These gorgeous bloomers are the very same as I sold in my online shop (now closed). I looked high and low for a perfect bloomer pattern but just couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I went for the closest thing and altered it to suit. I chose the McCall’s M6912 for its simple design, even though I didn’t particularly like the way the original looked. Since I am no longer selling these I thought you might like to be able to make your own!
I love the ‘paper bag’ style waist and wanted to alter the pattern to include this. But not only on the waist I wanted the same finish on the legs too. I will show you exactly how to do that in the tutorial below!
What you will need to make your own Baby Bloomers
- McCall’s M6912 Pattern (I purchased mine from here)
- Elastic – 3/8″ (1cm) – Requirements by chart below
- Fabric – Lightweight Cotton or Cotton Blends – This is designed for woven fabrics
- Ribbon 3/8″ (1cm) wide – Optional – Contrasting/Matching for the decorative bow 12″ (30.5cm) long
- General Supplies – Sewing Machine, Thread, Pins, Iron
Sizing and Elastic Requirement Chart for Baby Bloomers
You have probably noticed that the pattern comes in sizes NB, S, M, L & XL. I find these sizes a pain to work out what age they would be fit. Especially for sewing gifts! So I have worked out and adjusted with my elastic measurements to make them; NB = 0-3m, S = 3-6m, M = 6-12m, L = 12-18m and XL = 18-24m. The slight variations are not a problem due to the gathers.
Instructions for making Baby Bloomers
Step 1 – Trace Pattern
I don’t use fancy equipment or expensive tracing paper. I just tape my pattern to the window, I’m sure the neighbours must think I have an odd decorating style! A cheap ream of A3 (double A4 size) photo copy paper I bought years ago is still my go to. Just tape the copy paper over the pattern piece and the window should shine the light right through. I often have to tape a couple of pages together to be big enough for the pattern piece. I didn’t bother with the notches for such a simple make, so up to you if you do want to use them.
Don’t cut it out just yet! We have alterations to make!
Step 2 – Make Alterations
The M6912 lends itself to this very well. For the waist band I added 3/4″ (1.9cm) to the top of the pattern. I have traced the pattern then measured up 3/4″ (1.9cm) on both sides. The legs however didn’t need any extra as they were designed to be quite long and ruffled originally. We will sew them in a different way then the instructions that came with the pattern. In the next photo down you can see the pencil line where the original waistline was.
When tracing patterns don’t forget to mark the grainline (you can see arrow in top left of photo), and write on all the important info. Elastic length, seam allowance and size are all handy to have, then you don’t have to keep reading the instructions to find them.
*For finishing the waistband – If you do not have an overlocker (serger) you may want to fold over the waistband twice to encase the raw edge. If so you will need to add 1″ (2.5cm) instead as you will need the extra 1/4″ (0.6cm) for this.
Step 3 – Cut Fabric
You will need cut two pieces in mirror image. I like to cut both pieces at once. If you lay the fabric with the right sides facing then you will save yourself an extra step (which I obviously forgot about above!). Remember to keep an eye on any patterns to make sure they don’t end up upside down! I don’t worry too much about pattern matching on these. As there are only center seams and no side seams it would by almost impossible unless your pattern happened to be the same width. And due to all the gorgeous gathers it’s not very noticeable anyway!
Step 4 – Sew Center Seams
Pin and sew both center front and back seams. This pattern has a large 5/8″ (1.6cm) seam allowance. This will leave you plenty of room to finish the raw edges.
I overlocked (serged) mine together. You can do each side separately and press the seams open if you prefer. Here is my post on five seam finishes without an overlocker (serger).
Press the seams flat over to one side. I like to have one on each side of the fabric so that when I sew the crotch seam I can fold one each way to reduce the bulk.
Step 5 – Sew Crotch Seam
Pin and sew the crotch seam as you did for the center seams. Take care that you line up the center seams rather than the leg openings. We can adjust any mismatch in the openings rather than have the seams not line up in the crotch.
Step 6 – Sew Waistband
First you will need to overlock the raw edge taking care not to trim the edge as you have no seam allowance for this. *Or you can fold it over by 1/4″ (0.6cm) and press – if you added the extra 1/4″ at the waist.
Time to head for the iron and press in the waistband.
Fold over the waistband by 1 1/4″ (3.2cm) and press in place. You can pin at this point if you like, I normally just sew it straight away.
Starting at the center back seam, sew a straight stitch line right the way around using a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance. Remember to back stitch and the beginning and end. You do not need to leave an opening this time.
Repeat the last step again this time using a 1″ (2.5cm) seam allowance, and don’t forget to leave a gap (roughly 1″) to thread the elastic through! Which we will get to shortly, but first…
Step 7 – Sew Leg Openings
Repeat the exact same steps for the leg openings. Sew right round each opening with 3/8″ seam allowance. Then again with a 1″ seam allowance leaving a roughly 1″ gap to feed the elastic through. At this stage it should look like the photo above. Looks surprisingly like a pair of regular short shorts doesn’t it?
Step 8 – Feed Elastic Through
Measure and cut your elastic according to the size chart near the top. I use a safety pin to feed the elastic through. Over lap by 3/8″ (1cm) and zigzag together. There are many ways to join elastic so feel free to go with your favourite method. Here is a photo guide for this step!
Tip: I like to pin the lose end of the elastic to prevent it accidentally disappearing inside the casing!
Stretch the waistband and the elastic should pop inside. Now all that is left is to do is sew closed the opening using a straight stitch. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end to prevent it coming undone.
Repeat these exact same steps for the hems too.
Step 9 – Add Ribbon Bow (Optional but great for making it easy to work out the front from the back!)
Cut a 12″ piece of ribbon and fold in half to find the center. Line up this folded crease with the center seam at the front of the bloomers on the 1″ (2.5cm) seam you used to make the elastic casing. Sew in place following along the same line as the seam.
Tie ribbon into a bow,
Trim the tails to your desired length cutting at an angle to create a point.
I like to use a lighter to melt the cut edges to prevent them fraying.
Step 10 – Nearly Finished!
All that’s left to do is try them on, take loads of gorgeous photos and share them on social media (links on top right of the page) using the hashtag #ninamakes so I can see them too!
Happy Bloomer Making!
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