Baby Bell Bottoms

Adding a piece of fabric to a pair of jeans is a simple way to give them a whole new look. Even big brother’s rugged jeans can become stylish hand-me-downs for little sis. Cherie from You and Mie gave her daughter’s pants a little extra pizzazz by using fabric to turn them into bell bottoms. They are super easy to do and any pair of pre-loved jeans will work.

While you are browsing through You and Mie you must also check out her Custom Fabric Photo Book. It would make a great gift for a grandparent. The Boy-cycle Wear she made and put her daughter in has baby hipster written all over it. I want!

Keep reading to check out the groovy Bell Bottoms tutorial…

A couple of weeks ago, I made a 60s Flower Child outfit for Project Run & Play’s Sewing Through the Decades Sew-Along Challenge. I’m going to show you how I made regular pants into bell bottoms. It’s super easy and you can do this for kids or adult pants to add a little extra flare. Get it!?? Wah waah.
This could be fun for a hippie costume or if you just like wide leg pants! Here’s what you need:

Pants (you’ll want to use something that is pretty fitted on top, baggy pants won’t look as good)
Fabric for the inset (either a decorative fabric, denim, or something that will match your pants if you want a less noticeable look)
The usual sewing necessities (sewing machine, scissors, thread, ruler)
First, you want to hem up the bottom of your inset fabric. To figure out how much fabric you’ll need to hem, just decide how wide you want the bottom of your inset to be (my little toddler pants insets were about 4 inches wide) and then double that (because you’ll need two) and always add a couple inches for good measure. I skipped this step because I left the bottom of my pants unhemmed, but if I had, I would have hemmed about 10 inches of my inset fabric.
Then, cut the outside seam of your pants up to the point where you want the pants to start flaring out, usually right below the knee. I just cut as close to the seam as possible on one side, and then cut up the other side of the seam and trim the seam to remove it.
Now we’re going to cut 2 triangles from our inset fabric. The hemmed side will be the bottom of triangle (again, I didn’t hem, so just pretend :)). You want your triangle height to be about half an inch taller than the cut you made in your pants’ side seam. I cut about 8 inches up the pant leg, so the height of my triangles are 8.5 inches. As for the width of the bottom – that’s up to you. The wider the triangle base, the wider the flare. You decide!!
Now it’s time to sew! Line up one side of the triangle with one cut edge of the pants, right sides together. You want the bottom seams lined up. Pin and sew starting from the bottom with about a 1/4 inch seam allowance (my inset fabric looked the same on both sides, so there was no “wrong” side, but make sure your fabric is wrong side facing up).
When you open it up, it should look like this on the right side.
Now turn your pants inside out and line the other sides up, right sides together. Pin and sew. You want to try and get your seams to meet in the middle at the top of the triangle.
When inside out, your pant leg should look something like this.
Turn the pants right side out and iron. Repeat with the other pant leg and you’re done!

I hope your little hippie enjoys their pants!!

Check out Cherie’s many other tutorials such as her, Classic Jumper Tutorial. It’s so cute that every girl should have one.




Are you serious? This is the cutest thing I have seen that is DIFFERENT in a long time! The photos of the baby on the beach are beautiful.


Oh my gosh! You just made me feel REALLY old. LOL *I* wore pants like that in high school and shirts like that also.

Ok – I’m off to get my cane and go drink a little cup of tea before my early bedtime. LOL

They are super cute on the little girl though.

Donna Peterson Neff

A blast from the past! I’m with you, VickiT, I actually made pants like that for myself when I was young! We even added a strip of fabric to the hem to make them longer, which would be great for the growing girl. I am an “older” mom and have a 9yr old daughter that hates the skinny pants that are in style now, so this may be the solution I’m looking for! Fun!


This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be using your technique to make my daughters (3 years old) halloween costume. And to top it off, it looks easy enough to do! Thanks again!


Leave a Reply