Cute and Easy DIY Sweatpants Tutorial

9 materials
$15
2 Hours
Easy



Today, I would like to show you how you can make your own DIY sweatpants. I’ve made sweatpants before, but I’ve learned so much more about sewing since then, and I wanted to give updated instructions so you can create the best possible version of these adorable and super comfortable sweatpants. So let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Paper (to draw pattern)
  • Pair of loose-fitting shorts
  • One yard of fleece-lined jersey fabric
  • Wide elastic
  • Eyelet kit
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Sewing machine
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Measure from waist to ankle

Take measurements

Before creating the pattern for my sweatpants, I took measurements. First I measured the length from my waist to my ankle.

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Measure ankle circumference


Then I measured the circumference of my ankle. 

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Fold shorts with the back facing out

Trace around the shorts

To create the pattern, I folded my shorts in half with the back side of the shorts facing outwards. I pulled the seam of the crotch outwards so I could trace around the curve. 

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Add a waistband

Draw a waistband

From the top edge of the pattern, I added 6 centimeters (2.5 inches) for the waistband. 

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Mark the length

Draw the length

Using the measurement I took from my waist to my ankle, I measured out the length of my sweatpants and made a mark at the bottom.

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Draw the bottom edge

Draw the width of the bottom hem

I took my ankle measurement, divided it by two, and then multiplied that number by 1.5 to determine the measurement for the bottom edge of the pattern.

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Connect the top and bottom


Then, I just connected the bottom line to the top part of the pattern with straight lines.

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Draw a straight line


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Add a cuff

Draw a cuff

At the bottom of the pattern, I added 10 centimeters (4 inches) to ensure I had enough space for an elasticized cuff.

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Fold the shorts front side facing out

Draw the front pattern

To draw the front pattern of the sweatpants, I simply folded the shorts in the opposite direction, with the front facing out, and repeated the same steps as I followed for the back pattern.

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Draw the pockets

Draw a pattern for the pockets

To draw the pattern for the pockets, I drew a 25 centimeter (10 inch) line, and then measured 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) from the bottom of the line, and from that point, drew a 13 centimeter (5 inch) line perpendicular to the first line. 

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Freehand the curved lines


Then, I freehanded the curved lines connecting the three points. 

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The pattern pieces

Cut out all the pattern pieces

I cut out all the pattern pieces--one front piece, one back piece, and one pocket piece.

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Test the stretch of the fabric

Lay out the fabric

With this kind of fabric, it’s important to know which way it stretches. Lay the fabric so the width of the pattern lays in the direction in which the fabric stretches.

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Lay the patterns on the fabric


For me, this meant that my pattern was too long to fit on the fabric, so I had to cut the waistband and the cuffs separately from the rest of the pattern. If you have the option to cut it all together, that is preferable.

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Cut the pieces from the fabric

Cut out the pieces of your pattern

I cut around my pattern pieces, leaving a one-inch seam allowance around the pattern. 

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Use one piece to cut the second


I cut two front pieces and two back pieces, flipping the first front piece over and using that as a guide to cut the second front piece, and repeating the process for the two back pieces. 

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Cut the cuffs and waistband pieces


Then I cut out four waistband pieces, and four cuff pieces, leaving a one-inch seam allowance around the pattern as I cut.

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Cut out the pocket pieces


Finally, I cut out four pockets.

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Four pocket pieces


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The front, back, cuffs, and waistbands


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Use a ballpoint needle

Use the right needle

To help retain the stretch of the fabric, I used a ballpoint needle in my sewing machine. 

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Sew the pieces together

Sew the waistband and cuffs onto the leg pieces

As I mentioned before, my fabric was not long enough, so I had to cut the waistband pieces and cuff pieces separately. The first thing I did was sew a waistband piece and cuff piece onto the top and bottom of each leg piece.

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Zigzag stitch to retain the stretch


I used a tight zigzag stitch to help retain the stretch of the fabric. 

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Sew the curved edges

Sew the pieces together along the curve

Next, I sewed the two front pieces together and two back pieces together, right sides facing, just along the curved edges. 

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How to make sweatpants

Pin and sew the pocket pieces

I measured 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) down from the waistband and pinned each pocket piece along the side edges of each leg piece, right sides facing each other.

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Sew the pocket pieces to the legs

Sew down the pocket pieces

Then I sewed the pocket pieces in place.

