Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bicycle Bloomers

Bike Bloomers Thumbnail


Most of my biking is casual city biking for transportation.  I am in a skirt or dress 95% of the time in winter and 100% of the time in summer.  To keep the creepers slightly at bay (people still try to stare up your skirt, no matter what, ugh), I always have something on underneath, usually bike shorts.  Bike shorts are fine for winter, but for summer when every little bit of extra clothing counts, I've been wanting to make bloomers.  I finally got around to them for the Seersucker Social, woot!


Back

I remembered seeing an elastic waist short pattern recently so I pulled out Burda 03-2012-114 (available for download from BurdaStyle at the link).  They would require a little redrafting because the front laps over the back to create a petal-effect at the side hem, while I just wanted a plain side seam.


Side








So I compared the pattern pieces with Burda 06-2011-111 (you have to scroll through to get to the shorts in the German Burda archive, f you very much BurdaStyle), which I made previously as my Adventure Shorts, and found that the front of the elastic waist shorts was about 3 inches wider at the side seam, while the back piece was the same size.  Odd.  The Adventure Shorts fit well, so I just pinned them to my fabric (a cotton/poly batiste Ikea Knoppa sheet) and cut the front 3 inches wider at the side seam.  Any pattern that closes with a zipper will need extra room at the side seams when converted to an elastic waist so that you can pull them over the hips.

The fit was just what I was looking for.



Front-Flat

I added about 1.5 inches at the top/waistline in cutting the front and back, as the original pattern is drafted with a waistband.  But after stitching them together, I realized that I wanted the bloomers to sit well below the waist so they would not add bulk when worn under dresses with a fitted waist.  I ended up chopping them down to where they were probably the height they were originally drafted.

I cut them with quite a long inseam, but ended up cutting them to a very short 2 inch inseam.  If my lace was a narrower, I would have made them longer.

I finished the lower edge with a serger rolled hem and then stitched my lace in place.  I got this cotton lace from Kashi at Metro Textiles several years ago for $1/yd (last seen in this 2009 project).  It's lovely but not at all durable so I don't know how long these bloomers will last.  If you make these, avoid polyester lace, which is very scratchy.  Even the cotton lace is not that comfortable for walking long distances off the bike.

I finished the waistline with an elastic casing (leaving the darts/pleats in the pattern unsewn), and used elastic thread in the bobbin to shir the leg openings.  To make it easy to tell front from back, I sewed a little bow at the center front waist.

These bloomers are only good for short city rides--they provide no padding, obviously, and they also do not protect your inner thigh from the saddle as they are too short for that.  But they are quite cool!

All photos are here.  Sorry for the disembodied photos with bike shorts underneath--I expect to spend the next several days blocking flickr nasties even with these thoroughly unexciting pics.

23 comments:

Mrs. Micawber said...

Thanks for the details! What a very pretty lace. (I liked the photos with bike shorts underneath as it made the lace pattern extra visible.) And the disembodied photos look very professional and catalogue-ish.

That extra 3 inches on the (Adventure Short) front pattern piece is fascinating. I'm trying to work out the reason for it. Ease of movement, perhaps?

P.S. How about some cotton Lycra undershorts for summer riding? Years ago I made a pair of cycling shorts from it and they were much cooler than poly Lycra.

Carolyn said...

These are just too cute!

emadethis said...

The lace is so cute!

Kimberly said...

I love what you did with the original pattern. It's a great pattern that I've made multiple times, but I don't think I ever would have thought to make bloomer/bike shorts with it.

Clio said...

Oooh! Super cute! Wow, these bring me back to being a little girl. And what a fun solution for biking.

McVal said...

LOVE the disembodied shots! I may have to make some of those for one of my nieces...
Thanks for the review!
Oh! I do the newsletter for my ASG American Sewing Guild group and am always looking for pattern reviews. Is it ok if I reprint one of your blog posts for the next issue? I'm not sure which one yet, but if you say "yes", is there one you're particularly proud of?

CGCouture said...

These are too stinkin' cute! And practical too! I think your pictures look pretty professional, surely you won't have too many creepers being creepy with your pictures. Though I can't pretend to understand people like that, so....

Anyway, to end on a happy note, I love the sweet little detail the lace provides!

Adelaide B said...

These are great.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Those are too cute! I wonder if cotton lycra would work. I love the lace. Would stretch lace work?

Terry said...

So cute. Good for you!

Jenny said...

These little shorts are so fabulous, I kind of want to start biking more just to wear them. So cute!

Faye Lewis said...

OOOOLALA!

AuntieAllyn said...

Totally fabulous!!

Jilly Be said...

TOO cute! I'm venturing into the whole skirt-wearing-while-biking thing (it's just so appropriate on a vintage-looking bike, after all) & now you've whetted my appetite for bloomers; thanks!

kathy said...

The lace totally makes the bloomers. Although I hear you on the chafing issue.

Debbie Cook said...

OMG how adorable! I love that first photo up top with the whole outfit and a bit of play.

M-C said...

Really cute, much better than black lycra :-). But tell me, how many miles have you done with them? I'm asking because for my thighs putting lace right at rubbing point would be totally nonfunctional. Even lace that's supposed to be soft would be murder, by its very structure. Note that the original bike bloomers were almost knee-length for that very reason, although granted skirts were much longer then :-)..

The Slapdash Sewist said...

As I said up in the text, these are for short city rides. My commute is about 3 miles (taking the long way to stay in bike lanes as much as possible).

Marianna said...

Wow, steampunk cycling shorts! This is just about the most original garment I've found on sewing blogs. Hope you have fun in them (and don't cause too much rubbernecking...).

kbenco said...

You are gorgeous in your cycling outfit and hat, and the bloomers are perfect.

Sue said...

So cute and such pretty solution to biking pants.

a little sewing said...

fabulous!! I love them!

poppykettle said...

Love this idea - and so pretty for something so functional!