FO: DIY Harem Pants (Drop Crotch Trousers)

An area of garment sewing that I haven’t massively explored is trousers. Like alot of people I find the potentially complex fitting and pattern adjustments involved a little off putting. (It’s probably one of those situations where the reality is nowhere near as bad as the anticipation of it!) I HAVE been sewing up some trousers on the quiet in Shedquarters in a bid to start cutting my teeth on trouser sewing AND develop a self drafted pattern for my ideal pair of trousers. Apart from my beloved skinnies (I have no intention at this stage to venture into jeans sewing!) my preferred trouser silhouette is slouchy and comfy…DIY HAREM PANTS

These drop crotch trousers (harem pants, “hammer” pants, call them what you will!) have been in constant rotation since I made them.  They’re a reincarnation of a jersey pair I made a couple of years ago to test the idea out. That pair has been in constant use ever since but since they were a test pair I didn’t take the time to achieve a decent finish (and the jersey attracts every last bit of fluff in a 5 mile radius) so I tend to wear them around the house; and I’ve been wanting to revisit the idea and make a more “grown up pair” suitable for being out in public (!) for a couple of years now! (These are made from a lovely black crepe from Dragonfly Fabrics. Get 15% off with code “DRESSMAKING” at checkout).

One of the awesome things about these trousers is they don’t require any traditional fitting as dropping the crotch kinda makes it redundant in terms of fitting to the body. Drafting a pattern for your own is a pretty easy undertaking too. I simply used a pair of existing trousers as a template. I made the waist wider as I wanted to incorporate some pleating and give some drape…DIY HAREM PANTS

Then I traced the approximate shape of the trouser outline with the exception that the crotch is dropped to 16″ from the waist. The crotch point (is that the term?) is much lower and  deeper. If you’re going to drop the crotch, it has to be wider to allow for the width of your stride when you walk. The lower you drop the crotch, the wider the crotch will have to be to allow for your stride (does that make sense? If you stand in a pretend walking position then consider the distance between your legs. They’ll be further apart at the ankle than they are at the thighs. That distance has to be factored in when you decide on your crotch width)

I subtracted my waist measurement from the final width of the pattern piece and marked in pleats to take up the excess…DIY HAREM PANTS

Then narrowed to the ankle taking account of the measurements around my knees, calves and ankles. The whole thing was drafted to include SA as I went. It’s such a loose style that you can get away with it!DIY HAREM PANTS

There is just one pattern piece from which I cut 2 pairs…DIY HAREM PANTS

Construction as follows:

  1. Sew the front and back pieces together at the side seams
  2. Sew the front and back pieces together at the inner leg seam up to the crotch point
  3. Turn one leg the right way out
  4. Place inside the other leg
  5. Line up the crotch seams matching at waist and crotch
  6. Sew the crotch curve all in one go


That’s your basic trouser! Add the pleats and baste those. Then add a simple elasticated waistband (Mine is a simple band of fabric applied to the waist and then folded over, with elastic inserted) and you’re done!

I’ll likely be making more of these and may well do a more detailed tutorial at some stage. I’m afraid light levels & the fact that I chose black for this project made it impossible, with my meagre photography skills, to photograph this one in more detail. But I think you’ll get the gist from this!

Such a super simple and comfy pair of trousers! If you fancy cutting your teeth on some trouser sewing without the fitting fears…give this a try!!

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  1. Susan Young December 7, 2015

    Hi Portia, loving the ‘Hammer’ pants (any plans for a shiny gold pair? actually I really hope not!) Seriously, I noticed in your pictures a ‘Faithfull’ brand metre rule and I’ve realised it’s the one piece of kit that I’ve never had of my own. Would you say it’s weighty enough? I remember the ones I used in the various sample rooms where I worked being nicely substantial and not too wibbly-wobbly like some cheap rulers. Any advice/opinions gratefully received xx

    • portia December 7, 2015

      Totally Susan. Thoroughly recommend. 🙂

      • Susan Young December 7, 2015

        Thanks Portia, I feel a purchase coming on!


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