Maternity clothing can be pricey, and on top of that, it can be a challenge to find pieces that don’t make you feel frumpy. You don’t have to give up your favorite pair of jeans just yet. Instead, convert them into maternity jeans. You don’t even need to use a sewing machine — you can do the stitching by hand.

Things You’ll Need

Pair of jeans
2- to 3-inch wide elastic (any color)
Thick thread & needle
Seam ripper
Fray check
Sewing machine (optional)
Step 1: Cut The Waistband

Use sharp scissors to cut from the top of the waistband on your jeans to the top of one side seam. Depending on your jeans, the waistband may be only 1-inch wide or it might be up to 2.5 inches wide. This shouldn’t matter as long as you have enough space to add your elastic. You should see a hole open after you cut, which is where you insert the elastic. You want to make sure your cut aligns with the side seam of your jeans for best results.

Step 2: Apply Fray Check to The Seams

Apply fray check to prevent fraying on the cut sides of your jeans, especially if you choose not to use a sewing machine. You can find it at any craft store. The clear liquid is easily applied through the pointy tip — squeeze until it flows evenly across the edges. Let it dry completely.

If you are using a sewing machine, fold the edges of your cut sides inward 1/4 inch and pin it to prepare for sewing.

Step 3: Measure And Cut The Elastic

Make sure your elastic measures the same width as the cut waistband on your jeans. Cut a piece 4 to 5 inches long. Slide the elastic into one side of the cut.

Step 4: Secure The Elastic to The Denim Part 1

Use your sewing machine to secure the elastic to the denim.

To hand stitch it, loop the thread through the eye of the needle and pull it so it doubles in length, approximately 12 inches. Knot it at the ends. Starting at the bottom of the cut slot, stitch through the inside edge towards the outside, making sure the needle goes through the elastic as well. Pull through and repeat again making your way up the side towards the top.

This simple stitching should take just a few minutes. Keep your stitches small, approximately an 1/8 inch, and close together. Once you reach the top of the jeans, make your way down the same side again to secure a tight stitch. The elastic should be well secured to the denim at this point. Cut your thread and knot your ends to make sure the stitches don’t get loose.

Step 5: Secure The Elastic to The Denim Part 2

Tuck the other side of the elastic inside the opposite hole. You want about an inch or two of elastic exposed, but if you prefer more, you can always trim the edges of your cut more.

Angle the second side of your cut edge diagonally so you have a v-shape that meets at the bottom of the cut. Securely stitch it, repeating the same process from the previous step. Tug to make sure the stitching is tight, and finish by knotting the ends of your thread.

Step 6: Try On Your Jeans

Try on your jeans to make sure they feel comfortable. Wear a top that covers the waistband, and they look just like your everyday, pre-pregnancy jeans. Enjoy!