This tiered pants sewing tutorial is a step above a beginner, but still a simple pants pattern to make! The large ruffled tiers are make absolutely adorable palazzo style pants for little girls. Using quilting cotton, you can adjust this pattern to fit any size you need!
My niece is turning one! I couldn’t let the occasion go by without using the opportunity to make her some clothes to begin her toddling phase in. (Let’s just face it, if I’m your Aunt, you’re going to get homemade clothes. It is just life.) So, for outfit number one, I chose to make a reversible Smocket (find the free printable pattern here) and a pair of girly, tiered pants.
I loved making these pants. Cute. Girly. Comfy cozy. I cannot wait to give them to her!
What do you need to make these tiered pants?
Half a yard each of 2 fabrics. (Or 1 yard of a single fabric. You could also use some of your larger fabric scraps if you’ve got any of those lying around! Those would be fun!)
Elastic. (This is my go-to kid elastic.)
Your sewing stuff. (Sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, ironing board, iron)
Cutting Your Fabric
First, I made my pattern. (I just drew it right on the back of my fabric. I’m fancy like that.) This is a size 18 months. If you need a larger size, add the inches as needed. (Don’t forget to add to the width and the length!)
Okay, got it? Hehe. I’m just joking. This is my little sketch book drawing of what I made.
Piece 1: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric A: 6″ waist, 9″ crotch, 11″ outseam, 9″ leg width. (I used my Variform Curve ruler for the crotch. You can always eyeball it or grab another pair of pants and copy that pair.)
Piece 1A:Cut 2 on fold: Fabric B: 3″ tall by 9″ wide. (This is NOT a ruffle. It is just straight. You can omit this piece to make the pants shorter. Or you can add 1.5″ onto the length of pieces 2 and 3. Or you can add a third “crazy” fabric into the mix with this piece. It is up to you. You’re the designer. For my pants, I have it.)
Piece 2: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric A: 5″ tall by 12″ wide.
Piece 3: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric B: 5″ tall by 12″ wide.
Sewing the Tiers
This is what you should have right now. (My pieces are still together. There are two of each piece, I swear!) (And they are still folded!)
With right sides together, sew piece 1A onto piece 1.
Now, on piece 2, you’re going to want to do a basting stitch (straight stitch, close-ish to the edge, as long as your stitch length will go) and gather the top of the piece. (The basting stitch should run down the LONG side of the fabric on whichever side you deem to be “top”.)
Once you’re all gathered up, pin piece 2 onto piece 1A with right sides together. You want the corners to match. Gather as much as needed to get the piece the same width. I gathered mine more in the middle and less on the ends. Why? The ends will be the inner leg. I wanted the ruffles to be more on the outside, with the inside of the legs being less ruffles. It’s a comfort thing.
After pinning, sew right sides together! (Sew with the gathered piece on top. Otherwise your straight piece will end up getting wonky.)
Do the same for piece 3. Baste. Gather. Pin with right sides together to piece 2. Sew.
Repeat for the other leg.
Finish the seams if you’re going to finish them. I serged mine because I have a nice serger and have to use it! If you don’t have a serger, don’t be jealous. Just finish your edges as you wish. (Clip them with pinking shears. Trim and zigzag. Do nothing. Whatever you want to do.)
Putting the Pants Together
Now, each pant leg should look like this. Fancy, huh? Take each pant leg and sew the inseam. (Put right sides together, matching up the outer edges.) Finish the inseam. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag.)
Now, you should have two pant legs. Do they look like pant legs? (You should answer yes. If you answered no, I think it is time to evaluate what went wrong before pressing on. Fear not. It happens to the best of us.)
Flip one leg right side out and put it inside the other leg. Match the inseams. Pin around the crotch area. Sew. Finish the seam. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag.)
Adding Elastic to the Waist
We’re moving on! Press about an inch of the waistband down. (Wrong side to wrong side.) If you didn’t serge the edge, you’ll want to flip about 1/4th of an inch under before you sew. Hide that unfinished edge! Sew around the waistband! Make sure you leave a little hole to feed the elastic through.
I put a brooch pin on the end of the elastic I am NOT feeding through. It keeps the end from accidentally following the leader and ending up inside the casing. I use a safety pin to feed the elastic through the casing.
Put the elastic into the casing. Feed it through. Don’t let the end follow! It needs to stay out.
Now you have both elastic ends out. Yay!
Cross the edges over each other and sew. Use a zigzag or elastic stitch on your machine. A straight stitch will break when the elastic is pulled. (An elastic stitch looks like a wonky zigzag. See above.)
Trim the edges of the elastic.
Pull on the waist and pop the elastic inside the casing.
Sew up the hole!
Hem the Tiered Pants
Hem the bottom edge of the pants. (I serge mine, then flip them inside and zigzag them. I like the look of a zigzagged hem. It makes it different from things you can buy at the store. You see the zigzag and you know, those are special!)
Tiered Pants Tutorial Done
And you are done! Adorable little pants to toddler about in!
As always, this tutorial is yours to use as you wish. Make them to give, keep, or sell. Just do not sell the pattern. And when someone asks where you got the pattern, share the free!
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Other Notes From the Parsonage Posts You Might Enjoy
- Double Ruffle Pants Tutorial
- Double Twirly Skirt Tutorial
- Pixie Skirt Sewing Tutorial
- Child’s Ruffled Half Apron Sewing Tutorial
Love this pattern!!! How did you make the shirt?
I used the Mayfly Smocket pattern. It is a great shirt for the toddler crowd- especially when you make it reversible! You can flip it over when they get sauce all over their front and no one will even know what a hot mess they were!