Here's where I started. I posted this picture yesterday on my FB page asking for suggestions on what to do with this lovely number.
The first response was harem pants...now, I had been pondering the same idea, but I guess I lacked the confidence because I wasn't sure I'd like the outcome. A couple of other ideas were for an infinity scarf (great because I wasn't sure how I felt having this as an overall print and as an accessory it would be much more manageable) and shorts/pajama shorts (also a possibility if I didn't like how the pants turned out).
My first step was to determine how and how much I would take in the legs of the pants. I did a little research on harem pant styles and landed on this as my inspiration pair. Seriously, she hit all the nails on the head: I don't love the dropped crotch, too much give in the legs...I wanted something more streamlined!
My process in refashioning tends towards haphazard, at best, but I'll walk through each step of it and give suggestions on how to do it "better" ;).
I started by trying on the pants inside-out and gauging (by looking in a mirror and pinching the fabric on each side) the amount I'd be taking the legs in. Now, I did not mark the fabric in any way or even pin it but just eyeballed it. Haha, I suggest marking your legs, somehow, and for the purposes of the picture, I used a pair of earrings to show where I'd be sewing. Next, I sewed up the outside of each leg tapering out to meet up with the original seam just below the pockets. Then I sewed up the inside of each leg in one long line, sewing through the crotch area as well in order to get rid of some of that extra space. I then trimmed off all of the excess fabric and overlocked the edges to keep them from fraying.
|Top Left: earrings marking how much I'd take in. Top Right: barely visible, but this is after sewing up each side of each leg. Bottom Left: sewing through the crotch. Bottom Right: finishing off the newly cut seam allowances.|
My next step was to tackle that waistband! So, this waistband was a little bit of a pain...it had elastic in a casing, but they'd stitched the elastic in place in two lines around the entire waist! Seam ripping nightmare. Oh well, I got to it. I only removed the elastic in the front of the pants, by first stitching the elastic in place along each side seam, then cutting open the casing, seam ripping the elastic out and cutting the front section loose. After I'd done so, I then used that same bit of elastic to create a contrast waistband on the front of the pants. I created a pleat in the waistband on each side (to take it in to the right size), pinned the length of elastic in place over it and sewed it down. It's doesn't have any stretch being stitched in place like this, but the back of the waist allows for plenty to take them on and off and sit on my waist comfortably.
Here's how they look on (without having pressed my seams....I know!!! I just reaaaally don't like ironing, but I promise I'll do it):
Here's one last look at the before and after:
So, now I need to hear from you! What do you think about harem pants in general, and these in particular? Should I leave the pant leg hems as is or try out the elastic? I'd love to hear from you :-)