Step-by-Step: How to Make Hakama Pants

By Mary Jane ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Fabric–amount depends on measurements
  • Measuring tape
  • Thread and needle
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
Hakama pants are stylish pants from Japan.

Hakama pants are a stylish alternative to normal wrap pants. They are originally from Japan and are quite popular when worn over a kimono. Hakama pants are gender neutral and can be worn by both men and women.

Collect and write down the measurements required. Measure the waistline by wrapping measuring tape around the waist. This should not be done tightly. Measure the length of the leg of the person who will be wearing the hakama pants once completed. Start at the waist and measure downward. Stop at the desired length.

Measure the amount of fabric needed based on the measurements. Keep in mind that the front of the hakama pants are pleated, so extra fabric will be needed. The deeper the pleats, the more fabric needed. For example, if the desired pleats are to be one inch per pleat, add at least this much per pleat (traditionally, hakama pants have a total of seven pleats, but you are free to do as little or many pleats as you wish). Also, leave some fabric for the waistband. It should be at least two inches thick and long enough to reach around the waist and tie a bow.

Take two pieces of fabric that are the length of the leg measurements and wide enough to wrap around each leg twice. Hakama pants legs are very large. Take each piece of fabric and fold them down the middle. Cut the piece in the fold, creating four equally large pieces.

Take two pieces of the four and place beside each other. Pin the two pieces together from the waistline to the crotch. Do this with the remaining two pieces, leaving two larger pieces–one for the front and one for the back.

Take the front piece and mark the pleats by using pins. Each pleat should be approximately one inch in width. Sew the pleat down to keep it firm and in place. The pleats should only be sewn down about one to two inches depending on the length. It is merely to keep the pleat in place. Repeat the same step for the pleats in the back. Traditionally, hakama pants have five pleats in the front and two in the back.

Lay the front piece and the back piece of the pants on top of each other. Make sure the inside of the pants is facing outward. Pin the outside of the pants together, creating a line of pins along each side of the legs. Sew them together, removing the pins when done.

Flip the pants right-side out. Try them on to check the width of the front and the back. Adjust accordingly.

Fold the waistband down, creating a tube on the outside of the pants. The waistline tube should be at least one inch wide, so the waistline band can come through. Pin it and sew it down. It should be sewn all around the waistline, both on the front and the back side of the pants. Leave the openings to the tube in the front of the pants.

Create a waistband from the remaining fabric. Use a piece of fabric that is twice as long as the waistline and at least two inches in thickness. Fold the fabric along the long side, creating a one-inch-thick long line of fabric. Pin it and sew it with the inside out. Once completed, remove the pins and turn the waistband right-side out.

Hem the bottom of the hakama pants by folding the bottom of the pant legs inward approximately one cm. Mark with pins to hold the fold and sew it down. Turn the pants right-side out. Finish up any hemming that may require attention.

Press all of the seams using an iron so they are completely flat.

Insert the waistline into the waistline tube in the hakama pants. To wear, tighten the waistline band and tie it in the front.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.