Category Archives: pyjamas

Lisette and Pyjamas


The first FO I have to show you I actually started before Christmas and finally finished at the start of this month.  I’ve said it before, it’s really rare for me to have a sewing UFO, knitting hell yes, but with sewing once I get going on something I normally see it through to the end.  The reason I didn’t finish these Lisette Simplicity 2245 trousers off is that when I’d sewn the legs together and tried them on they didn’t fit me which was annoying as according to the sizes on the pattern they should have done.  Does anyone else have issues with Lisette sizings?  I made a tunic that should have fit according to the pattern measurements but still doesn’t.

Anyway, I got around to getting these done, they still don’t fit but as I’m slowly shrinking they should do soon.  They are unhemmed as I won’t know where I need to hem them until I can actually wear them.

I didn’t add as many buttons to the tabs as the pattern called for as I want them to function as belt loops, for the same reason I added another two at the back.  This fabric is very odd, it’s almost like a mock moleskin.  It’s really soft but I’m sure it’s going to pick up cat fur and dust like no-one’s business.  Anyway, hopefully I will get to hem these soon and take them for a spin.

Out comes Kwik Sew 1556 again, I only used the larger sizes for Jim but I’m making up for that by using all the smaller ones for Piggle now.

I bought this fabric for Jim when he was about Piggle’s age but never got around to using it.  That’s the good thing about having 2 boys, I get to have a second pass through my fabric stash to use up all the shorter pieces or younger prints for the second one so they don’t go to waste!  The only change I make to this pattern is to cut the sleeves as one piece rather than doing the cuff for them.  This size is still a little too big to get away with for Piggle but he is still fitting into last year’s pyjamas at the moment so once they get to short we’ll have the next size all ready to go.

Something I love is finally using  up a piece of fabric I’ve had for longer than I can remember.  This particular cotton has been out over and over again as I’ve tried to match it with patterns and it finally found one that worked, Simplicity 2059.  I have to admit that until I saw this blouse made up by another blogger (wish I could remember who it was ) I’d completely ignored it on the pattern as it looked so plain and dull.  I’m glad to say that it’s a lot more interesting made up and I’m looking forward to wearing this one when the weather is a little bit warmer (I don’t think I have a cardigan besides the black one I live in that would go with this and it would be a shame to hide the back).

The back gathered section is a little hard to see in this picture so I took a blurry close-up for your viewing pleasure…

This went together really easily and quickly, the only problem I had was when I ran out of thread with only the sleeves to attach and the hem to do but I was saved by my Mother delivering some more to my door.  I added two inches in length to this and I’m really glad that I did as it would have been too short for me otherwise.  That’s actually saying something as I am quite short in the body so make sure that you check the length of this before you make it (I’m not a fan of waist-length anything).

So, onwards to more pyjamas, this time for Jim from Simplicity 3124.

He has these on now and looks like he may have just escaped from clown prison…  I was disappointed to see that the shirt isn’t going to last long on him, he appears to be long-bodied at the moment.  I will need to remember to do a smaller hem on the pair that I’ve already cut out to sew next and to lengthen the third and final pair when I make them.

And last but not least the last of Piggle’s summer pyjamas.

This is another piece of fabric that I bought specifically for Jim when he was little.  When he went from babygros to ‘big boy’ vests I ironed on appliques to the front of them all (was lazy with Piggle and never got around to it, opps) and one of the designs I used was of these ‘dancing dudes’ as we used to call them.  I snapped up this fabric when I saw it on a co-op but his tastes changed and I ended up using other prints for him.  I was going to foist it upon him this year, maybe for shorts and a short sleeve shirt as it was only 2 yards, but when Piggle saw it he got very excited and said he wanted it so he got it.  This is Kwik Sew 1556 again and now that these are done it’s been put away for a few months before I need to pull it out for new winter pyjamas.

I was thinking today that it’s funny that I’m not incredibly bored with pyjamas yet.  Adding together the years I’ve been making them for the boys I have now sewn about 11 years worth and I intend to keep going for as long as they will let me.  I’ve already started keeping an eye out for older boy’s fabric for Jim as he won’t want to wear cartoons or animal prints forever and things like stripes and stars will be used instead.  Some years I do try different styles and patterns but this is relaxing sewing for me, I can sew 2 pairs in a day (and have time to work on something else if it’s a full day I’ve got available).  I feel the same way about t-shirts for the boys and I can’t wait for the new MiniKrea pattern I ordered to arrive so I can get tracing and cutting and fill up the boy’s drawers with some new fun print t-shirts for the summer.  I do love sewing new patterns too and trying out new things for myself and the boys but it’s the repetition, the memory of what I made with the pattern for Jim that I’m now using for Piggle and the fact that they both get really excited about their new pyjamas and want to wear them right away that keeps me going back.  Remind me of this when I’m swearing my way through the next 2 pairs required for summer won’t you?!?

