Sew a ruffle on the bottom of a pair of pants and you take them to a whole new level, add a bow…and well, you’ve really got something :). Aren’t they cute?! I thought of the idea for this jean upcycle about a year ago when I came across these super cute boots on Pinterest. They had the cute banded ruffle at the top, and I thought if you slapped that on the bottom of a pair of pants you’d have yourself a super cute look. I love how they turned out.
This would be perfect to lengthen a pair of jeans your girl has outgrown, or to simply up the cute factor of a pair of store bought like I did. The best part is you can make them to match a top you have made using the leftover scraps. Catch me after the jump for the step by step tutorial with photos!
Ruffle And Bow Cuffs Tutorial
Okay, so I have a bunch of photos for this, and I am afraid that I might make the project seem harder than it is – but really the concept is simple. Add a flat ruffle around the bottom, sew on a band, and then put a bow on it, and really there are dozens of ways you could go about it. This is just the way I did :).
- all your sewing stuff
- coordinating thread
- hot iron and board
- needle and thread
Normally I supply measurements for your fabric cuts, but for this project it will depend on the width of the pant opening, and the scale of your little one. So I will just tell you how to determine the cuts as we go along.
Let’s get started!
We’ll be using a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout unless noted. If you are new to sewing I have a great sewing tips directory that can help with any terms you’re not familiar with.
First you need to determine the length you need the jeans. I had to cut some off because they were too long to begin with. If you have a too short pair you are using , you can add about 1-1/2 inches to the length depending on the size you’re working with.
You want them at a length that allows the ruffle to drape nicely. I cut mine so they were just brushing the top of my little girl’s foot, allowing for growing room.
If you are using pants the you didn’t need to cut, just skip this step. Instead of folding and hemming, simply zigzag or serge the raw edges. Now lay one pant leg flat and measure from one side the other of the opening. Double that number and this is the number you’ll use for your fabric cuts.
For the main ruffle you need to decide how big. I determined I wanted a final ruffle of 4 inches in height for my four year old. I think that would be the max. For every year younger, just scale it down a 1/2 inch.
Take your desired final ruffle height and double it, then add a 1/2 inch. So I came up with 8½ for my number.
For the second measurement, take the leg opening number and add length for the gathering. I would at most double it. I had 13 inches for my opening, and cut almost 22 inches – so not quite doubled. Don’t let this part confuse you, just allow for some gathering and you’re good.
My fabric cuts for the main ruffle piece came to: 8½ by 22 inches. You’ll cut two, one for each leg :)
Now fold them in half length wise, right sides together, and sew with a 1/4 seam allowance.
Turn right side out and press so the seam runs down the center like shown.
Now just sew a gathering stitch along the seam.
Next hold the bobbin thread and gather the fabric to match the leg opening number, plus a 1/2 inch. You can even just hold it to the bottom of the leg to check. Repeat on the second piece.
Now make a loop out of them by sewing the ends together forming the cuff. Finish off the raw edges with a zigzag (tutorial for finishing seams with a sewing machine) or serge.
Now this is where the you can do this a dozen different ways comes in. I went a different route on the first cuff then I will explain here, as the second time around I found an easier way :). Again, the idea is just to sew the cuff to the bottom, so don’t over think it.
I just slipped the cuff over the pant leg and made sure the center seam where we gathered overlapped about a 1/2 inch. Line the side seams up and sew with a straight stitch right along the center gathering stitch.
Now for the band. Determine how wide you want it (I went with 1½ inches) and add a 1/2 inch, then cut the length to match the leg opening, plus a 1/2 inch.
Fold the sides over 1/4 inch twice and press like shown. Sew along the folds.
Now you can just do this with your fingers and the iron, but I wanted to show you where you want the gathers. Gather at the center, and ends. Ten bunch up in the center and press to give it a creased and gathered look.
Now just wrap the band around the center of the main ruffle, line the ends up on the OUTSIDE (wished I’d have done this) of the pant and overlap a 1/4 inch and pin. Sew over the ends with a zigzag to secure. The bow will cover it up so it’s all good.
Then just sew a vertical stitch on the other side to hold the strap in place. This should line up with the inside seams.
Now the bow. Again, determine the bow on the size of the main ruffle and band. Ideally you want it a little bigger than the band in width. I went with 2 1/2 by 4 inches for the final size. That meant I cut two pieces at 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches.
Fold in half length wise, right sides together and sew. Turn out and press with center seam along the center. Then sew the ends to make a loop. Pinch in between your fingers like shown and secure with needle and thread at the center.
To make the center band, just repeat the same process you did for the bow, then scrunch it up and press for a creased and gathered look lie we did on the band.
Then wrap around the bow and sew. I had to trim so off the ends after I had sewn.
Now take the bow and sew in place with needle and thread. Make sure to hide your stitches, and make quite a few passes.
Now just slip them on your little one and admire the cuteness. And goodness are they cute!
I love little projects like this that just add to the details, they really do make an outfit.
I have had a bunch of requests for how to make the bow sash, and have that coming up!
Looking for more ways to add a little more cute to the cuff of pants? Check these out:
- Another way to add ruffle cuffs – it looks like they are spilling out the bottom :)
- Sew on some crochet trim – really sweet
Now, any questions? Leave them in the comments and I would love to help you out.
Thanks for reading and sharing, it means a lot to us!