I should provide some background: I have IBS and have never been able to tolerate stiff waistbands (like most pants have) when I'm sitting. Elastic is also a problem for me because even though it "stretches," it only stretches against resistance. Even yoga pants were often too tight on my pre-pregnant belly. Any abdominal pressure at all is too much for me.* I usually get around this by wearing low-rise pants that don't fit right, and I almost always have my pants unbuttoned and slightly unzipped when I'm sitting down (which makes getting up quickly pretty awkward if people are around). I have small hips, so pants that are ample in the waist (or unbuttoned) tend to fall down.
I've always wished for some sort of solution, but now that I'm expanding a little bit (mostly with bloat at 10.5 weeks), it's gotten urgent.
I tried cutting off the waistband of a pair of old pants and sewing on a band made of jersey fabric. It feels pretty good, but I can't get the pants to stay up when I walk.
I tried making a belly band out of jersey fabric and putting it on over my normal (unbuttoned and unzipped) pants. That holds them up better, but when I sit down there's a lot of material folding in and pushing on my lower abdomen, and since the band has to be pretty tight to stay on without elastic, it's still uncomfortable.
I tried the hairband in the buttonhole trick and it felt just like elastic. Too tight when I sit, and it doesn't rebound well enough when I stand up.
I haven't actually tried honest-to-goodness maternity pants, partly because I was hoping to DIY this and save some money, and partly because the ones I've seen feel so elasticky that I imagine I'll hate them.
Are dresses with an empire waist my only solution? Most of my biggest months are going to be in the winter, and I'm not really into the tights and boots look. But maxi dresses seems so flowy and billowy when they fall from a pregnant belly.
Any suggestions? Am I asking for the impossible? All I want is a waistband that I can't feel when I'm sitting down and that holds my pants up when I'm standing!
That probably is too much to ask.
*I'm trying not to think about what will happen once this baby starts putting constant pressure on my intestines with or without a waistband....