Tutorial: Heirloom Bloomers from Vintage Hankies
One of my favorite things to make out of vintage handkerchiefs is baby bloomers. Paired with a simple onesie, they make a wonderful and unique baby gift and if you happen to have a grandmother who collected hankies, you can create a beautiful and usable heirloom. (for personal use only)
(size 0-3 months)
For me, the most time consuming part of this project is picking the handkerchiefs.
You will need four hankies to make one pair of bloomers. The hankies can be different sizes, but all the edges should be straight or have small scallop. Hankies with large scalloped edges don’t work as well for this project. Check for stains and tears, remembering you might be able to cut around them.
With Easter on it’s way, I finally decided on four blue-themed traditional floral hankies.
You will also need 1/8″ soft stretch baby elastic (for the legs) and 1/2″ knit elastic (for the waist).
Step 1: Cut out 2 front & 2 back bloomer panels, one piece from each handkerchief, lining up hem edge of pattern to hemmed edge of hankie.
If you cut each hankie piece with the right side facing up, make sure to flip the pattern piece to cut second panel of front & back. I like to cut each piece separately so I can place the panel exactly how I want it on each hankie.
Once you have two fronts and two backs cut out, sew right front to right back and left front to left back at outseam. Finish seam edge with serger or zig-zag. Open pieces up and press.
(seam allowances are 1/4″)
With a removable marking pencil, mark 3/4″ up from hem edges on right and left leg for elastic placement.
With a small zig-zag stitch, sew an 8″ long piece of elastic 3/4″ up from hemmed edge along your mark, stretching as you sew, matching halfway point of elastic to halfway point of bloomer to ensure even gathering. (if you have a particularly chunky or slim baby, adjust elastic measurement as needed)
Lightly steam the leg elastic on each piece to even out ruffles.
Place two leg pieces, right sides together, matching fronts and backs, and sew front and back crotch seams. Finish seams with serger or zig-zag.
Open bloomers up, putting seams you just sewed at center front and center back. Press. Match short, little inseam and sew. Finish seam with serger or zig-zag.
Turn bloomers right side out. Press where needed.
Press in casing, folding over raw edge 1/4″ and folding again 5/8″
Edge stitch folded casing around waist, leacing a 1″ opening at center back. Thread a 14″ piece of 1/2″ wide elastic through waist casing (if you have a particularly chunky or slim baby, adjust elastic measurement as needed).
Sew elastic together by overlapping 3/4″. This causes less bulk than closing the elastic with a traditional seam.
Sew waist opening closed.
You’ve now finished your first pair of heirloom bloomers!