How to Easily Make a Dress From Pants in 5 Simple Steps

Pam Oduor
by Pam Oduor
6 Materials
2 Hours

If you’ve been looking for DIY dress ideas, check this out! I found these pants for a super low price and made an adorable DIY summer dress to wear. Let me show you how to make a dress from pants. I hope this inspires you to make and sew extra-large pants into a dress for yourself!

Tools and materials:

  • Extra-large pants
  • Measuring tape/ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Marking or tailor’s chalk
  • Pins
Extra-large pants before the dress DIY

1. Take measurements

This is an important step that helps me know how much fabric I need. 

Turning pants into a dress

I will need these measurements: bust, waist, and hips. Then, I need the top of the bust to the waist, the waist to the hip measurement, as well as the length from the waist down.  

My bust is 36 inches, my waist is 27.5 inches, and my hips are 40 inches. This means my dress must fit across these measurements, plus have at least ½ an inch or more for seam allowance.

I measured from the top of my bust to my waist as 12 inches, and waist to hip as 9 inches. Your measurements may be similar or not, but they are really important to get before you start cutting!

Making the DIY dress pattern

2. Make the pattern

Fold the pants in half lengthwise and pull the crotch out as far as possible. Draw a straight line across the top at the widest part of the pulled-out crotch.

Cutting the pants at the crotch line

Cut across the line.

The fabric I’m using is a stretchy sort of seersucker. It has beautifully sewn seams so I’m keeping these.

Cutting the inner seams of the pants

Cut the inner seams of the legs which are sewn wider for the crotch area, keeping the straight outer side seams intact.

Placing the front and back sides together

You should have two pieces with a narrow top and a bit of a flare on the bottom. Lay the front and back right sides together. 

Folding the fabric pieces lengthwise

Fold them in half lengthwise, with the hem of the pants at the very top. 

Measuring the bust size on the pants

My bust is 36 inches, so my top measurement on these folds should be at least 9 inches at the hem line.

Marking the waist and hip measurements

Measure the waist and hip measurements, divide by 4, and add ½ an inch of seam allowance all around. Mark the curve from the waist to the hips.

Cutting out the fabric to the measurements

Trim according to the measurements. 

Pinning the DIY dress ready to sew

3. Sew up the dress

Pin and then sew up the side seams using a straight stitch. 

Trying on the DIY dress to check the fit

I tried it on to see the fit and realized I needed to take it in a bit at the top to make it fit better.

Taking measurements for the DIY dress straps

4. Make the straps

You need to make straps to hold the dress up properly. Measure the length over your shoulders. Using the leftover fabric, I measured two 14-inch long by 1½-inch wide strips. 

Pinning and sewing the DIY dress straps

Fold the strips in thirds so the right sides are inside: fold in half way, then fold the other half in halfway, and then fold the strip over all the way along the entire length of the strip. Do not sew the short ends. Pin in place and sew with a straight stitch. 

Pinning the straps onto the dress for sewing

5. Finish the dress

Mark the shoulder area for the straps. Sew the spaghetti straps onto the wrong side of the dress. 

Hemming the bottom of the dress

Double fold the hem, pin in place, and sew with a straight stitch.

How to turn pants into a dress

This dress made from pants is done!

How to make a dress from pants

How to make a dress from pants tutorial

I’m so thrilled with how it came out! I hope this helped teach you how to turn pants into a dress. I love this DIY summer dress that cost so little and looks so cute! Let me know in the comments what you think and if you’re planning to make a dress out of pants!

Suggested materials:
  • Extra-large pants
  • Measuring tape/ruler
  • Scissors
See all materials

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