24 June 2009

Adult T-shirt to Baby Bloomers Tutorial

What was I thinking when I bought this ladies' t-shirt for myself? Hot pink is much more a baby color than one for a woman of nearly four decades, so I decided to refashion it into baby bloomers with smocked leg openings. I had read tutorials claiming that smocking with elastic thread was no biggie, but I nearly peed my pants when I discovered just how easy it actually was. Even a chinchilla with an eyepatch could do it! Go ahead, try it:

Materials used:
- obviously, a t-shirt. I used a ladies' XS and had enough material to make the bloomers size 2T
- elastic for waistband
- elastic thread for smocking leg openings (optional, but don't be a scaredy cat)

1. To start, you need to cut out four of these. Two are the front of the bloomers, and two are the back. If you have any pants or shorts sewing patterns on hand, use those as a template. If not, take a pair of your child's shorts and fold them in half. Trace around the shape to make a template.

2. Open up one of the pairs so that the right side of the fabric is lying on the floor looking at you. Now open up the other pair and lay it's right side downward. Stitch the shortest part - the inner leg seams as shown.

3. Now open up the two stitched parts and lay them on top of each other with the right sides facing together again. See that big horseshoe? You're going to stitch that up.

4. If you're a beginner sewer, turn the thing right side out now and pinch it at the place where the seams meet. LOOK - IT'S A PAIR OF SHORTS! You could just hem the bottoms like I've shown in the picture, close up the sides and add an elastic at the waist and be done. If you're still up for the bloomer challenge, read on:

5. Now the pee-your-pants-it's-so-easy smocking part: Take your elastic thread and wind it by hand around an empty bobbin. Pop it in your machine. For your top thread, use regular thread in whatever color you wish to show on the outside. I used pale blue for contrast. Identify the leg seam (like I said, I hemmed mine before this step to make it stand out). Sew on the right side of the fabric so that your thread will show (not your elastic thread - that goes on the inside of the bloomers silly). Simply sew a straight line and the machine and elastic work together to gather for you.

(At this point I called for my husband to hurry downstairs and look at this amazing smocking device! He just looked puzzled. Men. There is a vas deferens between us.)

I did two rows of smocking on each leg seam. Do as many as your generous heart desires.

6. Re-thread your machine and bobbin with regular thread. Working on the inside of the garment again, sew up the side seams. Next, fold over the top enough to make a casing for your elastic. Sew all the way around, leaving a little opening to insert the elastic through on the end of a safety pin. For a size 2T, you want about a 20" waist, but that is a very general guide. Sneak in and measure your little one while she's sleeping for the most accurate fit.

You did it! Smocked bloomers!


casserole said...

Great idea!!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

herbivortex said...

the soaker pants are so so cute. i'm not much of a seamstress, but i'll have to give this a shot!

Anonymous said...

grrrrr! im having such a hard time with this one! i have the pattern for these bloomers...but i cant "see" it! i cant picture how these pieces form the bloomers! i realllllly cant follow directions! you are awesome and i am so very glad i found you! im going to keep trying!

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Mnemon said...

Thanks for the awesome tutorial. I was just wondering how to sew a perfect bloomer after 2 failed attempts. I love ur writing- & especially the "men" bit....cos thats so like my hubby. U're right theres a "vas deferens"between us!

Mnemon said...

haha....i posted the previous comment from my hubby's the comment is even funnier.