Warning :: photo-heavy post ahead! Sorry, Trace!
Alright. The bloomers. For now… I offer this mini-version, which will help those of you who are ok with sewing on the fly. Making it up as you go. Seeing pictures and running with it. If there’s interest, then I’ll sit down and draft out a real pattern with different sizes and such. Input is welcome here.
For those of you not interested in sewing (what?), I offer you a joke:
Q :: Why did the motorcycle fall over?
A :: Because it was two-tired!!! TOO TIRED. A MOTORCYCLE HAS TWO TIRES. Get it? I love it. There’s your shout-out, Pap.
Bloomers / Pantaloons / Jams for the new-millennium
Introduction :: The gem of these capris is the leg hem. It’s very wide, which allows you to make a channel for elastic. It finishes your pants neatly, so the underside of your ruffle is easy on the eye. These are super simple pants… the body is straight if not baggy and the legs should hit just below the knee. This is a great project for beginner sewers, as baggy clothes for kiddos leave a lot of room for error interpretation. Don’t be afraid!
Materials :: 1/2 inch elastic for the waist, 1/4 inch elastic for the legs, 1/2 yard of fabric, thread, sewing machine, scissors, pattern or pants to copy, an hour or less of time… or, if you’re like me, 5 minute intervals of non-potty training peace and quiet.
Process with Photos :: I’ll try to be as detailed and simple as possible. Let me know where I’m not, as this is the first sewing project I’ve attempted to explain. I also don’t have any spiffy software- no photoshop or anything 🙂 This is grass-roots simple, Baby.
1. Make you pattern on a paper bag by loosly tracing around a single leg on a pair of pants you already love. I used a pair of Ry’s capri’s, which are an Old Navy 24 months. ‘Loosly’ adds a seam allowance for you. I especially added on to the bottom and top for folding down and hemming. My pattern measures 7 inches across and 16 inches from top to bottom, but seriously. No need to be exact.
2. Fold your fabric, trace, and cut. Your fold should be along the straight, long side of the pattern. Repeat. You should now have 2 pieces.
3. With right-sides of your fabric (or sheet, in my case) together, sew the two outer ‘J’s (the yellow arrows).
4. Now, match up your two seams so that they are now front and center. It looks like a pair of pants, No? You just need to sew across the bottom, giving you the legs and crotch area. I hate the word crotch.
5. Working with you pants inside-out, fold down the top of the waistband 1/4 of an inch. Press. Now, do it again, but make it a whole inch this time. Press and then sew along the bottom edge, leaving a gap to slide your 1/2″ elastic in later.
6. [photo above] Same theory on the legs… but that second roll is going to be bigger. It makes your ruffle, so make sure you have about 2 inches from the top of the hem to the bottom of the pants. I added dotted lines to my pattern to help me know where I wanted the finished hem to be. I’m thinking these pants are super cute without elastic in the legs… look at those up there! Maybe for boys? In navy shirting fabric? JTP, get all over that.
7. Here’s a close-up of leg hem. You’re going to sew two lines in each leg: the first is at the very top of the hem… up the leg. Leave a small gap to insert you 1/4″ elastic later. The second line is a presser-foot’s width off the first one, or about 1/2″. The black line in the photo is showing you the gap for the elastic. Everything below becomes the under side of the ruffle. Remember, you’re working with the pants inside-out.
8. Insert your elastic in to the waist and legs. This is where you need to measure. I measure around Ry’s waist and then subtract a couple inches for the elastic. For the legs, you DON’T want this to be super tight. You want the legs to gather but not prevent them from riding up over the knee when your kiddo bends down.
9. Attach your elastic, making a complete circle. Close off your gaps if you like. Personally, I leave the waistband gap open so I can adjust the elastic as she grows. If she grows. This child will be 25 pounds forever. But I’m prepared, just in case.
10. That’s it, peeps. Seriously. It’s not hard. It’s harder to explain than do, and I hope I haven’t confused you… but they’re really simple. Send me pictures of what you come up with!!! I’d love to see it!
Notes :: All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted. My sewing machine is an old, borrowed Kenmore. I do not have a serger, but if you’d like to buy me one I do accept donations.
This tutorial is for personal and gift use only. If you’d like to make these to sell, please contact me about a hard-copy pattern. Gracias!