During my second pregnancy, I was determined to refrain from buying new maternity clothes. I thought it would be much more fun to make from scratch and repurpose old clothes into new, DIY maternity clothes (which I’d love to do for this pregnancy too)!
This ruffly little denim skirt was designed out of the need for some more maternity bottoms (all I had so far were two pairs of maternity pants). I re-invented an old pair of trouser jeans from my drawer into this sweet skirt. Perfect!
Here’s how I did it:
First, I found a pair of trouser jeans (wide leg is important) in my drawer. They don’t fit me anymore, so they may as well be used for something!
Next comes the fun part – ripping apart the jeans! I had a pair of maternity jeans I used to measure how low I should cut the top of my old jeans (you could use any pair of maternity pants with a knit waistband to measure, or simply eyeball the jeans and cut as low as you think you need for the jeans to fit over your hips without having to open them). For mine, I cut off the entire waistband, and then made a gentle curve in the front. Measure yourself from hip to where you want the hemline to fall, add 1″ and cut your jeans to that length (I always add an extra inch or two to my length measurements just in case!).
After cutting the waistband off and shaping the front, use a seam ripper to undo the inner leg seam gently, leaving seam allowances intact.
If your jean legs were wide enough and your thighs small enough, you may not have to follow the next several steps to add the front ruffled insert, but try your skirt on at this point and see if you want or need to. I wanted to have some room in my skirt and I love ruffles, so this was my solution! I laid a piece of waxed paper over my skirt, arranged it so that the front laid open naturally with the bottom hem to the width I wanted it, and then traced the triangle that emerged in the middle onto the waxed paper to make my insert pattern.
I then used the pattern to cut a triangle out of some scrap denim I had in my stash (add seam allowances to the pattern) and then two 60″ long strips that were approximately 5″ high for the ruffles. I used denim, but you could use any fabric you’d like for the ruffle insert!
To prepare the waistband, I cut out two squares of cotton knit jersey (any stretchy jersey will work) that were approximately 18 x 13″ each. If you have maternity pants or a skirt, use this to measure how wide and long your band should be, or measure your waist and add 3″ for the width and use 13″ for the length. To the back piece, I trimmed it to 8″ high. I folded the front piece in half vertically and curved it gently from 8″ at the side to 13″ at the lower front to make a nice curve for the tummy.
I then stitched the pockets and the fly of my denim skirt shut, since they wouldn’t be functional anymore. I didn’t stitch the entire pocket shut, just the top, but I may stitch the entire pocket up in the future for a more streamlined look.
To make the back seam of the skirt, I folded the skirt right-sides-together, and then stitched a 1/2″ seam from the top of the back leg seam to the bottom. You’ll see I rounded out the back to make a nice even curve and then I cut off the excess. Try your skirt on when you do this, because you may have to adjust this back seam so it doesn’t bump out.
For the insert ruffles, I roll-hemmed the denim strips I had cut out with the machine, and then gathered the opposite side by using a high-tension setting on my serger. The gathering could also be done with a basting stitch on the machine, and then pulling the upper thread to gather.
I then took the ruffle strips and laid them on the triangle denim piece I had cut out, pinning them in place, trimming them, and overlapping them about 1/2″ so that the gathered seam would not peek through. Leave about 1 1/2″ on the bottom of the insert for hemming.
To keep the ruffles in place, I basted them to the triangle insert down the sides.
Next, I pinned the insert to the open triangle of the front of my skirt, right sides together. I ensured the bottom of the bottom ruffle on the insert was approximately 1 1/2″ from the bottom of the jean skirt. This left room to hem the bottom of the skirt.
I sewed the insert to the denim skirt by machine, and then serged the seam allowance together to finish it. I then topstitched the seam around the insert to add detailing and help it lay flat. Pretty, hey?
To make the maternity waistband, I sewed the two pieces of knit I had cut, right sides together, on the side seams using a serger (you could also use a sewing machine). I then pinned the waistband to the top my skirt, right sides together, stretching the waistband as necessary to match the skirt. I matched up the side seams, and the centers of the skirt and waistband.
I sewed the waistband to the skirt by machine, then seam finished with my serger. I then created a casing for an elastic by serging the raw upper edge of my waistband, then folding it 1 1/4″ inches and sewing to create a 1″ casing (leave a 1″ opening to thread elastic through). I then threaded through a 1″ wide elastic using a safety pin on one end and a stick pin on the other. To measure the length of the elastic, you can measure your upper waist. After threading the elastic through, I sewed the two ends together by machine, and then stitched the opening shut.
After threading the elastic through, I sewed the two ends together by machine, and then stitched the opening shut. I also like to add a second line of stitching in the middle of my elastic casing to ensure the elastic doesn’t flip during the wash.
Finally, I hemmed the bottom of the skirt by seam-finishing the bottom raw edge with my serger and turning it up 1 1/2″ and stitching with my machine. Voila! A recycled maternity denim skirt!