I can’t believe how wet and miserable May turned out to be this year! Going through my Me Made May photos for previous years reveals tees and viscose trousers, cropped linen pants and floaty outfits! This time – jeans, jumpers, long sleeves and trainers, one open shoes only twice! brrr
I have done a bit of fabric shopping though, in preperation for June being much, much nicer than May! And if today is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat! (But I’m not hopping about madly just yet.) I bought what was described as olive and ecru leaf print viscose (turns out more green than olive) to make another Olya Shirt and a piece of olive cotton/linen blend for trousers to wear with the leaf print. I also caved and bought a RTW olive and ecru striped tee while on holiday! In St Ives I found the teeniest little wool and fabric shop on Fore St, and ended up buying a gorgeous chambray that will make the “denim” Teddy Designer Pants I’ve been wanting for ages and some natural coloured linen for maybe a pair of Kew Pants again. I do like that pattern.
So – I have grey linen, natural linen and olive linen for pants, green and ecru viscose for a shirt and some blue and white striped jersey that’s definitely going to be a new Basic Instinct tee. I also want to use the remains of the tencel twill that made the daughters’ pjs – I think I can make short pj pants and a cami out of what’s left, just need to tetris the pieces a bit! I also want to make something with bits of left over linen in navy, white, rust and a blue/black and white print. But I’m not good a patchworking and colour blocking, so we’ll have to see how that pans out. Of course, now the weather has turned, the garden is calling louder than ever and the veggies all want planting out, so sewing time and planting time are in direct competition with each other!!!
I am late to this particular appreciation society. I have numerous Paper Theory patterns, but only purchased the Olya Shirt in October last year, and only made it up in May! And people, I cannot tell you why I left it so long! I can only say that I thought wearing a “proper” shirt again after living in jersey tops would feel odd. Well – it doesn’t! I bought the pattern after making the blouse with the huge sleeves last year, there was just something about that fabric sitting on the cutting table that made me think of the Olya pattern, and I jumped.
This version was made hot on the heels of the dark navy blue one, as in I cut it out on the Saturday morning after the Friday finishing! No changes to the overall pattern, just the sleeve binding and placket construction. This time I sewed both pieces to the outside and turned them in, instead of sewing to the inside. I just prefer this method. It means I just sew the straight seam and leave out the short sewing line making the “box” at the top, as this would get in the way of getting everything out of the way to the inside. The finish is good and I’m happy with it- having handstitched on the inside again. And guess what – this time I managed to get the pieces on the right side! I have proper cuffs!
What I love is how different this one feels to wear compared to the heavier viscose crepe of the first one. I’m going to be making more of these! The fabric is a cotton/silk voile that I got probably 3 years ago now, and it’s fabulous to work with, even better to wear! Usually I’d French seam this fabric, but opportunities for that finish on this shirt are non existant, so the overlocker had to do. It is still neatly finished on the inside, and there is no visible bulk on the outside. Cuffs and collars and the buttonstand were interfaced with fine sheer fusible. I was lucky to find enough buttons in the stash that worked, I didn’t want solid colour buttons, so these with the fleck of white work really well. I’ve worn this shirt so many times since making it – basically as soon as it’s washed and ironed I make a reason to wear it!
I love it with the trousers in my current wardrobe – particularly the Kew Pants and Teddy Pants from Style Arc, & I can’t wait to try it with the linen trousers in my summer wardrobe, but the weather is seriously messing us around! April was cold and dry (only 9% of the usual rain fell!) and May is making up for that instead of being the glorious introduction to summer that we all love. So for now, I only have winter trousers to try the shirt with, but I’m happy anyway. I have some olive viscose with a leaf print on its way for another shirt, and I might have had to order olive linen for trousers to go with it! It looks like olive will be my new rust.
In the mean time – if you’ve been eyeing out this pattern with an idea of making it, look at the photos on Instagram, #olyashirt, and see how well it suits just about everyone who’s made it! If you’re not into too much ease, go down a size or two when you toile, but give it a try! I really do love this pattern and I can see more in my sewing future – I might even try a colour blocked one!!
