Colette Patterns- Madeleine Mini Bloomers

Part of me feels like the recent boom in lingerie sewing is because we all just hit our saturation point with clothes.  A girl can only have so many dresses and blouses and even pairs of jeans in her closet (especially with KonMari decreeing we only own one of everything or our chakras will be blocked or whatever), so what’s the new frontier? Lingerie, of course!

Or anyway, that’s what happened to me. That new minimalism craze and my desire to keep learning new things sort of hit me at once, and before I knew it I found myself wondering what would happen if I turned some petal pink silk-linen scrap fabric into some fancy shorts for lounging around the house in. I’d found a few cute versions of the Madeleine Mini Bloomers by Colette online, and the pattern was free, so I figured why not? Look how cute they are on the model!


The fabric I used was a dream. It’s funny to me how two silk-linens can be so incredibly different from each other– my last project was made from silk-linen and was slubby as hell, whereas this was smooth and almost cool to the touch.  I made most of this yardage into a very 90’s camp shirt that makes me look like someone’s mom/Carrie Brownstein (at some point these two elements will just merge into one ironic parody of themselves and also of nothing at all and it will be a glorious day for all humanity) (no hate, I love Carrie Brownstein) (you know what I mean, it’s like if everything is ironic is ANYTHING ironic?)(#portlandia) but I had a decent amount leftover.  That’s what happens when you cut out short sleeves, you have leftovers!


I cut a size small based on the size chart and sewed the insides with French seams.  That part went together really quickly, so I had high hopes.  But then I read further and found that, instead of just using one length of 3/4″ elastic, like I’d assumed, you have to sew four channels and thread 1/4″ elastic through two of the four so they gather more prettily.  I had to go on a foray for special elastic.  By the time I was done with the elastic buying and the channel sewing and not one but TWO torturous journeys threading tiny elastic through skinny passages I wanted to throw the damn bloomers across the room.  You’re supposed to sew buttonholes and thread ribbons through the legs for an extra “sweet” touch, but by that point I said fuck it and just sewed one channel for each leg and threaded more elastic through there.  That might actually have been more complicated than what I was supposed to do, but I was just DONE at that point. There is only so much skinny elastic threading a girl can take! And for something that is functionally equivalent to my old Soffe shorts from high school? A girl has limits.

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After all that, I tried them on to find that I pretty much look like I am wearing a frilly diaper cover for babies. To be fair the word “bloomers” is LITERALLY in the pattern name.  I’m pretty sure that this is just not my style- maybe a cool print could have saved them, other than the baby pink?- so it’s not exactly the fault of the pattern, but every time I look at them I get a good laugh. Lingerie this is NOT– I’ll have to give it another stab.






2 thoughts on “Colette Patterns- Madeleine Mini Bloomers

  1. Pingback: Seamwork Moji Pants | Thread Tension

  2. I’ve never bothered with comments, as most others seem to cover all the bases: “love it” “you did an awesome job” “what a cute (fill in appropriate item here)”. And it’s true — what one is looking at usually IS cute. But I loved the recounting of your sewing adventure and was amused by your review of the final product. First let me say that it is refreshing to hear someone else frustrated by their sewing. No candy coating. Or sprinkles. Not laughing it off. Bravo! And I liked the way these sexy bloomers appeared to you as diaper coverings. You have a point. But, pardon the cliche, they DO look adorable on you — so despite your amusing honesty and self-effacing wit, I shall likely give them a try. My teenage daughter wants a pair. If they do end up looking like diaper covers then I cannot say that I was not warned. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures.

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