How to Make Sweatshorts

Do you have some old sweatpants lying around that you don't wear anymore? Make some sweat shorts! Sweat shorts are super comfy- and are super easy to make, too!


  1. 1
    Gather materials. See "Things You'll Need."
  2. 2
    Turn your sweatpants and shorts inside out. Since you'll be tracing the shorts onto the pants, you don't want to risk the chance of staining the outside of your pants!
  3. 3
    Lay your sweatpants down on a flat surface, such as a floor or table. Smooth it out and make sure it is even.
  4. 4
    Lay your shorts on top of it, making sure the hems line up. If the hems don't line up, your shorts will not be the right length.
  5. 5
    Trace the shorts onto the sweatpants. Try to make the line as smooth and even as possible. It may be helpful to have someone hold out the fabric of the pant leg as you trace. This line is the length of your shorts.
  6. 6
    Make a second line a couple inches below the first line. This line is where you'll cut the shorts, since to make the hem, you'll need some additional fabric to fold up.
    • Again, it may be helpful to have someone hold the fabric while you trace.
  7. 7
    Cut the pants out on the second mark. Make sure you use sharp scissors and cut the line as straight as possible.
  8. 8
    Set up your sewing machine, or give your pants to someone who can sew.
    • Make sure the bobbin and the thread are the same color! The bobbin, since it's hidden, is easy to forget about- but it can make a big difference if you have blue and orange thread!
    • Take off the part on your sewing machine that can be removed to sew things like sleeves- it will be a whole lot easier to sew the legs of the pants!
    • Make sure the sewing machine is threaded properly- nothing is more annoying than sewing a whole project, then realizing the bobbin wasn't threaded!
  9. 9
    Make sure your shorts are still inside out before you pin. If you pin the wrong way, you'll sew it the wrong way- and have the hem of your shorts on the front!
  10. 10
    Fold and pin the shorts onto the first line. Make sure you are folding the fabric so the front fabric shows on the inside of the shorts. As you fold, pin. If you fold it all at once, it will just become unraveled.
    • It may help to do it one leg at a time.
  11. 11
    Sew. Make sure you move the leg around in one smooth, even line. If you are making a double hem, sew a second line in the same manner.
  12. 12
    Repeat with the other leg.
  13. 13
    Finish your seams. Use a serger or make a French seam.
  14. 14
    When you finish, iron your new shorts. This will give them a crisp look.
  15. 15
    If you want to, decorate! Since you're already making a new item, why not make it look completely new? Here are some ideas:
    • Paint designs onto the legs.
    • Add jewels.
    • Cut off two strips on the sides of each leg and tie them.


  • If you are using denim, make cutoff shorts! Just follow these directions, but don't sew any seams.
  • If you are just learning to sew, this is a very easy project to get you started on learning seams.


  • Be careful when pinning so you don't prick yourself.
  • Go slow. If you go too fast, the results will be sloppy.

Things You'll Need

  • A pair of sweatpants
  • A sewing machine
  • Thread matching the color of your sweatpants
  • Pins
  • A serger (optional)
  • A pair of shorts that fits you
  • Fabric chalk or a washable marker
  • Scissors
  • Things to decorate your shorts (rhinestones, fabric paints, etc.) (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Sewing Pants