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How to Sew a Maternity Panel Into Pants

By Maria Magher ; Updated April 18, 2017
Maternity pants have a soft, stretchy panel to relieve pressure on the belly.

Pregnant ladies want to be comfortable and fashionable, too. However, the price tag on maternity clothing can be two or three times as high as regular clothing, leaving many women scrambling to try to make their "fat pants" fit or to wear their husband's over-sized T-shirts. There is another way. You can make your own maternity pants out of an old pair of jeans or trousers and some knit fabric. You won't have to spend more than $10, and you'll have a pair of fashionable pants that also give your growing belly some breathing room.

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Cut the waist band off the pants you intend to alter. Cut the band just below the seam line, and be careful to cut around any rivets.

Cut a sloping line down the front of the pants. The line should create an elongated bell curve down the front of the pants, from one side of the waist line to the other. The bottom of the curve should be about halfway down the zipper.

Cut the zipper out of the pants. You can focus on just cutting out the metal teeth instead of trying to get the entire zipper out of the pants.

Fold over the pant opening as it would lay if it were zipped up, and top stitch the fabric closed. From the outside, it will look as if a zipper is there, but the area will not open.

Measure your stretchy fabric to the same width as your pants and the height you would like it, for the back part of the belly panel. Most full panels cover the full belly, which corresponds to about the middle of the back.

Lay the pants over the stretchy fabric and trace the sloping line on the front, for the front part of the panel. The width will match the waist band on the pants, and the height should match the back panel.

Sew the sides of the front and back panel together.

Pin the panel to the waistband.

Sew the panel and pants together.

Measure a piece of 1-inch elastic about two inches smaller than the circumference of the raw edge of your new belly panel. Sew the ends of the elastic together with a zig-zag stitch.

Pin the elastic to the inside of the raw edge of the belly band.

Fold the raw edge of the belly band over the elastic and sew it closed with a zig-zag stitch.

Things You Will Need

  • Pair of pants
  • Stretchy fabric like knit, rayon or lycra
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • 1-inch elastic

Tip

You can skip several steps by purchasing a belly band and sewing it to the pants instead of creating your own from stretchy fabric.

You can also create an elastic waistband instead of a full belly panel. Just adjust the height of the stretchy fabric.

You can also use this method to add a belly panel to a skirt or pair of shorts.

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About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

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