men’s slacks to women’s pencil skirt tutorial

Last week on So You Think You’re Crafty I showed off my new outfit refashioned from some thrifted men’s dress clothes. Today I’ll show you how I created the pencil skirt from a pair of slacks (find the button down to lace blouse tutorial here.)

Turning slacks into a skirt actually isn’t too difficult in that there aren’t many steps. However, it does require a bit of tailoring, or trying on and then taking in, etc., so it’s probably best for non-beginners. When looking for slacks to use for this project, there are a few things you need to look for:

First, you want the slacks to fit well in the waist. You don’t want to mess with the waistband at all, so make sure the pants fit well wherever you’d like to skirt to sit (up on a high waist, down lower on your hips, wherever you’d like). Next, look for flat front pants. Front pleats are generally not as flattering and they make fitting a pencil skirt difficult. Third, you want to be sure the zipper lies flat against your body – meaning that it doesn’t angle in toward the crotch or out away from your body (like in a roomier fit pant). Most flat front pants will be just fine in the zipper – it’s just something to think about.

When looking for slacks at the thrift store, start with the size that matches your women’s size – like if you are an 8, start looking at 28 size waist paints – but also look through the pants a size bigger and smaller – it’s hard to know how men’s slacks will fit, so it’s worth trying on lots of pairs to find the best one.

To begin with, try on the pants and mark a few inches below where you’d like the finished skirt to fall. Cut the bottoms of the pants off there, and then unpick the inseam of the pants so you can lay them out flat like this:

The left hand side of the photo above is the back of the pants, and the right side is the front. You’ll make your first seams down the marked dots. Try it on and see what the fit is like:

There’s a good chance you’ll have to take the skirt in a little more in the back, making a gentle curve under the bum so it will fit nicely when finished:

But don’t make it too tight at this point! We are going to take it in a little more at each side with fun side kick pleats, so bring it in just enough to give some definition.

Next you want to hem the bottom, so determine where you want you skirt to hit and pin that point. Fold the extra material under twice, so the final fold is at your pin, and sew.

Finally, we add even more shape by taking in the sides as shown below:

Stop sewing 3-5 inches above the hem and backstitch. Then you can press the kick pleats you’ve just created open, and sew four or five times just above them as shown here:

This pulls the skirt in around your knees to give a pencil shape as well as a cute little flare at the bottom that helps give you room to walk. Here’s the completed skirt and blouse (remember to check here for the blouse tutorial!).

Linking to some of these great parties:

Monday: Skip to My Lou | Brassy Apple | Craft-o-Maniac

Tuesday: Tip Junkie | Ladybug Blessings | Sugar Bee Crafts | The Blackberry Vine | Hope Studios | Funky Polkadot Giraffe | Not JUST a Housewife | Homework Today’s Assignment: Be Inspired | Shwin and Shwin

Wednesday: Handy Man, Crafty Woman | Southern Lovely | Sew Much Ado | SNAP | Someday Crafts | The NY Melrose Family | Printabelle

Thursday: Somewhat Simple | House of Hepworths | Momnivore’s Dilemma | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Yesterday on Tuesday | Fireflies and Jellybeans | The Taylor House

Friday: Chic on a Shoestring Decorating | The Shabby Nest | Stuff and Nonsense | Naptime Crafters | It’s a Hodgepodge Life | At The Picket Fence | 504 Main | Blissful Bucket List

Weekend: Tatertots and Jello


  1. 1

    Christine @ Projects Around The House says

    I love this skirt refashion! You did a fabulous job. I can’t wait to see the blouse tutorial too. I love the cute collar you made.

  2. 2

    Melissa says

    Very nicely done! I love repurposing clothes. I think I am going to have to try this one. I also love your shoes in the picture.

  3. 3

    Melissa says

    Very nicely done! I love repurposing clothes. I think I am going to have to try this one. I also love your shoes in the picture.

  4. 4

    Helen B. @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog says

    This is a beautiful skirt! I have two pairs of pants! Their actually women’s, but they’re much too big for me…I plan to attempt this very soon!
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  5. 5

    Jerri says

    This is a great tutorial and you look great too! I was just a little confused with the kick pleats and how to make them. You said “side kick pleats” but in one of the pictures, it looked like the kick pleat was in the back. Sorry, just a little confused or maybe I couldn’t really tell because the pants were black and couldn’t see the detail.

  6. 6

    raulf says

    Por tradición los hombres siempre habían usado faldas ; apenas hace 300 años que los obligaron a usar pantalón.
    El pantalón es la prenda menos adecuada para un hombre; el calzoncillo bóxer, hace las veces de férula en los genitales, (propiciando disfuncion y discapacidades), la costura central del pantalón maltrata, magulla e incomoda todo el tiempo los genitales; la correa o cinturón hace las veces de torniquete, y obliga al corazón a bombear la sangre con mayor esfuerzo, (para vencer la contracción que hace el torniquete), y por mala irrigacion sanguínea afecta: el aparato digestivo, el sistema urinario, el aparato reproductor. Ademas con el uso del pantalón el hombre ha terminado orinando de pie lo cual es totalmente antinatural. Las Faldas y los vestidos con faldas para los hombres son suprema-mente SALUDABLES, CÓMODOS Y CONFORTABLES. El pantalón, el calzoncillo ajustado, la costura central del pantalón, y la correa o cinturón, están promoviendo las enfermedades modernas de los hombres: IMPOTENCIA, ESTERILIDAD, PROBLEMAS DE LA PRÓSTATA Y POSIBLEMENTE CÁNCER DEL TESTÍCULO.
    Ninguna parte del cuerpo del varon se maltrata mas que los genitales.
    Por salud y comodidad mejor usar FALDAS O VESTIDOS CON FALDA

  7. 7

    Miranda says

    Genius! Okay, now I need to go to the thrift store and pick up men’s slacks AND a lace curtain panel! 🙂

  8. 8

    Chandra Haskett says

    I bought a pair of men’s slacks at the thrift store for 1.29! OMG! This tutorial was absolutely perfect. I wish i could post a picture of how well (and cute) this skirt turned out. Thanks!


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