Introduction: Restyle Pants Into Cute Overalls

Gjenkins: This sewing instructable comes from my daughter, a 14 year old fashionista in training.Everyone tries to beat the heat in the summer, but why not make a fashion statement at the same time? Cute and trendy clothes don't have to cost a ton of money. I mean, we are in a recession and there's so many clothes in your closet that you've worn to death of or just don't like anymore. You can use those articles of clothing (or raid your parent's closet) to create a whole new summer wardrobe. So let's start out by making some cute overalls out of a pair of pants.

Step 1: Things You'll Need to Get Sewing

-Sewing Machine and/ or a Sewing Needle
-Thread (a color close to your pants)
-Ruler or tape measure
-Seam Ripper
-A Pair of Pants (Pants that are too big or loose work better, so be careful with your adjustments if your pants are already snug. If you have a fuller 'bottom', start with larger pants would be best.  These pants are about 1 size too big for me.)

Step 2: Cut Legs Off of Pants

There are two ways you can do this:

-Use a pair of shorts that you already have and mark the length with chalk


-Stand in the mirror with your pants on inside out and mark the length you want the shorts part of your overalls to be with chalk.

After you have the desired length marked, use a ruler to mark one inch below your desired length and draw a line. This will be what is called seam allowance. Seam allowance gives you a little bit more fabric for your hem, otherwise your shorts will come out shorter than you planned.

Cut on the line you marked for seam allowance or a little below (It doesn't hurt to have too much seam allowance, but too little is a problem.)

Step 3: Hem the Bottom of Shorts

To hem your shorts, you first have to fold the cut end of your shorts up a 1/2 inch. Use an iron to hold the crease.  Then, you fold another 1/2 inch without folding above your marked seam allowance line.  Iron the hem again and add pins to hold the hem in place as you sew.

I recommend back stitching, which is when you overlap your stitches by going forward and backward so the stitches don't unravel when you wash your clothes. I backstitch at the beginning and end of each stitch.

Set the shorts aside. You will work with them again in a little while.

Step 4: Making the Top Part of the Overalls

You should have two pant legs left after making the shorts. Take your seam ripper and open up one of the sides on both pant legs. Once both pants legs have been opened, use a ruler to measure about 4 inches from the top of the open pant legs.

To make the front part of the overalls:
On one of the pants legs, draw a trapezoid-like shape with proportions you choose (This means that your trapezoid shape is based on your body type and personal preference.) Use a ruler and chalk to draw an inch- thick border with seam allowance for your hem. You want the bottom of your trapezoid shape to match the width of the front of your shorts. This way, your overalls will look like ones that are sold in stores. Cut out and hem, like was done on the bottom of the shorts.

To make the back:
On the other pant leg, use chalk to draw a shape like the back of a racerback tee. It should be as long as the front, but more narrow. (You can use a racerback tee to get the top width right, the bottom width is up to you).  Make sure to draw an inch border for your hem. Cut it out and hem.

Turn your shorts inside out. Pin the front piece upside down and on the wrong side to the front of the shorts. Use the middle seam in the top pieces to help you pin them properly. Do the same on the back of the shorts with the back piece. If you pinned horizontally, you will have to take them out as you sew. Placing your pin vertically allows the sewing machine to go over the pins. Sew around the entire waistline. Try to make the stitch as even as possible.

Step 5: Making Straps

With the leftover fabric, cut out two strips about 5 inches wide and 19.5 inches (long). If this length is too long for you, pin the strap to the back of the overalls and then put them on. Pull the straps to the front and mark where they'll connect to the front. Take the overalls off.

After unpinning the straps, cut them about two inches below the line you marked. Make sure both straps are even. Fold the straps in half with the wrong sides facing outward and sew along the edge. You'll end up with a tube that you'll turn inside out. Iron them flat with the seam in the center of one side.

Pin the straps so they're even with back part of the overalls with the seam facing outward. Sew them to the back of your overalls and fold them upward and sew them again.

Step 6: Make a Pocket

With the rest of the leftover fabric, draw a large square. Then, draw two lines on the bottom two corners, making the square more of a pentagon-like shape. Draw a 1 inch border around the pentagon for seam allowance.  Fold the top under and sew. Sew the rest of the pocket on with the seam allowance folded underneath. Optional: For a more professional look, add a second stitch about a 1/4 inch away from the first stitch.

Step 7: How to Make Matching Buttons

Cut out two fabric squares that are large enough to completely cover your buttons. Round the squares by cutting off the corners. Thread a needle and tie a knot at the end. Sew a baste stitch in a complete around the outside edge of the fabric. Place your button in the center and gather the fabric by pulling the thread tightly. Continue sewing through the back of the fabric until the button is tightly wrapped. Do not to cover the the button loop in the back. Tie another knot to secure the stitches when you are done. Cut off excess thread.

Step 8: Making the Buttonholes

On the loose end of the straps, cut off any excess about a 1/2 inch past where you'll attach your buttons. Fold the raw ends of the straps inward and sew them closed.  Then draw a rectangle big enough for your buttons to snugly fit through. Make sure that the rectangles are even (you see what happens when they're not :P).  Its better for the buttonholes to be a little too small for the button because they will get stretched over time.

Sew a zigzag stitch over the rectangles you drew. Go over each rectangle several times until you cannot see your markings.  Use a seam ripper or sharp pair of scissors to cut out the center of the rectangles, making sure not to go cut the stitch.

Step 9: Attaching the Buttons

Sew the buttons in either corner on the front of the overalls.  This is where you want the strap to connect, by first, sewing the button to the overalls. Now that the button is attached, I like to continue sewing to make sure the button is secure.

TIP: Use your ruler to measure the desired distance (from the end and the top of the overall top) to be sure the buttons are evenly spaced.

Step 10: Rock Those Overalls!

You are all done! Now, strut your stuff on the world's runways and look great doing it! I'm adding pictures of other outfits I've made in the last few days.

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