For this project, you’ll need a pair of wide leg jeans, a jersey knit t-shirt, and the usual sewing equipment. I used a well loved pair of trouser jeans that I’d walked the hem off of, and a t-shirt that fit well, except it had shrunk in the wash and was too short.
I’m not going to provide many exact measurements in this tutorial, because you should be using clothes that already fit you reasonably well. Please use the guidelines below, but account for your own body type!
Using a seam ripper, take out the inner leg seam all the way from the hem to the zipper on both pant legs. Carefully remove the zipper, and sew the opening shut (I just top stitched mine).
Also remove the waistband. These jeans were a low rise, so I didn’t need to cut any lower than removing the waistband. If your jeans have a higher rise, you’ll want to cut them lower in the front to accommodate your growing pregnant belly. Most importantly, you need to be able to pull the closed pants up over your hips, since this will be a pull-on skirt (no zipper or button openings).
Open the pants up so the pant legs are laying on top of one another, with the right sides of the fabric facing together. Using a ruler (or just eye-balling it), mark and pin a straight line from where you stopped removing the leg inseam, all the way down the pant leg.
(Please ignore my taped-together ruler. Oscar sure is cute, but he breaks things)
Sew together and repeat on the other side. Turn the skirt right side out. Assuming everything lays nicely, turn inside out again and cut off the excess fabric.
Turn the skirt right side out again – looks like a skirt now, huh? Press your new seams.
Try your skirt on and decide how long you want it to be. Mark the length and cut.
I opened up the seam on the back of the skirt a few inches to allow for a slit. This is kind of necessary, since it will be a narrower skirt. Don’t forget to back stitch again at the top of the slit.
If you have a serger, now would be a good time to use it. If you don’t have a serger, you can either leave your seams as is, or zig zag over them.
Sew the slit. I folded over the edges on either side of the slit (there was an existing crease here anyway from the original seam) and pin. Top stitch approximately 1/4 inch from the edge.
Top stitch your seams on the front and back of the skirt.
Hem your skirt! I sewed a nice, thick hem.
If you don’t like the look of freshly hemmed denim, you could distress it a little bit with some sand paper.
Time to start cutting up your t-shirt to make the stretchy waistband/belly panel. A jersey shirt with a lot of stretch works well for this project.
Using a ruler and rotary cutter, cut straight down both sides, and across the top (removing the sleeves and collar).
After cutting, I had two pieces that measured 15×19 inches each. Pin your fabric, right sides facing together.
Using a zig zag stitch, sew both side seams. Double stitch for durability.
Other tips for sewing on knit fabric:
- Use a ball point needle! This makes all the difference.
- Loosen your machine’s tension.
- I like to use a walking foot – it has feed dogs on the foot, so the fabric is gripped from the top and bottom and feeds through the machine evenly. No slipping.
You should now have a tube of fabric. Turn the tube right side out.
At this point I top-stitched over both seams using a straight stitch. I’m not sure this is absolutely necessary, but it strengthened the seam and I liked how it looked.
Fold the tube of knit fabric in on itself so it is two layers thick. The side seams should line up on the inside.
Place your denim skirt inside the knit tube (sorry for the super blurry photo!), lining up the waist of the skirt with the cut edges of the tube. You will have three layers of fabric here.
Pin in place on the sides, the front middle and back middle (4 pins total). The knit tube will be smaller than the waist of the skirt, but you will stretch it as you sew.
Using a zig zag stitch, sew around the entire waistband, stretching the knit tube to fit as you go. Double (or even triple) stitch for extra strength.
Turn the skirt right side out, and you’re done!
You can wear the skirt either with the full belly panel as shown below, or fold it over if you prefer a lower waistband. My pregnancies give me a gnarly outie belly button, so I need all the smoothing effects of stretchy fabric I can get.