Refashioners 2016: DIY Maternity Jeans

The Refashioners challenge is in full swing over at The Makery, and I thought I'd use the opportunity to make myself a pair of maternity jeans that actually fit.

I bought a pair of Paige maternity jeans a few months ago thinking they would last my entire pregnancy. Ha. Ah ha ha ha. Oh Jacqui, so naive. The stiff elastic strips sewn in place of pockets are a total joke. And the waistband now digs into my belly, creating quite the muffin top. It's uncomfortable, and unflattering, and I'm a little mad at myself for getting talked into fancy maternity jeans in the first place. No big deal though   at least it inspired me to create something on my own!

I started with an old pair of Adriano Goldschmied jeans that I rarely wear. I knew I needed the waistband to fit under my belly, so I removed it and trimmed the top of the jeans by about an inch and a half:

After adding in side panels (see below), I reattached the waistband and added an extra strip that I took from another pair of worn-out jeans. I added elastic to this piece so that the waist can grow with me into the third trimester. Initially I considered attaching a jersey panel like you see on most below-the-belly maternity styles. But because most of my maternity shirts are nice and long, adding extra fabric to the jeans just felt redundant.

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Now on to the legs. It's cute to think that the only part of you that gets bigger with pregnancy is your belly. But for many women, including yours truly, pretty much everything expands. There was no way these size 29 jeans were going to fit over my healthy butt and thighs, so I opened up the side seams and added in an extra panel cut from another pair of old jeans. I really like the slight contrast between the two washes, and resulting cut is less skinny, more boyfriend.

Finally, I added in a couple of decorative patches using Shashiko stitching. Shashiko is a Japanese style of functional embroidery traditionally used to reinforce points of wear or to mend holes, and it's all over the place right now. While I didn't actually need to apply these patches, I thought the jeans could use a little flair, and I wanted to try my hand at a new technique.

And that's it! They fit great, they're pretty darn cute, and they didn't cost me a penny. 

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