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!


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.


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.


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.


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