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Sewing a $1 Maternity Jean skirt from men’s shorts

Getting a comfortable skirt for my growing belly was getting a little challenging, so I wanted to make something that could be comfortable, made out of recycled materials, and also budget-friendly! As you already know, I love upcycling and giving new life to old things, and also love sewing. So this project merges both my loves.

short to maternity skirt sewing hack

Now let me show you the project I have for today: A quick and easy maternity jean skirt made from an oversize (I am normally Medium bottom size and for this project, I got an XL) men's short.

This was a thrift store find that cost me $1 and the other shirt I used for the belly band cover was around my house, that's why I'm not including it in the price.

how to make a maternity skirt

Want to make your own?

Here is how I made mine, but remember that I am not giving exact measurements, when you head over to the thrift store or if you have a short already at home.

Make sure that it does not fit tight at all, because we will need to cut to transform it to skirt. So one or two sizes bigger than what you normally wear (men sizes are usually a lot bigger than women's sizes anyway)


1– First you will need to cut in between the legs of the sort, I just cut off the sewing lines (usually in shorts and parts is a double line)

making a skirt from shorts

2– Then cut off the belt loop part, don't worry if you cut a little more than that, because later on, we will do some more cutting in this part.

pulling the shorts apart

3– Cut the back seam of the shorts, all the way up.

sewing a skirt

4– Fold the shorts and cut a straight line where the legs start to show.

pulling the pieces apart

5– With the help of a seam ripper, take the zipper off the pants, rip all the sewing lines in between the zipper and the legs. Repeat step 4 now in the front.

short to skirt step 5

6– Pin the fly an front part flat.

short to skirt step 6

7– Pin the pockets shut, fold the skirt in half and cut about 2″ from the top of the zipper line. After you do that carefully try it on, it should slip in and out very easily, if it's too big to cut more on the back and make it smaller.

short to skirt step 7

8– On a mirror check how close to your belly the front is, you want to have a lot of room there, I ended up cutting more on the top to make the back pockets more center, and I also measured how long I wanted it to be.

short to skirt step 8

9– Once you are happy with how it fits, sew a straight line first (you should sew on the inside, the wrong side of the fabric) and then sew a zigzag line to prevent the denim from fraying. After that try it on again (make sure if fits loose in and out) then top stitch with a yellow (in the case of jeans) thread.

short to skirt step 9

10– For the new belly comfort area I used one of Ken's old shirts, this one is super stretchy and long, but it had a rip in the front. You probably just need about 10″ or less, depending on how high you want the new belt area.

short to skirt step 10

11– I cut the shirt right where the rip was and that gave me about 10″ of fabric to play with. TIP: When you select a shirt for this part make sure it fits tight around you, if it doesn't the skirt will fall off, so if it's too big to cut the “circle” and make it smaller.

short to skirt step 11

12– In my case I wanted a double fabric belt, if you want a super long belly cover, you can just sew it to the skirt and you're done (remember that I am sewing it to the wrong side first so if you only want one, sew it to the front)

short to skirt step 12

13– Place both wrong sides of the skirt and shirt facing and pin it together, for this kind of project I always find the center and pin sides first, then fold both pieces again, find centers and pin together, so and so.

short to skirt step 13

14– Carefully sew them together, you will get a result similar to my picture.

short to skirt step 14

15– Now fold the shirt fabric to the front and make a little 1/8″ fold at the end so that the raw edge ends up inside the fold. carefully pin it. This is also a good moment to pin the bottom edge of the skirt if you fold twice there is no need to zig-zag the edge because the raw edge will be inside the fold too =]

short to skirt step 15

16– Carefully topstitch the shirt to the skirt, for the bottom edge I would recommend you to top stitch from the inside (would that be bottom stitch?) Anyways, a lot of times that's better because you can see where the fold is, and as long as you sew keeping the same distance from the edge there should not be any problems =]

making a maternity skirt final


I've worn the skirt about 5 times already and it's super comfortable, I used to wear my old skirts with a maternity belly band on top, it worked fine but now I am getting too big for my band, so I get uncomfortable fast, with this skirt I am comfortable all day long!

making a pregnant friendly skirt
making a skirt for pregnancy
making a maternity skirt

I hope you enjoy and have fun trying this project! I also made a cute top of a recycled tee that you can check here.

Have a lovely day!

* This tutorial is provided for personal use only.
Check the Site policy at the bottom for further information, thank you!

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Tuesday 26th of June 2012

So Amazing and Very very good idea, Thank you ^^


Saturday 23rd of June 2012

Joy! recién veo que estás embarazada, te ves lindisima. un abrazo.


Saturday 23rd of June 2012

Muchas gracias Brunavon =]!


Thursday 21st of June 2012

What a clever idea, love it!


Friday 15th of June 2012

This is incredible! I will definitely keep this tutorial in mind for the future when I'm ready to have children. You're a genius!


Thursday 21st of June 2012

Aww thank you Kaylan!


Thursday 14th of June 2012

This is so stinkin' cute! I have this pinned for future (hopefully!) reference!