In with the new… The Portside Travel Set

IMG_0009

Somewhere along the line, I developed an aversion to checking my luggage when I fly.  This was after 9-11, but before all the tacked-on fees.  I just hate waiting forever at the luggage carousel at the end of a trip. I ditched my nice luggage in favor of a Nike gym bag.  That gym bag is sturdy and has traveled to three continents over 20 years. It is still serviceable if unattractive.  An upcoming vacation pushed me to upgrade. The Portside Travel Set had been on my to do list since seeing Lladybird’s version and Rhonda Buss’s Sew-Along for Sew News.

Grainline Studio’s Portside Travel Set has been around a while, so I won’t go into too many details on construction.  It comes as a paper or a pdf pattern.

Fabric: A sturdy fabric is necessary, unless you want your unmentionables on the jetway.  I finally settled on three fabrics.  The black cotton canvas duck and the Hudson 43 postscript cotton blend home decor fabric are from JoAnns.  I originally purchased solar outdoor fabric in black – but you can’t press it without melting it, so I went with the duck. I lined all three pieces with some cream cotton broadcloth in my stash from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Notions:  This is where you’ll spend your money.  I used a denim needle, size 18, plus heavy duty thread from Coats and Clark (and a longer stitch).  The metal zippers and nylon webbing came from JoAnn, while the D-rings and swivel hooks are from Pacific Trimming.  I used a lightweight interfacing (pro-sheer elegance medium) from Fashion Sewing Supply.  I chose a light webbing for the strap from JoAnns after ordering a very heavy one from Pacific Trimming.  I wouldn’t be able to sew the heavy one with my machine, but the one from JoAnn is too light.  If I can find a better webbing, I’ll replace the shoulder strap.

What I did differently and cautions:  I didn’t do that many things differently.  I mostly followed the Sew Along and adopted the changes there.  I did underline the pouch, so it would be lined like the dopp and duffel. I also edge stitched everywhere – to add extra strength to the seam lines, though my edge stitching leaves much to be desired.   I did as Rhonda did in the Sew Along – I fused the interfacing to my lining pieces rather than my shell fabric.  The shell fabric was rather firm, so I wanted to give the lining some body to hold up.

Cautions:  when choosing fabric, keep in mind thickness.  This is important so that you can machine-stitch through the layers (think jeans).  It’s also important for turn of the cloth.  The directions (which are very good) clearly note the zipper openings should be 1/2 inch wide. If you don’t pay attention, you won’t get things to line up properly. (Also remember to use 1/2 inch seams.)

Looking forward to traveling with my new stylish bag.  It’s bigger than my old one, but should still fit in the overhead.  BTW, the front pocket won’t hold an iPad – at least not a newer generation.


IMG_0012

Advertisements

Repeat: Paco Peralta’s 8-gore skirt

BLUE_DOGWOOD_LINEN

I love the fit and flattery of the ivory wool skirt that I made last January from Paco Peralta’s 8 gore-skirt pattern so much, I made another one in linen.  This skirt is so easy, and I always receive so many compliments.  I wore this version yesterday to a ladies’ luncheon and it was a hit.  I took the selfies after the luncheon, so please excuse my wrinkled self.

The fabric is from Marcy Tilton – the dogwood linen.  This a beautiful and easy to work with fabric.  I lined it with white cotton batiste.  The only difference from the previous version is that I moved the zip to the left side, and used a hand-applied lapped zipper.

The very wrinkled top is Vogue 9187, blogged here.

PS: Marcy Tilton is having a sale, that ends tomorrow night (5/11/2018), and of this moment, this fabric is still available!

IMG_3406
Just realized I took this in front of the dogwood.
IMG_3405
Dogwood linen, in front of the dogwood tree.

Another Mandy Boat Tee

The Mandy Boat Tee is a free sewing pattern from Tessuti Fabrics in Australia.  It’s the first pattern I made with my serger, and I reach for that top regularly.  I needed a top with sleeves to go north next week, so I made this in the red rayon doubleknit leftover from a failed Butterick top last fall. The fabric has body, so works well with this top.

This is very easy, doable in an evening. I made no changes from the previous top, though next time I think I’ll lengthen it a couple of inches.IMG_0005

A wee blurry, and after being worn.

2018-sign-001-copy.jpg

Paco Peralta 8-gore skirt in ivory wool.

I love skirts.   I love wearing them and making them.  An even though I likely have a dozen gored skirt patterns, I had to buy another one. I wanted to try out Paco Peralta’s patterns from Etsy.