Moving Slowly


I just don’t seem to have been able to gather steam in my sewing or knitting this month.  I had the carpel tunnel surgery just before Christmas and rediscovered that I am really terrible at not being able to do things for myself, at relying on other people or asking for help.  My preference will always be to do things for myself by myself and I can’t see that changing. Wonderfully my right hand now does not fall asleep (although I do still have stiff knuckles and trigger finger in my index finger most likely from knitting I’d imagine) so I can knit for longer when I do pick up the needles.  I don’t know why I’ve not been sewing much, I imagine it’s got something to do with my body dissatisfaction at the moment (failing is not the word for my lack of exercise and healthy eating this month, apathy would fit better) and the fact that I don’t seem to be able to find time to work on it.

Saying that, things are progressing very slowly and I do have some FO’s of both craft to show you so things are progressing.

First FO of the year was Citron

This is an incredibly simple knit, you just increase and decrease a lot to make the ruffled bits.  I didn’t bother blocking it as I thought it might end up ruffle-less and having spent all the time knitting them I wasn’t willing to risk it.  This knit was made infinitely harder by the yarn I used.  It’s the colour changing yarn that is advertised on Ravelry a lot.  I got a skein that was faulty, which sounds odd for yarn!  The yarn is made up of 5 single strands of cotton, over time the strands change one by one to the new colour which is what gives it a graduated effect.  The strands are all wound at the same time but for some reason my skein did not unwind that way, several of the strands unwound faster than the others which meant for almost constant adjustments and tangles.  I actually had to cut the yarn twice as the tangles got so bad and within minutes of resuming knitting the problem began again.  I am in no way blaming the seller as her products are used by a lot of people with no issues and she very kindly refunded me when I let her know that there was an issue with this skein.  I bought another colourway at the same time and it’s going to be a long while before I get up the courage to knit with it!

The only change I made with this pattern was to not knit all of the final ruffle as I ran out of yarn. I kept weighing what I had left until there wasn’t enough left to do 2 full rows and then I cast it off.  I’m glad I made this, despite the yarn issue, and I do like the way the yarn changes although I kind of wish there was a bit more solid grey at the end but it came out the way it did due to the sheer number of stitches in each row!

I finally hit the sewing room last weekend for the first time in forever.  I have a nice stack of projects that I’m looking forward to working on just not the time or the mojo to get to them, it’ll come back I’m sure, it always does!

First up was Simplicity 2863 which is an out of print Built by Wendy pattern (I got my copy on Ebay).

This is a really simple fast make. I did change the construction order as it didn’t make sense to me to try to add the tabs after doing the side seams, far quicker to do them while you can have the garment flat!  The fabric is a really drapey knit from Boyes.  I like this fabric so much that I have bought 3 separate pieces so far and if it’s still on sale next time I go in there I will buy another length, grey and black stripes are never going to be dated!  I made a size smaller than the pattern suggested that I needed as the amount of ease it allows for is slightly comical and it fits me just fine.

The buttons are old ones from my button box.  You can wear the sleeves up or down (or fold them rather than gather them).  I am sure I will use this again when I find some more drapey fabric and there is a dress on the pattern that I would love to make, keeping an eye out for fabric for it.  I got the Sew U knits book for Christmas and am looking forward to trying some of the patterns soon.

Next up are the first pair of pyjamas for the year using Kwik Sew 1556 for Piggle.

I got this fabric from Fabricland in Brighton probably 2 years ago now I think (I shall be visiting next month and hoping their prices haven’t gone up too much since I was last there).  I have the same print with a cream background for Jim.  I can get away with making the summer pyjamas earlier this year as both boys are going up a pattern size which means there is no worry of them growing out of them before getting to wear them.  We had a fabric choosing where they both claimed bits of fabric from the stash and now I just need to get on with it.  I have another pair for Piggle cut out ready to go so hopefully they will get made up soon.  Next on the sewing table are the half done Lisette trousers I abandoned a few months back.

I want to get back to the Knit/Wear project soon too, I have a photo waiting for a post so hopefully I will get to that soon.  Knitting wise I am working on a few things at the moment.  I’m doing a dog jacket for my sister’s lurcher/border collie cross Moss who is very cold at the moment.  She’s been wearing t-shirts that Piggle has grown out of so I’m making her a nice warm jumper from some acrylic.  I’m doing the leg holes at the moment so it shouldn’t take too much longer I hope.  Never thought I’d make one of those!  I am also working on my Coleus shawl, in fact this is the project that I’ve worked on most this year which is why I’m about to start the second and final chart.  It’s not hard lace and I’m really enjoying it.  The other thing I’m working on is Grenadine which I’m making in a lovely pinky orange Rowan yarn which I got for 99p from Kemps.  I cast on for this as soon as I got the yarn and then it sat there with 4 rows done for a few months.  I have been watching La femme Nikita (yes, I know I’m about 15 years late) and have really gotten into it and Grenadine is really good knitting for tv viewing, a little counting but not so much that you can’t laugh about what they’re wearing and how big their hair is and how high their waistbands are!  I’m trying to throw in a few rows of the Granny Stripe blanket here and there but it’s very slow progress (plus I keep losing my 4mm crochet hook, I must have bought 5 of them now).  I appear to have just slipped and started a crochet scarf with some Circus yarn too, it’s a very simple pattern and I’ve had the yarn too long for something that simple!

