Vintage Inspired Knickers & Blouse

These knickers have turned out to be one of my favorite pieces.
First, the fabrics: I used 100% wool men’s suiting. I got this fabric for…wait for it…one dollar! Yep, in the remnants section of Vogue Fabrics. I saw it and snatched it up as fast as I could–I LOVE men’s suitings and shirtings and typically won’t spend the money on them because they’re for kids’ clothes, but this was a steal! I also have a theory when it comes to ALL kids’ clothes: if it can’t be thrown into the washing machine and the dryer, then don’t put it on a kid. So I took this beautiful fabric and washed it on hot and dried it on hot. Voila! Now The Robug can wear them because they have been pre-shrunk and can go in the wash.  The same can be said for the blouse: it’s 100% silk, so I washed and dried it the same way; the fabric was also a steal–I upcycled a stained adult blouse (so it was free!!!).  The only “expensive” fabric was the lining for the knickers, and that was only $5.00.  So, with thread, elastic, and snaps, the whole outfit was about $8.00  and could easily cost upwards of $150.00 in a store.

Next, the inspiration: Steampunk.  I love the look of the Victorian era, so I tried to channel it a bit.  I made them with a bit of a drop waist and a front yolk.I cut the yolk on the bias for extra stretch and to have fun with the pinstripes.
The back of the waist is elastic so that potty trips are quick and don’t require mommy to pull them up and down.

Each leg has pleats at the cuffs to emphasize the puffiness.  The Robug is also VERY particular about where her pants are now that she wears underwear–hipsters are her preference.  Thus, to go with her “big girl” look, a drop waist and slimmer fit in the hips and thighs helped to develop a more modern Victorian silhouette.

Lastly, the colors: mossy green and a golden, buttery marigold yellow.  LOVE this combo, and the pop of color for the lining adds a little sassiness to the traditional look.  I did not want to draw away from the colors or design of the knickers, so the plain blouse suited my preference.

I made the pattern by making a basic pant and then shortened them, added a little width as well as a bit of a bell-shape to the thighs, and shaped the waist for a yolk.
Then I made a “muslin” (I actually used some spare fabric that I’m definitely not going to use for anything else) to check fit.

Then I adjusted my pattern and added my seam allowances.  I do this with a compass: I lock the compass radius to 3/8″ and then simply use the pointed edge to trace along the original line to produce the line for the seam.
The blouse was very simple.  All I did was use a shirt Robug already had to make a pattern and made it a 3/4 sleeve, as is the preference. I was able to cut the entire top out of a woman’s XL blouse.

To invoke the lace of the Victorian era, I put a pleated ruffle around the collar.  I decided to put snaps on the back as closures so that it is easy for Robug to get off and keeps the front plain and simple while giving the back a little more interest.

And, because the knickers are wool, I decided that I’d have to line them if I expect Robug to wear them:

And this is the final product, complete with a Steampunk-y watch. What do you think? Thanks for stopping by!


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