How to make pants from a shorts pattern

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make pants from a shorts patternAnd here we have the third and last post about the MADE kid shorts pattern. (If you haven’t yet, read about making shorts from duvet cover scraps and making shorts from a thrifted t shirt, reusing the original hem.) This time I’ll be more seasonal (I actually did sew these shorts and pants to use in the summer, but it just took me forever to actually write about them!) and will show you how I used a shorts pattern to make pants.

make pants from a shorts pattern

Let’s start with the more simple pair made from the scraps of a striped crib sheet, which you can see here. (I’ll show you what I used most of it for soon!) I used what was left of the sheet like regular fabric.

make pants from a shorts pattern

I had just enough fabric to make pants. I folded the fabric right sides together and lined up the shorts pieces at the crotch and made sure that the outer leg was aligned with the vertical stripes. The pieces were placed as high up on the fabric as possible to make space for the leg extensions. I decided to cut the pockets so that the stripes ran horizontally.

make pants from a shorts pattern

Now to extend the legs. Take a pair of pants that fit your child, turn them inside out and measure from the crotch to the bottom hem. If the pants are too long or short, adjust your measurement as needed. Now add however much more fabric necessary to hem the pants. In this case I added 1/2 inch (for the first fold), 1 inch (second fold) and 3/8 inch (the seam allowance at the crotch). Draw a line straight down from the edge of the shorts so that the length from the crotch is the same as your measurement. Do this at all four edges and then connect the bottoms of the lines. You can see that I made a mistake measuring the first time and had to add on a little more length.

make pants from a shorts pattern

Now cut out your pieces. I *highly* suggest you take Dana’s advise to snip the bottoms of the legs with pinking shears to keep them straight from the other edges. I admit that I thought that I would have to be pretty silly to get the different edges mixed up. And of course it happened on my first pair. So for this pair I cut all the edges with regular fabric scissors and the bottoms directly with pinking shears, so as to avoid any confusion, even though it really wasn’t necessary with the paw prints there.

make pants from a shorts pattern

And just sew as you would regular shorts. To get these pants long enough, I had to cut out some of the fabric with paw prints and plain white. But I made sure beforehand that these parts would get folded underneath in the hem.

make pants from a shorts pattern

You can only see them on the finished item when my little guy is sitting with his legs out in front of him. But I think it’s kind of cute, like a little hidden surprise. And of course the kids think that paw prints are really cool.

make pants from a shorts pattern

I love the contrasting direction of the stripes on the pockets. Making pants like this make for a relatively wide leg. Normally I love wide legged pants, however we later discovered that they were a bit too wide legged for running and playing in comfortably. So for my next pair I decided to take in the legs a bit…

make pants from a shorts pattern

…and use some scrap fabric to make buttoned straps that keep the legs rolled up 3/4 length, which is very useful on cooler summer evenings or in-between seasons. Guess what I made this pair out of?

make pants from a shorts pattern

This men’s button-down shirt that I found laying on top of a pile of abandoned trash on the sidewalk outside my apartment! I wish I’d taken a picture of it because it looked like someone had placed it there on purpose. I gave it a good washing with fabric disinfectant and we were ready to go! First I cut off the arms.

make pants from a shorts pattern

In order to fit in the pattern pieces properly I had to remove the collar buttons. Then I started laying out the pattern, using the same measurements as I described above.

make pants from a shorts pattern

The back piece wouldn’t fit onto the front of the shirt, which was more narrow due to the arm holes and buttons/holes. So I cut out the first front piece from only the top layer of one side of the front. I had to lift up the collar to fit it in well. I also placed it as close to the arm hole as possible because I have a plan to use the button placket for another project. And I also made sure that the front pocket was in a good position to be used on the pants. For these pants I just cut the legs all the way to the bottom hem and dealt with shortening them to the right length afterwards when I was fitting them on Nicky.

make pants from a shorts pattern

I then flipped the cut front piece over, placed it onto the other front layer of the shirt and cut out its mirror image. Again, I placed it as close to the arm hole as possible and also tried to line up the lines of the fabric.

make pants from a shorts pattern

Now for the back pieces. I folded the back of the shirt in half, positioned my pattern piece and again, cut straight down for longer legs. (I made the legs more narrow later on by sewing more curved inwards on the inner part of the legs.)

make pants from a shorts pattern

In order to get the pieces to fit in nicely on both sides, I had to lift up the back pleat and stick the pattern piece underneath it.

make pants from a shorts pattern

Here are all my pattern pieces for the two pairs of pants before sewing. For this second pair I didn’t make separate pockets as I was reusing the original shirt’s pocket.

make pants from a shorts pattern

I used some smaller scrap pieces along the side seams to make the button-up straps for the sides. (Would you be interested in a little tutorial about that sometime?) And then this is what was left of the button-down shirt. Like I said, I have big plans for all these leftovers!

make pants from a shorts pattern

I just cannot get over the fantastic big pockets of this pattern! (and of the original shirt) Those little hands are constantly in and out of them, filling them up with all those little treasures.

make pants from a shorts pattern

Like this one!

make pants from a shorts pattern

This pair came along with us to Sardinia, too. Now that it’s starting to get chillier out, these pants are getting LOTS of use. Time for me to make some more!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Come sempre un tutorial spaziale grande Lisa!!!
    Allora: il particolare delle zampine è stupendo… mi piace abbinare più fantasie e vedere le zampine che fan capolino… è quel qualcosa in più che i vestiti acquistati… si possono solo sognare!
    Poi: la camicia sui rifiuti la dovevi proprio fotografare… secondo me chi non è malato di Refashionite non può capire… Ma il mondo è senz’altro migliore, finchè esisteranno persone come noi che trasformano rifiuiti (ma poi perchè buttarla? E’ una camicia nuova!) in opere d’arte!
    Un bacione e… sì, il tutorial sui lacci per accorciare le gambe lo vogliamo!!!
    Un bacione,
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper

    • Grazie Irene! Hai ragione, i vestiti che facciamo noi, soprattutto quelli con tessuti recuperati, hanno quel qualcosa in più, sempre unica e speciale! Lo so che lo dovevo fotografare. Dovrei essere abituata, visto che faccio la raccolta di ombrelli rotti abbandonati per strada e ogni tanto di altre cose che trovo gettate per strada, ma poi a volte mi sento un po’ imbarazzata, e quella volta è andata così. “Malat di refashionite”!! Mi fai morire, ma hai perfettamente ragione!

      Ora che ci è arrivato il fresco senza ombra di dubbio, mi sa che il tutorial sui lacci aspetterà la primavera prossima! Baci!

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