Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maternity pants

June asked if I'm planning on making any maternity pants. Well... here's my pants situation:

1. I bought 2 pairs of stretch woven pants early in pregnancy in the juniors section at Marshalls for about $12 each. One pair is very low-waisted and is still wearable, the other pair I tried inserting a Dritz maternity panel, but they turned out horrendous so I ditched those.

2. I bought 2 pairs of maternity jeans, one from the Gap and one from the Dutch maternity chain Noppies (purchased when I was in Munich last month).  (My workplace is pretty casual and "nicer" jeans are okay.)



3. I bought the maternity pants pattern from Burda's newly released envelope patterns - Burda Style 7526. I just can't figure out what fabric to use! The recommended fabric is "only very elastic fabrics with 2-way stretch". Does that mean you should use a woven or a knit? If a knit is recommended, doesn't it usually say that explicitly? If they want you to use a woven, what kind of woven would have enough stretch? The style includes adjustable buttonhole elastic in the waistband so you can cinch or let out the waistband as needed.  I like the bootcut, but I'm not quite sure where to start fabric-wise.  What do you think?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you need something with lycra or spandex. Only a knit is "very elastic."

Sew4Fun said...

I'm not sure if Burda meant a knit or woven but I can HIGHLY recommend stretch bengaline as THE BEST fabric for maternity pants!! :) A lot of RTW maternity pants use this fabric. It is technically a stretch woven but it is *very* stretchy, like about 35%. It would be perfect for these pants. Stretch bengaline comes in poly/rayon/ lycra blends or rayon/nylon/lycra blends. Only buy the mostly rayon version, with little to no poly. Sorry I can't help with a local source :) but I think it is now available in America. We've had in Australia for over 15yrs. HTH

Jenny said...

Since there's no separate belly panel, I think a thick doubleknit would work. I just don't thing even a stretch woven would be comfortable. Good luck! I hope you're not getting sick of wearing the same pants over and over again yet (I know I did!).

Gorgeous Things said...

You definitely need a knit for those pants. I'd recommend a heavier rayon/lycra jersey, or maybe even workout fabric.

Myra said...

Look at the drape on the leg of the long pants in the photo, looks like a knit to me. I agree with Ann and other commenters, a heavier knit.

mamafitz said...

I always preferred underbelly pants, and you can easily convert any regular pattern to underbelly. I used a KS pattern for the knit ones I made (http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=4810), and a WOF pattern for the woven ones (http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=2694)

okie2thfairy said...

Oops, reading your comments I noticed you've been hacked. Isn't that just fun?!

BTW, I'm never going to be pregnant but LOVE watching what you're making. It makes me WANT to be pregnant but I doubt I'd be as cute;) So, back to the pants, can you measure the ease in the pattern and it's construction to determine why they would recommend such elasticity? If it is meant to grow with you from beginning to end I can see why they want a lot of stretch but, if you're making them for the last few months you can gauge your size and use whatever fabric you'd like.

I think a nice heavy knit would be comfortable but a stretch woven would be pretty. Sorry, that didn't help much. Can't wait to see what you decide. Congrats again!

June said...

I have a pair of RTW pants from my previous pregnancy that are shaped like the Burda pattern (over the belly but no separate belly panel). The fabric is stretch velveteen. The fit was... honestly, it was TERRIBLE. I carried high for most of the pregnancy, so it was very poochy and wore like clown pants. I never wore them in public.

I did a handful of pants hacks with my first pregnancy (like here: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2009/09/maternity-pants-tutorial.html) and will probably be doing the same this time. I have a Japanese Weekend pants (with the OK waistband) that I love, I will try to mimic those. Underbelly pants are great, you can carry high or low, big or small, and the fit is true to the parts of you that don't expand as much.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I agree with Ann, I'd use a nice doubleknit. Plus wouldn't it be more comfortable?

Mikhaela said...

