March 2, 2011

That's Good, We Can Always Use More Bloomers.

Or, as I prefer it, pantaloons.

This week, the Sew Weekly challenge is to make something from a Colette pattern. Much as I would love to be able to buy a Colette pattern--especially since they're a local company!--that's just not something I can afford right now (even with the SW discount). But, for some reason, I really, really wanted to do this challenge, so I made Colette's free pattern, the Madeleine mini bloomers. And, um, the word mini in the description is not an exaggeration.
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I'm not posting these to the Sew Weekly group because (aside from the fact that they're... indecent) I'm kind of embarrassed that these tiny things are all I managed to make, and also because I'd like the first thing I post there to be a dress, preferably; at the very least, outerwear. I am excited to see what everyone else makes, though--perhaps even more so this week, because it'll be interesting to see all the different versions of the same patterns.

Anyway, what I made: the pantaloons. I already have a couple pair, made during my toddler phase from a pattern I drew myself, which is basically similar to the Colette design. Before I started making these, I thought they would offer more coverage, but now that they're done, I'm pretty sure my old ones are more modest. (Especially in the waist. Wow.) I knew I should have made my pieces longer than the pattern called for--I always need to lengthen things--but for some reason I convinced myself that it would be okay. And I guess there's also the fact that I didn't really have enough fabric to make them more than a half inch or so longer, anyway.

I didn't want to cut up a large, unused piece of fabric for such a small project, but I also didn't have any scraps that were big enough to use. So I wound up going with a small piece of a very, very thin linen-y material, probably intended for curtains, that my mom got at an estate sale a couple years ago. I think the thread count is about 32, but it's got a neat texture. You can see it fairly well here.
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Anyway, Mom thought I could use this stuff to make a blouse. I think that any top made out of this fabric would be entirely inappropriate for wear under any circumstances, except possibly in the boudoir (and pantaloons are kind of boudoir-y, too, so...). In other words, it is somewhat less than opaque. Which is why, for the sake of preserving some modicum of dignity, I am wearing tights underneath the pantaloons in these photos. (Yeah, here's what they look like when I'm standing. I just didn't want to post any more revealing photos here.)

And now let me talk about the pattern. It's a modern multi-sized design, and is available for free as a PDF, which you're supposed to print and then assemble. I don't have a printer, so I traced all the pieces off my computer screen. Time consuming. I'm really glad it was such a small, undetailed pattern I was tracing--I guess I could work the same process for patterns at BurdaStyle, but the pantaloons were sixteen pages, of mostly two or three lines, and I don't think I'd want to deal with more than that. There were some minor problems with assembly, but it all worked out in the end.

Pattern-building progress--unassembled to assembled and taped to cut and fully (well, mostly) normal-looking:
unassembledtapedcut
Click on them for slightly more detail

I did French seams for everything except the hems, which are tucked under twice (in addition to all kinds of crazy casings for the elastic and ribbon ties). Once I had all my papers put together--the tracing and assembling honestly took almost longer than the actual sewing did--it was a great pattern to work with. Things attached in the right places and everything. So it's a very nice-looking finished garment I have now. I just wish it was longer.

Despite all the remarks I have made about how tiny they are (I was originally planning to wear them under skirts while riding my bike, for increased modesty, but now I'm not so sure they'd be able to contribute to the modesty of even an infant) I am really happy with these. They're super comfortable. The fit, width-wise, is lovely, and while they are mostly see-through, if I put something under them, they look nice. They also cost only sixty-two cents, since all I had to buy was a little bit of quarter-inch elastic.

Overall, especially since I so love silly things like pantaloons, this is a pattern I would gladly make--length added, of course--again. But I'd rather make the Ceylon. Love love love.

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