Indian Summer

Back in the  late 1970s Indian print fabrics were popular, with their bold colours and ethnic designs they were tagging along with the floaty hippy fashion trend. The designs have never really gone away and often make a resurgence in the summer. Yesterday I picked up two Indian print wrap around skirts, one in a bold pink and purple design, the other in a palette of greens, for just £2 each. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them – and that wasn’t to wear them as skirts.

A while ago I had been browsing Amazon looking at hareem pants. I already own four pairs in plain colours (which I call my Ali B’s – as in Ali BaBa). At this time of the year they are the most comfortable trousers you can wear (and I urge you to find some and see what I mean). On Amazon were some great designs – but at a price. So when I saw the Indian print wrap-around skirts I knew that I had my solution.


It was so easy to transform these skirts as they were basically a single piece of fabric with no seams. I kept the ‘Funky Threads’ label from the pink skirt and it’s hanging ties, but otherwise re cut the fabric to form the hareem pants. The shape is pretty much a triangle with a shallow scoop at the waist, and an opposite one between the ankles. I inserted a short zip into one side (even though I had to travel into town and back just to buy a pink one!), and at the waist I used the yoke from a skirt pattern that I already have. Using a yoke avoids an elasticated waist which can look bulky, and added two buttons  for a neat fit. I used the elastic just for the ankles (turning a casing wide enough for the elastic to be fed through).

For the green/blue hareems I cut a yoke from fabric in my stash to give a contrasting pattern. I had just enough fabric from the pink to keep the yoke matching.

Another source for hareem pants fabrics would be ethnic bedspreads or sarongs – though it might make a couple of the latter to get enough drape. I’m keeping an eye out for more though may have to have a serious wardrobe sort out to make enough room for my makes!



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