Friday, 26 August 2011

Pirate and Harem Pants!

IN the shop we often have harassed looking parents needing a costume quickly. We have wide range off very lovely and easy to follow patterns. However sometimes they need a costume in about 10 minutes so I tell them about my method for making harem pants for belly dancers. These are very lose and baggy trousers which when made in something light and floaty have a genie type quality. Here I've made them in black and red for a more piraty look.  The dimensions here are for a teenager, the method remains the same for a younger person you just need to alter a few measurements for a smaller child.
You will need;
About 2 meters of fabric (something light and not stiff,  a light cotton or a satin lining works very well)
1 Meter of elastic 20-25 mm wide
1 meter of elastic 10 mm wide
Scissors (We recommend high quality dressmaking scissors which never gets used for anything other than fabric)
Thread cutters (thread cutters or embroidery scissors avoid you wearing a dull spot in the middle of your dressmaking shears. They only cost between £1.50 and £5.00 and will more than double the life span of your Dressmaking Scissors
Pins  (and I highly recommend a magnetic pin cushions, carefully putting pins back into a cushion may not seem like much time, but it adds up to quite a bit during the construction of a garment)

Also recommend : Pirates of the Caribbean DVD's to watch whilst sewing

Step1 Draw little arrows along the selvedge on one side and then cut the fabric in two across the width (leaving you with two lengths a metre long. Fold each in half selvedge to selvedge and lace one on top of the other making sure the arrows on both are pointing in the same direction (this stops the trousers having one leg in one direction and the other leg in the other, not so important with fabrics with a nap maybe, but under strong lighting even fabric with no nap can still look different if one piece is upside down)

Step 2. ON the selvedge side mark off a line 30 cm down and 20 cm across draw a curve at the corner.

Cut along the curved line

Now when you open out the fabric you should have two sections that look like this
The selvedge sides become the inner leg seams. One one section fold the fabric right sides together selvedge to selvedge. Pin along the selvedges (inner leg seams) and sew (seam allowance 5/8 inch or 15mm) Repeat for the other section.

 You now have two trouser legs, each with half of the waistband on top.THese are both insdie out. Turn one outside out and then slide it into the other trosuer leg, lining up the seams you've just sewn and the waistband.
Pin and sew long the crotchline.  Clip the seam at the curve and you're almost done.

At the waistband and at the end of the trouser legs you simply have to make a casing for the elastic. Fold the hem up on the inside of the fabric and then fold again (around 12 mm) sew  in place leaving a gap for the elastic, thread the elastic through using a safety pin. Repeat for the waistline, folding the fabric the width of the elastic you're using there.

And there you have it, a very quick method for making baggy pantaloons. I've been known to whack a pair together in 20 minutes, but take your time for your first few goes, never rush and always strive to enjoy yourself.

To make these  for young buccaneers and genies  follow these simple steps.
To find out how much fabric you need measure from their waist to the floor. Add about 20 CM and double the total.
For step 2 instead of marking down 30 cm, mark down the distance between the wasit and the chair seat when seated and add 5 cm. Instead of drawing the line 20 cm from the edge reduce this to about 12cm for under 12 year olds.

Happy pirating :)

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