How to Turn Pants Into Capris

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Have you ever had a pair of jeans or pants that were just too long? While it would be easy to hem them, perhaps you can be a bit craftier and turn them into capris. This would also work well for pants that are a little worn out towards the end but still have some wear left in them. Here you will find simple, easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions on how to turn pants into capris.

  • 01 of 06

    Gather Your Supplies

    Final version of capris

    The Spruce / Rain Blanken

    These capris are so simple to make, you may never buy another pair. Minimal sewing experience is required for this project.

    • A pair of slim pants (baggy pants do not make good capris).
    • Scissors
    • Chalk
    • Measuring tape
    • Sewing kit or sewing machine
    • Iron and ironing board
  • 02 of 06

    Find Your Length

    Find your ideal length

     The Spruce / Rain Blanken

    Put on the pants you want to turn into capris. On the side of your left leg, make a chalk mark where you want the bottom of the capris to be. A few inches below the knee is best. Use a full-length mirror to get the best idea of what the end result will look like. Adjust as needed until it looks right in the mirror. Mark the other side and then take off the pants and lay them on a flat workspace.

    Now we are ready to measure our hem.

  • 03 of 06

    Measure the Hem

    Measure and mark the hem with chalk

    The Spruce / Rain Blanken

    Capris have a signature hem that is at least 2” high. Decide how thick you want your hem. Double that number. Measure this number, (for instance, 4" if you want a 2" hem), starting at your chalk mark. Add a 1/2” for the seam allowance and mark this measurement. Repeat for the other leg and make sure that they are even.

    Now you are ready to cut off the legs.

  • 04 of 06

    Cut the Legs and Iron

    Cut and then iron seam allowance and hem

    The Spruce / Rain Blanken

    Cut the legs off of the pants at your last chalk marks. Make sure that the front and back are even, and that the legs are the same length.

    Turn the shorts inside out. Fold up a 1/2” from each leg and pin. Pin this 1/2 inch all the way around the leg. Now start to iron all the way around, removing the pins as you do so. Fold in again at your first chalk mark and iron all the way around.

    Once you have finished ironing, it is time to turn up the hem.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Turn up the Hem

    Turn up the hem

    The Spruce / Rain Blanken

    Turn the pants right-side out again. Pinch the fabric at your first chalk mark, where your hemmed crease is. Now lay it down on top of the shorts, folding in about a 1/2" of fabric, as shown. Just pinch and flatten. Pin and iron this all the way around. Make sure it looks even.

    Now you can sew the hem.

  • 06 of 06

    Sew the Hem

    Sew the hem

    The Spruce / Rain Blanken

    Using a needle and thread, or sewing machine, sew a 1/8" away from the bottom of the hem, all the way around.

    Sew the top of the hem, 1/8" from the top.

    Now that your capris are finished, try them on in the mirror and check to see how fabulous you look. Try wearing a necktie belt with these for a funky look.