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Friday, April 8, 2011

Men’s Pants to Toddler Pants

It always astounds me how much fabric goes into men’s pants…just look at how much is required for their never-ending pockets! My husband had a random pair of “soldier pants” as K fondly refers to them and instead of donating them, K inspired me to make him his own pair of soldier pants. DSCN5194

If your husband has pants lying around that he’ll never wear, repurpose them into a pair of pants for your little boy :).

Here’s how:

  1. Find a pair of pants that your little one has that fits him or her well. Fold it in half lengthwise and lay on top of your husband’s pants to make sure your husband’s pants really are big enough.DSCN5178
  2. Take note that on each pant leg, there is more fabric on the back than the front. Fold your pants so that you can only see the front of one pant leg, making sure to tuck the excess fabric from the back underneath. Lay it on top of your husband’s pants and pin down. Trace around it leaving extra room for seam allowances and add to the top and bottom of the pant leg. I always add 2 inches on top and bottom just to give myself wiggle room (easier to cut off extra fabric than to add more!). Don’t forget to straighten out the crotch area otherwise these pants will not fit very well.DSCN5180
  3. Cut out two front pieces, making sure they mirror each other.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 with the back of your child’s pants, laying them as flat as possible and accounting for the extra fabric the back of pants requires.
  5. If you don’t want pockets, skip steps 5-9. If you want pockets, trace a square around your child’s hand and cut out 4 pieces just larger than your child’s hand. Pin each square to the right side of each piece of pant leg, with the bottom of the square about even with the crotch line. See the picture below if this is confusing.DSCN5181
  6. Sew the pocket pieces to your pant legs 3/8 inches from the edge. Press seams towards the pockets. Repeat on all four pant leg pieces.DSCN5182
  7. Lay a front pant leg on top of a back pant leg with right sides facing each other. The pockets should be sticking out. Pin and sew along the outside of the pant leg at a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Stop just after where you started the pockets, turn and sew around the pocket. Once you get back to the pant leg, pivot again and continue sewing up the pant leg. In the image below, the red line is where you will sew now. The green line is the stitching from when you sewed the pockets to the pant legs.image2
  8. Cut a notch above and under the pockets and press the seams open. Finish the edges with a serger or zig-zag stitch.DSCN5185
  9. Repeat on the other pant leg.
  10. With right sides still facing each other, stitch the inside seam of each pant leg, AKA the blue line in the image below. Press open and finish the edges.image0
  11. Turn one pant leg right side out and slip it inside the other pant leg. DSCN5186
  12. Line up the crotch lines, and beginning from the crotch, sew up to the waist line on one side. Go back to the crotch and sew up the other side. Press open and finish the seams.DSCN5187
  13. Have your child try the pants on and fold the waist down to where you want it to sit on your child. Pin in place and carefully take the pants off your child. Iron the waist line. This will be your casing. Carefully trim the excess fabric so the casing is 1 1/2-2 inches wide (remember I added lots to the top when cutting this out). Fold under again 1/4 inch and press. DSCN5188
  14. Pin the casing and sew around it, leaving a gap large enough to thread elastic through.
  15. Using your child’s waist as a guide, measure the elastic so it wraps comfortably around your child and add half an inch.
  16. Pin a safety pin to your elastic and thread it through the waist casing. When it reaches the opening, overlap the two ends of the elastic by 1/2 an inch and sew together. Sew the opening to the casing shut.DSCN5190
  17. Again, have your child try the pants on and pin the bottom hems where you want them to be.
  18. Iron the crease and fold under again 1/4 inch. Pin in place and sew around the hem.DSCN5191
  19. Trim all loose threads, turn right side out and admire your handy work. If your child suddenly has no interest in these pants you just slaved over, they will likely care a lot of you put the pants on their younger sibling…maybe that’s just my son :). On the left was my hubby’s pants, on the right are my son’s pants…not bad if I do say so myself…DSCN5176DSCN5192

If any of the steps are confusing, please leave a comment and I will try to explain better.

I will be linking up to Homemade Year Linky Party @ Blissful and Domestic, Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Friday Fun Finds @ Kojo Designs, Weekend Wrap Up Party @ Tatertots & Jello, Friday Favorites @ Simply Sweet Home, Sew Crafty Saturday @ Wildflowers & Whimsy, HomeMomMade, 100+ Clothes upcycling projects, and Show and Tell @ Be Different, Act Normal.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a sweet idea. Not only is it thrifty, it's special to have your litte guy wearing his Daddy's pants. I'm a new follower.

    Dawn @ Mom-a-Logues
    Check out my great giveaways going on!

  3. LOVE this idea! That's so super thrifty!! I was looking through your posts & I also love the etched jar. It turned out so cute!
    New follower from the "say hi" hop! Hope you get a chance to stop by my blog too :)

  4. Saying hi as part of the Say Hi Sunday Blog Hop even though its still Saturday :)

    You are very creative! Reading your post made me wish that I wasn't all thumbs when it comes to crafts...!

  5. Hi there I am a new follower and love your blog
    Good Idea, I wish I could sew
    Stop by any time.

  6. I love it! I haven't sewed in a while but I need to stop slacking and get on a project! :)


  7. This is such a great idea! I do this all the time for my son! I am having a Homemade Year in 2012 on my blog Blissful and Domestic and would love for you to link up to my Homemade Year linky Party:>