Bloomers! So Quick! (Upcycle)

Scrub Pants to Bloomers!

I went to see a production of “Cinderella” this week  .  . . the music has been running through my head, and I’ve been thinking about their costumes (while I did gardening this week . . . girl can’t ALWAYS sew!).

I had promised myself I wasn’t going to go buy anything else for a while, but . . . I HAD to go get fertilizer (the daffodils and tulips NEEDED it) . . .so as long as I was out . . . and my favorite thrift store is open on Fridays . . . . my will power was, I am sad to say, weak.

However, I only bought a couple of things and I made them both up last night.  So, I guess it was OK.  (Sort of).

I am also in the process of setting up a new sewing room . . .so this meant I actually started bringing stuff up there, like, uh, thread, and scissors, and am making it a reality instead of just a “project”.

So, how does this lead to bloomers?  Well, in the production, the Stepsisters and Stepmother had bloomers (pantalettes) on under their dresses, and as they were doing some crazy moves, periodically they would show.  I thought “What a great idea!”  I am always amazed by the difference details (and some proper undergarments) can make (the Stepmother was in dire need of a petticoat to keep her hoop lines from showing  .  . . .but that’s another story . . . )  One of the girls appeared to be wearing a pair of satin pajama pants that they had added lace to the bottom of.  Again, what a great idea!

As I happened to be walking through the thrift shop . . I saw not pajama pants . . but WHITE SCRUB PANTS!


These were some gorgeous things . . .extra large, sewn in elastic waist, and the crowning glory–cuffs at the bottom.  How dated are these?  I bought two pair.  First I ripped the pockets off.  I didn’t stress about the tack at the top of the pockets, I just cut those off (so there are little “flags” of pocket fabric on the pants, but they are much less noticeable than pockets).

Then,  I lined up the seams and cut the bottom of the legs off.  No science here, I just cut them off.  I suppose if you were going for a certain vintage, that would help your decision along.  In my world . . . no one probably knows the difference in vintage womans underwear styles.


Then, I pondered the elastic at the top,  It was fairly heavy, and didn’t lend itself to adding a casing, so in the end I just cut it off.  I finished the top edge with a zig-zag stitch, and then turned it over to make a casing to run elastic through (leave a gap at some point for threading the elastic, and then let it open so you can pull and adjust the elastic later if needed).

I finished the bottom edge of the pants with a zig-zag.  I maybe didn’t need, to, but, time spent clipping threads after washing is time spent as well . . . so I finished the edge.

Then, I added some wide lace that I had.  I just top stitched it with a zig-zag to the bottom of the pants legs (did I need the other row of zig-zag stitching?  Maybe not).

Then I put some elastic around my calf so it had no stretch, just fit around.  You could opt to put a casing on the bottom for more flexibility in sizing.  I just made the elastic fairly loose.  These pant legs were fairly tapered, and  wanted the elastic to gather in a bit. Obviously, if you were making these for a specific person, that would determine your elastic length.

I sewed the elastic into a circle.


I then marked the pant leg and the elastic in 1/4’s.  I marked the pants with pins, and the elastic with a permanent marker.  This is not couture sewing by any means.


Next, to sew the elastic on, I used the free arm option on my sewing machine.  I threaded the elastic OVER the pant leg, and put them both under the machine.  Using a fairly large zig-zag, I anchored the elastic to the material.  Then, holding the fabric and elastic BEHIND the presser foot and at the NEXT quarter mark, I stretched the elastic to match the woven fabric, and zig-zagged it into place.


When you let go, the elastic contracts, and gathers up the fabric.  This takes a little practice, but is a nice alternative to making a casing for the elastic in some cases (sleeves, waists, back of waists for shaping, etc).

And that . . IS IT!  YOU ARE DONE!

Scrub pants to bloomers.

Scrub pants to bloomers.

My daughter was pretty excited to be rockin’ the Bloomers.

Cost:  50 cents for the scrub pants, plus elastic & lace.

I made a second pair in less than 15″

I think I’m going to go back and buy the rest of those awful scrub pants.  No one else wants them anyway, right?  And . . .then I might have to browse around while I’m there . . . . .


Video tutorial

3 thoughts on “Bloomers! So Quick! (Upcycle)

  1. Pingback: “Cinderella” (Broadway Version): Dressing Marie & the Fairy Godmother | costumecrazed

  2. Pingback: A few more Bloomers! Follow-up #1 | costumecrazed

  3. Pingback: Young Frankenstein: Peasant Girl #2 | costumecrazed

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