Right, going to go and try to keep the momentum going, I’ve achieved all kinds of jobs this weekend that have been waiting to be done forever and I don’t want to stop now!


Catching Up Again


I have yet to find a university/sewing/knitting/home life balance of any kind. I am still in the stage where whatever I’m doing I feel like I should be doing something else which makes it really hard to concentrate on or enjoy anything.  I’ll get there one day but until then it seems that blogging is suffering as when I do have time/allow myself to spend time doing something other than raising two children or doing University work I want to sew or knit rather than write about it!

So, here are some pictures that have been lurking on my computer for too long and some commentary to go with them!

I bought some more flannel from the Co-op I rejoined, she had some robot flannel which I knew the boys would love and also this fabulous owl print (I love owls and have quite a few pictures and china ones around my house, I’m also very slowly collecting fabric for an owl quilt should I ever finish the first quilt that’s been sitting there 2 years so far).

The selvedge says that it’s from Joannes which I guess means it’s common and readily available to those of you in the US but even with air mail postage it comes in cheaper than buying flannel in this country and we really don’t get much of a choice of prints either.

I used my standard Ottobre pattern for these lengthening it as usual from cropped to full length and I remembered to add the seam allowance to these making them a lot more comfortable than the last pair I made.  I’ve worn these tons already and will continue to do so until it’s too warm for them and then I’ll be sad until I can wear them again.

These are my November socks from a pattern/recipe called Socks of Kindness (the English version is on Flickr not the pdf link).  The yarn I used for these was bamboo cotton by Yarntopia Treasures in the colourway Tango.  I adore the way the black has striped and I think these are gorgeous!  The dye did make my fingers and the needles a bit pink but with the amount of colour that this yarn has I’m not surprised or worried about it.

I finished these about 2/3 of the way through November and felt all smug and happy that I had ages until I needed to finish the final pair for my ‘pair of socks a month self challenge’.  I then remembered that on the 20th of December I am having carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand so I need to get the final pair done by then (I’m on schedule having turned the heel of the second sock today).

For those of you who’ve been reading forever may recall back in the mists of time I had issues with my hands after Jim was born.  Some physio sorted that out eventually and I was fine and dandy until I had Piggle when the problems returned.  This time around I have had 3 goes with the physio, x-rays, blood tests, consultations, wrist braces etc over the course of 4 years and nothing has worked.  They are pretty sure it’s carpel tunnel, although as with the majority of physical issues I get it’s not cut and dried (even the Dr said I don’t get plain and simple illnesses).  The specialist says that there is a 90% chance of getting full use of my hands back after the surgery so we’ll give it a go even though it’s been a logistical nightmare as I won’t be able to drive and will need a lot of help with the boys when I only have the use of one hand.  Once the right hand has recovered I have the joy or reorganising my whole life again so I can have the left one done…

The thing that has kept me going back over and over to try and sort this out (I am pretty used to dropping things being incredibly clumsy) is that my knitting is really not going well.  I have to stop halfway through a row to wait for the feeling to come back and the pain to subside and my knitting with 100% cotton is nowhere near as neat as I am used to and it’s depressing.  Not being able to do something I love because I’m not physically able is incredibly frustrating and I’m hoping that this surgery will sort it out and things can go back to their normal knitting whenever I can ways.

This would normally be the time of year I look at my knitting basket and bags and decide what I want off the needles by January 1st.  In fact I’ve mentally done the planning but there is no way I will be capable of getting it done, surgery or not, which is a shame.  I will be working through the pain and getting this sock done though, I’m not getting this far with the challenge and flaking out!

This is my version of  Onion 2031 which was one of the patterns I gave away recently.  Please excuse the bathroom shots, my dressform no longer fits in my sewing room and the hallway where it stands is too dark for photos.

The fabric is from Ebay, a shop called Price Immaterial which I bought a lot of fabric from for a while.  Sadly it now seems to have stopped selling, I check every now and again to see if it’s returned.  This is a cotton with a raised rib on it, sort of like cord but not.  Oddly the next garment I made for myself also is paisley, don’t have a picture of that to show you yet though.

I worried about the front of this dress and kept putting it off as I hate the slashing to the dot, turning it, ironing it and then realising that it’s completely wonky or not centred.  I seem to have done an ok job with this one though and the button is from my button box, it’s antique and I only had one.

