Saturday 24 November 2012

DIY maternity shorts

It's coming into summer in Perth and its getting hot, really hot. Being pregnant at this time of year really is a terrible idea. I think it's about time I get into my $12 maternity shorts and enjoy the sunshine!

Yup I said $12 maternity shorts, if you are going to recycle an old pair or get some from the op shop yours will probably cost less.

Here are mine

and this is a well known maternity brands RRP $89.95

For the hour it took me to make my version, I think the $78 was well saved don’t you agree?

Haven't sewn with stretch knits before? Don't be scared it's easier than you think there is heaps of great info on the net about how to do it, I love DIY maternity's guide for knit sewing as I think it covers all the basics you need to get started

To make your own pair you will need

  • Pair of shorts either buy a cheapy pair or recycle some you already have.
  • 1 piece of stretch knit 20 inch x the diameter of your shorts minus 1 inch - You could recycle an old stretchy t-shirt here but I like something sturdier so used a cotton lycra blend I bought from the fabric shop.

First off you need to remove the zipper as you won’t be needing this (plus your sewing machine needle wont like sewing over a metal zipper!) using a seam ripper. Try to keep from unpicking the decorative fly stitching so they still keep the look of a pair of denim shorts.

Unpick the belt loops at the back too as you won’t need these!

Try your shorts on to work out how low you need to cut the centre point so they are comfortable. This will depend on how you tend to carry and how high a rise your shorts have! Mark the point on the fly with a pin or marker.

Draw with a marker a faint curved line from the low point you marked on the fly to the base of the waistband.

Cut along this line and follow along the bottom edge of your waistband at the back.

Baste the pocket lining edge back onto the denim so it doesn’t slip when you sew on the knit band (see here I have pinned the pocket in place)

Sew your fly closed too using a matching colour thread

Cut a 20inch x the diameter of the shorts new waistband (minus 1 inch) rectangle of stretchy knit fabric. Fold in 1/2 with the short ends together and sew your seam to make a band.

Fold in 1/2 again with the raw edges together and seams facing inside so you end up with a 10 inch wide band.

Mark out 1/4 points with pins

Place raw edges of the knit band to raw edges of shorts with the shorts on the inside of the tube

Pin the tube to your shorts by lining up the 1/4 marks first with the front back and side seams of your shorts. You may need to stretch the tube a little in-between these marks to get it to fit nicely.

Zigzag or overlock the seams together.

Get out in the sunshine in your new shorts!

Notes: Do yourself a big favour and use the right needle for the job

- Ballpoint for stretch knits

- Heavy duty denim needle for denim

Just think about it, you wouldn’t try eating soup with a fork would you?!


  1. Great little tutorial... I'm hoping with any luck that I'll be whipping up a few of these myself again soon ;-) (fingers crossed!)
    Consider me your newest follower, dropping by from TSL!


  2. I just am not getting how the top of the knit ends up being even across when it goes down further in the middle of the shorts? Does that make sense? In the final picture, the knit is straight across the top, not dipping in the middle front at all. I've seen similar tutorials on other websites too, but I can't get my brain around it! I'd like to understand before I start a project, can you help me?

    1. Hi There! That is a good question! It's been a while since I wore my maternity shorts now but from memory they do dip down a little at the lowest point but because the fabric is so stretchy it kinda molds to the shape of your belly nicely and the dip is really not a problem.

      The photos do look like it goes straight across but that is possibly because you are seeing the back of the knit band (which is straight across) and the way the knit band is sitting. Sorry this was one of my first blog posts and doesn't have the best photos (I've learnt a whole lot since then!).
      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that answers your question, good luck with your shorts! :)


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