Sunday, February 25, 2018

Loungewear for me.

 Hi everyone! Ugh, how much do I hate posing for photos? AWKWARD, right? But I'm sucking it up for the sake of y'all and posterity.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to sew down my stash. And a lot of my stash was bought to sew things for myself, so sewing down my stash is going to require me to do quite a lot of selfish sewing! The timing for this is good, since Me Made May is coming up and I have had to donate or throw out some very worn out me-mades. It's good to think I've been sewing for myself long enough that some items no longer fit my style, fit well, or have been worn to shreads! It's hard to let my sewn items go, but I'm telling myself it's a good thing overall!

One giant gap in my wardrobe was comfortable pajamas/loungewear/workout wear. And one giant pile in my stash is flannel and random knits. So I whipped up a sweatshirt and a pajama pants, both from Butterick patterns.

Let's start with the sweatshirt, I picked up Butterick BP305 on discount the last time I went to JoAnn's. I liked the interesting cut of the sweatshirt/sweater dress, and the pants looked intriguing as well.
I don't know why this says B6388 on the corner? Mine says BP305.

For my first take on this pattern, I used some second-hand cream french terry I picked up very cheap at the Depot and have tons of. It's nice and stable, with a good amount of stretch, but doesn't hang super well - I consider this a wearable muslin. Although I love that dress, I wanted house/weekend/exercise wear so I went with the sweatshirt.

The cut of this sweatshirt is very fun, with a cute triangular side panel, very dropped shoulders, a shawl collar, and a cute u-shaped inset in the back.

Based on my measurements and the finished measurements, I went with a size medium, but there is plenty of ease. If I make this again in a nondrapey fabric, I might size down to size small.

I read about this pattern on Pattern Review and based on some reviews that noted that the collar can be too soft without interfacing, I added some lightweight knit interfacing to the collar pieces. The result was a collar that is a smidge too stiff for my tastes! It stands up a bit more than I think it's supposed to. Next time I will interface only half the piece, up to the fold line, at most. Interfacing can probably be skipped entirely for more stable knits.

Whether it's the color, the size, or the shape, I'm not sure this is the most flattering garment on a top-heavy figure like mine, but it's super cozy and nice to wear. I am hopeful that it would be a little more flattering in a drapier knit. In the meantime, it's perfect for tooling around in the garden or walking around Lake Merritt. I would absolutely try this pattern again, and in fact I have my eye out for the perfect fabric (but I haven't bought any yet - yay me!).

Next up, flannel pajama pants! These are the Lisette B6296 pajamas, which I've been meaning to make since the pattern came out. I generally sleep in t-shirts and pj pants, so I wasn't particularly interested in making a whole ensemble and stuck with the pants. 

If I recall correctly, I made a size 10, grading out to a 12 at the waist. I needn't have graded, however. These have PLENTY of ease. I am debating whether I would go down a size if I made them again or at least slim out the legs, which are quite wide in my opinion.

The pants have a cute little back yoke for shape, a separate waistband, and really generous pockets. They reach to mid-thigh! The extraordinary depth might be because of another issue, though. This pattern is insanely long. The finished side length (as disclosed on the pattern) is 42 inches. I am 5'4" and have a normal length torso but shorter legs. I used the lengthen/shorten line to shorten the pants about six inches! Don't forget about the cuffs as you're factoring in your length, btw. 

This flannel is a really nice quilter's flannel that I picked up years ago and have forgotten the provenance of. I want to say it's similar to a Denise Schmidt print? But I couldn't find it online. It's nice and heavy and easy to work with, and it  has held up well to repeated washes.

I added some dark green piping to the pockets and the cuffs just to add a little bit of definition and because I love me some piping! With the piping on the cuffs, I had to change up the sewing instructions a little bit. The instructions have you sew the cuff to the bottom of the pants and finish the seam allowances, so there's a raw seam inside. I sewed the piping side on first and then folded down the seam allowance on the inside and stitched in the ditch, for a cleaner finish.

All in all, these may not be the most exciting things I've ever sewn, but they have seen a lot of wear, especially as my Victorian house gets quite chilly in the winter and we have to layer up! And although I don't sew all that often with Big 4 patterns, these were both easy and fun sews with interesting design lines - a good reminder that Big 4 patterns are a tremendous resource for the intermediate sewist. But, I do need to remember to size down, because they are notoriously big (on ease). 

