Monday, May 17, 2010

Biking Bloomers - Tutorial

Did you hear? May is National Bike Month! 

Photos Clockwise: 
It seems like every time I click on my favorite style and designs sites, there is a girl riding her a skirt. I am embracing it fully and with ferver! For one: I love bikes. And two: I love skirts. I have almost forgotten what else you could possibly wear while riding a bike! This romantic fashion movement is a synchronicity of beauty, freedom and femininity!  But, as poetic as it all sounds and looks, there is one minor detail that keeps coming to screen and mind. Sporting a skirt or dress on a bike is a little "revealing"!
Photos Clockwise:
2. ?

For those of you who would like to join this crusade but would like to opt out of displaying your unmentionables in public, I have come up with a solution: Bloomers!
Bloomers were actually invented by Amelia Jenks Bloomer in the early Victorian era when the bicycle was making it's big debut in America. She wanted women to abandon their petticoats and trade them in for trousers! She was worried that heavy and long garments would get caught in the bikes cog wheels and she therefore began a controversial reform in women's fashion.

In todays society, we don't need to look like circus clowns on our bikes, so here is a modern day bloomer tutorial:

Materials you will need:
-knee length or longer, leggings of your choice (they are everywhere and they are cheap!)
-sewing machine
-tape measure or ruler

Begin by measuring your leggings from bottom of the cuff to the knee. Cut.

Next, take the cuff that you just cut off and open it up by cutting down and off the seam. Also cut off the hem so that you will have a flat panel of fabric that looks like this.

Now divide your panel into 1.5" sections and cut into strips. Depending on how short you want your bloomers, you should be able to get 3-6 strips. (this picture shows 3 strips, but I was actually able to get 4!)

Line up all your 3-6 strips from one pant leg so that they are end to end. Use a running base stitch to sew them together like this. 

Now take one of the threads and begin to pull back gently on your fabric to pucker and ruffle the fabric. Keep moving the ruffle down the seam as you go.

You should have a long piece of ruffle that looks like this when you are done. 
Now set it aside for just a moment.

Make a 1/4" hem on the bottom of your leggings using a stretch knit stitch. (trying saying that fast 5 times!) You may want to refer to your machine's user manual to see if you need to switch out your presser foot and what settings your machine should be on for stretch fabric.

Now measure the ruffle around your leg opening and pin it around the bottom.

Finally, use a stretch knit stitch to sew it onto the bottom of the legging.

Now you can ride to your heart's content and your mind's ease! No more panty shots for passerby's!

P.S. If you are not a bike rider, these make FABULOUS pajamas and swimsuit covers! They are also a nice alternative to the ever so popular legging and allow you to modestly sport those insanely short skirts on all the department store racks without any fear! 

*Please remember that all handmade clothing is hand washed clothing!*


{natalie} said...

this is Ethan...i say BOO to the no more panty shots

Amy said...

Hehehe! Sorry Ethan! I'm sure your hottie of a wife will be happy to give you a flash or two if you need one!

Joan said...

Now you need to get your bike done so you can bloom all over town. They turned out really cute. They really would make cute pj's.

Colett (*.*) said...

not sure I could pull off wearing these, but they sure are dang cute on you.

meg said...

Okay, so there is no way I could make these bits of summer perfection on my own. Where do I get in line to place my order???


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