Inspired Halloween: Mermaid Pants!

Have you seen the live-action little mermaid yet? I have two girls who are totally enamoured with the under sea fantasy world. And who could blame them? So today, I’m giving a tutorial on how to make circle bell bottoms for a mermaid costume.


Step 1: Pattern Assembly

Assemble your Tiffany’s leggings pattern as usual. Cut out the size that you will be making.

Step 2: Planning

Draw a line horizontally across the pattern piece where you want the bells to attach to the top of your leggings. Be sure the line is level with the bottom edge of the leggings. Mine is drawn here in red.

Step 3: Pattern Manipulating

Cut across the horizontal line. We will be using the bottom piece to create the flare.

Take the leggings bottom piece, and slice it vertically into 1/2”-1” pieces. The bigger flare you desire, the thinner the strips should be.

Step 4: Making a Bell

Now, the vertical strips need to be arranged into a flare. In order to do that, the tops of the vertical strips must always be touching at the corners. You can flare your strips a small amount (like mine), or arrange into a full circle for very wide circle bells.

Step 5: Tracing the New Pattern Piece

Then, we need to trace around our bell or circle shape to create a new pattern piece. Connect the strips with a ruler first, and then smooth out any corners. Also straighten the sides.

When fully traced, it should look something like this:

Now cut it out!

You have now successfully made a new pattern piece for your bell bottoms!

Step 5: Cutting and Assembling Fabric

You will need to cut 2 mirrored legging top pieces, 2 mirrored bells/circles, and a waistband out of your fabric. Next, take one legging top piece, and one bell/circle piece, and match them up right sides together.

Sew across with a stretch stitch, and press the seam up. Top stitch if you wish.

Repeat this step with the second set, and continue assembling as the pattern tutorial suggests.

Finally, hem your pants in the style of your choice. I did a rolled hem this time.

This is a great hack for costumes and everyday outfits, too! You can use this method for and pattern piece that you want to add flare to: pants, sleeves, even whole bodices!

Stay tuned for a tutorial on upcycling T-shirts like this. Thanks for reading!

Victoria Strong


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