Greetings sea monkeys, you under-rated creatures of the deep. Next in my backlog of finished-not-blogged-makes is my newest favorite pair of pants. (Sorry Blue Jean Baby Bloomers). Meet the perfect pantaloons.
This style is by far my favorite if I must have a waistband and legs. I mean, dresses are my thing, but these are practically dresses. Probably why I like them so much!
I use a self-drafted pattern when making pantaloons or bloomers. I know how crazy-making that is to see in a finished make post if you prefer to start with patterns, so if you’d like to make a try on your own, I suggest checking out the pant options from Sew Tina Givens, the the Plinka is free with email signup — no yoke or pockets, but but really all the interesting stuff is in the details near the cuff and easy to freestyle!
Here’s a sketch of my basic bloomer pattern. I generally have a basic yoke with an elastic or drawstring waist, then the leg pieces are wider and gathered into the yoke.
And here’s me in the finished Perfect Pantaloons… sorry, this pic is a bit on the blurry side, isn’t it? Next time we’ll fire up the DSLR instead of the iPhone 🙂
Some basic notes….
I used a lovely rayon/linen blend, I think 52/48 split, from Walmart of all places. I live in the sticks, folks. That’s where I have to get my fabric fix (prepare for more and more garments made from Waverly home dec fabric…) THIS fabric, though, is very nice. It has the feel of linen but the rayon makes it a bit more well-behaved with nice drape.
I finished the front with a few buttons and a little ribbon tie. I like the look of buttons on elastic waistband pants — it makes me feel like it looks less like I’m wearing PJs in public.
For this version, I cut the legs a bit more narrow than I usually do, which meant less gathering required. I arranged so that all the gathers are on the outside of the leg. The cuff of the pantaloons is very, very wide, so I added five pleats across the front of the leg from inseam to where the pocket starts. This created a really nice drapey swing in the legs. Here’s the blurry sideview…
Honestly, awful photo. I know. Apologies. I’m just too busy to carry off another photoshoot!
The shoes, BTW, are Dansko Annie Flats (available here) — I broke my foot a couple years ago and have a plate and four screws in my right foot. These were a post surgery purchase and are SERIOUS old lady shoes — they are from the ortho line, so the insoles come out for easy insertion of custom orthotics (which I do not have) and the sole is more like a sneaker and less like the normal Dansko soles. They are sort of cute and pretty comfy!
The pockets are pretty simple I sort of cut big kind of banana shaped pieces and first I gathered the top of the pockets with my ruffler foot then I cut a strip of fabric the length of the top of the pocket that was around 1.5″ wide. I folded in half, pressed and sewed it to the ‘wrong’ side of the pocket with the raw edges matched to the raw edges of the pocket. I stitched then folded the strip of fabric to the ‘right’ side of the pocket, pressed and stitched on with a straight stitch. I finish casual pockets like that a lot, usually using a decorative stitch on my machine.
After I hemmed the top of the pocket I serged the side and bottom edges, turned under about 1/4″ pressed and then topstitched onto the leg of the pant.
Now for the cuff, my favorite part on this pair of pantaloons! I almost left the cuffs wide and very swingy, more like high water palazzo pants. But I didn’t love it. I needed some frill. I had already done a narrow hem (turn, press, turn, press, stitch). I went through my stash of trim and found some store-bought crochet edging that I stitched in to the inside of the cuff with a topstitch. Then I used this awesome stretchy gingham ribbon we have stocked in the shop. I stitched it to the hem so just a peep of the linen showed. While stitching I stretched it taut which added a slight bit of gathering to the hem. I left enough at the outside seam to tie into little non-functional bows, just there for show.
If you would like your own stretchy ribbon, I put the rest of our stock into the online shop 🙂
Next up on the bloomerpantalooner horizon: working out a cute, functional corset-style closure instead of the normal elastic/drawstring combo I usually use. I also need to do a bit more of a tilted waist adjustment to my basic pattern — there’s a bit too much fabric in the front for my taste! I also might stitch up some blooms for the shop — I have a tone of white cotton looking for a useful life. Nobody puts a bolt of semi-sheer cotton in the corner, baby.
Just call me a #pantaloonie