Well, here’s the first of what will be many! Finally I have photos of the finished Olya Shirt I started at the beginning of March. With the weather being so rubbish, I had a long time to wait for something decent that did the shirt justice. Of course, this means that in the mean time, I was able to wear the shirt and be even more happy with it!
As described in the work in progress post, I made the 14, with no adjustments. I also changed the constructions of the cuff binding and tower plackets slightly – spending so much time on getting those pieces on nice and straight that I made a rather large mistake… I put them on the wrong sides!!! Nevermind, the shirt still works, but I was annoyed when I finally discovered it when I put on my perfectly made cuffs!
It hasn’t altered my love of the shirt. As previously stated, the instructions are good and clear and leave no doubts as to how to proceed. The fabric is viscose marocaine, which has a crepe-like texture. It’s heavier than regular viscose, not as drapey. It was great to work with as it doesn’t slip around!
I’ve worn this shirt loads and now wonder why I hadn’t got round to making it earlier, I have had the pattern since October! I’ve made a second already, and am planning a third to happen pretty soon!
After making a pair about 2-3 years ago, I’ve finally made another pair of the Lander Pants, pattern by True Bias. It’s not been an intentional delay – I just needed the right fabric! My 3m purchase of the cotton/linen twill from Fabworks back in March was the perfect buy, and I knew I had a candidate for another pair of these trousers.
I’d made the size 12 the last time – but in a stretch denim – so needed to take them in to get the right fit. This time I went with the 12 again, but was prepared to have to possibly tweak in the plus side this time! I cut the pocket linings from a piece of leftover print cotton in the stash, and kept all the topstitching simple and in the same colour as the fabric.
The outer leg seam is the one with the 2.5cm seam allowance, enabling a good chance at getting the fit tweaked over the hip and into the waist. I started with half of that, 1.25cm all the way down and tried the pants on. To my surprise, I realised I could take in the entire seam allowance again, from the top! So I popped it under the needle and stitched the 2.5cm allowance. It still fitted just fine! There was the right amount of snugness over the hip and tummy, the front crotch area had no lines and the back was ok too! Miracles!! So I popped the waistband on and voila!
I honestly expected to need more room than that, but they are comfortably snug, and only slightly loosen during the day with sitting and wandering about the house! (Still not really going anywhere) For the length, I needed to loose 9cm… So I turned up a 4.5cm hem twice – sorted! It gives a nice heavy weight to the hem, keeping the width of the trousers in place.
I’m loving these, definitely needed another pair, and the blue is perfect. These pants are going to be a great addition to the spring/autumn as well as winter wardrobes. Might even keep them out during the summer, for those definitely inclement rainy British “summer” days. And, given how delayed spring has been here in the UK this year, these trousers have been a properly good addition the my wardrobe!
The eternal question for sewists – or at least one of them – is this: How do you get a nice sharp corner on collars and cuffs. Include waistbands, lined pockets and jacket revers with notched collars. Here’s the method I use, it involves no cutting of angles at the corner, which just makes a weaker point. I learnt this technique at a tailoring course, many years ago, and it’s worked for me! I’m going to demonstrate by using one of the cuffs made for the Olya Shirt. Please excuse my fluffy ironing board, and un-edited photos!
Once your seams are sewn, layer them by trimming the un-interfaced seam allowance down by half.
Using the point of the iron, press the seam allowance onto the interfaced piece, nudging and pushing but be careful not to stretch anything. Give it a good press. You should be able to see that you have some “bulging” on the interfaced side.
Now – you want to start with the side seams of the cuff, fold the seam allowance onto the interfaced side of the piece so that you just see the stitching line. It just needs to roll slightly up. Now press that, well.
Once both sides are done, fold about 3-5cm of the long edge in the same way, ensuring that you get the seam allowance of the already folded side tucked sharply into the fold. Press well again, especially on the corner where you’ll have more bulk. On really bulky fabrics like denim or coating, you will want to get the clapper (or hammer) out and reduce bulk. You could also shave some of the pile off fluffy coating fabrics, or cut the seam allowance at an angle, bevelling the edge.
