How to turn torn pants into shorts
By Ruth Devine |
How to turn torn pants into shorts

Long pants have the mysterious habit of producing holes in their knees. In my house, it's usually with a brand new pair of school pants after they've suffered a vigorous game of Touch. Or I buy a pair only to find that they've somehow become too short in the 48 hours since purchase. Equally mysterious, costly and annoying. This is when knowing how to turn long pants into shorts comes in handy. I'm no dab hand with a needle and thread but if I can magic long pants into shorts in about 30 minutes, so can you. There's no need for a sewing machine either. Follow the instructions below, watch the video and save yourself a bucket of money in the process.

You will need:

  • 1 pair long pants
  • scissors
  • needle and thread
  • pins
  • chalk
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • iron


Now to start turning pants into shorts

Pin the pants where the new length will be. If you're working with torn pants, cut them off below the tear and work from there.

Turn the pants inside out and work out where you need to cut. Ideally this will be about 5cm below the actual length you want the shorts to be.

Measure up from the bottom of the pants with the tape measure and mark two points with chalk. Join these two points together with a chalk line using the ruler so that you get a horizontal cut line.

Then 2.5cm up from that mark, use the chalk to mark again. This will be your seam allowance.

Lay one leg on top of the other and match the chalk marks up.

Cut each pant leg across the lower chalk mark.

Fold the edge up to the first marked line and press with an iron.

Fold again to the length line and press again.

Do the same to both legs and pin the hem into place.

Then using the needle and thread, hem all the way around on both legs.


This article was written by Ruth Devine for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading parenting resource.

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