01/10/2007

this obsession with bloomers

Photo by RandyThomas

That's right. Grammar takes priority over post naming convention, and I have finally decided to write about bloomers.

I have the quirk of being more attracted to historial undergarments than overgarments. All those long, heavy dresses? Forget it. But petticoats, bloomers and corsets? Yay! They make modern clothing so much more exciting, and now we're not ashamed of our ankles and men have learned not to faint away at the sight of them, we can wear them as clothing in their own right, rather than as foundation garments.

I have petticoats, and I can't afford a corset - well, technically I have a plastic boned one from Marks and Spencer, but it doesn't do anything because it's my size rather than the one below. Bloomers are my next project. I don't want to buy a pair, because they are extremely difficult to find in shops of the bricks and mortar variety, and they seem pretty simple to make.

So, I have a dilemma.

Do I knit my bloomers, or sew them?

Knitted bloomers would be based on the Unmentionables pattern from Knitty Summer 2007. I would have to both shorten and tighten the pattern, but I find knitting more enjoyable than sewing. I think this has something to do with yarn.

Sewing would be faster, and allow me to use patterned fabric. Trying to knit a coloured pattern into my bloomers would probably drive me insane. Also, there are both tutorials for making bloomers from scratch - such as this one from Lara the Lacemaker and this pattern from Gifted Writer - and for recyling already existing clothing. There is a lot of bloomer-related discussion on the official Emilie Autumn fan forum (Autumn is a fan of bloomers herself), and this has yielded some useful advice. Miss Nemo made bloomers from a pair of old trousers (scroll down for tutorial), and The Lady of The Manners of Gothic Charm School has contributed her advice for doing the same (last post on page).

Whichever method of construction I choose, I have further decisions to make. What colour should they be? And how much lace should I use? I think I need to spend some time doing some research before I commit to making my first pair. Bloomers are not the easiest of garments to find online, but I have discovered some lovely pairs.

There are some cute bloomers in these Gothic & Lolita Bible scans: black and frilly, and um...black and frilly. In The Starlight have two varieties of bloomer availiable, in white, black, pink, blue, red and lilac, although they can also do custom work with your own fabric. There are several different and beautiful designs available in Vecona's store. I especially like the long brown striped pair. For shorter pairs I like reconstructionist's work, and to branch away from the dark side, Urban Prairie Girl has lovely bloomers in a bright green star pattern.

I am now wanting to design and create a pair in hot pink with black lace, strands of fake pearls and maybe a black cat applique! If you're looking to have some custom bloomers but lack the leet sewing skillz, Reveriebydesign on eBay makes custom pairs of bloomers for varying prices, and ifautumnends on Etsy does as well, for US $20.00. I am almost tempted by the latter - custom bloomers for about £10!

8 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm glad to see someone else as excited about bloomers as I am. It's getting right in to great weather for me to start pairing them up in so many fun ways. And being the lucky girl I am, a good girl friend made me a pair out of muslin-- I picked up some lace and we just need to add that on!

    I'm excited to see which route you take (knitting or sewing) and how they're worn and turn out.

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  2. ps. Hot pink with black lace and a cape-- sounds like my kind of outfit!

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  3. I think I'm probably going to try both. I want something to knit that is more advanced than a scarf but requires less yarn than a sweater, so bloomers would be ideal, but I also really want to try the method of making a pair out of unwanted trousers. I do have to convince my Mum that bloomers are a perfectly sane thing to want to make so she will let me use her sewing machine...that could take some time!

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  4. I love corsets, too! They do tend to be very pricey. Have you seen this one at the Bargain Queen?

    http://fashion.thebargainqueen.com/2007/10/red-velvet-corset-us85/

    Unfortunately, the price has gone up by $10, but it's still definitely at a great price. I love red velvet :)

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  5. meg - That one is pretty nice, I really like the colour and velvet is lovely. Thanks for sharing the link.

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  6. OMG bloomers! Did I ever tell you about how my flatmate tends to hang out around the house in hers? It doesn't seem like it's her underwear, because they're all modest.
    So yes - bloomers.. you can be in your underwear, and no one will know.

    Yes, this IS Claire by the way. I haven't read your blog in months.

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  7. Claire - lmao! Yeah, I failed to mention the point where it turned into a fashion blog, didn't I...

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  8. Wow looks like Im quite late at discovering this post but I wanted to thank you for mentioning me in your blog article about bloomers!
    I am still making them!

    Many many thanks!

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