I love to sew…when the machine doesn’t hate me, when I have fabric, when a pattern calls to me. Luckily, this past weekend saw the convergence of the three, and I sewed myself a delightful little pair of underthings.
About a week ago, Sarai over at Collete Patterns posted a free sewing pattern for her “Madeline Mini Bloomers.” It was of course posted in time for Valentine’s Day, but of course I left myself no time to sew them. Added to the mix was the sad fact that I didn’t have any type of fabric she calls for in the pattern, which left me contemplating the pattern all week.
On Friday, after pulling up the pattern every day, I thought I might as well try the pattern out of cotton, to make sure that I really did like the way it worked up before I went and bought some fabric especially for it. It helped that this pattern needed only a yard of fabric, which so happens to be the length of fabric I most commonly buy.
And, oh baby, do I like it.
I used some fabric that has been kicking around my stash for the better part of five years. I adore penguins; it’s still winter. What could possibly be better for lounging around?
I deviated from the pattern slightly, in that where it calls for regular seams, I chose to do flat felled seams (the same kind of seams found on your jeans), which left the inside very clean-looking. I am super thrilled with how they turned out, since it’s the first time I’ve ever done them. Also, in place of ribbon at the leg to be used as a drawstring, I opted to put in elastic there as well, with a ribbon tied around where it showed in between the buttonholes.
- I chose to do the XL size, as my waist-to-hip ratio landed me right in the middle of the large/extra large sizing. I always choose to go bigger.
- When I printed it out on my printer, the 4×4 inch test box only printed out at 3.75×3.75 inches. Since the 3/8″ buttonhole markings were still the correct length, I thought what the heck. I figured it didn’t matter too much, since I was in between sizes.
- When sewing up the crotch seam, the back side didn’t quite match up with the front. As Britt over at Scrapyard also noted, the “back piece is drafted so that a very angular piece extends beyond the opposite half.” The quick fix to this was to trim off the angle once the seam was sewn, so that the leg opening had a continuous edge.
- I had to unpick a casing line because I hadn’t marked it correctly on my machine (it was so far over that I couldn’t see the guides and had to use painter’s tape to mark it); it was rather obvious that the 1/4″ elastic wouldn’t fit through.
- Doing the flat felled seams really helped when it came time to thread the elastic through, as there was nothing for the safety pin I was using to get caught on. It’s the first time I haven’t cursed my seam allowances.
Over all, I really like this pattern. The cotton makes these bloomers perfect for sitting around the house in; they’re short but provide full coverage. I probably wouldn’t wear these under any clothing under than dresses and skirts, and only provided that it wasn’t a slim cut so that the extra fabric that the gathers give you won’t show.
I am most definitely going to make this pattern again, in a nicer, lighter-weight fabric.