So you remember that thing about how I hate to spend a lot of money, right? So, you can imagine how much the thought of buying maternity jeans really thrilled me to my core. Especially when no stores carried my size in stock and I would have had to order them online withOUT trying them on, plus pay shipping. And pay about $40 at the very minimum for a pair. It was all very very bad.

But I can’t very well live without jeans. Even in Las Vegas, in the absolute hottest part of the summer, I wear jeans basically every day.

And then I had the brilliant idea that maybe I could make some. And Kayla said, no, that didn’t sound insane. I’d buy some super cheap jeans at Savers, chop off the top and sew one of the Bella Bands Merrick gave me to the top (hope you didn’t want that Bella Band back, Merrick), and voila! Cheap.

So, after trying on approximately 6 million pairs of jeans at Savers, I bought this pair for $5.99. And all the land rejoiced. 

Also, these jeans had some weird sizing, so, hey, apparently I wear a size 25! Sweet.

I used some cheap-o sidewalk chalk to mark where I wanted to cut – almost to the bottom of the zipper, since I really couldn’t zip these pants up at all, and then up fairly sharply so that I could keep the pockets. On the back side, I cut just above the belt loops because I wanted the pants to fit as tightly as possible in the bum (begone saggy bums!) and I was worried if I cut too low, they’d slide right off.

Then I slid the Bella Band around the top of the pants, with right sides together, and zig-zagged around the whole thing (I didn’t even bother to pin because I am exceptionally lazy and also because I don’t actually seem to own any straight pins). The pockets were the trickiest part just because I had to get all the layers to lay flat, but when I say “trickiest” I mean “the only part that I could not have done in my sleep.”

The worst part was at the end when I was going over a few places and KNOWING this was going to happen, I went right over the rivet on the pocket and broke off the tip of my needle. So, that was the end of that. Good thing it was all done anyway.

And this is how they look (do I take the worst pictures there ever were or do I take the worst pictures there ever were?):

And I was happy to have spent $6 (plus the cost of replacing my needle) instead of $40 or $60. I am ludicrously proud of myself. You’d think it took me hours instead of ten minutes.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Lexilooo April 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I am incredibly impressed!

  • Reply RA April 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Good on you! I'm glad that it was easy and cheap!

  • Reply Janelle April 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Those look great!

    I'm planning on doing something similar a little later in this pregnancy, so I'd love to see a picture of just how the band is attached… it can be without you in them, if that's easier.

  • Reply Merrick April 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    …and you owe me $15 for that Bella Band…cause I was planning on having more children and taking those back…

  • Reply Miriam April 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Where were Bella Bands back in my day? I wore the same two pair of pants through all 4 pregnancys(plus two miscarriages). There was never a happier person than I when those went into the trash after Blake was born!

  • Reply Kristy April 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    YES! Love!

  • Reply Bean April 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Great job! You could also try the whole elastic band around the button trick…but that probably only works for so long.

    A lot of jeans show sizes in men's sizing, hence the 25. It means your waist is 25 inches around.

  • Reply craftyashley April 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Although for the cost of a bella band, you could have just bought a pair of maternity pants. 🙂
    My solution was to just wear yoga pants 24/7 in a bigger size than I normally would wear.

  • Reply Ralphie April 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    A huge pat on the back! Cheap and hip, gotta love that!

    I got away with not having to wear maternity jeans. I just did the rubber band trick the entire time. But I carry babies right in front, not on the sides at all, so it doesn't work for everyone.

    One bad thing about my method is that I am STILL wearing the same jeans. It's not like I could retire of my "marternity clothes". That's the problem with my entier wardrobe actually, because I didn't wear them at all this time.

    …I need to go shopping…

  • Reply Heather April 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Marvelous! I'd never have thought of making my own. Great job.

  • Reply Jenny April 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    woot woot!
    I've never even met a bella band, but I bet I would have LOVED it when I was expanding. YAY you!!

  • Reply Jaime Wilkins April 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Impressive! Could you make your own Bellaband too?

  • Reply Jess April 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    This is awesome! What a great idea! I totally have to remember this for someday when I am pregnant and have no spare cash for maternity clothes. Ugh.