IMG_0005

They are on amazing paper – not thick printer paper, not that easy to destroy super-thin tissue the Big 4 use.  I know, it’s just paper, but it really elevated the experience.  There isn’t much to this pattern – a gore you use 8 times, a one inch fold over waistband, plus lining pieces (cut four).

The patterns don’t come with instructions – but again, this is a simple skirt, so you don’t really need them.  He does have a few pointers on his blog, especially if you are using the godets.

IMG_0006
Doesn’t fit the dress form well (it’s not a great dress form), and a bit wrinkled from handling…

Here’s what I did:

 

  1. Made a muslin, because I wasn’t sure of fit/ease.  I’m wearing a 14 in the big 4 these days, and the large had very little ease (I made the large).  The benefit of making the muslin was that I now had additional pattern pieces to cut the skirt.
  2. I sewed four gores together (from the bottom up) to form the front, and four gores (bottom up) for the back, leaving room for a center back invisible zipper.  I then sewed the front and back together.
  3. Paco mentions that you can change the drape depending on how you finish the seams.  If you press them open, you’ll get more flare.  If you press them to one side, you’ll get more of a pleat (though I don’t think that’s the right word).  I pressed them open.
  4. After inserting the invisible zipper, I attached the waistband, but used Susan Khalje’s instructions from Linen and Cotton.  This required the use of petersham. First, staystitch the waist seamline. Second, snip the waist band to the stay stitching.  She points out that the pattern continues to narrow above the waistline, but the waistline is the most narrow part.  Therefore, snipping is necessary for any waistband that sits at the waist.  Trimming the seams, as instructed in most patterns, will likely leave a hard ridge.  Then attach the waistband, foldover, and finish.
  5. Before I folded over to finish, I basted the lining to the stay-stitching.  I also extended the waistband when I cut it out by one inch to allow an underlap, which will have hooks/eyes and a snap.  Susan Khalje suggests that the underlap has a cleaner finish and is more comfortable to wear.
  6. Finally, the hems: instead of the hem allowance he suggests, I hemmed both the skirt and the lining with a narrow machine hem using Claire Schaeffer’s method.  I attached the hem to the skirt with french tacks.

img_0008.jpg

IMG_0004

IMG_0007

I LOVE this style skirt, very classic, and this one comes to the center of the knee on me. I will make this again, and I feel my closet is bare without a couple of swishy skirts.  The next one will likely have a side zipper, for which I will use the lapped zipper technique.

About the fabric:  This is an amazing very lightweight ivory wool suiting from Emma One Sock, that is Helmut Lang/Theory.  It would make incredible wide legged pants, but you definitely need to line it.  Last I checked, she still had some available.  This wool is well made and a treat to work with.  I lined it with a matching silk crepe de chine, also from Emma One Sock.

 

Finished! Marfy 1913

IMG_2930

My first Marfy pattern – and there really is no excuse for not finishing this a long time ago.  Despite the silk chiffon, this is one easy and well-designed pattern. One UFO done! (And I’m already looking at other chiffon and georgette in my stash for another version of this pattern.)

free sewing patterns

This pattern is a free trial from Marfy – though you have to register to get to the pattern and description.  From the Marfy website:

  • Fabric required: about mt. 0.80 wide 1.40.
  • Free sewing patterns to download available in sizes 42 to 58.
  • This soft top has a blousy hemline with drawstring and inset armholes, the ring collar holds a light gathering. Suggested fabric: Jersey, crêpe de chine, chiffon or satin.
  • It can be combined with the jacket 1756 and the skirt 0757.
  • Style Tips
    The top is a passepartout that is great for day and evening occasions, depending on fabric chosen. In the description we suggested jersey, crêpe de chine, satin or chiffon…this last one would fit perfectly with the tailleur, single color or in fantasy just like the jacket lining.
    The chiffon fabric has the ideal lightness and hand for this top, it falls great without “swelling” at gathering and, due to the fact that the pattern covers neck and decolleté, it’s nice and slightly sexy to have a transparency on them.

Some tips about Marfy:  they don’t have pictures, line drawings or directions with the download.  I recommend printing one or two of the views from the website for reference.  Marfy patterns don’t come with seam allowances, facings, etc, so plan for that.  Marfy basically allows you to use your knowledge of sewing to come up with your own sewing plan.  That having been said, the pattern is well marked, and if you read the pattern well, everything is there to put this together successfully.

