Tutorial: Refashioned Slim Slack for Boys

If you are stopping by via MADE “Celebrate the Boy“, welcome!

If you’re interested, you can find more “Boy” posts & projects here.

Refashioned from men’s slacks & using the existing button, zipper & back pockets (all the icky parts of making “real” slacks), these slim slacks are a fun alternative for a little boy’s dressy wardrobe.

Intermediate Level Sewing

Let me know if you have any questions or problems with the tutorial so we can work it out!

I would love it if you shared your “Slim Slack” creations in my Flickr group, “Reduce, Reuse, ReFASHION for Kids”

You are welcome to use my pattern which fits average 2T and a slim 3T with added length. Slim 2T might want to take in leg even more.

Waist: 19″ (stretches to 22″) , Hip: 23″  Inseam: 11″

Use 1/2″ seam allowance unless noted (crotch seam).

Download pdf pattern HERE. (make sure print settings are NOT set to scale).

If your boy is larger than the pattern, find your favorite pants pattern and “slim it down”. Then use the tutorial for the pants refashioning technique!

Step 1: Find your sacrificial trousers.

These are from the thrift store. Before purchasing, take a look at the waistband and make sure the construction allows it to be taken off in one piece. I’ve refashioned a couple pairs of pants with buttons at the waist, but this one happens to have an inside metal hook.

You might want to pick up two pairs. One to practice on so you can tweak the pattern, making it perfect for your little guy (I don’t claim to be an expert pattern maker), and one pair to knock out with your new “perfect” pattern and mad pant refashioning skills.

Step 2: Deconstruct the pant.

Unpick belt loops and detach the waistband.  The great thing about men’s dress pants is that they are usually made to be easily taken apart and altered.

P.S. Make sure you keep the zipper down throughout the entire process.

Step 3: Slice up the pants

Once the waistband is removed, cut the pant up through the side seams and the inseams.  Leave the pant front crotch seam intact.

Cut through the back pant crotch seam

Step 5: Cut out Slim Slacks

Layout the pant front piece and the pant front pattern. Using existing zipper placement, cut pant matching crotch curve and trying your best to match grain line on pant.

Flip pattern over and cut other front pant leg, still matching crotch seam.

The front pants should look like this, using the existing zipper:

Layout back pant panels. Using existing pocket placement (optional), cut back pants.  Cut one piece out of each back pant panel flipping to cut right & left pant legs.

Take pant waistband and cut at side seams.  Using the front and back waist guides, cut new front and back waistband.

Step 6: Start Sewing. You should have all these pieces ready:

Edge finish inseams and outseams of your pant panels using either a serger or a zig-zag stitch.  Sew crotch seam together on back leg pieces (use 1/4″ seam allowance here – usually matches front crotch seam better).

Sew front and back pant together at inseams and outseams, pressing seams flat.

If you decide to use existing pockets on your pant, you might need to tack down the seams at the side because the bulk sometimes won’t want to lay flat.  Just a few stitches in the ditch at the side seam will make all the difference.

Use a basting stitch to reattach beltloops at waist (optional).

Sew new waistband together at side seams.

Pin a 9″ piece of 1″-1 1/4″ elastic (depends on width of waistband) to the inside side seam of waistband.  Attach a safety pin to the other end.

Fold up waistband and stitch in the ditch to hold elastic in place at side seam (on one end only).

Pin waistband to pant, enclosing elastic along back waist (although it is not stretched and secured yet).

If you have an edgestitch foot, now’s the time to pull it out!  Edgestitch around waistband, stopping and starting 1″ before and 1″ after sideseam closest to the end of the elastic that has the safety pin in it.

Now it’s time to thread the elastic the rest of the way through the back waistband. Using the safety pin, guide it towards the waistband side seam.  Pin and sew in place. Then, edge stitch the hole closed.

Take a second to tack down the tops of your belt loops.

Edge finish the leg openings, press in hem.

Hand or machine blind-stitch hem.


Now your boy is ready to be crazy-cool in his slim slacks!


{ 2 trackbacks }

Refashion Fail | Offsquare
August 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm
Making Stuff: A Semi-Homemade Easter {refashioning for the family} | This Mama Makes Stuff
April 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica April 15, 2011 at 6:03 am

Good Morning! I am featuring these as part of a boys dress up for Easter clothes post which you can find here: http://bisforboycreations.blogspot.com/2011/04/fabulous-finds-for-boys-all-dressed-up.html


Sarah April 30, 2011 at 6:08 am

I am not good at sewing but I loved loved these pants. I had been looking for church pants that I actually like and could afford and stumbled across your blog. It was a challenge for me but I did it! I like the first pair better but they were super tight! :) But I posted a picture on my blog and thank you so much for going through all the trouble so I could make these cute pants. I love them!


Shantel May 21, 2011 at 8:23 am

Really cute! I’m featuring it on my blog today!


Hope Brooks September 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

Very cute! I may have to try this for my skinny little girl as well! (with ladies pants, of course!)


Nicole December 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm

This was so easy to do! I made it bigger but ended up cutting it back down since my 4 year old is so skinny. All I really had to do was lengthen it. I also used a pair of ladies pants, which I noticed tend to have a shorter zipper and crotch so I didn’t have to cut it down! Thanks for making boys pants easy and cute!


Jen April 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

The same thing happened to me with the zipper! I’m new and I thought…why can’t I zip this? Pop there it went! I’m sad :-(


DM April 12, 2012 at 6:58 am

I am really impressed !!!!!


Myong Dewater August 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I came upon your post on google and check out a few of your early articles. Stay with the very good posts. Ill likely be by again to read more, thanks for the information!.


laura September 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I love these! I just got a pair of slacks from the thrift store and cant wait to make them!


Agu October 5, 2012 at 11:48 am

I was going to ask what if you want to make the crotch area smaller? I know how to do the legs but not that area is their any way I can make that modification?


Jacquie Snell January 27, 2013 at 7:10 am

What type of rotary cutter do you use?


Anshu February 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

Great tutorial, for a boys wardrobe essential. Your little one looks adorable in his slacks. I featured this tutorial here:


Amanda March 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Just what I was looking for! I already started a pair of pants for my son last night just using my imagination and knowledge. All I was curious about was how to finish the waist, thought it would be more tricky but doesn’t seem to be. guess I had better get back to work now that I have some insight! thanks!


Eleya March 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

I made these yesterday (from a pair of ladies pants as it was the fabric I liked best at the thrift store). I am hoping to do a spin on a vintage theme for family photos and was very happy with how the pants turned out. Thanks so much for posting this tutorial!!


Sara P June 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I love these! I found a pair for $1 at the local thrift store! Whoop! My little guy looks super cute in them. Thanks so much for the tutorial!


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Kari Morrison March 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm

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How would you go about ” slimming” your own wider legged pants pattern as you suggest?



Beryl July 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I stumbled across your wonderful site and am so thrilled! Thank you for your efforts in showing how to make pants for boys out of men’s trousers.
My grandson is a slender shoot…..growing taller but not wider…very hard to get good trousers that don’t look like skirts on him!
I have already cut out a pair to put together today…..found you last night!
Now for a jacket maybe?? Hint hint!


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Md Razaul Karim April 24, 2015 at 10:34 am

It’s a awesome comfortable style for kids dress. Thanks for informative article and i will apply this method in my professional life.


vita July 25, 2017 at 9:08 pm

Thanks for the pattern. My sons new pants turned out awesome.


Caroline Astell-Burt January 14, 2018 at 10:34 am

Hi there, I made trousers this way for my son 30 years ago now thanks to you the old skills are being awakened and am making them for my grandsons!


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