How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

Learn the three best ways to draft harem pants, how to sew them, and find the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
Reviewed By
Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 15, 2023
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Harem pants have been fashionable for a long time now. Almost every fashion conscious person has owned a pair before. The pants are popular because they are flattering to various body shapes. Their baggy silhouette at the legs and tight calves create an effortless casual style loved by many. The Harem pants pattern is the ultimate project for pattern making and sewing beginners. It helps with gaining confidence in creating many other patterns.

The pants can be styled in a couple of ways and can be made with various materials like satin, silk, light cotton, chiffon, medium cotton, georgette and sheer fabrics. Heavy fabrics just don’t work with the harem pants sewing pattern. There are 3 ways of drafting harem pants. The 3 methods can be used for women’s, men’s, baby or toddler’s harem pants pattern. The only difference is in the looseness around the crotch area. Let’s take a closer look at the three different approaches to the harem pants pattern.

Method 1

Before you begin drafting the harem pants, ensure you have all the tools and supplies necessary for the process. These include:

  • A pair of scissors
  • A ruler
  • Paper
  • A marking pen (According to most reviews, one of the most popular fabric marking pens are the Madam Sew Heat Erasable Fabric Marking Pens. The pens come in a 4 piece set with 4 refills for dressmaking, sewing and quilting purposes. The pens create precise lines and unlike other brands, they hardly vanish before you are done with your project.)

Here is a step by step guide on how to draft the classic full harem pants pattern:

Step 1. Take the measurements

How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

First off, measure the waist. Make ¼ of the waist measurement or a little lower where the harem pants will go. While making the measurements, remember that you will need to create a seam allowance, add a waist or even a zip.

Next, measure the length of the pants. Measure the legs of the pants and if you have plans for cuffs, add them to the pants’ overall length.

Measure the pants’ leg opening. You can measure either the ankle or the calf to get your preferred length. Be sure to leave an extra inch or 2 so that it doesn’t get too tight.

Once you have the overall length of the pants’ you can measure the drop crotch according to your preference. Just ensure it is in the right proportion with the overall length of your design.

Step 2. Build up the pattern

Begin by drafting the ¼ waist horizontally and the pants’ length vertically. Create points A and B then increase the horizontal line with 20cm to create an imaginary centerfold (point C). Draw lines on the other sides to form a rectangle with points A, B, C, and D. Measure how low you want your crotch from point C then label it point E.

How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

From point A to D, make the leg opening measurements to create point F. Mark point F 2 inches from the hem. Next, connect points E, B, and F. At this point, the pattern is almost done.

How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

Pro Tip: Always aim for a 90-degree angle at the harem pants’ crotch to avoid having a strange curve at the bottom. In case you do, you can fix it by curving the whole line that connects the crotch and leg opening.

Method 2

The second method is pretty similar to the first one except you make a ½ waist circumference instead of ¼.

Step 1. Measurements

Make 1/2 waist measurements, leg opening, overall length and crotch rise.

Step 2. Draft the pattern

Begin by making a rectangle. The long side of the rectangle should be as long as the overall length of the pants. The horizontal side should be at least 44 inches. You can make it longer if you are drafting a plus size harem pants pattern. Just ensure that the pattern stays in proportion.

Next, mark the center of the rectangle vertically at exactly 22 inches from one long end. Apply the ¼ waist on each side of the rectangle’s center then mark them as points A and B. the entire ½ waist will be positioned in the middle of the line.

At the bottom of the rectangle, apply the leg opening measurements on both ends. Measure 6 inches from each side then mark them point E. Measure 2 inches from the hem then mark it point D.

Next, measure the crotch rise from the bottom of the rectangle and mark it point C.

Create an outer leg seam line by connecting points D with A and B. Make the leg openings by connecting points D and E. As for the crotch line, join points E with the Center point C. If your center bottom doesn’t appear to have the right angle, you can fix it by curving the line so it looks natural.

Method 3

How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

The third method is very much similar to drafting the normal pants pattern except you make the crotch pants a little lower. You can even use the pants pattern that you have for a base then make adjustments to the crotch. Here is how to draft the normal pants pattern in case you are completely green.

