Updated July 2012.
Yoga Pants from Old T-Shirts Tutorial
I updated this tutorial to make the pants and waistband fit better. This tutorial is super-easy, fast, and doesn't need many supplies. I hope you enjoy!
Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Materials: 2 Tshirts, sewing machine, thread, measuring tape
Seam Allowance: ¼ inch overedge or zigzag stitch.
1. Measure around the biggest part of your thigh. Mine is about 20 inches. You do not need to be terribly precise because the material is stretchy.
2. Lay your shirt flat. The pattern that is shown on the front of the shirt will end up on the left side of your pants when you are done. It is best to choose a shirt that has nothing on the back, in my opinion, otherwise the pants will look really “busy.” Measure across the shirt from armpit to armpit. You want this measurement to be the same as your thigh measurement, or more. The shirt I am using measures the same—20 inches. So I am going to just cut off each side seam and try to keep it as close to 20 inches as I can. If your shirt is larger than what you need, cut off the same amount from each side to equal your thigh measurement. Be sure when you cut the sides to keep the design on the shirt centered (cut off the same amount from each side).
3. Cut off the sleeves, following the seam. These curves will become your inseam.
4. Cut off the top of the shirt in a straight line.
5. Put on a pair of pants you like. Measure from the crotch to the top of the pants so you know how tall to make your pants. Mine is 9 inches in the front. Measure from the crotch to the back of the pants also. Mine is 11 inches in the back. Subtract 2.5 inches from each of these numbers now. My front measurement is now 6.5 inches, and my back measurement is now 8.5 inches.
6. Measure your shirt from the armpit to the top, along the curve. Mine was only a little more than 4 inches, which is not enough.
Take your measuring tape, and mimic the original curve, making it the length you need, which is the larger of the two measurements from step 5, so for me it is 8.5 inches.
7. Fold your shirt in half and cut the other armpit to the same length. Then lay your shirt back how it was.
8. Find the difference between your two measurements from step 5. Mine is a difference of two inches. Measure that difference from the top on the left side only (so I will measure 2 inches from the top on the left side only). Make a snip.
Then cut a straight line from your snip to the top of the right side of the shirt.
9. Take the two pieces of shirt that you have cut, and put each piece RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Sew the seam from the bottom to the armit.
*Be sure to use a stretch stitch because you are using a stretch fabric. I used an overedge stitch. You could use a zig zag stitch instead if you don’t have an overedge stitch. If you don’t have a stretch stitch, just use a regular straight stitch and stretch the fabric as you sew. You will also find it much easier to sew if you use a ball point needle. You can find these needles in your sewing store right next to the regular needles. They are made for stretchy material. But if you don’t have one, a regular needle will be ok too.*
10. Turn the printed shirt piece right side out. Put it INSIDE of the other shirt piece. Now the two pieces are RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.
**If you did this correctly, the long measurements from step 5 and the short measurements from step 5 are going to match up.**
Sew along the U-shaped curved edge. Then, sew along the same curve AGAIN, because this is the crotch seam & you don’t want it to rip!!
11. Turn pants right side out and try them on!
The design goes on your left leg. They should fit great, but be too low. Let’s add a waistband so that they’re the correct rise. Before you take your pants off, measure around your waist/hips where the top of the pants are. My measurement is 34 inches. You will need this number in step 13.
12. Get another tshirt for the waist band. Cut the hem off the bottom of the tshirt.
Then cut 6.5 inches off the bottom of the tshirt.
13. Take the number from step 13. Mine was 34 inches. Divide that number by 2. My number is now 17 inches. Subtract 4 inches from that number. My number is now 13 inches. Cut the6.5 inch strip from step 12 into two rectangles, 6.5 inches by your number. For me, I am cutting two rectangles 6.5 inches by 13 inches.
14. Put the two rectangles from step 13 RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, and sew along each 6.5 inch side.
15. Fold the rectangles in half, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER.
16. Pin waistband to shorts with four pins, matching sides, front, and back. Stretch waistband as you sew. As you see, we made the waistband smaller than the shorts to that we don’t need elastic to hold them up. Easy!
Sew raw edge.
Now your shorts are finished! Wear them as-is, or fold your waistband over for a lower rise look! Enjoy.