Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Pyjama Party

So after completing my tartan dress I was filled with the excitement (sewers adrenaline?!!) finishing a project that I wanted to make more - and fast! I needed another fix of that immense satisfaction of finishing something* but that would be easy and not take the um...5ish months that the dress took me! Enter PJ bottoms for my boyfriend!

 I didn't have a pattern, and to be honest, I knew they would be easy so I didn't want to buy a pattern either. Then I remembered that I bought the Sew Everything Workshop book last year (never actually made anything from it) and wondered if they might have a pattern I could use. Result - they had a pattern for 'foxy boxers' (their name, not mine!) which I thought would be easy enough to lengthen into pj bottoms.

Turns out it wasn't quite as straight forward was I thought it would be. I cut along the 'lengthen here' line and inserted a loooong piece of tracing paper and put the bottom section of the pattern underneath.. Hmm...if you cut a diagonal line, extend it and try and match it up, it's impossible! Here my diabolical attempt to explain via diagrams:

The image on the left is the example pattern piece for the boxer shorts. The image on the right is me scratching my head over how you are suppose to join up pattern pieces after you have cut along the lengthening line and made it the length you want!
A = continuing the bottom piece at the same goes on for infinity
B = the top edge of the bottom piece joining with the top edge of the top piece
C = continuing the top piece at the same would end up with barely any room to squeeze your foot through at the bottom!
D = joining the top edge of the top piece with the bottom edge of the bottom piece

There were a few more options but I think that's enough to get my point across! So much for a quick fix sewing project! In the end (after a lot of swearing** and huffing and puffing) I did a sort of option D but with a lot of fudging. I decided that since they were pj bottoms the fit wasn't really a big issue (thank god!). I'm sure there is a correct way to do this, but I wanted to get it done there and then and not trail the internet for the answer!
The sewing section of the pj's was nice and simple (phew!) and I even made a fly front (or placket? Which is it? I've forgotten! lol) which I thought was going to be tricky but was actually very simple and gave it quite a professional finish.

The top is just elastic but I wanted to do a faux drawstring front by putting in a button hole on either side, securing ties on the inside and have them come out through the holes. I hadn't done buttonholes since I got my machine so this was actually going to be my first garment with them! So of course I did a practice run first - it turned out a beauty. So onto the real thing......BIG BIG MESS! (Cue LOTS of swearing) For some reason the machine stopped moving the fabric so I just got a gigantic ball of thread sewn in one place. I couldn't even unpick it. And it was right at the front of the pjs!!! Disaster! I thought I could maybe do another one right next to it and have the tie come out over the crap one to conceal it. So another test - another perfect button hole. Onto the real thing - ANOTHER big MESS! Well I was just getting fed-up now, but I wanted to finish the pjs that day (coz they were my Valentines pressie to my man!) so in the end I sewed the ties straight onto the front of the pj bottoms. It looks fine, but just not as slick as I had planned (damn it!). I'm really annoyed at my sewing machine for messing up the buttonholes...and I don't even know why it did it.

Anyway, enough words - here's the goods (modelled by moi since my boyf is off skiing down mountains in Bulgaria at the moment!):

Cheesy shot of my relaxing in the pj's reading the Sew Everything Workshop book that the pattern (sort-of) came from!.

I have to say, these are the comfiest pj bottoms I've ever had on (yes, I've been road testing them this week!). They are a bit too baggy and a bit long (long is easy to fix) so next time I make them I will narrow the pattern a good bit. I have another lovely plaid fabric in my stash which is destined to become my own pj bottoms.

Regarding the Sew Everything Workshop as a sewing book - I don't love the patterns that she gives you, they seem a bit shapeless and a bit boring for me, but the step-by-step instructions were very good. I guess the patterns are a little shapeless because they are simple and suitable for the beginner sewer which is fair enough really.

* This is quite a novel feeling for me as I have the bad habit of starting new projects before another one is complete!! Here is the proof!
** My boyfriend is always baffled and bemused by how much swearing my so-called 'hobby' makes me do. How can something I enjoy doing cause me so much anguish?!!


  1. I'm the same way! I often put off the final touches, like hemming, because starting a new project is much more exciting! :)

    Also, whenever my hubby hears me draw in my breath sharply or yell "Oh, crap!" he just rolls his eyes and says, "What now?" I think we like sewing because it is difficult. If it was easy, it wouldn't be so challenging or satisfying.

  2. Love the pjs you made and your dress in your previous post is so gorgeous! Russ can't believe how much i swear when i'm sewing...he keeps reminding me that i'm doing this for fun and by choice, which just makes me swear more :)

  3. Hee hee hee - glad to hear it's not just me that has a love-hate relationship with their sewing machine! :)
    Thanks for your comemnts guys

  4. Great pjs! Love the tip about the bra. I try to remember that before attempting big fitting changes, too. Your post is a good reminder.


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