The ribbon is actually from one of those annoying ones they sew in shop bought t-shirts to stop them falling off the hanger.  I tend to chop them off and throw them in the bag that goes to my son’s school for the cutting and sticking area but I dug out a black one to use for this.

The shoulders have elastic in them and they connect to the front in a slightly fiddly but oh so neat when you get it right.

And finally there are sleeve bands and pleats.  This pattern went together incredibly easily and quickly once I got over my unfounded fear and worked on the damn thing.  It does fit me, not as well as I’d like but that’s my gut’s fault and not the pattern’s.  Sadly it is too cold to wear it at the moment, even with a cardigan and tights so it will have to wait until Spring, but wear it I will!

I have two more pattern give aways to do which I will get to soon, promise!

I seem to have strayed away from my sewing to do list and am just grabbing whatever project I feel like at the time.  I’ve been pulling out fabric that I have a plan for and trying to get on with it.  I cut out two pairs of summer pyjamas for Piggle as I know he needs to go up a size and the fabric is there and waiting.  He’s picked the fabric for the third pair so I can cut those soon too.  Jim has fabric ready for two pairs, again he needs to go up a size so it’s safe to make them, but we need to have a dig and find something for the third pair as I think he’ll have grown out of last year’s ones by the time it’s warm enough to wear them (except for the dinosaur pair which are still pretty big).

I have a single Christmas present to make which I want to get done this weekend pre-surgery and I’m hoping to break the 100 metres/yards sewn barrier for the year, even if it’s by a tiny amount, I think that would be a great achievement even if I have bought about 70 odd to fill the space…

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with more to show you!

Sewing- Pyjamas and a Shirt


I re-joined the Color Me Flannel Co-op on Yahoogroups a few months back having finally sewed up almost all the flannel I bought from Dena last time around!  I needed 1 more pair of pyjamas each for the boys for this winter but also stocked up on some prints that they liked for future winters.  It is expensive with the shipping but no more expensive than finding good quality flannel prints in the UK, swings and roundabouts I guess.

This is a new pattern I’ve used for Jim, although I didn’t use the pattern for the trousers as it is a one piece pattern and I didn’t have enough fabric to fit it on.  Jim now needs almost 3 yards of fabric for a pair of traditional pajamas, I can’t believe how big he’s getting!  The pattern is Simplicity 2134 and I used the 8-year-old size.  The trousers are Kwik Sew Sewing for Children size M with the legs straightened and some length added.  For summer I will be moving up to size L I think and the 9-year-old shirt pattern as, as you can see, these fit him right now but if he grows at all that’s that!

These are Piggle’s last winter pair of pyjamas this year using Kwik Sew 3126 for the final time for my boys (sob!).  I will be moving onto either the pattern I’m using for Jim or using some of the Ottobre tracings I have from when Jim was that size.

I’ve actually got out a lot of the fabric for summer pajamas and I may start sewing early for them. As I’m making larger sizes I don’t think they’ll grow out of them before they get to wear them!

I finally found some fabric in Boyes and got around to making Vogue 1247.  I’ve loved this shirt pattern since it came out but didn’t have anything in my stash that I thought would do it justice.  The fabric is a synthetic mix that they had on sale and I got some in brown as well for something in the future as it was on sale.

There is a lot of shaping and work that goes into the front with the lower front being made up of 4 pieces cut on the bias and the top having darts and pleats.  All of the seams for this shirt are french seams too so that added more to the work.

There is a centre seam down the back and more pleats along with a curved hem.

Finally, there are sleeve bands cut on the bias, I like the way the plaid works in a different direction here.

I knew that the plaid wasn’t going to match in most places and in fact at the front I didn’t want it to match, I wanted it to be noticeable that it goes in different directions.  Maybe to make more of that I should have cut the centre fronts separately so that they look different rather than mirroring each other.

I have to admit when I finished this I felt very blah about it.  It hung in my wardrobe for a few weeks before I pulled it out and stuck it on.  I was expecting something really special that would knock my socks off and instead I got an ok shirt that I will wear now and again.  I can’t pinpoint what I’m so disappointed about though.  The plaid is working how I expected, the different construction methods were fun and interesting and having made a size smaller than the pattern suggests for my measurements I didn’t end up with something huge and shapeless.

You can see what it looked like on here if you’re interested.  The neckline is very low, I knew this and didn’t bother changing it as I’m happy to wear it with a tank top or a long sleeve t-shirt underneath.

So, two wins and a sort of growing on me win!  I seem to be very into grey and black at the moment so I’d not be surprised if more of these colours come out of my sewing room this winter.

What I Did This Weekend


My friend Cybele some time ago offered me a box of fabric that her children had outgrown and she wasn’t going to use.  For an age it sat in her house because I never organised a courier for it…  Then a few weeks back I was bitching on Twitter about a courier not showing up when they were supposed to and was offered a free delivery by another courier company.  I won’t say who gave the free courier as their service was pretty crap and it took a lot of work to actually get the free code they gave me to work, but in the end the box arrived at my house and my boys were thrilled with the contents.

