1. For short bloomers, cut pillowcase in half. If using the closed end of the pillowcase, cut open the closed end so that it forms a “tube”
2. Measure your child’s inseam (this would be from the top front of the diaper or undies, through the legs and around to the top back of the diaper or undies on your child). Take this number of inches and divide it by two. Then add 2” to that number. With your fabric laid out flat, using the number of inches that you got from the inseam calculation, measure from the top of your “tube” down on either side edge. So if you measured 12” at your final calculation you will measure 12” down and mark this with a pin.
3. With your inseam marked on either side, you will need to cut a short bit from the bottom of your tube on the sides, in a line up to the pin. Do this along the outer edges/seams. This will determine the crotch/leg areas. Once you have this part finished, its on to the sewing machine!
4. If you have a serger, it would be a good time to go around and serge all of the cut edges so that they don’t fray. If you don’t have a serger, zig-zag stitch the cut edges. I do have a serger, but for this project am showing it with the zig-zag stitch. If you prefer, you can iron over a ¼” hem and sew that over all of the raw edges. I just prefer this method, as it is faster and usually leaves me with a little more fabric.
5. Pin the cut bits together that you cut in step 3. In this step you will be sewing the front & back of the legs together, and giving the bloomers a “crotch” area so to speak. Please note that you want to make sure that the seam from the pillowcase is on the *outside* at this point. This will help your seams to all be on the same side of the garment.
When you are finished with sewing this area, it will look like a large pair of shorts.
6. Pin down the top of the “shorts” about 1”. Sew about ¼ inch from the edge of the fabric, giving you about ¾” pocket. Make sure that you leave a 1” opening for the elastic to work through because This will be the sleeve that your elastic will go in later.
7. Repeat this with each of the legs as well, making sure to leave an opening for the elastic to come through.
8. Measure your child’s waist (near or just below the belly button, all the way around the waist. Cut a piece of ½” wide elastic the same size.
9. Measure around your child’s thigh (just below the crotch area, and around the entire thigh. Cut 2 pieces of ½” wide elastic the same size.
10. Next you need to feed the elastic through the opening at the waist, and to do this, you will want to clip a safety pin onto one end of the elastic to feed through the sleeve. Then clip a second safety pin onto the other end of the elastic, and pin it to the fabric just above the opening for your elastic to go through. This will help your elastic’s “tail” not to get lost inside the tube. You will need to have both ends once you feed it through.
To feed the elastic through the band, push the first safety pin through the opening, scrunching the fabric down over the pin as you go. With your left hand, hold the tip of the pin. With your right, gently pull the fabric so that some of the elastic feeds through the sleeve. Continue this all the way through the sleeve until it comes out the other side, making sure it doesn’t twist.
11. Once the elastic is fed through, pull both ends taught so that you have several inches of elastic on either side. Once again, make sure that you don’t twist the fabric in this process. Place the elastic pieces on top of one another about 1” overlapping.
12. Zig-zag stitch in 3 different places over the overlapped elastic. This helps to secure it very strongly so that it remains sturdy and elastic without separating.
13. To re-insert the elastic into the sleeve, gently tug on the waist, until all of the elastic is in the sleeve. Adjust the bunched up fabric until it is fairly even throughout.
14. Using your sewing machine, stitch closed the little opening you used to insert your elastic.
Repeat steps 10-14 for the legs as well
14. Flip inside out, and enjoy your new bloomers!
If you like this tutorial, feel free to use it, and you are also welcome to link to it. I would absolutely love to see any bloomers that you make using this tute! It takes at most 90 minutes (if you're photographing and writing instructions along the way). I would say it takes under an hour in most cases! :)
**editing to add** - Lisa asked in the comments of THIS POST if I make all of the girls' clothes. The answer is that I have not made all of them in the past, though I did always have something handmade in their wardrobe. This year I have a goal of making all of their summer clothing, along with a few select thrifted items (jeans especially).
I figure I only have a couple of years left where I can dress them however I like, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can, and hopefully it will help them to love handmade clothing too (which is of course not to say that new clothing isn't fun and super-cute - this is just something I personally really enjoy).