sweatpants to kangaroo pocket skirt refashion {sewing tutorial for girls}

easy sewing tutorial shows you how to turn sweatpants into a cute kangaroo pocket skirt

Ever buy things you don’t need just because they’re a good deal? Like that block of cheese at Costco your family will never get through in a million years? Or kids clothes that aren’t cute at all just because they’re on clearance? Well, at our house we actually eat entire blocks of Costco cheese a lot faster than you’d think (and don’t even ask how quickly we burn through those industrial size bags of chocolate chips) but I have been guilty of overdoing it on clearance clothes. Turns out I don’t generally dress my daughter in plain grey sweats (boring!) so we probably didn’t need a pair in every size, even if they were only a dollar each. Good thing it’s crazy easy to turn boring sweatpants into a cozy and adorable kangaroo pocket skirt.

DIY sweat pants to skirt refashion sewing tutorial

This is seriously easy. Like under half an hour tops. Start by chopping off the legs just below the knee:


Then cut the pants open along the inseam, and turn them inside out. Lay them down flat so the front and back seams are now on each side. Sew new seams down the sides as shown below. Turn the skirt right side out and hem:

how to refashion sweatpants into a cute kangaroo pocket skirt - easy sewing tutorial

I used a double needle for a professional looking hem that has some stretch (it’s easy), but you can just use a straight seam or zigzag if you don’t want to bother with a double needle:


Finally, grab one of the legs you cut off, and use it to make a kangaroo pocket as shown:

upcycle a pair of sweatpants into a cute kangaroo pocket skirt

So easy and SO MUCH CUTER than sweatpants, right?


linked at: Make it and Love it, I Heart Naptime, Whipperberry, Tidy Mom


    • 2

      autumn says

      Wendy – you want the waist to fit well. If you can go up a size and the waist still fits, then I think that would be a great idea. I used the size of sweats that my daughter wears right now and it worked out great.

      As for adults – it all depends on how long you want the skirt to be. If you’re ok with a shorter skirt, I think it would work great. If you want a skirt that goes all the way to the knee, it’s going to end up being a straight skirt instead of an A-line skirt because there won’t be enough width in the pant legs for it to flare out. I have a pair of sweats I might try it with, and if I do I’ll definitely post an update!

    • 6

      autumn says

      Please let me know how it turns out! You might want to read the comment I just left for Wendy with my thoughts on how it will translate to an adult skirt. I’m excited to try it out too!

    • 14

      autumn says

      Thank you! My daughter loves it too, which is definitely a bonus 🙂 She doesn’t always like the things I sew for her.

  1. 16

    Tenerra says

    This is SOOO cute! Please forgive, as I am a beginner and I have 2 questions: 1. What kind of paper is used for the pocket? 2. Do you leave the paper in the pocket?

    • 17

      autumn says

      No worries! The paper is simply to use as a pattern to figure out how big you want the pocket. So any type of paper is just fine – I just found it was easier to cut the pocket from paper first to see if I like it so I didn’t ruin the remaining fabric, then use the paper pocket as a pattern for the fabric one. Good luck!

      • 20

        Jennifer E of Lakeway, TX says

        Okay, this made me laugh out loud!

        I am going to transform my husband’s flannel jammy pants (which he never wears) into a cutie-patuti skirt por moi 🙂

        Keep these simple sew (i, too and new at the sew-your-own gig) inventive and conversational piece ideas flowing.

        Thank you Autumn and friends.

      • 21

        Jennifer E. of Lakeway, TX says

        Okay, this made me laugh out loud!

        I am going to transform my husband’s flannel jammy pants (which he never wears) into a cutie-patuti skirt – not for him 🙂

        Keep these simple sew (i, too am new at the sew-your-own gig) inventive and conversational piece ideas flowing.

        Thank you Autumn and friends.

  2. 24

    Becca says

    I can’t seem to find adult sweats without a side seam. Men’s sweats have pockets, so those don’t work either. Still on the lookout. I need this skirt for me.

    • 25

      autumn says

      Check Walmart – I just found Hanes brand women’s sweats on clearance for $3! I made a skirt for me – will be posting about it soon!

      • 26

        Becca says

        I found the ones you were talking about and my skirt is so cute! I bought the XXL, so I could have an A-line skirt. I couldn’t use the existing waistband – it was way too big – so I just cut the shape I wanted and took a couple inches from both sides.

        Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. 28

    Queannah says

    BRILLIANT!!! This will be great for recycling my sons old crummy sweats for my daughter when she can fit into them. I could also see using an old hoodie and making just adding a casing to the top, although the pocket might be too low and need to be moved up.

    • 29

      autumn says

      An old hoodie’s a great idea – if the pocket was large you might not even need to move it – I bet that would turn out cute!

  4. 32


    I totally made some! They turned out super cute! Click me to see them. I used a pair of black and a pair of hot pink and switched the pockets. And I left the edges on the pockets and the hem raw. This is a great tute. It looks easy and it is easy!

  5. 34

    sorahart says

    I’m so cheap I would save the cutoff lower legs of the sweats to make baby/toddler shorts. Let’s hear it for upcycles!

  6. 36

    Jason says

    My friend’s daughter’s birthday is coming up and I’m gonna attempt to make these for her. Thanks for the idea!

  7. 37

    neisha says

    I have a son so can’t make this skirt, but it’s so cute!! I thought of the hoodie idea too. Might have to try one for me.
    by the way…we go through the chocolate chips real fast too. If I made Chocolate chip Cookies as fast as my family ate them, I’d be making them weekly!

  8. 39

    Jessica says

    I made this skirt for my 2 year old a while back and I absolutely love it. I’ve been trying to find her a skirt to match a Halloween shirt that she has, It must be a skirt because according to my daughter she must always be a princess and princesses only wear dresses and skirts. Besides, when else will she wear pink spider tights. I found three pair of sweats at our local thrift store for 25 cents each. After washing them, I realized that they all have side seams… I’m wondering how this skirt will turn out with the seams.

  9. 42

    Sherry haines says

    OMG!!!! I love this idea! Can NOT wait to make this for my one and only precious granddaughter tomorrow. As already posted GENIUS idea. Love your blog 😉

    • 43

      autumn says

      Thanks Sherry! I hope it turned out for you. My daughter is getting too tall for this one so I need to make her a new one soon – it’s such a cute, comfy little skirt – I love it!

  10. 48

    Cheryl says

    Now I’m going to go find me some cheap sweats. I might even look for some for my daughter and granddaughter. I am very impressed by such a creative mind. Mine used to be, but I am now 67 and you know what they say. If you don’t use it you lose it. lol


  1. […] this kangaroo-pocket skirt the cutest thing on the planet?  Over at It’s Always Autumn, you’ll find the tutorial for making this skirt out of a castoff pair of sweatpants!  You can, of course, use lighter fabrics for the summer as […]

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