jeans. If that was confusing just ignore it...)
STEP SIX: Use a zigzag or some stitch with a bit of stretch and sew the tube to the jeans about 1/2" from the top. (look at the picture above...) Start at one side of the fly and work around until you get to the other side of the fly. Don't sew over the zipper. Your machine won't like that. Also be careful for metal rivets or snaps or things like that as you sew.
**Reinforcing all seams by sewing twice or something is recommended since they will get a lot of strain put on them as you get freakishly huge**
That's it! Pull that panel on up and ta-da! Enjoy your pants! You can wear them before you get too big by zipping the fly like normal and folding the waistband over your hips to keep your pants firmly in place, like a belt. As you get larger and larger, you can unzip the fly (to the point where you sewed it shut at least) and pull that stretchy tube o' fun up to yer armpits there under your shirt.
Here are the pants worn with the waistband folded down:
And here they are worn with it pulled up:
Now go do some squats! No, that sounds tiring. Maybe instead put on your stretchy pants and go eat some brownies while you watch American Idol. Yes. Try that.