Sunday 7 June 2020

Toddler harems

Harems are a must for babies and toddlers. They are comfy, easy to slip on and off, and have the added benefit of being the easiest sewing project ever! 

I am by no means a fast sewer (in fact, the thought of speed sewing makes me break out in cold sweats), but I can knock these out in less than a hour. Side seams, cuffs, and waistband, and you are done!  
ellie and mac snowflakes jumper harem
So when Freya had her little growth spurt recently, naturally I decided to have a go at making some harems. Actually, I was really surprised by the realisation that I hadn't already made these for her! Having bought the Snowflake Jumper from Ellie and Mac for the grand total of $1 on their Wacky Wednesday offer a few weeks ago (see my discovery and love for WW here), I knew I had the perfect base. 

I made 2 pairs making slightly different modifications, and actually love how they both turned out! 
The original pattern is quite loose fitting, with a high waist and dropped crotch. It also comes with straps and optional flutters. 

On this first pair, using a super cute boho bunny French Terry, I wanted it to be roomy, with space to grow. I cut a size 2T in width (Freya was 20 months in these photos - I'm a bit slow in blogging this one. What can I say? I can sew these much faster than I can blog!), and made the following modifications:
  1. Omitting the strap and flutters
  2. For length, I actually cut the lower hem line rather than the cutting line for using cuffs, although I did use cuffs. 
  3. Lowering the waistline by 10.5cm at the centre front, blending to 10cm at the side seams and also 10cm at the centre back. Steps 2 and 3 together meant that the finished harems had a slightly lower waist but higher crotch than the pattern originally intended. 
  4. I made the waistband a little deeper, adding 1.5cm to the height of the pattern piece (i.e. 0.75cm to the finished waistband). 
With my new-found momentum from completing a project from start to finish in about an hour, I decided to make another pair! I had some amazing floral hacci sweater knit left in my stash, which was perfect for a more slim fitting pair with a slightly lower rise. ellie mac snowflake jumper harem pants
 These are made by making the following tweaks to the original pattern:
  1. Omitting the straps and flutters
  2. Following the width of the 24m (one size smaller than 2T, which was followed for the blue pair) 
  3. I cut the lower hem 2T line again (exactly the same as the other pair), 
  4. I lowered the waistline slightly more by chopping 11.5cm all around at the top. 
  5. I also added 1.5cm to the depth of the waistband pattern piece. 
OK I'll admit, the above may well be a little overly detailed and geeky. But I make no apology -  I know that my future self will be thanking me when another growth spurt comes and I'm reaching for the same pattern again. And you never know, perhaps you've stumbled upon this page because you were thinking about a similar project, and this could provide a little help. 
ellie mac snowflake jumper harem pants
There she is, testing her new slim fit harems with some assisted tree climbing! She confirms that they are as comfortable as they look :) 

Both pairs have become wardrobe staples for Freya over the last month or so, and were regularly featured on Me-Made-May 2020. They have both turned out exactly how I hoped, but at the same time surprisingly different from one another. 

What a satisfying project! How about you? What's your idea of a satisfying sew? 


  1. This is the most adorable little girl!

  2. What a cutie! Those are great pants. My favourite quick(ish) projects are t-shirts! I think the Tonic T free pattern is pretty great, but I think I need to get a dolman sleeve one, so that I have two fewer seams to sew lol.

    1. Ooh thank you for sharing! Oh my goodness, how did I not know about the Tonic Tee pattern, and more importantly, a pattern company for petites?! I'll let you in on a little secret -- I'm actually trying out a few free T patterns (post coming soon once I've sewn them all up - spoiler alert!) and will add this to the list.

      On dolmans, I'm sure you've got some patterns already but here are a few freebies in case it is helpful -- La Maison Victor Odette, Patterns for Pirates Tulip, Halla slim dolman.


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