Now, put your thumb into the cuff/collar, etc and place your forefinger on the outside, on the folded over corners, and pinch tightly.
Turn the fabric over the corner with your other hand, pushing with your forefinger into that corner to ensure as much of the fabric goes over as possible.
It’ll look something like this at this point, a bit rounded, not 100% sharp. Using a timber or plastic point turner, insert it into the cuff and gently push the corner, while pulling the fabric down to get the rest of the corner to pop out. BE GENTLE! And whatever you do, DON’T USE YOUR SCISSORS FOR THIS JOB! Seriously, unless you want to be redoing the entire thing because you’ve gone and poked a hole in the fabric, leave the scissors on the table! You might find the back of a seam ripper handy to encourage more reluctant fabrics to turn better, from the outside!
Now you can press the corner and edges again, using your fingers to manipulate the fabric.
I roll the under side slightly under so there’s no seam line showing.
And that’s a 90 degree corner done! Believe it or not, the same method can be used for collars where the angle is more acute, but this time it will involve cutting some seam allowance away. So here’s the same thing, but for the collar of the Olya Shirt.
Same as above, sew seam, layer seam and press allowances onto the interfaced piece.
Press the side seams onto the interfaced side, then the long side, approx 3-4cm worth. This time you’ll see there’s folded seam allowance sticking out beyond the folded lines. Left like this there’s no way to get a sharp point.
We have to cut it off, but before you do, flip the piece over and check where the stitching line is, you do not want to be cutting “blind” and end up snipping the stitching! Cut just enough of the seam allowances so none extend past the pressed fold.
Turn in the same way as for the cuff and press well.
And that’s it!! Your first few might be a little wobbly, but persevere with the technique, it really does work and is so much better than chopping a 45 degree angle off the corner. I’ve seen so many corners ruined with that technique as with wearing and washing the remaining tiny bit of fabric is weakened and turns to fluffy shreds. Good luck with your corners and edges!
P.S. if you’re using this for a pocket flap where you have a fold and a stitched side seam, just press the stitched seam onto the flap and hold it while you turn the corner. Works well for waistbands too!
Please click on the collage photos to see them much bigger and get more detail.
Three minutes left of Wednesday – where did the time go!? I thought I’d show you all my latest sewing project, as I seem to have been sewing in secret lately, and only showing off finished items. Today, I’ve been making the Olya Shirt, pattern by Paper Theory. I bought the pattern in October/November last year but only managed to get it toiled last week!
My measurements suggested I make the 16, but the finished measurements indicated a lot more ease than I’d usually be comfortable with. Yes, I do know this is ssupposed to be an oversized shirt, but there’s baggy and there’s tent. At frst, I thougth I’d toile the 12, but hedged my bets and went with the 14 as a middle ground instead. Perfect choice! I decided it needed no adjustments, sleeves are the right length, cuffs not tight, shirt length fine and just enough “oversize” in the circumference measurements.
My fabric is from Rainbow Fabrics, viscose morrocaine (sadly now sold out). It has a lovely, crepe-like texture, and the dark dark navy and ecru irregular, zebra-ish stripe is right up my street. It is light and drapey, but has good weight and doesn’t slip around like ordinary viscose does. Cuffs, collar pieces and front band are interfaced with a fine sheer polyester interfacing, not adding bulk.
The construction of the shirt is different to your usual shirt, because of the style lines. The front yoke and sleeve are one piece,and the shoulder seam and insertion of the sleeve head happens in the same seam! It looks like it’s going to be clunky, but it’s anything but. Tara’s instructions are clear, unambiguous and direct. Some indie designers get so into the instructions that they get confusing and I ignore them entirely!
