sewing saturday! 1940's era chambray bloomers

handmade chambray bloomers!

Today, I get to introduce to you one of the sewing projects I have been most excited about. I told you recently that I've made a lot of Etsy orders in the past week for vintage patterns and fabric.. well, this pattern is my favorite out of the five or so that I've found (I'll debut my favorite fabric purchase later on!). It's a gym set pattern from the 1940's, found via Firefly Vintage - a fitted blouse and these incredible bloomers.

1940's era bloomers pattern
1940's era bloomers pattern

The project took longer than I originally thought (the reason for Sewing Saturday being posted on Sunday night!). I was expecting something quicker and easier, like the simple shorts I made into bloomers last week, but there were a few extra steps to this one that made me continue the project into today.

First, I had to choose a good fabric to work with. I narrowed it down to gingham, corduroy, velvet, or chambray, before choosing chambray (an old curtain I found at Goodwill). I then laid out the pattern pieces, cut them, then marked them.

IMG_8013
IMG_8055
IMG_8075
IMG_8104

These pattern pieces were unlike any I've worked with before. They had holes for markings, but they were clear of writing or seam lines. Is it a pattern age related difference? The pattern told me that they allowed 1/2 inch for seam allowances, so I marked those and added a 1/2 inch marking at the hem of the shorts and a 1 inch marking on top of that to allow for my casing.

Once everything was marked, I sewed the shorts front sides together, back sides together, then front and back together at side seams (up until a designated point, where the bloomers would later button up). I then sewed the legs together.

IMG_8167
IMG_8200

These bloomers asked for button-up sides and a waistband. I sewed the button and buttonhole flaps at the sides inward, folding them under by a 1/4 inch to finish the edges before sewing. I then sewed the waistbands shut at the side, flipped them around, then prepared the top of the shorts for them by doing a couple quick stitches at the pleats to keep them flattened (two in the front, two in the back). I pressed the raw edges of the waistband inward by 1/4 inch. I marked 1/2 inch at the top of the shorts to know how far to slip the waistband over the shorts, then I sewed them together!

IMG_8238
IMG_8258
IMG_8267
IMG_8280

Once the front and back waistbands were finished, I only had the buttons, buttonholes, and casing to contend with. I sewed the casing at the hem of the legs quickly by pressing them first. Then, I slipped elastic through (thanks to Jumping Bean Girl for the suggestion of attaching a safety pin to the elastic! that's my new favorite method).

IMG_8287

Once the casing was finished, I sewed buttonholes onto the front sides (thank the Lord for a machine that has a buttonhole function, man alive) and clear buttons onto the back sides. The pattern called for three small buttons on each side, but I used two large ones instead. These clear plastic buttons were a flea market find from last weekend, and I love them.

IMG_8315
IMG_8317

Then, I pressed the shorts.. and here is the end result!

handmade chambray bloomers!
handmade chambray bloomers!
handmade chambray bloomers!

I am definitely planning on using the pattern again and again, and the next time will be with a stiffer fabric so there is more volume to them. There's a pattern I own of a ruffled overall bib with suspenders that attaches to shorts, and I may make the overall bib to go with these bloomers instead. In brown corduroy? That might be my next move. I'd wear them all summer long.

I would LOVE outfit suggestions for these bloomers. What do you think?

On a less related note, I'm feeling much healthier today. This cold really slowed me down this week, so I've been lagging on a lot of responsibilities lately. Now that I feel better, I'll be able to update the Etsy shop tomorrow with some pretty stuff.. lots of lace, including the eyelet trimmed dress I wore to the Karen Elson show (sadly too big for me! it will suit a tall girl much better), a frilly lace onesie, and pretty lace bloomers I found at the flea market. Update post tomorrow night!