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.
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.
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.
It looks silly in the photo and not quite straight, but it stays put.
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!