How to Turn a Pair of Pants Into Shorts

The Glam Pixie
by The Glam Pixie
3 Materials
10 Minutes

Hey there! I’m Jess (aka The Glam Pixie), if you like anything to do with fashion, beauty, thrifting, or decor then give my Youtube channel a follow - I’ve got lots of great content that you’ll love.I’m a huge fan of thrifting. I love the fact that it’s not only sustainable but also gives you a little bit of room to be creative and an individual. But sometimes, an item that you picked up in the store that you thought was awesome turns out to not be so great.

Tools and materials:

  • Pair of pants
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine (or a needle and thread)
DIY cuffed shorts

For instance, I picked out these really cute pants. I thought that they were adorable in the store, but I got them home and realized that not only did they not fit, but they look like grandma pants. They were just not going to work! So instead of taking them back or donating them to Good Will, I thought that I’d get some use out of them. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I took these grandma pants and turned them into adorable shorts.

Easy DIY shorts

Take the pants in and sew

The pants are too baggy on me, so I know that I want to take them in by 2 inches. I’m starting by turning them inside out, and then I’m going to take the already existing darts in the back of the pants and add a 1 inch dart on each side. With my tape measure, I’m measuring a half-inch when the material is folded - that way it’s an inch in total if you consider both sides. Sew this down on both sides.

Basic DIY shorts

Adjust the length

To turn these from pants to shorts, I need to cut straight across one of the legs, leaving a 3.5 inch inseam. To make sure that both sides are symmetrical, I’m going to fold the cut side on top of the long side, line it up, and then cut.

How to make DIY shorts

Sew up the bottom

Now that I’ve got the pant legs cut, the next step is to iron them. I’ve folded the bottom of the shorts over, and I’m going to iron that fold down. Now I will sew where I ironed, and this way, the raw edge is no longer exposed, but instead, there is a tidy stitch at the bottom.

How to sew DIY shorts

Make a second fold 

The hem is now completely sewn. I’m going to go back and fold up the bottom of the shorts again - this will give them the cuffed look that I’m going for. After folding, they need to be ironed one more time. 

Make DIY shorts


After ironing it a second time, I’m going to tack stitch on the edges to keep them from unfolding. I’m starting with the outer seam, and then I’ll sew the inner seam. Then I’m repeating this on the other side. And voilà, I’m done!

Check out three different ways that I’ve styled the shorts:

Sew DIY shorts

Upcycled shorts

Handmade shorts

I really have fallen in love with these shorts. I love the way they fit, they’re super comfortable and I love the fact that they’re so unique. I know I’m not going to see anybody else wearing the exact same pair!

Suggested materials:
  • Pants
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine

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Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Suzanne Cox Suzanne Cox on Mar 07, 2021

    If it were me, I’d probably make them just a tad longer with a cuffed hem. That’ll give them a more dressy, stylish look and you could still dress them up or down.

  • Jerry Jerry on Mar 07, 2021

    Great idea!