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Little Boy Jeans: Refashion (with UK flag)


I love little boys. 


And I love making them projects. 


I know, I know……..they are harder to make things for. 

But I always get my brain thinking about boy projects around the change of the seasons. 


So when I saw some cute little flag pants at Baby Gap a few weeks ago (while shopping their end of summer sales for next years clothing stockpile), I quickly snapped a picture with my phone and decided to make some for my little boy.  Sorry Gap, I wasn’t going to pay you to cut up jean scraps and sew them back together.  Some boy clothes are tricky to make, yes, but using up old scraps to spruce up some boy pants?  No problem.  I can do that.


So, these pants are no longer available online……so I couldn’t find a good picture and link to show you.  So, (sigh), here’s my quick little cell phone picture I took a few weeks ago.  Just to give you an idea of the pants I saw hanging on the rack as I was browsing the store.  (And just for the record, I do buy my kids clothing too.  I don’t make every single thing.  In fact, I will buy up the whole store if the price is right.  I love sales and I love a good bargain.  But if something is overpriced and I think I can just make it………that’s when I warm up my sewing machine.   Just wanted to make it clear that I don’t spend hours making all of the clothing for 3 small children.  Eeek!)



Anyway, the above visit to Baby Gap is where the idea came from to make these.  And haha, I’m not British…..but I agree with Gap.  The shape of their flag (hello UK!) makes a great visual shape for boy’s pants.



Nothing too complicated……but definitely a cute way to perk up some old jeans.



And because these were hand-me-down jeans from a friend and I used old jean scraps from my stash…..

………these pants cost me nothing.  Kinda perfect.



He loves it when I make something for him.




Would you like to make your own UK flag jeans?


Before we get started…….I made these pants using a pair of 3T size jeans.  If you are going to use pants any smaller (or a narrow leg style), it may be really difficult to maneuver the pant leg under the sewing machine needle.  Try fitting the pant leg under the needle and see if you can move it around bit by bit (see pics below), before cutting into your jeans.  If it doesn’t fit……try unpicking the side seam of the pant leg and then attach the flag with the opened up leg.  Then sew the leg back together when you’re done.


Oh, and I just used a regular old standard needle.  The denim scraps I used weren’t terribly thick.  But if yours are, and you only have your standard needle, just sew slowly.



Start by cutting a long rectangle down the front leg of a pair of jeans (don’t cut the pocket).  I started the top of the rectangle right about even with the crotch and the bottom a little lower than the knee.  And you want to leave enough space on both sides of the rectangle so that you can attach the flag without running into the side seams of the pant legs.  (The placement of the flag will depend on the size pants you are using.)



Then I dug into my jean fabric scraps and cut out a rectangle that was about 3/4 of an inch bigger on all sides.  (The original rectangle is on the left.)



Then I cut strips to make an ‘X’ on the front.  I needed a wide strip and then a narrow strip to go on top.  The wide strip was just the denim face down and the narrow strip was the denim face up.



Sew the wide strip down first (face down), sewing about a 1/8 – 1/4 inch from the edge on both long edges.  Then place the narrow strip on top (face up), sewing along both edges too.  So both parts of the ‘X’ down the same way.





Then sew a 2-part strip going horizontally and then another one vertically.



Trim off any extras along each edge.  Then slide the flag inside of the pant leg and center it in the opening.  Pin in place really well.  (I rolled up the pant leg because it was easier to keep it out of the way.  Also, pin the pocket out of the way so you don’t sew through it.)



Here’s the tricky part.  Slide the opening of the pants onto the sewing machine, making sure the back side of the pants are underneath the arm of the sewing machine.  (This is why tiny baby pants would be too hard.  They probably won’t fit on the arm of the sewing machine.)  Start sewing right along the upper edge of the flag, an 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the rectangle opening.



When you sew all along the top of the rectangle, start sewing down the side.  You will have to sew a few inches, then adjust the pant leg so that you don’t sew through the back side.  This may get tricky but if you keep adjusting, you can do it!



Once you get to the bottom of that side, backstitch and pull the pants off the machine.  Then turn your pants and slide the back on the machine from the bottom of the pant leg opening.  Sew across the bottom of the rectangle and then back stitch and pull off.



Then slide them back on through the top of the pants again and sew down the other side of the rectangle, just like the first side.


Now, sew another seam, right next the first line…….but about an 1/8 of an inch away.



Now, wash and dry the jeans and cut off all of the frayed and loose threads. 

It roughs up all of the edges and makes it look more rugged.



And that’s it. 


Your UK flag jeans are complete. 

And ready to be worn.





Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Julie says:

    FYI – the UK flag is called the Union Jack. :) (Technically the proportions of flag and cross bits are specific but that’s probably too much information for you ;) )

  2. Jess R says:

    Just made these with a pair of my sons (3.5yo) jeans that had a hole in the knee. They look amazing and he likes them! Plus I expanded there life span- win! Thank you so much for your very descriptive tutorial- as a beginner, it made it so easy to make! Thanks again!

