Kids Clothes Week ~ Upcycled Trousers

Last Friday I found out that it’s Kids Clothes Week this week. This is a challenge where you sew clothes for your kids for an hour every day for seven days. The theme this season is ‘upcycled.’ So it’s right up my street!

I didn’t have any time to plan so on Monday I plucked an idea out of my head and dove straight in.

I remembered that I bought these funky trousers [I’m tempted to call them jeans but they’re not really… The fabric is a nice medium weight and has some stretch] in a charity shop for the sole purpose of refashioning them:

Trousers to upcycle

Look at the print! Cute or what?!!

print close up

They were originally from Topshop and size 8; meant for a woman… I think that fairytale print is destined for a little girl… So on Monday I cut them up to fit my little girl. I used a pair of jeans that fit her nicely to figure out what size to cut the legs. I wanted the legs, back pockets and waistband; the middle chunk was saved for another time.

upcycling trousers

I’m not sure if that took me one hour – if it did that was rather slow of me… But I guess I did make sure I was doing it right and had some distractions – namely EastEnders – oh, and I did also press the seams of pockets ready for sewing!

On Tuesday I started the fun bit – or rather, what was supposed to be the fun bit; sewing it all together. Instead of my prescribed one hour sewing, I took nearly three. I think I did more unpicking than sewing. But eventually, I ended up with this; a mini pair of trousers:

Toddler trousers - upcycled from a woman's pair of trousers @AfterDarkSewing

Awwwwww 🙂

After the success of last weeks dungarees, I was feeling confident. If I can make dungarees out of old jeans, I should be able to make trousers, right? Well the result is – right… but that waistband nearly finished me off. More on that later.

The first thing I did was sew the back pockets in place. I didn’t bother with front pockets. Life’s too short; she’s only nearly-2. I’m much happier with these little pockets than I am with those on last week’s dungarees. They sit in line perfectly.

Toddler trousers - upcycled from a woman's pair of trousers @AfterDarkSewing

I toyed with the idea of inserting the fly but came to the conclusion that it would be too much effort seeing as it probably/hopefully won’t be needed; I never use the zip if there is one on my daughter’s trousers. So I saved that for another upcycle!

Next I stitched the crotch together and then tackled the waistband. Keeping the original was supposed to make life easier, but it just wasn’t playing fair. It was fiddly, and when I eventually got it stitched down in place pretty neatly, I took it off the machine and was greeted with this:

Toddler trousers - upcycled from a woman's pair of trousers @AfterDarkSewing

Can you feel my pain? It took me forever to unpick that mess. And I couldn’t even see a reasonable explanation for it. And then when I re-stitched the waistband in place, of course it wasn’t as neat as it was the first time. ARGHH!! But I kept reminding myself that my daughter is growing fast and they won’t be worn for long so does it matter if they’re not perfect? No.

Every cloud has a silver lining, though. I forgot to leave gaps to insert some elastic the first time – so I did that on the second try! It was fiddly but I shoved a piece in the back and stitched it down on both sides, so that it’s just elasticated at the back. I’m pleased with how this turned out!

Upcycle old trousers into cute girl's one! @AfterDarkSewing

Did you notice the label/ribbon above all the mess, though? That, I do like. I sewed it on top of the Topshop label – just in case anyone would have thought Topshop made them. They do still have the Topshop (Moto) button on the front, though. Oh well – it’s not a bad brand!

Toddler trousers - upcycled from a woman's pair of trousers @AfterDarkSewing

I’m pretty pleased with how the button sits. It took me some time to figure out how to get it all lined up, but I did it! I topstitched some lines where the pockets and fly would be, but you can barely see them because I don’t have a proper thick topstitching thread and my thread was a very good colour match!

Upcycle old trousers into cute girl's one! @AfterDarkSewing

Yes, they are a bit long. I will probably do something about that, though, because they’re a bit low on the bum. This is possibly because my little one wears cloth nappies so could be rectified by potty training; but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. So I will probably sew further down the crotch to make them bigger in the bum and consequently shorter in the leg.

Upcycle old trousers into cute girl's one! @AfterDarkSewing

Yeah… she doesn’t seem to mind, but they are rather low down her bum!

There’s still four days left of Kids Clothes Week and I have an order of matching girl’s skirts to fulfil. Of course I will be back to share them! Til then… Happy upcycling!

Beth x

11 thoughts on “Kids Clothes Week ~ Upcycled Trousers

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    • Yes it was worth it 🙂 My daughter wore them yesterday and the fit isn’t a bad as it looked the first time she tried them on so I think I’ll be leaving them as they are after all, phew, no more fiddling 🙂


    • Thanks! 🙂 Well they were worth it but I would have been happy enough skipping that messy stage, urghhh that was dreadful. My silly fault for not checking the underside though!


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