Do you sew your own lounge wear? What patterns do you recommend/what are your TNTs?

I am still catching up so I have lots more projects coming to the blog soon!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

More PJs/nighties!

Oh hi! *Sheepish wave.* It's already halfway through February, and this is my first post of the year! Oops. Just trust me when I say that January kicked my family's collective booty, and February hasn't been much better. So. Much. Sickness. So much. We've just been rotating illnesses over here.

Anyway, here we are! And I have some catch-up to do!

So although I was completely derailed by various illnesses, I nonetheless started out the new year with a burning desire to make a dent in my swelling, exploding, completely ridiculous  fabric stash. I know I've said this before, but this year I started tracking how many yards I'm taking in versus out in my bullet journal, and so far I have sewn up like 15 yards and bought ZERO fabric! So that's pretty great. Plus I did a deep clean of my sewing area and dropped off three bags of fabrics/notions/patterns at the Depot and sold some vintage patterns on Instagram. Yay me!

As I mentioned in my last post, it now takes quite a lot of fabric to make my kids nightwear, so I felt like I needed to use up some of the flannel pieces I have had stashed for a bit, from back when 1.5 yards (or even one yard!) seemed sufficient to make something for my kids. Aw, they are growing up so fast! (Cue bittersweet moaning.)

So I'm very pleased that I managed to squeeze a pair of PJ pants for Joe and a whole nightie for Maggie out of about 1.5 yards apiece!

First off, Joe's pajama pants. These are the Sleepover Pajamas by Oliver + s, this time in size six with a bit of extra length, with no cuffs, but deep hems and a separate waistband piece. I'm realizing I need to take some of the rise out of these for Joe.

Another motivating factor: Who knows how much longer Joe will be totally wowed and thrilled by RAINBOW CHEVRON fabric? Hopefully forever, but alas, life can be hard.

 I attempted to match the rainbow chevrons, but that ain't easy! It is what it is!

 Sorry the photos aren't that great - January shooting is not fun around here! Joe was such a good sport, trying these on so that I could adjust the rise first, and then the hems. I like how the deep hems mimic the cuffs that the pattern comes with.

Maggie's nightie was another, different vintage pattern, which I made once before, years ago, for my niece. This pattern was passed down to me from my auntie, who made it for her kids back in the day (ah, the late 70s, early 80s, my favorite nostalgic age!). Isn't it sweet?

Not the exact pattern I have. Mine is sizes 3/4.

I had a small piece of printed-on yellow gingham plaid flannel which I picked up second hand from the Depot. With good luck (plus prayers and hope), I managed to squeeze this nightie out of it with only tiny scraps to spare! It turned out a scosh big, but it's nice to think it might last a whole year.

I added some stash lace to the front and back yoke. It turned out insanely twee, which is to say, adorable! #ownyournostalgia

The nightie fastens in the back with two buttons, attached with thread chains. I found these soft yellow buttons that matched perfectly. Every single thing came from my stash!

The long sleeves and elastisized wrists are A-DORBS, amiright? Gah. It's like I've gone back in time 35 years, to the time when me and my friends roamed the neighborhoods in unsupervised gangs and got twee nightgowns for Christmas every year from our auntie who sewed. RIGHT? RIGHT? Y'all remember what I'm talking about, I hope!

Thanks to posting this on Instagram, I am now the happy owner of the larger size range in this pattern (thanks Karen!) so I can extend the nostalgia for several more years! Yay!

My favorite part of this pattern is the offset pocket, which is sewn on the gown at a 45 degree angle. I added a little bit of lace to that too. Hilariously, Maggie finds it quite useful, although it must be one of the most impractical (read: cute as all get out) pockets I've ever sewn.

So cute, right? Well, my kids are pretty set for flannel nightwear, at any rate, and these items used up 3 yards of stash fabric! Fabric that might not have been as useful if I had waited another year! As I get caught up here, hopefully I can share the pajama pants I made myself as well as some other stash sewing.

Do you have any sewing resolutions for 2018? Are you trying to sew down your stash?