  3. Miranda says:

    Thanks for this great idea! I have just done it with my son’s jeans to mend a holey knee (again!). I did undo the side seam as they were a slimmer fit. And it looks great EXCEPT that I did the cross the wrong way – diagonals over verticals – so it’s not an authentic British flag! Aargh!

  4. Kelley says:

    I have to say this is how I will be patching some of my son’s jeans. He puts holes in the knees of almost every pair of pants. I have collected the ones I haven’t fixed, so I will have some for scraps and fixing. I am super excited about this tutorial. Makes me wonder what else I can do for patches with jean material…. :)

  5. Heidi says:

    I LOVE this! My teenaged daughter is OBSESSED with Dr. Who, the BBC hit series about a British doctor who travels through time on various adventures. Jeans for girls are SOOOO expensive and when she got a hole in the knee of one of her few pairs, I didn’t know what to do that wouldn’t look “lame”. I did a little search on the internet and when I saw this, I knew she would go crazy! And I was right! She said that all of her friends would be so “jelly” (teen for jealous) of her totally unique jeans! Score one for Mom! Thanks for the great idea!

  6. Bronwyn says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! My son had a hole in his jeans, and I patched it with a flag design just like yours:
    as there was already a hole, I didn’t do the cutout – just went over it. The I let down the pants so they would fit him for a little while longer (after all the effort, he wasn’t just going to wear them once!), so now there are crazy stripes on the bottom (where they have been let down).

  7. Lisa says:

    Awesome….and hi from the UK! I’ll definitely be making some of these for my little dude…thanks for sharing! :D

  8. Kim says:

    Thanks for this.

    I just bought these jeans. I don’t usually buy from BabyGap because they are overpriced, but thought these jeans were too cute to pass up. Tried them on my boy and they are several inches too long for him (and he’s tall). So I’m returning them and think I will use an old pair of jeans and try your method.

    That means these jeans will def. fit and I can buy 2-3 pair of new, fitting jeans for the same price that this one pair cost at the gap.

  9. daniela says:

    what a cool idea!!!
    greetings from switzerland, daniela

  10. kendascrafts says:

    cool idea! I love denim refashions!

  11. ruth says:

    these are great im thinking to do the flag in pinks for my 5 year old, as we live in uk, also i would like use the idea to do the italian flag for her, thanx for this great idea.

  12. Martina says:

    Great great great job !! I have some old pants with a hole in the knees, and this will be perfect for practising my sewing… and my two kids will be happy !! Thanks for sharing.

  13. kate says:

    CUTE idea! Last spring I posted a tutorial on my tiny blog about patching the holes in my son’s jeans (and making them kinda stylish)- this take that idea to a whole new level!!!! LOVE it!!! So I really don’t have to wait until there is a hole to style up the pants…hmmmm! You’ve got me really thinking now! : )

    link to that post in case you were interested:

  14. janice says:

    OK my 18 year old daughter has a pair of jeans with a hole in the same area, and they drive her dad nuts! I’m going to have to see if we can do this to her jeans. My 20 year old thinks this is a great idea.

  15. Mary says:

    Those are too cute. My little guy is only 7 weeks and I am not talented enough to sew.

  16. jen says:

    I LOVE THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!! and will be making my girl a pair I think! (my husband is British)

  17. Sarah says:

    Love these – I should, I’m English! Although they look great on boys, I’m thinking that it would also be a great project on girls jeans. Instead of making a rectangle flag, I’ll be cutting out a heart shape. Thanks for a great tutorial!

    1. Ashley says:

      Cute idea! Let me know if you try the heart idea. :)


  18. Cortney says:

    Oh man. I am always looking for projects since I have 2 boys…. My hubby was born in England and lived there the first ten years of his life so my boys have union jacks ( sorry UK not sure if the spelling is correct on that) allover their room. Def. gotta try this…. Thanks!

  19. Beth says:

    I love the tutorial! What kind of shoes is your son wearing? They are adorable!

    1. Ashley says:

      I just mentioned above that I bought them last year at Children’s Place. I’m pretty sure they’re gone…….bummer!

  20. Michal says:

    Love the picture of him leaning against the fence! He’s too cute!

  21. Simply Complex says:

    I love those. I saw the Gap version a couple of weeks ago when I went to check out their sale (I had an additional 30% off of sale items- yay!) and I got a ton of stuff for this fall and next year! The boy stuff was slim pickins but I landed an awesome jacket, some skirts, shoes, and shirts for my baby girl. I just LOVE when I can get things for under $4 per item. That’s better than wal-mart and many second hand stores and the quality is wonderful.

    Anyway, love the pants.

    1. Ashley says:

      Oooooh, see? I love that! I can’t think of anything more fun to shop for than kid clothes too! You scored! :)

  22. Abby B says:

    This would be a great idea for patching jeans for adults too! I don’t have any baby stuff to cute-ify, but I bet this would look good over some knee holes in my older jeans.