I'd definitely go with a relatively heavy knit--I have a few different types of maternity pants, and I can't imagine even the stretchiest of stretch wovens being comfortable over my belly right now unless there was some kind of gathering or elastic involved. The main types of maternity pants/skirts seem to be:

• Totally knit with some kind of rollup/rolldown yoke (I'm making a skirt like this right now, Kwik Sew 3513. The most comfortable in my opinion, but can sometimes look a bit on the casual side (for my workplace, anyway, though I'm sure as a pregnant woman I could get away with it).

• Full Panel or Demi Panel. Stretch woven but with either a roll-up/rolldown stretchy rib/lycra knit panel or just a lycra knit panel, sometimes with elastic at the top, sometimes not. I got a second-hand skirt from Pea in the Pod like this and it's quite comfortable. This is also the style of my LOFT maternity jeans. I bought Kwik Sew 3324 because it's for making pants like this and also includes info on "converting" existing pants (and skirts, I'd guess). Burda 8097 is like this too.

• Low-rise stretch woven with gathered elastic waist. My Gap Maternity corduroys are like this --they have elastic to help them stretch below the belly and look gathered when not being worn. But they FALL DOWN a LOT. I'm not crazy about this style. I have to wear a BellaBand to keep them up.

So... in sum, I can't imagine maternity pants with a waist as high as your above pattern that are pure stretch woven and would fit properly for any length of time.

Dawn said...

I'd totally do a knit. Take it from someone who could balance an entire dinner plate on her belly.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I noticed you read Kristy's blog, "Lower Your Presser Foot". So did you try accessing her archives and reading some of her posts about sewing maternity clothes. She did an awesome job and if I remember correctly she did use stretch knits for the fronts of several of her pants.

badmomgoodmom said...
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badmomgoodmom said...

I made maternity pants and shorts using cotton/lycra stretch wovens and knits. My favorite was the stretch woven black pants.

I can't remember the pattern I used. It had an elastic waist and pulled over my belly. They were comfortable, even though I gained 50 pounds (125 to 185#, prepregnancy size of 12 in Vogue/Butterick).

I left a hole on the inside of the waistband and fastened the elastic with a safety pin. I let out the elastic as I grew.

I also make two dresses, as I mentioned in a comment to one of your earlier posts.

My coworkers and Target maternity provided the rest.

Kristy said...

the few maternity pants that I made (dresses are way more comfortable) were made from woven fabric for the legs and stretchy knit with good recovery for the belly panel in the same colour. I'm not one to wear knit pants outside the house or gym, but this was a good compromise on style + fit, because they looked liked normal pants. I never had a problem with them staying up either!

lin3arossa said...

you might want to visit theprincessseam.blogspot.com

Johanna Lu said...

It clearly must refer to knits with moderately stretch as others have noted. But I must second Sew4Funs suggestion to use bengaline for maternity pants if you plan to make woven ones, it's what saved me, pant wise, through my two pregnancies. It looks sharp, is super comfortable, and adjusts so well to a pregnant body. In fact I even used my bengaline pants afterwards too, since I still had a big tummy to host!

Anonymous said...
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Pamela said...

I would say you could use either the stretch woven bengaline or a heavy double knit. I have made non-maternity pants out of a rayon-nylon bengaline. This stuff has some serious 2-way stretch, but is still a woven. It's the kind of thing you find in riding pants. You'll know it when you find it, because it is so stretchy.

Ages ago, when I was pregnant, I made some then-stylish stirrup pants out of a very high quality and pricey wool-lycra doubleknit. I have thin legs, so I don't like too much bulk in the pant leg. What I liked about the pattern (I drafted it my self based on a standard pant pattern) was that it did NOT have a tummy insert, much like your pattern. That way, my high quality wool pants could be altered and put into service after the baby.

After the baby was born, I altered the pants back to a slim size, wore them until they were no longer stylish, and then packed them away still in good condition. Since I had prewashed the fabric, I was able to launder these wool pants myself.

Fast forward 22 years: my daughter is rummaging through my cedar chest for whatever 80s loot she can find. "Mom, what are these? They would be perfect with boots and dresses!" They do not look at all like the flimsy leggings I see so many girls wearing. So, they are back in service and look really cute on her.