Shorts + Pants = Shants! Better known as convertible pants or trekking pants, these types of long pants zip off around the knee and turn into shorts. A new pair cost anywhere from $40 - $80. Mine cost under $10 and I made them for my 11-year-old son, Liam.
I bought these boys size 10 Old Navy pants at my local thrift store for $4. The zippers were on sale for under a couple of bucks each and I had some thread that was close enough in color.
I found this fantastic video, DIY convertible zip-off pants, that shows how this process works.
Here's what mine looked like before I hacked them up:
Liam did not like the pockets on the side, so I took those off.
After I removed the outside pockets, I measured down about 14" from the inseam, drew a chalk line and cut the legs off.
Next, I turned the raw edges under and stitched to create a finished edge. If you're a ninja stitcher, you could do this while adding the zipper, but I like to do this in 2 steps.
Make sure when you buy your zippers that you buy "separating" zippers, not all purpose.
Pin the zipper to one end of the shants and stitch them on using a zipper foot on a sewing machine. Then, stich the other end of the shants on the same way.
If this doesn't make sense, watch the video I linked to above - she makes it look easy.
After you've stitched the zippers on both legs, you've got yourself a pair of shants! I'd say there's a 50/50 chance my son will actually wear these shants. Give the shants a chance! Maybe if it drops below freezing....