Trou in Ten

A lot of sewers are afraid of bifurcated nether-garments. They look more complicated than skirts. I remember wearing bike shorts under costumes for years because I was afraid to attempt a bloomer. And that is an odd conundrum, because I had been making corsets for years. That’s just the power of the pant. But sister, don’t fear the bloomer… There’s a Really Easy Way(tm).

Fair warning: I said “easy” rather than “flattering”. I mean, it’s a big poofy pant. Yes, your butt will look like a misshapen marshmallow in a diaper. You don’t need to ask your beloved for an opinion. (That’s cruel, in any case.) Either top this with a skirt, or put it on someone else. ;)

Here’s what you’re gonna do:

a cloth doll

Choose your victim. Mine happens to be a cloth doll.

Believe it or not, I was actually doing this for a show. I needed a doll to match an actress. I have a theory, with period shows, should all wear bloomers unless they flat out refuse to, because you never know when and how they will fall down in front of an audience. Since the actress had bloomers, the doll needed them too.

If you happen to have a pattern of your victim (because it’s a dolly or something), you can work from that. If your victim lives and breathes, or you don’t have a pattern, have them lie down on the floor.

Take a piece of fabric and fold it lengthwise. (It should be at least 3/4 of your the wider of waist or hip. Truthfully, with humans, I work bloomers on folded 45″ fabric, and that general does the job. The 3/4 figure is to get you to a total of 1 1/2 times fillies, so that sitting and pottying are easy possibilities.)

length measurement and crotch mark

You'll want a piece of fabric that goes from about the second rib from the bottom (guess with dolls) to a half inch below where you want the bloomer to hit on the body. Find the crotch level (I'm pointing at it on my doll pattern) and mark the NOT FOLDED edge of the fabric.

Make another piece the same length, with the same markings.

pieces

Lay the two pieces out, unfolded, with right sides together. The crotch marks should line up.

front and back seams sewn

Sew from the waist down to the crotch mark on both sides, It should look like this.

setting up the leg seams

Now refold the fabric so that the two seams you just sewed are on top of one another and the whole thing looks oddly pant-like. Sew the leg seams together.

test fit

You should now have something you can check on your victim.

If you are dealing with either a bubble butt or a roundy-tum, you might notice the center of the pant pulling down lower than the side area. It it’s too low, go ahead and add a band of fabric around the top to correct.

finished bloomers

Turn down the waist to make either a drawstring or elastic casing so they don't fall straight off. Finish the hem in any festive manner you prefer.

I’ve just made a neat turned hem, and gathered the leg down a little above the hem. I can do that, since dollies don’t actually move. For a human, I’d recommend a bottom elastic. If you want the little flouncy action, fold the leg over itself and sew a 1/4″ channel all around then thread an elastic through. (Remember to leave an opening so you can get the elastic into the channel!) You can also leave them hemmed and hanging free, and call it a bad peasant pant.

Ok, so this is a pretty non-traumatic way to pattern and make a pant-like garment. Why don’t we do it like this?

The answer is that, on most human bodies, the distance from the waist to the middle of the crotch is longer than the distance from the waist to crotch level on the hip. That’s why real pants patterns (western ones, at least) have a curved crotch seam – the curve extends the center front/back seams so that you have the extra fabric you need there, without a lot of extra puff  on the hips.

We’ll talk about faking your way through a curved crotch seam soon! ;)

Leave a Reply