Sew Sophie Cummings’ little bloomers with a preloved favourite
Upcycle a preloved fave into a new handmade treasure for a little ‘un
Cotton or linen shirt or 50cm (19 ") cotton or linen fabric
Matching sewing thread
Elastic, 2.5cm (1") wide
Elastic, 1.5cm (5/8") wide pin
Paper or card Once you’ve got a garment that’s slipped out of regular rotation, it’s time to size it up for its next starring role: something new for a little ‘un. In the ultimate hand-medown plot twist, this project is a personal and sustainable way to grow your mini’s wardrobe – it’s a shirt-to-bloomers love story.
Cottons and linens work best for bloomers. If the fabric is too thick they’ll be stiff and uncomfortable for little legs and difficult to thread the elastic through. If it’s too thin, the bloomers won’t hang well. Refer to the table on the left for the quantity of elastic you’ll need.
You’ll find the pattern pieces on page 90 – cut the smaller size for ages 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months, and cut the larger size for ages 1-2 years, 2-3 years and 3-4 years.
01 Using the pattern pieces on page 90, trace and cut out one front panel piece, one back panel 1 piece and one back panel 2 piece in paper or card.
02 Using sewing pins or pattern weights, attach the front panel pattern piece onto one side of the shirt, making sure the fold edge is on the side seam of the shirt as shown. Cut out and press open.
03 Attach the back panel 1 pattern piece onto the other side of the shirt, again making sure the fold edge is on the side seam of the shirt. Cut out and press open. If you’re working with a larger item of clothing or fabric and have the space, you can skip Step 5 altogether by cutting both back panel 1 and 2 pattern pieces as one whole piece.
04 Using the sleeves of the shirt, cut out two back panel 2 pieces.
05 Pin the back panel 2 pieces to either side of back panel 1 as shown, with right sides (RS) together. Trim them, then sew together leaving a 1.5cm (5/8") seam allowance. To finish the
edges, either overlock, cut using pinking shears or sew zigzag stitch. Press the seams open and trim any loose threads. You should now have one large back panel.
06 Pin the front panel to the finished back panel as shown, with RS together, then sew the long sides together and finish as per Step 5. Press the seams and trim any loose threads.
07 Pin the crotch seam together and sew, again finishing the seam as per in Step 5. Press the seam and trim any loose threads. You should now have an un-elasticated pair of bloomers.
08 Now to create the elastic casings. Starting with the waistband, turn the top edge to the wrong side (WS) by 0.5cm ( ") and press, then turn over again by just over 2.5cm (1") and press. Depending on how confident you feel with sewing, at this stage you may want to put a few pins in to hold it in place while you sew. Sew the waistband down as close to the edge as possible, leaving a 2.5cm (1") gap to thread the elastic into.
09 Repeat Step 8 for the leg holes, turning the edges to the WS by 0.5cm ( ") first and then by just over 1.5 (5/8"). Press and sew, again sewing as close to the edge as possible. Leave a 1.5cm ( ") gap to thread the elastic into.
10 Cut the 2.5cm (1") width waistband elastic according to the measurement table, attach a safety pin to one end and thread it all the way through the waistband. Pin the ends together, slightly overlapping them, then sew either using the machine or by hand. Trim the thread then jiggle the waistband until the elastic has popped into the casing. Sew the gap closed.
11 Cut two lengths of 1.5cm (5/8") wide elastic according to the table, then thread the elastic for the leg holes as per Step 10.
12 Turn RS out and trim away any loose threads to finish.
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