Men’s Shorts to Boy’s Pants

I wanted a quick sewing project to get me back in the swing of things. My box of clothes to repurpose is overflowing, and simple repurposing projects can be so quick.

I started with a pair of corduroy shorts of my husband’s that are getting a bit worn:


Most of the fabric is in good condition and is lovely and soft from being washed so many times (another benefit of repurposing!). I went back to one of my first tutorials:

And in about an hour (not including time taken to curse at my broken serger, and then wait a week to get used to the idea of making this old school on my sewing machine…), I had a cute pair of comfy pants for my boy:

ShortsToPants After1

I seem to have some kind of congenital defect where every item of clothing I make for my kids is 1-2 sizes too big. I partly blame the fact that I wanted to use both the waist-band and bottom hem of the shorts (when you’re going to repurpose, make it as easy as possible!). I also didn’t do a good job accounting for the elastic in the waist band, so it’s bigger at the waist than I intended – hopefully they’ll fit perfectly next year (or the year after!).

Because the original shorts had an elastic waist and drawstring (that was sewn in at the back to stop it being pulled out), I had to do things a little differently from my original tutorial

I cut out the pattern, being careful not to cut through the drawstring and pinned the leg in-seam together as per the tutorial. That’s when I discovered my serger wasn’t working. I’m too lazy to unpin to finish off the edges and then re-pin. So I sewed the seam with my sewing machine and then zigzagged the two edges together (pretending that my sewing machine was a serger!).


I had a quick flick through my sewing machine manual to get the right foot for the zigzagging (my overedge foot, which has a guide for the edge of the fabric), and noticed an overcasting stitch which has a seam and overcast in one (just like a serger!):


So I gave that a go for my side seams, but because of the drawstring, I only sewed from the bottom hem up to the bottom of the waistband:



I hand-sewed the outside edge of the waistband closed:


Threaded the drawstring through:


Then hand-sewed the inside of the casing closed (being careful not to stitch through the drawstring):


Result: a cute pair of pants for my boy

(well, next year, hopefully…)

Why not finish with a before and after:


If you make your own pants from my tutorial, please let me know! And if you like it, please share with your friends/followers/fellow pinners!


  1. I have a habit of making clothes too big and elastic too loose aswell! Better than too small I suppose. They look great and very comfy. I love elastic waists for toddlers and kids! So much easier.

    1. Glad II’m not the only one! I feel like at least they get more wear out of them if they start off too big (although these ones ended up WAY too big!).

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