Wow, was this easy and fun to do! At the thrift store, I always dig through the $0.25 bin for things I can use as fabric. In there was a pair of size 42 men’s work pants. I brought them home and made this:

 I planned on just using the legs as fabric (working around seams), but once I got into it, I was able to use the existing seams! Lemme show you:

 Before, the rather large pants. I ripped apart the inside leg seams and laid the pants out flat to see what I was working with.

 As it turned out, I fit in the pants… turned upside down! I sewed up the sides, changing to a basting stitch for the zipper about 6″ from the top of one side.

Oh yeah! 😛 I was kind of stoked that it fit so well. It seriously could have been a floor-length A-line skirt, but I wanted a shorter one. Plus a 42″ hem on a floor-length skirt is kind of restricting, so I was sure I would trip all over the place. I chopped it off, added some darts on the back to make the waist fit, put in the recycled zipper from the pants’ fly, and serged the hem!

To re-use the pants’ zipper, I just ripped it out! Its reallllly sturdy. 😛

I’ll admit that even though the pants-turned-upside-down did fit me just fine, it was a little form-fitting. So to make the skirt more modest, I added a 1.5″ strip of fabric down the front to make it less tight. To cover up the weird added-fabric, I just sewed the back of the pants over it! I love the effect.

You can see the darts I put in. I need to work on my denim darts- any tips on making them lay flatter? Thankfully you can’t see them when I wear a shirt over the top. I never tuck my shirts in anyway so it doesn’t matter. 🙂

When I sewed the back of the pants onto the front (what is that called? A placket? waistband? yoke?), I just folded the edge under the hem and stitched it there to finish the raw edges.

The easy serged hem. 🙂

I really enjoyed this project! Not bad for 25 cents and eh, 2 hours? of work! 😀 And the best part is re-purposing something that otherwise would have been thrown away. Oh, and I still have about 3/4 a yard of contiguous denim from these pants that I could do something with… 😛

Would you rather cut up an old pair of jeans to make a skirt or buy new denim? Which do you do more often? Which do you think is more economical for your purposes?

28 thoughts on “|~ Man’s Pants To Skirt?”

  1. This is a really cool look! I love it! And I'm jealous of your thrift store, haha…all the ones near here are so overpriced!


  2. Ha! Excellent! Love it, Olivia! Really cute length, too! You've given me yet another section of Goodwill to rifle through: extra large mens… Think I'll get some weird looks? 😉

  3. LOVE IT!! I LOVE thrift stores! I really like the skirt, and its turned out really well, Love the detailing on the front. I'd buy an old pair of trousers anyday and reuse then go out and buy denim – it is soooo expensive!
    I really like!!
    God Bless,
    Emily Grace

  4. I LOVE your skirt. Ingenious idea, and great use of old jeans!
    About darts, have you heard of pressing your darts to one side (the opposite side from the direction you want them to go), and then pressing them the opposite direction (the direction you really want them to go)? Also, another way to make sure your darts don't have a funny point at the end, is to not backstitch at the point of the dart, and to tie a double knot (or the most secure knot you know 🙂 ).
    Hope this helps. 🙂


  5. Nice idea! It turned out really well. I like the front too! I've cut up a pair of jeans to make a few bags. One time I used one leg for the bag itself, and used the other leg to plait the handle. I think making myself a skirt out of an old pair of jeans would save a lot of steps, and look just as good if not better, so long as I can word around the thick parts without breaking lots of needles! I've done it once before but would like to try it again.


  6. Hi, I enjoy seeing how you make your skirts – they are really neat!
    In regards to darts, my Mum always taught me to stitch 3 or so stitches right along the edge of the fabric fold at the point of the dart, and then to tie a double knot before cutting the threads off.
    Maybe this will help? Not sure with heavy fabric!

  7. Love the way you have upcycled the old pants! Our local thrift store has lots of cheap stuff AND a free bin!! Always have to look there. RE: darts- A longer taper on the point might help (that mean you stitching line is somewhat curved rather than straight.

  8. Just found your blog – great work! For darts, I find that topstiching them down really makes a difference and they blend in more – I also agree with a previous poster that you should taper the point of the dart more.

  9. Very cute! I agree with the knot at the tip of the dart and to make sure it is tapered appropriately. Also, you can pound the seam with a hammer on a firm surface with bulky fabrics to reduce their bulk a bit. Experiment with scraps to make sure it will work for you. It can make a bit of a shiny spot, so you may need to put another bit of fabric between the hammer or the surface depending on which side you pound. This is how you "press" seams for leather. If you use a curved surface to pound against, and just focus your attack at the seam from the back side, it works the best.

  10. I am so looking forward to trying this. My favorite thrift store has a 25 cent rack and has always has tons of over sized men's pants. I can't wait to try this tutorial. It's so much more simple then the traditional way of turning pants into skirts. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  11. this is really adorable and so creative. I am a novice sewer, but really want to learn how to sew clothes for myself and my little girls. Something i hope to pass onto them as well. Thank you for this site.

  12. I love this, such a great idea to turn the jeans upside-down ! And using the detail on the front is genius, such a fabulous feature. Thank you for the ideas, can’t wait to try it out 😊👍

  13. So, to do this I’m figuring I need the total bottom cuff of the pants together to be the same as the diameter of my waist? Well maybe not because you added some material and then sewed on the waist band area to cover that up. Hmm. Ok then. Here goes nothing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.