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Re-purposing: Boy Pants into Shorts (with added Pocket)

We all know it’s a bit easier to come up with girl clothing ideas and revisions.

It’s those darn dresses and skirts.  They come together so fast and simple….and they’re frilly and cutesy and addicting to make.


So, when a boy idea comes to mind, I have to jump all over it.

(I have another boy shorts idea coming soon.)


I was about to give away some of my little boy’s pants, because they were too short…..but decided to chop them off instead.

(Isn’t it funny how kid pants fit in the waist for like 2 years…..but they outgrow the length in like 3 months?  Kids don’t grow like weeds, they sprout up faster than weeds.)


So here are those old pants, turned into shorts…….with a little pocket on one leg.



Now this little nut has a new pair of shorts for the hot summer months.  And they cost nothing……..perfect.



I also added a few rows of zig-zag stitches here and there……..just for a more rugged look.  Use them or not.

(I’m sure my mom [hi mom!] is disgusted that I’m trying to make something look more rugged.  She doesn’t get the raw edge look either.  Oh, generations.  Funny how fast things change.  Hmmmmmm……I’ll probably hate rugged too in another year or so.  Ha.)



What a perfect way to use up some old pants.



And a perfect way to give my little dude a new look.



Want to alter your own boy pants?

To begin, find an old pair of pants that are too short for your little guy (or nephew/grandson/neighbor).


Then cut off both pant legs, about an inch longer than the length you’d like them to be.



Next, serge or zig-zag those raw edges.



Then fold under the bottom edge towards the inside and iron flat.



Now, sew in place with two seams or use your double needle for a nice even look. (More on the double needle here.)



Now, grab your leftover pant leg that you cut off, and cut out a nice sized square for the main pocket piece.  I made mine the same exact width as the leftover pant leg and then just as tall.  I kept the bottom hem of the pant leg for my pant leg……but you don’t have to (It makes it harder to have too much bulk for the big pleat, so you may want to cut it off if it’s a thick hem.)



Now, serge or zig-zag the raw edges.  Fold over the top edge a 1/4 inch and then sew in place.




Now make a pleat along the length of the square, like shown below.  Also, fold under the the side edges a 1/4 inch and iron everything nice and flat.



Next, cut another piece out of the leftover pant leg (about a 1/3 of the height of the pocket), to make a pocket flap.  I made mine wide than my actual pocket, but that’s up to you.  I also used the pant leg hem again to save me on hemming for the pocket.  Serge the side seams and fold under a 1/4 inch.




Sew the side edges in place and then serge or zig-zag along the top edge.



Next, attach a piece of velcro to each piece…



Now, attach the pocket to the front pant leg with pins.  It also helped to pin the pleats closed while sewing, so they would stay in place.  Sew the pocket in place along the bottom and sides.



Lastly, attach the pocket flap to the pants, right above the pocket, with right sides together.  Sew near the bottom edge of the flap.



Then fold the flap down and sew 2 seams near the top edge of the flap, keeping the flap in place.  Use your double needle again to create even seams.



And to finish off the pants, I added little zig-zags in random places on the pants.  Just for fun.



And that’s it. All done.


From old to new.

My favorite.




Ashley Johnston

Administrator 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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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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