Bloomers on the brain…

I’ve been experimenting with bloomers this week.  Baby bloomers, to be exact.  Yes, this is what my life has become.  And I’m totally cool with it…

I’ve been sewing up the adorable Sweet Little Dress Pattern by Leila and Ben.  And felt that the outfit just wouldn’t be complete without a pair of just-as-adorable bloomers to match.  So, I delved into my baby sewing books and gave a few patterns a go.

Bloomer Pattern Attempt #1:  Bloomers in “Simple Sewing for Baby” by Lotta Jansdotter.

Pros:  Loved the use of the 1/4” elastic and the elastic enclosures around the waist and leg – much more efficient and looked better (in my opinion) than the waist and leg finishing in the Heather Ross pattern.   I also liked the recommended zigzag finishing around all seams – should hold up well with the many washings I’m assuming this little sucker will receive.

Cons:  I liked the elastic finishing around the waist and legs (1/4” elastic was the perfect recommendation, in my opinion – anything thicker just looked too bulky for bloomers.)  However, in the book, there are no measurements.  It just says to measure the baby’s waist and legs and cut the elastic to those measurements.  But what if you don’t have a baby to measure.  As in, its a gift or the baby is still in utero.  Can get a bit tricky.  And when I asked my friend Google for help, I got a million differing answers to my ‘what is the appropriate waist and thigh measurement for a 6 month old baby” question.  Would have been MUCH simpler had the measurements been included in the pattern – with, of course, the disclaimer that the elastic length is easily customizable depending on the delicious chunk factor of your baby recipient.

Bloomer Pattern Attempt #2: Ruby’s Bloomers in “Weekend Sewing” by Heather Ross.

This pattern is much roomier than Lotta’s.  The Lotta bloomers seem to be fitted to snugly fit over a diapered baby tush.  While this pattern has some body to it – almost like a pair of poofy shorts. And I sort of dig it.  My 6 month old bloomer looks ginormous to me right now, but maybe once I get it on a diapered tush and see how well it blouses out, i’ll be digging this fashion statement.

Pros:  Super easy little pattern to sew up.  Its a much roomier pattern than the Lotta pattern.  I only had some pause once I got to the elastic.

Cons:  Speaking of elastic… I will simply state that I LOATHE WORKING WITH ELASTIC THREAD!  Now, I’m sure this is purely user error, but I’ve NEVER got elastic thread to work for me.  And this bloomer pattern once again proved my theory – that elastic thread is most definitely NOT my friend.  So when the directions to use elastic thread at the thighs resulted in nothing more than baggy, loose leg openings, I promptly ditched the elastic thread and fell back on the tried-and-true elastic enclosure method.  Which worked like a charm.  Why I ever thought this attempt with elastic thread would result in anything other than disaster is beyond me.  I suppose thats just my eternal sewing optimist rearing its ugly head.  That won’t happen again.

Also, the 3/4” elastic waist was too cumbersome for a baby waistband.  It made the bloomers seem more like sturdy shorts than a pair of delicate little bloomers.

Lotta vs Heather (just my opinion, of course):  Just a side note, but I feel that in general the patterns in the Simple Sewing for Baby book aren’t super detailed.  If you’re a moderately experienced sewer, then its pretty easy to figure out some of the ambiguity in the patterns’ instructions. But if you’re a beginner sewer, I find the pattern instructions in Weekend Sewing (with all the illustrations and detailed directions) much easier to follow…  That said, there is a sweet uncomplicated simplicity with Lotta’s patterns, you’ve just got to be able to keep calm and just figure it out when the pattern is a little less than detailed.  A small price to pay for some deliciously adorable baby patterns, in my opinion.

My Verdict:

  • Actual pattern: If you’re looking for a loose, blousy (for want of a better word) bloomer pattern, go with Heather Ross’ pattern.  If you want more of a snug diaper cover, the Lotta Jansdotter one is for you.
  • Waist:  When using the Heather Ross pattern, I will use 1/4” elastic at the waist.  Instead of folding down 1/8” and then 7/8”, I will fold down 1/2” and then 1/2” (following Lotta’s directions.)
  • Thighs:  NO MAS ELASTIC THREAD.  I just can’t bring myself such agony over a simple pair of baby bloomers.  So, I will use Lotta’s directions and fold each thigh opening over 1/2” and then another 1/2” and create the elastic casing for the 1/4” elastic.

(finally found a use for those adorable size tags I picked up on etsy…)

That said, even if the Heather Ross bloomers look big enough to fit a large-sized toddler, who’s gonna care once I get this little babe-to-be of mine in her polka dot bloomers with her matching menagerie sweet little dress.  Because shouldn’t every baby have a pair of polka dot undies to show off to the world?

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