So what did I do?  I used a vintage-y looking dusty black floral silk chiffon from Emma One Sock in 2015. I first talked about it here in January 2016.  I cut a size 44 (I wear a 12 usually in Vogue).  And because this was silk chiffon, I was terrified.  After all, silk chiffon has a notorious reputation.  At the time, I felt that I had to stitch this thing BY HAND to control the fabric.  I did the back slit opening, shoulders and collar this way before setting this aside.  When I came back to it this week, I finished with the machine (though not completely).

IMG_1818

Silk Chiffon?  Not so scary.  Three issues:

  1. The grain is shifty. I found this mostly to be a problem with laying out and cutting, and less so during construction.  The grain shifted some in my collar, so I’ll have to do better next time.  Sewing by machine on the straight grain (with the narrow hole presser foot) was a breeze.
  2. It snags easily – a very delicate fabric.  This version won’t last long, and I’ve snagged it in many places.  It’s not easy to see, but I know it’s there.  New pins, new needles (size 8 sharp for the machine needle) and watch those finger nails and scissors.
  3. It frays to look at it.  No really, it does.  I didn’t try fray block or anything else, but would entertain other sewers suggestions here.

Sewing choices I made:

  1. I used french seams for the shoulders (by hand) and side seams (by machine and very narrow).
  2. I decided against the drawstring/elastic casing at the waist, preferring a narrow, machine stitch hem.  A hand-rolled hem probably would look better.  I am considering the casing for a future version, as it is very chic (in the idealized drawing).
  3. I used the bound slit tutorial from Frabjous Couture for the neckline slit, and adapted it to bind the armholes. Both were done by hand. Unfortunately, she did not move her tutorials to her new blog – and she doesn’t seem to be blogging anymore.  I’m considering using silk charmeuse to bind the armholes, slit, and hem on a future version.
  4. I used small black snaps to close the collar, though on a firmer fabric (or more interfacing), a button/button hole combination would be nice.
  5. I interfaced the collar with black silk organza.  With the chiffon, perhaps two layers would be better.
  6. I used three rows of hand-done running stitches for the gathering (using silk thread).  I can never get gathers perfectly even.  These are better than my usual, but I still need more practice.
IMG_2932
I did a double bind with chiffon for the armholes (by hand).  Not perfect, but I’m mostly pleased.

Order of construction:

  1. The bound slit in the back.
  2. Attach front/back at shoulders.
  3. Gathers to the front.
  4. Construct the collar and attach to the neckline (be sure to leave the tabs on either side).
  5. Stitch front to back at side seams.
  6. Narrow hem.
  7. Bind the arm holes.
  8. Snaps on the neckline tabs.

Fit: I did a muslin for this (but can’t find it and it was 18 months ago), but fit issues always come up in the fashion fabric as well.  I had hoped to tuck this in, but it is a little short to do so.  I usually add length to the torso with the Big 4; I’ll do so in the next version.  The  armscye is a bit tight, and it’s a tad too fitted through the upper chest and back – I could go up a 1/2 size.  I have a small neck – anyone with a larger neck will want to take this into account.

Overall:  I like this pattern! The chiffon is very light and comfortable. Yes, it’s sheer, but with the dark fabric it’s not as obvious.  It’s relatively easy – a basic to be sure, dressed up or down by the print or fabric.

IMG_2931
Sheer!  And I  need a new dress form.

 

 

 

Quick Sew – Style Arc Harper Jacket

To keep from getting burnout and frustrated with the Rucci suit, I decided to pencil in simple projects and UFOs between each piece.  Today, it’s the Harper Jacket from Style Arc.  Later this week, I hope a UFO, then the muslin for the Rucci jacket.

Easy, throw on waterfall jacket
From the Style Arc Website.

I purchased the Harper-Skye-Sammi trio to make a dressy/business casual outfit.  I made the Skye top, but I really don’t like it know that I’ve worn it a few times (needs major fit alterations, I’ve decided).  The version for the outfit was going to have a Skye top in a gold silk charmeuse, so it would drape better, perhaps I’ll make it once I figure out how to improve its wear-ability.

The sourness on the outfit continued, because the blue knit I ordered doesn’t really work with the navy-dusted-with gold tropical wool suiting set aside for the Sammi pants. But I decided to make it anyway, just because.  Oh, my sourness continued, because I’m not terribly fond of raw edges.  So imagine my surprise – I like it.

img_0001
My dress form no longer stands up straight, the jacket really is even from left to right. 

