Friday, January 17, 2014

Harem Pants!!!

Say, what? Yep, I did it. I totally jumped on the harem pant bandwagon...BUT I went with a more modified version. So, the question is, can I really call them harem pants, or not? I guess maybe they'll just be pants. Plain and simple ;).

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. 
Top Left: stitching down on each side of the waistband before cutting out the front elastic. Top Right: Pinning the elastic in place. Bottom Left: the pleats that I created when taking in the waist. Bottom Right: the elastic stitched to the waistband.
And that's it! They turned out to be much simpler than I'd imagined, and I'm so surprised by how much I like them on me!!! I mean I actually think they look good :) hehehe! I will only have this pair, because I see them as a bit of a trend, and though they aren't quite so "harem" and will therefore not fall out of fashion (hopefully), I still think that one is more than enough. Make sense?

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):

I just rolled up the hems a couple of times in these shots, but I've considered adding an elastic band to the hems for a couple of reasons: It allows for adjusting the length and creating a little more of the "harem" look, and it would tie in with the black waistband.

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 :-)

Peace,
Andrea

12 comments:

  1. I think they turned out really nice. I don't have the guts to try fashion like this, but they look really good on you!

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    1. Thanks Terra! I totally didn't have the guts either, but then when that was the first suggestion, I kinda had to just go for it :) I'm pleasantly surprised!

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  2. You are talented Miss Cooper!! It is only a matter of time before you hit the big leagues as they say! Whose the pretty model you have hired for your blog pics? :)

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    1. Haha, thanks Prejoe :) I appreciate it! The, uh, model, headless though she may be, is this totally super cool chick I know....lol, you guessed it, its me ;) Hope you guys are well!!!!

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    2. I meant all the pics from all the other blogs too...:) we r good will be back next week. How r u guys doing?

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  4. Well done, especially tackling the elastic! Thanks for providing all the photos and instructions which is just as creatively challenging as the refashion. Karen @Facebook group Bowerbirds Journal.

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    1. Thanks Karen, I'm pleased with how they came out :)

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  5. I think harem pants are cool but couldn't personally rock them (I'm just not sure theyre my style, or would be flattering on me). I do however, LOVE what you did with these, making me miss refahioning. I like the way they are now, but adding elastic could be a cool way to mix it up a little!

    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

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  6. Thanks Miche...(such a fan, btw ;) ) I was in the same boat. Not so sure I'd be able to rock this style, but I also love how they came out! I actually think I'll be adding zippers to the outer seam of each leg hem (another great idea from my FB friend who encouraged me to go for it!)

    Andrea

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  7. Wow! Awesome job. They look great! I was actually wearing harem pants today, I bought a few pairs while I was in Poland (they were very popular this summer!) Look forward to seeing more refashions :)

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