No-Hem Bow Cuff Leggings DIY // National Serger Month


I’m so jazzed that April is finally here, I mean it took you long enough, for real! And April means National Serger Month again, holla!  Always enthusiastic when it comes to all things serger, you know I love me some knit sewing. Last year I did my gathered basket weave pillow cases, which I love but was a bit more time-consuming than my typical serger project. This year I wanted to show you one of the many tricks I use with a serger that eliminates steps in the sewing process, because that’s the way I use my serger the most.  Whenever I’m sewing a knit project I usually try to minimize having to use my sewing machine or switching to coverstitch (which really isn’t bad, but I’m real lazy).  That’s why I love adding bands to finish off sleeves and cuffs, because they give a nice finished look without hemming. I often use my sneaky f aux band technique as well (last technique under Finishing Sleeves and Hems), which makes it like don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-fast.  But this little bow cuff is such a sweet little detail, and I feel like it takes ho-hum leggings into real-cute-land, which really is the place to be if you haven’t heard.  And they’re  fast, which is really (let’s be honest) why they’re my go-to legging finish.

mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_08

Begin with your fave legging pattern, I used one of Ottobre’s many varieties (which is incidentally,where I first saw this detail!).   When cutting out, shorten your pant length by about 3 inches, and then cut a rectangle that is the width of your bottom pant edges and has a length of  6″.  Also cut  a strip that is 2 3/4″ by 7″ or so.

mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_01

Assemble however you want, I usually zip up the inseams, and then nest leg into leg (right sides together), and sew the crotch. mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_02

Fold your cuff pieces in half right sides together and lengthwise, and serge down the sides (be careful you get this right, you should be sewing the edge that is 6″).  Now with your tubes, fold the bottom edges up the top edges, wrong sides together, creating a cuff. mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_03

Now grab your strip and fold it in half, right sides together and length wise, and then serge down the side, leaving your tails. Turn right side out, and finger press the seam so that it’s fully on one side.  Cut tab in half into two lengths (not pictured).mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_04

Slide one cuff over pant leg RST, and pin the raw edges making sure to match the inseam of the legs to the seam of the cuff.
mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_05

Now  slip one tab between leg and cuff on the OPPOSITE side of the inseam, and pin. Make sure that your tab is facing seam-side out towards you. Serge around beginning an inch before your tab, making sure to catch all layers. Upon completing the round, stop, but leave your work under the pressure foot, needle down.
mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_06

Reach in between leg and cuff and pull your tab out and around (scrunching and cinching the cuff) and then pin, creating a loop around the cuff. You want the the loop  to be almost as tight as you can make it. Align this tab end to the first tab so they are right on top of each other, and carefully continue serging so you’ve caught ALL six layers at that point. Continue serging for an inch or so after that point and then serge off. mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_09

Flip right side out and make sure you haven’t missed any layers (so cute!)mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_07Finish legging waist as per your instructions, I always do an elastic waistband with coverstitch topstitch (or zig zag). 

mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_10

And that’s a wrap. You’ll notice I used sweatshirt fleece which although it worked ok, was much harder to work with than regular knit which is a cinch. Just FYI so you know and have been warned.  I’ve only ever sewn this detail for my girls, but if this is your flava, it would be famous on grown-up sized leggings too!
mad mim_no-hem bow band leggings_11

Be sure to head over to the NSM’s blog and check my project and so much more  amazing serger spectacularness there!




  1. Posted April 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Love these! I’m this close to finally biting the bullet on buying a serger & I can’t wait!

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      You’ll revel in its glory, let me tell you! It will change your life forever!

  2. Posted April 5, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    this is great! I just made some pants, and I feel like they are a little too short for my taste! I’m going to be trying this tonight! (if I have enough scrap left…)

  3. Yam B Fan
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    So cute! Just adorable on those little Tiny Toes!

  4. Laura B
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    This would be cute for the cuffs on a little jacket too!!

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      So true! How come I didn’t think of that!?

  5. Posted April 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Love these!

    • sandy
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Darling. What kind of fabric do you use? thk

      • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        I used a sweatshirt fleece that I dyed tangarine, but usually with this technique I use just any good stretchy knit!

  6. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This is the cutest thing ever! I agree, it would be cute on sleeves too.

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      It would be! And I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that yet! I will now:)

  7. MPaula
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I love these leggings! Great colour as well. The share button is not working. Do you not allow sharing?

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Hmm, no it should work, I’ll have my techy husband look into it, thanks for letting me know!

  8. DonnaRae
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Before even reading all the article I saw the picture and thought this would be so neat on adult pants too. Then I read everything and see you agree! thanks for the tute. So much fun!

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Adorable! Would love to see if you do end up trying it!

  9. Betty A
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Love the serger projects.

    These little pants are a wonderful for growing legs! Just do a contrasting band to save “fave”

  10. Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    How cute and simple!! Love this… now I just need a serger… :)

  11. Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Omg, these are sooo cute!!! Expecting a baby girl in a couple of months, i have to make a bunch of these :-). Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  12. Joy
    Posted April 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Love the bow hem for leggings. It would be a fab finish for a 3/4 sleeve too. I am going to give it a try.

  13. Posted May 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Too cute!

  14. Posted June 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I love these!! Me and Charlee can NEVER can find cute leggings she likes so these are perfect. I think I will try with our Navy Blue Sweatshirt Fleece for those chilly evenings. Oh great for workout pants to with nylon spandex…OH the possibilities :) Thank you for sharing this.


  15. Louis Delcon
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Nice. The leggings look comfy and cute. It looks professionally sewn, like the one we buy in stores. I am still learning to sew. This blog has awesome patterns and sewing techniques that I can learn.

  16. Sarah
    Posted January 1, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyway they can be made without serging? I can only do very basic sewing but Im so in love with these leggings

    • Posted January 1, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely! Just use a zip zag stitch on your sewing machine!

  17. Jennifer
    Posted February 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I just love these leggings! I had trouble finding the basic pattern you used from Ottobre, do you happen to still have the link? Did you have to buy the pattern?


    • Posted February 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes you do have to buy it, I linked to the issue it was out of. Ottobre is a magazine with like 40 patterns per issue, and I believe you can order per issue or subscribe. But you can use any basic legging pattern, I’m sure there are some free one’s out there!

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