Sewing Blog

Guest Blog Post: Lilly Frilly Ruffle Pants Tutorial

Polka Dot Ruffle

Hello, My name is Anshu and I write about my adventures with thread and needle at Blooms And Bugs. Check out my blog and my Craftsy Profile for more tutorials, giveaways and project ideas.

When I thought of submitting a guest post idea to Craftsy blog, I wanted the project to be simple, quick with a resulting garment that would look fabulous and be useful. I think these Lilly Frilly Ruffle pants fit the bill.

These are a very quick and easy refashion and a great way to jazz up a plain boring pair of baby pants or leggings. This technique is also an easy way to increase the length of pants that fit well at the waist but are a couple of inches too short. This will also come in handy if you want to make pants coordinated with a dress, but don’t have the time/skill to sew the whole thing yourself. You could just add a ruffle at the bottom and maybe a couple of embellishments and just like that! matching pants!


1 baby pants that fit well at the waist ( length doesn’t matter here because we can always cut them to the right length, or add ruffles to increase the length)
5 inches X full fabric width of coordinating woven fabric

Here’s a quick rundown of how I did it.

Cut two strips of 2.5 inches X width of the fabric. I used a precut jelly roll strip from Moda’s “Meadow Friends” line by Deb Strain. Hem along one long edge of these strips.

Along the other long edge, sew a seam after setting your machine’s tension to highest and stitch length to maximum. This will ruffle up the strips.

Take the pants and cut off the cuffs about 1 inch above the hemline. This is where you adjust the length of the pants if they’re too short or too long. If they are too long, cut them to a length where they are about 1 inch shorter than the perfect length. If they’re too small, then cut them as close to the hem as possible.

Place the ruffle on this new raw edge of pants such that the ruffle and pant are right sides together and their raw edges line up. Sew a seam along this raw edge to attach the ruffle to the pants. Serge or sew a zig-zag stitch at the edge to finish it.

Turn out the ruffle, top-stitch as close to the edge as you can. For a better finish top-stitch one more time, this time 1/4 inch away from the edge. ( you could also use twin needle to do both the seams at once)

Adding the bow on the front:

Cut a 9-inch long piece from the jelly roll.

Fold it in half along the length with right sides together. Sew along the raw ends to make a tube.

Now rotate the seam such that it falls in the center of back if you iron the tube flat.

Now sew a seam along the bottom of this tube.
Sew another seam at the top of this tube but leave a gap of 1 inch at the center of this seam. This gap will be used to turn the whole thing out. I have left the gap where the green seam ripper is placed.

Now snip the corners to get this rectangle to turn smoothly.
Now turn out. Use a pencil or corner turner to poke the corners out.

Iron flat.

Sew over the opening you had left earlier to close it fully.

Now fold it like an accordion in the center. I made three folds in mine, with the centerfold being a little bigger than the ones on the sides.

Now cut a ribbon or twill tape about 3 inches long. Wrap it over the accordion folds you just made. If needed use a pin to hold everything together.

Now hand-sew the ribbon at the back of the bow. Cut off excess ribbon.

The bow is ready. Now place it at the center of the front of pants and again hand sew it to attach it to the pants. Make sure you sew multiple stitches for added strength.

Ruffled pants are ready! Make one,

Make two. Make Many! enjoy!

Another embellishment idea:

Cut hearts from the fabric in various sizes.

Arrange them in any manner you want.

Hand sew along the edge. The stitch I have used makes sure that the edges are covered so they don’t fray. If you want to be doubly sure, use fray check.

Look! A sweet little heart. Now do the same for other pieces.

You could applique whatever shape you like. If your ruffle fabric has some interesting print, you could even cut that and applique it.

Ta da! Sew Unique, Sew creative, Sew you!

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Not the way to make a ruffle.
College prof of sewing construction


Well, it may not be THE way to make a ruffle but it sure is A way to make a ruffle.


This is a cute idea. How would you suggest a ruffle be done, for those of us who are not college profs of sewing construction, Chris?


Oh! So cute!!!

Fran Roberts

So cute…

Brenda Drake

Sooo cute!

N. Miller

Love the good photos & EZ instrutions!


Thanks for the instructions on making the ruffle and the embellishments, I have grand daughter that’s a skinny Mini and this is tailor made for her.

Nedra Heath

those are adorable, thanks for sharing.


I did something similar for my daughter when she was 2-3 yrs old but I used a bought tank top and added the ruffle to the bottom to make it a dress. She’s 26 yrs old now so you can tell how long ago that was. Love the idea of using leggins since they grow tall before they grow out of the pants! Love it!


Thanks for sharing! I have a sweet grand baby that will look so cute in those!

Kathleen Poradzisz

A nice way to fancy up a pair of pants or even jeans for my granddaughter. I love it!

Linda Kay Murphy

love this idea stretches the wearing time of a pair of good pants….


I love this idea! I have a 4-year-old girly girl grandaughter who would love them, too.


Another great idea for jellyrolls. So simple and yet so practical and sweet. The bows could be used for any manner of things also. Thank you for some good inspiration.

donna verst

To Chris – does it really matter HOW she ruffled the fabric? The end result is what matters.

Kris Irwin

Fantastic Idea. I have six grandchildren and sometimes trackie pants are cheap at the end of the season. What an idea for them next winter. Especially Holly she is in long pants all the time. Easy instructions, good for us oldies that didn’t have the prevlidge of going to colledge lol.


Was Picasso’s art wrong? The ruffled pants look great!



Thanks for liking my small project. You guys have been very generous and kind in your comments, I’m so happy that some of you would be able to use this idea for your kids and grand-kids.

Happy Sewing,


: D I am new in Craftsy comunity and I am crazy for this project, your story Anshu (in your blog), I am crazy about Stefanie, Craftsy… My God! Where we can find some extra time girls ,to do all the projects? Keep well! Oana (from old Europe)


Silly question…I am new to the sewing world. When you say to cut 2 pieces 2.5 x the fabric. Is that 2.5 the width of the ruffle fabric or the leggings?


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