Stylish HAREM PANTS – DIY pattern to sew them

Learn to sew very attractive HAREM PANTS or trousers in 2 easy ways - Make Aladdin pants and fitted Harem pants with flowing folds near the hem

harem pants

Princess Jasmine looking enticing and ethereal in flowing harem pants – this is one of the most popular and enduring images of a harem pant -Today’s fashion-conscious girls also crave these pants for its cool casual and attractive looks.


Harem pants is usually spoken in the same breath as belly dancing, a Middle Eastern dance. The fluid sinuous movements associated with belly dancing is aided by the loose pattern of harem pants. It used to be accompanied by a heavily embellished bra and hip belt. Nowadays It is worn with a variety of tops.

In fact one of the reasons why harem pants is so popular is that it is flattering to most body shapes. This pants have a baggy silhouette with the legs of the pants tight at the calves. This creates a very casual effortless style and hence very popular.

They usually have an elasticized waist or a draw corded one. You can sew them in a multitude of fabrics like light cotton, satin, silk, chiffon, georgette, sheer fabrics, knit, even a medium cotton; Just avoid sewing them with heavy fabrics. 

How to sew Harem pants 

The pattern I have given below is for a Harem pants which is mostly fitted around the waist, not very baggy around the place where you need the least bulk, though it has an elastic waist. If you like an easy harem pants with shirred waist ( which is free size and easy to make in an hour or so) checkout the tutorial for the belly dance pants here. 

How to wear Harem Pants

These pants can be worn with your favorite tank top or a crop top and denim vest or your old distressed tshirt or tunic / short kurta so long as they are fitted. It is best not to choose a boxy or baggy top over harem pants for obvious reasons. A very thin woman would look the best in harem pants for the look of curves this pants would give her. If you have a pear shaped body stick to plain fabrics for your harem pants. 

Checkout the way harem pants are worn to up the style quotient.

Checkout the pattern for a Bohemian hippie pants, an alternative to harem pants with its elastic waistband and loose fit.

bohemian hippie pants

2 ways to draft a Harem pants pattern 

The two methods for sewing a harem pants outlined below differ in the looseness around the crotch line -drop crotch style – The first method makes a very loose Aladdin pants


This pattern is better to be sewn with a stretchy fabric / knit fabric. Even if you are using other non stretchy fabric like cotton or polyester, the ankle belt should be in a stretchy fabric.In the instruction below I am using cotton for the waist piece and pant legs but the ankle belt is in knit, otherwise you will have problem getting your feet inside.The above shown pant  is sewn in stretchy knit fabric. 

The pattern has to be pinned to 2 layers of fabric which is kept on fold. Cut the patterns as per the diagram given below
Refer to the post on cutting fabric if you would like more details.
Refer to the diagram below and make the patterns

Fold fabric and mark the pattern for the harem pants
Fold fabric and mark the pattern dimensions

harem pants

You will now have the following pieces with you.

how to sew harem pants

The waist yoke piece is cut as one piece; If you don’t have enough fabric to make it as one piece you can cut it as two pieces and join together.

Ankle belt piece is also kept on fold to give thickness.

How to sew the Harem pants

Step 1.
Join the inseam of each pant . You now have two pant leg pieces

harem pant sewing pattern
Step 2.
Join the two legs together at the crotch line.

stitch harem pants
Step 3.
Join the waist yoke edges together. You will get a tube now.

harem pants

After sewing the edges together, to finish the edges, on the wrong side turn under the edges to either sides and stitch along the edge.

harem pants tutorial
Step 4
Turn under 1 1/2 inches inside at the top edge of the waist yoke for elastic waist band. Leave 1″ opening to insert elastic.
Step 5

Make gathering stitches to gather the fullness
Gather the leg piece by giving two rows of stitches along the edge. Pull the thread tail to gather. You need to fit the legs to the waist yoke bottom edge
Step 6
Keep the waist yoke and the leg piece right sides together and Join the edges.

Join the waist piece and the pant piece together
You now have the pant almost ready
Step 7.
Make the ankle piece. Keep the two raw edges of the ankle piece together and stitch.

Ankle belt of the pants
Fold the 6 inch wide piece lengthwise so that you have 3 inch ankle belt. 

Turn the fabric piece right side out.Fold by the middle
Step 8
Attach the ankle belt to the legs. Keep the ankle belt and pant leg right sides together and join the edges.

Join the belt at the bottom edge of the pants
Step 9.
Measure around your waist. Reduce 1 inch from this measure. Then add 1/2 inch seam allowance. With a pin insert the elastic to the waistband. Stitch the elastic edges together. Sew up the opening

The pant is ready.

harem pants

Method 2. Pattern for Harem pants

This version is a slightly more difficult to sew version and can be sewn with any type of cloth. You need to make paper patterns to make these pants ( you can also mark the measurements directly on to the cloth – please read the whole instructions  before doing that). This is the best harem pants suitable as a belly dance costume.  You can sew  a version with side open legs with this pattern as this has inner and outer seam.

Take 2 piece of paper with the following dimensions , as you will be making a front pattern and a back pattern

    • length = your pants length plus 7 inches and
    • width = about  half your hip round measurement.

These pants are marked as any pants except that 3″ is added extra to the length for fullness at the bottom. 

