How to Re-Make Sweat Pants

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

Remember my closet clean out from our year of home organization? Well, I had several pairs of old sweat pants. Remember when we just called them sweat pants? Now, we refer to them as ‘yoga pants’ but let’s face it – I wasn’t wearing those sweat pants for sweating in and most of us aren’t doing yoga when we wear yoga pants.

All of these “bottoms” do have one thing in common – they’re meant to be comfortable. My sweat pants had all the dated looking details to them: adjustable, drawstring waistband with pockets at the hips. (Here’s how to take in waistband on jeans.)

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

Of course they had elastic at the ankles. They screamed early ’90s.

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

After examining all of the yoga pants for sale at the stores, I realized they’re really just my old sweat pants but without the drawstring waistband, pockets, and elastic. So, I got rid of those. Once I took the pockets out, I decided they were too wide and took an inch or so off each leg, too.

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

Yes, the elastic at the ankles, too.

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

Next, I added a Lycra fabric waistband. It was in the ‘athletic’ area of my fabric store. It’s very stretchy and moves around a lot when sewing. I pressed the fabric with a fold and sewed it into a tube. Then, I marked the new waistband at half-way and lined up my side seams with the tube seam and marked half-way. (These were just to keep my waistband even from front to back.) Then I just stretched the waistband to meet up with my sweat pants and sewed. (Here’s a pair of dress pants I added an elastic waist to.)

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

I sewed the side seams and finished those so the pants were more narrow. Then I finished off the bottoms.

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham

Done! This was a quick project and the pants are very comfortable – I’m wearing them right now. They’re good for typing, napping, or baking cookies.

Sweat pants to yoga pants Go Gingham Yes, now I have new yoga pants but let’s be honest – I’m not wearing these to yoga. They’re cozy-in-pants for wearing around the house with a wonderful adjustable waistband. Hopefully, I won’t wear them outside but if I do, be sure and ask me when yoga class starts.

What do you call yoga pants? Do you do yoga or just wear the pants like me?

Go Gingham related links:

How to make a waistband smaller without pins!
How to turn jeans into capris – easier than you think!
How to make skinny jeans from wide leg jeans – make your own “jeggings”
How to mend pillow cases to improve your sleeping – hah!

10 thoughts on “How to Re-Make Sweat Pants

    1. It does work well, Annie, and now that I have one, I can’t imagine not sewing with one! You can make these on a regular sewing machine. It won’t be quite as neat when finished but will definitely work.
      There are lots of serger machines available used, too. Mine is from my grandfather who used to do a bit of sewing himself! πŸ™‚


    1. Ruthie ~
      After I did the first pair, the other two were super easy! Wearing another pair of them right now. I did wear them out to the grocery store πŸ˜‰ but at least now they don’t hang down on the ground. The elastic was shot/too stretched out and now, they stay up quite nicely. Give it a try!!
      Thanks for writing in, Ruthie…


    1. Hah! When I bring my ‘Scamper’ to the mitten, we’ll have to round up a serger πŸ˜‰
      Don’t get rid of the sweat pants. What I’ve noticed is the fabric on my old stuff is better than what’s out there now. OK, except of course if I buy the “it” brands – which I’m not. When all you’re doing is cozying in, you don’t need fancy. Well, I don’t!! LOL!
      Thanks, Kris!


      1. Probably not – mostly I need to get the ‘Scamper’ road ready – and both kids off to college. Both could take a little while… πŸ™‚ I’m hoping to get some work down on the Scamper once spring hits and the garden is planted. That’s my plan but you know how plans go.
        Thanks, Kris! If we’re headed your way, I’ll let you know!


  1. Love the tutorial….. I will have to give this a try. And yes I do yoga in my yoga pants although those i purchase are always to long for me, I must have short legs (regular length too long, short length too short) haha


    1. Thanks, Nina, for chiming in on the actual use of yoga pants for yoga! πŸ™‚ You could easily shorten your yoga pants that are too long. If you have a serger, this is super easy. If you have a regular machine, I’d cut them a little longer and turn up the hem – much like you would when shortening a regular pair of pants. Be careful when sewing the stretchy fabric with a regular machine – it moves around a lot and if you stretch it tight when sewing, it will have a rippled look.
      Thanks for writing in and sharing ~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.