I’m always looking for quirky details I can add to my and sewn garments. On a recent pair of jeans I sewed, I added gigantic cuffs to the bottom. It makes for a unique addition and it’s really quite easy to do. I’ll tell you how!
Pattern Selection: Before making major style alterations to a pattern, you want to take a moment to consider whether the base pattern will actually look good with the alteration. (I’m totally guilty of jumping into a pattern hack without carefully considering the finished result just because I’m excited). I think giant cuffs look great on fitted jeans whereas a more modest cuff is a better fit for a wide leg pant – but that’s just my opinion. You’re welcome to another opinion, just make sure you’ve thought about it for a moment!
Fabric Selection: While you can tack your giant cuff in place, this sort of hack will work best in a pair of jeans or pants made from a fabric that doesn’t have much drape – a medium to heavy weight denim or twill is a great example. A swishier, drapier fabric won’t support the cuff very well.
Pattern Alterations: Start by deciding how high on the calf you want the cuff to go and then draw a horizontal line on the pattern at that point. You may want to change the shape of the pant leg. If so, this is your chance to do so. I personally like straightening out the leg for a large cuff, but a tapered leg will work too. Remove the hem allowance from the bottom of the pattern.
Mirror the pant pattern between the cuff point and the bottom. If you straightened out your leg, this will create a long rectangle. If you didn’t do this mirroring step (instead of just adding extra length to the bottom) is super important so that the cuff follows the shape of your pant/leg. Then add your hem allowance back on to the bottom.
Sewing: Sew the pants up as you normally would. Remember that your hem and seam allowance will be visible on the outside of the pants after you turn up the cuff, so choose a seam finish that you don’t mind being visible. After you have finished sewing the pants, fold the cuff up. To help the cuff stay in place, tack it down near the top of the cuff on each side.