I immediately knew what I was going to do with most of the fabric and as the boys were away this past weekend I made a list and got on with it which makes a nice change!  Almost everything was simple and quick, I did have to trace a few new patterns but that didn’t take long.

First up were two Kwik Sew hooded fleece sweatshirts, it’s been ages since I’ve worked with fleece and it was a little odd as I didn’t have to get up and iron any seams so I sewed them right through start to finish one after the other!

T4 from Sewing for Toddlers for Piggle, it is only going to last this winter, he always outgrows tops before he does trousers for some reason.

From Sewing for Children size Medium for Jim. He doesn’t like football but he does like stars and bright colours so he’s very pleased with this.

Next up were the first of the winter pajamas for this year. The fabrics for the tops came from my stash.

Ottobre 4/05 #20 and KSSFC
Bad picture as you can’t see that the top has curved top-stitched raglan seams.  The bottoms are Kwik Sew Sewing for Children size Medium with an inch added in length and the legs straightened a bit. The top is a new one for me, it’s Ottobre 4/05 #20. I got a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make a v-neck top for some reason. The V is quite low on him at the moment but he loved this set and wore them happily right away!

Kwik Sew 3126 and Ottobre 1/08 #27
More curved top-stitched raglan seams for Piggle, trousers from Kwik Sew 3126 size T4 with an inch added to the length again and the top is Ottobre 1/08 #27 size 98 (when did he get so big?). I used this same flannel for Jim many years back so it was nice to see it in the box and Piggle loved it, he actually cried in the morning because he didn’t want to take his pajamas off and get dressed!

I was thinking whilst I was sewing these that neither of my children have had a pair of shop bought pajamas. They both came out of sleepsuits at about the age of 1 so combining their ages I have sewn 10 years of pajamas so far! They are the one thing I don’t keep from Jim to Piggle as Piggle gets quite a few secondhand things (although not so many as when he was younger as Jim wears more out before outgrowing it now). I figured that if he was having used everything else that it would be nice to have pajamas that were made just for him in patterns that he liked. I have just placed an order for enough flannel for 6 more pairs of pajamas for the boys as my stash is getting incredibly low on it. I’ll do them one more pair each this year and save the rest for next year.

There was a nice big piece of flannel in the box and I had fancied a new pair of pajama bottoms for myself so I whipped up a pair using my usual Ottobre 4/05 pattern.

Ottobre 4/05 #36

To make them full length (the pattern is cropped) I added 9 inches and did a one inch hem. There is still enough of this flannel left for one of the boys to have some pajamas from it but I will leave it a year or two so we’re not matchy matchy!

So, that was it for the weekend but I wasn’t done yet! I still had two more tops in mind using some lovely terry knit from the box. I also had plans for some trousers for Piggle but on Sunday evening we went through the box I keep of things that are too big for them and now Piggle has about 12 pairs of trousers so I will leave the fabric for another time.

Monday I put this together for Piggle using Ottobre 1/05 #5 which I’ve used twice before in different sizes for Jim.

Ottobre 1/05 #5

The ribbing isn’t actually ribbing, it’s some sort of really stretchy thickish knit that I got in a box of stuff from someone else. There was only a quarter yard of it so I threw it in with my other ribbing and it worked really well for this sweatshirt. I have another sweatshirt cut out for Jim using the same pattern as his pajama top above I just haven’t gotten around to putting it together yet and I’m now not sure when I will get a chance as I’ve had to take my sewing table down and move some stuff out of the room as the boiler is dead and the plumbers wanted to get to the water tanks that are in my sewing room. There may be light at the end of the tunnel of what could be a huge disruption to the sewing room in that if they replace the boiler with a combination one the tanks won’t be needed anymore and can be removed which will make my sewing room quite a bit bigger, we’ll see what the landlord decides to do though, I’m glad I’m not paying for this as both plumbers who came out today did that ‘ohhhh, that’s going to cost a lot of money’ routine that workmen like to do!

Working The List


I’m determined to get through the last sewing plan list (on the sidebar) and not move onto new things before it’s done (barring the quilt as I can’t afford the batting at the moment).  There has been some deciding not to make a few things and pattern changes along the way but I’m doing pretty well and have 2 more things to show you.

This is Simplicity 7353 which is from 1976.  The fabric is a light lineny feel cotton that I’ve had for ages.  I used about half the fabric so there’s plenty more for something else in the future.  As it was so thin I used french seams on the shoulders and sides and finished the seams cleanly everywhere else as overlocking would have shown through.

The previous owner of this pattern had used it and made her alterations to the pattern itself.

