How to Sew Simple Capri Pants

By Mercedes Valladares ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Pre-made pant pattern
  • Pattern paper
  • Dark pencil
  • French curve ruler
  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric (your choice: approximately 2 to 3 yards)
  • Trim (optional)
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Elastic (optional)
  • Serger machine
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

Long spring and summer days often lead to extended outdoor activities. Lightweight capri bottoms will keep you cool in the hot afternoon and offer a comfortable transition into the evening. Although most bottoms can be converted into a capri, the key ingredient is the inseam length. By pre-selecting your inseam and slightly tapering the leg opening, pant patterns can be simply altered, adjusted and sewn into a simple spring and summer capri.

Trace your pant pattern onto pattern paper. You will be altering the pant into a capri in a later step. It is best to use a pattern that has a simple waistband, such as an elastic waist. Make any necessary fabric notch markings onto your pattern. Keep the pant pattern for future reference.

Mark your capri’s inseam, front and back rise, as well as leg opening on your pattern with your dark pencil. For example, most capri size small patterns follow a 23 inch inseam, a 10 inch front rise, a 15 inch back rise and a 16 inch wide leg opening. For a skinny capri, begin tapering the leg at the knee. Use a French curve ruler to shape the rise as well as to shape the tapered leg. Cut out your pattern with your paper scissors.

Choose your fabric. You can use a solid woven stretch cotton twill or a printed pattern. You can also add a trim at the leg cuff opening, such as a stretch eyelet or braid.

Pin your pattern and cut your fabric with your fabric scissors. For a simple capri design, you will have a front leg and back leg pattern as well as a separate waistband for the elastic.

Add an overlock stitch to your fabric parts with your serger machine. Although this is optional, you will have a clean seam finish. You can opt to pin your fabric parts and try on a dress form with legs. You can also opt to add a long basting stitch and try on your bottom. Check the inseam, capri length and fit.

Construct your capri with your sewing machine. Attach your elastic waistband. You can opt to add a double needle topstitch at the sideseams. You can also add topstitch to pockets. Lightly iron your capri before wearing.

About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.