Being 7 months pregnant when the cold weather starts to hit means that my normal coat doesn't quite button right. It still closes, but I'm getting close to the end and the weather is finally starting to be winter temperatures.

Maternity jackets are expensive. And the only decent alternative I've been able to find is this $60 zipper insert that requires zippered jackets. And, for $60, you might as well hunt around for a cheap maternity jacket or just pay $20 more and get a whole jacket.

Since my jacket is all buttons and I only have two months to go, I decided to try to make my own insert. I ended up buying way more fabric than I needed, so I spent roughly $35 when I probably could have done this for $15. But now I have extra fabric for some future project.
I bought both quilted and wool and decided to make one side quilted (inward facing) and the other wool. The black wool bolt that I could find wasn't quite as dark or heavy as my existing jacket, so the extra quilted backing should help keep things relatively warm.

After sewing the two pieces together and flipping it inside out, I got to work with putting on buttons to connect to the right side of the jacket.

Initially I was going to use elastic loops to connect to existing backing buttons on the left side of the jacket (where the buttons are). But after messing around a bit trying to make the loops stay connected to the tiny backing buttons it was obvious that wasn't going to work.
Chris suggested just sewing some larger existing buttons I had right next to the backing buttons on the jacket. Since the actual buttons on the outside of the jacket are huge, I could sew in the second set of buttons next to the backing buttons and no one would be the wiser. So that's what I did.

That also meant I needed to use the button hole option on my sewing machine. And it worked amazingly. I love that thing. I didn't even have to touch anything. It just auto button holed wherever I told it to. I want to now put buttons on everything.
The end result is that I can button the insert to the inside of my jacket...
And then button the other side to the existing holes on the right side of the jacket.

It looks silly in the photo and not quite straight, but it stays put.
And with a scarf on, you can't even tell. It feels a little weird wearing it because the jacket isn't closed, but with the scarf on, you really can't tell. And since it just buttons into the existing button holes, it's easy to still get the jacket off.

Right now the insert is almost too big since I wanted to make sure I had room to grow. Plus I could always wear layers or a thick sweater. I suppose I could add another set of button holes and tighten things up if I needed, but for now I'm going to just experiment and see how things go.

The final dimensions of the actual insert ended up being 22 1/4" by 13 1/2". The whole project took me most of the afternoon since I really wasn't 100% sure how I wanted to do it and I'm not terribly proficient at sewing things. But I managed to avoid having to buy unnecessary clothing and I now know how to sew button holes. So that's a win to me!


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