Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Refashion flared pants into skinny cuffed capris - a tutorial

It's been a while since I did a refashion, but when I spied these lime green, ankle-freezer, flares in the op shop for only $4, I saw potential!

I have turned pants into shorts before...(brown ones, blue ones, black ones)

...but previously I have always added a stretch knit fabric for the cuffs. This is actually what I had planned to do this time, but when I checked my ribbing stash, nothing matched the green. 


After some thought I decided to use the fabric that I cut off the bottom of the pants to make cuffs. I did some googling and found this useful tutorial for lengthening boy's pants with cuffs. 

Here is what I ended up doing:

First, cut the pants just below the knee (or 2cm below the length you want the finished shorts to be). Save the scraps.

Try on the shorts inside out and pin where you want to take them in so they fit nicely (and skinnily) on your legs. Stitch your new side seam(s). Depending on the seam finishing and topstitching you may only be able to neatly take in one side seam, not both. Take in the seam with no topstitching. I was able to take in both sides. You can see my new seams below.

Cut off the excess fabric, leaving approximately 1cm seam allowance. Neaten with an overlocker or zig-zag stitch if desired.

Measure the lower edge of the shorts where your cuff will go. Make sure the fabric is lying flat. Mine measured 21cm.

Using your cut-off piece of fabric, line up any centre or side seams and mark lines showing the width of the cuff (21cm in my case).

Cut, then sew along your marked lines. The seam allowances should be the same as your shorts so the cuff is still the same size as the lower edge of the shorts. I kept the original hem on my cuffs as I wanted them fairly wide. The total height of my cuff piece is 20cm.

Fold the cuff in half with wrong sides together. Now the height of mine will be 10cm.

Now, with your shorts right side out, and cuff with original hem side up, pin and sew the cuff to the shorts as shown. Don't worry, this seam and the original hem stitching will be hidden inside the cuff.

The inside of your shorts will look like this.

Press seams and cuff to neaten. Yes my iron is held together with masking tape coz I dropped it!

Then fold back the cuff to the outside of the shorts. Voila!

This is what it should now look like. The cuff should be folded back approximately 1cm below the seam you have just sewn.

To hold the cuffs in place, stitch in the ditch along the side seams of the cuff on the right side of the shorts. This will hide the stitches.

Wear your stylish new shorts with pride!

I had a bit of an embarrassing experience while I was making these. It was Easter holiday Monday and I had finally got Mr Meggipeg and the boys out of my hair around 4pm (I sent them to the skateboard park). Getting into my sewing groove, I had just put on my lime green, too short flares, so I could plan my refashion, when the doorbell rang. Thinking the boys must have forgotten something, I opened the door to see their young, 'I'm with the band' guitar teacher standing there! I looked at him in horror. The flares! What was he doing here on Easter Monday?? I had to invite him in while I rang Mr M (who'd left his phone at home), all the while, flitting quickly across the room  (in the hope of becoming an indistinguishable green blur) and hiding behind the kitchen bench. I finally managed to propel the guitar dude out of the front door great speed, with him probably thinking that I was a complete basket case. The following Monday (yesterday) I wore my new cuffed shorts for him and strutted about. Funny, that he didn't comment....


  1. What a great refashion! I got some pants at a clothes swap a few years ago and have never worn them. Maybe they need a makeover! I love picking up ideas from you Megan.

    1. Yes, do a makeover! It is so rewarding to wear a refashioned item that has sat unworn for ages, makes me feel all fresh and eco-friendly. Thank you :)

  2. Oh, well done! I loved the "I'm with the band" story. It's sorta like my hair only looks good when going grocery shopping, but never when truly desired.


    1. I know exactly what you mean! I should be old enough not to worry about these inconsequential things, but I was mortified! So funny though :)

  3. Great job and one of my favourite colours too!

    1. Thank you, yes it's a gorgeous colour - for the right garment!

  4. Oh no, how embarrassing. I could just imagine how the scene went. The courier comes to my house often at 7am and I have had similar embarrassing moments with him. Great job with the pants though and I love the colour. I can see this with stripes!

    1. Oh yes, I bet couriers see all sorts on their rounds! Stripes is a great idea. I did try these with my stripy Drape Drape t-shirt but it's been too hot here even for short sleeves lately. I think a bolder stripe might look best - thanks :)

  5. Ravi Gaikwad is one of the most talented RTO Officer ever. Ravi Gaikwad RTO your work towards Maharashtra is Incredible. I wish u all d best .You are really doing a great Job Ravi Gaikwad. For more details about Ravi Gaikwad IPS visit :- www.ravigaikwad.com


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I value every single one.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...