Luckily it was quite easy to add back what she’d removed, the collar had the most removed, I’m guessing because of the dramatic change of style between the late 70’s and the 80’s.

The armholes are finished with facings which went in incredibly easily, I wish modern patterns were drafted so well!

The buttons are from my Grandma’s button tin and were priced 65p for 6 of them so I think they probably date from around the time of the pattern!

All in all I’m really happy with it despite the fact that it doesn’t fit even though according to the measurements on the pattern it should…  I’m still doing well with the healthy eating and am determined to carry on with it so I *WILL* get into this sooner or later!

Next up was the dressing gown for Jim.  I washed and put away his old one in preparation for making this one only to discover one morning that he’d found where I’d put it and was wearing it again.  As it’s now far too small for him and I’d promised him ages ago that I’d make him a new one I figured I’d best get on with it so he can have it when he gets home!

This is McCalls 9638.  The pattern is marketed as ‘Father and Son’ but sold either in the adult or the kids sizes which I think is a bit sneaky, it means that if you did ever want to make matching stuff you’d have to buy 2 copies of the pattern…  Anyway.

This is size 7/8 which my dressform is decidedly not but I couldn’t figure out any other way to show it properly!  I dyed this knit terry myself and I’m really happy with the shade it came out.  The fact that the terry has a knit backing made it quite, shall we say interesting, so sew with and is the reason that bits of it don’t look particularly straight.  Sewing fabric that thick was challenging enough without adding the fact that it stretched like nobodies business to the equation!

The front band instructions were obviously written by an insane person.  They wanted you to sew on one side of the band, fold under the seam allowance on the other side, fold it in half and then hand stitch down the unsewn side all the way around the dressing gown.  This is a garment that is going to be rolled about on the floor in, used as the floor of a bedroom tent, or perhaps the tent itself if they remember that I don’t like the duvets on the floor.  It is also something that is made out of the kind of fabric that doesn’t take well to being ironed and won’t hold a crease so hand stitching is way off.

I folded the band wrong sides together and overlocked the length of it (I’m very proud of the fact that I actually changed the thread in the overlocker to blue wooly nylon instead of being lazy and just using the white that was on there already).  Then I sewed it on using a 1cm hem and after that I top stitched the seam allowances down so that it would lie flat.  I think it looks pretty damn good that way and I’m happy with the results, hopefully Jim will be too!

The only other change I made was to add a hanging loop as I get fed up of the dressing gowns sliding off the hook onto the floor and it’s hard to complain about it when you’re the one who made the damn thing in the first place…

So, that’s what I’ve been up to the last few days along with some film watching and messing around on the internet.  I’ve done well with my sewing for August I think and for the year I’m now at just over 60 metres/yards sewn with just over 24 yards/metres having been bought so I’ve made some progress at decreasing the stash.


MMJ11 Day 12


Vest – Leftovers, February 2005

T-shirt – George

Jeans – Sainsburys

Pants/Knickers -April 2011

Socks – Bridgit Socks, April 2010

I finally got around to doing all my mending and fixing that had piled up in the sewing room.  This included putting buttonholes on the vintage dressing gown I made in October of last year.  It doesn’t look too bad even though it wasn’t designed to have buttonholes, and at least now it’s wearable!

I really shouldn’t put things off so long, especially when they only take about 15 minutes and mean that we all no longer have to look at this hanging on the back of the door in all my FO pictures!

Are There STILL Things Left On The List?!?


Man, one thing I have learnt over and over again about this list making is that if the list is too long it becomes harder and harder to stick to it and work on it.  In the future I will be making sure that I don’t put too many things on each list.  This one has just plodded and plodded on.  Each time I feel like I’m making progress I go back and look at it and realise just how far I still have to go.

Anyway, I will get there one day and to finish off May I have crossed 2 more things off.

Final pair of summer pajamas for Piggle, leaving me with 1 pair still left to do for Jim.

Piggle really liked the pajama bottoms I made for him (with an appliqued shop bought t-shirt) last summer and I seem to never run out of this fabric so I made him another pair for this summer.  This fabric was really odd to work with making these and I’m wondering if the issues I had with the mushroom shirt was because of the fabric too.  I have made god knows how many pairs of these pajamas from this pattern and for each of the sleeves on this pair I had to fight to get them eased in without creasing the fabric.  It also didn’t press very well which gave a less neat finish than I’m used to (and annoyed me a lot working on the neckband of the mushroom shirt too).  Anyway, Piggle loved these and wore them to bed the night I finished them so it was worth the fight.  Pattern is Kwik Sew 3126.  Seriously, I think this is the most used pattern in my entire huge collection!

Next up I decided to do the owl outfit for Piggle.  As I explained in the list post I dyed the fabric when he was little intending to make dungarees for him out of it.  By the time I got around to digging out the pattern I wanted to use there wasn’t enough fabric (I only had a yard) so I had to find something else to do with it.

