Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ruffly Britches: White Linen Bloomers

I've evangelized about the raptures of bloomers before. What with summer and all, I felt a need for a ruffled white linen pair.

Good for puttering around the weed-filled tangle I call my garden in a fantastical mood.

In a former life, this medium-weight linen fabric was curtains in my living room (also made by me). Removing the creases left by the hem folds was the toughest part of this project. 

The pattern is my go-to elastic waist pajama pant, Burda 7765, now out of print, shortened 12". For the ruffle I cut two strips of 3" wide fabric on the cross grain, the full width of the curtain panels. After finishing one long edge with a serger rolled hem, I ran the other edge through the ruffler attachment to make even gathers. Then I measured the lower edge of the leg to get the right length to cut the ruffle. Another way to approach this would have been to sew the outer leg seams and then to attach the ruffle to the flat leg, before stitching the inside leg seams. Working flat is more efficient, but I often want to check the length of the garment on me once it's stitched up before determining the depth of the trim or ruffle.

I used 3/8" seam allowances rather than 5/8" to make these pants a little oversized. You will see that a lot of my inspiration pieces are even more voluminous. I took a middle path.

Pants like these have been on my to-sew list for about five years. Now that I have them I'm not so sure they are as indispensable as I thought they'd be, but at least I don't have to wonder any longer. These pants seem to need just the right thing to accompany them. Because they are made from a medium-weight linen, they are fine as pants with a longer top, but they are a bit bulky under a light dress. I might like another pair in a handkerchief linen or cotton voile. Or more long funky tops. Or both.

Here are some light summer bloomers I found inspiring.

Susannah Dashwood Verity Hope Dress and Bloomers (it seems her site and pattern business may be inactive now)
Sarah Clemens Clothing on Etsy
Linen Clothing by Bonnie Harris on Etsy
Linen Clothing by Bonnie Harris on Etsy

Conscious Clothing on Etsy


  1. Your bloomers look wonderful. Now that you do have them, I'm sure you'll find all sorts of "excuses" to wear them.

  2. These are really really cute! I hadn't considered bloomers before... now you've got me thinking :)