Ruffle Bottom Bloomer w/FREE Pattern Link

Today I'm going to show you how to make a "Ruffle Bottom Bloomer", perfect for covering unsightly diapers, not to mention - they look absolutely ADORABLE under dresses!  (Especially cute with the Peasant dresses I showed you how to make HERE yesterday!)


I found the original tutorial by made (dana-made-it) and she even included a FREE pattern HERE with sizes ranging from 0-24 months! (How cute are the ones she made?!?) :)

Materials:
  • Pattern
  • 1 yd fabric (just to be safe)
  • 1/4" Elastic for legs & waistband
  • Coordinating thread
  • Sewing Machine
1. Begin by printing out your pattern pieces and cutting the pattern to your desired size. Place the pattern piece on the fold and cut pieces for both the front and back.

2. If you're adding ruffles, cut strips at least 2" tall and for the length, you want to make sure they're approximately 3 times longer than the width of the back of the diaper cover at the widest part (because these will be gathered, and you can trim any excess). Fold over and press each strip 1/4" and stitch to create a bottom hem for each ruffle. If you have a serger, you could just serge the edges.  

3. Now we're going to actually ruffle the ruffle strips! There are two methods to this. I used my machine to make the ruffle. You do this by setting your machine to the longest stitch length, and the highest tension. Sew a straight line along the raw edge at the top of the ruffle strip and your machine should automatically start gathering the fabric. Backstitch at the start and finish.
(See how the fabric is gathering behind the presser foot?) :)

If you're machine doesn't do this, you can gather your ruffles the "old fashioned" way using a gathering stitch. Just sew a straight stitch along the top raw edge of the ruffle strip using the longest stitch length. DON'T backstitch. When you get to the end of the ruffle strip trim your threads, but leave 2-3 inches hanging. 

(I only do a single stitching line, but you could use more if you'd like. HERE is a great tutorial by Tammy at Not Just a Housewife about gathering ruffles.)

Find the bobbin thread (or the thread that gives when you pull it) and pull it so that the fabric starts to gather. Once you've gathered it to your liking, tie a knot to secure the ends.

4. Pin your first ruffle to the BACK pattern piece right sides together. Stitch ruffle in place making sure your stitch is either directly on top of, or a little over the gathering stitch - so the stitches don't show when you fold over. I place this first ruffle about 3/4 from the top of the leg opening. 

5. Press ruffle over and down and trim any excess.

6. Pin and stitch your second ruffle to the back pattern piece about 1/2" from your first ruffle. You'll see this is about even with the top of the leg opening on the pattern.

7. Fold over and press second ruffle and cut off any excess.
Attach the 3rd ruffle just like the second, about 1/2" above the middle ruffle- pin, sew, press, cut.

8. Now you're going to connect the back piece to the front piece. Sew the side seams with right sides together. Make sure you catch each ruffle in this seam so they're all held down.
Serge or zig-zag along the edge.

9. Also connect the two crotch pieces. Align the raw edges and stitch. Serge or zig-zag along the edge. (Sorry I don't have a picture of this step) :(

10. Serge/Zig-zag along the raw edges at the waist and around the leg holes. Fold over and press 1/2" and stitch to create the encasing for the elastic - Don't forget to leave a 1-2" opening to feed your elastic through. I fed through at the side seams on each side. 

These leg openings are TRICKY! Go slow, and know that they don't have to be perfect - any impurities will be masked once the elastic gathers it right up! 

A tip to avoid this difficult step, is to sew bias tape for the casing instead. You can find contrasting or matching bias tape at any craft or sewing store. 

The trick to getting the above method right, is using your iron to fold the casing over and to GO SLOW. Like I said, it doesn't have to be perfect, because the elastic will bunch everything up! 


11. Begin feeding your elastic through the encasing by connecting your elastic to a safety pin. See pattern for correct elastic length! TIP: So the other end of your elastic doesn't disappear into the casing while you're feeding it through, I secure it with a safety pin to the bloomer, like this...

12. Stitch the ends of your elastic to secure. I do mine in a cross to secure both ways. Stretch it to test that both ends are securely connected! You don't want the elastic popping after it's sewed up in the encasing.
(Sorry this is the blurriest picture EVER!)

13. Stitch the openings closed where you fed your elastic through. Turn the bloomers right side out and there you go! How ADORABLE?!?

How cute will these be peeking out from underneath this little dress??? :)


 

18 comments:

  1. So adorable and I'll be making both for my daughter ASAP!

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  2. Where did you start and stop when you were sewing the casings? I made one pair of bloomers and I had such a hard time sewing that part. Just wondered if you had a good spot where you started and stopped. Thanks for the help!

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  3. I started and stopped the casing in the crotch area. Seeing the encasing hem is extremely difficult for the leg holes. Mine's always a mess- but the beauty is that when u thread the elastic through and it gathers, it all is camouflaged! :)

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  4. Thank you for the pattern. But I agree Heather and Tara.

    Where do you put the first ruffle? And the croth area is very difficult.

    The leg holes. I try again, but it takes a lot of time and I hope I get it right.

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  5. Hello I have a question when you print the pattern do I need to (fit to page) before I print? or do I just do a normal print? thanks

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  6. Normal Print, but I usually err on the larger side when cutting out a pattern or even size up. For the ruffle placement I just put them in the middle. You'll see that the top ruffle is sewn at the very top of the leg opening. If you have any further questions, you're always welcome to e-mail me at hanewkirk@crimson.ua.edu

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  7. A little note to thank you for your pattern. I have two new little granddaughters so these are just perfect. I find the leg openings too hard to sew so use binding to make a casing. A little longer in sewing, but neater and stops me from getting frustrated. :)

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  8. Really cute bloomers. I am making the ruffles by hand now but after they are ruffled, they are too small for the back of the bloomers. I cut them to 16inchesx2inches and 12inchesx2inches. I'm making the 6-12month bloomers. Any ideas what I could be doing wrong?? Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. A good rule of thumb is to cut the ruffle 2-3 longer in length than the width of the diaper part.

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  9. Hi!! I'm really having a problem with the ruffle being too short for the pattern. I cut them to the required measurements but after I ruffled them, they are too small! Any advice??

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  10. I am wondering what size your original diaper cover was that you made? I am making the largest one from the pattern linked and those ruffle measurements do NOT fit at all. They don't fit across the bum at all. It would be helpful if you specified. Also how much elastic (length) for each leg hold and across the top? I will search the original link for that but it would still be helpful to know from this page. I am not new to sewing, so I could figure it out but for someone who is...

    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made the smallest size I believe. For the ruffles, you must adjust for the size of the diaper cover. A good rule of thumb is to cut the ruffles 2-3 times longer in length than the width of the diaper cover back.

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  11. Am I missing something. I don't see the pattern anywhere to print?

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    Replies
    1. http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-the-perfect-diaper-cover.html

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  12. How far from the top did you place the top ruffle is looks like approx an inch from your photos?

    I have also found the ruffles to be too short for the larger sizes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the ruffles, you must adjust for the size of the diaper cover. A good rule of thumb is to cut the ruffles 2-3 times longer in length than the width of the diaper cover back.

      For ruffle placement, you just have to gauge it also depending on the size of the diaper cover. I would recommend centering all 3 evenly. Start by placing the middle ruffle first and then the other two evenly spaced above and below if you're having trouble.

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