There is a simplicity in the patterns of designer, Jenny Gordy of WIKSTEN that I always respond to. In both her sewing and knitting patterns, Jenny has a knack for getting the details just right without over-complicating a design and these harem pants are no exception. As simple as can be to make and very well explained in the beautiful instruction book that accompanies the pattern, these pants would be a great project for sewers at any skill level. I really appreciated the thoughtful details like durable french seams and extra long hems that can be rolled up in the beginning and let down as your child grows. They are roomy enough in the crotch to accommodate crawling and climbing and very bloated diapers, yet they are close fitting in the legs so as not to be tripped over. Faye is just starting to walk and tripping over her hems is a common cause of stumbles and tumbles. As an added bonus, the fact that these pants are the same from the back or the front makes getting them on her flailing legs before I’ve had my coffee a simpler matter. There’s no wrong way!
I made mine in a mad dash to give her something special to wear for Thanksgiving. I was still putting in the elastic 10 minutes before we left to go to dinner so I was definitely not in my most concentrated sewing mode. And they still turned out great! And after more than a few trips through the washer and dryer they look even better. I made them in a novelty print of grey and white gourds which I thought would be a funny conversation piece and I had intended to make another, more practical pair for wearing after the holiday…
Enter my new self-imposed guidelines of Making with Intention, a key component of which is not making what I do not need. So the gourd print pants became the “practical pair.” And they are surprisingly practical! Even though the print is seasonal, I picked a color palate that works with a lot of things she already owns and the fabric was a good quality quilting cotton which washed up nice and soft. I am resisting the urge to make her another pair until springtime. This is a challenging transition for me; the eschewing of unnecessary projects. There’s an energy in making things that is hard for me to overrule in favor of the deeper, less exciting work of change. And this change is work! Pulling oneself out of a long-standing behavioral rut is no simple matter. New neural pathways need to be allowed to form and in order for that to be possible old habits must first be broken. Sometimes I feel like I’ll go totally nuts if I have to stay on track with organizing my rambling collection of patterns rather than busting one open just to satisfy the itch! But I’m hanging in there. One day, one project at a time. And I’m finding that there is a lot to be said for letting enough be enough. One new pair of pants rather than two or three. One new pair gets worn every other day, washed frequently and loved a lot. Three new pairs leaves at least two sitting in a drawer or the dirty clothes hamper at any given time. And all three are sure to be outgrown long before they’ve been useful enough to compensate for the time I spent making them. The older I get the more I see the value of my time and how I choose to spend it. No matter how hard I wish for them, there will never be more hours in a day and the less time I spend turning every cute cotton print in my stash into a pair of baby pants is time that gets to be spent enjoying the company of my family, making meals, baking treats, taking photographs, writing, reading, or enjoying the highest luxury – doing nothing at all (without feeling guilty about it). All that said, I am really looking forward to sewing those new pants for Faye when Spring finally arrives!
This is a lovely pattern. It is well designed, simple to make and extremely practical. Head over to www.shopwiksten.com where you can pick up a copy of the Baby & Toddler Harem Pants as well as tons of other knitting and sewing patterns created by Jenny. You can also follow her work on Instagram: @shopwiksten. She has a beautiful feed but the best reason to follow along is her refreshingly honest perspective motherhood and making. Enjoy!