Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tutorial: Knot No-Hem Capri Pants

So, sorry about the long break.  Things got a little crazier than I expected (financially, academically, and moving-ly).  But I finally had a little time to do some sewing and blogging today annnnd....I have what you've been waiting for (maybe)!  Remember this picture I used to taunt you in my last post?

Well....Introducing the Knot No-Hem Capri Pants...

Because there's knot no hem on them!  Get it?  Hahaha.  I crack myself up.  :)

 But, okay.  Seriously, let's talk about the pants.  I made three pairs of these pants for my boyfriend's niece and thought they were worth sharing.  They can be made into shorts or capri (cropped) pants.  I made mine capris because I figured the elastic would stretch to still fit in the waist as she grows and then as the length gets shorter maybe she can wear them as bermudas or even shorts (if they still fit in the waist by then). 

They're super easy, super cute and they don't take much fabric at all.  I made mine out of some scrap fabric and a remnant I bought at Jo-Ann's.

But you can make the project even easier than that.  If your youngster has some long pants they wore this spring that you know won't fit by fall, why not cut off the extra length and add the cute knot to the bottom to make them into a new summer item?

You could even make an adult version with some old jeans for yourself!

So without further ado, here's the Knot No-Hem Cropped Pants tutorial.  Join me after the jump to learn how to make your own pair.

Here's what you'll need if you're making your Knot No-Hem Pants from scratch:

  • ~1/2 yard of fabric for the pants
  • Coordinating scrap fabric (make sure you have a good amount, though)
  • Elastic
  • Pants pattern (If you don't have one you'd like to use or you've never made pants before, check out Dana's Kid Pants tutorial.  She provides a 3T-4T printable pattern and step-by-step directions.)
For a quicker alternative, you can use:
  • An old pair of long pants that still fits in the waist
  • Coordinating scrap fabric (again, make sure you have a good amount)
 Step 1:

Use your pattern to make your pants, but leave them a little shorter than you actually want them.  We'll be adding length later with the knotted hem.  Sew everything except for the hem, then join me again for the next step.

 Alternately, you can upcylce a pair of old pants.  You'll want a pair of pants that still fits your child in the waist, but not necessarily in length.  Fold the pants in half along the length and cut off the bottom of the pant legs into either short or capri length.  You'll want to cut a little shorter than you actually want your finished product because we'll be adding a little length in the next couple steps.

Step 2:

Use a serger or zig-zag stitch to finish the edges at the opening of each pant leg.

Step 3:

Now let's get ready to add our knotted hem!  We're going to cut two rectangles of our coordinating fabric, one for the hem of each leg. 

To find out the dimensions you need to cut your fabric, start by measuring around the circumference of your pant leg.  Multiply the measurement by two to get your length.  For instance, my pant leg was 11.5 inches, so my length was 23 inches (11.5" x 2 = 23").

For your width, determine how many inches of length you want to add to your pants, then double that number.  So, for instance, I wanted to add about 3 inches of length to my pants, so I doubled that number and got 6 inches.

If you missed that, for my size 2T capri pants (which had a 11.5" leg opening), my coordinating fabric dimension was 23" x 6".  I hope that makes sense.  Feel free to contact me if it doesn't and I'll try to explain better!

Cut two rectangles in your dimensions (one for each leg).

Step 3:

Now we're going to take our rectangles and make a tube.  Take your rectangles of coordinating fabric and fold them in half along their length with right sides facing together.  Pin in place and iron to create a crease.

Sorry this picture sucks.
Step 4:

Use scissors to cut both ends of your fabric at a slight angle.  To make sure all my angles are the same, I like to lay all the ends of the fabric on top of each other and cut at one time.

Both angles match because they were cut at the same time.
Step 5:

Now sew down the edge and one end of your fabric to create a tube.  Be sure to leave one end open so you can flip the tube right side out.  Which brings us to our next step...

Sew one end.
Sew down the edge
Step 6:

Flip your tube and iron

While ironing, fold under the unsewn, angled end of your tube, press and pin in place.