How much cloth is needed to sew Harem Pants

The length will be the full length from where you will tie the waistband to the ankles plus 2.5 ” for the waistband elastic casing + 3 inches for additional fullness ( you can add upto 6 as overhang if you prefer that)  + 1.5 inch for hem elastic casing. (An additional 1 inch is added to the back pattern). Double this measurement and that is the length you need for the fabric

Mark the pattern for the harem pants


Use the front pattern to make the back pattern with the following measurements

How to cut and sew harm pants

When pattern is complete, Pin front  pattern and back pattern to fabric as in the diagram below and cut out.You will need to cut out 4 such fabric pieces (2 legs) in this way.

Be careful when cutting fabric which has one way sheen or a particular print going in one direction. You donot want the print to face two directions on the same pant.If your fabric has a pattern or border running along one long edge, you may wish to use that pattern as the bottom edge of the pant leg. To do so, turn the pants pattern across the fabric instead of lengthwise.

harem pants

How to sew Harem Pants

A step by step instructions to sew a similar pants is given in the post – Draft and sew a  Belly dance pants – Check it out for detailed tutorial with photos. 

Step 1. Use 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout. First sew the outer seams of each legs, one at a time one front pattern to one back leg pattern. Press seams open. Finish fabric edges with overlock or zigzag stitches. If you want to leave a section of the seam open on the outer seam of the legs, you should finish the fabric edges of this open area and then sew the rest of the seam.You may want to add some fabric trim to the open outside seam on the legs 

Step 2. Stitch the inseam.Press seams open. Finish fabric edges with overlock or zigzag stitches. You now have two legs of your pattern ready.

Step 3. Join the two legs together by stitching the crotch line together. Align the croth lines with both legs right side out. Stitch twice for added strength. Press seams open. Finish fabric edges with overlock or zigzag stitches. The basic pants is done. 

Harem pants sewing patterns
Stitch the outer seams; then join the legs together; then join the crotch seam

Step 4. Make the casings for legs and waist. – Make casing for elastic at the waist by turning first 1/2 inches then 1 1/2 inches . Edge stitch along the waistband casing Leaving 1″ opening for inserting elastic. Insert the elastic and stitch the opening close.

Make a casing for elastic at the pant hem also the same way. Do the same as before for an elastic casing .

Alternative ways of pant hem finishing for harem pants 

Different finishes for the pant hem

A cuff opening :- A placket  opening of about 3″ long can be made in the hem. A band/ cuff of 1″ wide overlapping the other side for 1″,  has to be attached with button or snap fasteners. 

Frilly elastic band at hem – This is an Elastic casing some 2 ” above the hem, making the hem look like frills/ruffles  For this make a casing for elastic 2″ above the hem . and insert elastic through the casing. 

Note :Some prefer to use cotton cord inserted into the casing instead of elastic as this can be tied more securely and no fear of you stepping on your pants and elastic stretching the pants down – oh the horror

Learn more about the names of different types of pants you can have  as well as lessons to learn how to sew if you are just a beginner.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

21 thoughts on “Stylish HAREM PANTS – DIY pattern to sew them”

  1. What is the purpose for making the back panels slightly larger than the front for the 2nd method?
    I’m trying to make Jasmin style harem but I’m having difficulty making a pattern

  2. Please help I Am 5′ tall and weigh right under 100lbs I am an adult but I feel the measurements for the drop crotch Harlem pants will be way to big for me how should I measure myself for these awesome easy pants?

    • Hi Kim
      yes, it will be a little baggy for you. You can maybe take the pant part 1/4 of your hip round + 4 inches instead of the 15 inches given in the pattern. so if you are 36 inches around the hip take 13 inch that will reduce the bagginess a little. Hope this helps – as I made it with this measure I am not exactly sure but seems like sense to reduce the measurement this way:)

    • Hi becca
      Roughly I take the length of the pant I am making ; Double this ; and then add 1/4 meters to it for the hem etc

  3. Hi, have I missed something? If I follow pattern 1, 15″ waist on four layers of fabric, I’ll end up with a 60″ waist, is that right?

  4. For the alladin pants why did you choose, 15 in , 15 in, 35 in, and 7 in. What were they based on ? Is that a general measurement for anyone. Or are they specific measurements to you?

  5. Thank you so much for sharing these! I’m excited to try this out. If it’s okay to ask, I am going to try to make some wide-striped harem pants for a costume (reference: ), and was wondering if you would recommend sewing the stripes of fabric together first and then cutting the pattern from the resulting sheet, or if you would approach this differently? Any advice would be a huge help since I’m still a bit of a beginner!

    • The pants looks nice – At a glance it looks as if tapered panels are sewn together and then the pattern is cut. If the panels are not tapered towards the hem I don’t think you would get the effect. I suppose you will have to test it out on a muslin

    • Hi Lynley , Totally skipped it – thanks for pointing it out – You can take A-G as 1/2 or 3/4 inch inside (for a curve near the hip) and B-K as 12 inch ( which will give a 23 inch total flair for the bottom hem)
      for detailed instructions on sewing you can checkout the pajama pants sewing pattern and tutorial
      thanxs for reading

    • Hi Jean
      As of now I have this Bolero jacket pattern here -
      I love a cape and have made one but have no records of the making – I will soon post a tutorial
      Thanks for reading

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