Recycle Cargo Pants to a Toddler’s Skirt

posted in: how to, recycle, sewing, tutorial & pattern | 6

krilo12The title should be a Daddy’s Cargo Pants transform in to a Toddler Skirt and Mommy Messenger Bag….but it is too long for something so simple and short. This is an article about how to make a Toddler Skirt or Recycle old pants in to something new. If you are interested in a Messenger Bag, you could found instructions here.

Actually this is so simple project that I even don’t know should I publish it or not, but if you did do a messenger bag project, then you didn’t use all the pants fabric, so I decided for a new project made from that scraps and I also did use some new fabric, just to contrast and because I already didn’t have enough pants fabric. The fabric was nice, and I like the pocket detail on them so I use two for toddler skirts, but basically all I did make is a patchwork from two different fabrics. Then I did cut the simple shape and you have it….cleaner closet (because you use old fabric), and one more eco friendly project….and most important new dress for happy toddler. But when I did finish I did get the idea, that something like that I could do even for myself; the bigger version for the next time? Ok, at the end, this is just one more recycle project and so simple that you don’t need instructions, but here they are just for inspiration.

What you will need:

  • old pants, the best one are with big pockets on it (it will give your project a dipper mining…and you will just continue someone else’s hard work)
  • some new contrasting fabric
  • basic sewing tools
  • the helper is optional
  Make a patchwork from both fabrics. PS, play with your fabric and also make topstitches on seams and overlook or zig zag edges. Use as many details form old pats as you like.
  These are all fabric parts what you will need them for this project:

  • front skirt part
  • back skirt part (the  one with curve shape at the neck)
  • the same shape for the lining for front and back piece, but just 4 cm under the sides curve shape
  • 4 straps (could be different for the lining)
  • long strap of fabric for ruffles edge


  Serge the side’s and bottom edges or use zig zag. Attach the straps on back skirt piece and also on the lining.
  Make side seams; do them also on the lining fabric parts
  Here are assemble all three skirts parts

  • the main skirt part (the one with patchwork made with two fabrics)
  •  the lining pieces
  • at the bottom of the picture is a ruffled piece (I also did make a finished edge with two topstitches)
  Place the lining part on a main skirt part (right side to right side) and make a seam 1 cm from the edge all-around the top skirt edge.
  On a curves and corners make a V notches.
  Turn around and make a topstitch 3 mm from the edge (look on the last picture).
  Here is the picture of finished ruffled edge in all 3 steps:

  • Gather the fabric
  • Pin the ruffled fabric right side on right side on the skirt bottom edge
  • Make two topstitches
  This is almost finished toddler skirt from front and back view. All that I need to do is to place a few rivets on braces and I also need to use the iron (I don’t like this part of work); so usually I don’t iron while I sew, but I know all the seams are nicer if you do. I’m just too lazy for ironing and my iron is so bad…too long story.

Do you like project like that? I know too simple tutorial….I’m not sure, but I think I will also play a little more with a free motion stitching and maybe I will make a red fabric flower for it, just because. But for now I need to wait for my kid to come back from a kindergarten. Hope she will like it. But my closed is cleaner for one unfinished project, yey….happy mom.

6 Responses

  1. Tracy

    This is amazing! You are very talented. Thank you for posting this tutorial.

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