I live in that fabulous country affectionately known as the ‘Great White North’. The British Columbia (BC) Interior is dry, snowy and chilly in winter, and hot in summer. Participating in a March Blog Tour featuring Harem Pants seems a little daft, unless I make them from fleece or wool. But hey, what the heck! We’re off to the California Desert in spring and maybe they will come in useful.
I have reservations about wearing harem pants and hope this exercise can debunk my own myths. I am curvy with hips, (my waist is disappearing on me though), have always thought they’re for skinny women, and will make me look a bit like a Sherman tank. For the same reason I’m not a huge fan of anything loose at the hips, baggy through the crotch, and narrow at the ankle. While my Himself has some strong fashion opinions, I’m also my worst critic. But ‘In for a penny, in for a pound‘ as the saying goes. What also doesn’t help is when people wear clothes inappropriately. My girlfriend recently commented that they aren’t appropriate men’s wear in the gym. It sounds like she had an ‘eyes-bleed’ moment at work yesterday. I don’t think it was the pants but the occasion. Poor love; I hope she doesn’t need counselling from the fashion faux pas.
The pattern, Women’s Freestyle Harem Pants and Capris is by Everything Your Mama Made and More (EYMM) and is a beginner pattern. If you choose to make any of the alterations it’s classed up to advanced beginner. The ladies’ pattern has a huge size range as does the children’s pattern, which has the added bonus of a doll pattern. EYMM has a website with a good blog. There’s a very active FaceBook page and an Etsy Shop. It’s worth watching their website or FaceBook page as every month they have a Manic Monday sale where some patterns are priced ridiculously cheap! These Harems were on sale for $2 last week! Yeah, I know, you missed it … BUT … read to the bottom where there is a 25% discount code. And feel free to share the love!
The pattern was easy to print off as it has an option for layers, allowing me to print just the sizes I want. The no-trim pages option took a little bit of working out for my blonde brain (it was one of those days) and I appreciated the instructions. Once I’d worked it out, it came together wonderfully easily, so much so I realized I’d not stuck previous no-trim patterns together properly. Ah well …
Following the pattern recommendation I chose a woven polyester fabric as it drapes beautifully. It’s navy and gold with diamonds and balls, though the detail is hard to see in photos without a close up. I don’t use a lot of polyester as I like the breathability of natural fabrics, but this is rather lovely. I have a long torso but there is very little distance between my last rib and my ileac crest (the top of my hips), and usually stay away from wider waistbands as they tend to fold over. Although my fabric isn’t knit it is soft, so I interfaced the structured front waistband; they’re elasticated in the back. The wider waistband extends over my ribs and hips, meaning the elastic measurement needs to be increased. The further the elastic is from my natural waist, the longer it needs to be, or it feels as though I’m being cut me in half. I also find that not all elastic stretches the same amount; some shrink in the wash. I plan washing some as an experiment to see if my theory is true.
Rocking the pattern detail!
Hard to see but I love the deep pleats
Harems are a funny pattern; Himself came into my sacred sewing space, looked at the pattern and remarked “What on Earth are you making?” Like all pants they’re fabric hogs and despite my best pattern placement I found the fabric estimate to be correct, with a lot of large left over scraps. I am slightly taller, with a 33″ inside leg. The pattern is drafted for a woman of 5’5″ height. As such I added 3.5″ to the length. My failing was in not reading Joelle’s blog post on making Harem Pants for her daughters. These pants are narrow at the ankle; Adding length to the bottom as I did means I ended up with a pair of narrow from the calf down pants. Joelle added the extra length at the shorts cutting line; her pants look better than mine! That said, for summer my above ankle harems will be just perfect with flip flops or sandals, and they tuck nicely into my winter socks.
The pattern also instructs taller people to add extra length to the rise. I chose not to add it as while I have a longer rise, I wasn’t sure just how baggy these would be. I think I will add it when I make them up in a lovely soft cotton voile. They will be cool in the heat, but still flattering.
The sewing part was easy. Instructions are well written, and a standard 3/8″ seam meant I used my regular machine foot. The fabric is slightly stretchy so I used my lightning stitch and finished all seams on my Serger, where I have wooly nylon thread installed as standard.
Loose at the hips but still flattering
Ready for the City
When Himself saw the finished item he remarked “They are great as lounge wear, but can you wear them outside?” I saw that as a challenge and packed them (because I needed to take photos, obviously) for our recent trip to the rainy city of Vancouver. I chose to prove that yes, they can be worn outside without people looking at me like I was in my PJs. My daughter-in-law gave her approval when saying, “I’d like something that isn’t jeans; I can wear out and still be comfortable.” I guess I will be making her some for her birthday next month. Having worn them round the city all day with my cowboy boots, a top and jacket, I can honestly say that they are tremendously comfortable. I don’t look like I have forgotten my horse either!
Not too loose and not too tight
Feeling pretty good about life!
In conclusion, I debunked my own myth of whether I can wear Harem Pants. I had to think about what to pair them with, as a loose baggy top would make me look like the Sherman tank I was worried about. They are extremely comfortable, fold up small, won’t need ironing, and will definitely be in the suitcase!
Disclaimer: Thank you to EYMM for providing me the opportunity to blog for them and giving me the pattern. My sewing and views are my own, as is the photography.
If you enjoyed this week’s read please check out the other Freestyle Harems Blog Tour Bloggers. Note: The links below won’t be live until their scheduled date
March 9 – Joelle at EYMM
March 10 – Patricia from Sew Far North
March 11 – Tami from Sew Sophie Lynn
March12 – Kelly from Analog Bytes
March 13 – Lore from Blessed x Five
March 14 – Larissa from Connected by a Thread
March 15 – Aimee from Capture, Craft, and Cook
During the blog tour, you can get the Freestyle Harem Pants on sale. Use code FREESTYLE to save 25% on the women’s or youth sizing or on the bundle. The discount expires at 11:59pm PST on 3/15/2016.