Shorts & Tote Bag from Trousers

shorts & tote bag from trousers

A few month ago, I found a pair of high-waisted pants in a thrift store, for just $1. I liked the plaid lining and the soft fabric, but I only wore them once – I guess they were a bit old fashioned. The other day, searching my closet for a pair of shorts, I realized I could make then. And why waste the rest of the fabric? So here is how I made a pair of shorts and a matching tote from thrifted trousers…

what you need

What you need:

  • trousers
  • scissors
  • pins
  • an old belt (leather would be nice, but I found textile easier to handle)
  • sewing machine

make shorts from pants

pin hemline

stitch hemline

I used another pair of shorts to measure the length. Since I wanted the lining to show on the front, I cut them about 10 cm longer than the other shorts. Then I tried them on, and rolled them up, pinning the hemline. A quick stitch around each leg and the shorts are done! Moving on to the tote…

tear old hem



cut belt

stitch handles

belt handles

I cut open the inseam of each leg, using a sharp tool that came with my sewing machine. Scissors should do, too. I overlaid both sides on the table, with the lining facing each other. Just like I did with the shorts, I rolled the lining on the outside, and hemmed it. Next, I cut the belt in half, and used a lighter to make sure the edges don’t fray.  Each half would be one handle of the tote – so I stitched thoroughly, in a square shape and then an X shape inside. Once both handles were on, I stitched the whole thing on the wrong side of the fabric, cut off any excess and proceeded to buying a baguette to carry around :)



  1. Hey, gorgeous idea!!!
    Love it!

  2. So cool! I have recently posted a tote DIY on my blog as well! Come check it out :)

  3. oh how cool! i just did this this weekend. from an old pair of jeans. only i didn’t make a tote, i just made a bag that i can hold things in it, like crayons, pencils, etc.

  4. Really beautiful shorts and tote! lovely!
    I’m an enthusiastic DIYer from Barcelona, would you like to follow each other on bloglovin’?
    Big kisses

  5. Tare-mi plac, mai ales marginea in carouri e pe sufletul meu :) Si plasuta e superba! :)

  6. Absolutely loving this! What a great idea! I wish I hadn’t donated all my old-fashioned trousers to the charity shop! Oh well… :-) xx

  7. So cute. I love the hint of green with the strap.

  8. That’s such a great redesign matching outfit.

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  10. What a great tutorial! I really need to learn to sew one of these days :) And I just bought the same yellow shoes!

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