The fabric:  The pattern calls for a stable knit or a drapey woven.  I went back and forth between this one and a St. Johns doubleknit (which I think I would have preferred).  It’s a viscose/wool boucle knit (60/40). It’s not thick, per se, but it does have some loft.  While it’s beautiful, and has the perfect drape, this is going to be a warm jacket.  Considering our winter is very short, I’m considering keeping this one at the office to battle the frigid A/C!

Construction and Instructions:  Style Arc keeps their directions to a minimum, but they do have additional instructions printed on the patterns.  Pay attention – the default seam width is 3/8″.  In general, if you can sew, you can make this very easy jacket (in an afternoon).  I always find it helpful to keep a copy of the Vogue Sewing guide just in case.  Still, I never quite figured out what they meant by mitering the corner turn. By the way, this jacket is very similar in construction (for the body) to the Rucci blouse (1437).

My only real quibble is with the back neck seam.  First, the directions suggest a French seam here.  Not really possible with this knit (too thick).  Second, I found that I didn’t like the collar up, but folded over – your seam will show, so choose carefully.  I ended up doing a messy flat-fell.

img_0003

Small details:  I used a clapper to get seams, especially crossing ones, flat.  I also top-stitched the shoulders, back, neck, and side seams 1/4 inch. I like it, and it helps keep the insides more finished.  I serged the armhole seams. I also decided early on (from others’ reviews) that I wasn’t going to use the hook and eye closures.

Fitting:  I made a size ten, and it fits beautifully, hitting right at the top of the high hip in back (very nice).  I normally wear a 12 in the big 4; Style Arc’s fit guide suggested a ten.  The front drapes nicely, but doesn’t hang like in the drawings.  I don’t mind high back collars, but without interfacing, this neck slouches, so I folded it over.

What I learned:  go ahead and try something out of your comfort zone.  This is a nice jacket, if I bit casual.  I still don’t like raw edges.  I’m not sure I will make it again, as I have other jacket styles on the list.  But it will keep me very warm in the cold office.

img_0002
Thought I got that dog hair.  Yes, this is the fabric my dog decided was his.

Style Arc Skye Top

img_2466I’ve been working on improving my wardrobe, both everyday and work.  It turns out, finding a good top pattern for wovens, that also works for my body and personality, is really challenging.  I’ve been perusing Nordstrom, and with their liberal return policy, getting a sense of what works beyond the basic blouse, but still trying new things with patterns and fabrics.  Personally, knits don’t work well in this climate – too clingy – and fitted designs don’t work as well with my middle-aged weight gain (and clingy in humidity).

I originally bought this gorgeous blue and white stripe stretch cotton sateen (from Gorgeous Fabrics), with Nicola Fineti’s crop top in mind (Vogue 1486).  I knew from the outset it would be too short, and that the oh-so-trendy crop top wouldn’t work for me right out of the envelope.  But given the construction,  I had a minimum number of seams to match.  Spoiler – it didn’t work.  The muslin showed it to be much shorter than it looks!  As in, 4 inches above the navel!  Granted, I’m long waisted,  but…  And something was weird about the neckline, ‘sleeves’, and bust darts.  Oh, I will play around with the muslin eventually, but I’ve set that aside.

img_2461I turned to the Style Arc Skye top.  This is a really cute top and I like it when I don’t raise my arms and have the right bottoms (I’m wearing the Style Arc Anna pants). I love the fabric’s weight, stripes, and colorway. (Check out that matching!)

I didn’t make a muslin, but I wish I did.  It’s shorter than you would think.  The front hits be about one inch below the navel, so it’s also slightly cropped. And it turns out, I don’t really like crop tops.  I will make this again, but I’m going to be adding two inches to the midsection.  One inch will be between the armcyse and the bust dart (which is too high) and one in the midsection proper. Why? Where the top joins at the sides, with its cute shirt-tail curved hem, is far too high up for my comfort… though with a high-waisted skirt or pants it would work.  I can’t tuck this in, so it’s a boxy silhouette.

The baimg_2469ck has a keyhole neckline, but it turns out that I don’t need it to pull the top on – I always forget to unbutton when I change.

Construction-wise, this is easy.  Based on the website, I chose size 10, though the fit seems a bit off, perhaps a size smaller, especially if a drapier fabric? Tips:  neaten (serge/overlock) your edges prior to sewing, complete the arm “hem” after the side seams.  I also went a bit narrower than the recommendation for the top-stitching.