One thing I did differently, right at the beginning, was to change the way the sleeve plackets are sewn. I sewed the tower placket piece as described, but the binding I sewed to the right side. This is because I don’t like seeing stitching on binding, and if I’d done it the original way, I’d have to stitch on the front. This way I handstiched the binding on the wrongside and topstitched the placket on the right. Small changes. I also staystitched the neck edges as soon as they were ready. You don’t put the collar on until quite late in the game, and I didn’t want any stretching.
Talking about stretching out, be careful with handling the fabric pieces, the sleeve and shoulders can start to stretch before you get to sew them, so don’t let the pieces hang. I pick up my sewing in a bundle so nothing hangs and drapes and potentially stretches out before I get to sew it up.
So far I’m really happy with my shirt, it’s all going together really nicely and at the end of the day I have the buttonbands, collar, cuff and hem to do. And I need to find buttons. What’s the bet that, even with a drawer full of buttons, I won’t have the “right” buttons?
One more of the presents intended for Christmas – but this one needed to wait a little longer. Three months longer… A friend gave me part of a hide of leather, she’d been given it by a local interior designer, but knew she wouldn’t ever use it. She figured I’d make a skirt or something with it, but I had grander plans! I knew the pouch Daughter No1 was using for her laptop wasn’t the best, it was just a zippered pouch – and she needed something easier to carry it around in, but still keep it safe. So an idea was born, to make a laptop bag. Can’t be that hard, right??
I thought that before I concoct a pattern of my own that I’d check out what sort of patterns were available online, and quickly stumbled across the Laptop Bag pattern from Sew All Petite. It came in two sizes and – best of all – it was free!! Double checking the dimensions of the laptop in question, I realised I was going to have to make the large version (17″). The pattern as a PDF printed out on only a few pages and I was off. But there’s a problem with the pattern and some of the pieces didn’t line up, others were the wrong size to fit together. So I sorted that out in paper before cutting my precious leather!
Now, I have to say this. This is my first time using leather. I started the practice with making a couple of card wallets/holders with the Thread Theory pattern, which gave me an idea of how my machine was going to cope with the thickness of the leather and all the layers. It also let me know that there was no way I’d be able to use topstitching or even denim thread. I was going to have to work with just plain old Gutermann. My old Bernina was fine with one or two layers of leather and a 90 leather needle, but three layers required me to turn the fly wheel by hand. The card holder pattern instructions suggest using a light sandpaper to smooth the cutting marks from the edges and to rub them aftewards with beeswax. This seals the edges, so good idea. I used these tricks on the edges of the handles and long strap on the laptop bag.
Now for the bag. I decided I wanted to quilt the main pieces. This would add padding for the laptop to stop it being bashed about, and also make the outer layer nice and sturdy. For the lining I picked out a piece of doggie print cotton from the stash, and paired it with some of the left-over mustard cotton from my Sienna Maker Jacket for the bias trims. The zip for the inner pocket came from the stash, it didn’t need to be white or cream and the red stands out nicely.
The other notions were part of the reason why the Christmas present turned into a birthday present, 3 months later! I had trouble collecting all the goodies I needed. Either they were out of stock, or I just couldn’t get the right size in the right colour in the right material! In the end I got everything from the following suppliers;
I tried out a couple of quilting designs using some batting I’d got free from a local swap group and in the end chose a basic square pattern stitched on a 45 degree angle with 2.5cm spacing. I used a small amount of leather glue on the underside of the leather and smoothed the batting onto it to hold it together while stitching, drew the lines with tailor’s chalk and got going. It worked pretty well! I quilted the font and back main pieces, as well as the gusset. To give the upper sections of the bag support, I fused some canvas interfacing on (minus the seam allowances). So far so good! I cut the handles and strap in two pieces without seam allowances on the long sides and glued them together before sewing them. Basting was done on the macine and I turned the fly-wheel by hand to get through all three layers of leather. Thankfully the machine handled the topstitching of the handles and strap ok without me resorting to turning the wheel by hand!
