How to Make Roll Up Pants or Shorts using Potato Chip or any Pattern

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What’s better than making something for our kids that’s not only practical, but versatile and fashionable too?!  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to roll up my kids’ pants or shorts, only to have them fall right back down.  Well today we’re solving that issue by showing you how to make roll up pants or shorts with roll up button tabs! We’re featuring our Potato Chip Shorts and Pants pattern, but these instructions will work for any shorts and pants pattern.

The Potato Chip Shorts and Pants pattern is one of my favorites for every season.  This unisex pattern comes in 9 sizes with several options to choose from, including many possibilities for piping and trim, yet it still looks just as amazing when kept simple like this twill version here.

We will be using the Potato Chip pants and the Potato Chip bermuda length shorts for our tutorial today.  Before we start, make sure you have already made whatever size changes necessary to your pattern pieces following the pattern’s lengthening/shortening instructions on page 13.  Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to begin!

Adding the Roll Up Tab to Pants

The roll up pants are meant to hit midway between the knee and ankle and can be worn down, or rolled up.  Here we have it paired with the Everyday Top in a very soft double gauze.

How to Make Roll Up Pants

To create this rolled up look, you will need:

  • two strips of fabric 5″ x 3.5″ for your tabs
  • two 1/2″ or 5/8″ buttons

To make the tabs, press the short edges under 1/4″.

Now fold in half and press to make a center crease.

Fold your long edges in to meet the center fold crease and press.

Press your tab in half and top stitch all the way around.

Add your button holes and set aside.

Next you will complete the Potato Chip pattern through to the beginning of step 4, ending where you press the outseam to the back of the pants.  I decided to use faux flat felled seams for my outseam to give them a more finished appearance.  When the pants are rolled up, this seam isn’t exposed since it’s covered by the tab.

With the right side of your pants facing up, fold the bottom raw edge up to meet the height of the back crotch point keeping your outseam aligned.

This will give you the placement for the top of your tab.  Mark with a pin, or a fabric pencil or marker (always test first to make sure it is removable) on the wrong side of the pants.

With the wrong side of your pants facing up, sew your tab in place with a little rectangle using coordinating thread as it will be visible from the right side.  The buttonhole side of the tab is at the bottom.

Now sew a button in the center of your rectangle on the pant’s right side, using a toothpick for spacing so the button is not too tight to the pants (otherwise it will be difficult to get the tab to button on), and your button tab is complete.  It’s that simple!  Then just continue with the rest of the pattern to finish up your pants.

Adding the Roll Up Tab to the Bermuda Shorts

The bermuda shorts length is typically for boys, but I’m liking how my girl is pulling them off too!  She has it paired here with the Daffodil Top.  I think these patterns go together like peas and carrots!

The tabs are sewn the same way as for the pants, but your placement for the tab on the bermuda shorts is dependent on the size you are making.  Use the chart below to find where to place your tab’s top edge.

*You can eliminate the front pocket by following the pattern’s Pink Pin Tip on page 3.

If you are measuring up from the bottom raw edge of your bermuda shorts, you will use this method (the pattern piece is merely to point out the front).

If you are placing the tab just under the pocket bag, it will look like this.

I used a French seam for the inseam since this one is exposed when the pants are rolled up.  You could also add a fun pop of color with bias tape too using our tutorial, or just finish as usual.

If you want the roll to have more of a flat look, simply press them before wearing.  I’m thrilled with how these turned out though, even rolled up on the go, and I can’t wait to pair these shorts with some tights and boots for the colder weather too.  I love when I can get so many looks out of a single pattern!

You can find the patterns we used in our tutorial in the Tie Dye Diva pattern shop.  Happy sewing!