As seen in H&M Magazine Summer 2012 feature

What you’ll need:
Loose-fitting trousers, sewing machine, (or needle and thread if hand-stitching), large silk scarf, scissors, pins, thread of relevant colour, elastic, tape measurer

Cut off labels
Start by placing the trousers/PJ bottoms flat on the bottom right corner of the scarf. Depending on how long you want your trousers to be, the top of the trousers should not pass 3/4 of the scarf.

Using the trousers as guideline, cut along with an 1-inch seam allowance.
Use this as template to cut the rest out of the scarf (roll-over image below for guide).

You should be able to cut four identical pieces from the scarf, following the edges.

Pair the legs, right-side facing

Leaving about 3 inches from the bottom corner (this will become a fly) pin the entire length of the outer-leg edge. Pin only up to the crotch on the inner leg edge.

Using a simple zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying (If you have an overlock machine or a serger, you’re one lucky bugger), sew close to the edges, extracting pins as you go. (Refer to this to do the crotch.)

Tidy up the waist, add an elastic (fold down and sew a waistband casing and pass through the elastic with the help of a safety pin); you can also secure the trousers with a knot or a belt.

Worn with: Blazer, Maarten van der Horst for Topshop. Sheer tunic, Zara. Fringed bag, Barbara Boner. Shoes, Patrizia Pepe. Belt, Louis Vuitton via Vestiaire Collective

I highly recommend watching this video before you even contemplate raiding the scarf drawer for a victim, because I personally made a mistake of not consulting the mighty internet (one does not simply walk into DIY without an appointment with Dr Google) and ended up with – I kid you not – three disfigured DIY ‘silk’ trousers with half-crotch/inside-out-seams/uneven legs*. Thank goodness the scarves were about £7 each from H&M, I’m filing that as ‘sewing-and-general-logic’ lesson fee.

  • If available, it’s best to use a pattern (for lounge pants or PJ bottoms) since then you can’t go wrong with fitting, but you can also be a renegade and go freehand of fashion dummy like moi (and possibly pay 3 scarves worth in lesson fee)
  • The length of the trousers really depend on the size of scarf you can find – even with a small-ish scarf you could use to make a pair of silk summer shorts (or cellu-lightning-frightening butt shorts, I like to call)
  • Taking a fine material as silk through the sewing machine might prove to be quite difficult in the beginning, so do few practice rounds with the left-over scarf bits after cutting out the pattern. Although I guess by then it’s too late to turn back and you might as well butcher the poor scarf

Good luck!