How to Make Stretchy Bell Bottom Pants From Scratch

4.1.2017

Yes, it's a fact that straight leg jeans have been in trend for the longest time now. I remember when I started to trade in my flared jeans for the cigarettes --cigarette jeans that is. Anyhow, that was back in high school (more than a decade ago (pause.) damn!), and the trend is still going strong. However, it just might be that bell bottoms are next to be back in trend. So, here goes a tutorial on how to make a pair for yourself:

 

 

Let's Get Started...

 

Try on a pair of pants (I'm using my favorite leggings), and use a pin to mark where you want your bell bottoms to start flaring out.

 Fold your fabric in half with the wrong side of the fabric facing out. We'll make a separate waistband later, so fold the waistband of your pants over as well.

 

Trace the top of your pants, and stop where you made your mark with the pin (from step 1). It should look something like this.

 

If you want your pants to be longer, like I did, you can draw a horizontal line below where the bottom of the pants you're tracing naturally end.

 

From this horizontal line make a diagonal line starting from the pin (from step 1) down to the horizontal line (from step 4), repeat this on the other side of the pin. So, it should look like this when you're done.

 Cut out the pattern. Leave room for 1/2 inch seam allowance.

 

Sew along the edge of the pant leg so that you can have one piece instead of two separate pieces. You're going to need two of these patterns (one for each pant leg). You should have two patterns like this:

 

 

Open one of your patterns so that the right side is facing up, and then put the other pattern on top of the first pattern so that the right sides are facing each other,

 

 

Sew from the tip of the crotch all the way up to the top of the pants on both sides.

 

Open the pattern by grabbing the middle seam on both sides of the pattern like you're conducting a choir. Once you do that you'll see, oh snap, I have pants! 

 Sew from the bottom of your pant leg all the way up to the tip of the crotch for both legs, it should look like this,


 

 

Hem the bottom of your (stretchy) pants by folding it over by half inch and then sewing all around the pant leg.

 

 

Now let's make that waistband...

 

 

Measure the width of your waist where you want your bell bottoms to start, we'll call this measurement, M1.

 

 

 Then decide how high you want your waistband to come up, and remember to include seam allowance when you're deciding, we'll call this measurement, M2.

 

 

Now make a pattern that's M1 inches wide and M2 inches long.

 

Fold your pattern in half horizontally so that the right side is facing out, and then fold it again vertically so that you can sew the edge to close the waistband.

 

 

Turn the waistband right side out. Put your waistband inside of your pants so that the raw edge of the pattern meets the top of the pants. If that doesn't make sense, watch the video tutorial to see what I mean

 

Make sure that the seams are lined up on both sides of the pants as well as both sides of the waistband. Divide both the waistband and the top of the pants into quarters then pin the waistband and the top of the pants together all around the waistline and make sure that you're pinning all layers of the waistband to the pants. It should look something like this...

 

Sew all of the layers together all the way around. Use a zig-zag stitch since you're using stretchy fabric.

You might need to lightly pull all layers while you sew, for example if your waistband is smaller than your pants. It's important to make sure that the layers are gathered equally and evenly. 

 

   When you're finished sewing turn your pants right side out, and Finito! 

 

 How are you gonna style your bell bottom pants? Are you gonna pair them with a crop top, or a baggy sweater, or maybe like a sheer top? Let me know how you're going to style yours.

 

 

 

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© 2019 by Shania O. Mason