Introduction: Cheap Easy Sew Pants

I love t-shirt reconstruction.  This tutorial will show you how to make cute shorts that can be any length for about $2.50, and you do not have to be a master at sewing - I'm sure not.

Step 1: Materials

You will need a shirt, I am using an extra large craft one that I bought for 1.99 at Michael's craft store.  

You will also need a sewing machine or needle and thread, I like using a sewing machine though.



And extra material is optional.  

Lay your shirt out flat to start.

Step 2: Cutting

To start you want to cut off both the arms and the top.  

Note that the amount that you take off the arms will determine how large the seam at the crotch will be. I did not cut enough on this one.  You may want to measure. 

Then cut the shirt in half down the middle.  I folded mine in half to make sure it came out just right.

Step 3: Unfold and Sew

If you unfold the two pieces they should both look like this now.  Place them face together (have the outsides facing in) and sew along the 'u' shape.  

Step 4: Turn Into Pants

This is the tricky part to understand.  If you have experience with sewing, or can think three dimensionally this shouldn't be too difficult.  Imagine that these two parts are each a leg.  They are what you will be putting your legs through. 

Step 5: Sew the Outer Seams

All you have to do now it turn it inside out, and sew the outer seams together.  Think about turning already made pants inside out and it will be easier.  

Step 6: Add a Waist Band

I like thick waist bands.  Because I made the pants too shallow, I will add a waist band to expand the area.  

This is just some fabric from an old project.  

What I did was fold it over itself.  Remember that you can always just hem the edges though, and finish the project without this part.  

Step 7: Sewing the Waist Band to the Pants

Here come my horrible sewing skills.  What I did was fold the waist band and so the part I want as the top was facing the bottom, and I sewed it to the pants. So, when I folded it back up it it will look clean. 

Step 8: Adding the Draw String

Now, you could hem up the pants without the waist band and still do this step to the hem.  You could also put elastic in before sewing the waist band down.  But,  I just so happened to have some extra white fabric laying around.

All I did was cut too little slots in the waist band, then used the safety pin technique to move the draw string to the other side. 

Step 9: Rolling

Because of the material you should easily be able to roll it up to whatever length you want.

I think these would make great yoga or sleeping pants, they're super comfortable. 


masterbuilder made it! (author)2015-01-22

Can you explain what you mean by the "safety pin technique?"

asadabdul made it! (author)asadabdul2015-02-17

She means you could tie up the draw string to a safety pin or just stab the pin to the end of the string and use it as a guide to drive the string through the waist band. Sort of a oversized needle LOL. Hope it helps and sorry for my bad english.

masterbuilder made it! (author)2015-01-24

I don't have a machine, so I sewed these entirely by hand! Took about 7 hours. I wish I had tapered the legs in a bit, so they aren't so boxy.

lucidpsycho made it! (author)2014-11-08

try using the sleeves as pockets.

lgains made it! (author)2014-01-05

gonna try this tonight :-)

Logan7032 made it! (author)2011-05-30

I Love these! can't wait to try a pair!! Thank you :o)

enji made it! (author)2011-04-17

ooooh goooooooood tnx

carlyjcais made it! (author)2010-11-02

Very creative use of a t-shirt! LOVE!

Applejuice11 made it! (author)2010-08-21

Great job! i need to trry this!

wrokgoddess made it! (author)2010-07-10

Yes good job...I am gonna try this for my daughter that is 9 and myself... Thanks!!! :)

tesla94 made it! (author)2010-05-01

I tried to make basketball shorts as my second pair, I am not sure if they are very manly though.  I was aiming for manly.  I just made the 'u' shape much deeper to make the waist line higher, and the pant legs shorter.  I think that a larger shirt may have been in order to give the extra room that basketball shorts give.  But taking away the girly waist band was at least a start.

Thanks so much everyone!

meismeems made it! (author)2010-04-30

Excellent! Now I know what to do with all my old t-shirts! Well done!

venkatraju09 made it! (author)2010-04-30


imrobot made it! (author)2010-04-29

cool! is there any way to make a more *ahem* manly version for guys?

scoochmaroo made it! (author)2010-04-29

Very clever!
If you make another pair, some additional photos in step 4 would be VERY helpful.  

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