Once you are done creating the harem pants pattern with any of the methods above, you can cut it with scissors and a cutting mat for high precision. You have to be extra keen when cutting the fabric to get the best results. Here are some quick tips.

After successfully cutting the pattern, you can go ahead and sew. You don’t need any special tools for sewing. Your quilting kit and sewing machine will suffice. If you don’t have a sewing machine and are overwhelmed with the options on the market, check out the popular Juki HZL-F600 Full Sized Computer Sewing and Quilting Machine. Any professional would fall in love with this machine. It is sleek, easy to operate, and multi-functional. You can use it for various quilting, sewing and home décor projects.

How to sew harem pants

Here are the simple steps for sewing harem pants;

Step 1

How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

Start by sewing the outer seams of each leg. Leave a ½ inch seam allowance. Sew the patterns one at a time, the front leg pattern first then the back leg pattern. Select the overlock or zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to finish the fabric edges.

Step 2

Stitch the inseam then press them open. Use the overlock or zigzag stitch to finish the fabric edges. By now you should be having 2 legs of the harem pants pattern done.

Step 3

Stitch the crotch line together to join the 2 legs. The crotch line should be aligned with the legs the right side out. Stitch twice for a secure seams then press them open. Finish the fabric edges with overlock or zigzag edges. By this point, your pants are almost ready because the basic parts are done.

Step 4

How to Draft Harem Pants Pattern: The Sewing Guide

Lastly, do the pant hem finishing. You need to make casings for the legs and waist. For the waist, you can make the casing by turning ½ inch first then 1 ½ inches. Edge stitch along the waistband casing and leave an opening of about 1 inch for inserting elastic. Insert the elastic the sttich the opening.

Repeat the same procedure to make a casing for each leg.

Alternatively; you can create a placket opening of about 3 inches in the hem, i.e. the waist and the legs. You can then attach a band or cuff that’s about 1 inch wide with snap fasteners or buttons.

Another option is to create a frilly elastic band at the hem which is basically an elastic casing that is about 2 inches above the hem. The result should be a hem that looks like frills or ruffles. All you need to do is make an elastic casing 2 inches above the hem then insert the elastic through it.


What material is best for harem pants?

This depends on the style of the harem pants. For instance, Aladdin pants only look great when made with stretchy fabric. Even if you use non-stretchy fabric like cotton or polyester, you must use stretchy fabric to make the ankle belt. Generally, harem pants should only be made with lightweight and flexible material like chiffon, gauzy cotton, georgette, jersey, satin and silk among others. This is because the pants should feel loose and be able to move well when you walk or dance.

How much fabric do I need for harem pants?

This depends on the body measurements of the wearer and how baggy or lose they want the pants. To know the amount of fabric you will need for the classic harem pants, measure the overall length of the pants then add 2.5 inches for the waist band elastic casing and 3 inches for additional fullness. You can even add up to 6 inches if you want the pants to have an overhang. Also add an extra 1 inch for the back pattern. Lastly, double all the measurements to get the correct amount of fabric you need to make the pants.

How do you wear harem pants?

You can wear harm pants with your favorite tank top, denim vest, crop top, tunic or short kurta, or an old distressed t-shirt. It wouldn’t look great with a baggy or boxy top because it is baggy itself. If you are skinny, you can wear harem pants with different decorative patterns and it will beautifully flaunt your curves. If you have a pear-shaped body, you better stick to harem pants with plain colored fabric.

Final thoughts

Harem pants are not only popular among belly dancers. They are a top preference for many people, fashion conscious or not, because they are comfortable and effortlessly casual. Making the harem pants pattern is very simple and is a great way for beginners in pattern making and sewing to practice their skills. All you need for the process is your basic quilting or sewing kit and a sewing machine.

You can use either of the three methods to make harem pants. If you already know how to make the regular pants, you can simply create the pattern then make a few adjustments to the crotch. Either of the approaches will give you great results, and with the few hints and tips on this guide you will have less frustrations.

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