Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweat Pants To Jeweled Skirt - Tutorial

Here it is the long awaited sweat pants makeover.  The sweat pants are part of the set I made the jacket from, which I shared with you at he end of June.  The pants were warm and soft but had a really odd fit to them so I never wore them much but hung onto them because I loved the color which went with a lot of my fall clothing.  After some creative thought I decided to make a mid-calf length skirt to wear with my knee length suede boots.  If you ever had a pair of pants or slacks and thought they would look great as a skirt this is the tutorial for you.  This is a long one with lots of how to photos, enjoy.

These are the pants before I went to work on them, nothing special.

The first thing I did was to cut the inseam along the original stitching. I cut each leg up the seam from the cuff to where the two legs joined each other in the middle. Next I very carefully cut the remaining stitching at the crotch to release the center.

Now I had two flat pieces with elastic at the waist and the curves of the front and back sections still sewn together. Now came the fun part.

There was a lot of room in the seat of the pants (back) so the first thing I did was to draw out a straighter line from just below the elastic waist to just past the seat of the pants leaving just a bit of curve. I pinned along the line then tried it on inside out so I would not get stuck by the long pins I like to use.

Next was the front side of the pants, way too much fabric to get a flat front on the skirt so I pinned out the excess using the same method of drawing a line from the waist to the leg easing out the overage.  I tried it on several times making adjustments to the pins before stitching it up.

At this point the fabric went onto my dress form so I could see how it draped; you will notice there is now what looks like shark fins on each side of the stitching.  When I was sure of the fit I cut off each of the fins creating a long tube of fabric ready for me to hem.

I knew I wanted a longer skirt to wear with boots during the fall and winter months so I pinned what I thought would make a good hem length.  Because they were originally tapered pants the skirt was pretty narrow right about knee length which called for a V/vent in the back of the skirt.  I pulled out my seam ripper and opened up the back to create the vent or V shape to allow for movement.  I pressed up the seam allowance then pinned it into place.

Now it was time to hem my skirt, I did not need to do a lot of pressing and turn under on the skirt because I was working with knit/fleece which does not ravel so a simple turn under and stitch was all I needed to do. I did want decorative stitching to match my jacket which was a double row of top stitching. To get this look I stitched about a fourth of an inch from the edge then one fourth of an inch from that creating a pretty tailored hem.

Stitching up the vent was the final step in the creation of my skirt; I used a simple single straight stitch to finish it up, all done.

My pants turned shirt is finished and ready to wear with its matching jacket. I can wear it with the line down the front or turn it and have the vent down one side.  If I still had fantastic legs I could pull it up and wear it as a mini dress with the jacket or I could have left the skirt longer to make it a strapless dress, so many options.

It is shown here as the mini dress with the jacket and the full length skirt with the jacket.

And finally a shot of it blinged out with some crystal bow jewels sewn to the bottom of the skirt.

The before and after shots really showcase what you can do when you re-purpose unused clothing into clothing you can wear again, all with just a few simple changes.

Thanks for letting me share my sweat pants to skirt makeover with you, I had a great time doing it, I hope it encourages you to give re-purposing/upcycling a try with some of your old clothing.  My sweat suit makeover isn’t complete until I use up all the rest of the pieces leftover from the skirt and the jacket, you never know what those will become but I can guarantee you they will be re-purposed in the very near future, keep watching for them.
See you soon.


You might also like:

Sweatshirt to Jeweled Jacket - Tutorial


  1. Awesome job, and they look even better in person. :)
    The bling is just the right touch to this great repurposed project, too.

    1. Repurposed clothing increases the number of new garments in your closet without increasing your budget. Try something simple, it is lots of fun to see what you can do.


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