This is Onion 20035 which I’ve used for Jim a few times (although I had to trace a smaller size for Piggle).  It’s not so clear in the picture but the neckband of the t-shirt (which has long sleeves) is green.  The ribbing I dyed with these fabrics came out a totally different shade from the cord and the knit and I didn’t have anything else in the right shade to hand.  Looking at the owls fabric I noticed that some of the owls were green and I had some green almost exactly the same shade in my basket of ribbing so on it went!

These are really easy patterns.  As I was making the t-shirt I began to wonder just how many kids t-shirts I have made in the last 8 years.  Off the top of my head I can think of about 15 in the boys’ drawers at the moment and they’ve worn out or grown out of many many more along the way.  Making t-shirts is something I do without thinking now, it’s very relaxing sewing as I just let my mind wander and get on with it.  Mind you, if I’m not in the mood for them it’s the most boring sewing ever and I put it off over and over again!

Close-up of the print.  This is my favourite PRR print ever.  It took me years to get my hands on some and then I only got this single yard of cord (and some offcuts of knit but not enough to really do anything with sadly).  I am really happy with the way these trousers turned out.  I made them a bit bigger than he needs them so he can wear them this winter.  He’s just grown into all the trousers I made for Jim when he was 4 so he doesn’t really need anything else at the moment, but come winter when he’s an inch taller he’s going to be short on trousers!

I cut out a few other projects and traced a couple of patterns to get ready for the next few things on the list.  I do have to admit though that I’m now about 10 items or more into making the next list which is something that is inspiring me to get done with this one (and, yes, to cheat)!  The boys are with their Dad for 3 nights this Half Term though so I will hopefully get a few more things crossed off the list.

Knitting has been going slowly.  I have stalled on the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan as I think I did something wrong on the front with the short rows and until I figure out what it was I can’t make the other side match.  Everything else is showing progress, I just have to try to stay focussed and not just cast on for something else because I’m bored!

Tomorrow is the start of Me Made June ’11.  I’m a little apprehensive.  It’s been years since I’ve put my photo on the internet and I’ve not actually figured out where I’m going to take the daily photo yet.  I don’t actually own a full length mirror so I’m sure I’m in for some surprises as to how I actually look in my clothes.  Maybe it will inspire me to keep going on the weight loss or maybe I will have some happy surprises about how some things look, we will see.  I am still hoping for some hot weather so I can break out the skirts and maybe a dress but there will definitely be a lot of jeans and cardigans along the way I’m sure.  It will give me a reason to dig out some of my older knits though that don’t see the light of day much and to see if they go with anything I own now!

See you tomorrow!

PS In case you’re wondering, there are 14 things still left on the current list I’m working from….

Wrapping Up April


April was by far the best sewing month I’ve had in a very long time.  It is reflected in my knitting though as I didn’t get through anywhere near as much as I’d hoped or usually do.  Apparently when I’m sewing I can’t also be knitting which is a little annoying.  One day I will learn to multi-task to the level where I can sew, knit, read, cook and use the computer all at the same time.

Being ill for a week also meant that I had to really push on with my April socks to get them done in the month.  You know I’m really ill when I can’t even knit!  Anyway, these are the April socks, using the pattern Java which is from Knitty.

I used Yarntopia Treasures Bamboo Cotton in the colourway Starbucks.  Being a little strange I really wanted to make a coffee pattern with the coffee yarn and when Java came along I finally had a match!  I used 2.5mm needles and the smaller size of the pattern as the yarn doesn’t have much stretch and it worked out just fine.  The stitch pattern is a really easy 4 row repeat, you just have to pay attention during the gusset and the toes and the rest is plain sailing.  I knit the second sock in less than a week.

The final sewing from the month is all small items, but nice to have them ticked off the list!  I *finally* made the Japanese Origami Bag using the kit I bought over 3 years ago.  It took about 45 minutes so it was incredibly silly to have put it off for so long!

The pattern says to sew both sides of the lining to the zip by hand but I sewed one by machine and the other by hand as I don’t like hand sewing.  I also didn’t cover the inside seam where the origami fold is with bias binding or ribbon but just overlocked it instead, the seams are tucked into the ends so it won’t stand out as an eyesore.  I used a layer of PUL rather than batting inside this bag to make it waterproof so I can use it to carry shampoo etc when I go away, the UK term is sponge bag but I can’t for the life of me think of the US term at the moment!

More pajamas for Piggle, just the 1 pair left to go now and I have cut those out so they should be done soon.

I adore a good pair of duck pajamas, I know they’re cliché but they’re cliché for a reason, so damn cute!  This is the usual Kwik Sew 3126 pattern in T4 again.  They’re a little bit big for him but that just means they’ll last a few months longer!

Last up were some quick and easy Kwik Sew Sewing for Children t-shirts for Piggle.  I discovered I had enough fabric to do long sleeves on these two so I did, the English ‘summer’ is just as liable to require long sleeves as short.

