Intro: DIY Pants to Sweatpants
[In the picture from viewer perspective: left=before, right=after]
This is a DIY project that will teach you how to turn regular long pants into sweatpants. :) I really wanted a pair of grey sweats to wear around, but for some reason they were just a lot more expensive in stores than the other colours they sell; I decided to alter a pair of regular grey track pants that were too big for me into sweatpants-styled hems!
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
-regular pants (mine are some cotton Nike ones)*make sure they have a bottom hem width of at least 2cm!
-needle+thread of corresponding colour
-tape+bobby pin or safety pin
-ruler, or some sort of measuring tool
-pencil (for marking stuff. If you're a perfectionist. Like me.)
-sweatpants to follow as guide
-hot glue as replacement for thread and needle. (though not recommended; this is a very basic and incredibly easy sewing project, and it is nearly effortless. Plus, it won't look very nice if you use glue anyway. :P)
Step 2: Cutting
Don't worry, you won't be cutting very much! (: Turn the bottom edge inside out; all you need to do is find a vertical seam inside the bottom of pants leg. Just snip as less as possible to open up the hem. The idea is to get the entire edge to be hollow so we can put the elastic inside.
Step 3: Inserting the Elastic Band
Now, we're going to insert a cut piece of elastic band inside the opening and pull it out through to the other end to have a sweatpant-like hem. You may use another pair of already made sweatpants to help you with measuring the circumference, depending on tight you want it to be. If you want it to be tighter, cut the elastic shorter (at least loose enough to wrap around your ankle!), and if you want it to be looser, cut the elastic longer. Make sure to leave a little extra length at the end to sew together! I ended up doing 12 inches and a little extra for each pants leg.
First, find a way to attach your elastic to a small but strong object to make it easier to pull through. I clipped a bobby pin to one end and wrapped a piece of tape around it to secure it. You may also use a safety pin for this step. After you're done doing that, sew the extra bit at the end to the opening of the hem. This is to make sure the end doesn't follow the rest of the band in and make your life a lot more difficult. Because you'd have to start over. Which is annoying. And makes your life more difficult. Of course, you can also just use a clip to make it stay there and sew it later, but that method didn't work very well for me.
Anyways, all you have to do is get the whole thing through. The easiest way I found to do this was to first push the bobby pin (which is inside) with my right hand. This will make part of the fabric scrunch up; then hold the pin with your left hand and use your right to pull the fabric flat. It's kind of hard to explain. Hopefully you understand the pictures. :\
When you're done, you'll probably end up with the beginning all smooth and the rest a scrunched up mess. Fear not! Just tug around the whole thing to even things out.
Step 4: Sewing Ends Together
We're almost done! After pulling the elastic through, find the extra little bit of ending you sewing on at the beginning of the tunnel. Pull it out and remove the bobby pin, then sew the ends together. Be careful not to sew them twisted.
If you have enough thread leftover, just sew the rest of the hem together and end it. Repeat everything on the other pants leg!
Step 5: Finish!
All done! :D This is a great project for boring inside days, and when you just need a pair of sweats. There is simply no such thing as too having many sweatpants. Hope this helped you, and enjoy!