  23. Heather B says:

    I love this! this would be awesome for those spot stains that I can’t get out I can just cut it out and cover it up! Yay! Thank you! Also, I know this is a silly question but I love LOVE love his shoes! where did you get those! I need some for my little guy…he has such chubby little feet and I think those would fit great! thanks :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Aren’t they cute?? And kind of a bummer but I actually bought them for a ridiculously cheap price last year at Children’s Place. Gosh, I love a sale! So I’m pretty sure they’re gone by now. But who knows, they may have something cute right now. Good luck!

  24. Sunni @ Love Affair with my Brother says:

    Wow! Really cute. I like to fashion-hack overpriced kids clothes, too!

  25. Kimberly @ The Brown Eyes Have It says:

    Great idea! Just like Shyla said, I’m going to have to use this (in a month or so) when my boys have worn out their knees already.

  26. Shyla says:

    That is an awesome way to cover a hole in the jeans. My son gets holes in his all the time. Thanks for this post I will have to make some of these up to repair his jeans!

  27. Talia says:

    I LOVE this :) like super love this!! However, I’ve never actually learned how to sew with a machine :( and I’m guessing this can’t be done with just a simple needle and thread ?! Because, i’m so sewing machine challenged.. i’m afraid to use one :( If anyone has any tips on how I can do this for my lil guy with just a needle and thread please with sugar sprinkles let me know :) & if anyone knows of any youtube videos that show how to use a sewing machine for beginners, let me know!!* Thanks so much lovelys<3

    1. Ashley says:

      Hmmmm……I guess you could do it by hand if you were taking really small stitches with your needle and thread. it probably won’t be as sturdy and you know how boys are rough on their clothes. But, get going on that sewing machine. Just begin by sewing lines on plain pieces of fabric. You just need to gain a little confidence. Draw lines on fabric and see if you can stay on the line. Then start playing around with basic stitches and such. You may really surprise yourself and may become really good, really quickly. But you wont even know unless you just give it a try. :)


    2. Marcia says:

      There are lots of great videos on that you may find useful. But if you’re going to sew it by hand, I would recommend using a backstitch with a double thickness of thread. You can always search “how to sew a backstitch.” Ashley gave great advice…as usual! I truly wish you the best!

    3. Marcia says:

      Oops, I meant to say search on Google or YouTube.

    4. Marcia says:

      Nancy (LOVE her) just completed a series called “Sewing A to Z”…here’s a link.

      I promise…that’s my last comment. I just really want you to gain the confidence to begin using your machine.

  28. Beth says:

    Very awesome! I need to try this when my little guy gets a bit bigger.

  29. Shauna says:

    I love it! As soon as I saw these pants at the GAP (which I frequent) I knew I would totally do this to patch the holes in the knees of a couple jeans. It is such a perfect fix. You must have read my mind!

  30. Desperate Mom says:

    These are great! Rather than cutting out the rectangle, I think I might just make the patch and sew it on.

    1. Ashley says:

      That would totally work too!

    2. Jenn says:

      Yeah, I was actually wondering why you didn’t just sew it on like a patch (I’d be worried I’d totally muck up the cutting out of the rectangle)…but then when I saw the finished product, I saw that you did it for that “roughed-up” look. And it totally worked!!! So now it makes perfect sense why you cut out the rectangle. But still, for my project…methinks I’ll just do the patch. I’m too nervous I’ll royally mess up the cutout! LOL

      You are awesome, by the way!! I love how you find inspiration everywhere! Thanks for sharing it all with us less-creative types!

      Smiles, Jenn

  31. Janny says:

    These are so cute! Such an easy way to fix up an old pair of pants

  32. Charley says:

    I like yours better anyway :-)

  33. Amber says:

    All I have to say is thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You just saved two little boys, one girl and a wack of knee worn out jeans!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Yes! I am so excited to fix lots of worn out knees! I have 3 boys so you can only imagine. Finger’s crossed that my baby girl will be less rough!

  34. Linda says:

    I love these! Thanks for the idea.

  35. Hannah says:

    I LOVE this idea! I have some jean scraps laying around that I’ve been saving for a cute project and I think I just found it :)

  36. Rachel says:

    Cute idea! I’m thinking to make it a little easier to sew you could undo the inside seam of the pant leg then just sew it back up when you are done. I do that when I patch my husbands work pants which works well, its a little extra work but easier for sewing the patch on.

    1. Ashley says:

      Yes, that would work great…..especially on the smaller sized jeans. Thanks!

  37. Allison @ All for the Boys says:

    Love this – so cute! I still haven’t sewn jeans but I may have to give it a try!

  38. Cherelle says:

    Watch out Gap! I like your better :-)

  39. Katrine says:

    So cute! I pinned it on pinterest!

  40. CREATIVE MIND says:

    Waooooo…this is really amazing! awesome tutorial & your boy is Rocking with smart jeans :)

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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