Recreating Lady Sybil’s Harem Pants or How Not to Make a 1920s Costume
- When setting out to make a costume for an event, be sure to plan your entire design around a tiny piece a fabric that you found in your grandmother’s stash. Bonus points if it is falling apart and tremendously difficult to sew with.
- Don’t even think about using a ready-made pattern! Why make it easy on yourself?! If you want to make harem pants, it is logical to start with a pajama pant pattern. Don’t question it, just cut them out of your fashion fabric. No need to make a muslin!
- When you estimate yardage for the harem pants, use your best judgement. Then order half of what you think you need.
- Cut out all of your pieces and then let them sit there for a month. No need to treat the seam allowances in any way. The unraveling will give it character.
- Use a tried and true pattern for the bodice (Christine Haynes Emery), then randomly use the sleeves from another pattern that just happens to be for knits. You don’t need to move your arms, do you?!
- Buy 6 buttons for the project…when you need 12. That will work out really well! The store will never sell out of the only buttons that match.
For something a little easier to work with, you could use this brocade instead of a vintage piece. It would go beautifully with this royal blue chiffon, layered over either a honey or champagne charmeuse satin.
Alexandra is a librarian and blogs about her sewing and reading adventures over
at The Library of Alexandra.