As always, photography is not my forte, so forgive me.  These pictures were taken after wearing several times and are wrinkled from wear.

 

 

Hot weather comfort: Style Arc Anna Pant + McCall’s 7411

I’ve been away for a while, at 8000 feet, with no humidity.  I’m back in Florida, and not only is my sewing mojo in full swing, it says: comfort clothes, please; nothing too tight!  So, flowing  linen pants paired with a loose cotton voile top was my choice.  I’ve had the Style Arc Anna pant on the docket for a while, and decided to pair it with View C of McCall’s 7411 tank.  The navy stretch linen and the printed cotton voile are both from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I love the fabrics absolutely and both were very easy to work with.  The Style Arc Anna pants are fantastic, the top doesn’t pass the wearability test.

As always, photography is not my strong suit, the pictures are barely adequate.

Style Arc Anna: This is a straight leg pant, with a drawstring.  This pattern is super easy to make and goes together well.  If I make it again, however, I will purchase the pattern, rather than use the PDF.  I had a lot of trouble with lining everything up, and I’m pretty sure the pants are slightly off grain as a result.  I’ve used many other PDFs before, but this is my first Style Arc attempt – it may be my printer.

From the Style Arc website:Anna Pant - Straight leg drawstring pant, casual & sporty

I really love my Lily Pulitzer beach pants, but not the $180 price tag that comes with them. I wear the medium in Lily; here I sewed the 10 with only one modification.  The crotch curve (more of an L than a J) and rise match the Lily pant perfectly.  However, I wanted to make sure that the leg had enough ease to swish – and my thighs measure 23″ at their fullest point (hey, I run). So, I added 1/4 inch to the outside front and back seams, for a total 1/2 inch each leg.  Perfect – not tight when I sit, and the right amount of flowy beach swish when I sit.

The lily pant has three inches of ribbing for a lower rise pant, and the drawstring is merely decorative.  I didn’t have ribbing, so I constructed the fold-over waistband as directed.  I did switch out the fabric drawstring for navy 1/2 inch twill tape (much more comfortable, less bulky) and used 1/4 inch eyelets instead of button holes.

Last, an important improvement over the white Lily pants; – the 31.5 inch inseam is perfect to wear with flats/flip-flops.  The Lily pants are longer, requiring 3 inch heels, hemming, or rolling up.

This was my first Style Arc pattern, and I like it enough to try another, especially in pants.  I also love these pants and can see myself wearing these regularly.

McCall’s 7411 Layered Tank:

From McCall’s webpage, view C

I chose this pattern, but wasn’t thrilled with it.  The line drawings showed potential, even though I didn’t like the way it fit the model. I thought it was simply a lack of effort from the manufacturer, especially since the pressing job was less than adequate.  I also thought the neckline was boring.  I thought I could improve on this one, but I was wrong.

IMG_2381

There is a lot of ease here.  I mean a lot.  I wear a 12, but sized down to the small (8-10).  The finished measurements for the medium are 41″ (bust), 44″ (waist) and 37.5″ (bust) and 40.5″ for the small.

I decided that I wanted to add piping to the neckline and armholes, though I considered other options.  I made my own piping using the facings from view A as a guideline (cut on the bias) with 1/4″ piping.  This decision led me to abandon the order of construction.

I had never made my own piping before, nor added it to a neckline.  I referenced a few sources, but none that I found quickly suggested how to do it sandwiched this way.  I found, after doing the neckline, that the piping foot did not give me a tight “pipe” or abutment to the fabric edge.  I used a traditional zipper foot and was far more successful in getting the look I wanted. You can see the piping in the pictures below, and the rearview problems as well.

For the neck, I made the piping, stay-stitched the edges, then basted it to the overlay.  I then added the base layer and stitched.  I closed the back opening as directed at this point in the directions.  I did the same thing with piping the armsyce, except this time I stitched the piping to the overlay, pressed and then hand stitched the base layer in place (I couldn’t figure out how to turn things otherwise).

I was surprised at how comfortable the fabric is, but how terribly this wears.  I took great pains with the pressing, yet I still end up with the wrinkles and pulls in the chest and “sleeves” as in the model.  I also get gaping at the back opening, and it’s not just from the pose.  The darts are all wrong – two short, wrong angle.  I thought, okay, fine for grocery shopping.  But all the fit/pressing issues only got worse in real life.  So, this shirt is for the charitable pile.  I love the fabric, though and will be re-ordering it, but I doubt I’ll make the top again.

