Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FO: Margot PJs - Photographer Style

So, it may seem like I've back-tracked in my sewing progress, but about a month ago I decided to make some simple PJ pants ...
I received Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes (of Tilly and the Buttons) for Christmas, and the first project in the book is a simple pair of pajama pants. Even though these were a bit simple for me (I generally like a slight challenge with my sewing), I just really felt like an easy sew since things were a bit crazy in other parts of my life. Sometimes you just need a guaranteed win, you know? So I decided to kill a few birds with one stone and use the Margot PJ Pants pattern to a) try out Tilly's patterns to see how they fit me and what the instructions were like, b) make some simple "sure to fit" pj pants for a quickie ego boost, and c) use this awesome flannel I've had in my stash for over a year. These pants are a win all round!
The fabric is a flannel I bought from Joann's on Black Friday 2013 when they did all of their cozy flannels at $1.98 per yard. I saw this "I Heart Photo" camera print and had to have some. I originally intended to use it as a blanket backing (I used to fancy myself enjoying making simple blankets, ha ha), so I ordered 3 yards. When the order arrived, I never took the fabric out of the plastic bag - when I finally opened it up months later to pre-wash, I discovered that instead of one 3 yard long piece, Joann's sent me two 1.5 yard long pieces. Ugh! I gave up my blanket dreams right then out of sheer anger, but it was far to late to do anything about it by the time I found out. Ah well, it was really cheap. Anyway, it just kind of hit me that this fabric would make an awesome pair of pj pants, so the idea sat with me for months. I'm glad I finally decided to dive in and make them :)
Here's the obligatory front and back view. I made these up in a size 8 (the largest size) according to my measurements and they turned out just the right pj pant fit :) They are pretty much exactly the right length, though they could probably be a smidge longer now that I look at the photos. They are long enough to cover, but not so long that they drag the ground and get dirty while I walk, so I call that a win. I'm 5'7", so I may be a bit taller than the pattern was designed for anyway. Just something to keep in mind if you're taller than me!
Here are some detail shots - first off in the top corner is just a close up of the print. Isn't it cute?! As a "former photographer", I always love clothes that reflect one of the biggest hobbies of my life (and the skill that let me meet my husband), so these can join my Camera Shoes even though they are different color schemes. I guess I just need to find more blank canvas shoes in a coordinating color, ha ha. I did change a few things about the construction of these pants - they were super simple and the instructions were great. The book even tells you how to overcast your seam allowance with a zig zag stitch, which is a step that I would usually skip, but since it was in the book I decided to give it a try. The insides look so nice and tidy :) I took it one step farther though and stitched the seam allowance to the back leg piece, so it looks like a flat felled seam from the front. Now my seam allowances will never bend around  (which is a silly thing, but it pleases me to think). I did a double turned hem to finish and I think I only turned under 1" total since I was trying to maximize the length. I believe they are supposed to have a deeper hem, but who cares since I'm the one wearing them, right? The biggest change I made from the pattern is that I used 1" wide elastic for the waist instead of a ribbon or a tie. I just prefer less bulk and don't want to fuss with untying them to get them on and off. I like my pjs to be very no-fuss. This actually made the waistband easier to make since I didn't have to make holes for the ties to pull through. I just left a small part of the waistband unsewn, threaded the elastic through, then stitched the daylights out of the ends of the elastic to make them overlap and hold together forever, then I stitched the hole closed. I also stitched in the ditch of the back seam over the elastic just to encourage it to not get twisted in there - I hate trying to straighten out twisted elastic after washing, don't you? I'm hoping this will help prevent that. Other than that I followed the instructions to a T and loved each step.
All in all, I'm really happy with this project :) I got to use up some cool stash fabric and I have a cute pair of pj pants that only took about 2 hours total to make (and that includes tracing the pattern - two pattern pieces for the win!). I'm glad that I tested out Tilly's patterns with this simple one, and now I'm even more excited to make the other patterns in the book. Also, I had to finish off the post with a ridiculous photo of me - in my bed - with my rolly poly :) He really does make the most excellent side pillow - I highly recommend it!

Thanks, Tilly, for a fun and simple pattern. Now I just have to make some more summer appropriate ones :)

(P.S. Do you know how hard it is to take a decent photo of you on your bed with a self timer? I have some pretty interesting outtakes, lol.)

Fabric: 3 yards of camera printed flannel from Joann's (no longer available), $6.00
Notions: 2 yards 1" wide elastic, $1?
Pattern: Margot PJ Pants from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes, free (Christmas Gift - woo hoo!)
Hours: 2 from tracing to hemming :)

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