I wanted the inside to be soft and safe against bumps too, so decided to interface the cotton with some medium weight weft insertion interfacing. It has made the inside feel rather luxurious! So far everything was going together well, zip was in, snaps were in – all good. But, I had to wait for parts and then other projects got in the way! Queue jumpers! Eventually more metal bits appeared and I cleared my head to finish the project. This started the hard part, putting the layers together, leather, batting, leather, interfacing, cotton… In the end, I used many, many clips to hold it all together and sewed it all together by turning the fly-wheel by hand. Let’s just say that’s no fun at all and it results in a large blister!!
There are things I’d definitely do differently if I make another bag with leather. I hadn’t fully appreciated the resulting bulk in certain areas, and would cut more of the bag without seam allowances – there are places where they aren’t needed and they layers could just be stitched together and the raw edges treated. If I’d thought more about how the bag went together in the beginning, a lot of time and effort could have been saved! In the end there were places that my machine just couldn’t get to, never mind stitch through, so I took it off to a local lady with an industrial machine. She managed some of it, but not all. It was up to me to figure out how to finish the bag!
In the end I used an awl and made holes through the almost 1cm of bulk and threaded a handsewing needle with topstitch thread and sewed those bulky areas by hand! I went backwards and forwards and over and over to make sure it was going to hold and knotted the thread nice and tightly afterwards! I hope I’ve done a good enough job!
Then it was time to attach the bias binding to all the seam allowances, as the lining isn’t separate and bagged out – it’s sewed to the outside pieces. I just did this by hand to save a lot of swearing and broken needles later. It took some time to do, but it was totally worth it! The seams are bulky, I beat them to death with a hammer and tried bevelling the edges and layering the seams, but they’re still chunky. Bound in mustard cotton, they don’t look too wrong though.
I’m really rather chuffed with the result – it looks fabulous from far! Just kidding – it looks good close up too! There’s a nice big outer pocket that closes with a magnetic snap, handles for carrying by hand and a nice long adjustable strap for slinging the bag across the body, or carrying on the shoulder. The long zip ensures plenty of room to slide a laptop and notebook in throught the opening without scratching the edges on the zip (another reason why I chose a plastic or nylon zip over a metal one). Inside, the bag has a zippered pocket for things you’d rather not loose, and two large pockets on the opposite side. These are the perfect size for cables, wires and chargers – keeping them away from the laptop and scratching it!
Daughter No1 was super impressed with her laptop bag, and as soon as offices are open again, it’ll be in constant use! In the meantime though, she can use it at home to store all her computer goodies in one place.
Will I make another?? Let me have a year or so to think that over… !
I bought a new to me magazine last month, but not new to the sewing world! I thought I’d try out the Ottobre magazines, as some people think they’re a better option to Burda. Unfortunately there aren’t as many each year as the Burda, only one for Spring/Summer and one for Autumn Winter. They’re around £11 each and this one contains 18 patterns. The one I got is Spring/Summer 2020.
First impressions. The styles aren’t as “trendy” as the Burda, but there is a good variety of items. Three patterns stood out to me, a pair of trousers, a jersey top and a camisole top. So for £11 it’s not bad value, especially when you consider the Burdas are now £7.50 an issue and I often find nothing I want to make. My measurements put me in the same size as the Burda sizing, but these patterns all go from a 34 to a 52, so much more inclusive than Burda.
I traced the pattern for the trousers #8, the Utility Pants, in the size 44. Looking at the pattern, the crotch depth is much deeper than I’d expect. Chris made a pair last year and commented that they didn’t fit as expected, definitely a crotch fit issue. I noticed the zip opening seemed very low. Once toiled, I also needed to check on just where the pattern was supposed to sit! On Chris the waistband sits on the hip, as does the one on the model. On me, much higher up.
Toile issues… Too wide on the waist, take in total 4cm. Pants too wide to around mid-thigh, then getting too snug around the knee area and definitely too snug around the calf. The crotch was also defintely hinkey. It wasn’t close enough to the body, it was too long by about 4cm and had too much fabric, causing bunching in an akward area! So here’s what I did.
Shortened the crotch depth by 1cm at the crotch depth line.