I have now finally reached the end of both these fabrics, I seem to have made a ton from the sports balls fabric in particular having just retired a pair of pajamas that Jim literally wore to shreds (the seams are gone in about 5 places, the neckband is shredded from his horrible habit of chewing his clothes and the fabric has actually worn thin in places, definitely well loved!) and there have been t-shirts for both of them from it several times over, can’t ask for more than that from a few yards of fabric!

So, I’m getting on well with the list, at least the easy things on it!  I really need to focus on the shirts etc that are on there and alternate them with the easier stuff or I’m going to end up facing more difficult projects one after another!  I have pulled out some fabric and patterns for other projects that I’d like to make but I’m trying to forget about them for a little while and try to keep focussed on the list.

Knitting/crochet wise I have done as much as I can on the sock yarn blanket, I’m actually adding the leftover yarn from the April socks to it at the moment!  It’s going to take a few more pairs of socks to get enough leftover yarn to finish it so it’s hibernating for now.  I have 2 short sleeve cardigans that I’m hoping to finish up this month along with the May socks that I’ve already cast on for, I’ll see if I can balance the sewing and the knitting a little bit more or if one calls louder than the other!

Back On My Feet Again


Well, I lost another week of my life to whatever virus it was that went round and round our house for over a month.  I actually had a day where I couldn’t get out of bed, that very very rarely happens to me.  I had to call my sister to come and feed the boys and put them to bed for me as I just couldn’t manage it.  I’m back up again and moving on with my sewing plans now though!  I’ve been updating the post here (which is also linked to on the sidebar to the left) in case you want to see how I’m progressing.

These are Jim’s pajama bottoms that I finished a few weeks back.  I finally found some t-shirts to go with them and appliqued the front of them.  He loves the turtle ones and wore them the night I finished them so that’s a score at least!  He’s not so sure about the musical ones but I’m sure he’ll wear them anyway, he’ll have to as I’m sneaking out a pair of old worn out pajamas and getting rid of them each time I do the laundry!

These are Piggle’s pajamas.  I straightened the legs on these forgetting that the Kwik Sew pattern isn’t as tapered as the Sewing for Toddlers book so they’re really really baggy, but they’re pirate pants so maybe baggy is a good thing!

Next up were these jogging bottoms using a 1978 English Simplicity pattern.  I couldn’t find any trim to go on the sides so I made my own using ribbon (I sewed the red onto the white using a twin needle) and it worked out just fine.  This was a very easy pattern, a single pattern piece.  I did have to go down a size, luckily I compared the pattern to the pajama pants that were waiting for a t-shirt and discovered that these were really long in the 4-year-old size.  The 3-year-old size fits him perfectly though and he seemed to like them, although he did refuse to wear them the next day, but he’s incredibly fussy about his clothes and also incredibly stubborn so I’m sure one day he’ll refuse to wear anything *but* these trousers!

Using the appliques on the knickers I made brought to my attention just how much stuff I have that I never use.  I am going to try to add trim and ribbon and labels to things to start using it up and along those lines I added a Lamington Lane label to the back of these trousers, it says ‘Squirt, Home Sewn Kid’.

It’s ok, if you’re frantically trying to remember me showing you the fabric or pattern for this shirt in my list don’t think you’re loosing your mind, it wasn’t there, in fact I didn’t add it to the list until after I’d made it!

This was one of those ‘need to make this now’ projects.  It all started when some Liberty fabric kept catching my eye, then I wore the version of this pattern, Simplicity 2594, that I made last year and it was really comfortable.  So I tried to match up the Liberty to this pattern but there wasn’t enough of it.  At that point I suddenly became devoted to using the pattern so I went trawling through the stash and found this cotton linen type fabric that I got at Abakhan years ago.  I have about another four yards of it after making this shirt, it’s a seriously long piece of fabric!

Anyway, this is a really simple pattern, although the directions for adding the yoke are wrong, it says to put right sides together but you actually need a right side and a wrong side to get the yoke to work out correctly, if you follow the pictures instead of the words it all works out fine!  I used the longer length pattern pieces from the other views as the only thing I didn’t like about the other version is that it’s a little bit short.  This will be a useful throw on summer shirt I am hoping, it would probably look nice with a brown belt around it, but I’m not a belty kind of girl so I won’t be wearing it that way!

I went on yesterday to make another pair of Piggle’s pajamas and I’ve cut out the final pair and all the t-shirts I want to make him so I will be spending the day in the sewing room again as I did yesterday (the boys are with their Dad until tomorrow so I get a full 2 days to myself which is incredibly rare).  I’m still loving that my sewing mojo is back and it seems to be here to stay.  Yesterday I pulled out 3 more pieces of fabric and matched them with patterns!  I’m going to try to finish up more of what I have on my list though before giving in to them though!