Unsuccessful in my early experiments with altering RTW pants I decided to seek out the real deal, an actual maternity pants pattern. Several pants lengths were provided along with instructions on putting a maternity panel into RTW jeans. Unfortunately Kwik Sew patterns are never on sale or at reduced rate. However I have found the fit usually to be good, the pattern paper holds up to a lot of use, and few pattern makers are offering much in the way of maternity – so I forked out the money for retail price. It was worth it.
If you know how to make pull-on pants these aren’t much more difficult.
The instructions suggest using rib knits for the maternity panel, and so far in my experience, that fabric has provided the best stretch and recovery.
This pattern upholds Kwik Sew’s reputation of offering simple to sew and well-fitting patterns.
Flat assembly will not work. Bummer for me and other enthusiasts of this technique. The maternity panel comes in two parts, front and back, which are sewn together before adding onto the pants themselves. That means you must assemble the pants fully, then encircle them with the knit panels. Not too hard, but as a new sewer I might have felt a bit frustrated trying to pin and manage the fabric in this way.
The panels also have elastic which is applied to the middle of the bands, then the band is folded over. Newbies might have a hard time keeping the elastic in the middle of the fabric.
Some Assembly Required:
For once I followed the pattern instructions and assembled each leg separately, then placed one leg in the other and sewed up the crotch.
Sew the maternity panels together at side seams, apply elastic down middle and fold over.
Now sew the panel to the pants matching side seams.
Hem those suckers and you’re done!
Pre-pregnancy I bought several pieces of fabric in anticipation of a big spring sewing session. When I heard I was pregnant I nearly folded up all of that fabric and put it away for a year or two as it was nice (and sometimes, expensive) fabric and I knew my maternity clothes would only be used for a short time. Then I remembered how much wear maternity clothes get and I thought if I ever needed the pick-me-up of wearing nice fabric it was now.
For these I used menswear cotton gabardine in khaki bought at Banasch’s, the only independent fashion fabric store remaining in Cincinnati. The fabric looks like what they sell in RTW and it wears beautifully with only minor wrinkling that seems to fall out over the day so I never look crumpled. The material wasn’t cheap, but it wears and sews so terrifically that the extra expense was worth it. I am also glad I went ahead and used this fabric on my maternity pants as it is a delight to wear even if it is getting harder to see my legs past my belly!
These are full straight pants legs which may seem a bit dated to you. Boot cut the legs. In a future post I will show you how I made that alteration to these pants. I liked the cut much better after the legs were thinned up.
The other thing I can do next pair is cut them a size smaller. WooHoo! (That never happens to me!) Right now the pants are a little loose, but I imagine they will be terrific in those final weeks when I am bursting out of everything else in my closet.
Will I Sew it Again:
Yes, what choice do I have? I need maternity pants. These are quick and easy. Not glamorous, but sufficient and they don’t require that I sit at the machine for hours, something which I don’t have the stamina for right now.
Advice to Others:
Before inserting the elastic into the maternity panel, fold the bands over on themselves and iron in a crease that shows your midline. Lay the elastic to one side of the midline, not on the line – but beside it, and follow the line as you sew. That way you will be able to fold the panels perfectly in half when it comes time to apply them to the pants.
Overall Style Grade: B. Folks tend to be quite forgiving of the sartorial choices of pregnant ladies. That grace will be sufficient to make up for any lack of au courant these pants may display.
Results Grade: A. No pockets or zippers. Just two legs and a knit panel. A beginning sewist who finds herself knocked up should be able to create a perfectly passable pair of pants from this pattern. The more experienced could doll them up a bit with pockets or other details, that is if your nausea doesn’t make you too impatient.
Next Post: Tuesday, May 10, 2011: Altering a Straight Pants Leg to a Boot Cut.