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  • Becca Hoselton

Ruffle Leg Pants Tutorial!

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

*Lots Of Pictures!

I am a fan of ruffles. A ruffle hem, a ruffled collar, a ruffle sleeve, Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles.....I just love em'. A well placed ruffle turns a clothing item into something special. A ruffle on PANTS adds just the perfect amount of whimsy.

I found this sweet fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. I was originally going to make her a gathered skirt with it, but I got it in my head that she needs ruffle pants so here we are.

Since I literally only got enough to make her a skirt I opted to make her a capri length.

You guys, these are so freaking cute that I literally want to make a pair for myself. I didn't add pockets, but you could easily do so.

*Click any of the pictures below to enlarge*

Start off with an adorable fabric. If you're starting with an ugly fabric I have no idea what to do with you....So please start with an adorable fabric.

Penny is super short (no idea where she gets that from) So I grabbed a pair of wide leg pants that fit her really well. You could also use some pajama bottoms since that would be the right fit for these too. We are going to use these pants as our template.

I folded the fabric onto itself, right sides together. Then I turned the pants inside out, and laid the outside of the leg on the folded fabric edge. See the last picture above. Depending on who you are making these for, leave at least 3-5 inches off of the bottom since that's where we'll add our ruffle. Side note- You can easily add a second layer to the ruffle a few inches shorter if you're feeling ambitious.

We are going to add a waistband after the fact, so you only need to cut about a quarter inch higher (rather than cutting the entire waistband length) so we have a place to sew the waistband.

Ok so leaving off the extra length on the bottom and only adding a quarter inch to the waist at the top, we are going to cut around the pants, leaving about a quarter inch all the way around for the seam allowance. You are going to cut two of these bad boys.

Since Penny is a shrimp I opted to make a shorter ruffle. I did three inches for her. So I cut three and a half inches to allow for them to be hemmed.

For the width of your ruffle. Open your cut pant leg pieces. You'll want to go the width of the leg, and since we are making a ruffle, you will need to add extra width here so you can gather the fabric. I added an extra six inches to each leg. This was perfect for me. If you want a tighter ruffle simply add more width and scrunch that puppy up! If you aren't sure, go ahead and add a bit extra for your first leg, you can always cut it down once you see how you like it.

Before we start to gather, lets hem this ruffle. Fold under an eighth of an inch (just one side) press, then fold another eighth inch and sew a straight line. See above pictures.

How I like to gather my fabric is (on the side you didn't hem) sew a straight line DO NOT BACKSTITCH along the entire width of your ruffle. If you backstitch you won't be able to gather the fabric and that defeats our purpose.

Once you've sewn that straight line, gently pull at one thread and start to scrunch your fabric up. If you haven't done this before just give yourself a minute to get the feel of it. It works wonderfully.....just don't pull to hard.

Now that you have achieved your desired ruffl-ege lay it out on the bottom of your pant leg. You'll want the right sides facing each other and the raw edges lined up together. Pin the ruffles into place on the pant leg and I do two straight lines of stitches here and then I serge (or zig-zag) over the raw edge. See Last picture above.

So you now have your ruffled hem attached to your pant leg. Good for you! I pressed my seam where I attached the ruffle to the pant leg up, to get it ready sewing each leg together. Starting at the crotch of each leg, about a quarter inch down, sew each of your legs together aaaaallllll the way down the pant leg. I also serged or zig-zaged over the raw edge here. Look you have pant legs!

Attaching the legs to one another is a fun little trick! You're going to have one pant leg inside out, and you're going to take your other pant leg (turned right side out) and put it inside of your inside out it if that was confusing.....I promise it makes sense. You're going to match up your pant legs and pin and sew them together along with what will be the front to back seam of your pants. Zig-zag along your raw edge and turn both legs right side out, and look- Pants!

You don't have to do this next step, but I like to taper the front waist of my pants down about an inch. They fit better this way, and then you have a clear front and back if you don't put labels on your clothing. How I do this is I fold my pant legs on top of each other front to backm(see first photo above) and I take my measuring.....thing.... and I start at an inch down in front, and taper it off a few inches before I get to the back of the pants.

This next part I don't have pictures for. My husband came in and talked to me while I was finishing these pants and I got distracted and forgot what I was doing.

No worries! I will talk you through this! Measure the waist that will be wearing these pants, and add one inch. So for Penny, her waist is 20 inches, so I cut 21 inches of 1 inch elastic.

Next cut the fabric for your casing (the pocket your elastic will go into) I cut

30 x 2 1/2 inches to allow for stretching and enough room to fold the fabric over the elastic.

Super easy, just fold your fabric lengthwise on top of itself (wrong sides together) and press. Now sew it together in a straight line a quarter inch in from the raw edges.

Take your safety pin and attach it to the end of your elastic and work it all the way through to the other side. Sew your elastic to each end of the fabric. This is a great time to slip this bad boy on and see how you like the fit. Make adjustments as needed.

Last step, with your already assembled pants facing right side out, slide your waistband onto the outside of your pants waist. You are going to have the seam where you attached the elastic ends together facing out, on the back of your pants. Match up the raw edges of your pants with the raw edges of your waistband. Pin your waistband to your pants in four places and sew that bad boy on. I also zig zag over the raw edges where we attached the band to the top of the pants.

That's it! If you made these pants I would love to see them! You can send me an email at and don't forget to subscribe below for updates and new blog posts!

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