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Tutorial: 1 Pants=2 shorts

It's been a while since I refashioned any of my clothes. I do have a big pile waiting to be transformed into something new, but I neither find the inspiration for them or the right time or mood. A few days ago, though, I looked at this pair of pants my mom gave me not long ago, and thought This is it!

I was wanting a new pair of grey shorts for myself, so I just had to cut them and sew the seams.

But the baby shorts I did for my little one was what I liked the most from this refashion. I just loved them and she looks so pretty in them. 

Here's the before picture of the pants. Unfortunately I ain't got a picture of the bottom of the pants, which was what I liked less about it. 
To make those, I've put them on and marked how long I wanted them to be.

From that mark I measured until the bottom. Once I had the measurement done, I unpinned it and turned the pants inside out. I measured the same on the wrong side, then added a 2cm seam.

Sew it. And it's done. 

Then, with the leftovers from one leg only, I made G.'s shorts. Follow me to know how. 
First thing you have to make is find a pattern for your shorts. Or copy them from an existing shorts from your kids. That's exactly what I did. I mixed the pattern from two of her shorts. Well, from one of them I only copied the pockets, since they were way easier. Here, I found a nice way to make your own patterns, if you're interested. That's not how I do it though.

For my shorts, the patterns needed include:
for the grey fabric
2 front pieces
2 back pieces
1 little rectangle (sizes will follow along)
1 waist band  (sizes will follow along)
for the flower fabric
2 pockets
1 waist band (sizes will follow along)

Here's how I made the pocket pattern. Cut a paper rectangle of 19cm x 10cm. Use the front piece pattern to put over the rectangle you just created and copy the curve of the pocket into it. I have two lines in mine, but you just need to copy the first one (I was thinking about doing something different first but then changed my mind). Cut that little part off and fold the rectangle in the middle in half. 

To cut your pocket, use a different fabric. I chosed a pretty flowerish one. Fold the fabric, put the pattern on top, also folded. Draw a line all around. 

Open you pattern, and with the cut part on top draw the pocket line. Once again, just the first one.

Cut it off. You can see I left seam allowances here, but I cut them later, when I realised I didn't need them actually. The one seam you'll want to have here is the one on the bottom. I made mine 1cm only. Note: don't forget you want to have oposite pockets, so cut one for the left and one for the right. 

Now, let's forget our pockets for a while and move into the rest of the shorts. Pin your darts. First I thought about making two at each side, front and back, but then I changed my mind - that happens a lot to me while creating something. So that's the reason why you might see my pieces with two darts pinned. I only made one after all. Here's how it looked like:

This is how I first thought about:

So, let's go on with the tutorial. Add the flower fabric to the front and back pieces of the shorts, by pinning them together and then sewing it on your machine. Right sides together of course.

Also fold the 11cm x 6cm in half and baste one bottom and the side contrary to the fold. Here's what you'll end up with:

Let's get back to our pockets now. Put the flower fabric you've cut before, right sides together with the front piece. Pin and sew it.

 After sewing, make small cuts on the round lines to help turning around.

 Which you will do next. Pin and sew a line at about 0,3cm from the edges.

Press it with your iron, so it will look better later. Turn it to the wrong side, you'll then fold the flower fabric in half, and pin it.

Baste the bottom seam, use a 0,50cm allowance and sew, like you see in the picture.

Iron press the seams and pockets. Also the darts. You can also mark how long you want your darts to be right now. And sew them in place. Mine were 6cm long.

In this picture, I am showing the front pieces, wrong sides together. You'll sew a small line from the pin to my finger.

Sew back pieces together also. Press seams open like you see in the picture. You will also press the little rectangle.

Sew the small rectangle to the right side of the front pieces. This will be where we'll add our brackets. 

After the last step above, I closed my opening with pins. Just to have it in place. I then, sew a small, round shaped line from the pin I have my finger on, to the other pin a little above.

I made a little mistake here when tracing my pattern. I sould have left some more fabric on the left side, but I didn't so, here's a little cheating. Separate the two pieces again, and sew a straight line from the end of the previous seam to the top. This will be decorative. It will look like this:

It's time to sew front and back pieces, wrong sides together. Baste the seams.
 Press your side and middlecseams open like you see in the picture:

Time to sew the seams now. Fold a 0,50cm seam and iron it.

Fold again over the first fold. Pin it.

Fold the first line you've drawn right after the seam that puts together the different fabrics. Wrong sides together, and press it. 

This is the wrong side of the pants that you see in the next picture. Pin the seam you have folded before, into the grey fabric. Make a seam as close as you'd like to the edge. 

And then fold from the inside to the outside again, in the line where the two fabrics get together. This isn't very easy for me to explain, but I hope you've understood. Press it. 

To make sure, our seams will stay in place, we have to sew it on both sides and middle. 

Our shorts are almost ready. We need to add a waist band now. Measure the wearer's waist and cut a piece of the grey fabric, with that measurement (long) x 5cm. And one of the flower fabric, with measurement (long) x 4cm. Sew both wrong sides together. Then turn to the right side, put the edges together and press it with your iron. 
Turn it to the wrong side again, and sew both edges (the small ones), then cut it a little at each side, like in the picture, to give it a better finish when you turn it to the right side. 

Now, pin the waist band to the shorts, grey fabrics together on the right side. Baste it all around and sew it.

Then pin it on the right side, make sure the seam allowance on the inside is turned down. Press it and sew a seam on the right side, just above the seam you've done before.

If you want to add a tag, it's time to do it now. Mine isn't really centered, I didn't worry too much about that. I love my tag, it was created by V. (my boyfriend). My symbol is my own name. Estrela means Star... 

Sew the brackets in place (or use a machine to attach them if you have one).

And you're done! Here's the final project. Front of the shorts:

And back of the shorts.

I hope my tutorial was helpful. Sometimes I am afraid I don't explain myself quite good enough, so I am now asking for your suggestions, on how I could make it better. I'd love to see your creations, if you use my tutorial. 


  1. what a wonderfully put together tutorial. Well done. The shorts are adorable!

  2. Hi Magda, I'm Connie @, your new GF friend. Stop by and be my friend, too.
    Love the shorts, they are adorable. Thanks for sharing.

  3. So cute! Love the contrast fabric - thanks for taking the time to share this!

  4. Love the baby shorts with the contrasting trim!

  5. Awesome tutorial! Love how cute those turned out!

  6. You did such a good job and I understand the tutorial perfectly.
    Thanks for sharing with us at Sunday Round Up
    PS I'm following you too.

  7. Those are so cute!! Great refashion!! Love it!

  8. This is such a great tutorial! Love the shorts. I am having a linky party today and would love for you to link this up to my Feature friday Linky Party.

    Danielle Blissful and Domestic

  9. I have a stack of pants someone gave me that are "petite" size, and I want to make them into capris and shorts for me for the summer! Thanks for the help with knowing what to do... and I love that you re-purposed the legs to make shorts for your daughter! Love not wasting anything!!!

  10. Thanks for linking up to Blissful and Domestic's Feature Friday Linky Party. You Rock!

    Blissful & Domestic

  11. Those are amazing! Thanks for sharing. I'm following via bloglovin' :)

    - Adele @ Mammy Made

  12. The little shorts with the contrasting pockets and cuffs are just adorable!!!

  13. These are great! Love the pockets and cuffs :)


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