Refashion: Toddler pants turned into shorts (while keeping original hem)

Tonight, I decided to clean out my daughters closet in search of finding high-waters that she can no longer wear! I found 6 pairs, all which fit perfectly in the waist and throughout, except for the length!


So, I took the first pair.


Step 1: Decide what length you want the shorts to be. Divide that length in half and pin in place. Remember once the conversion is complete, you’ll flip the original hem down and this will be the new length of the shorts.


Step 2: Cut off the excess length using pinking shears (if you have them) to avoid excess fraying. You may use regular fabric scissors but may need to serge or do a zig zag stitch to limit fraying.


Step 3: Make sure your pins are intact and both legs are even before you begin sewing.


Step 4: Begin sewing as closely to the original hem as possible. Do this all the way around each leg.


Step 5: Check your work :). I’ve just completed one leg and unfolded the hem to check.


Step 6: After hemming both sides, unfold the hem and do a top stitch right above the original hem. This will prevent the hem from rolling back up after washing ( no need to iron…yay!)


Step 7: Check your top stitch to make sure it’s straight and helps lay the hem flat.


Step 8: Admire your work 🙂


I love how these turned out so I ended up doing 3 pairs tonight!




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21 thoughts on “Refashion: Toddler pants turned into shorts (while keeping original hem)

  1. i seriously just took all my daughter’s 2T jeans from this past winter, and i wanted to make them into shorts. but i made my boys pants into shorts a few years ago, and they turned our HORRIBLE. so i’m excited to try this on my daughter’s pants.

  2. I’m kind of confused. Do you have any videos showing how you did this? When you stitch the first time, is it with a thread that matches the denim? Or are you sewing over the original white stiches? Sounds brilliant. Does it not work with flare jeans or bell bottoms?

    1. You aren’t sewing on top of the original hem, she says to do it as close to it as you can. Yes, I would use thread that closely matches the denim. As to your last question, fitting a larger piece to a smaller one is difficult. It would take some definite manipulation, and it depends in how different the 2 widths are as to whether you could do this to a pair of flare jeans without it looking bad. Personally, I would just cut the jeans and do a new hem in such an instance.

  3. I took a tuck in the jeans to make them fit the hem on my son’s shorts, since the hem was smaller than the jean at the thigh. It’s not perfect, but he’s happy, and it’s just for play anyway. Still much easier than cutting and re hemming.

  4. This is wonderful. I am tall, and have tall children. It’s not easy finding shorts long wenough for tall people. This will help with that. Thanks!

  5. What do I do if the hem of the jeans is smaller in circumference than the jean fabric around the thigh (where I cut the fabric)? The fabric is bunching up “inside” the hem (I just have them pinned right now). What can I do?

  6. I tink you could do the same if your own jeans are too long, and you want to shorten them just a bit?

  7. Great idea! I just did this with a pair of my daughter’s jeans that had holes in the knees. It worked perfectly and now she has a “new” pair of denim shorts for the summer. Thanks!

  8. My jaw hit the floor! Not only was that simply GENIUS! but it looks like something I would be able to do!! Holy Hemming, I can’t wait to get started!!
    Thank you, going to follow you on everything! 😉

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