Monday, February 15, 2010

Madeleine Mini Bloomers pattern review

If you've read any sewing blogs the last few days, you've likely heard Colette Patterns released a mini bloomers pattern that is free to download.  Last night, after cutting out Simplicity 2443 (and realizing I had miscalculated yardage for the skirt by 1/4 yard) I decided to switch gears and start on these sweet little bloomers.  I used some leftover voile from this dress, cut it out quick with a rotary cutter and cans of tomato paste as pattern weights, and got to sewing.


The instructions are easy to follow and clearly illustrated, and the whole project came together in a couple of hours.  The most time-consuming parts: threading the elastic and ribbon (I used twill tape) through their casings.  This took no more time than usual, but would've been quicker had I trimmed the seam allowances enclosed by the casing.  I struggled to negotiate the safety pin (pinned to the end of whatever I was threading) through at every seam intersection!  To be fair, the pattern suggested trimming.  I just didn't do it.

It seemed like a beginner or advanced beginner pattern to me.  No extraordinary skills or know-how are required--just a little bit of patience!  All the raw edges must be finished, so if you have a serger or pinking shears, use them.  I zig-zagged the edges but I suppose it would've been faster to pink them.

One weird part: the front and back crotch seams don't match up perfectly.  When it comes time to sew that seam, you'll notice that either the front or back piece (can't remember which; I think it's the back) is drafted so that a very angular piece extends beyond the opposite half.  Does that make sense?  Anyway, this is inconsequential.  Once you sew the crotch seam, you can trim that little triangle so that the front and back edges form a continuous line.

What few modifications I made were out of necessity: I didn't have any 1/4" ribbon on hand, so I made a wider casing to accommodate the twill tape.  I also did a few steps out of order because I thought it'd be easier.  (Rather than sewing the elastic casing, then threading the elastic, then sewing the ribbon casing, then threading the ribbon, I stitched all casings and threaded last.  That way the garment wasn't gathered and puckered while I was trying to sew the leg seams.)  Also, be sure you stabilize your buttonholes on lightweight fabric!  I used tiny scraps of light- or mid-weight fusible. 

On a real person, pardon the lighting issue:


Next time, I think I'll change a few more things.  I cut the pattern according to the sizing chart measurements, and I was the smaller of the two in one size category.  The chart covers bust, waist, and hip but not badonk circumference, which would've been helpful.  That happens to be my most girthsome measurement (about 13" larger than my waist), and much of the gathered effect was lost in the back because I filled it out.  I'm not sure what will remedy this, although I think a slightly higher rise and strategically decreased seam allowances would help.  Or maybe just cutting a larger size.  Just a caveat for all you ladies with proportions like mine!

So, if you haven't already downloaded the Madeleine Mini Bloomers pattern from Colette Patterns, get to it!  And if you make a pair, I'd like to hear how they turn out.  I like how they feel and drape in Little Folks voile.  If you use this fabric, I recommend a smaller needle, either 70/10 or 75/11.


Note: I tried to be very aware of framing the issue of fit.  Like a lot of women, I have more going on in some parts of my body than others.  So few of us can sew a pattern straight through without making alterations.  Sewing for my body can be frustrating because I usually can't just pick a size and go, but it's also a welcome challenge and has helped me feel more comfortable with myself.

18 comments:

  1. I just downloaded that pattern, too! I love it and can't wait to stich up a pair. Your projects are all so lovely!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where are you measuring for your hip? You should be measuring the widest area below the waist (where the 13 inch difference is.) This may be higher or lower that what you actually might think of as your hip. This may make the waist too big, but it is much easier to take that in than it would be to try to expand the booty after you have already cut your fabric out. I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for the review! The bloomers look really good on you.

    I've been considering making this for my wedding night :) but my boyfriend needs to be out of the house a bit more often so I can actually sew it without him noticing anything.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Adelaide: Thanks for the tip! I checked a few sources to make sure I was measuring the right places. I probably just need to go off my maximum ass measurement rather than my hip measurement (which I took about 7.5-8" below my natural waist--I'm shortwaisted and short in general). That would bump me up a size range but at least I could adjust the fit! Alterations are just a nightmare for me, I cannot do them gracefully.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the way your bloomers turned out! I just sewed the pattern this weekend, and you're totally right about the way the back pattern piece has a weird point (so glad it wasn't just me!) when you try to align the edges.

    What I did for the seams was to do a flat-felled seam, which meant that there was absolutely nothing on the inside of the casings for the safety pin to get caught on as I threaded my elastic. It also made it look nice and neat in the crotch area on the inside.

    I'll probably have a post up about them on monday; have to wait for a model and some light to take photos.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Where should I go to print out the pattern? I've never printed anything like this before. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Angela! The pattern is designed to be printed at home--no need to make a trip to Kinko's! Print the page with the 4" test square first, and make sure it actually prints out as 4". I had to tweak mine a couple of times to make it work. The pattern includes instructions on how to put it together, but basically you cut out rectangles from each page, lay them out, and tape them together. From there you cut out your size. Hope that's the answer you were looking for!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you so much, Britt! That's exactly the answer I was looking for! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the great review!
    I did not notice the 4" test square until I finished putting the whole pattern together and ended up with a 3 3/4" square!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Those are so incredibly cute on you! There is a pattern for a nightie on Sew Mama Sew and those bloomers would look adorable with it! I appreciate your review! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Eeep, I love them! I have been wanting to make myself bloomers for under skirts when it gets warmer. For my frame I was picturing them being a bit...higher rise..and a bit longer though! Might play around with this pattern a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Courtney: It's a great pattern! I will make them a size up next time, I think. They are very nice for under skirts, although a little blousey (is that a word?) to be worn under straighter skirts. Advice: if you intend for the ribbons to peek out from under your skirt hem, use something prettier than twill tape!

    ReplyDelete
  13. just wanted to thank you for your review -- i totally followed your advice and did all the casings first. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the review and helpful tips! I found it through the link on Ali's blog. Badonk circumference, love it, that would be my largest part too!
    Your version is adorable - great job!

    ReplyDelete
  15. can anyone point me in the direction of how to make slightly longer bloomers?

    i feel i might need some that are slightly longer - so i can wear them out!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the note about the front and back crotch seams not lining up! I just noticed this on mine and was wondering if I did something wrong (or if I was just crazy for not understanding how to evenly iron the 1.5 inches around the legs!). Next time I'll try to trim them straight before finishing the edges. Appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for this great review. I just finished my first pair and definitely wish I could have adjusted for my badonk circumference too. I might go a size up next time! I also found a tutorial that suggested some adjustments to help extend the rise a bit, which I think I need.
    I love the gather effect but I found that it made fitting impossible until the very end.. and then it was too late to really make any changes. Practice practice, I guess :)

    ReplyDelete

you might also like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails