Freestyle Harem Hack: Using a Yoga Waistband

There have been several people who’ve asked if it would work to put a yoga waistband on the Freestyle Harems rather than using the included elastic back waistband. With just a small additional step in construction, I’m happy to report that it works beautifully!


My daughter was so excited to get another pair of the Girl’s Freestyle Harems, this time in capri length. She picked out the pink knit and we chose to make the waistband black because a yoga waist needs some spandex in the fabric content so that it will recover after stretching and not get saggy/baggy during wearing. Ready to follow along on how to make this change? Read on for the small tutorial.

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First, instead of cutting the separate front and back waistbands for the harems, I used the measurements for the Jocelyn’s Leggings regular waistband. If you’re using this tutorial and making the Women’s Freestyle Harems, you can use the measurements for the waistband of the ‘Get Moving’ Leggings.

After sewing the short ends to make the waistband a circle, fold it wrong sides together so the raw edges meet, then quarter the waistband with pins. You’ll want to match the pins up to the harems’ center front seam, center back seam, and to the sides where the gray dotted line is on the pattern (the same line I used when I added inseam pockets to the harems back in January).

The only construction difference I had to do before sewing on the waistband was to slightly gather the top of the back of the harems because they are much wider than the back half of the yoga waistband. I just used a long straight stitch 1/4″ from the edge and pulled the bobbin thread to gather on each side of the back center seam. I pulled the gathering just tight enough to be (close to) the same width as the front of the pants after putting in the front pleats. This left the top of the pants a little bigger than the yoga waistband, so I stretched the band evenly around the top of the pants as I sewed (because of the spandex, the waistband bounced right back to its pre-stretched length).

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My daughter was super excited to be on the receiving end of another pair of Freestyle Harems and is thrilled that they match the tank top she just “inherited” from her big sister. That same big sister is now wanting a pair of capri harems of her own … apparently she hadn’t asked before because she didn’t like the elastic back. LOL  Guess I’ve got some more sewing to do because my sister was admiring them today, too!

Happy Sewing!!  ~  Joelle

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