Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birthday Pajamas

I'll let you in on a secret. 
It's not really a secret 
because I'm about to post it on the internet
but it is not something I like to admit.

My sewing kryptonite.
For most people it's buttonholes.
Or zippers.
They run screaming.

For me? 
It's pants.

What if the crotch is too low? Or the pants are too short?
Or (more likely for Bailey) the butt's not big enough?

Well, I'm throwing caution to the wind and making the girls (Bailey, Mackenzie, and Chloe)
matching pajama pants for Bailey's birthday party.

Kind of cheating, I am using a pattern
(Kryptonite, remember?!)
I picked up the Singer New Look #6847 for unisex loungewear 
(better name, anyone?)
Pants, shirt, shorts, and a robe in one pattern for less than $4!!!!
I don't like these patterns for the beginning sewer
they are not always clearly written
but they are SUPER CHEAP.
And they are anti-kryptonite medicine.

So I started making the pants.
I was unenchanted.
 I decided to add a cute little cuff to the bottom.

So this is a nice little explanation of how to add the cuff to
a pair of plain pajama pants.

Pajama Cuffs

You'll need:
a extra quarter yard of your pajama material
one package of piping (I used 1/2")

Make yourself a pair of pajamas but don't hem the bottom of the legs. 
Okay, now the math.  If you need to, take a break and get a cup of coffee. 
Eyeball how big you want your cuff to be.  I wanted about a 2 1/2 inch cuff on the bottom of the girls' size 5 pants.  I doubled this height and add 1/2 inch for seam allowance.  So mine were cut 5 1/2 inches tall.
To figure out the width of the fabric I measured the width of on side of the pant leg and doubled it.  Then I added 1/2 inch for seam allowance.  Mine were 6 1/2 inches wide so I cut the cuff 13 1/2 inches wide.
So the cuff fabric was cut 5 1/2 inches x 13 1/2 inches.
Are you with me?

Fold the cuff fabric in half-you can see it lines up with the bottom of the pants.
Then sew the short edges together.
Press your seam open.

Pick up your cuff and fold it in half, matching the bottom edge of the cylinder to the top edge. Make the pretty side show.
Spin the cuff so the seam is on the side.  Iron the sucker flat.
Set it to the side.

Pull out your piping.  Cute a piece 2 inches larger than the circumference of your pant leg.
(Mine were 13 inches around, so I cut the piping 15 inches long.)
Line up the bottom of the piping (the side without the bump) with the raw edge of the pant leg and pin in place.
Using your zipper foot, baste the piping in place.
baste   (bst)
tr.v. bast·edbast·ingbastes
To moisten (meat, for example) periodically with a liquid, such as melted butter or a sauce, especially while cooking.

Maybe I'm hungry.

To sew loosely with large running stitches so as to hold together temporarily.

That's better.
It doesn't have to be pretty, or tight or perfect.  Just so it sticks.

Pick up that beautiful cuff you made.
Slid the folded side of the cuff up and over the pant leg.   Line up the unfinished edges of the cuff with the bottom of the pant leg and piping.  
Sew (still using the zipper foot) around the bottom of the pant leg and cuff.  
Try to sew as close to the piping as a possible.
Fold the cuff down and check for any areas you need to sew closer to the piping.
Finish this edge with a zigzag stitch or a serger.
Fold the cuff down.   Iron the zigzaged/serged fabric down so it is all pointing toward the bottom.  

Topstitch below the piping (see the topstitch in the picture?  It keeps the seam looking pretty)

Yeah!  Cute pajama pants!

So what about the tops?
I bought plain long sleeve shirts at Old Navy.
Should I embroider their first initial on each or 
use the pajama material to make a little matching patch?


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  2. I vote for embroidered initial. It's the sort of thing that would have made me feel really special as a kid (although custom made pjs are pretty special in themselves!).

  3. Wow, I'm so impressed. What a great tutorial! I'm still working on a nice straight seam, by the way. :)