In theory whipping up some pyjamas for a colleague should have been simple. PJs after all, are not couture and the fit is meant to be relaxed. So why was making these so tricky? What could possibly go wrong?
My friend has trouble finding PJs to fit, so we went to Addicted to Fabric and picked out some lovely soft flannelette. I went back the next day when the sale started but there wasn’t quite enough so I picked a coordinating plain thinking by hook or by crook I’d get these PJs done. Sarai’s snippets that week included a ‘what do when you don’t have enough fabric’. I used a number of those tips:
- I made the facings in the coordinating plain
- I pieced the sleeves cutting them in half lengths ways.
- I made the cuffs, a band to add length to the top and ‘racing stripes down the side in the plain. Surely all pyjamas need racing stripes!
So far so good. I managed to get all the pieces cut out of the main fabric, even managing to match the pattern across the top front, an almost match with the back and a some good matching and pattern placement for the trousers. Then the comedy of errors started. For one sleeve I cut two of the halves identical and not as they should have been, mirror images. With hardly anything left to play with I pieced that half together doing my best with the pattern, not perfect but ok. Needing a break from the PJs I picked up another project. To check the overlocker threading I picked up a scrap of material. Oh no too late! it was once piece of the sleeve. So that too had to be pieced.
Finally all done, thank heavens I had pre-washed the fabric, or that would have been another disaster.
The PJs nonetheless were a valuable learning experience.
- I used vilene to make the pattern. This was excellent. It’s about the same price as pattern making paper. It’s easy to cut and write on. I basted the pieces together to check the fit, then you can take it apart to cut your fabric. It’s much more sturdy than tissue and it folds or rolls easily for storage.
- I did flat-felled seams for the first time. Usually seen on jeans, they are strong and also comfortable. Important for PJs.
- I used the machines blind hem to nail the facings down. I thought it might be good in PJ’s not to have have them flapping.
- I learnt you can make a little fabric go a long way, it just takes a lot of juggling.