Making Your Own T-Shirt Pants


You will need two t-shirts that are wider than the circumference of the top of your thy, measured from under arm to underarm, across the width of the t-shirt (see illustration). One will be your pattern, the other your sample garment. In this tutorial, I sometimes refer to seam allowances and sometime do not. For t-shirts, because they do not unravel, you can make your seam very small, but do add a margin for seams on every cut. Also remember that all corners in your patterm should be right angles. So as you are cutting the inseam for example, you will start with a right angle, then curve up to meet a right angle at the crotch line (see illustration)


1) Sit on a hard surface, and measure from the surface to your waistline. This will be the approximate depth of your crotch seams (+ seam allowance and 1/2" for elastic at the waist). Your curve will be shallower in front than back, depending on where you carry weight. If your tummy is larger than your rear, your pattern will reflect the opposite. If your body carries equal weight in front and back, this curve will be similar, you can adjust after you sample is made. Remember tho that when you sit, your rear will pull the pants down in back, and not in front, so for most bodies, the back crotch slope will be longer that the front.
2) Measure from the front neckline down the length of your crotch depth so know where to start the front crotch cut at the sides of the t-shirt. Measure the width of your upper thy so you know how wide you need your pants to be. Fold your t-shirt in half matching sleeves and side seams, and cut an approx front crotch through the 4 layers of fabric (this is to insure the inseams are exactly the same). You will recut the back curve in step 4. 
3) Measure the length of the inseam so you know where they they hit on your leg, and measure your leg at this point so you know what width your hem should be. You can use the sleeves to add length if you want. Your t-shirt is still folded, so divide this width in half and use this measurement to cut from the inseam curve from the bottom of the shirt to the crotch line. Now open up the t-shirt pants so you can cut your waist and back crotch. 


4) Measure waist and divide by 2. Cut the waist of your pants as close to the crew neck, marking waist length + seam allowance (see illustration). I use a ruler to get a straight line from the top of the front crotch to the back crotch. One half of your waist measurement (+ seam allowance) should tell you where to start the back crotch slope cut. I cut this from the top, using a straight angle, and curving to meet the original cut line. 


5) Baste you pattern t-shirt together before cutting you sample garment. With right sides together, sew front and back crotch seams. Then fold front and back crotches right sides together and stitch the length of both leg’s inseams. Try on inside out, so you can pin the adjustments you want to make to the pattern.


For your final garment, cut a piece of elastic for the waistband that is smaller than the waist of the garment (and comfortable around your waist), and zigzag raw edges together into a circle. Mark or pin the elastic in half, then again to get 4 equal quarters. Match your front and back crotch seams to determine pant side seams, and pin. Matching crotch and side seams with elastic points or pins, fold raw waistband over elastic, stretching elastic, and zig zag in place. Hem bottom of pants, or leave raw. Enjoy!




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Comments: 3
  • #1

    Robin Wingo (Tuesday, 24 March 2020 17:43)

    I ca't visualize this! Is there a pictorial tutorial!?

  • #2

    Linda (Tuesday, 24 March 2020 23:13)

    I saw your pants from Tee-Shirt on FB's Clothing Upcycle & Recycle. They look great. However I agree with Robin your tutorial is hard to visualize. Step by step photos would improve this post immensely.

  • #3

    Cherry Bibler (Wednesday, 25 March 2020)

    Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try!