HOW TO SEW FABULOUS EASY PYJAMAS!
The fabric is rather extravagant for loungewear but then again why not? I wanted pj's which look like they should be a man's pair, and so decided that they should also be loose fitting.
The fabric is Liberty Tana Lawn , Seth Rankine Blue from Abakhan.co.uk. available to buy on this link here Liberty Tana Lawn from Abakhan.co.uk But do look at their other fabrics too! This fabric is £12.95 a metre and you need four metres for women's pyjamas. This is an extremely good price. There are a lot of designs in this range, your only problem will be in choosing your favourite.
the pattern is SIMLICITY 1504 FROM Jaycotts.co.uk Simplicity1504 at Jaycotts.co.uk This is a multi sized patern with thankfully seperate pattern pieces for childens, teens and adult sizes.
With any fabric wash and iron it before cutting out and then inspect it for flaws. Even the most expensive fabric may have a tiny flaw somewhere and it is better to examine the fabric before cutting into it and marking any flaws that you find with tailors chalk. When you think about it, fabric is produced in such vast quantities that it would be almost impossible for every single inch to be perfect throughout the run.I found this tiny flaw on the selvedge.
By the way,please watch this video Sewing Tools and Parkinsons
because if you have some sort of disability, or know somebody who does you may find it useful.
The pattern calls for optional piping, I never buy it as it is simplicity itself to make.All you need do is cut strips of fabric on the bias and insert some piping cord of whatever thickness you prefer down the middle, fold the ends together and stitch as close to the piping cord as you can get with your ordinary zipper foot.
All you need do then is to stitch it to your chosen fabric piece, again using your zipper foot. I decided at first to pipe around the pocket, but didn't like it so took it off again. I thought that it distracted from the rather lovely fabric.
I did however decide to go with the man's PJ look and add a touch of piping around the outside of the collar. To do that sandwich the covered piping between the collar pieces, right sides together, stitch using your zipper foot. Most machines do come with a zipper foot but if you do not have one then contact Jaycotts and ask them for one to fit your machine Contact Jaycotts.co.uk
The pattern instructions are very clear and easy to follow, so you should have no problem in stitching the shoulder seams and attaching the facing and the collar .
The collar is stitched to the neckline except for between the dots where the collar part on top is folded back away from the sewing machine and hand stitched down later. This provides a very neat finish to the inside of the garment.
The back part of the collar has been folded in and top stitched by machine very close to the edge.
Have you ever visited Abakhan.co.uk? I love going there because they sell fabrics to suit all budgets. They have lots of branches including the main and the best one at Mostyn, you will find a list of stores here Locations of Abakhan.co.uk stores
You should now have something which looks like this - ignore the bit of piping on the pocket, I didn't like it so took it off and made a plain pocket - matching the pattern of course!
When it came to making up the sleeves (it's far easier to insert them before stitching the side seams ) I added a touch of my piping between the sleeve and the sleeve band in the same way as before
To insert a sleeve, overlock or otherwise neaten the shoulder seam and then taking your sleeve run a row of gathering stitches between the notches, these can then be used to gently ease the sleeve into the armhole. You should have a very smooth sleeve with no gathers or puckers. If you do, then it is better to unpick and start again. We all own seam rippers you know!
The machine I am using to make this PJ set is the Bernina 350PE and it is an absolute joy to sew with, I totally love it. See it here, Bernina 350PE there is a review of it on this blog. If you are unsure which machine is right for your needs and budget then give Jaycotts a call, the contact details are above.
To continue all we need do now is to stitch the side seam from the sleeve edge to the bottom of the jacket, then overlock the edges. Do make sure that the underarm seam matches.
To make the sleeve bands, just stitch and press the bands at the side seam to form a tube. Fold in half wrong sides together. Press.
Then stitch the band to the sleeve right sides together , overlock and press open using a sleeve board.
That's the top almost complete. You now need to decide on your hem depth. I chose one and a half inches. The choice is purely personal. Before you do anything though overlock the entire hem.