Step 7:

Sew the open end on your tube shut.

 After you've sewn the open end shut, top-stitch over the other end to make them both match.

Top-stitch over the other angled end.
Both angled ends of the tube have top-stitching and look alike.
Step 8:

Repeat steps 3-6 on the other rectangle of coordinating fabric.

Step 9:

Now it's time to attach the coordinating fabric to the bottom of our pants to create the knot.  To do this, take the tube you just made and pin it to the bottom of your pant leg.  It may seem contradictory, but you'll want to pin it so that it lays on top of the pant leg and does not add any additional length.  (See picture below if this doesn't make sense.)  In a minute we'll flip it down and iron the seam.

It's also important to note that when placing your tube on your pants, you want equal amounts of length to extend from the outside of the pant leg.  This will be your tie.  Make sense?  I hope so!

Equal amounts of length extending from both the top and bottom of the pants.
Step 10:

Sew all the way around the opening of the pant leg.

Step 11:

Flip the coordinating fabric down and iron the seam.


Voila!  You have your knotted hem.

Repeat steps 9-11 on the other leg opening and you should have this:

Congratulations!  You made cute cropped pants or shorts. :)

Please email me pictures of your finished product or questions if you have any!

Happy sewing! :)



  1. Thank you for the tutorial! I'm so making these for my 5 year old :D

  2. These are sooo cute! I might have to make my two girls a pair each! Thanks for the tutorial :)

    Ellie @ Mammy Made

  3. What a great idea, LOVE IT!!!! Perfect for my tiny waisted girl who never fits into pants! If the fit her waist the are short in the leg, if they fir her leg length they are huge in the waist!!!

    And what a easy to follow tute, thanks!!

  4. I'm so glad you like my idea and so glad that it's easy to follow! Thanks for the feedback and thank you for visiting my blog! I really appreciate it. :)

  5. So cute! I can't wait to try this for my four year old! She's such a skinny minny I have a hard time finding shorts long enough!
    I'm your newest follower...can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  6. My step sister has the exact same problem with her daughter. I'm always sewing her pants that are 4T in length and 2T in the waist, so I totally get it! I'm glad my tutorial could help you out. Thanks for following! :)

  7. I am going to make some for my granddaughters thanks for the tut!

  8. I saw this on Pinterest month's ago but it didn't lead back to here. I'm so happy I finally found it. My favorite pair of pants have a hole and I can't wait to make them into shorts for the summer. Such a great idea!

  9. im surprised on one person mentioned these for themselves, im going to do this for me!

  10. Love love love this tut , I just whipped out 2 pairs in a hour thanks ....

  11. I love this idea! It looks so great afterwards. Funny how you can change the look so drastically.

  12. can I do this with ribbon too?

  13. Being a mother of 3 little girls they keep me busy with buying clothes. We have little country girls at heart and they are hard on pants. Now have a fashionable way to upcycle their jeans with holes in the knees and ones that are too short! Thanks for helping to stretch my dollar!

  14. I really like this idea. The fabric is so pretty and really make the capris more fun. Sometimes capris can be a bit boring but this livens them up. You are right about the adjustable nature of these pants for kids as they grow up too.

    I think I can apply this idea to other areas as well. I'm certainly not the biggest fan of hemming, plus the decorative touch makes your method an even bigger winner.

  15. And you can use the cut off bit of the jeans to make a skirt for American girl size dolls!!! Waste not want not!! I will making several of these this weekend for my 10yr old and my 1 yr old!!! Thanks!!!

  16. Love this tutorial! I know this is a bit old but to make this even easier, just fold the fabric strip in half (wrong sides together) and sew right onto the jeans. There is really no need to make the tube first.

    Thanks for the beautiful tutorial!

  17. thanks Megan, because I couldn't figure out how to make the tube, even after reading over this several times. I'm a beginner!

  18. Thank you for the tutorial! I'm so making these for my kid and suprise him on his b'day.The fabric is so pretty and really make the capris more fun


Your comments brighten my day, so comment away! (Hey, that rhymes!) As always, thanks for reading. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...