I got’cher bloomers right here.

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.

bloomer tute 002   bloomer tute 003

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.

bloomer tute 004 

3.  With right-sides of your fabric (or sheet, in my case) together, sew the two outer ‘J’s (the yellow arrows).

Copy of bloomer tute 005

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.

bloomer tute 006

Copy of bloomer tute 009

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.

bloomer tute 010

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. 

Copy of bloomer tute 011

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.

bloomer tute 012

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.

bloomer tute 015

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!


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

11 responses to “I got’cher bloomers right here.

  • Jim

    Your next job is as a “How to Manual” developer. Even this guy could make them….I think. Course I did make a dress for a girl friend in high school.

  • chad

    Thanks for all the great details…I’ve got a couple of little girls that would love these…my wife has a sewing machine gathering dust somewhere…might be time to put it to work.

    I was linked to your blog from Diane Nienhuis…I’ve enjoyed reading back through it. I enjoy the homesteading tips…we’re beginning that journey ourselves. I really enjoy your writing style…very enjoyable and easy to read. I especially appreciate what you wrote regarding your experience dealing with a miscarriage. Powerful stuff. We’ve suffered that same loss a couple of times ourselves. God has been good to us though…we just welcomed number six to our little tribe. Here’s a link if you’re interested in checking us out. http://thebossfamily.com/WordPress/

    Keep up the great work on the blog.

  • Becky

    those bloomers are sooo cute! I would make some but I think I’m too tired:)

  • jtp

    love these!!!! how cute under a little tee! and I like the pocket for elastic- I hate trying to zigzag over elastic!!!! I made some shorts for wdp kind of sort of like these…I need to send you some pics. They’re out of his old sleep gowns- i hate to waste nice fabric 🙂

  • Miss Laura

    I appreciated the joke immensely. And the pictures. Now we just need a picture of Ry in those bloomers!

    And Jim…very suave making your girlfriend a dress in high school!

  • texasnorth

    Hola! Folks, I just put a picture up on Flickr of Ry in her bloomers. You can see it in the right-hand column on the blog.

  • wende

    Hey darlin–these are FABULOUS. I totally need to steal that sheet for Mireio!

    Might I suggest that when you do the hard copy pattern you include in your instructions a reinforced crotch? I typically sew one seam in and then another 1/16″ in the ditch. It keep those backsides right where they belong. Toddlers are prone to the fanny plant (where they just fall will full force on their bottoms in a sitting position) and that is HARD on the hold seaming.

    The other option is a French Seam on the inseam area. So, you would actually sew wrong sides together and then flip them and sew right sides together. But that means accounting for more seam allowance. 😀 But it also means a tidy seam in the inside–and if you have particularly sensitive kids then this helps!

    Yeah, just what you wanted, right? 😀


    That’s exactly what I wanted 🙂 And, yep- I do heart me some French seams. On everything. Love them more than my luggage. I love turning things inside out and having NO RAW EDGES. I just thought, for a quickie Here’s How, I’d skip that. But you’re right, small stiches and two seams and french seams and serging make happy kids clothing.

    It’s exactly what I wanted 🙂 And, no. You may not have my sheet. But I love you. -KK

  • lisahudson

    Could you say that again? Just once more? This time I promise to take better notes. 🙂 Well, that was all totally Greek to me, but, dang! Those bloomers are the cutest things e.v.e.r. Can you make them in a 4T? 🙂

    Love the bed head on Ry. Adorable.


  • Margie

    Okay. You are completely amazing to be able to make something up To Sew. I am freaked out about even sewing on buttons, having learned all my sewing techniques from my next door neighbor when I was 8. Husband can’t believe it; I can’t even do pulled out hems, which leaves my girls with a couple of extra play (not church) dresses. But wow – the finished product is great. They would look darling on Sarah…

  • LoLo

    Yep, ditto on Margie’s comment! I quickly forwarded your post to my Aunt with strong hints towards making a pair for Amelia…complete with color preferences and sizing. After all, she needs a summer sewing project. I have visions of a white pair to go along with the Vintage Pillow Case dress I want my aunt to make as well.

  • heather

    hi katie kate! Well, i never saw an old vintage-y sheet be turned into such cute and practical bottoms. adorable project and i love your approach to sewing: it doesn’t have to be perfect! i can surely subscribe to that philosophy! I’m taking my first quilting class this thursday. How excited am I??!

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