Stitch the facing to the garment at your chosen hem depth, right sides together.clip the corner. Turn right sides out using a point turner and press
Measure your hem , pin and press in place
Make sure that everything is even and pin the front together down the centre front just to check. This will help with the buttonhole placement.
Pin the buttonhole guide to the front of the top (right front for ladies) And using a chalk pencil mark the buttonholes.
Even better, is this Simflex gauge which you set to measure exactly where each button should go. This is definately on my wish list! Buy it here Simflex guage
Once each buttonhole is marked set up your machine according to your manual and do a test buttonhole on a spare piece of fabric with interfacing in place to mimic the actual garment.
Once you are happy with the choice of buttonhole and the length then go ahead and stitch them into your garment
This is the automatic buttonhole foot on my Bernina, yours may look very different to mine, remember that odd numbers of buttons always look better than even numbers.
I did not put a button at the neck line as I know I will never fasten it.
Carefully cut your buttonholes with sharp, pointed scissors, I hear of "accidents" with stitch rippers almost every day! You will need a good quality thread some beeswax to strengthen the thread.
Pin the jacket together matching the centre front line and making sure that the fronts match. Using your chalk pencil mark the placing of the buttons and stitch them on with your waxed thread.
The pyjama bottoms
These are so easy to make . I mark the back kf each fabric piece with a small piece of masking tape if the fsbric is similar on both sides, anything to make life easier.
Stitch a pocket to each ftoser side and press the seam .
Join the centre fronts and centre backs and overlock the edges. Join the side seams , stopping sewing at the top dot at the top of the pocket and start stitching again at the bottom dot overlock the edges. Stitch around the pockets and overlock the pocket edges too.
Then stitch the inside seam going right round from the bottom of one leg to the bottom of the other. The pattern instructions are brilliant although my construction method is slightly different.
Stitch the cuffs onto the legs in the same way that you attached the cuffs to the jacket. I did not use any piping.
Stitch the waistband pieces together at the sides leaving an opening between the dots to allow elastic to be threaded through..Fold the waistband in half and pin to the top of the trousers, right sides together.
The overlocker I use is the Brother 3034D, Brother 3034D overlocker I find it easy to use and easy to thread. One tip, when you first get your machine take a photograph of the factory settings to refer to if you ever need to put the tension back to normal. Sometimes people struggle with getting the tension correct but check first that the needles are bot blunt, that it is threaded correctly (I start again) and that you have good quality thread. If that does not solve your problem - and it often does, then refer to your manual at the troubleshooting section. If you still have a problem then if you Voight it from Jaycotts do give them a call and they will offer advice.
Cut a piece of soft one inch wide elastic a bit larger than your own measurement. These pants sit BELOW the waist so don't be alarmed at the length!
Thread it through with a safety pin, securing the end to stop it from pulling straight through.
Try the pants on and make any adjustments necessary and then join the elastic securely.
Hand stitch the gap closed. Press.
Mark where the ties will go on the front. Make up the ties as in the instructions and stitch them in place
The ties just add a pretty finishing touch.
I appreciate that you may not want to spend a lot of money on fabric for pj's even though this Liberty fabric is such good value.
Alternatives are many although I do suggest a cotton fabric for comfort. The cottons at Abakhan.co.uk start at very reasonable prices Cotton fabrics from Abakhan.co.uk starting at around £4 per metre.
There are some nice Christmas prints just arrived if you want to make the children some christmassy pj's too, they start at around £3 a metre.Cotton mix fabrics
Finally I made a rather tongue in cheek video of the pj's, and yes, I do always go to bed in make up, doesn't everybody?? And I sort of forgot which side the pocket was on! Hope it gives you a giggle anyway
Thank you very much Abakhan.co.uk for your very generous gift and of course thank you too Jaycotts.co.uk for all your help and support and for letting me use your wonderful machines and sewing tools.
I would love to see pictures of your pj's!