How to Make Cargo Pants

Updated April 04, 2017

A cargo pant is a trouser worn in casual outdoor activities or in a more formal form. This pant is easily identified by the many pouches and pockets on the legs designed to carry various small items, such as maps, knives, compasses, wallets and cellphones. Making your own cargo trousers is not much different from making a normal pair of trousers; only a shorter length and some embellishments are needed.

Select a cargo pant pattern that is in your size. You can find patterns from major companies for women, men and children

Take your measurements at the leg length, inseam, hip and waist. Use your measures to find the pattern size needed. Cut and pin the pattern pieces to your fabric for the pant. Follow the instructions for layering the pattern. With most cargo patterns, you should end with two pieces of fabric for the pockets, front closure, front and back, and one piece for the belt loops and waistband. You should have lining pieces for pockets with flaps and the waistband.

Cut the fabric pieces. Use a fabric pencil to transfer all markings on to the backside of the pieces. Pin and sew any darts in the back and front pieces and press the seam allowance toward the centre.

Sew together the pieces for the outer pockets. Attach the pockets to the back and front of the cargo pant pieces as indicated on your pattern. Sew and press the pocket flaps to the edge of the pocket. Cargo trousers have pockets on the sides and back of the garment.

Stitch the front and back of the cargo pant together at the side seams. Finish the seams as desired. Sew together the crotch seam, up to the zipper position. Attach the fly piece on the left side of the pant, opposite of the pinned zipper piece. Sew through all the layers to attach a zipper to your trousers.

Sew the pant's inseams. Stitch the waistband and attach it to the cargo pant. Attach belt loops to the cargo pant by following the pattern markings.

Stitch then press flat hems on the bottoms of each leg. Create a button hole and sew a button to the waistband.


Seam allowances can be finished by zigzag or serging stitching.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron and ironing board
  • Fabric pencil
  • Button or snap
  • Zipper
  • Cotton lining fabric
  • Heavyweight fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing equipment and supplies
  • Cargo trousers pattern
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mary Corbin began her career writing for online and print media in Indianapolis. Since 2004, she has covered subjects such as home and family, technology and legal issues. Working in the broadcast industry, Corbin created articles for marketing, public relations and business matters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.