 

 

 

Sewing for Others

IMG_1854I’ve got [too] many projects cut out for myself, half started, nearly finished, planned. Some are easy, others quite challenging.  I’ve gotten myself in the situation of not knowing where to start to finish.  Well, not quite true.  I know I’m going to finish the Marfy top next, in a beautiful print silk chiffon.  But it’s going to require patience and focus… and I’ve been working on overcoming a nasty cold. Or will it be the Marcy Tilton raincoat?

So, how to keep sewing when your have a nasty cold and are super exhausted?  Say yes when your niece politely asks for a new apron.  Her mom and I selected a pattern via texting and then I was off to JoAnns, where I bought cotton prints for not one, not two, but three aprons for McCall’s 5720.  Oh, and some new Star Wars Force Awakens flannel for pajama bottoms for my son.

M5720, Misses'/Chldren's/Girls' Aprons
From the McCall’s website.

McCall’s 5720, view B:  I decided to surprise my sister and niece by making coordinating aprons for them. This is a simple pattern, and goes together fairly quickly.  The fabric is okay – lots of body which is fine for this view (and loads of sizing, that washing didn’t eliminate).    I have a very strong aversion to rick-rack, and an aversion to most trims I find at JoAnn’s, so I ordered some 1/4″ rayon braid in orchid from MJ Trimming.  The buttons are JoAnn’s. The most challenging elements were the patch pockets and attaching the braid neatly.

IMG_1866 IMG_1865

Like many McCall’s patterns for crafts/costumes, it uses 1/2 inch seam allowances. Still, on several pattern pieces, like the ties, it calls for 5/8 inch seam allowances. If you follow the pattern pieces, the ties won’t align with the dots.  It doesn’t always call for the best techniques for good results. I especially disliked the idea of the narrow, essentially shirt-tail, hem on those deep curves.  On my niece’s apron, I did the hems using Claire Schaeffer’s way. While they are very stiff, you do get a better result than when you use the pattern directions, which I used on my sister’s version. You can see the puckering at the waist – that’s from the finishing, not from how I tied it.

There is an error in the placement of the notches on pieces 7 & 8 of the girl’s pattern.  they don’t align at all (not even close).

This came together quickly, and it was off to the post office.  My niece was very happy that her mother got one too!.  On the other hand, I made the largest girl size (7-8), and it looks mighty small (though it works).

McCall’s 5720, view C: Since I was there, and I had the pattern, I thought I would make view C for myself.  I was curious to see how the layered flounces would look on an adult, and I needed a “pretty” apron for when I have company (or I will wipe on my good clothes without thinking – I’m a messy cook).

IMG_1872 IMG_1874

I made a mistake!  I meant to make the bottom layer the dark blue, not the middle.  I didn’t catch it until I cut it out.  I think I would like it marginally better if the base color was the darker blue.  The pictures are washed out, but the three prints are meant to work together in a quilt, I guess.  Aesthetically, in the end, I don’t really like this for me.  And, the fabric has a lot of body, so it adds weight to the bottom half of the figure.

This view went together much more professionally than the other one – a simpler design, no real issues. There is an error in the directions however, between steps 12 and 13. You need to fold the waistband down, right sides together, stitch, and trim.  Again, watch the seam allowances and hems, which differ on the pattern pieces, specific directions and general directions.

Blank Slate PJ Bottoms: I said I wasn’t going to use this pattern again. Then it got cold (yes, it gets below freezing in my part of Florida).  My son also decided he liked his pjs styled like his dads: bottoms with a t-shirt. Most of the problems I have with the pattern are with the top, and the fit on the bottoms is spot on right now.

IMG_1857I let my son help me.  This upped the difficulty level.  He wanted to randomly mix the two prints; I convinced him of this more subtle variation.  He was a good helper – he really wants to learn how to sew, and is taking sewing lessons after school.  He just wasn’t always patient or wanted in my lap to see better.

A couple of notes about this flannel:  it’s not intended for children’s sleepwear.  It’s also pretty low quality.  What I bought was very much off grain, and I wasn’t able to straighten the grain. The red Republic emblem bleeds, even on cold, even after multiple washings.

Note to self: When purchasing fabric from a place like JoAnns, buy extra.  Every single piece was cut poorly, sometimes resulting in several lost inches.  When I order online, I almost always order extra, because I often change my mind about how I will use the fabric, and figure extra is good. Need to do the same in person, too.