Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Making pants while the sun shines: ruffled bloomers tutorial

Thank you to all those who left nice comments about the ruffled bloomers last month. 
Here, at last, are some instructions!

You can download the template here .
It should print out at the correct size on A4 paper with the printer set at 100% scaling.

A note on sizing - these are made to fit my 16 month old daughter. The size is determined by the elastic at the waist and legs, so they could easily be made smaller or larger. Soft, super-stretchy baby elastic would allow for flexibility and growing room.

You will need to trim the right side of the paper along the ends of the printed lines
(although if your baby is in cloth nappies you could leave it untrimmed - the extra couple of inches might come in useful).

In addition to elastic, you will need: 

Three strips of fabric measuring 1.5 inches x width of fabric, finished on one long edge (I cut and finished these in one go with my lovely overlocker).

One bloomer front, cut on the fold using the template outline.

Four bloomer back pieces: A, B, C and D (from top to bottom).

Two bias strips for finishing the leg holes.

Ruffles first:

Gather the unfinished long edges of each of the ruffle strips until they are each about 16 inches.

Bloomers back:

Lay one ruffle onto piece A, with right sides together and the gathered ruffle edge aligned with the bottom of piece A.

It should look like this. (The ruffle is a little longer than the bloomer pieces - I find it easier to trim it later once the whole back has been assembled).

Now lay piece B, right-side down, on top of the ruffle, aligning the top edge of piece B with the bottom edge of piece A, so the ruffle is now sandwiched in-between. 

Pin the three layers together.

And stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (apologies for the upside-down picture above).

Press all the seam allowances up towards piece A, and topstitch through all layers above the ruffle to encourage it to lie flat.

Now it should look like this...

Pin the first ruffle out of the way, and repeat the same process to attach piece C to piece B, with another ruffle in-between.

And then attach piece D to piece C, with a third ruffle...

Bloomers back completed:

Side and gusset seams:

Place the front piece on top of the back piece, pin the side seams (making sure the ruffles are lying nicely) and then trim ruffle ends.

Sew the side and gusset seams with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 
(I did this with the overlocker to finish the seams at the same time).

Fold and press and 1/4 inch hem at the waist, then fold again and press a 1/2 inch hem to form a casing for the waist elastic.

Sew around the waist, leaving a little gap to thread the elastic later.

Bias casings for the legs:

Fold and press a 1/4 inch hem along one long edge of each of the bias strips.

Then stitch the unfolded long edge of the bias tape around each of the leg openings, right sides together, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Press the bias tape to the inside and stitch along the folded edge to form a casing for the leg elastic, leaving a small opening to thread the elastic.

Measure the leg and waist elastic to fit your baby, thread through, and sew up the gaps in the casings.

Beautiful spotty pants with ruffles!

 (And the front view too).

Do let me know if you make some!


  1. Thank you!
    Perfect for an AUS summer!

  2. adorable and nice tutorial

  3. Oh, these would be perfect to go with the dress I'm making my little niece. Bookmarked.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial! I am a beginner sewer and this project will be good to help me with ruffles.

  5. Is there another place to download the pattern besides Scribd?

  6. Angie - I've only got it on scribd at the moment. Is it not downloading for you? I've just had a look and it seems fine, but do let me know if it doesn't work! Thanks for having a look.

  7. very cute and so nice of you to share it, i wanted to download it but i didn't realise you had to pay for it first?

  8. Hello Cassie - I wasn't aware that Scribd was asking for a fee to download it, that certainly wasn't my intention! I'll try to find out whether others have had the same problem. I've had a look and made sure the pattern is set to 'public' so it might be worth another try... if it doesnt work please let me know and I'll try to find and alternative way for you to download it.
    Thrilled that you like the pattern and hope you enjoy making it - do let me know how it turns out!

  9. Download update: I've moved the pdf to google docs, where it should be free to download - let me know if any glitches!

  10. Great job on the how to! Just had a reader looking for an easy how to and linked back.
    Love to share!!


  11. I just made one for my 3month old! Great tutorial. I posted it to my flickr account

  12. I love your version, Rae - thanks for the link!

  13. Hi.. tq for the great tutorial... i m sharing your tutorial in my blog..

    thks again..:D

  14. These are DARLING! Thanks so much for sharing such a great tute and template, and for leaving the comment on my set! I'll be linking for sure! Off to check out your other tutes...

  15. These are so pretty! What a wonderful tutorial, I hope I can find some time to try this! Thank you for sharing.

  16. Thanks, ladies - I'd love to see them if you make some!

  17. Thanks so much for your lovely pans :x :x :x

  18. I made these! I did the ruffles differently though... I wanted them to be the folded kind instead of a hemmed edge.

  19. They look great! Thanks for sharing the photo.

  20. Hi, this is a great pattern and tutorial. I love how the ruffles are sewn in rather just on top. I was wondering how wide you cut the bias strips for the legs?

  21. Glad you like it! I have a one inch bias maker, so used that, but I think it might have been better a little wider. Do let me know it you make some bloomers!

  22. Hi! When I click on the link for the template it says it no longer exists. Do you have a new link? Thank you, these are adorable!!!

    1. Hello Mary - sorry, the link seems to have failed - I'll try to get to back up and running this weekend

    2. I think it's fixed now - do let me know if you have any more problems with it