Costume Tips from Sheikhani
Harem Pants (or go to: Cabaret Skirt or Index)
Easy Harem Pants
- Measure the length from your hip to the floor and add 3 inches. Multiply this number by 2 (to have enough fabric for both legs!). Then divide by 36 to find the number of yards of fabric to purchase. A 45 inch wide fabric will make "normal" harem pants; wider fabric will make the pants correspondingly fuller.
- Purchase 1 inch wide elastic for the hip casing, and 1/2 inch wide elastic for the ankle casings.
- Cut the fabric length in half. Lay the two pieces of fabric on top of each other, right sides up; if the fabric has nap or a one way design, be sure that the direction is maintained (i.e., don't put the "bottom" edge of one piece on the "top" edge of the other piece). Now fold the 2 layers of fabric in half lengthwise. You now have 4 layers of fabric, with 4 selvage edges together (see drawing).
- Starting about 8 inches in from the selvage edges, cut a crotch about 10 inches deep (see drawing).
- Fold each leg in half, right sides together. Sew the inside seams of each leg piece.
- Put the two leg pieces together, with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew the crotch seam.
- Turn under a 1.25 inch casing on the hip edge, and a 3/4 inch casing on each ankle edge; stitch.
- Insert elastic and stitch the elastic ends. Finish off the casings. You're done!
Costume Tips from the Sheikhani Dance Troupe of Colorado Springs
Cabaret Circle Skirt (3 Half Circles)
(Back to Top) or (Down to Index)
- Measure from your hip to your ankle and add 6 inches. Multiply this number by 6, then divide by 36 to find the total number of yards to purchase (45 inch width fabric).
- Purchase 1 inch wide grosgrain ribbon (hip size + 5 inch for overlap)
- Cut or fold the fabric lengthwise into thirds. Stack the 3 pieces on top of each other to form 3 layers. Cut the skirt bottom edge and the hip radius as shown in the drawing. It is easiest if you pin a fabric tape measure to the center point and then use the tape to swing an arc, cutting as the arc is swung.
- Note that the 5 inch hip radius will span a ~40 inch hip measurement. For larger hips, cut the hip radius SLIGHTLY larger - a little goes a long way!
- Keeping right sides together, sew two of the circles together along one set of selvages (this forms the back of the skirt).
- Zig-zag stitch the top edges if the fabric frays. To aid in gathering, run two long basting stitches 1/8 and 1/4 inch from the top edge.
- Mark the location of the front panel on the grosgrain ribbon as follows: Leaving ~5 inches for overlap to one side, mark the ribbon at the center of each thigh.
- Mark the location of the back panel on the grosgrain ribbon as follows: Wrap the ribbon around your hips and mark where the ribbon meets the first mark for the front thigh.
- SLIGHTLY gather the upper edge of the front and back skirt piece. Stitch the single half circle onto the grosgrain ribbon between the marks for the front thighs. Stitch the back piece onto the grosgrain ribbon between the other marks. Note that you may choose to either leave space between the front and back panels, or leave no space for more coverage.
- Let the skirt hang for at least a few weeks before recutting the hem to the correct length (the skirt will stretch considerably, since it is cut on the bias). Stitch a narrow hem or finish with trim.