If you’ve been following my blog from the very beginning, you will know that I first started writing because I saw that Harper’s Bazaar was pushing the return of harem pants way back in August 2009. I had a visceral reaction against pleated-front-drop-crotch-tapered-leg pants as basically the worst thing on the planet. Well, 5 1/2 years later I had the opportunity to test a new pattern for harem pants and I just couldn’t say no. I don’t know what has really changed in that time, but I blame it on living in Los Angeles. I love the 2 pairs I made for myself and I can’t wait to make a matching set for my sister and her 2 older daughters.
The pattern is by Everything Your Mama Made & More, called the Women’s Freestyle Harem Pants & Capris (Misses XS-5X). There is a coordinating pattern for kids, sized NB-18, which I think is awesome. Here’s the rundown on my experience with the pattern:
– This is a PDF pattern which means you buy it online, print the pattern at home or at a copy center, then tape the pages together to form the whole pattern. I love PDF patterns because I can save the file forever after I download it, print it as many times as I need to. By printing on regular paper, the pattern is much more durable than traditional tissue-print patterns. If you’re new to PDF patterns, this one is a nice introduction to the format.
– This pattern features LAYERS which means you can save ink by only printing the size you need. OR you can print multiple sizes if your measurements fall between sizes.
– I was invited to participate in Round 2 of testing, so I got to test the final version of the pattern. The pattern itself came together really easily and the instructions were very clearly written. Altogether this was probably a 1.5 – 2 hour sew for me. It can definitely be faster depending on how you do the waistband, and how comfortable you are sewing with your chosen fabric type.
– You can use ANY lightweight, drapey fabric for these pants- knit or woven, it doesn’t matter as long as it is not too thick, drapes nicely, and is wider than standard 44″ cotton. I prefer knit with interfacing applied for the waistband because it was just a bit more comfortable for me. The pair I have on here is made with a semi-sheer lightweight burnout cotton/ rayon knit blend. I made one pair with a woven waistband and it was just a hair too tight- if I did it again, I would add 1/2″ – 1″ on the elastics for the back waistband.
– There are 2 lengths, 2 waistband options, and 3 hem options, so you can mix and match to get the look you want. The white pair I’m modeling is capri length (shortened by 3″ because I’m 5’1″) with cuffs and a straight waistband.
– These pants do NOT have a side seam, so no stress over keeping the pants centered over the waistband, and no pockets either. There are 2 small pleats in the front to help reduce the overall gathering. If you’re ambitious, you can modify the pattern to remove the pleats and get a flatter front. You can also raise the crotch up by an inch to get less fullness in that area. And check out the variation on Rita Hayworth’s pants below with the slit inseam for a sexy little peekaboo. That may be my next pair!
I really love how mine came out- they are perfect for a day trip to the beach or pool. They are also extremely flexible and would be very comfy in the yoga or pilates studio, or at your zumba class. Wearing these is like barely wearing pants at all- so if you ever feel like even yoga pants is too much effort- try these out instead.
Still skeptical about pulling a pair of these off successully? Here’s some more inspiration. If Rita Hayworth is not too good for harem pants, by golly, neither am I!