How to Cuff Pants

Q. Why are girls’ clothes often so much more adorable than boys’ clothes? :)

A. Because cuteness is all in the details, and girly details tend to be easier to do and more obvious.

At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to :)

Just think how many different types of “girly” detail you can add: ruffles, bows, flounces, embroidery, flowers, appliqué, sparkles, sequins, gathers, and pleats.

For boys, what kinds of details can you add? Some embroidery (like hand-stitching around a bear or truck), appliqué (I have a cute reverse-appliqué airplane shirt), and pleats could occasionally be appropriate (like in the back of a dress shirt). Ruffles and bows? I have yet to see those on anything I’d put on a boy (but feel free to show me if you have!).

For the most part, you have to work with less-apparent types of details. For example…

Top-stitching. It’s one of my favorite things to see on little boys’ clothes (I love it around the armholes on shirts or down the outer leg seam on sweatpants).

triple-blessing: fuzzy appliqué, embroidery around the letters, and top-stitched armholes!

Drawstrings can be fun, and pockets (especially with flaps!) are always cute.

he doesn’t really care about the pockets yet :)

Or you can always find really fun fabric, like the plaid shirt above :) (And, by the way, I saw about 5 of these plaid shirts at the consignment sale. Guess they were cheap and popular!)

Recently I wanted to make Camon a pair of pants (he has trouble fitting his waist into a lot of commercial pants–ha!), and I wanted them to be more than just “plain” pants. I knew I needed a combination of cute fabric and added details, but I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of adding pockets.

So I decided to add a cuff at the bottom instead of just a plain hem. (I could have top-stitched too, but I didn’t.) It was a very easy way to make a hem and add a little pizzaz. (Shhh…I didn’t match my plaids either. I didn’t want to take the time because these were an experiment :) )

How to Cuff a Pair of Pants

Press up 3/8″ all the way around the raw edge.

Now press up 1 5/8″ all the way around the hem.


Sew close to that edge to hold everything in place.

Turn up and iron a cuff about 1 1/4″ wide onto the right side of the pants, making sure the seam you sewed is hidden inside the pant leg.


Tack the sides in place if desired. (I did, but the stitches fell out. I’ll have to try again.)

And you’re done!


This technique works best with straight-leg pants. You can see in the final photo (two up) that there’s a little bit of gathering where the wider part of the leg is stuffed into the cuff. It’s not too noticeable when he’s wearing them, but I did make a mental note of that for future reference.

When you sew boys’ clothes, what types of details do you like to add?


2 comments to How to Cuff Pants

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>