Took in the inseam in the front by 1cm from the crotch to mid-thigh, then out again by 1cm at the knee down to the hem.
Lifted the crotch curve just over 1cm and altered the shape of the curve. In the front, the centre front seam was moved in half a centimetre to remove excess fabric and tapered to the original CF spot at the top.
Shortened the zip opening by 5cm.
Crotch curve in the back – also lifted 1cm, curve adjusted by moving in 1cm and tapering to the original line 10cm below the waistline.
Back waistline dropped 1cm in centre back, tapering to the original side seam.
Back inseam adjusted the same as the front.
Side seams, back and front: took in 0.75cm at top of waistband, tapering to 1cm at the bottom of the waistband. From the top of the trousers, 1cm taken in all the way to just below the crotch depth line where it goes back to the orignal line, then tapers out 1cm by the knee and then straight down to the hem.
Shortened legs by 2cm by double turning the original 2cm hem depth.
The crotch adjustments take out the excess fabric that was causing bunching and weird lines, front and back. The zip shortening makes it look so much better, no-one needs a zip opening that long, they usually stop at the hip line.
There’s only one thing I’d change when I make the next pair, use two, smaller buttons in the waistband. At almost 6cm in width, it would work better with two buttons than the one. I just might take half a centimetre out of the trouser leg width, all depending on the fabric used! So yes, despite all the adjusting, I will be making another pair.
Making wasn’t tricky. I cut the pocket linings from cotton remnants, as well as the inner waistband pieces and the underside of the belt tabs. The welt pocket at the back makes the welt, folded up, you don’t need to cut seperate welt pieces. This cuts out bulk! The tabs were going to be purely decorative, but at the last minute I made working buttonholes. All seams are overlocked, simple but effective.
Fabric notes; I bought 3m of a cotton/linen twill from Fabworks last month, loving the brilliant blue colour. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so sturdy and stretch-less when it arrived, so it prompted a re-think on the patterns I was going to use. Originally I thought I’d make a dress or jumpsuit, but there’s not enough movement for that. So, new plan was to make more trousers! There is no movement in this fabric at all, so perfect for Landers! That’s what I’ll be making with the rest of the 3m length. They still have some black and a mossy/khaki colour, which I’m tempted to get for a short Sienna Maker Jacket.
I don’t want to get too distracted with “maybe” projects though, I have the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory waiting to be toiled, waiting rather patiently since October!! So while I have a foot injury and cannot get to the allotment, I need to get on with the sewing, at least I can sit for that!
After a successful winter making terracotta/parika/rust coloured trousers to counter the denim, black and grey, it was time to do the same with the summer wardrobe – assuming summer is actually on the way (along with getting out of lockdown)! I bought a little pile of fabrics from Rainbow Fabrics in the Autumn, one of which was a piece of viscose linen in what I thought was rust, but turns out to be more a red brick/terracotta colour. No matter, I still like the colour, and it will still work with my summer wardrobe!
Having already decided on using a tried and tested pattern, Burda 102 from July ’09, I thought it would be a straightforward project. But it seems I’ve done a lot of scribbling on the traced pattern in the past, jumped around with sizes and shortening locations, and generally just made a mess. So I retraced the pattern, the 42 and 44 and toiled the 44, straight – no alterations. I prefer to do that with a pattern I’m using for the first time, then I can see what I need to alter. Given the different cuts and styles, you can’t really assume too much before-hand. I knew I’d need to shorten the leg, guessing around 6 or so cm, and that there would need to be some sort of fiddling with the crotch depth/length. And possibly some faffing with the waist….
In the end, I took a total of 5.5cm out of the leg length, 2.5 in the area between hip and knee and the remainder at the hem. The waistband fitted just fine, but I felt the crotch depth was too short. On measuring the crotch length, and comparing it to the length of the Teddy pants, which are really comfortable, I realised I needed to add 4cm to the overall length. So I lengthened the crotch depth 1cm and added another centimetre to the depth of the waistband. This made all the difference and the pants are now perfectly comfortable to wear!
