Refashion 101 - Turn Pants Into A Skirt (Basic)

4:01 PM

This is a 1 hour project.  Beginning sewers can make this skirt in about 1 hour.  Mid range sewers can make this project in 30-15 minutes.  Advanced sewers can make this project in about 20 minutes.

Note:  for best results, read this tutorial all the way through before you begin this project.

There are a couple of ways to turn an old pair of pants into a skirt and this is the most basic method.  This method assumes that the pant material is stretchy and does not require a slit, or requires an open slit.  Scroll to the bottom for more on slits.
For this project you will need:  
1 pair of pants
straight pins
matching thread
sewing machine
ruler or a straight edge (optional)
contrasting fabric (optional)

For this project I used an old pair of knit pants.  If you're using fabric that wrinkles easily I suggest that you press the pants before you start.  It makes everything easier.

Basic pair of pants

Put on the pants and determine how long you'd like your skirt to be.  Pin the pants approximately 2 inches below the desired length.  You can always make the skirt shorter later.

Pin the pants at the desired length
I wanted a knee length skirt so I placed a pin a new inches below my knee.

Lay the pants flat

Take off the pants.  Lay them as flat at possible with the pant legs together. 

Cut just below the pin

Cut straight across just below the pin.  (Use a ruler or straight edge if it helps).  I just eyeballed it.

Next cut along the inseam of the pants.  The inseam if the stitching that runs on the inside of the legs.  Cut up one side of the pants, across the crotch and down the other leg. 

Cut here
  Once you cut the inseam lay the pants out flat - see picture. 

The butt of the pants is on the left.  The zipper is on the right.


Starting just below the zipper, cut the pants into a rectangle (pictured below).  You will only cut a little fabric from the zipper side.

Cut pants into a rectangle.

Turn the skirt inside out and stitch the front and back seams.

No slit (pencil) skirt
To make a slit, don't sew all the way to the bottom of the pants.
Back Slit
Front Slit

Once sewn, turn the skirt on the right side and try it on. 


If you created a slit, fold back the slit fabric and stitch in place.

Hem your skirt to the desired length.

I had some old fabric from a sun dress so I embellished my skirt with stripes.

Old fabric

A Word About Skirt Slits

There are all kinds of slits.  You can easily make a front, back or side open slit in this basic skirt.

An open slit is the easiest slit to make.

Open Slit
In later tutorials we will cover how to make kick pleats.

Kick pleat
If you're feeling really adventurous you could even try a contrasting kick pleat.

Contrasting kick pleat

Start with your donation pile.  Think about that pile of clothes that you been meaning to donate to the local charity shop.  Grab a pair or pants from that pile and see if you can't turn them into a cute skirt!

There's a second blog post on this topic featuring tips and tricks - It's Right HERE!

Click HERE to see my other ReFashion projects!

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  1. :):) Thank you for sharing this!!

  2. Thank you. I am wearing a pair of sweatpants that I will try now. Very easy to follow tutorial!

  3. I used to do this many years ago but forgot how. Thanks a lot for the reminder

  4. Thank you I would've had my Mother or sister do this for me but they both have passed recently. This really help me and brought comfort as well

  5. Thank you I would've had my Mother or sister do this for me but they both have passed recently. This really help me and brought comfort as well

  6. Thank you so much! You explained this very good! I actually think I can do it!😉

    1. It's really rather easy. Once you do it once you'll be turning all of your old pants into skirts!!! If you send me a pic of the completed project i'll add it to this blog! Happy sewing!