Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled: Girl’s Capris

Today’s project was one of those that came together (finally) – not by intention, but it worked. And worked well!

Upcycled Girls Capris {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I was originally going to cut up these baby corduroy capris into bermuda shorts for River. Since I couldn’t find a free pattern that I liked, I referenced back to a self-drafted pattern I made last year for her (hope to make it available soon for everyone!). However, my end result was not bermuda shorts, (as you have already seen) but capris!

Pattern

Any shorts or pants pattern. I used a self-drafted bermuda shorts pattern and lengthened the inseam by 2 inches. If you use a pants pattern, decrease the inseam accordingly. The inseam on my 3T pair of capris was 6 inches.

Instructions

The details I was aiming to keep in this upcycle were the front pockets and the waistband. I wanted these shorts to have an elastic waistband for my 3-year old to easily dress herself (so I wasn’t concerned with keeping the zipper or button closure).

First, if the pattern you are using is a four-piece shorts or pants pattern, tape the front and back panel pieces together, as shown in this photo (you may want to overlap the pieces by the seam allowance so that the capris/shorts aren’t too baggy. I chose not to do that, so River’s capris did end up on the baggier side):

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Next, cut down the middle of the pants, right on the seam, not worrying about the zipper or button(s). Remember, I’m making these shorts with an elastic waist! Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Take your first pant leg and open it up. You’ll notice parts of these capris have already been cut out…you’ll have to wait until Friday to find out what they made. Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Place your pattern piece on top of your pants/capris, lining up the seam line of the original pants to the middle of the pattern piece. Shift the pattern piece up about 1.5 inches to account for the waistband. Since you don’t have to add a waistband, you will need to make the shorts 1.5 inches shorter (save a little fabric and tons of time!).Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I cut along the pattern piece and added several inches to the bottom to make sure the capris would be long enough for River.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Then I took that first panel and used it as my pattern piece to cut my second piece. Just make sure you line these up right side to right side or else you’ll be cutting two of the same shorts leg and that wouldn’t work out too well. Again, line up the seam lines here.
Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Now you can begin constructing the shorts. I ended up cutting off part of the back pocket, which was fine, but I did need to sew it back together before stitching the inseams together. Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

This next step was the trickiest. I needed to make sure the elastic would slide through the waistband casing, so I couldn’t just close these shorts shut with a simple stitch. I placed the right sides together and stitched just the outside of the short’s back waistband together. You can see where I pinned; I just sewed that 1.5 inches closed. Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

After sewing the waistband back section together, I repeated that step for the front of the shorts.  Then, I sewed down the front and back seams starting from just under the waistband.

Then I measured River’s waist (20 inches) and cut elastic of 20 inches. I was going to use some upcycled elastic, but didn’t have the time to seam rip it, so I just grabbed some olive green. Not River’s color, but it will be hidden, so it doesn’t matter!

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I threaded the elastic through the capris’ original waistband.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Now the elastic is all the way through the shorts and I just have to sew these two sections together, overlapping them by about an inch.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

All sewn together – you can still see the elastic through the front and back sections that are not sewn shut. I sewed these carefully with my sewing machine, taking care not to sew the elastic to the front or back of the pants. You could also sew these shut by hand. These sections will be on the inside of the shorts, so they won’t get seen.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Then I finished the capris by sewing and serging the inseam. At this point I tried the shorts on River and measured how much I needed to hem to make them the perfect length. I love the way they turned out, plus since they are a bit baggy, they will make great bermuda shorts next year for her!

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}{I love my new capris, Mom!}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}
Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}
Upcycled Capris {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}{ok, Mama, I’m done}

Here’s the breakdown:

Upcycled Girl's Capris Time and Cost {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Head on over to Feather’s Flights today for some cute baby shorts and bloomers plus a FREE pattern too!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)

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