Handmade Bloomers

Recently, I’ve been wanting a pair of warmer bloomers. I typically wear a now-discontinued design from Bodyline made of jersey knit, and although they’re comfortable and cute, they’re very lightweight and not great for winter. I’ve also been wanting to sew more, so I decided that making bloomers would be the perfect quick project.

I already had some of the materials I’d need, and I bought the rest at JoAnn Fabric. JoAnn usually isn’t my first choice for apparel fabric, but since I only needed 1.5 yards of a solid, heavy cotton that wouldn’t even be visible it was just fine for this. I also got 2 yards of cluney lace and some elastic. I pre-washed the fabric before taking this photo and ironed it afterwards.

I made my own pattern from wrapping paper. There are plenty of patterns online if you need one, though. Then I folded my fabric in half and cut two to be my pant legs.

I pinned the bottom edge of each pant leg back toward what would be the inside, and pressed them flat. Then on the other sides I pinned lace facing upwards towards the top of the legs. I measured frequently to make sure that both legs stayed the same length.

I trimmed the lace back so there was 1/2 inch section on either side of each leg that did not have lace. This is for my seam allowance. Then, I used a straight stitch to keep the lace and the fold in place.

Afterwards, I folded the bottom edge again so the lace was facing downward. This put my unfinished edge on the inside within another fold and created a small “tube” at the bottom of each leg. I used a narrow zigzag stitch to keep this in place, working slowly and taking care to stay just at the edge of the lace.

Next, I pinned the wrong sides together and stitched what would be the outside of the legs along the thigh, stopping before the “tubes” at the bottom. I used a 3/8 inch seam allowance here, which I trimmed back to 1/8 inch after sewing, then I pressed the seams.

I measured elastic to the section of my thighs where the bloomers would stop, and threaded it through the bottom. I always pin one end of elastic to the garment when I do this because of how often I used to lose it inside while working on the other end.

Ifinished sewing the first seam with the elastic in place (forgot to take a photo of that step), the I turned my bloomers inside out, pressed and pinned them again, and sewed a 1/4-inch seam with the right sides together, including sewing the lace. This trapped my unfinished edge within the new seam.

I hand-sewed the inner seam of the lace and then sewed the  lace to the bottom of the bloomers.

I joined the legs by again sewing a 3/8-inch seam with wrong sides together, trimming the seam down to 1/8-inch, pressing it, and then sewing wrong sides together at 1/4-inch. I worked slowly and ensured that all seams went the same direction.

Finally, I finished the waist. Again, I forgot to take pictures of some of the process, but it is similar to the way I did the bottos of the legs. I made a small fold along the edge and pressed it in place, then I made a second fold, this time much larger, with the first fold inside it and used a straight stitch to hold it in place. However, I made sure to leave a small (about 1.5-inch) gap open. Then I used a straight stitch halfway between my first stitch and the fold at the top, again leaving the same 1.5-inch section open. This created two tubes.

I cut two strips of elastic to my waist meassurement and threaded one through each of the casings I had just made, then sewed the ends together. Once that was done, I finished both rows of stitching, closing the gap I left earlier.

And that left me with a pair of bloomers that could use some ironing, but were otherwise complete. Ta da!

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