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These pants are weird. They're too casual to be called slacks, and too dressy to look right with a t-shirt. They not blue, but they're not quite grey either. And to top it all off, they make my butt look awful (which I will not be sharing with the interwebs, thankyouverymuch). Since I bought them a couple years ago from the clearance rack at Target, I've worn them maybe half a dozen times.
As I was trying to decide how to improve them, all I could think was cargo pants. If only they had some extra pockets, then that murky blue-grey color would actually seem more appropriate. Obviously, I couldn't make matching pockets without losing some length, so I figured why not lose a lot of length? A cargo skirt would be perfect for summer!
The pants-to-skirt part was pretty much the same process I've done before with jeans. I began by trying them on and marking my skirt length with a safety pin. I then cut the legs off about 2 inches below the safety pin (for a nice, beefy hem later).
I picked out the inner seams.
Then I picked out the front seam up to the zipper and the back seam to the same height.
Next I sewed new front and back seams.
I top-stitched the new seams to match the old ones as best I could.
I folded up the bottom edge 1/2 inch, then again 1.5 inches for the beefy hem.
I decided to do two parallel lines of stitches to mimic the welted vertical seams.
With my skirt finished, it was time to make some pockets. From the leftover legs, I cut four squares about 5x5 inches (the fronts of the pockets), eight rectangles about 2.5x5 inches (the sides of the pockets), and four rectangles about 5x2.5 inches (the pocket flaps).
I paired off my pieces and sewed around the edges, leaving openings for turning them right-side-out.
Then (surprise!) I turned the right-side-out. I used the tip of my scissors to poke out the corners.
I top-stitched to close the openings on the top edge of the front and side panels, and along both sides and the bottom of the pocket flaps.
Each of the side panels got folded in half, and I sewed down the folded edge.
Then two side panels were sewn to each front panel.
And each set was attached to one side of the skirt.
One line of stitching across the bottom edge turned that pass-through into a pocket!
For the pocket flaps, I used the button hole feature on my sewing machine and then cut the little slip with my seam ripper.
I attached each flap with a line of stitching across the top edge.
Lastly, I sifted through my button stash for a couple buttons that matched the existing one on the waistband, and hand-stitched them onto the pockets.
I feel like, in its original state, these pants were trying so hard to be neutral that it just came across as boring. But now, I think it really does go with everything without risk of completely fading into the background.
Plus, the odd color makes a little more sense as a cargo skirt, to me at least.
Who needs a purse with pockets like these?