Expanding the Waistline of Jeans or Trousers

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maternity jeans or trousers cost a small fortunte, in some retail outlets, you'd expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a pair.  Expandable waistlines are probably needed for approximately 6 months of a pregnancy, so really, such a high cost for a short amount of wear, isn't worth the investment.

There is a company, Denim Therapy based in NYC, that offers a maternity service, inserting an expandable side seam into a pair of your existing jeans, the cost of doing so is $60.

Now, while $60 is cheaper than a few hundred dollars, and the service would probably help those that cannot sew, it is entirely possible to adjust a pair of jeans or trousers yourself, inserting a triangular jersey patch into each side seam.

I recall seeing a clever little trick earlier in the year, how to expand the waistline of a pair of jeans that are too small, I can't actually find that link, if I do, I'll update this blog post, but the same idea applies to maternity jeans.

I've adjusted a pair of my own jeans to fit, sewing two panels of t-shirt jersey fabric into each side seam.

Here's how:

You may recall I chopped the bottom away from a thrifted t-shirt to make my t-shirt grocery bag, seen here.  This cut away fabric is the jersey I have used for my side seams.

I've cut two triangular shapes, double width fabric (folded) for each, then hemmed the top of my jersey triangles, by folding over, and using a zig-zag stitch:

Next, I've measured my triangles up against the side seams of my jeans:

And cut a straight line down each side, leaving approximately 5cm from the bottom of my triangles:

The next part is a little tricky, pinning my jersey triangle panels underneath each cut side seam, particularly as I'd cut very closely to the belt loop (which I could've removed and reattached, but didn't!):

I've then zig-zag stitched all the way down my cut away side seams, over the top of my jersey triangles:

Here's what the triangle side seams look like on the inside, a little messy, but that's OK:

I've made my side seams larger than I am right now at 12 weeks pregnant, as I still have a way to go.  So for now, they are slightly loose fitting, but, with a belt, they fit perfectly.  In the coming months, I'll no doubt eliminate the belt!

Worn with a top and jacket, you can barely see the side panel, plus, most importantly, they are comfortable to wear.  It cost me less than a dollar worth of material to adjust these jeans, the jeans were also originally purchased for $5 from a trash and treasure market about 2 years ago:

Readers, do let me know if you'd tried this, or try it out in the future.  You can use the same technique for adjusting a pair of trousers, jeans or a skirt, where the waistline is a little bit snug.



Peta said...

i must have missed something! Congrats on your pregnancy. I've hit the third trimester and options are rather limited in my closet. I have a couple of pairs of maternity jeans (bought on sale of course) on high rotation

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have thought to expand that section. Great idea!

Iliska Dreams said...

I did something similar. But rather than cutting into my jeans I made a panel to go over the button fly. Similar V shape, but one side had button holes and the opposite side buttons. Just make sure these are apposite to the holes and buttons on your jeans. Then you can make bigger panels as you get bigger and take them out after the bub is born.

Pam @Threading My Way said...

I did a similar thing by sewing pieces of wide, black elastic into the side seam. It didn't look particularly good, but it worked well and they were covered with long tops anyway. They didn't fit for the whole pregnancy, but it's too long ago to remember how long exactly. I do remember all my friends buying expensive maternity clothes, while my alteration cost nothing as the elastic was just scraps from my stash and I only altered old jeans. Congratulations!!!

Something Else said...

OOh! Congratulations. :)

Mother Down Under said...

And great idea to alter your jeans...maternity clothes are so expensive and you get so sick of wearing the same things...it looks like you will avoid both of those pregnancy pitfalls!

Anonymous said...

If you rip out the side seams instead of cutting the fabric you can simply resew the jeans along their regular seams after pregnancy. This is what Denim Therapy does. They can remove the panel and repair your jeans post-pregnancy.

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