Finding a suitably coloured zip was impossible, so a red one has sufficed. I used some African waxed cotton for the inside waistband, which helps with stability (no stretching out of linen on my waistband!) The insides are all overlocked to keep them neat and tidy, and found the right button in my stash.
I love the richness of the colour and I just hope it doesn’t fade. This is one problem I’ve been finding with the terracotta coloured fabric. This particular piece is lovely, there’s something devine about a linen and viscose blend. So much so, that when Rainbow Fabrics released new fabrics last month and I saw they had more – I bought more!! This time the colour is more paprika/rust, and I have 3m… I need to decide whether to make another Zadie Jumpsuit or the Wildwood Wrap Dress from Sew House Seven! I bought the dress pattern when it came out – even though I’m not a dress person – because I just loved how it looked on everyone! I have yet to trace and toile the pattern though!
Better late than never with this post!! I have a very quiet time on IG and here in the lead up to Christmas time because I was busy making presents! Then we had the announcement that Chirstmas wasn’t happening the way we’d all planned and I had to post everything. I waited for the mad rush to be over before I sent mine, I really didn’t want my handmade items getting lost or going missing in the huge pile the post office had to deal with all of a sudden. Which all means getting photos of said items was heavily delayed. But I have some now!
I’d decided to make luxurious pjs for the girls for Christmas – proper, grown-up pjs! I looked at all sorts of fabrics; double gauze, flowing viscose, tencel and cotton lawn. I knew Daughter No1 would want hers in a plain fabric, and I tried very hard to find a terracotta or something that looks like it’s been dyed with avocado. In the end I decided I really wanted tencel, it would give the luxurious feel I was after, would be lovely to sleep in, and not get hot! But budget constraints hit hard, tencel is expensive! In the end I found some tencel twill in suitable plain colours from The Fabric Room, minimum order was 3m per fabric, which is fine for a pair of pjs!
I ordered two samples and waited. They were quick to come and I was perfectly happy with both. The colour, handle and drape were perfect, so I jumped in and ordered 3m of each of two colours. They were realtively quick to arrive, given the pressures the postal service was under at the end of November and beginning of December.
The pattern for Daughter No 1 was going to be the Carolyn PJ pants. I chose a couple of sizes bigger in the width, to give the baggy look she was after, and an oversized shirt pattern from Burda. She wanted the “I’m wearing my bigger boyfriend’s shirt” look. The pj trousers were to be simple, no piping. I should have found a way to get her leg length correct though, I need to go back and shorten the trousers! The tencel sewed so beautifully, creases steam out quickly and, when pressed, it stays in place. I used French seams throughout to give the pants a high quality, and double turned the trouser hem. There are no raw edges here!
The top was chosen a, because it was nice and big but proportionally still worked for a small size, and b, because it was long enough to be able to be worn without pants if wanted. It has a shirt hem that is longer in the back than the front. The pattern is shirt 120B from Burda October 2016, link to the German site, as the other one is as useful as a chocolate teapot. The shirt has a front button band, small collar and stand and a back yoke that comes forward to the front with angled seams. The sleeve is nice and wide and inserted on the flat, pleated into a buttoned cuff. I’ve liked this pattern for ages, so when Daughter No1 hinted that she wanted an oversized shirt for pjs, this was the first one I thought of!
Again, it’s French seamed throughout and has double turned hems, lightweight fusible interfacing on cuffs, buttonband and collar pieces. The buttons are from my stash of mother-of-pearl buttons. I only use these for special projects, and when that project has reached the end of its life, the expectation is that the buttons are returned to live again on another project! I really love the sky-blue colour of this tencel twill, and the sandwashed effect it has.
The pyjamas were met with delight, once they were posted! We had hit a snag with the sudden announcement of level 4 restrictions in London before Christmas, and again when Christmas travel was severely restricted, so we were unable to deliver in person. However, thank goodness for WhatsApp and video calling! The pjs have gone down a treat and I know she’s happy with her proper, grown-up pjs!