Pants into a Skirt – a Refashion


Today I’m going to show you how to refashion pants into a skirt, in case you couldn’t tell by the title!  I had this pair of brown dress pants that never fit quite right.  They were really snug through the hips and thighs.  Rather than toss them into the giveaway pile, I decided to convert them to a skirt.  My original inspiration was this skirt I found on Pinterest.  Once I started cutting up the pants, it took a different route, as you will see!

old pantsPants into a Skirt – a Refashion

Basically you will need a decent pair of old pants, fabric to fill in, and the usual sewing paraphernalia.  The only thing I used that might not be in a basic sewing collection is the Dritz styling design ruler.  This is a very useful tool if you do any clothes sewing.  It helps during pattern making and refashioning!  I’ll show you how I used it in the tutorial.  Here’s the fabric I chose, mainly because I loved the selvage edge!

new fabric

Cutting the pants

I was a little nervous about cutting up these pants.  Even though they didn’t fit very well, I thought, what if I mess it up?  Then I thought what if it’s really awesome?  Either way, I would never know until I tried, so snip, snip went the scissors!


I cut up the inseam of the pants and I cut out the inseam, seam (?).  Maybe the picture will explain it better!

cutting inseam

Adding a kick pleat

Once I had the inseam cut out, I decided to make this a full length skirt.  That meant it really needed a kick pleat.  I will show you how to add a piece of fabric to the back to create a kick pleat.  To finish up the kick pleat, check out this tutorial over at Threads Magazine!  First I cut out two pieces of fabric at 3″ x 7 1/2″ with a 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ miter on one end.  The miter is smaller to allow for the 1/2″ seam I will be using.  You can make it longer if you prefer.

kick pleat piece

I sewed the pieces, right sides together, to the back inseam edges.  Press the seam towards the added piece.  Now you have added fabric for a kick pleat!  Just follow the tutorial mentioned above to finish it off.

kick pleat added

Here’s my finished kick pleat.

finished kick plate

Sewing the back seam

There will be a fin of sorts on the back which was useful when they were pants, not so much for a skirt.

excess fabric

Using the Dritz styling design ruler, I marked a connection from the top seam to the new raw edge.  This ruler helps add the curve I need for my behind!  Once I marked it, I pinned it, and tried it on before cutting the excess off.

cut line

Once I was satisfied with the fit, I sewed the back seam.  Make sure to align the needle with the existing seam and back stitch in the beginning.  I just used the edge of my presser foot as a guide to sew from existing seam to new seam.
sewing back seam

Adding front insert

Lay out the pants on a flat surface and adjust to get the opening in the front to the width you want.  I used muslin to make a template for my insert.  Just trace the outline with a pencil.

insert template


I added about a 1/2″ to allow for seams.

add seam

Next, I cut my fabric into strips, making sure each strip had some of the selvage edge.  I didn’t measure anything!  Using the muslin as a base, I laid out the strips until it was covered.  Overlap the edges about 1/2″ to make sure they get attached during sewing.  Then trim it up even with the muslin base.

insert finished

Sew the insert, right sides together to the front inseam edges.  I also sewed down the pockets and cut out the excess to eliminate puffiness at the sides.

sew pockets down  cut excess pocket

Okay, here it is!  My new skirt!

me in skirt

Pants into a skirt

I still need to hand sew the hem down, but what do y’all think?  I’m still unsure about the fit.  I think it’s growing on me though!

Y’all have a wonderful Wednesday and I’ll see y’all back here on Friday!  That’s our first day of school!  Exciting!






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