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Pin the side seams, including pockets

Pin and sew the side seams of the pants together

I pinned the side seams of the front and back pieces together, including the pockets. I made sure the seams of the waistbands and cuffs were lined up as I pinned, as well as the pockets. I measured 15 centimeters (6 inches) down from the top of the pockets, and left that unpinned, but pinned the two sides of the sweatpants together along the rest of the pocket seam. Then I sewed the side seams together, making sure to sew the pocket seam, as well.

 

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Top-stitch the pockets

Top-stitch around the pocket

To make sure the pocket laid flat, I top-stitched around the opening of the pocket on the front side of the sweatpants.

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Pin the inner seams

Pin and sew the inner seams

Once the outer seams and pockets were sewn together, I pinned the inner seams together, starting by matching up the crotch seams. 

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Pin the inner seams


I pinned along the entire inner seam on both sides and sewed everything down. 

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All the pattern pieces sewn together


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Cut two pieces of elastic

Cut the elastic

I cut two pieces of elastic the length of the circumference of my ankle, plus a one-inch seam allowance. I started with this thin elastic, but I recommend using a wider elastic.

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Sew the elastic in a circle

Sew the ends of the elastic together

I made a circle with the elastic and sewed the ends together with a zigzag stitch.

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Place the elastic around the cuffs

Sew the cuffs over the elastic

I placed the elastic around the cuff of my sweatpants.

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Flip the cuff up


Then I flipped the cuff up to cover the elastic.

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Sew the cuff down around the elastic


Then I sewed the cuff in place over the elastic. I folded the raw edge inward and stretched the fabric as I sewed.

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Top-stitch the cuff

Top-stitch the cuff 

Though this was not necessary for the construction of the sweatpants, I thought it looked better to top-stitch around the cuff seams.

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Mark the points for the eyelets

Place the eyelets

I made a mark 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) from the center front seam, on either side of the seam to mark where the eyelets would go.

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Cut holes


Then I made holes at the points I marked.

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Cut two small pieces of fabric


I took two small pieces of fabric, and made holes in them, as well, 5 centimeters (2 inches) apart.

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How to make drawstring sweatpants


I followed the instructions of my eyelet kit to insert the eyelets correctly.

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How to sew drawstring sweatpants

Fold and sew the waistband

Next, I folded the waistband inwards and sewed it down along the top edge of the pants.

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Cut elastic for the waistband

Cut and place the elastic

I cut a piece of elastic that fit comfortably around my waist, sewed the ends together, and placed it around the top of my sweatpants, underneath the waistband.

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Pin down the waistband

Pin and sew down the waistband

With the elastic inside, I matched up the seams and pinned the waistband down. Then I sewed the waistband down, folding the raw edge inward, and stretching the fabric as I went. 

 

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Top-stitch the waistband

Top-stitch the waistband

Once again, I top-stitched around the seam of the waistband because I thought it looked better that way. 

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Cut strips of fabric for the drawstring

Make a drawstring

I cut two long pieces of fabric for the drawstring.

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Connect the strips


I connected the strips along an angled edge. 

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Sew the long edge of the strip


Then I folded the strip in half lengthwise and stitched it closed with a zigzag stitch, leaving the ends open. 

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Turn the drawstring right side out

Turn the drawstring right side out

I attached a safety pin to one end of the drawstring and inserted it into one open end. I worked the pin through the tunnel of fabric until it came out the other side, and I was able to pull it out, pulling the fabric through with it, so the seam was hidden inside. 

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Tie a knot

Tie a knot

I tied a knot on one end of the drawstring.

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Pull the drawstring through the waistband

Pull the drawstring through the waistband

I attached a safety pin to the unknotted side of the drawstring and inserted it into one of the eyelets. Then I worked the pin through the waistband until it came out through the second eyelet. Then I knotted the second end of the drawstring. 

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How to sew sweatpants


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Drawstring sweatpants


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Back of the sweatpants


I absolutely love these new sweatpants because they were super easy to make but they do not look like DIY at all. They are super comfortable, and I’m sure I will get a ton of wear out of them. 

If you use this tutorial to make your own DIY sweatpants, I would love to see your results.



Suggested materials:

  • Paper
  • Loose-fitting shorts
  • Fleece-lined jersey fabric
See all materials

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