  • Reply Life of a Doctor's Wife April 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Wow. I am so in awe of you right now. Those jeans look amazing.

    (Also, if I ever get pregnant I want to look just like you.)

    (Sorry if that sounds Totally Creepy.)

  • Reply Kimberly April 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I'm pretty ridiculously proud of you, too. Those look great! And yes, let's get some close up pictures of the completed jeans off your body. I've heard of people doing something similar with a old stretchy t-shirt, but the Bella Band does seem a little more sturdy.

    The great thing about this is that jeans are so tricky pregnant. I bought some for $15 or so from Old Navy and hated them. But I just couldn't justify the $80+ for the really nice ones.

  • Reply Carly Jane April 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I will admit that real maternity jeans do have the saggy bum problem you managed to work around! Good job.

    My sister-in-law just did the same thing and also said it was way easier than she thought it would be.

    I wasn't ever willing to spend the $$ for the Bella Band, but hear they are life savers. We'll see whenever #2 comes around.

  • Reply LeAnne April 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Wow! Nice. I tried to get away with wearing my own jeans as long as possible when I was pregnant. I couldn't bring myself to spending money on a wardrobe that would be non-existent in a few months.

    Tip. You can also use an old t-shirt instead of a Bella Band when making your own maternity jeans. Just make sure it is a nice thick jersey cotton. Just measure your belly and subtract a few inches so it would be a snug fit. Cut the t-shirt and sew it into a tube. Attach it to the jeans. There you go. Cheapo Bella Band.

  • Reply Bethany April 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    WHAT?! Amazing! And WHERE did you get that smokin hot top? 😉 I am insanely jealous of your skillz, I gotta get me a sewing machine!! ps. Haha Merrick's comment! pps. I've been meaning to ask you where you got the skinny jeans you wore to my apt forever ago. Please advise.

  • Reply tootie April 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    They look SO cute! I'm really impressed that you were able to do that. If you ever get tired of being a librarian, you could go into the maternity clothes business! 🙂

  • Reply Rachel April 21, 2010 at 12:58 am

    They look great! I'm very impressed.

  • Reply Rachel April 21, 2010 at 1:10 am

    you humble me.

    for fun you could sweep the $ you would have spent into savings. that has always help me feel (even more) how I actually saved.

  • Reply kristen April 21, 2010 at 1:14 am

    you are crazy! i'm bringing my bag of maternity clothes over to you when you return from paradise. read: FREE!

  • Reply Brad April 21, 2010 at 3:31 am

    So impressive. I think I would've sewed my finger to the pants.

  • Reply Sherry April 21, 2010 at 4:27 am

    If you make another pair of maternity jeans, you should take pictures of the process. I'm very visual and don't really get your instructions. Of course, I am not a crazy tiny size, so I will probably just buy regular maternity pants one day. But, pictures please, if you have the time and are so inclined, etc.

  • Reply Becca April 21, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Not pregnant yet, but this post sent me to Goodwill on my way home from work today.

    FOUR pair of [wicked cute] pants for $28. Janssen, I love you.

  • Reply Karina April 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Way to go! I'm super proud of you. That is just so…self-reliant.

  • Reply Lori L April 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Good for you! I can remember how expensive it was to buy 2 nice pairs of maternity pants years ago. In fact, the cost of maternity clothes had me relearning sewing so I could make my own. You had a great idea and solution!

  • Reply heidikins April 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    You are about the cutest pregnant person on the planet.


  • Reply Sheyenne April 22, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Wow Janssen! I AM impressed!

  • Reply Isabel April 23, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    25 is European sizing, silly girl. (it's also pretty small…skinny girl!)

    I'm pretty impressed. You and Kayla need to get together and do a post called "how to look HOTT while pregnant for CHEAP". I need advice.

    (I have a bella band and I'm just using it with my pants instead of sewing it right on to my jeans. Is your way better???)

  • Reply Jen - devourer of books May 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    That is amazing! I'll have to do that my next time around, I'd never have thought of it on my own.

  • Leave a Reply